Thursday, October 30, 2014

BIB taking over resort for a week

A task force of BIB is using our place for an operation in the area.  They needed a place where they could secretly meet, plan, and house some undercover people from outside the area.  How all this came about is a long story, but they will be here about a week, and will be finished before Loy Krathong.  We will be paid for all facilities used.

Headed back to BKK tomorrow, more about this when the operation is completed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Loy Krathong is early this year.....

Seems like Loy Krathong is early this year.  I normally expect to see it around the 2nd or 3rd week of November, but since it is a lunar type of holiday, it happens to be early this year.  Most places will offer festivals starting on the 7th of November, so the plans are for a quick turnaround next week and be back up here for Loy Krathong.  After that, its a few days in the mango and then I am off to California again for a two month stay.  I can't believe how quickly time passes by when I am on this side of the bookend.

Unfortunately, sky lanterns are BANNED in Bangkok, but OK up here 
What sparked the interest on the date this year was that they were already selling Krathongs up here in the country side.  When I saw them, I commented to myself...boy they are early...only to have the vendor tell us that LK is on November 6th, and that there are lot of activities planned up here in Chaiyaphum.  Where there are festivals and a holiday, there is business for us so it will be a busy weekend holiday.  We also happen to be right across the road from a favorite spot for locals.

Decided to stay another couple of days here in the resort now that the internet is back up.  Maybe back to the mango on Friday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All is well in La La land

Just a couple hours after the last post, a couple of TOT technicians rolled up the roadway in the resort.  Looks like the persistence in escalating the matter in TOT management finally got us somewhere.  Or maybe it was B storming into the local TOT office yelling about our poor service and writing down everyone's name, rank, phone number, etc. that did the trick.  Whatever the formula, it seemed to get their attention.  

yes, but yelling in person at the local office may have helped.

The resort had been without dial tone and ADSL for more than 7 days.  I didn't know about it until I arrived on Sunday.  All day yesterday, I kept getting the run-a-around from the call center and the 'local technicians'.  I got the story that my problem was fixed already, there was a local outage for everyone, from a cable problem, to 'they are analyzing your problem".  Finally I had enough and insisted on talking to the chief of the call center and then the chief of customer support.  I told them that by the end of today if I did not get service restored or at least a commitment time, I was going to lodge a complaint at the NBCT, go the local consumer help channel radio station and newspapers for help.  I told them I guaranteed that they would have more work and trouble to deal with than if they just fixed my I was not looking for trouble.  

I normally don't go to such extremes, and abide pretty much with the 'jai yen' approach to problems and issues here in the land of smiles.  But this particular TOT office has been a pain the butt for us to deal with every since the beginning, when they held our order for ADSL for months - even to the point where B's mother had to pay a bit of 'tea money' to make things happen.  When B and I heard about that and how they were dragging their feet in this repair...essentially holding us hostage for perhaps some more 'tea money', for a normal service call, I really let them have it and took off the kid gloves.  

When the technicians did show up, they gave us some bullsh*t about our phone being bad, etc.  Well, I was sure the phone was not bad and we are using it at this moment.  Oh, did I tell you I worked for a big, very big phone company in America for 27 years?....older than you are sonny boy?

After all the drama, its life as normal back at the resort.  We are plugged in again and have access to the world.  All is well in la la land.


No internet up here at the resort.  Been down for three days now and have escalated the problem up the TOT management far not too much progress.

At the TRUE coffee shop picking up emails and doing essentials only.

May head back to the mango tomorrow and follow up on problem from there

Friday, October 24, 2014

Back Early to the Mango

Got back early today to the mango.  It was raining in Hua Hin this morning and we decided it wasn't worth waiting around for it to stop as there would be little or no sunshine down there today.  But that's how it is this time of the year in the land of smiles.  Its only a couple of hours by car, and after breakfast, we packed and drove back.  Now we have the entire afternoon in the mango for something else.

All decked out to play
We did have a lot of fun yesterday with Marina on the beach.  It was her first time on the sand and in the water and she had a blast.  After her first experience with the sand (she got it all over herself, including a ton of it in her hair) - she began to run and scream down the beach in excitement.  Then it was to the water and we couldn't get her to stop playing in it.  With a name like Marina, how could it be anything else?  She loves the water and anything close to the water so we will have to make more trips down to the beach.

Our little spot is still here, but smaller due to the recent crackdown on beach chair encroachment

On the not so positive side, our little beach area is quickly being overrun by development and visitors.  We used to be able to park right next to the beach for free in a little alley way.  But when we arrived yesterday, the alley was full.  The beach vendor remembers us and always spends some time chit chatting. All around, new condo projects are popping up and the quiet little area is now a bee hive of activity.  Looks like we have to move further south and find another beach location soon to get away from the crowds.

Can we play in the water some more?

One tired little girl

Hua Hin was one of the places I though I would get a second condo at one time, but now as I see the rapid development of condos and the touristy place it has become, its not anyplace I would like to stay for any extended time.  Not that I don't like tourists, but the town has changed from a quaint little beach town to one where higher prices and tourist oriented business have driven the older smaller places out.  It to me is like Pattaya now, a good place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Back in the mango for a couple of days and hopefully get one more chance at the archery range before going up to the resort next week.  Tonight, its the free buffet and some hanging out with the boys.......

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Going to Hua Hin

We are going down to Hua Hin tomorrow for a couple of days of beach time.  The last time we were there in the area, we stayed near Cha Am due to the kite festival.  This time, we are going to revisit a small resort bungalow near our favorite beach next to Hua Hin.  Its off the beaten track and very quiet as far as tourists go, and the sand is clean and white.    Marina will also be old enough to play in the sand and water this time so this is kind of a special trip for us.

Do you believe in Deja Vu?  I do.  Many years ago, I took this photo during a visit to the same beach we are visiting.  Little did I know, I would soon  be a father of a little girl just like the one in this picture visiting the very same spot on the very same beach.  The little girl's and the woman's profile are ringers for how B and Marina look from the back.    This picture appeared in my blog header for quite a while -  about four years ago.  Little did I know, nor was I planning, to have a daughter at the time. Remnants of the blog still exist on wordpress at this site:   

At around the same time, I also had a dream that I was having a yogurt at Farm Chokchai with a little girl, sitting outside on one of the picnic benches.  And we did that a few months back...strange or just living out a dream or deja vu?

Planing to take some kites down and play in the water and sand.  Give my tired body and soul a bit of rest and then back to the mango for a few days before going back to the resort.  Have only a few more weeks before I head back to California again for the holidays and taxes, etc.  Every day is so precious here in the land of smiles that I treasure each moment of each day.

Hopefully, more from Hua Hin if we get to a free WiFi site.  I know our little bungalow place doesn't have any internet at all - maybe better that way if we get totally unplugged from the world for a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interesting History of Thailand and the Vietnam War

Saw this video posted on another blog site and thought it would be interesting to share.  Once again, the US in regime change mode and how Thailand could be a lot different today.

By the way, Cobra Gold is coming back again next year according to the latest news.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quiet Weekend in the Mango

Got back to the mango on Friday and had a chance to go to the free buffet.  Met up with a few friends and ended up in the lobby for a few hours.  Super Glenn was leaving town the next day and because I forgot to take my phone back with me to the mango, I couldn't contact anyone until I bought a new simcard.  Thus I missed taking him out to dinner, but we did agree to a rain check when he gets back in a couple of months.

My simcard of choice is the 3G Tourist Inter Sim from True Move.  I like it because it offers a great calling rate to the US for as low as 1 baht a minute.  That equates to around 3 cents a minute, which is very reasonable.  I can conduct any business I need with a simple phone call instead of having to use some VOIP service like Skype or Line.  You also have access to all the True Move WiFi hotspots around the country and a decent data plan.

Great rates and decent quality

In the meantime, I have arranged for someone to carry my phone back with them as they will be coming back to the mango on Monday.  Its a good thing I have a few old phones laying around and all I needed was a new simcard from MBK for 49 baht to get going again.  

Went out to the archery range on Saturday for a couple of hours and had a lot of fun shooting and hanging out.  The range was packed and it was elbow to elbow room only.  My arrow groups are getting smaller but I still had one complete miss of the target board which was both a surprise and mystery as to how that happened.  The arrow landed in the dirt behind the target and was almost buried in mud - fortunately it was not damaged.

We were planning a trip to Hua Hin this week, but things are fluid right now as I have to wait for the delivery of my phone and B is taking some classes on how to do cosmetic tattoos and apply permanent makeup for women.  We may either be extending this service at our salon for our customers or she may want to work at one of the clinics in the mango that specializes in this kind of service.  Permanent makeup tattoos are the latest fad for women as it helps reduce the time for application of eye makeup and even lipstick!  It also creates features that correct imperfections due to age, illness, or birth defects.  Its really amazing how realistic the effects come out and the best thing is that it lasts for a long period of time.  Women can go to bed and wake up looking the same, unlike some now, who are  way different in the morning from how we saw them the night before..555

Once again, many foreigners are coming to Thailand for the cheaper prices to do the procedures here.  It costs about 1/5 the price of similar services back in their home countries.  

More later in the week if we do decide to go down to Hua Hin for a bit of R&R.  In the meantime, the mango is not such a bad place to hangout and have some fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Headed back to the Mango tomorrow

I'm a bit sunburned after a day of golf.  There is no golf course up here near the resort, but my friends had arranged a golf outing at Pak Chong, about two hours from the resort.  Its about half way between Bangkok and the resort and one of the regular stops for our golf group.   Pak Chong is a favorite destination for affluent Bangkok residents who own homes near Khao Yai National Park.  In fact, there are some people whose homes have encroached on park land and is now the subject of seizure and destruction by the current government.  While the tourists head to the beaches, many of these rich and famous Thais head to the mountains where the weather is cooler and they can get some solitude from the madness we call the city of angels.

Rancho Charnvee Golf Club is a fabulous destination for golf and a holiday stay.  What other golf course has a boat in one of the lakes, which you must carry off the tee on the first hole?  There are horses and stables on the property and trails around the golf course where one can ride. Accommodations are both luxurious and varied.  Two bedroom villas are available for 20,000 baht per night, but smaller hotel rooms are available for those of normal means.

First Tee - carry over water to the fairway

Play some golf and see riders with their horses

Oh, did I tell you about the airport on the property too?   Yes, this resort has its own airport and landing strip for private planes.   To tell you the truth, I've never seen a private airplane here in the LOS - but according to my Thai friends, there are many private planes and pilots, its just that we don't normally see or meet them as they hang out with their own 'circle of friends', which we are typically not part of.  You know.... the same people who own million dollar cars, etc.

Fly in for 9 holes in the afternoon?

Didn't have a great day at the was expected as I've not played in 3 weeks and haven't been to the driving range in a long time.  Hit the ball well, but couldn't putt or chip worth a darn.  Working out in the gym really helps the power and ball striking, but one cannot play well without a short game and putting.  I just have to get out more and play!

Road back from home/resort to the mango
(now you see why its so hard to leave this place)

Plans are to try to get back to the mango tomorrow.  Super Glenn is in town and I told him I will try to have dinner with him before he leaves.  With B and Marina up here in the resort having so much fun, I think plans are subject to change.  I promised them that we would be back up here soon, after all, its home for us too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making do..

The view from my breakfast table in the morning

Its a hard living up here in the country (but somebody has to do it).  After my morning walk, I had my hot tea and a hearty breakfast on my patio in front of my bungalow.  As I sat there this morning, I was amazed at how much we have and yet we also have  so very little in terms of things I take for granted in the States.  We don't have any big malls nearby, no McDonalds, no Starbucks, or even a Chinese restaurant.  But I am amazed at how great life can be without all of these 'conveniences' and remember the time in my life when most of these did not even exist.  Life was simple then, but small things like a home project would require a major shopping trip all over town.  

But sometimes one has to be flexible and improvise up here in the country side.  The local Thais always amaze me with the simple, but elegant solutions they come up with when things we take for granted are not available.  So today, I wanted to start on the target range and discovered that we didn't have any lumber around for me to build the racks.  The only wood available around the resort were some three inch stakes and old cement forms left over from the construction of the resort.  A visit to the local home improvement store didn't help as they only stocked molding and finished door jams.  There were no stacks of 2X4s and lumber like they have at the Home Depots or Lowes back in California.  When I asked where the cement form boards came from, B's father indicated that the workers made them from tree logs.  They cut down large trees and use chain saws to gently slice the tree stump lengthwise to make whatever size and thickness they needed.  Not having a tree to cut down nor a chain saw, that was going to slow the process down a lot - unless we got the frames for the targets made from steel - not a great idea for arrows.  We are still contemplating what to do and will likely have to wait for my next trip up here.

I still wanted to shoot some arrows today.  As I walked around the resort, the perfect solution came up for today's improvisation.  I found one of the bamboo chairs from the beach huts was the right size and sturdy enough to hold up the targets.  Also, if I missed and hit the chair, it wouldn't matter as it was made of bamboo and wouldn't hurt the arrows.   Besides, the hut also provided a backdrop should I miss the target completely.  That coupled with the covered carport made for an instant archery range!

Turn a chair around from one of the huts and plop on a target - instant range at 40 yards.

Turns out the carport is a perfect location to shoot from as it provides protection from the sun and has a cement floor.  To vary the distance, all one has to do is to drag the chair and target closer or farther away.  No misses allowed or there is a long hike to the other property which is partially under water this time of year.

Archery aside, there is a lot going on in the world and while I'm deep in the center of Issan I still get all the news of the world and the financial markets.  Looks like the long overdue stock market correction is close at hand and the geo-political situation is spiraling ever so close to a major event. I'm expecting a 50% market correction and major government and bank defaults during this downturn as well as major failures of many of the social media darlings who haven't made a profit but continue to draw huge investments and increased stock prices.  

The cocky and over-confidence of our government's medical bureaucracy that thought they could handle Ebola has exploded in their faces.  Forcing to admit they really don't have the protocols and training to handle the virus, there never should have been anyone allowed into the country with the disease.  Even now, there are few controls that limit people with visits to Ebola outbreak countries from entering the country.  Its true that more people die in one day from auto accidents than Ebola in the US, but the psychological fear that Americans have of a pandemic can have an adverse effect on normal functions and even the financial markets.

The sheltered and shrink wrapped package life of many Americans and their misguided belief that the government will always take care of them will come to roost one day when all hell breaks loose.  When that happens, what will you do or where will you go?  Will you just roll up and die?  Something to think about this week instead of football.  

We don't have a lot of stuff up here in Issan, especially the problems like the ones above.  I think we will just have to ride out the mess up here for a bit and watch the show unfold.  Improvise as we need to survive as a family and deal with a brave new world ahead.  


Monday, October 13, 2014

Reporting in from upcountry

Its been busy for me today.  Having been away for almost a month, there was a lot to take care of.  There was the business end with receipts and bills and then there were the little maintenance items.  But all is in good order now.  The trees and plants continue to grow at a furious rate because its rainy season and the weather is pleasant and not too hot.

Some of our Plumeria trees got infected with rust fungus.  The undersides of the leaves are coated with this rust colored fungus that shoots up spores when agitated and infects other plants.  This happened last year too around this time of year too due to the high moisture content because of the rains.  We made up a solution consisting of baking soda, neem oil, and dish washing detergent and sprayed the leaves until they were wet.  We will have to repeat again in a few days until all signs of the infection are gone.  The neem oil also takes care of other pests like aphids and ants that might want to make a home in these trees.  

Whenever  possible, our resort uses non-toxic, DIY remedies for our pest problems.   I have to have natural, non-toxic insecticides because we have small kids like Marina wandering around.  She is at a age when she will periodically put something in her mouth to see what it will taste like..last thing we want is toxic stuff all over the place.

When I was in California the previous trip, I also brought back two large bottles of Orange Oil.  We use Orange and Neem oils to control most of our insect problems.  We have lots of ants and using Orange oil mixed with a bit of detergent will keep them at bay.  The Orange oil destroys the ant's  nervous system and exoskeleton, and the detergents helps to drown them as they try to get it off.  Its irritating to the eyes if sprayed on humans, but far from being toxic.  It dries quickly and if sprayed on vegetables, it will be non toxic and gone without any trace when its time to harvest.

We grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables on the resort for family consumption and are very careful about what we put on to the plants, including the fertilizers.  Half resort and half farm, we even have chickens in the rear of the property!  I'll try to have some pictures of some our home garden in future posts.

Marina is having a fun time running all over the resort.  Its far better for her to be up here rather than in the big mango because the air is fresher and the weather a bit cooler.  High 80s here today, with no clouds and a steady breeze...a slice of heaven in the LOS.

More tomorrow as I will try to set up the archery range for some play time.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Headed upcountry today

Going upcountry today to the resort.  Haven't been there since I went to California and am anxious to see how the plants and trees have grown during this rainy period.  B's parents are anxiously waiting for Marina as always and the other kids are getting ready for another semester of school.

Went out to the archery range with Bangkok buddy yesterday.  I wanted to re-sight my bow and scope as I had taken everything apart to clean it the night before.  Also, Bangkok buddy was eagerly awaiting another chance to use his new bow.  We spent over two hours at the range shooting and getting some equipment repairs.  I had a couple of dozen arrows customized and also decided to buy the ArcheryThai range yearly membership.  The membership cost 6500 baht per year and allows one to shoot as often as you want, but limiting the use on weekends to two hours if people are waiting.  At the normal rate of 60 baht and hour, it would take only 110 hours to break even so it seems like a great deal.  At some point I think I might get bored shooting at the same range all the time, but to be realistic, there aren't that many ranges to choose from in the mango anyway.

So yesterday, I took a couple of shots of Bangkok buddy and his form looks a lot better this time out.  With more practice and familiarity with his bow, Bambi better watch out soon.....ha ha ha

Looking a lot better this time out...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coffee in a bag

No pictures today of yesterday's session with Bangkok buddy at the shooting range.  We were too busy trying to get his bow tuned to the correct draw length and for him to begin shooting that I did not have time to pull out the camera for a few shots.  We rented two lanes side by side and I think I didn't even get to shoot more 25 arrows during the 1 hour we were allocated.

For his first time, BB didn't do too badly.  At least he didn't miss the target board, but I think that if he had to go out and hunt for survival, he would not bring back a meal for some time.  Yes, Bambi and Rocky the chipmunk are not in any imminent danger for the time being.  But archery is a lot of fun and he will progress quickly, especially if he puts in more time.

The title of the blog post today is coffee in a bag - which is what I had this morning from a new vendor next to the moo bing and gai bing man that I visit almost every morning.  I felt a need for a strong cup of java this morning as I was still suffering from jet lag.  The lady was brewing coffee and the line was pretty long so I thought, what the heck...lets give it a try.  Ten minutes later, I was on my way with my plastic 'bag' of coffee.

Its no Starbucks gourmet coffee with the fancy logo on the coffee cup, but it tasted great.  The price was 10 baht (30 cents) and put it in a Starbucks cup and you would not know any better. 

California is thinking of a statewide ban on plastic bags - but guess what?  In those counties that have already banned plastic bags, the streets are not any cleaner.  People there are pigs, and its impossible to legislate behavior by controlling bags.  Guess where some of those fancy Starbucks coffee cups end up?...yep on the street.  Here in the mango, entire meals are served in plastic bags for people to take home.  Everything from hot soup and noodles to bags of cooked rice is bagged in plastic.  Look very hard as you won't find tons of plastic bags on the street here.  

The free buffet is tonight.  Hope to meet up with some of the guys and hang out for a bit at the lobby.  It sure feels good to be back home and kicking back again.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Camera Repair in Bangkok

I thought I was smart a few months back and bought a pocket camera on eBay at a considerable saving.  The company was in Hong Kong and their prices were way cheaper than I could get from a US retailer.  The camera was supposed to be covered with a warranty, but as it turns out, it was not any good in the US nor Thailand.  Short of sending it back to Hong Kong, I had to get it serviced at my own cost if something went bad.

Canon Powershot S120, my pocket 'blog' camera

Well, something did go bad...the display was only showing half of the picture and the other half was distorted.  The display was not cracked nor damaged, it just suddenly happened one day after I turned the camera on.  Canon has a service center in Bangkok so I took it over to have it serviced and that's when I found out that there was no 'international' warranty on this camera.

Parts had to be ordered and after a month, my camera was ready for pick-up yesterday. They told me 3-4 weeks when I turned it in, which worked out perfectly as that coincided with my trip to California.  The total cost was 3700 baht, ($113 USD) including labor and taxes. etc.  Not so bad as I am sure it would be twice as much to service in California.  The center is very professional and sent me a SMS message to notify me when the repairs were done and the final cost.  They included the old part - which is the LCD screen plus the controller chip which hung from the LCD unit on a ribbon.  

So the information tidbit to share today is that Canon has a big service center at the Sathorn Square building in Bangkok.  Its connected to the Chong Nongsi BTS station right at the entrance to the building.  They repair all kinds of Canon products and their prices are fair and reasonable.  Knowing that, I have an older camera which I gave up on that I think I will have repaired next trip.  

Plans for today include a trip out to the archery range with Bangkok buddy.  He is going to try out his new bow and I will try to snap some pictures with the freshly repaired camera to see if it works properly.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Home in the Mango

Feels good to be home.  Back in the mango after a long flight and smooth entry through immigration.  Got through immigration in about 5 minutes and then picked up all my luggage 10 minutes later.  Was in a taxi and headed back into the city within 20 minutes.  In less than an hour, I was unpacking and getting ready to meet Bangkok Buddy who was anxiously waiting for his bow.

It was obvious that the number of people at the airport was way down.  Whether its due to it being low season or the people staying away because of the recent problems, it was unlike the days when there were like 300 people in front of you in line.  The taxis are all queued up with LED stall numbers and there was also no waiting.

Just had some coffee with Bangkok Buddy at Starbucks.  He seemed very happy to get his bow and some other computer goodies that he ordered.  My bags nowadays are full of things that people order from the States and I feel like I'm a special delivery man at times.  

The time to visit the mango is now folks.  No competition for services and it looks like the prices are still quite reasonable.

Mango, how much I have missed you and why I call you home.......

Waiting in Taipei

Just hanging out at the gate in Taipei waiting for the last leg of my journey home.  Couple of things to report.  First the trip from SFO was a bit rough, but only between Alaska and Siberia.  The plane skimmed over Korean airspace to avoid the typhoon in Japan so that portion was ok.

The EVA lounge in Taipei now has the butt showers, just like Terminal 21.  And there is also free WiFi throughout the airport (2 hours limit) - making travel very convenient.  Wish they would do that in US airports.

Everything pretty much the same as I am about five minutes from boarding...more in bkk

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rough skies ahead?

Add caption
Just a few more hours and then its off to the airport and home to the land of smiles.  Was observing the weather report and it shows that a major typhoon is battering Japan at the moment.  That is right in the middle of our typical flight path from SFO to Taipei.  Normally, our flight goes over Japan on the last segment of the flight so even if we divert inland a bit to avoid the storm, it might be a bumpy ride this time.

Bags are almost all packed with last minute toilet items left and I have to tidy up a bit before taking off.  So far, this has been a very productive trip and hopefully some time late tomorrow I will be posting from BKK.  Still have a dinner planned with family and friends and then afterwards I will head off to the airport for the 1AM flight.

It will be great to be away from the elections and the crazy hype and political propaganda.  I remember once I was in BKK for the Bush/Gore election and the US Embassy was fooling enough to  host a party for all Americans in BKK.  The party dragged on and on when they could not declare a winner.  The embassy finally had to kick everyone out of the hotel as the food and  free drinks were driving them broke.   We know how that  election came out...hanging chads... and results not final for days.  This time, its going to be the late night results for the senate races.  I wonder if the embassy will be dumb enough to host another party.  

No more rambling ....more from Taipei.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Heat Wave...

We're having our Indian Summer here in the Bay Area.  Its 5:20pm and its over 95F on this side of the Bay.  I guess its a warm-up for me as I get ready to return home to the mango.  Unfortunately, we are not prepared for this kind of weather here as it normally cool in this area, year round. Most of the homes in the area do not have air conditioning - especially the older ones.   The general pattern is three days of hot weather before the fog rolls in, so I am counting on the famous SF fog rolling into the bay tomorrow to cool things off.  

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep busy waiting for the weekend to arrive so that I can get on the plane.  Went to the archery range for some target practice and to tune my bow.  Also, out of curiosity, took along my google glass and was able to record a shot from the shooter's perspective.  Had to rush the shot as there was a 10 second limit but it came out better that I thought.

I'm shooting at the white 55 yard target (3rd from the left)

Thats it for today.  Only two more days to go.......

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bug out bag ready?

Lots of people think preppers are crazy.  They (the preppers) think of the worse cases of doom and gloom and are nuts to gather all their survival gear and supplies.  Hoarding of food, ammunition, and supplies is un-American because we all have to share and support each other in times of crisis right?  Have we forgotten Katrina and other disasters where the government was helpless for long stretches of time?  

Those that don't prep will be the first to perish.

For example, do you think the government is not worried?  With the 2nd Ebola case reported in Texas today, and the potential of many more who have been exposed, there is no telling how serious this can get.  The government knows, and its not telling you its buying lots of hazmat suits..

How many?  How about an order for 160,000 suits?  No big deal right...lots of people in the government right?.   But each suit cost $1200 apiece.     Total cost:  $192 Million.   Yep, they might get a bulk discount, but knowing the government, they will have custom government specs and the suits will cost twice as much instead of being discounted.

Almost $200 million for suits alone...what does the government know that you don't?

Oh, by the way, the government has also been stockpiling plastic coffins...hundreds of thousands of them too....

Five more days and I'm outta here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

She's here!

Finally after 15 months of waiting, my custom SVI Infinity arrived this morning.  Ever since I started shooting and collecting 1911s, I've always wanted to save up for an Infinity.   I even have a few airsoft replicas that I shoot at the resort and at paper box targets in the mango.   They are custom made to order with the best parts one can make or find.  They make almost every part of the gun in house to their exacting standards.   

Getting the pistol wasn't easy.  Aside from the waiting time, there were California regulations that had to be overcome.  Was it worth it?  Yep...every single day and dollar.  When it comes to custom articles, everyone will have their own opinion on what they like...thus it wouldn't be custom if it wasn't exactly what we wanted right?  

SVI has a website that allows one to specify every little detail about the pistol you want...even down to a custom serial number if desired.  The program, called 'gunbuilder' is used as the control and design spec tracker as the pistol moves from design to manufacturing.  Their website is located here:  So here is my custom new baby...

The frame and slide are all stainless steel.  The gold colored accents are really Titanium Nitride coated parts that make them harder, smoother, and more resistant to normal wear.  I wanted a Rolex 'Stainless Steel and Gold' look to give the pistol elegance along with its performance and firepower. does have a personal serial number (its been partially obscured for security reasons).  

I have to wait for some special lubrication the manufacturer recommended and will give it a good once over before going to the range.  Hope I can do it before I leave this weekend - else she will go into the safe for a bit to rule over her subjects...she is my current safe queen of pistols.

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