Saturday, May 9, 2015

Busy Week

Its been a week now since the golf tournament and I am finally at a point where I am about 1/2 way caught up with things I need to have done.  Have to hurry as I am going to Italy next weekend for about 10 days.  Didn't do any posting the last few days because I was having some internet problems.  Seems like my bandwidth suddenly slowed down to a crawl a couple of days ago.  I went from 2 MB download speed to less than 200K and my browser and other programs just froze.  After some detective work, I found that Google drive was sucking up all my bandwidth synchronizing my files.  It made sense because I upgraded my drive size around that time to accommodate moving some files back from California to BKK.  Anyway,  I found the problem and set the bandwidth limit on the application that controls Google drive and the problem went away partially.

It appears I don't have enough bandwidth as my guaranteed speed is only 1.5MB according to AT&T.  We don't have have the new AT&T digital network in our area yet and I didn't want to switch to a cable system because I still have my employee discount from Ma Bell.  So for now, I am still with third world internet service (In BKK I think I have 10MB service at the same or lower price).  Its only for a few more weeks and then I will be home again.

B is taking care of things on the home front.  We closed out 'the deal' yesterday on the adjoining land next to the resort.  Now we have a contiguous 20 rai parcel with double the lakefront exposure - enough land to expand and grow our own food.  I already told the extended family that I have no intention of being a farmer or doing farm chores...555  But that might exclude some things that I deem fun, but my participation will be limited to being an 'interested observer and adviser'.

Lastly, in acquiring things for my trip to Italy and as a result of my computer network problems, I ran across some interesting info on how to communicate during an SHTF scenario.  With cellphone service and internet service out, what would you use to communicate with your family members or friends?  Walkie Talkie radios are viable, but there are lots of issues such as bandwidth, distance, and privacy.  In my browsing on the net, I ran across the Motorols i355.  This was a cellphone introduced in 2003 when Motorola was still a dominate force in cellphone manufacturing.  The neat thing is that the i355 can operate as both a cellphone AND a free standing digital walkie talkie with its own network OFFLINE.  That means no problem.  Add Mil-Spec construction and availability on ebay for around $25 apiece and you have a great SHTF communicator.  I bought six of them for use by our kite team and plan to bring a couple to Italy to try out.

The big advantage besides the quality build is the range and privacy that it offers.  It uses a spread spectrum digital network and has superior range (2-6 real miles) to the run of the mill walkie talkies.  I don't like radios that are GMR based because they are not private (anyone can listen in) and its likely that during a SHTF scenario, the repeaters will likely be down as well.  

Here is more info on the i355.  Two will definitely go into my bugout bag along with batteries and a solar charger.

Have to go to a kiddie birthday party for my grand daughters today.  More in the next post about my newest archery acquisitions.

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