Buy bitcoins online or with cash - fast and easy

Buy Bitcoin with Thai Baht

Get yourself some Bitcoin with Thai Baht on Localbitcoins.com

The process to buy is simple:

  1. Find a seller that is selling at a price you are willing to pay.
  2. Choose the amount of BTC you want to get or THB you want to send.
  3. Submit that amount and the seller will display their Thai Bank details.
  4. Go to that bank, deposit machine, ATM Transfer or do an online transfer of the amount you specified.
  5. Set your payment as sent.
  6. Wait for the seller to release the BTC from the LocalBitcoins escrow account.

 

The Bitcoin you are buying is auto deducted from the seller’s account  with no involvment from them.   Once  you iniciate a trade, that BTC is reserved for you for 90 minutes or more.   Make a deposit within that time frame.

Once you’ve got your Bitcoin, you can keep it in Local Bitcoins or send it to an online wallet like Blockchain, local wallet like MultiBit or trading account like BTC-e.com.

 

Killer Karaoke Thailand – If you hate Karaoke, you’ll love this

This is fun. Thailand’s killer karaoke is a weird and wonderful divergence from all the talent singing shows.  Much like what My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss did to the Apprentice,  this is  Fear Factor meets American Idol.  Not to spoil it for you, but try singing with a cow tongue in your face or a Muay Thai fighter working away on your mid section. 
Plus, y
ou don’t need to understand a word of Thai to love this.




Update: Check out the US version hosted by Steve-O.

R6 in the south

Why Thailand may be the best place in the world to ride motorcycles

dirt bike hill

 

 

Limited road animals.  While sad for the planet, Thailands is very low on most western road kill candidates.  No need to watch out for critters like opossums  skunks, beavers or raccoons.  While dear seem to roam north america freely,

curvyroadGreat quality of roads. The tarmac thru out thailand is quite good, and northern areas can be quite quiet at times.

Open property mentality.  This applies more to hill tribe areas, but many Thai farmers don’t fully own the land they farm and have a more open mentality.  The complete opposite of a Texas “If your’re on my property I’ll shoot you” mentality.

Ease of bike rental.  Thanks to Kawasaki and now Honda and Ducati, a good range of made in Thailand bikes are not available.  Besides these 125cc scooters are rentable in any major tourist town.

Photo Dec 26, 12 34 04 Photo Aug 12, 18 27 30

bitcoin

Bitcoin gaining traction

With all the talk of Bitcoin gaining traction connecting with a bank and debit cards to follow, people may forget that Liberty Reserve and Webmoney have been going strong as the digital currency without borders. It seems, however, the more popular the currency gets, the more restrictions come along with using it. We can only imagine what connecting with a French bank will do to Bitcoin regulation.

If you haven’t started working with a “get paid, stay paid” digital currency, it may be time. Liberty reserve was founded in 2002 so that’s 10 years in action.  10 years is a lifetime in internet years, however that doesn’t mean they are immune from issues. The US government increasingly feels they can reach out where they please to shut down who they want.  Still the promise of a currency with out borders is too great to ignore.

If you do want to get started, wm-center.com is and easy place to buy liberty reserve and it’s also a liberty reserve exchange. They also do Bitcoin and several others and they support orders from Thailand. They have bank acounts in all leading Thai Banks: Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, KTB, TMB, Krungsri, CIMB, Standard Chartered Bank. That means deposit into an account at Kbank, and your cash is waiting in your LR or Bitcoin account.

Nokia Maps launches with with Santika Club

Sporting nearly 4 year old data, Nokia’s answer to the failure of iOS6 maps gives us the opportunity to visit Club Santika, which burned down Jan 1, 2009 killing 66 people.  If you are a historian, you can find several other places that long since shuttered their doors.  Here are a few I found.  Lets see what you come up with.

While there are a few nice features of Nokia Maps, lack of up to date data is going to keep it from replacing the experience we have already come to expect from Google Maps.

 

Bangkok traffic apps compared

Fighting traffic in Bangkok is part of living here.  As a city with an ever growing car population, many people are looking to apps to save themselves from the long waits in cars.        First the app that has shown a bit of promis is BMA livetraffic.  But how does it compare with Google Maps traffic, iOS6 traffic and Waze?  Have a look:

    

The first photo is BMA livetraffic, second is Google, third is iOS6 maps, and last is Waze.  Clearly Waze and iOS6 have a way to go to be of any use.  With enough users, Waze could become quite useful, as the data it uses is sent directly from your phone.  On the right you can see how it would look when it gets notices some drivers going slower than normal.

 

Apps that show no promise at all all are Traffy apps by true move and the Longdo app.  There are a few more in the app store, but most have rather low ratings.

So for the moment, Google still seems to offer the clearest traffic information.

 

 

The 2012 NFL season in Bangkok

Last year I dabled with a new way of watching NFL games in Thailand – NFL Game Pass.  The quality was pretty good, but obviously it depends on your internet connection.  I ended up watching more DVR games rather than live games.  The live games have commercials which once you are used to watching TV without them, are super annoying. The other nice thing is they can stream to your mobile iPad or iPhone.

Prices as of today are:

 

 

 

 

 

Of course Ten Yard Tracker is still going strong as a commercial free, watch when you feel like it alternative.    Get yourself a nice HD, comercial free copy of most games and watch without any skipping. You can also put the file on your iPad for watching on a plane.

You do have to carry a good ratio with TYT, but if you don’t want to bother, make a donation and they’ll give you some upload credits.

In order to enjoy either one of these delayed game options you need to employ a media blackout on anyone talking about about scores.  Start now informing friends and colleagues not to talk about scores on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.   Skip Facebook and screen your calls.  Turn off any sports alert apps.    Then have fun watching games on your own schedule.

 

Update Oct 2nd: A lot of games are showing up on Pirate Bay, so head over there as well.

Choosing a VPN for Thailand

 

There are more and more reasons for everyday internet users in Thailand to use a Virtual Private Network (puts all your network traffic into an encrypted tunnel, which exits at some remote sever location).  Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Access USA based content like Netflix, Pandora and Hulu Plus.
  2. Bypassing Thai censorship and their blocked sites.
  3. Avoiding data logging by Thai ISPs
  4. Securely transmitting your data past packet sniffers or Thai ISPs

Once you decide you need one, you need to consider that not all VPN services are the same.  A few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you care if they keep logs and for how long?
  2. Will you be downloading pirate content?
  3. Do you wish to gain anonymity?

Remember you can’t be anonymous if you pay with your credit card or payment service with your name on it.  Some VPN providers like StrongVPN give you great access to to USA servers for Hulu and Netflix, however they don’t allow eztv and Pirate Bay torrent downloads and they don’t have a method for anonymous payment.

Here are two great round ups of VPN services:

I have tried a few, and can like the ease of set up of SecurityKiss.com.  They offer Bitcoin anonymous payments, free accounts capped at 300 MB per day, Open VPN support, and helpful set up guides.   Their free service is a great way to try out a VPN for the first time.

If you want a solution you mostly control, you can launch a OpenVPN server instance in the Amazon EC2 cloud.  You can allocate your own users and control the server.  Obviously you would need to follow the Amazon Terms of use.

Here’s a checklist to look at when comparing services:

Do they make their logging policy clear

Logging directly affects your annonymonity.  Based on the laws where the server is, the VPN provider may feel they need to log and keep those logs for long periods of time.  Many countrys have mandatory data retention laws. Larger VPN services will feel the need the be compliant.  Servers in countries without these laws can have no logging or short logging policies.

Do they make an effort to support multiple payment types

Some services offer only Paypal or Credit Card.  This is a tell.  A company serious about providing access to oppressed users around the world will need a method like Webmoney, Western Union, Liberty Reserve or Bitcoin. 

Has Hulu or Nefix blocked their exit IPs

Some of the bigger services may constantly battle with US based media as they discover their US server and IP is being used excessively. They will block the IP and your VPN will no longer have access.  Good providers with switch servers and IPs and keep the access flowing.

Do they have multiple server choices in the came account pacakage?

You should have USA for accessing certain regionally blocked sites.  The Olympics TV coverage highlighted the need for a UK based server to watch live BBC coverage.  But you also want servers in other countries for reasons like website testing, avoiding USA govermental snooping and changing your routine.

 

 

 

Video from end of Don Muang Tollway – Oct 29

This is the view from Google maps:


View Larger Map
The current coming in to the city is moving at about walking speed. That said, I’ve checked the Wat Laksi / IT Square / Chengwattana / Vibawadi area for the last 3 days and the Channel 7 van has been in the same place.

Here you can see swirls of water from fast moving currents:

Is this what Venice looks like?

I think these could be put to better use:

Back to the old ways:

Heading past Office Depot, no need for office supplies today:

 

 

 More Photos @ yfrog

NFL Game Pass review in Bangkok

Tried out the NFL.com Game Pass for the weekend.  Cost is $25 for the weekend.  $210 for the whole season.  Check out all their packages here.

Quality on an 8mb DSL connection from True was quite good.  There are 6 levels of quality ranging from 400 Kbps to 3000 Kpbs.  If you set the quality to auto, it will adjust the quality depending on your internet quality.  Most of the game seemed to be in the mid rage quality at about 1600 Kbps.   About once a every 10 mins there was a 1 sec pause in the action.  No worse than satellite tv reception.  I watched the output on a 46″ HD TV as a second screen from my MacBook Pro.

The game options work like a DVR with a live button, back and forward 10 seconds and a play/pause button.  You also get access to NFL network shows and Red Zone coverage on Sunday which skips around to all the best bits of the games.

Most likely you will want to watch the game Monday morning or Monday night.  Not a problem – you just select the game and it starts playing at the beginning of the broadcast.  Since the games have all the commercials, the plus side is you can skip them 10 seconds at a time. (a bit tedious).

Commercials – yeah you get all the glorious car, light beer , motor oil and insurance commercials.   This was rather novel to me as I’ve been on the torrents for so long I’d forgotten what American TV commercials looked like. You can skip past if you not watching live.

All and all a good experience, but with a price take of $150 to watch your team for the season WITH ads, I find that to be pricy.

Conclusion – Put that price at $50 for the full package and I’d likely pay.   As long as there is still TenYardTorrents.com offering HD games with NO commercials, I’ll likely stick with downloading games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

25Satang.com – Pay to bid auctions

This is a new one.  The Thai auction site 25Satang.com launched earlier this year, lets you buy bids by the pack, like 10 bids for 90 Baht or 700 Bids for 4,800 Baht.  The average price per bid comes out to 7 baht.  The bid increment? You guessed it, 25 satang.  This means to get to the bid price of 10 baht, there are 40 bids or 280 Baht worth of bids.  If an item sells for a winning bid of 10 baht, and you are lucky enough to come in at the last minute with the winning bid, you pay for you bid (7 baht) and the price of the item i.e. 17 Baht.  If you lost the auction, but bid 20 times, you paid 140 Baht.

Two actual examples from the company site:

Auction: Samsung 32″ LCD TV. Retail price: 13,990.  chai1974 was the winner with 202 bids, and a final auction price of 214.75.  chai1974 paid a total of 1,679 Baht to for this brand new TV.  Not bad.  The company pulled in about 6,000 baht worth of bids.  Likely a bit of a loss for them.

Auction: Iphone 3GS  Retail price: 27,948 baht.  chai1974 was the winner (again) with 3,855 bids, and final auction price of 5395.25 baht.  chai1974 paid a total of about 33,344 baht for this brand new iPhone. Whoa. And how did the company do? They pocketed around 151,000 baht!

It’s and interesting concept, but lets see how long it flys.  With every bidder but the winner losing money on each auction, not sure how long it will be till people get the hang of it.  It’s got a great hook though, once you’ve blown 100 Baht in bids, you can hardly stop.

2010 Kawasaki ER6-N ABS Review

If you are looking for a suitable big bike for Bangkok or anywhere in Thailand, look no further than the Kawasaki ER6-n. Besides looking as good or better than anything in it’s class (SUZUKI GSR600), it’s assembled in Thailand.  As with all vehicles in Thailand that are subject to a nearly 100% tax rate, at 247,000 Baht for the 2010 ABS model, you’re able to avoid paying double.  As an import this bike would go for around 500,000 Baht.

Besides the price, the look and feel of this machine is top notch.   At 649cc, it’s a smaller big bike, and it handles great, it’s a comfortable ride and a great bike for a novice.  It doesn’t get overly hot in city riding like you would find from a Yamaha R6, but it’s also not build for top speed racing.  The ABS brake system adds that extra safety touch to give you more piece of mind.

Reasons to buy:

  • Price – Because it’s built in Rayong, you don’t pay import tax
  • Handling – Good in for city and street riding and novice riders
  • Looks -  Great design
  • Parts – Most parts made in Thailand and fair priced

Things have gotten worse since Thursday

There is a good article at the Economist called No End In Sight, but I think an even better comment by Felix Qui.  Also some really great photos at CNN.

Felix Qui wrote:
May 16th 2010 6:43 GMT

I live on Silom Road, near the blockaded area.
Until Thursday evening, things were daily becoming more and more normal apart from the presence of lots of fresh faced young conscripts seeing life in the big city and the odd stretch of razor wire, even the night life was picking up again. That all changed with the shooting of Thai army general Kattiya on Thurday evening, at the beginning of the current crackdown, which has not been quick, smooth or obviously effective as the continuing shooting, fires and skirmishes prove.
Silom Road is now dead. It’s more silent and eerie than it was during the coups I’ve lived through here over the past 20 years. It’s also more scary. It would be useful to know who shot Kattiya and on whose orders. Lots of speculation so far, and what it all has in common is that the guess being made tends to serve the view of the person making it.

The Red leaders were fools not to jump for the face saving offer of a Nov. 24 election, and things have deteriorated since, as I guess someone wants them to. Presumably not Kattiya any longer, though until his shooting, he was the one I thought most likely to want to push for a more violent escalation, and the most capable of inspiring and leading such a move by the Reds, as shown by his intemperate raid on Chula. Hospital and the subsequent conflicts with other Red leaders.

Awful as the current days of violence are, what comes after them will be far more crucial for Thailand’s future. Whether the Reds are being funded by Thaksin or other deep pocketed groups, and whatever the motives of their leaders, it is certain that there is a very real and very widespread sense of betrayal, injustice and double standards throughout the majority of the country. The divides run deep between the Bangkok elite and the people of the rest of Thailand; if Abhisit and his masters merely suppress the current protest without taking real steps to reach out to all Thai people, and if they fail to make radical changes to the social, political and legal system, then the stage will be set for far more explosive protests sooner rather than later.

Thailand desperately needs mechanisms installed so that the Thai people’s voices can be heard and so that those voices can be respected, not overturned by the army or a mob of Yellow clad People Against Democracy (the PADsters) in Bangkok who look down on the rural majority with contempt. In a well functioning state, the Reds would not have been able to escalate their protest to such a point, in imitation of the tactics of the PADsters, who after occupying government house for months on end then occupied Bangkok’s international airport for over a week to enforce their will on the entire Thai nation contrary to the repeatedly expressed will of the Thai people in a series of elections. That the Yellow PADster leaders continue to run free and have recently come out to categorically oppose the offered peace plan is not helpful.