Monthly Archives: April 2010

And the winner is….

Posted by on April 7, 2010

I had 905 entries for the JVC camcorder giveaway. I let do its thing and the winner was Jocy who blogs at She said she’d use for the videocamera for the following:

Hello. I’m moving to Cambodia to pursue human rights work on forced evictions/land confiscation issues. I’d use this camera to document that work, along with travels throughout the year.

I can think of many worse uses for this camera.

Congratulations to Jocy and stay tuned for another great giveaway I have planned for April!

Visa Run

Posted by on April 7, 2010

Chinatown is one of the many parts of Singapore I didn't see on Saturday because I never left the airport

Chinatown is one of the many parts of Singapore I didn't see on Saturday because I never left the airport

One of the things you have to deal with when living a globe hopping nomadic lifestyle is the issue of visas. When you enter into a country you only have a set amount of time you can stay. As an American, for most countries I enter as a tourist I get 90 days. In Thailand, unless you applied for a longer visa through an embassy before your arrival, you only get 30 days. The only real way you can extend the 30 day visa on arrival is to leave the country and come back. Making a border crossing for the explicit purpose of renewing your visa is called a visa run.

I’ve done glorified visa runs before. My trip to Papua New Guinea was really just to renew my Australian visa which was expiring after 3 months in the country. I decided to make a real trip out of it, so it was more than just getting a passport stamp. Likewise, last month I went to Singapore because my Thai visa was running out, but I also spent 10 days there with my college roommate Dave and met with people in Singapore.

Last Saturday I flew to Singapore and back to Bangkok in one day. In fact, I never even left the airport in Singapore. That, my friends, was a real deal, in-out, quickie, good old fashioned visa run. My flight arrived in Singapore around noon and I was checking in for my flight to Bangkok at 4pm. (more…)

Travel Gear Review – Monster Cable, Outlets To Go Power Strip

Posted by on April 4, 2010

I carry around a lot of electronics. Way more than most people who travel. For the first two and a half years of my trip I lugged around a big six outlet power strip that I was using on my home computer. It was a generic model I picked up a Home Depot and was built for the garage. It was big, it was heavy and I was more than happy to get rid of it.

I honestly never gave much thought to my power strip. The power strip is probably the lowest item on the totem pole in your traveling pack of technology. Nonetheless, when I was contacted by the folks at Monster Cable back in December and asked if I wanted to try their 6 outlet travel power strip, I jumped at the chance. (more…)

Anatomy of an April Fool’s Joke

Posted by on April 4, 2010

For the third year in a row I did an April Fool’s joke on April 1. For the third year in a row, an abnormally large number of people seem to have fallen for it, at least for a little while. This year I was sort of shocked at how many people said they fell for it, some of whom said they believed it for several hours (they clearly didn’t read the comments!)

Probably the greatest April Fool’s day joke ever perpitrated was the 1985 Sports Illustrated article by George Plimpton: The Curious Case of Sid Finch. He tells the story of a Harvard drop out who goes to Tibet and comes back years later after having learned to throw a baseball 150 mph. It had all the great hallmarks of a great April Fool’s joke. It gave some subtle clues that it was a joke (take the first letter of each word in the introduction), it was hard to believe but not so crazy that it was impossible to believe, and at no point did he give away the joke in the entire article.

I had actually this joke in mind for months and was even going take it one step further. I was going to find the ugliest ladyboy I could find in Bangkok and shoot a video, such that anyone who saw it would realize that the ladyboy was in fact a man. Unfortunately, my video camera is broken, so I went with what I did. (more…)