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About joeaf

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  1. I need PC speakers too and I have decided to replace them with Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Computer speakers which lists on their website at $129 for the set. https://www.klipsch.com/computer-speakers I had an old 6.1 Cambridge Soundworks Megaworks THX 650 speaker system but it stopped working. I read that many speakers fail because of bad/cheap/blown capacitors and the glue they used degrades and becomes conductive. I tried replacing the capacitors and removing the degraded glue but that failed. https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/2873671/all I would avoid used speakers from ebay because of the capacitors and glue problems that may arise from older used speakers.
  2. Spam is quite popular in Hawaii where according to your Wikipedia article, Hawaii residents have the highest per capita consumption of spam in the US. In Hawaii, you can get spam & eggs at McDonald’s and Burger King. Spam musubi is a popular native dish where cooked spam is placed atop rice and wrapped in a band of seaweed. Watch out since spam is so popular there, its often referred to as “The Hawaiian Steak.”
  3. That construction behind the Sky Fitness gym and Blue Ocean pool is not part of Areca Lodge. It is the Centara Avenue Residence & Suites Pattaya built by the Tulip Group, a combination hotel/condo. The Tulip Group is building another larger hotel/condo project (Golden Tulip Hotel & Residence) across the street on Soi 15 when you exit the Evergreen wing side.
  4. An impressive sight is all the floating lanterns lighting up the night sky launched from Beach Rd in front of Central Festival mall. You might want to launch one yourself, but it can be tricky if you let it go too early. From the rooftop bar on the 34th floor of the Hilton hotel offers an excellent view of the all the floating lanterns, but be warned, drinks are pricy w/17% added to the bill, e.g. Pattaya Sling specialty drink (wine mixture) 420bt=357bt+63bt.
  5. Partly true, FF programs have gutted and increased the mileage requirement for award tickets, but the quality of the “comfy ride” sections has significantly improved. When I took my first award trip to Thailand on UA, the comfy bus class section from DCA-ORD-NRT-BKK in 1999, it cost me 90k FF miles w/seats reclining about 150 degrees, whereas today it will cost you 160k UA FF miles but you get a fully flat seat/bed in the comfy section. But AA program is still a bargain since it cost 110k for a bus award ticket and 135k for FC using partner Cathay to fly US-Thailand, But even if one does not fly a lot on full fare tickets, anyone can play the FF mileage game by reading and applying flyertalk information. Thanks to flyertalk, I have taken 18 of 20 US-Thailand trips using FF miles with 16 trips in the comfy section. The term FF miles is a misnomer because I earned +95% of my FF miles since 1996 without flying. There are many ways to earn FF miles without flying by being creative and taking advantage of promotions like the pudding guy or the many who bought US $1 coins.
  6. FlyerTalk FFs are creative but they usually look for a cheaper way, and your scheme is “small potatoes” compared to other bigger schemes/loopholes that generate millions of FF miles. The only scheme I read about that drew the attention of the US govt was the “baht run” discussed in the link below. One bigger loophole that lasted for years was the pin based (not signature) debit card and it did not draw the attention of the IRS. In the 2000s, one could use a pin based debit card to rack up 100K miles for $125 or $46 by making money order (MO) purchases. Back then, a $1000 money order purchase cost $1.25 from the USPS or $0.46 from WalMart and earned 1000 FF miles. In 2007, this loophole was eliminated, but not before many legally racked up thousands of FF miles by purchasing a MO, redeposit the MO, and repeat over and over. There were many other bigger loopholes which legally generated millions of FF miles, but all these big loopholes were eventually eliminated, e.g. the “pudding guy” or “baht run”. These loopholes come and go, but eventually they get eliminated once it becomes too widespread, but during the period the loophole is open, one can earn many millions of FF miles as these two persons did. The “pudding guy” became famous because he earned over a million FF miles on the 1999 Healthy Choice promotion and was one of the first creative FF scheme. He spent about $3k buying Heathy Choice pudding by the pallet, donated the pudding to charity, had the charity help him remove the UPC labels, and also got the charitable tax deduction. Because he was one of the first to use a FF loophole, they even made a movie about him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Phillips_%28entrepreneur%29 The “baht run” became a famous FF mileage running scheme unique to Thailand in the early 2000s. A guy took advantage of cheap Thai (Star Alliance) airfares within Thailand and hired Thai farmers to fly as his employees. Back then, Star Alliance gave you a minimum of 1000 FF miles for each segment regardless of actual flight miles. Fly 100 segments and you earned 100K FF miles, 1K Star Alliance status and 6 system wide international upgrades (back then valid on any paid fare in addition to the other perks of 1K status. Per the article below, this guy legally racked up 5 million FF miles which cost him $8 per RT plus compensation to his “super elite” employees. His scheme drew the attention of the DEA because it involved flying segments between CNX-CEI in the area of the golden triangle. http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2011/05/18/the-craziest-mileage-earning-schemes-and-where-you-should-focus-your-points-earning/
  7. I stayed at April Suites Nov 5-18, 2013 and paid 1550 baht/night for a standard room w/o breakfast. I was satisfied with the accommodations, Wi-Fi, pool, and hotel staff. The April Suites rooms are smaller but large enough to include a sofa, a small balcony, and a large refrigerator (4 foot tall), which they do not stock with any mini bar type items. April Suites has a rooftop pool while the pool at August Suites is on the second floor. The fitness room at April Suites is very small with limited equipment (1 treadmill, no bike, exercise station) and is very hot since it has no has no AC. I was able to use the August Suites fitness room which is 10x larger, with AC, wooden floor, mirrors, 2 recumbent bikes, 2 treadmills, dumbbells, 1 elliptical trainer, and 3 machine stations. From April Suites, you can enter August Suites thru a back door entrance by the kitchen and get to Central Pattaya road. I don’t think April Suites has a kitchen so anything you order, is cooked at August Suites then delivered to April Suites, so service can be slow. There was a Thai food shop in the adjacent shops which had Thai style breakfast i.e. rice w/2 selections for 30 baht. Topps Supermarket was across the street on Second Road, and opens at 9am.
  8. Noise was not a problem on the back side. I stayed at PBR for 7 nights from 29Oct-5Nov 2013. My room was a standard room on the back side (#204) away from the front side construction, so noise was not a problem. On several nights, I noted construction going on until about 9.00pm.
  9. Not all airline frequent flyer (FF) miles programs are the same. Watch out for the added items ie + taxes, fees, and carrier charges. When flying on British Airways (BA) metal, the fuel surcharges can be very high. The $70 in fees previously mentioned is right, but not on BA metal. See example of how high these fuel surcharges can be in the link below. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-aadvantage/1347804-help-understanding-ba-fuel-surcharge-yq-aa-award-ba-9.html Post #243_Last night I got on the the AA site to check/book 2 R/T Mile Saver Bus seats from JFK/LHR for next JulyAugust, and while the availability was there, there was also a $2,300 fee!! Can this be correct? fYI, I'm PLT for life. Post #245_Even so, these numbers make no sense?? Post #247_They make perfect sense. BA wants your money If flying BA you have to pay the fuel surcharge If flying FROM UK, you have to pay the APD fee This fee depends on the destination country and the class you are in. NOTE: This was using AA miles and flying on BA metal.
  10. The shower facilities cost $3 for 30 minutes and they accept US dollars. The shower room is small and they provide the towels and amenities. I have used the shower facilities twice, and it was worth the price after a long flight.
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