We say Good-bye to Hua Hin

20110908-122607.jpg

We’ve been in Hua Hin, Thailand for the last few days, and tomorrow we head on back to Phuket – well, we’ll probably spend a night at Ranong on the way back. Suffice to say, this has been a very nice place to come and visit. Maybe even stay longer than a visit. It’s hard to say, because Kanchanaburi was also very nice.

Mybe it’s time to move on from Phuket. It’s a great holiday destination, but is it somewhere I want to live?

I’m travelling at the moment…

[iframe http://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=205952551275593028260.0004ac44d00d68966d60e&ie=UTF8&vpsrc=6&ll=13.83808,101.206055&spn=19.117508,13.183594&z=5&output=embed 300 450]View Bangkok to Phuket in a larger map

I’ve been in Thailand on and off for sometime now, but I have been pretty fixed in location. When I have moved I have generally flown (occasional bus, and once a train) everywhere.

We’ve been in Bangkok for the last few weeks and this time, we decided that instead of flying to Phuket, we would drive. With the shelving of the “flight plan”, we hired a car and set off.

It was going to be a two day trip.

A few hours into the trip, I knew that we weren’t going straight back. We had one detour planned on the way already, but as soon as we got there, it turned into another, and another, and even another…

Unfortunately I don’t have good internet (on the road), but as soon as I do, you’ll find a few posts of the travelling variety, around Thailand. This is a beautiful country, with beautiful people. Just stay away from the tourist traps and you’ll be right :-)

The map is rough, (pretty much just the end points), but it’s a guide to where we’ve been, or at least stopped each night. Although you can see where we went on our different day trips.

Stay tuned for more posts about this, because we have done some great stuff! Things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time (such as Hellfire Pass and the Bridge on the River Kwai). I did leave out the Tiger Temple, which has been on my todo list for sometime. But I’ll talk about that later.

See y’all soon!

Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 – warranty repair

ef-s18-200I have had the Canon EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 (dpreview.com review here) lens for about 2 years now, and although (as far as Canon lenses go), it gets a pretty bad rap. For general shooting in most situations, it certainly beats swapping out lenses while on the go.

Recently the zoom capability just stopped, I couldn’t zoom anything below 25MM, which incidentally meant I couldn’t lock it either. Occasionally, it wouldn’t go above 135mm either, but a shake of the lens would dislodge one fo the screws that was hampering movement and you could go all the way to 200mm. You could hear (at least) one screw moving around in there, and I suspect another that stopped the zoom retracting all the way back to 18mm.

A search of the web found a Canon Recall on this item. I’ve been in Thailand now for a few months, and this week I am in Bangkok, which happens to have a service centre. I called them up and they said, “Yep, come in and we can fix this.” Well, not in those words, but you get the picture.

Now for the uninitiated, it’s hard to convey even the simplest of concepts to Thais and trying to explain that this is a warranty issue, subject of a recall (printed below), is no easy task. I’m pretty sure the woman behind the counter finally understood where I was coming from…

But then the other day, I get a phone call from them. It will cost 963 (my heart is pounding at the moment, the lens isn’t worth that much!), but then finished her sentence off with Baht. 963฿, so about A$30. So I shouldn’t really complain.

I went and picked it up on Friday (just gone) and it’s back to normal. I know it was subject of a recall, but for $30 they’ve pulled it apart, fixed it, and probably gave it a bit of a clean, or at least a check over. Maybe, in that case, it’ll be good to go for another couple of years!

22 February 2011

To: Users of the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS interchangeable lens for Digital SLR Cameras

Thank you for using Canon products.

We have discovered that some EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens products may have screws that come loose inside the lens and which may interfere with zoom operation of the lens. We would like to convey the details and our service policy.

We offer our sincerest apologies to customers who have been inconvenienced by this phenomenon. Canon always strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers and we spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence. We hope our efforts will earn your understanding.

Phenomenon
There are cases in which the zoom barrel gets stuck and stops moving during zoom operation.

Affected Product
Digital SLR camera interchangeable lens “EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS” Serial Numbers 450xxxxxxx to 631xxxxxxx

User Support
The products with this phenomenon will be inspected and repaired free-of-charge. If you own one of the affected products, please contact our customer service hotline. We appreciate your patience, and we offer our sincerest apologies to the customers using these products who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Our free repair service will start on 22 February 2011.

Oh, and one more thing, my lens must have been one of the first with this problem. The lens’ serial number began 450-000XXXXX :-)

Fashion Shoot – Bang Kapi

I was fortunate enough to be sitting in Starbucks on the 3rd floor when this lingerie/fashion show just happened below me. Unfortunately, the staff of Starbucks eventually came and told me to stop taking photos…

The first one is my favourite shot. There are two prominent Thai’s in these photos. Apparently they are well known Thai actresses. I know this because my wife went CRAZY when they came out on stage!

[nggallery id=2]