Tuesday, 24 December 2013

It just shows you how worthless the Nobel Prize for Economics is....

Paul Krugman, well known economics shill for the Obama administration, has written yet ANOTHER article bashing Bitcoin (and I suppose, by default, all other cryptocoin).

It's obviously written for very stupid people but if you want to lower your standards here it is.

Although I don't know Mr. Krugman personally I feel as though I should address him as "Paul." This is not out of any kinship I might feel towards him. Rather, it's the correct way to address someone who has already proven time and time again that he is well behind the curve when it comes to innovative economic theory and needs to be comforted with a "There, there, Paul, keep trying, one day you might get it right, Paul."

So, a quick re-cap: as usual with Paul's Bitcoin comments he thinks it's doomed to failure. He thinks it can't possibly have a place in the world's economy. He thinks everyone who believes in cryptocoin is dumb by default because that's Paul's condescending writing style.

Paul, I wonder if Western Union or Moneygram think cryptocurrencies are dumb? Perhaps you'd like to purchase some shares in those corporations as your way of putting your money where your mouth is? The future sure looks GREAT for them....

How about Visa, Mastercard and American Express? Do you think they think there's no place for Bitcoin and other cryptocoin or do you think they might very well be working on strategies to incorporate the cryptocoin revolution into their future planning? Or, maybe laying some people off?

And, Paul, what about huge retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ebay and countless others? You know it'll only take ONE of these giants to embrace the cryptocoin revolution to turn your opinion of Bitcoin into the same discredited and ridiculous opinion you had about the Internet a few years ago. How did that work out, Paul?

Remember this column, Paul,  in a couple of years. You're going to look awfully stupid, even to your dreamy eyed "Paul is God" column readers.

Epilogue: Interesting ....I read a lot of the readers comments after this latest Krugman Kalamity and there are a fair sprinkling of Bitcoin aficionados in amongst the "Paul Can Write No Wrong" worshippers. Normally dissenting views are largely missing from Krugman reader comments. Maybe the censors have had enough....

Monday, 23 December 2013

Chiang Mai Fishing Park...crowded but fun

More fun at Chiang Mai Fishing Park....photos taken on Saturday 22nd December 2013. It started busy and then it got REALLY packed!

Please be aware that the Pacu fish you see here was caught by Mr. and not Mrs. Mr. now feels as though his testicles have at least been partially re-attached after recent fishing humiliations heaped on him by Mrs.

Nice pacu caught on fishmeal paste, 4lb mono and float rig. Normally the pacu will bit through the line as soon as it's hooked but in this case it was hooked "just right" and the line avoided the trillions of sharp, deadly nut-eating teeth. 

FYI all fish caught on our travels have been released unharmed (but mad as hell) back to the water. 

 EVERYONE has fun at a Thai fishing park.

 Big crowds but no tangles (at least where we were fishing). 

Cost of fishing the main lake and 3 adjacent ponds, just 50 Baht (about $1.70US) for the whole day. I always pay for my wife to fish too at these prices. Her Modus Operandi at a venue like this is to fish for 5 minutes, catch the biggest fish of the day, and then spend the rest of the afternoon stroking the back of my head while softly saying "There, there."

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Chiang Mai Fishing Park

Those of you who have been following this Blog clearly have way too much time on your hands but we thank you anyway!

As you know we've been to BoSang Fishing Park quite a few times. The main species there is the Striped Catfish which can grow to ridiculous sizes. But, it can get a bit "samey" pulling out one large catfish after another and let's face it, they're not difficult to hook.

I wanted a change, a new challenge so to speak. A week or so ago we visited Chiang Mai Fishing Park. This is a REAL family fishing park, quite typical in Thailand complete with a small restaurant, cold beers, a basic tackle shop and a tannoy system piping traditional and pop Thai music to all and sundry. The only written English we could find there were the words "men" and "women" at the toilets. Reading the restaurant menu was possible as long as you spoke and read fluent Thai. This was not a problem for us as we'd already eaten lunch.

 As you can see it gets busy. There's a main lake where the predominant species is the Striped Catfish. They don't get as big as the monsters at Bo Sang but they're just as obliging when it comes to taking your bread bait. I was happy to catch one or two but it all seemed a bit repetitive.

 As you can see from the photo above the catfish at Chiang Mai are not shy to pose for the family album.

So, what to do for a change? Luckily Chiang Mai Fishing Park also has four smaller lakes - well, ponds really - which are stocked with Nile Tilapia, Pacu and one or two other species. These are VERY hard to catch and the Tilapia in particular require fine line tactics to hook. I can tell you it took 2 more visits to the park for me to catch my first small Pacu. The tilapia simply wouldn't be caught. That changed today. We hit the jackpot with twelve nice Tilapia in about 2 hours of fishing. All were released although you do have the option of taking your catch home as long as you pay for it by the kilogram.

Not the biggest fish we've caught on this trip by any means but amongst the most satisfying and enjoyable. Nile Tilapia are hard fish to catch in the local fishing parks. We've seen the locals spend hours trying to catch one or two for supper. There had to be a way. I watched a guy catch 4 in the space of an hour, easily the best we'd seen for this species at this venue. He was very obliging and showed me what I was doing wrong (everything).

So, by using careful scientifically proven research methods (ask a local who knows what he's doing) we became experts ourselves in the fine art of catching these VERY shy fish at Chiang Mai Fishing Park.

Yes, Mrs. Fish In Thailand caught the biggest one but I'm not complaining because I lost one MUCH bigger than hers. Oh wait, that's not good, is it?

We'll try and visit this amazingly fun venue again in the next day or two. Price for the 2 of us to fish for a couple of hours? About 90 cents U.S. each. They also have an annual membership scheme where for the princely sum of 1000 Thai Baht (about 32US) you can fish all year for free.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

This is a FANTASTIC light fishing travel rod....

The Fenwick Eagle GT 10 4-Piece Spinning Rod (7-Feet,Medium Light) ">Fenwick Eagle GT10 7ft 4 piece fishing rod/pole is an AMAZING product. Here's a list of its best features:

1. It packs down to almost nothing. You're left with 4 sections, each less than 2ft long, which can easily pack into a standard suitcase and into a small one if packed diagonally. Perfect for travel! It's also super lightweight.

2. The action on this rod is absolutely first class,. We've been carrying it on our travels through Thailand and I can tell you that between myself and my non-fishing wife we've caught fish with weights ranging from a few ounces up to 25lbs. It doesn't matter...each and every fish felt like a good-un on this rod. The "action" is steady throughout the whole length with no dead spots. And, bear in mind, this is a rod which breaks down into FOUR pieces.

3. Lots of rod rings! You should know by now that the best fishing rods don't skimp on the rod rings. Less rings = more friction shared between fewer rings. This great rod casts and retrieves smoothly every time and even with pressure on the rings from a big fish the line runs true with minimal friction.

Expensive? Not really, you pay under 60 bucks and you've got yourself a prime piece of fishing gear.

Gripes? Yes, one major gripe. I only own one. I need to buy another.

10/10 all day long. I also have a Shakespeare 4 piece Ugly Stick travel rod. It's a fine piece of gear but it's not even close to the quality of the Fenwick. I'll review the Shakespeare in a few days.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sky Lantern Fun

The big Festival of Light (Loi Krathong) is held every November during the full moon. Unfortunately this year it bucketed down drenching the main parade participants and lumping your humble correspondent and his long-suffering wife with pretty bad colds. It was always our intention to launch a sky lantern but of course rain and being soaked to the skin made that impossible.

Well, today, December 5th, is the King of Thailand's 86th Birthday. And, happily, sky lanterns are one way to celebrate. So, we hoiked our way to Thapae Gate in the city center of Chiang Mai and did our ritual launch of one of these de-light-ful apparatus.

It is said that your bad luck will float away with your Khom Loy (the sky lantern you see here). As we launched our slow moving missile into space I could feel all of my bad luck disappear as it rose into the sky. It didn't work as well for Ciela, though. She's still stuck with me.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Phuket Fishing Park...well worth the price of admission!

We finally made it to Phuket Fishing Park, well away from the beaches and night life of the rest of the island. In the middle of such a tourist mecca I was expecting a quite rowdy fishing experience with radios blasting loud music, stray dogs and trash. Well, what a nice surprise. Phuket Fishing Park is well worth the price of admission at around 2200 Baht (about $65US) per day including tackle and bait AND your own fishing guide who'll mainly work for tips. There's a diverse selection of species in the lake although I only caught striped catfish and one BIG Catla Carp. The lake has a wonderful colour and depth to it and it is full of fish. All of the specimens caught and all those we saw were in great condition.

We'll go back for sure although I don't know if it'll be during this Thailand trip.

Bitcoin about to reach parity with Gold.....

As Bitcoin approaches parity with Gold the crypto-coin world holds its breath in eager anticipation of this much heralded event. That's when Bitcoin might stop rising in value.

I would like to point out that 100% of the above paragraph , plus the title of this post, is complete and utter baloney. At least for the time being. Bitcoin and Gold are far from parity. Here's why.

Gold is worth about $1250US per ounce at this time. (Get ready for some big numbers in words and figures). Since the beginning of civilization 383,824,798 lbs (three hundred eighty-three million eight hundred twenty-four thousand seven hundred ninety-eight) have been mined. In ounces that's 6,141,196,768 (six billion one hundred forty-one million one hundred ninety-six thousand seven hundred sixty-eight).
At today's approximate price of $1250US per ounce the total value of all the gold ever mined comes to $7,676,495,960,000.00 (seven trillion six hundred seventy-six billion four hundred ninety-five million nine hundred sixty thousand dollars).

At this time there are just over 12,000,000 (Twelve Million, what a piddling little number!) Bitcoins currently in existence. For Bitcoin to reach some sort of real parity with an ounce of gold each Bitcoin would be worth the total of the world's value of gold divided by the number of currently issued Bitcoin: $639,708.00US (six hundred and thirty nine thousand seven hundred and eight dollars) per bitcoin. That's what Bitcoin needs to be worth in order to gain parity with Gold.

Which brings us to the other main falsehood in the first paragraph: "That's when Bitcoin might stop rising in value."  A Bitcoin value of just over 600K might seem far fetched but then one year ago a Bitcoin value of $1,200.00 was also seen to be completely off the wall nuts. Some people are predicting a Bitcoin value of 1 million per coin in the foreseeable future.

If Bitcoin only does 1/10th as well each year for the next 5 years as it has done over the last 12 months it will reach $600,000US per coin with months to spare and that's even compensating for the Bitcoins which will be mined over that period..

For those of you who would (rightly) point out that quite a bit of mined gold has probably been lost or destroyed over time, it's worth mentioning that quite a few Bitcoins have also been lost. This primarily happened in the early days of Bitcoin when they had little or no value and people just plain lost their wallet credentials. The latest headline is the hard drive holding Bitcoin worth $9m buried in a UK garbage dump. There are lots of unfortunate stories like this, that's for sure. I believe that lost Bitcoins probably compensates for lost gold.

There must be a few hundreds or even thousands of people out there who have lost Bitcoins forever and are silently kicking themselves. If you're one of them and are reading this article you should be aware that Bitcoin is still very young indeed. Buy some more and don't lose them.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Batu Caves...a surreal experience just outside Kuala Lumpor.

Kuala Lumpor, the Petronas Towers and Wife

We arrived in Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia for a 2 day break from the fun in Thailand. It's our Visa Run...as tourists we can only spend 60 days at a time in the Kingdom. Air Asia does very good fares to Kuala Lumpor with direct flights from Chiang Mai.

We went for a stroll and came across this rather well known building.

She didn't have any problem posing. Next post, Batu Caves.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fun with a little Bitcoin Math.

(Disclaimer: this is a blog about fishing, mainly. The principles and math herein might be partly or completely wrong but bear in mind, I try to outwit prehistoric cold blooded tiny-brained creatures for a pastime but I also happen to be turning into a Bitcoin enthusiast.)

1. The population of the planet is about 7 Billion. If 1/10th of the population bought into Bitcoin for $100US each it would mean that each Bitcoin would be worth about $6000.00US if we count the money already invested in the curremoddity. (A new word, it needs to catch on. Thank-you).

2.  If you buy a bitcoin today at $820US (more or less its current value) and this coming year it repeats its November 23rd 2012 to November 22nd, 2013 performance, that single Bitcoin will be worth  $50,556US on November 22nd 2014. If Bitcoin performs dismally and does only 1/12th as well as it did during the last 12 months your $820US investment will be worth "just" $4210US.