Bowen Tower, DJI Mavic Pro drone for a Kent departure ready to take off at Golf Hotel.

Yesterday I received the DJI Mavic Pro, my first ever drone. I am not going to do an unboxing video or take dozens of photos from all angles like other folk have done. Only three angles are needed to give you an idea just how small the drone is when folded up.

It was a breeze flying the Mavic Pro. I knew how to fly already as I own quite a few trick quad-copters, but the Mavic Pro is super simple because of all its sensors. It doesn’t move around at all on take off or even when landing. Everything is so smooth, and makes taking video is a pleasure. It is truly an amazing drone.

Here is my first video filmed on the DJI Mavic Pro.

Fortunately it was a gorgeous winters day with a lot of sun about. All I wanted to do was learn a few of the features on the controller and the DJI phone app and to test out some of the intelligent follow modes.

The video was taken using the default settings. I realize now looking at the video it is too bright is some places, or out of focus in other places, which is why I have been watching some tutorials and tweaking my controller for my next try out. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to learn in the video settings, especially when it comes to lighting, styles, colors and setup. As there would be with any high end camera equipment. Patience is definitely needed of which I have an abundance. Continue reading Bowen Tower, DJI Mavic Pro drone for a Kent departure ready to take off at Golf Hotel.

Swype is the best virtual keyboard for touchscreen mobiles and tablets offering unique finger or stylus gestures.

Swype is a virtual keyboard for touchscreen smartphones and tablets where one enters words by sliding a finger or stylus from the first letter of a word to its last letter.  I have been using the app since 2010 on all my touchscreen devices. In my opinion it is the best swiping finger gesture keyboard available.

What makes it stand out as the best you may ask?

Just like every hardware keyboard that has a Ctrl or Command key, Swype has Swype shortcut button button. Every gesture shortcut starts from this button.

The most useful gestures are similar to hardware keyboards and are universal and easy to remember.

A list of universal shortcut keys
A really nice touch to have the universal shortcuts keys.

Another great feature is the ability to punctuate a word such as CAPITALIZE all letters in a word, or Capitalize the first letter of a word, or remove all capitalization from a word. Simply use the Swype shortcut button + Shift button.

Swype up to shift to see punctuation choices
This option to CAPITALIZE words is unique.

Continue reading Swype is the best virtual keyboard for touchscreen mobiles and tablets offering unique finger or stylus gestures.

Untappd is the best beer discovery social sharing app & website.

For the past 8 months I have been religiously recording every beer that I drink. I am doing this with an app called Untappd and it has changed the way I drink beer. The app is super intuitive and easy to use.

My profile showing key beer information.

Whether I’m in a pub, restaurant or at home cracking open a can or bottle of beer, the first thing I do is scan the bar code (if possible) or do a search for the beer name. Once the beer has been found in the database, I check it in. If I am at a pub or restaurant I insert the location (useful for others).

Next up I take a photo of the glass of beer, bottle or can and attach it to the check-in. One doesn’t have to take a photo (but a photo is worth a thousands words).

Continue reading Untappd is the best beer discovery social sharing app & website.

Train – ‘You better believe’ from their new album ‘a girl a bottle a boat’.

Train have released their 10th studio album called “A girl a bottle a boat”. It was released on the 27th of January 2017. There are some great songs on this album, but I really like the last song called “You better believe“. Click the video below to listen. There is no actual video, just the song and follow along with the lyrics below.

I wish that I had all the answers
And I could walk you down your road
For all the times those times you feel like you don’t matter
There’s just one thing you gotta know

You better believe, you better believe
Like my father said to me
“Just give it some time, look for a sign
And you’ll be just fine”

Continue reading Train – ‘You better believe’ from their new album ‘a girl a bottle a boat’.

Goodbye Facebook.

I stopped using Facebook 26 days ago to see if it would make a difference in my life. By ‘stopped’ I mean I uninstalled the app from my mobile and stopped checking Facebook, commenting, liking and browsing endless, pointless statuses. I also culled over 50% of my friends list. I tell you, it has been great!

For me the Facebook experience has always been a little hit and miss. I am not one for posting a status update every day of the week and I am definitely not one to share a personal conversation with my wife over my Facebook status, nor would I bore you with my bowel movements on Monday or what my cat was licking yesterday afternoon. You laugh! Read what your Facebook friends are posting.

So after 26 days I have not missed … seeing dozens of Facebook adverts of stuff that I don’t want, or friend invites to games that I would never play or photographs of … babies, cats, dogs, wild animals being hunted into extinction, birds, plates of food, cups of coffee, memes, cars, motor bikes, google maps showing airport check-ins…

Continue reading Goodbye Facebook.

Bowen, you’re going to U2 – The Joshua Tree Tour 2017.

Those words are music to anyone’s ears.

It wasn’t easy though getting tickets to see in my opinion one of the greatest bands around. The first concert sold out in 4 minutes on Ticketmaster.co.uk according to the papers, but minutes later they were selling on other ticket sites for 4 times the price. Ridiculous really when one considers how much U2 will be making from this historic tour. Read about it here: Forbes

LILY drone crashes and burns millions of dollars of pre-order cash.

Remember that video of a drone called Lily, which wooed the world with its amazing, almost too good to be true features such as being water proof, being able to follow one around, flight times of 20 minutes, take off and land from a hand etc. Well, the company just announced its quitting as it’s run out of money.

Not only that, it turns out the video above was mostly shot and filmed using a DJI Inspire drone and some GoPro cameras. What a con?

There were thousands of pre-orders and people handed over millions of dollars to the company in the hope to get one of these incredible drones, which just goes to show that pre-order purchasing (handing over your money with no guarantee of getting your purchase delivered) is as risky as these crowdfunding projects on Indigogo and Kickstarter.

Many a company has promised the world and then crashed and burned with folks hard earned money. Shame on them!

Adiós 2016!

In my last blog of 2015 I mentioned what a special year it had been for us, but honestly 2016 has topped it in so many ways.

It was the year Bowen travelled the most miles and visited even more exciting, exotic destinations than ever before. There were again a few firsts (first time to Zel am See, Mexico City, the island of Bali and Kraków). British Airways was the carrier of choice and they lived up to their great customer service by upgrading us twice for free.

On the BA website they have this cool little chart showing some cool statistics. 

The year of travel started in late March with a week long trip to a small Austrian town called Zel Am See. This was our first ski trip to Austria and it was awesome! The weather was perfect most days, the scenery was outstanding.

A week or two later we were jetting off to Mexico City for the wedding extravaganza of the year. Our friends Rodney and Sofia were getting married, but this was no ordinary wedding.

Continue reading Adiós 2016!