Thursday, October 13, 2016

Welcome to Thailand


Last month I was fortunate enough to visit the islands of Thailand. If you've never been there, add Thailand to your bucket list because the place is amazing.

The first stop on the trip was in Bangkok. I didn't get to explore Bangkok because I was only there for a few hours as a layover. Although I didn't get to leave the airport I did enjoy walking around the airport taking pictures of all the art. Bangkok International airport has diverse styles of art all over the place. In the three hours I was there I took almost a hundred photos. The art was a mix of oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, and bizarre sculptures. The main hall felt more like an art gallery than airport. 



From Bangkok I flew to the island of Koh Samui. This was a longer layover than Bangkok but not long enough to explore. Koh Samui is famous for over one million Coconut trees and a giant gold statue of the Buddha. My flight arrived in the evening so most of the markets were closed, but the bars were open. I explored the local night life by bar hopping from the pier to the beach. Most of the bars were filled with tourists binge drinking and behaving as if it was their first time leaving home. After leaving a trendy spot where a British tourist vomited on the pool table, I ended up at The Board Room. 



The Board Room was small hole in the wall bar with only 80's style decor and only one other patron. It was named the board room because the place was originally for surfers and other board riders. The walls and bar were adorned with images of surfer Kelly Slater and snowboarder Shaun White among others. I liked the vintage feel of the place and the lack of drunken tourists. As I took deep swigs of my local Chang beer I noticed a very odd image on the wall. It was a picture of Erik Estrada dressed in his CHiPs uniform calling people a homo. If you're unfamiliar with CHiPs, its an old cop show from the 80's. I was never a fan. After finishing my beer and thanked the bar maid who stayed talking on the phone the entire time I departed. 



The next morning I caught the ferry from Koh Samui to the party island of Koh Phangan. When I say party island I mean an island that has a party for almost every type of mood or natural occurrence. For example while I was there they had a Half Moon party, Black Moon party, Full Moon party, and Jungle Experience party. The Full Moon party is the biggest party on the island. Some businesses close the night of the party, so the employees can attend the event. It was a massive party in the city of Haad Rin where the whole beach was covered with people dancing to a mix of Techno, House, Top 40 and a little Hip-Hop. There was an estimated 10,000 people on the beach that night. It was Bonkers!



Aside from the partying Koh Phangan was a beautiful island. Everywhere bamboo trees grow. Tall, thick, lush, forest green trees cover the majority of the island. Once I left the main area called Thong Sala and went up north into the jungle I got to see just how wild the island really was. In the Jungles of Koh Phangan there are spiders big enough to eat a cat. The spiders are literally the size of a dinner plate. I went into the jungle with a local guide. He told me the spiders are big, hairy, poisonous, and aggressive...but it was the snakes I needed to watch out for. I laughed and told him..."Now we're having fun."



Shopping and eating were easy since the currency is Bhat which is cheaper than the Euro. Most of the clothing was souvenir style apparel you can buy from a bizarre or from one of the many night markets. The food was amazing. Since Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country they have a great selection of vegetarian dishes. My favorite food to eat after exploring (partying and drinking) was Pad Thai. If you are unfamiliar with the dish. Pad Thai is a mix of bean sprouts, vegetables, noodles and sauces wrapped in a fried egg. Its the perfect food for a hangover or a late night snack after drinking and smoking. Weed was available on the island but it was poor quality. Most of it was dry with almost zero taste. Unless you know someone on the island...it's better to stick to drinking. 



The Thai people were friendly, courteous, and some the most generous people i've ever met. My friend left her tablet in the hotel she was staying at in Koh Samui. The hotel staff held on to the tablet and returned it to here a week later. I believe in any other country that device would've been long gone. Below I posted some pics of the local art, which was everywhere on the island. Thailand has some really talented artists. Take a look and if you get the chance, go to visit. 


























  

Friday, September 30, 2016

Emerging Technology



Its been a busy few months since the video dropped. I've been keeping odd hours and the days are all starting to blend together like a badly mixed Margarita. I guess its the price for chasing success....work long hours and get little rest. To combat the rigors of daily life I took a few weeks off to celebrate my birthday in Thailand. I'll write about that experience next time. 

While most of us are trying to figure out ways to make our lives easier. There are a few ingenious men and women who have achieved that goal. A few individuals made life easier for themselves by developing technology that can help all of mankind. Below are some emerging technologies that will change peoples perception...on what can and cannot be done. There was a wise man who said the "impossible" doesn't exist. Impossible problems are only impossible until the right mind provides an acceptable solution. (I'm paraphrasing a quote from Nikolai Tesla.)


Concept Plastics take the old adage..."One mans trash is another mans treasure." to a whole new level. The Colombian based company builds new low cost homes from discarded plastic that isn't being recycled. The waste plastic is melted down then remolded into Lego style bricks. The bricks are cut into various sizes, which are then built into homes. Their goal is to make housing affordable for all families while helping the environment.



The media is always talking about how expensive raw materials and energy costs are to manufacture almost anything. The Solar Sinter Project, provides a solution by utilizing the most abundant energy source on Earth...sunlight. The engineers took a 3D printer and refurbished it with solar panels and glass molding machinery. Sunlight is used for raw energy and to power the device. Sand is used as the building material to produce glass objects created using 3D the printing process. 

This device is only a concept project meant to get a dialog started on how people think about energy and resources. All that aside...its a pretty cool toy. Who doesn't want an authentic crystal sand castle...or glass sword?



Last but by far the most interesting is the Bioo Lite. This amazing little gadget uses a houseplant to charge your phone. I know you're thinking..."This dude is crazy". You are correct....I am. BUT I'm also speaking the truth. Bioo Lite, uses the natural process of plant photosynthesis to provide electricity to your phone. What makes it so amazing is all you need is a phone, USB cable and a plant. 

The technical aspects and materials used in the Bioo Lite are explained in the video. So far the Bioo Lite is one of the most environmentally safe way to generate electricity. By the way, the plant is not damaged by charging the phone and no plants were harmed in the making of this video.   

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Video: Love Hip-Hop



Today the video for Love Hip-Hop was released! The video features footage from Amsterdam to Africa and displays all five elements of Hip-Hop culture. 

If you're new to the culture let me break down the elements. 1. Knowledge - As in Knowledge of self, the culture, and the world around you. 2. MCing - Master of Ceremonies, mean having the ability to rock  (entertain) a "LIVE" audience. 3. DJing - Spinning records that rock a crowd. 4. Bboying - Also known as Breakin or Breakdance. 5. Graffiti - Using Aerosol cans, to make murals, letters, and other imagery on public property.  

This project took awhile because shooting footage of all the elements while trying to meet a deadline was difficult. For indie video makers its important to utilize all the free resources available like Beachfront B-Roll, Vimeo and VideoBlocks for stock footage. I'm pleased with the end result ...and I hope u are too. Check out the video below. If u like what u see tell a friend to tell a friend.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Banksy in Amsterdam



One of my favorite modern visual artists has come to Amsterdam...Banksy! If you're unfamiliar with Banksy here's what I know. He is originally from the UK. He makes grafitti, stencil art, sculptures, and directs movies. His identity is currently a mystery and he has an exhibition here in Amsterdam from July 18th - September 30th.  



To my knowledge Banksy doesn't reproduce or sell any of his creations. Most feature satirical images of war and instruments of violence. He uses humor and amazing visuals to get people talking about subjects that are often considered taboo. His unique style has achieved international success. Below are some Banksy images I shot by Centraal Station mixed with a few favorites I found on google. If you would like to know more about the artist or see more if his art go to his webpage Banksy.co.uk.















Sunday, May 15, 2016

AniManga: Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)



Boku dake ga Inai Machi, literally translates into "The Town Where Only I am Missing" and is most commonly referred to as Erased.

Erased, is a manga series written and illustrated Kei Sanbe serialized from June 2012 to March 2016. The story was converted into a twelve episode anime which ran January 2016 - March 2016. The story is about an average man named Satoru Fujinuma with an extraordinary ability. Satoru has the unique ability to travel through time. His ability to works unconsciously and lacks control, but it does save lives.


Whenever a life threatening accident occurs in Satoru's vicinity he is forced back in time to a point before the accident. Once sent back Satoru has a limited amount of time to solve the problem before he returns to the present. Whenever Satoru alters the past only he knows what changed from the timeline.

15 years before the series starts, several girls from Satoru's middle school disappeared and were murdered. The cases remained unsolved. When Satoru's mother gets killed, and the killer tries to frame Satoru, he realizes that the murderer is someone he knows. Aside from his mother, all the people close to Satoru get dragged into a murder case more than a decade old.


What follows is a hair raising, suspense, thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Satoru faces one tragedy after another while being sent back to middle school with all the memories of a twenty-eight year old. He has to find the killer and stop him from murdering his mother and several of his middle school class-mates before he runs out of time.

The anime is an excellent adaption of the manga series and worth watching. Below is a clip of Satoru being confronted by the killer. It's a huge spoiler but since most of the videos are removed within the first week. You'll only know who it is if you read this fast...if not you have to watch the series.