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About ITGeek

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    Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

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  1. ECC Confusion

    When I booked my flight with Asiana (already have credit with them), they required me to pay TIEZA with reservations and I also had to send them my US passport bio page. Not sure why they asked for that, I'm a diamond member and have over 100k miles with them. My phone ran out of load while waiting for Angeles-BI to respond. So I'll pay the ECC fees at NAIA after check-in. Thanks everyone for your help!
  2. ECC Confusion

    Hello everyone! I will attempt to contact the BI (Angeles @ Marque Mall) office tomorrow and ask what is required (and see if my I-Card is ready too). Although they are very difficult to contact on phone. I have an ACR card listed as "Tourist", valid until June 2018. Looking at my US passport, I do have the BI stamp that indicates under section 9A that I have 13a Probationary Status. So given this information and the fact my flight is still not booked, could I pay ECC fee at Clark/NAIA or must I still receive approval from BI office prior to departing? Thanks again in advance for all your help! Andrew
  3. Hello, A few weeks ago, I officially received my Probationary 13a Residency approval paper at the Angeles BI office. However, they still had yet to receive my I-Card from the Main BI office. Next month, I am required to attend a hearing in San Francisco, so I will need to return to US in 4-5 weeks. I couldn't find a topic in the forum for my situation and want to make sure I follow the correct process. Researching it made it even more confusing for me. So I have a some questions I hope can help me understand what I need to do. I haven't booked my flight yet, so I don't have dates of travel. Must I apply and pay ECC fees at a BI office (Angeles)? Do they require my flight information/dates of travel? How far in advance must I apply before my departure? Is it possible to pay ECC fees at Clark or NAIA airport on date of departure? Finally, since I don't have an I-Card yet, what happens upon my return to PI's. Do I present BI with my passport and original/copy of Probationary 13a Residency approval letter? Will this impact my Probationary 13a status to Permanent 13a? Thanks so much in advance for your help. After a lifetime of being independent and helping others, it's been a very difficult adjustment for me to depend others for help. Between 2010-2013 I had 3 concussions where I lost consciousness and the neurological damage is now impacting my daily life. As Indiana Jones once said, "It's not the age, it's the mileage". I think my warranty has expired.
  4. ` I also live near Ft. Magsaysay in Cabanatuan. I personally know many 82nd and 101st Rangers/SOCOM and not being military, I've had training in military tactics during my time as intel analyst with sole purpose of protecting sensitive SIGINT equipment. Nice to know that my life was worth less than equipment. I was taught to defend and if necessary, detonate equipment with C4 to prevent from falling into enemy hands. Even rigging up IED's/booby traps to take out as much of them as possible. I hope it doesn't come to it. But I know the Filipinos insurgents have my back like in WW2 during The Great Raid.
  5. Being the the US where the 2nd amendment has never been an issue. I'm curious as to firearm for 13A residents here in Philippines with recent terror attacks. while I live neear Ft. Magsaysya, I doubt the Sgt. At Arms would assign me a wepon depiste my training. With the recent terror attacks, I've bee pondering obtaining a high capacity M-4 carbine and Desert Eagle .45 caliber home defense weapons. The bolo or combat knives won't cut it for distance plus high capicity round. Can my Filipino family or myself obtain such firearms after approriate courses and licensing requirements? J
  6. Resort World Manila Shootings

    Some of you may know that I had experience as an intel analyst. You may want to pay attention to Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) on Twitter. She heads SITE Intelligence Group, a think tank that monitors terrorism activities. It was this same source I posted in another thread regarding the Marawi attacks. The person is definitely NOT Caucasian in those CCTV images. https://twitter.com/Rita_Katz/status/870333585416269824/photo/1 The news story that Jollygoodfellow posted uses her as a source this most likely was not a random holdup gone bad. This more likely ties to the "lone wolf" terrorist tactics used by ISIS such as San Bernadino, Paris, Orlando, Manchester. I suspect Duterte and Dela Rosa are in full spin mode to protect the country. The political fallout that would happen should it be publicly released this was terrorism related would be enormous. Simply put, this means declaring martial law nation wide. OFW's would be impacted as their visas are more scrutinized. Filipinos like my asawa and step-child already have problems obtaining US tourist visas, despite us residing here. Never mind those trying to immigrate to the US. The economy would also be dealt a big blow as foreign investors think twice and tourism plummets.
  7. Did you see the twitter link in my earlier post? It was a report of ISIS activity in that same area many weeks earlier. In many of the pics, you can clearly see foreign fighters. So this is more than the Maute group or Isnilon Hapilon. They've been conducting terrorist training and ops for quite some time. It's also obvious from their battlefield tactics they've got state level foreign advisers and financial resources. I agree, there shouldn't be any surgical ops by the AFP in future. Instead they need to simply occupy the region and DU30 withdraw from Autonomous Zone treaty by the previous administration.
  8. One can't help but wonder the timing of the attack and DU30's visit to Russia. This is the same time Trump's phone call to DU30 was leaked. I can't stress enough about how one can easily connect the events to the US Deep State ("Black Hats"). There's quite a bit of foreign influence in the Muslim Autonomous Region and it's certainly not the Chinese. Like Trump, DU30 is not paranoid if everyone is out to get them. All I can say is the best course of action would be for DU30 to rip up that treaty and "occupy" the region with troops and all mosques and imams must register with the local government. I don't see the 95% of Christians in the Philippines killing imams, Muslims and burning down mosques. If the 5% of Philippines want to practice their "religion of peace", then they better step up and prove it by purging the scum among them. I personally have Muslim friends who had to flee Iran in the early 1980's after the Ayatollah's took over. Sadly, what you see in Muslim countries when the fundamentalists and extremists take over, are the educated and professionals flee. The ones left are the poor and uneducated who become easily radicalized.
  9. Time for Duterte to make good on his promise that he is 50 times more ruthless than terrorists and will eat their livers with onions and vinegar. Actually, I'll supply the fava beans and Chianti. My twitter post regarding reports of ISIS a couple of weeks ago. Duterte needs to get rid of the Autonomous Muslim Zone, give them option leave to Malaysia or Indonesia or face death. Reports of ISIS in PI's
  10. Antenna Mounting Hardware

    Thought I'd give an update on my WX/webcam setup. I was using a 20 ft length of 1" rigid galvanized steel for the mast. I then had 'T' connector on top with (2) 1 ft, 1" sections attached perpendicular to mast. One side had the WX station (~1kg weight), while other side had the webcam (~7kg weight). The project was only half way completed, with lower section of mast was anchored using 7/16" concrete bolts and U-brackets into the balcony. I also used 3/8" nylon rope tied around mid section of mast, anchoring ends of rope to corners of the balcony. Then a big storm storm came up before I could anchor top section of mast to side of house. Disaster almost struck as 25-30mph wind gusts rocked the top of mast back and forth. Couldn't do much but watch, due to lightning. I then noticed the concrete started to crack were anchor screws were. So I tied additional rope around bottom section to temporarily secure. The stress eventually broke a chunk of concrete off balcony, exposing the concrete bolt insert. Good thing I had attached additional rope during storm or whole thing would've fallen down. So now that I know my easier solution isn't strong enough to withstand moderate winds, I will be using a 10m length "flag pole" or "small street lamp" for mast, anchored to poured concrete block on ground. Will have local metal worker make bracket so webcam can be bolted directly to side of mast. Weather sensor will be mounted on top of the mast. With this setup, it'll easily hold up to anything less than CAT 4 typhoon force winds.
  11. Be vigilant with your possessions

    One bad thing about biometrics being used for security purposes. Once a biometric has been comprised, it can no longer be used for security. Think of the movie "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise. The part where retinal scans were used to ID people, he had to have his eyeball replaced to fool the system. Most banks and online accounts have started using multi-factor authentication: 1 - Something you have (key, bank card, smartphone) 2 - Something you know (password, PIN) 3 - Something you are (biometric) 4 - Where are you (gps, ip address, etc) 5 - When it is (temporal/time based access) One thing I would willfully refuse to accept having an RFID (passive transponder) implanted into my body. Although I'm sure some forum members with pacemakers or other newer medical implants may not realize they already have RFID embedded within them. When my uncle was alive, his Cardiologist could download his pacemaker data over the phone or at medical facility. That aside, like you said bad guys can bypass all of these security measures and take what they want by force if needed. The only thing guaranteed in life are death and taxes
  12. Be vigilant with your possessions

    If someone is intent on stealing something, they will eventually find a way to take it. As someone previously stated, no amount of security measures will stop a determined and professional thief. All you can do is make your property less attractive or more difficult for the average thief and they'll move on to an easier target. As foreigners, we're already a mark for locals. So maintaining good situational awareness is key for safety. For example, if I ride to the mall, I always park at secured lot, greet and thank the workers (security guard and cashier) in tagalog. It's an easy way to make a couple of friends, who would rather look out for me than lose face if something happens to me or my property in their care. I've received a lot training in covert ops and influencing others. It's all psychological games in either gaining their trust or distracting them from your intent or actions. Always make eye contact with people around you with a smile. It's a common psyop technique that distracts any possible adversary in a non threatening manner. While they're confused about why you're smiling, you're already assessing their threat level and any preparing for any defensive reaction should the need arise. Sun Tzu's Art of War always applies. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The enemy of your enemies is your friend. In this culture (and most Asian) shame any friend that betrays your confidence. Losing face is big stigma around here. They're word is no longer good in the community.
  13. Aircon Sizing - Your Thoughts as a User?

    My apologies, mate. I wasn't trying to muddy the waters. I only mentioned it because I thought aircon buyers typically want info on monthly costs for operating their aircons units.
  14. Aircon Sizing - Your Thoughts as a User?

    I purchased a Carrier 2 HP split aircon for my 32 sqm master bedroom and a Carrier 2.5 HP split for my 40 sqm downstairs sala area. I keep both set @ 27C (dry mode not max cool) and run them both pretty much 24/7. Average Celcor electric bill was about 7k PHP/buwan, except last buwan it was 11k! Everyone complaining about huge rate increase last buwan! Anyone else have same similar experience or know of why the increase? Our monthly KWH usage is about the same.
  15. Antenna Mounting Hardware

    That's what the guy at hardware store mentioned. The one shop I never took in high school was metal shop, so I don't know how to weld, only solder electronics. However, I have another idea that may work. I'll try standard heavy duty conduit clamps, drill holes in center into the pipe and use metal screws. Using at least 8 of those along wall I think will give it enough strength to not slip or slide. For my test run, I'm going to try it mounting it to backside of my balcony. I can see how well it will hold, plus it's easy to attach a chain for safety purposes so it doesn't fall over/down EDIT: If I go with metal fabrication solution, I'll have them build me the motor with chain/pulley system. That is best solution, but also more pera. I'm currently living on savings account only, fighting my with my former employer's disability insurance and awaiting for SSDI payments to start. I've heard it takes at least 6 mo's before they start payments from being approved. At least I'll get lump sum payment back to either Feb 2014 or March 2015.