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Everything posted by BrettGC

  1. I'm only 5'7" so most seats are ok for me. I do tend to pay for the emergency seats if available though, even at my height it is nice to be able to access the seat mid-flight easily if I miss out on the aisle side. You used to be able to get the train Syd - Canb - Mel but alas, no more. You have to change to a coach on the NSW/Vic border now (Albury) but from there it's only a couple of hours to Melbourne anyway. As to the cost, as Geoff said, not cheap. Ah, gotcha, Air BnB would be the way to go then. There's plenty of hotels with tour desks that would happily allow you to utilise their services anyway. As Geoff said, Blue Mountains and Katoomba are nice. There's a couple of wildlife parks where the kids can play with kangaroos etc and hug koalas as well in that neck of the woods.
  2. Pity, I just bought a new batch of popcorn.
  3. I'll address them in order. 1. Flights to MEL are more expensive than SYD, generally. There are only a few non-stop to MEL. True or false? True. 2. Cebu Pacific has a very cheap flight Manila to Sydney. I would not want to submit myself to that torture, correct? Even after you pay the extra for meals and baggage they're still the cheapest. Just make sure to take something to keep you entertained. I used to fly this route when living on the Gold Coast. It was cheaper than Bris - Sing- Manila or even GC - KL - Cebu. A lot of people like Jetstar via Bali as well, mainly for a couple of day stop over in Bali for some reason I don't understand; Bali is crap to my mind. 3. Too many horror stories with Scoot. Avoid? Yes, avoid. 4. Taking a bus from Sydney to Melbourne, round trip, with a family of 5, is a good or bad idea? Cost? Bad idea. Boring, cramped and the kids will drive you nuts. Edit: Bus to Canberra, overnight, then bus to Melbourne? It's only about 3 hours from Sydney to Canberra so not much better than a direct trip to Melbourne. 5. Taking a train from Sydney to Melbourne, round trip, with a family of 5, is a good or bad idea? Cost? This is a better way to do the trip, I've done it myself. Pay the extra for a sleeper, you'll be happy with the decision. Nice views, bar, restaurant car; much more civilised than the bus. 6. What would be the best area to get an Air Bnb in Sydney, central to transport and sightseeing? For example, here is one. Stick with the CBD, there's a great public transport system to all the things you'd want to check out. Personally I'd prefer a hotel etc for the tourist desk, concierge etc. 7. Is the hop on hop off bus nice in Sydney? I have enjoyed them in Europe. Any recommendations? Yes it is, to does laps of what's called "The City Circle" and the stops are all outside or close to tourist attractions and underground train stations. 8. If we wanted to do a bus day tour for areas outside of Sydney, what are some nice things to see? For kids? How long you staying? it takes about 90 mins to get out of the city in any direction by road. There's plenty for kids in Sydney; Luna Park and Bondi Beach to name a couple. 9. BIL will take care of us in Melbourne. What should we see? This has you covered. https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-sydney-australia/ 10. New Years in Sydeny? Yes, it's the best fireworks bar none in the world mainly due to the venue being the entire harbour. You have to get there early though.
  4. Yeah, I remember the recruiting drive a few years back, some of my ex-US military mates were pretty irritated by it. It's happening in Australia to a lesser extent as well but on the upside they haven't dropped the standards for getting through to a deployable level at least. This is the recruiting ad I remember from a few years back, with some interesting commentary from a US Marine Gulf 1 veteran:
  5. Mystery solved! Huh? Shore patrol was somehow offensive to someone? Other than when you get dragged away by them I mean... Of course I only ever heard of this happening to other people, never experienced it myself..
  6. That's related to the vocational training in general, not defence specific. In the case of the linked document VET stands for Vocational Education and Training i.e. trade schools and training, or anything up to and including what you yanks know as an associates degree (up to two years full-time study). SLG in the context of that document refers to Senior Leadership Group so anyone from captain/full-colonel/group captain and above, or what the yanks would know as O-6 and above. The guys in Don's picture don't look quite old enough.. There was a different bus???
  7. Aussie navy used to do an exercise out of Subic with the US, South Korea and PI navies every year around this time but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. SLG isn't ringing any bells though.
  8. Barring what Dave said, if it's new you could ask the dealer. I really wouldn't bother with a scooter either.
  9. Last thing I can find on them being active was 2018. There's only one person listed on Linkedin that's been employed by them and any websites are either down or minimal. All points to being defunct or initially set up as a scam that ran its course.
  10. 180 days after it being signed into law is probably a little unrealistic. If history shows us anything PI won't even begin to have the infrastructure in place for implementation and enforcement. The other side of the coin is they may go ahead half-cocked and it becomes a massive shit show. Flip the coin.
  11. Was just watching ABS-CBN news and they had a reporter there. I actually commented to AM "Huh, it's still there... ". She laughed
  12. Same situation here, AM ended up moving to Dumaguete in the end, needed to find somewhere for us to live anyway as I was arriving mid-January. I think it was about 9-10 weeks before internet was restored, a little sooner for phone services. Much the same here, good dump of rain and a brisk wind. On the upside it cooled things down a bit.
  13. how long did you guys lose power for Mike? I'm curious as you're close to us just across the water and I could probably see your place if I had binoculars.
  14. Always has an interesting take on any given topic. What a lot of people don't understand about Peterson is he sometimes plays devil's advocate and that's what angers them. Whilst I don't always agree with him, his viewpoints are always well considered and based in research and knowledge.
  15. True, but 185kph still isn't anything to be sneezed at.
  16. Our place in Guihulgnan survived the the typhoon in December last year, but they were a month without power and about 6 weeks with no internet. TBH, it we have another like that we'll probably find somewhere to stay while the infrastructure is repaired. I enjoy my somewhat simple life in the province but that does have its limits. We would of course return though. To their credit, the local authorities took the opportunity to upgrade power lines etc as soon as they could after the last one. I wasn't here but my wife, niece and mother-in-law were and they were terrified - this from a family that has spent their entire lives with extreme weather - and I didn't hear from them directly for a week so I was a little panicked. My wife jumped on a bus north until she could get a data signal to allay my fears. The only damage to the house was some damage under the eaves but there were some around us that were severely damaged, none to the point of demolition but some were close. No loss of life in my area thankfully. If one is going to track over us again like in December last year, I'd pack the family up and go and return when the roads were clear; given enough notice of course.
  17. It should also be remembered that given China's statements in the UN overnight with regards to Russian in the Ukraine, that they're probably going to use Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Crimea, and the Russian claim of their right to put a buffer between them and NATO, as a precedent for their own policies and actions in the South China Sea and by extension eventually Taiwan. In case you missed it, China whilst not exactly supporting Russia's claims has taken some actions that don't do it any harm.
  18. So the usual mealy mouth placatory language that says nothing and maintains the status quo of murkiness that exists with any county's relationship with China. Why? Money, and no one wants to start WWIII.
  19. It depends on the office, there's the main offices in Cebu, Manila and I think Davao, then regional offices which may or may not do 6 months, then satellite offices which don't do them. That's a pretty broad explanation and it seems to be at the whim of the officers on the day in many cases e.g. Dumaguete is a regional office and does 6 months every time, whereas I've heard that in Bacolod, which is also a regional office, it can be hit or miss. *Edit: I may have the nomenclature wrong with regional, satellite etc, but you get my point.
  20. Just remember to make sure they're BI accredited, they'll have an accreditation number that needs to be used on the extension form if you're using an agent. Without this number, your extension is unlikely to be processed.
  21. But after that 6 months they're going to be in theory, harder to obtain anonymously. Great theory, and the intent of the bill but we'll see how enforcement goes....
  22. Other than scams, it also makes "burners" harder to obtain anonymously which are used by criminal and terrorist organisations. Funny thing is, a lot of the clowns that use burners, at least at the lower echelons of said organisations, don't realise their phone and calls can me tracked through the IMEI number which is hardwired to a phone; once you know the IMEI of a phone, you can track any SIM put into it. They should be using the phone once, ditching it, then buying an entire new phone and SIM. How do I know this? It was my bread and butter in the navy, it's how we tracked most of our targets in AFG etc. Yep, needs to be a lot of infrastructure in place but once setup it will be easy. We already give them a lot of information that I'm not entirely comfortable with, even down to biometrics for driver's licences and ACR cards but it is what it is. I think you guys are on the wrong track, this is more to do with law-enforcement on an organised crime and terrorist level. Most of those scam texts we get are from overseas anyway I suspect, mainly India but it will slow down the bulk generation of phone numbers yes.
  23. Yep, new officials just flexing to let them know where the gifts need to go.
  24. Same here, but I came from an even more tropical area than you for my last 4 years in Australia (Cairns - Great Barrier Reef area in the far north for the benefit of the non-Aussies). In Cairns we averaged about 34-40C with humidity 75-90% with the sun still up. We did have a couple of extreme years where for a couple of weeks it was above 40C with high humidity... My now wife came to visit and nearly booked a flight straight back to PI - it was 45C and 90% humidity the day she arrived lol. We did have the upside of pleasant winters there though, mid to high 20's with no humidity to speak of during the day and high teens at night which except for specific areas is hard to find here. Here we really only run it on those nights where the mercury refuses to go below 28-29C and then only for an hour or so to get to sleep.
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