March 07, 2015

Notes on Thailand (Part 4)

  • Internet
  • GSM/3G
  • Pharmacies
  • Superettes
Continue viewing the ritual "Notes on Thailand (Part 4)"
  :::  a Travel ritual performed at 03:43 AM  :::  

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Notes on Thailand (Part 3)

  • Weather
  • Air-conditioning
  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Beach/pool towels
  • Hygiene
  • Water
  • Food
Continue viewing the ritual "Notes on Thailand (Part 3)"
  :::  a Travel ritual performed at 03:35 AM  :::  

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March 03, 2015

Notes on Thailand (Part 2)

  • Money
  • Electricity
  • Electricity in Hotels
  • Hotels and Guests
Continue viewing the ritual "Notes on Thailand (Part 2)"
  :::  a Travel ritual performed at 01:47 AM  :::  

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March 02, 2015

Notes on Thailand (Part 1)

  • Background
  • Getting There
  • Luggage
  • Tourist Visa
  • Arriving
  • Smoking in BKK
  • Next Step


I was in Thailand from 23 Dec 2012 to 5 January 2013. This was for 5 nights in Koh Samui, 6 nights in Patong Beach, Phuket, and 1 night in Bangkok.

These notes are not meant to be exhaustive, and they represent only my limited and subjective experience during that time, along with some things I learned along the way. I've included some recommendations - feel free to ignore them.

These notes are from a South African, and slightly geeky, perspective.

Part 1: Getting There, Luggage, Tourist Visa, Arriving, Smoking in BKK, Next Step.
Part 2: Money, Electricity, Electricity in Hotels, Hotels and Guests.
Part 3: Weather, Air-Conditioning, Clothing, Footwear, Beach/Pool Towels, Hygiene, Water, Food.
Part 4: Internet, GSM/3G, Pharmacies, Superettes.
Part 5: Alcohol, Cigarettes, Drugs in Thailand.
Part 6: Transport, Beaches.
Part 7: The Thai People, Be A Good Tourist, The King, Sunscreen, Mosquitoes, Island hopping around Phi Phi, PhantaSea.
Part 8: Shopping, Massages, International Relations.
Part 9: Christmas in Thailand, New Years in Thailand, Lady Boys, Western Decadence, Bangla, Paradise Complex.
Part 10: Hotel Minibars, Laundry, Health and Safety, Leaving Thailand.

Continue viewing the ritual "Notes on Thailand (Part 1)"
  :::  a Travel ritual performed at 11:03 PM  :::  

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3191 days

Three thousand, one hundred and ninety-one days since last entry. Let's fix that.

  :::  a Thought ritual performed at 07:00 PM  :::  

  :::   0 retributions   :::  

June 06, 2006

The number of the beast(s)

Welcome to the world, Thomas and Nathan!

  :::  a performed at 09:52 PM  :::  


May 14, 2006

the rites turns 4

Today, the rites turns 4.

Let's celebrate in our private way.

I will do so by considering posting more often.

  :::  a Thought ritual performed at 12:00 AM  :::  


January 15, 2006

Free-to-air TV channels on PAS7/10 in South Africa

A while ago I posted a rite on how to receive Don't Panic TV, which was a channel broadcasting adult (XXX) programming to Southern Africa off PAS7/10. It was interesting, because when they weren't broadcasting shows, their encryption was off, and you could see their advertising card. Also, they came with 2 Italian music channels. Don't Panic TV are no more (for now).

However, there are a couple of free-to-air (FTA) Ku-band channels available off PAS7/10 in South Africa, as of this entry (check LyngSat for the latest details).

I've put all the settings I know about down here, with their appropriate tuning settings. Read below for directions. If the directions don't work for you, that's not my problem. Don't bother contacting me - I won't respond.

Channels available:

  • Sentech Vivid

    • SEN1-6, including Mindset Network channel 1 (education) and 2 (health), Jet TV.

    • PTV1-6 (some Nagravision-encrypted).

    • SABC1/2/3, (all Nagravision-encrypted).

    • LCN, Hope, Ps91, ITV, DTBC, God Channel, TCT, DayStar (free-to-air, religious).

    • Guide (interactive channel, probably won't work).

    • There are also some audio channels available (some free-to-air, some encrypted).

  • Botswana TV

    • BTV (free-to-air, general entertainment channel). There are multiple audio tracks on BTV, which sound like radio stations.

  • Fashion TV

    • FTV (free-to-air).

  • ManaSat

    • ManaSat 1 (religious, free-to-air, Portuguese, 2 audio tracks).

    • ManaSat 2 (religious, sometimes encrypted, Portuguese, 2 audio tracks).

  • Novacom

    • Novacom (test card).

    • DayStar, LoveWorld, God Channel (religious, free-to-air).

    • RTNC (free-to-air).

    • APNA (free-to-air).

    • BEStv (free-to-air).

    • Extreme Sports (free-to-air).


  1. Using your remote control, press MENU.

  2. Now select ADVANCED OPTIONS, and press OK.

  3. Now select LNB CONFIGURATION, and press OK.

  4. Select LNB 1 SETUP, and press OK.

  5. Verify that LNB HI FREQUENCY is 10700. If it isn't, change it to 10700, and select ACCEPT THESE SETTINGS.

  6. Press EXIT.

  7. Now select DISH INSTALLATION, and press OK.

  8. Enter the PIN number 9949.

  9. Now select NETWORK CONFIGURATION and press OK.

  10. Select each network setup from this screen, and enter the settings as below.

    • The first option is only there for reference. You should not change settings in the home network.

    • At each point, you may wish to select VIEW SIGNAL STRENGTH to check if that signal is valid for your installation.

    • Select ACCEPT THESE SETTINGS for each network setup when you are done.

  11. If your decoder does not give you any options and goes straight to the parameter input menu then you have a decoder with old software. You will only be able to have either DStv or another FTA bouquet, one at a time.

Network setup details:

  • Network 1 Setup (home) [DStv South Africa @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 10970

    5. Symbol Rate: 30000

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 5/6

  • Network 2 Setup [Sentech Vivid bouquet @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 11170

    5. Symbol Rate: 266652

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 5/6

  • Network 3 Setup [BTV @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 11625

    5. Symbol Rate: 15000

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 2/3

  • Network 4 Setup [FTV @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12722

    5. Symbol Rate: 26657

    6. Polarisation: Horizontal

    7. FEC: 2/3

  • Network 5 Setup [ManaSat @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12577

    5. Symbol Rate: 3378

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 3/4

  • Network 6 Setup [Novacom @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12682

    5. Symbol Rate: 26657

    6. Polarisation: Horizontal

    7. FEC: 1/2


  1. Now press EXIT and go to the DISH INSTALLATION menu again.


  3. Your decoder will now attempt to scan and add all the channels.

  4. Once it has tuned and returned to normal viewing mode, press the TV button to display the bouquet list.

  5. Select the last option (Public PAS7/10).

  6. You are now in the public TV bouquet. Scroll through the available channels, which will appear in the order of network setup (DStv test channels, Sentech channels, BTV, FTV, ManaSat, Novacom).

  7. Pressing the AUDIO button will switch to the public audio bouquet. You may find many South African radio stations here.


  1. Some of these channels are encrypted.

  2. There's really nothing here for free worth more than you're paying for it. :) You'll see that if you want premium channels, your DStv subscription is the way to go.

  3. Your installation may not be capable of tuning into these settings.

  4. Do this while watching an decrypted channel on DStv (e.g. channel 4).

  5. You need to have your smart card inserted.

  6. To enter a 4-digit symbol rate, place the cursor on the line, press the 0 (zero) key on your remote control, then press OK, then enter the 4 digit number, then press OK.

  7. These settings work for me, on my Dual View decoder, as of this date.

  8. If they don't work on your decoder, that's your problem, not mine.

  9. If you mess up your decoder, that's your problem, not mine. Select RESET TO FACTORY DEFAULTS and reboot.

  :::  a TV ritual performed at 03:00 PM  :::  


More TV is never a bad thing

Africa's only pay-TV network, DStv could face competition for the first time this year if an application for a rival continent-wide station based in Botswana gets the go-ahead.

The venture, which would be called Black Entertainment Satellite Television or BEStv, would initially offer viewers between five and ten channels and cost less than R100 a month.

Andrew Jones, spokesperson for the venture, said once in place, the company planned to upgrade to a service that would offer viewers a sampling of between 100 and 300 new channels not available on DStv with no significant rate increase.

"How we will do it and what exactly we will offer remains of course a trade secret. However, we are 100 percent confident that what we want to do can be done," he said in statement.

It's that use of the word 'sampling', and the fact that I know what it takes to put one single channel on air, that makes me slightly suspicious of their claims of "between 100 and 300 new channels"...

  :::  a TV ritual performed at 12:35 PM  :::  


January 14, 2006

GLA - loud and discredited

It's amazing how much press coverage an utterly discredited organisation can garner.

David has some more snippets/comments about the GLA.

  :::  a Fabulous ritual performed at 11:19 PM  :::  


January 12, 2006

Release of Psi-0.10

  :::  a Surf ritual performed at 08:48 AM  :::  


January 11, 2006

Happy psychadelic birthday!

So, two cool people share their birthday today. Albert Hofmann, father of LSD (turns 100), and me (turns 32).

  :::  a Surf ritual performed at 08:32 AM  :::  


January 01, 2006

ritual salutations

Go on. Perform a New Year rite. You know you want to.

  :::  a Thought ritual performed at 12:00 AM  :::  


December 25, 2005

Family Christmas

Spent Christmas with family this year, for the first time in a couple of years. Wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

  :::  a Thought ritual performed at 07:02 PM  :::  


November 25, 2005


About a month ago, I had lunch with 2 friends, and got this bill. I should have made it into a rite then, but you know how it is.

Note the 5th line item.

I'm not going to say who exactly had that item, but the person who did reports it was delicious and refreshing!

Babylon Again bill

  :::  a Wierd ritual performed at 09:21 AM  :::