Christmas Drones

Another Christmas over and the month of December, which gave us headlines such as the discovery of a new dinosaur, the prime minister punched by a distant family member and the fact it would take 59 minutes of cardio exercise to burn off a pizza slice. There will be no doubt, regrettably, be more reports of faulty hover boards and complaints about drones.

I must admit I did write to Santa and ask for a drone for my Christmas sock. Not an expensive one, just a big boy’s toy. When it didn’t arrive the missus suggested I must have been a naughty boy she was looking at the list she had written to Santa back in September: titled home repairs and gave it to me – again. Just as well really. Probably only last until new years eve when I realise it hasn’t got any real use, all the fun stuff is illegal, and then away it goes into the cupboard with the Sinclair C5, snow board and electric guitar.

We’ve seen the reports on the TV about drug dealers using them to supply inmates and using them across boarders and the fears of terrorists weaponising them, but it doesn’t stop there.

Recently reports have come in of – not burglars – rogue builders using them to scan properties.

A remote house racked back on a mountain side, no problem, builders are turning into surveys and pulling up down the road and deploying their drones to survey the property. The drone drops down and scans the layout. They are also driving around urbanisations probing for affluent properties and either waiting for the owners to go out or rolling the dice by taken a chance on being caught.

Once they have captured the required images they log down their findings: external buildings, roofs, walls, patios and then noting defects: cracks in concrete, shabby flaking paint, missing roof tiles, crack-bond repairs and even being able to identify any defects to the interior of swimming pools. They would then itemise everything, break them down and give a price for the work to be done in the name of preventative maintenance. Some would say they had worked on the property for years for the previous owners and that is why they are familiar with the property.

One of these drones was captured by an unsuspecting woman as she lay sunbathing naked in her back garden. The drone flew over and according to the distraught woman, on seeing her, had the cheek to swoop down lower to focus. She covered up her secret garden with her Kindle and snatched up the pool cleaning pole and swiped at it. Clipping it and causing it to maul function crashing into the dog’s kennel. Apparently the dog has still got the hump and won’t go back in there any more.

Drones can now be bought for as little as €30, travel up to 200 meters and 30 meters high with ten minutes of battery life. There are laws governing the use for those who us them legitimately.

One thing you should be mindful of, if you did receive one for Christmas. I like to call the Surbiton station anomaly. I was part of a crew refurbishing the railway station for twelve months and as a prerequisite we would hand out leaflets and post them to nearby houses informing them and apologising for the inconvenience including the noise level at night.

Monday morning we received four complaints about the noise and two serious complaints of people being injured by scaffolding poles. The problem was we were delayed from starting for a week and hadn’t yet arrived on site or made a start.

The point is as soon as you start playing with your new toy you are opening yourself up for false accusation, especially of the Peeping Tom variety. On the other side if you see one whilst in your back garden or dancing around in your lounge through the window – remember, first make a grab for your Kindle.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have a strict set of rules. If someone thinks of flying a drone outside the law, either weighing less than 2kg, or between 2kg and 25kg, they could be facing penalties ranging from 3,000 € to 60,000 €. For more information on those rules:

Palace to open its doors

An international gastronomic event with a strong family focus will be held in the gardens of the Provincial Palace from the 15 to the 20 of June.

Alicante City is expected to receive one million visitors to the celebration of the Fogueres de Sant Joan. (The Bonfires of Saint John). This midsummer tradition takes place in many towns and cities but Alicante boasts the largest. Fires are made, usually from old furniture, and lit on the beaches teenagers would jump over the purifying flames that ward off evil spirits and witches.

The celebration is for all ages as they gather around midnight some would place a dummy representing the Devil or a Witch above the fire and potatoes wrapped in foil amongst the embers to be eaten with sardines. Alcohol is consumed and along with the c lensing process account for the majority of people ending up splashing about in the sea.

Foodies will be please to know that food trucks will be offering delicious culinary delights from such countries as United States, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. To help create a festive atmosphere, live music and dance will be performed, and among many other surprises children’s workshops and culinary demonstrations will take place.

The Deputy for Development, Sebastián Cañadas said “the main focus is to once again open the doors of the Provincial Palace to its citizens and visitors to the city and what better way than to celebrate Les Fogueres de Sant Joan sharing local products so others may sample our gatronomy”.

This free event in the heart of Alicante will be open from 1200 midday untill midnight.

Best places in London for relaxation

People have different ideas when it comes to holidays. Some try to cram in as much as they possibly can, which can result in needing another holiday to get over the last one, and some treat the holiday as a break from their usual environment and spend it relaxing. London is a vibrant fast-paced capital city and has gone to great lengths to provide contrast for its inhabitants and visitors with a vast range of relaxing, interesting and fun things to escape to.

What constitutes relaxation for some may be different for others, but pampering is high on the lists of those escaping a stressful lifestyle. Spas offer great pampered relaxation and London has numerous high quality spas which can be found in the city’s top hotels and famous department stores. One of the top spas in London is the Thai Square Spa, Shelton Street Covent Garden.

Places to go in London to relax for free

The Royal Parks achieve numerous green heritage and green flag awards. They are recognised as some of the best landscapes in the country and are popular places for visitors which are completely free.

Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is open all year round. You can enjoy swimming and boating, exhibitions and concerts. There are parking areas, with tubes and buses stopping at several places around the park.

Kensington Gardens are open from 6 am and can be reached by public transport. It includes many picnic areas. Visit the Arch by Henry Moore, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and Memorial Playground, and spend hours immersed in the beauty of the Italian Garden, which is a 150 year old ornamental water garden. Kensington Gardens are also home to London’s most ornate and prized monument, the Albert Memorial.

Richmond Park is a national nature reserve especially for those with interest in science and wildlife conservation; it includes ancient oak trees. Outdoor sports are popular here with fishing, cycling, horse riding, golf, fitness and personal training groups, rugby and power kiting.

Bushy Park is north of Hampton Court Palace and comprises of a canal, cascades, Baroque-style collection of pools and upper lodge water gardens; access is by train or bus, and the park is open 24 hours for pedestrians.

Brompton Cemetery, also part of the royal parks, is a crown cemetery located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It has 16.5 hectares with guided walks and is definitely a place you can come to if you seek peace and quiet.

Some people’s idea of relaxation can include motion, but at their own pace. The Thames path walk is one of the best ways to achieve this while taking in magical parts of London that stretch along both sides of the river for 40 miles (64 km), passing bustling boatyards, working wharves, marinas and old riverside pubs. Leaflets and route maps with points of interest and historical places can be downloaded, and they identify walks in sections giving a large and varied choice.

A great place to see while visiting London that has a relaxing atmosphere and features an awe-inspiring building is Westminster Abbey. It is free to worshippers, and they have Evensong, a service with the Abbey choir. Founded in AD960 as a Benedictine monastery, it is still a working church today.

One way to experience London life is to get a one-day bus pass, and travel the city, passing many world-famous tourist attractions; all this for the price of a drink in the many diverse café bars and eateries that London has to offer. This is another great way to relax away from hectic crowds.

How to Podcast

Podcasting is audio broadcasting on the internet and a way of creating an episodic series through digital media, often through portable media players like an iPod. The word podcast is a combination of two words, iPod and broadcasting. MP3 is the most popular audio format for a podcast.

Podcasts can be listened to on a computer using any media playing software. Subscribing to a podcast is the same as subscribing to a blog and some blogs are used to distribute podcasts, so they can be down loaded or a link is given to the audio file. These files can then be transferred from a computer to a portable device.

Anyone with anything to say, with a strong desire to voice their opinions, or simply entertain can create a radio style podcast with little cost and time. All it takes is a microphone, computer and an internet connection. Subject matter for podcasting is restriction and regulation free, but the success of a podcaster will always be reliant on the quality of material and level of professionalism by the broadcaster.

Podcasts Replacing Radio Chat Shows

Talk back radio style podcasts are popular content and have no worries with copyright law as long as there is no music played without first obtaining permission or purchasing the right. Therefore, podcasts are rising in popularity, and home based broadcasters are becoming as famous as radio show hosts. Shows are recorded at home and distributed globally via the internet to thousands of listeners, and these numbers can soon be in the millions.

Podcasts through the internet can reach a broader audience than any local or national radio. Businesses are starting to take note of the figures in terms of audience that can be reached through podcasting and the potential for blogs and podcasting as a content distribution tool in the future.

Podcast Creation

Planning is a key factor when podcasting and essential for delivering quality material, keeping listeners coming back for more, and building a strong regular listener base. A higher level of technological savvy is needed to record, upload, host and distribute podcasts. There are companies making these processes easer for future podcasters and expectations are positive and high for this form of broadcasting.

Podcasts allow individuals to distribute their ideas and show their talent on a global platform. Podcasts range from travel journals, short film makers, daily recipes and cooking tips, shows introducing the latest bands, comic book conventions, product reviews, and news media.

Planning a podcast starts first with the ideas, progressing to notes and then a script can be created. Even if the script is only used loosely it would act as a guide and keep a natural flow to the program and its sections in sequence, including musical slots, and introducing previously made interview material. If a podcaster plans to create a regular show or series then several shows should be planned up front before the initial launch.

There are a lot of ways to advertise an up and coming podcast and podcast series, and all channels need to be used to maximize success in the initial stages. Blogging is a popular way, forums, other popular podcast and all social media: Facebook and Twitter are strong advertising potentials and it would be worth signing up for other social networks around the world.



Spain plunges back into the Franco era as

Senate approves security law

Spain’s new gag laws ‘Ley Mordaza’ is enough to course a mass protest.

This controversial law, which covers a number of points, including the right to peacefully protest and limitations on freedom of speech, carries heavy fines for those who choose to ignore them, ranging from €100 and up to €600,000.

Protesting without approval

Not only the ringleaders who organise unauthorized protest via assembly, but also anyone taking part near establishments deemed important like, parliament, airports and nuclear power plants. People who physically prevent police from enforcing administrative or court-orders on property evictions.

Fines are between €100 to €600 for minor offences, rising upwards for more serious offences to €30,000, and for very serious disturbances of public safety up to €600,000. These fines will also be enforced on social media activists using facebook, twenty, and twitter to organise spontaneous protests conducive to the anti-austerity movement Indignants.

Other points in the law that could get people fines.

Photographing, filming or publishing pictures of the police from any agency, which they may be identified is seen to be putting them and their families in danger from reprisals and constitutes a criminal offence.

Youngsters carrying on the tradition of meeting their friends in public and drinking will be fined €600. Which means their parents may have to cough up the cash. The police are also now free to randomly check identities, allowing for racial profiling of immigrants and minorities. External bodily searches are now allowed at police discretion and they can carry out raids at their discretion, regardless if order has been disrupted.

If a person cannot show their ID card either on them or located at home they can be fined for not reporting it missing and showing a police officer lack of respect can also garner a fine.

The Spanish government are vehemently defending the bill, insisting it will improve public safety by eventually locating those protesters that have a penchant for violence. Regardless that some countries like Venezuela are accusing Spain of possible human rights violations.

The Waterboys, The Animals and Loquillo concert in La Nucia Alicante

La Nucia will play host to a unique concert on the 18th of September at 21.30 pm in the Municipal Pavilion Camilo Cano. Hailed as the best rock out of all time, due to its legendary billing: The Waterboys, Loquillo and The Animals.

The Waterboys will be performing songs from their latest album “Modern Blues” led by Scottish singer/songwriter Mike Scott. They’re no strangers to performing in Alicante and have chosen to return as part of their world tour with other dates in Spain including, Albacete and Fiesta del Corpus in Ourense (Galicia). Fans can look forward to new songs and some classics like – The Whole Of The Moon, Fisherman’s Blues or A Girl Called Johnny.

Also on stage, Barcelona born – Loquillo – José María Sanz Beltrán performing songs from his new album, Rocker Code, released in March this year with massive success. The album has 14 songs spanning his career from 1980 to the present day, together with rockabilly band Nu Niles.

The Animals, still going strong after 50 years. Expect a fantastic performance from this rhythm and blues, Geordie band with classics including – House Of The Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Baby Let Me Take You Home, It’s All over Now, Baby Blue and more.

Ticket Sales

Tickets can be purchased from Halcón Viajes, Ticketmaster, FMNAC, Carrefour, Corte Ingles, Instanticket and locally from the Bar Onosca in Partida Muixara, La Nucia – price 35€.

Sales Targets and Objectives

A sale is a commercial act exchanging goods and services for money or other agreed compensation. In sales, individuals set expected or desired target sales based on previous personal performances or sales targets set by others in a sales team. In our personal lives we set ourselves goals that we wish to achieve: new car, new home and other desired assets. Some want to improve their health, while others may have long term goals regarding their retirement.

In sales it is necessary to set such goals, both short term and long, if success is to be achieved. Sales goals need to be tuned into reality, thought out, and be realistically reachable while still making a difference. Often people fail because they set the wrong goals or they are set too high, this is setting yourself up for failure before even starting.

Sales Target Setting is Important for Success

Sales goals should be well defined and detailed, saying that a number will be hit or that you want to beat the top sales person is not enough. The incremental steps to what will be done to achieve those goals should be written down, and they are the individual’s goals not those of others. Working out how many sales it will take to pay bills for example, home loan, car payments, living expenses are not goals, they are needs. A salesperson should recognize the difference between goals and needs.

Goals should surpass needs. Using needs as goals often means that they are just reached or can also fall short. Goals should be set higher than basic needs so when they are achieved, those needs are taken care of and more, and if sales fall short those needs are still taken care of.

Sales targets work on conversions for example, if it takes 20 presentations or calls to achieve five sales, this is the base. If a goal/target is set at 15 sales to be reached in a month, then it stands to reason that it will take 60 calls or presentations. Therefore, the goal for that month must be to make 70 calls or presentations, setting the goal higher than the basis to help achieve, or preferably to surpass.

When making several goals they should share common elements, goals need to be put in writing, and they must be clear and specific, with defined dates for deadlines. Goals should also be set beyond reach but also be realistically reachable. Sales goals should be evaluated every day and have incremental steps and milestones.

Online Sales

Sales and marketing plans may include online sales. Maximizing sales online involves a certain amount of testing. Sell one product on your website using social media advertising or search engine advertising as these methods can closely target your niche audience. This form of advertisement provides clear conversions in respect to how many sales are achieved versus clicks per ad. SEO (search engine optimization) is important to making sales online; good content is needed, rich in keywords that are relevant to the products and services being sold, and that are being used to search the Internet by potential clients.

Burgundy heart of France

Burgundy typifies the soul of a French wine region, steeped in history and culture; it is the area home to Mâcon, on the Saône River. The town is the destination of the annual, Beaujolais Nouveau wine run, which starts and finishes in the UK. Dijon is the ancient capital of the province and has a lot more to offer than strong condiments as a sightseer’s haven, with museums, restored medieval stone houses and cobblestone streets.

More to offer

Follow a pilgrim’s trail through picturesque villages and verdant landscapes. Holiday properties in Burgundy range from opulent 17th century mansions, surrounded by vineyards, and charming 18th century town houses, to stone cottages nestled in the countryside.

Burgundy has a secret, not just its famous, scrumptious wines or its flavoursome cheeses and delicious Burgundian dishes, but its people. Feel the warmth of a friendly smile and sometimes a chuckle when trying their language. Holiday rentals in Burgundy offer several choices from a city or country side experience with a vast range of outdoor activities including, canal barging, horse riding, hot air ballooning and underwater caving.

With more and more Holiday property rentals in Burgundy, wine enthusiast can taste their way around Beaune, the wine capital of the province and attend the world famous wine charity auction.

Weather and travel

Bourgogne (Burgundy) as it is known by the French people has an oceanic climate with a half-continental tendency; this is what makes it possible for the areas wealth of vineyards, with averages temperatures in the Winter 1.6°c and summer: 19.6°c. Travelling to the heart of France from Paris by car can take up to 3.5 hours and half that time by high-speed Train (TGV).

Set up your own wireless router

Routers can be connected to a PC or Laptop via a wireless connection or a LAN cable (ethernet cable). Wireless routers are straightforward to set up when the laptop or PC has a wireless network adapter installed and an Internet connection, preferably high-speed. Routers can be set up using the software provided with the router specific to that make and model, or by going online to the manufactures support website.

There has never been a better time to buy a wireless router, with prices being so low from all the major manufactures. You can make even bigger savings if you shop online, as coupon deals are giving saving of over 50%, or more, and are offering free shipping.

Router set up using software

1. First the router must be disconnected from the computer and power source.

2. Insert the disc that came with the router, or download the router specific software from the manufactures support page.

3. The software will take you through step by step instructions on how to install. A wireless network name and password is created, and part of the instructions may ask you to connect the router to the computer using an ethernet cable at first. This cable is usually included with the router.

Router set up manually

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem or land line connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. Using an ethernet cable connect the router to the computer.

4. Open a browser and log into the router’s Web interface and add the IP address to the address bar. The IP address can be found with the literature provided with the router, or on the back of the router itself.

5. On the back of the router, or within the documentation will be the default password and user-name, now enter these.

6. Via the web interface, set up a password and network name.

7. You should now be ready to disconnect the LAN (ethernet) cable and connect by the wireless connection.

Wireless router set up for windows 7

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem, or land line connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. At the bottom of your computer on the notification bar there is an icon that looks like a stairway or a collection of bars racking upwards, click on this.

4. The window will show a selection of visible networks, choose your network and click on it and connect, this will ask for the network name and password, which is default and came with the documentation, or is written on the back of the router.

Wireless routers send and receive signals to and from a computer making them vulnerable and easily tracked. Using encrypted signals, or noise, can stop 3rd party hackers from receiving your personal data, and stopping unauthorized use of your network. It is important to stop anyone from hacking into the network through your IP, and causing damage by accessing sites that could create a legal issue or embarrassment.

There are a lot of different brands of routers and they use different methods of encryption. WPA2 is one of the most advanced and secure. WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is next followed by WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) which is the oldest.

If you are worried about the neighbour’s kid breaking the code and stealing bandwidth or personal data, then it would be prudent to change the password on a regular basis and include combinations of alpha-numeric characters.

Once the wireless router is set up care should be taken when positioning the unit. Signals can suffer from interference from household appliances. Routers should be centralized and kept away from large metal objects. Performance can also be affected if too many computers share the same wireless unit.