Category Archives: Videos (that are not bar videos)

They are you tube videos that are not bar girl related videos.

LX7 Panasonic vs Nikon D750 for low light video

LX7 Panasonic vs Nikon D750 for low light video.  You be the judge. Here’s a pair of videos I shot at the Pattaya Siam Siam night club.

LX7 Panasonic vs Nikon D750 for low light video
While shooting the video with the Nikon D750 I got this picture. There is nothing like using a professional SLR camera when you are using the best lenses. The Nikon 17 by 35 mm 2.8 lens is one of the finest pro lens ever built as this picture attests. The question is, Will my Nikon D750 deliver when it comes to low light video? Until tonight, automatic focusing issues have kept this camera from delivering on its promise.

Here’s the first video.  This one’s with the Nikon D750 using the Nikon 17-35 mm 2.8 lens.

And here’s the second.  I used the small Panasonic LX7 camera to shoot this 2nd video.  This camera is an overachiever.  I can’t think of another compact camera anywhere near  this size that’s got a fast 1.4 lens.  The lens is a Leica to boot from Germany, and this camera has always delivered no matter how low the lighting situation was.

But there’s nothing like using completely professional equipment.  Canon’s just as good as Nikon.  But I got started with Nikon and I already had a pair of Nikon’s finest and most expensive lenses–a Nikon 28-70 2.8 and its sister lens, a Nikon 17-35 mm wide angle 2.8.  From everything I’ve ever read nothing out there tops these two lenses, but they are both god awful heavy and cost big bucks.

I’ve shot video in restaurants down on the beach and in bars with my Nikon, and I’ve practiced for days on end in my condo trying to get the automatic focus to work right.  The cameras got a mirror and I’ve been informed by people who are supposed to be in the know that SLRs like mine will not do a good job on automatic focus at night. But My Panasonic Lx7 has no such problems.  It works like a dream.

Shooting with the Panasonic LX7 at Siam Siam

So here’s the story on these two videos.  A couple of weeks ago a group of condo owners and their girlfriends who live in my building celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday at the Siam Siam night club in Pattaya.  Well let me tell you, this place is a treasure.  The views up on the top floors of Pattaya are absolutely stunning as both videos will show.  At my girlfriend’s birthday I’m shooting with the Panasonic LX7.   Rory, is there with his Hong Kong girlfriend, and so is Rod, an Englishman with Mai, a young willowy Thai beauty whose personality just doesn’t stop.  My girlfriend, May May is here too–well of course she is….she’s the birthday girl.  Viewing Pattaya from the Siam Siam night club’s upper floors is a lot like Hong Kong.  That’s where Rory and Iris live when Rory’s not here in Pattaya, and they both tell you in this first video that Pattaya’s a lot better than Hong Kong.

My birthday at Siam Siam shooting my Nikon D750 in low light

But I’m itching to do a new video at Siam Siam with my Nikon gear.  This time it’s my birthday.  The camera came out great in the video I shot at the Muay Thai boxing arena, but later on, the focusing failed me down at my favorite Pattaya beach restaurant.  I spend hours Saturday afternoon practicing with three different lenses shooting in different shooting modes in my condo, and I’m still in my underwear when the door bell rings.  It’s Mai coming down to visit with my girlfriend and to wish me a happy birthday.  Normally I don’t come to the door wearing only my underwear shorts.  It scares people too much having to view my nearly naked body. But hey, I take my photography and my video seriously and there’s no time for false modesty.

Later my girlfriend and I head to Siam Siam.  It’s just the two of us, off celebrating my birthday, but wait, it’s a threesome after all.  I’ve got my Nikon D750 with me.  So it’s Panasonic vs Nikon.  If the Panasonic LX7 wins out, I’m getting an even more capable Panasonic LX model when I visit the U.S. a few months from now.  THe LX100 with is larger sensor looks like the answer to my shooting the best video I can.  But  I know that nothing can beat my two Nikon lenses when it comes to making my subjects jump right out of the picture and delivering the richest color possible.






Testing Nikon D750 video capabilities here in Thailand

Nikon D750 video
The Nikon 750 like most professional cameras can capture the perfect moment with split second timing to get what lesser cameras nearly always miss

Getting terrific low light  Nikon D750 video is a huge challenge especially when I compare my results to what I can so easily achieve with my Panasonic LX-7.   But, if I can ever get it down, I just might produce video that cannot be matched by lesser equipment.  Here’s two examples of low light Nikon D750 video.  The first is   from a New Year’s Eve party at the Surf and Turf Restaurant on Wongamat Beach.  I shot the second the following day at the Naklua Pen Bar.

Shooting either video with my Panasonic LX7 camera would have been easy.  Its focusing in a wide variety of situations and lighting is exemplary.  But notice how fuzzy the video becomes in the first video which I shot down on the beach when I zeroed in on Rory, Iris and May May at close range.  The same thing occurs when I zoom in on several of my Russian friends who are sitting much closer to the water.  But so long as I’m shooting my video at mid to long range the results are spectacular. with the Nikon D750.

The lens I’m using on my Nikon D750 is nicknamed  “The Beast”.   It only has a focal length of 28 to 70 mm  yet it weighs a full 2.2 pounds.  It is frightfully expensive.  It is certainly too heavy not the  to carry around all day long.  I have a companion lens for this lens, a Nikon 17 by 35 mm which is equally as good.  But for these videos  I’m shooting with “the Beast” which I find to be the more versatile of the two.  “The Beast”  has always been able to create images that border on the three dimensional.  The Nikon D750 produces deep and rich sound from its internal microphones.  Although my miniature by comparison Panasonic LX7 produces excellent sound there is simply no comparison to what this Nikon D750 creates without any audio editing whatsoever.

In the New Year’s Eve video I shot down on the beach I at least have some decent light to work with.  But the next night at the Pen Bar, I simply did not have enough light to do a decent job with the bar girls dancing in the background when I was shooting near the stage.  Again, the Panasonic LX7 would have done far better in such extreme low light situations.   Perhaps if I had changed the settings on the camera  I might have achieved much better results.   Using spot metering might have helped here.  Or changing the ISO might have made a big difference.  But I think you can see from both videos that the video potential of this camera, especially with this high a quality lens is enormous.  But it’s going to take a lot of practicing on my part.

In the coming months I will continue to experiment shooting low light video with my Nikon D750.  I expect to be fully challenged, and possibly overwhelmed.    But whatever the outcome when it comes to testing the Nikon D750 video capabilities, it’s competence at getting the finest digital stills is evident from the slide show photos during the final half minute of the New Year’s Eve Surf and Turf restaurant video.


It’s time for a Guiness at the Surf and Turf

When Pattaya goes too far off the rails, it’s time for a Guiness at the Long Beach Surf and Turf.

Sangria and Guiness at the Wongamat Beach Surf and Turf restaurant
It’s Sandria for my lady and Guiness for me. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

I don’t think there’s a better place in all of Thailand.  The restaurant’s just 150 yards from my condo.

It’s cool down at the restaurant with the ocean breeze usually blowing.  I can walk just forty meters uphill from the restaurant and notice the difference in temperature.  The music’s tasteful.  There’s none of that Dah Dah noise that passes for music that you keep hearing down on Walking Street.  And there’s no cars or motorcycles trying to run me over.  Or polluting buses full of Chinese tourists.  Here the staff looks out for me and my friends so I usually am able to get one of the best tables.  The beer on draft is Singha and it’s good and cold.  We normally get it in pitchers so there’s no waiting for the next round.  But for some reason I keep going back to drinking the Guiness usually getting it in the large size bottles.

Tonight, am I here for the beer or is it because I”m testing my new Nikon D-750 camera?  I’ve got my tripod in hand, and I’m using the Sigma 50 mm F 1.4 lens.  It’s going to really blur my backgrounds if I set the aperture for 1.4, but I also want to test its video capabilities.  Unlike my trusty little Panasonic LX-7, shooting video with it is very tricky.  I have to set the camera just right and I don’t know just how to set it to do the best video yet.  But this is a great place to practice, and if I screw up, I’ve always got the Guiness to fall back upon.

Tora Blades Mk1 Kukri, the World War 1 model 1903-1915

Tora Blades Mk1 Kukri and the Mk2
The blades of the Mark 1 and Mark II are polished to a mirror finish that rivals or even exceeds the Himalayan Imports M-43

It’s nearly impossible to beat the craftsmanship of the Himalayan Imports  Kukris, but the Tora Blades Mk1 Kukri  is of equal quality.  Now that’s saying a lot because the HI kukris are simply superb.   But what Tora has done that separates it from such companies as Himalayan Imports and Kukri House is to make History come alive in its creations.  This is something its rivals have either been unwilling or unable to do.  Now, I’m not about to say that the Himilayan Imports M-43 is better or not quite as good as the models from Tora Blades.  It is what it is, and what the M-43 does exceptionally well is to chop down big trees and cut large logs in half nearly as fast and effectively as an axe.  But the historical M-43 was actually a later version of the Mk2 that was used during the World Wars.  The military M-43’s and MK2’s had much thinner blades than the Himalayan Imports versions and were normally about 10 ounces lighter in weight.

You are invited to watch my you tube video, Battle Blades 2, so you can view the Tora Blades Mk1 Kukri  in its full glory.  This one’s in full HD resolution which means it’s going to look good on a large screen t.v.   I’ll tell you a little secret, if you don’t know about this one already.  I don’t even use the smart t.v. internet features of my 55 inch television.  Instead I hook the t.v. up to my computer with an hdmi cable and then I duplicate my computer screen on my 55 inch t.v.  Trust me, this is a lot better than trying to use the smart t.v. internet features, and it’s a terrific way to watch you tube videos.


The Tora Blades Mk1 Kukri you tube video

HI M-43, Gelbu Special and Tora Blades Mark II battle blade

2kukrisWhich Kukri is the best battle blade, a Tora Blades Mark II battle blade, Himalayan Imports M-43, HI World War II model, or HI Gelbu Special?  I have all four, and each one has unique strengths that make it superior to the other three.

The biggest, baddest and most devastating one on trees and most capable of severing heads, is the HI M-43 weighing in at 36 ounces.  That’s as heavy as most swords, so you’d think this is the one you’d want for combat or week long expeditions into the wilderness.  And the Himalayan Imports M-43 was closely patterned after the Mark II kukri that was heavily used by Nepalese Gurkha soldiers during both World War I and II.  But the Tora Blades Mark II, that weighs barely more than half the HI M-43 just might be a better selection.  And although the M-43 closely resembles the historic weapons used in both World Wars, the Tora Blades Mark II is about as close as it comes to what was actually used in both conflicts.  Then there’s the Himalayan Imports Gelbu Special which doesn’t even pretend to be designed as a battle blade.  To find out which is the best battle blade of them all this video just might give you the answers you seek.

When the Thai girlfriend and guns meet the Grand Canyon

Real men and real women love guns.  If you don’t believe me, bring your Thai girlfriend to the Grand Canyon to shoot guns, show her what a 45 automatic can do, and watch her addiction grow.  Next year we will undoubtedly visit the United States again leaving Thailand for America’s wide open spaces, and can you guess what she’s looking forward to the most?  Yep, you guessed it, shooting guns.  This time we will be visiting two friends, an American who owns over sixty guns, and the Thai woman he just married who we’ve been told is equally addicted to guns.  And speaking for myself, I owned 38 guns but sold most of them a few months before moving to Thailand.  Then I wrote Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World.

Before offering my thoughts that might explain why people become so addicted to guns, let me first say one thing.   We did not shoot the guns in this video at the Grand Canyon itself.  The Grand Canyon is a national park and here you will find many Elk due to the park’s protection of wildlife.   But the location for this video was only a few miles outside the Grand Canyon National Park.   The place was basically in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.  My nephew vaguely remembered it so he was going purely from memory from years gone by when he pulled off the main road onto a dirt road which we took for several miles.  Thankfully he was driving a jeep because that little dirt road got rougher and rougher the farther we drove towards  the isolated clearing that my nephew’s fellow Arizonians had turned into an informal gun range.  No one was there when we first drove up, but after we had been shooting for a half your or so, a man drove into the clearing to shoot his Russian World War II bolt action rifle.

BMW K100RS 83

For the first time in a couple of years I was able to once again fondle, then shoot my beloved .45 automatic.  Of all the things I had either sold or left behind in the U.S. when I moved to Thailand, it was that .45 automatic I missed the most.  I miss it more than the special edition Mazda Miata sports car I sold before moving to Thailand, more than the BMW K-100  RS motorcycle I used to own, the Dodge 4 wheel drive Dakota sports pickup truck, and the two John Deere tractors I used to farm with.  In fact I loved that particular 45 and will continue to love it more than all the guns I ever had including the five or six forty-five automatics I had before it.  So before I get into the reasons for my complete addiction to guns, let me describe what it is about this particular 45 that makes it so special.

I used to sleep with it under my pillow, not because I was afraid of anything.  It’s just that this particular 45 felt so good and I had long ago given up on teddy bears and wouldn’t have another girlfriend until I moved to Thailand.

It started out being a 45 Colt government model but I wound up customizing it.  I had a new trigger and hammer installed to give it a quicker response.  The same gunsmith then installed a beaver tail that made it easier on the hand, especially after putting a 100 rounds or so through it during one shooting session.  To me a 45 auto doesn’t really kick all that hard.  Especially when you compare it to  .44 magnums and .454 Casulls and other hard kicking handguns.  But with the beavertail to cushion my hand the web of my hand was protected from the continued toll inflicted by a hundred rounds at the range.

I then sent my .45 to Wilson Combat which is one of the premier custom gun makers in the U.S.  I simply loved the looks of Wilson Combat CBT model with its contrasting dark green and black finish so I instructed Wilson Combat to make my Colt look just like one of their CBT’s.  This meant Wilson would have to strip the bluing off my Colt and finish it off with its Armor tuff finish that was supposed to be almost impervious to salt water.  But first I had Wilson Combat bevel my Colt, which meant grinding and sanding all the sharp edges so that the gun would feel completely smooth in hand.

Most out of the box Colt government 45’s will shoot within 3 inches at 25 yards whereas Wilson’ Combat custom models will shoot within 1 inch to 1.5 inches.   I could have gone with a match barrel but instead I decided to forego the added expense of a custom barrel and bushing.   Instead I had Wilson Combat tighten up the slide to frame fit.  The result was a 45 that showed not the slightest amount of play between its slide and frame.  After waiting a couple of months for Wilson Combat to perform its magic to my 45 I finally got the gun back.   With the slide to frame tolerance tightened up I was able to put six out of six rounds into a 3 inch circle at 25 yards shooting offhand.  The end result was not only the best looking 45 automatic I had ever owned, but a much more accurate one than most as well as one that was utterly smooth to touch.

Real Men Shoot 45’s

My Dad was a man’s man in every sense.  He had served in World War II and had wound up as a captain stationed in England by the end of the war.  When he came back to the U.S. he brought with him two forty-five automatics and one paratrooper model M-1 carbine with a folding stock.  Unfortunately he wound up either selling or giving away one of the forty-five automatics and the M-1 carbine.  The remaining .45 automatic became his most prized firearm until the end of his life.

Dad was never a particularly good shot, and by the time I was ten I could outshoot him with his .45.  I think Dad always felt that all real men learn three things in life:  1. To be able to ride a horse well, 2. To be able to shoot guns equally well, and 3.  To be able to win most of his fights.  So by the time I was eight we had two horses and from the time I was ten I nearly always rode bareback.  By the time I was ten, my step grandfather was teaching me how to box after installing a platform bag and heavy bag in our basement.  And by the time I was eight my dad was already turning me loose to shoot rabbits alone in the woods with a 410 shotgun.  When I was 12 I bought my first gun, a World War II 1943 Springfield 03-A3 Army rifle I bought from a police officer for fifty dollars.  I had to work all summer long in order to earn that fifty dollars.   By the time I finally got it, I had already been lusting for a Springfield from the time I was ten.  I loved the idea of its terrific power and being able to shoot things from hundreds of yards from my target,  I got something like 500 army surplus shells with the rifle.   Those shells were three inches long and I could shoot through thirty inch trees with them.  Back then most boys would get .22’s if they got anything and it would be their dads buying them a .22.  I had to buy my own gun, and I had decided early on that bigger was better.  And believe me, a 30-06 is incomparably bigger than any .22.

One of my next guns was a 9 mm Luger that had been made in Germany during World War II.  My Dad gave it to me for either a Christmas or birthday present.  Back then a Luger was simply the most gorgeous handgun that had ever been created.  Several years later he gave me a 9 mm Browning High Power for Christmas.  I had always loved the feel of a High power in the hand and back in those days the idea of having a clip that would hold 13 rounds was a huge turn on.   Dad never had much use for either of the two 9 mm’s believing that they lacked stopping power and that only a forty-five could be relied on to get the job done.

The 9mm Luger had a horrible trigger pull.  Even worse, mine had a very serious problem jamming.  So I wound up trading it for a gorgeous model 57 Smith and Wesson 41 Magnum.  But by this time I had developed a problem with flinching and the 41 Magnum kicked nearly as bad as a .44 Magnum.  As for the 9 mm Browning High Power, it had never been blessed by a good trigger pull to start with, and not being able to shoot it well, I sold it.  Mine was a particularly good looking specimen having been manufactured in Belgium, but prior to telling it I had adjustable sights installed which ruined the good looks of the gun.  I wish I had kept it because in the last few years I was able to live with the indifferent trigger pulls all High powers seem to have and actually be able to shoot them very well.

All of this took me through my college years.  By the time I graduated I had gotten a shotgun or two and two Ruger Blackhawks, one in .357 magnum, while the second was chambered in .45 Colt along with a Ruger Single six .22 magnum.

Much later on in life, I wound up buying, selling or trading more guns than I can keep track of.  In the process I bought a good half a dozen 9 mm’s and another half a dozen .45’s.  The best of the entire lot, that is until I got the Wilson customized .45 auto, was a Walther P-88 in 9 mm.  The clip held 15 rounds.  The gun never gamed.  It had a great trigger pull for a double action semi-auto, wonderful sights, and it shot right where I aimed it.   It was very expensive and I had to trade three guns for it, but it was perfect in every way, except for one thing.  It was not a forty-five.

As outstanding as that Walther p-88 was, Dad would never had much use for it.  Its fifteen round capacity wouldn’t have impressed him either.  In fact, when he kept his World War II .45 automatic under his pillow or between his mattress and box spring he’d normally keep just four rounds in the magazine in the belief that just four rounds was enough to get the job done and that if he kept more rounds in the clip that the magazine’s spring would be compressed to the point of causing the clip to become unreliable in time.

So what is it about a forty-five auto that makes it the king of the mountain?  Certainly it don’t have the power that my .41 Magnum had, and as powerful as my .41 Magnum had been, even it would not be anywhere close to the raw power of my .454 Casull.  Dad also didn’t have much use for .357 magnums, even though he had a healthy respect for their power.  For Dad, it was the relatively small size and flatness of a .45 automatic that along with its legendary stopping power made it the most ideal handgun a man could have.  I happen to agree with him.  It is simply the best combination of size and stopping power that there is.  And one can rip off eight shots far quicker than one can with a revolver.  But a 9 mm semi-automatic is also flat, relatively compact, and it offers just as much firepower as any forty-five auto.

No doubt a forty-five auto offers greater stopping power than a 9 mm.  On the other hand it can be argued that a well designed 125 grain hollow point offers even greater stopping power than a .45 auto.  Okay, perhaps it does.   But—–forty-fives are simply much more fun to shoot than .357 magnums.

First off when you shoot at targets at a gun range with a forty-five, you can tell immediately where your bullets have hit.   This is because a forty-five makes a much bigger hole in the target than a 9 mm or a .357.   Usually even when shooting at a target from 25 yards away you can see the large 45 caliber holes appear in the target whereas you won’t be able to see the holes made by smaller caliber weapons.  Secondly, when I used to live on the farm, I’d oftentimes find myself shooting casually at targets of opportunity with a forty-five auto.   I might be shooting at a tin can or a dirt clod in a field, but whatever the big .45 bullets hit, it would make a big impression.  Tin cans would jump thirty feet while dirt clods would explode.  Then there were the steel plates I’d shoot at like they have in Cowboy action contests.  I had driven two 4 by 4 posts into the ground, drilled holes into the top of each post and then inserted a long steel rod approximately nine foot long through the posts and on this steel rod I had mounted six plates that would rotate around the rod while being struck by bullets.  If I used a .22 on the steel plates while practicing my fast shooting technique the steel plates would barely move, and you’d only hear a light pinging while they were being hit by the small .22 caliber bullets.  38’s would hit much harder than a .22 and so would 9 mm bullets, but they wouldn’t begin to compare with the impact that a large heavy .45 slug would make on a  steel plate which would spin in a 180 degree arc.

As for shooting such plates with a .357 magnum, it simply wasn’t as much fun shooting them with a .357.  If, for example, I was shooting the plates with my Colt Single Action revolver that was chambered for .45 long Colt, I’d have to first pull back the hammer and then I’d have to pull the trigger, cowboy style.  If I did the same with a .357 double action revolver, the feel of the gun was not nearly as good as the old Cowboy style Single Action.  I could also fire my Single Action Army faster than I could firing single action with a .357 revolver.  But if I fired the double action .357 double action at the steel plates, although I could shoot the plates faster than I could firing Single Action with my Single Action Army, I could not begin to achieve nearly the speed as I could firing semi auto with my .45 automatic.  Furthermore,  .357 magnum full power loads causes an awful racket.  Its overly loud whereas the sound of a 45 going off is a deep booming sound that is much more pleasing to the ears.

You have noticed that I have digressed to the subject of Single Action 45 long Colt revolvers.  Let me just say that they are a lot of fun to shoot and that I still have my Colt Peacemaker although it like my few remaining guns are now in my nephew’s possession.

Let me just finalize this section by stating:  “Real Men shoot 45’s.”

45’s make big holes, they offer greater stopping power than 9 mm’s and they are simply more fun to shoot.  And speaking for my own family, owning a good 1911 style .45 auto is a rite of passage.  My Dad’s most treasured firearm of all was his World War II forty-five automatic.  I learned to shoot it pretty well by the time I was ten, and today my most treasured firearm is my Wilson customized .45 auto even if it is in my nephew’s possession.  As for my nephew, he has purchased his own .45 automatic years ago, in the best spirits of our family whose male members revere the .45.

Which now brings us to how Thai women characterize the universal appeal of Guns.

Most Thai women are very small compared to their Western counterparts.  For example, my Thai girlfriend is around five foot one and weighs around 95 pounds whereas my pal’s Thai wife, who I will refer to as Tommy Yai, is probably only around four foot ten.  But both Thai women love shooting guns.  I have a theory on this one and it might seem pretty far out, but here it goes.

Thailand is a class society in which there is virtually no middle class.  It is also a male dominated society.  It is also a society in which the very wealthy Thais have absolute power over the poor.  Let me surmise that most Thais feel absolutely powerless to change the basic injustices that are inherent in the power structure in Thailand.  Almost all Thai women most Western men associate closely with here in Thailand are from the poor classes of Thai society.  For centuries, there is no way such a women could have the slightest impact on their basic lot of life or the power structure ruling the country.  The prospect of rebellion was then and still is unthinkable.  Level a spear or a sword at one’s rulers and the wealthy rulers will simply unleash a lot of soldiers are police who will have more swords and spears and be much more well trained in their use.

But a gun, now, that’s another thing.  It’s a real equalizer.  The gun is extremely powerful and it takes relatively little training for a person to become lethal in their use.  Sure, the rich, the government or the police are going to win in the end, but in the meantime even a slightly built Thai woman can kill at least one of her oppressors with hardly any effort expended.

One can compare all of this to the Roman Empire two thousand years ago.  The Roman government backed by the Roman legions was oppressive yet there was little the common people of that time could do about it.  Wielding a knife, sword, spear, or even a bow and arrow against the oppressors was almost unthinkable.  One would certainly be killed in the process or overpowered only to be crucified later.  But suppose back 2,000 years ago, every man and woman under the heel of the Roman boot had semi automatic pistol or AK-47.  That would have been the equalizer.

So I think that’s a large part of the universal appeal of guns.  Common ordinary people who feel powerless and unable to change the world around them–a world that is unfair and cruel, now have in their hands the equalizer.  A man or a woman of inferior physical strength, with the barest minimum of firearms training now can take the life of any oppressor, no matter how many supporters the oppressor has, how strong he is, or how well qualified he is at handling weapons.

That’s a lot of it, at least to my thinking.  The other part is, now that one has in his hands a weapon of enormous power there’s the satisfaction that is derived from actually harnessing all that power while developing the skill and technique to become more proficient at directing all that power to achieve a goal whether that goal is to hit a small target, to hit a moving target, to acquire greater and greater speed, to be able to hunt more successfully or to be able to kill one’s adversary with it.

The old saying goes, that “God made man but Samuel Colt made them all equal. ”   Now that is a very memorable and perhaps very true statement, but it still puts an American and perhaps even an old West spin to the Universal appeal of firearms which I think lurks deep in the hearts of all real men and real women.    This goes for men and women alike regardless of nationality and would have been just as true 2000 years ago as it is today,.  This video,  of the Thai girlfriend and guns meeting near the Grand Canyon certainly goes a long way to proving my point.


Korat–Thai Class of 2003 High School Reunion dance, drink and party on

I am invited.  After all, my Thai girlfriend went to school with all these people.  The party is at the school.  It’s outdoors and there’s several hundred people there sitting at tables.  Food is provided.  Of course we all had to pay for tickets to be at our assigned tables.  There’s loads of Thai whiskey for us and the Thai male school mates of my girlfriend are doing a lot of drinking.  For that matter so am I.  At one point my girlfriend points at another table around seventy-five feet from ours and tells me there’s an American over there who lives in the area. “Why don’t you go over there and talk with him,” she tells me.  But it’s awkward.  The table is full and it’s pretty noisy with the band playing so I tell her, “I’m doing just fine with all these Thai friends of yours.  And all this Thai whiskey I’m drinking.”

After a few of those, and I almost feel like I’m old friends of these Thai men I”m meeting for the first time. There’s several farmers in the group.  Another, who’s quite affable works in electronics in Bangkok.  Then there’s Mr. Tour Guide who I met straight off.  The man speaks good English and he’s organized a small group of the gals.

This is the real deal.  I doubt if many of the gals are or ever were bar girls.  This video is of extremely good quality and will even play well on my 55 inch television.  My camera is a very unprepossessing, rather small  Panasonic LX-7, which I’m sure looks like a toy to the Thais I”m drinking with, but it’s a real killer piece of optical excellence.  It has a 1.4 lens which is extremely fast and therefore fantastic for low light situations such as I”m encountering at this party and it also has anti vibration technology built in.  It’s so capable in low light that I can usually take digital still pictures without resorting to the camera’s flash. The result is what you are seeing here in this you tube video which I”ve uploaded at 1920 by 1080 full HD quality resolution.


Cold Steel, Kukri House and Mark Morrow bowie knife review

Since I can’t have guns here in Thailand, I’ve chosen edged weapons as the next best thing, .  This bowie knife review is about an American icon, the bowie knife, and what made the bowie knife so deadly that some states in the first half of the 19th century passed legislation that made killing a man with a bowie knife a felony, even if the killing was self defense.

Bill Bagwell’s custom bowie knives are oftentimes regarded as the finest fighting bowie knives of all time.  It costs a minimum of $2000 and a 2 year wait to get one of Bagwell’s masterpieces.  But Bill Bagwell is also hugely successful at self promotion.  In fact, he’s so good at it, that I’m almost certain that almost anyone who reads Bowies, Big Knives and the Best of Battle Blades  will wind up believing nearly every word Bill writes.

The book makes fascinating reading, however.   But the real question is, is the bowie knife as effective as Bill claims it to be?   Bill claims for example that it’s the back cut that makes the bowie knife such an awesome killer of men.  Bill’s theories on the incomparable lethality of the back cut are not, however, substantiated by what I’ve found on the internet that might vindicate him.  But they do make sense.

Cold Steel Trailmaster and Mark Morrow Arkansas Fighting Bowie knife
The Cold Steel Trailmasters are renowned for their very thick blades. The Cold Steel web site shows such knives being subjected to all sorts of abuse from being bent 90 degrees in a vice to being thrust through car doors, etc. Although the Mark Morrow Arkansas fighting bowie has a wider blade it much thinner than the Trailmasters. I doubt if it will withstand nearly the abuse.
Mark Morrow Arkansas Fighting bowie and Kukri House Alamo bowie
Note how massive the Alamo Kukri House bowie is. It’s another 12 ounces heavier than a Cold Steel Natchez bowie that is oftentimes refereed to as a short sword
Cold Steel Trailmaster in San Mai and Mark Morrow custom bowie
Above is the Cold Steel Trailmaster in Japanese San Mai steel. Below, the Mark Morrow hand made Arkansas Fighting bowie. The Cold Steel is a survival knife, one of the best there is with its 3/8th inch thick blade. It’s great for splitting logs, making shelters, etc and with its razor sharp edge, not bad in a self defense role also. The Mark Morrow Arkansas Fighting bowie feels lighter than the Trailmasters yet it weighs nearly 2 ounces more. It has a razor sharp false edge for delivering lethal back cuts. The blade is also wider than the Trailmasters so its going to make a larger entry hole in an adversary. It’s not going to take nearly the abuse the Trailmasters will which are designed to excel in the woods. The Arkansas fighting bowie’s main reason for its existence is to kill people.
Hammer marks on the hilt of the Mark Morrow Arkansas Fighting bowie
Notice the hammer marks along this topside of the Mark Morrow Arkansas Fighting bowie’s guard. Such hammer marks also appear all along the back side of the blade as well as on part of the blade itself. Mark did this on purpose to give the knife a great antique finish. There is nothing quite like the feel of a custom knife from a true craftsman.

comparison4 I had to find out, and it was my quest for finding the truth that drove me to making this bowie knife review video.  The video you are about to see is much more than just a review of  two Cold Steel Trailmasters, a Nepalese Kukri House Alamo bowie and a custom Mark Morrow bowie knife it is a test of Bill Bagwell’s backcut theories as well.   So  I inflated several balloons and bought several small plastic water bottles to put Bagwell’s theory to the test.

What separates a true bowie knife from practically all other edged weapons is its ingenious point design and sharpened false edge on the back side of the blade that begins at the point and then extends three to four inches down.  Bill contends that the full force of a blow delivered from the point and this back edge is concentrated  into such a small area that devastating things happen instantly to an adversaries body parts receiving the blow.  After reading Bagwell’s book and seeing one of his you tube videos, I’ve had images going through my mind of a man’s stomach or intestines being suddenly opened with terrific force that will spill his guts out onto the floor as easily as a gunnysack of oats would spill its contents at the slightest cut.  Such thoughts never left my mind, and I wound up doing my own bowie knife review to determine if this were at all plausible.

But I had to wait a year and a half to do my own tests, because I had just ordered a Mark Morrow hand made Arkansas fighting bowie, and I wound up having to wait s–o—l—o–n—g to get it.   During this long wait I bought a Japanese made Cold Steel Trailmaster in San Mai laminated steel even though I already had an American made Trailmaster in Carbon V steel that’s been with me for twenty years.  But the wait went on and on so when I found out that Kukri House was offering a limited production run of just 25 numbered Alamo style bowie knives I shot my order into Nepal right off.

Five weeks later, the Alamo bowie arrived at my Thailand condo.   It’s a massive knife that weighs come 34 ounces which is just as heavy as two of my Nepalese Kukris that have 13 inch long blades to the Alamo Bowie’s 11 inches.  Everything about the Alamo bowie is first rate.  The handle feels terrific in the hand.  The knives lines are simple and beautiful.  Its steel has that wondrous ring to it that many excellent steels seem to have.

In the You Tube bowie knife review I talk about how Confederate Civil War soldiers started off carrying huge bowie knives as their secondary weapons.  I allude to how such Confederate soldiers no doubt bragged to one another about how “My thing is bigger than your thing”.   But what actually happened is that the typical Confederate bowie knife had gotten to be so large and heavy that those soldiers carrying them usually wound up discarding them because they were simply too heavy to be carrying around on the march when every superfluous pound was jettisoned.  It turned out that Civil War soldiers on both sides normally resorted to using either their bayonets or the butts of their muskets for close in hand to hand combat. And so it would be with the Kukri House Nepalese Alamo bowie.  Although it might offer unparalleled power in separating limbs and heads from human bodies, in the bowie knife review pitting the Alamo bowie against the two Cold Steel Trailmasters and Mark Morrow fighting bowie,  it’s simply too heavy to be carrying about for very long.

It is also a little known fact that Civil War cavalrymen also found their sabres to be nearly as useless as the Southern infantryman found his bowie knife to have been.   The six shot percussion revolver became the preferred weapon of most cavalrymen, particularly by such irregulars as Quantrill’s raiders.  But what is oftentimes  not recognized is that such horsemen usually carried at least two revolvers due to their unreliability and that many of  them carried as many as six revolvers at one time.

One of the reasons why a horseman carried so many revolvers is that they were unreliable.   Each revolver had six chambers and each chamber had a nipple next to it on which was placed a percussion cap.  Among other things (such as the cap failing to ignite) a spent cap oftentimes fell into the revolvers mechanism causing a jam, and that such jams often occurred every 11 rounds or so.  It would not be until the introduction of the Colt Single Action Army in 1873 that the unreliability caused by external primers was solved.

Prior to 1836 with the introduction of the Colt Patterson cap and ball revolver the handguns of the day were typically  flintlock single shot  black powder weapons.  A man had one shot, and that was it.  Needless to say Bowie knives became very popular in those days.  And if Bill Bagwell is to be believed, extremely deadly.  Finally, after a one and a half year wait for Mark Morrow’s exquisitely made Arkansas Fighting Bowie knife, I was ready to do my bowie knife review.  I’d also for the first time do my own private investigation of the bowie knife back cut’s lethality.







This Koh Chang Kacha Video Proves that online travel agencies aren’t telling the truth about the resorts they represent

Last night my girlfriend and I went out to dinner with our new friends, an Austrian who just moved into our building a few months ago and his girlfriend. The man is a beach lover, just as I am so we started to compare different beach resorts here in Thailand such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang, Koh Larn Island, and Krabi. It turns out he’s had the same awful experience with Koh Chang Kacha my girlfriend and I had. Just as I had he had stayed before at Koh Chang Kacha next to the ocean but the next time the resort put him in their new building across the main road. Turns out he got an inexcusably small room just as I had. We also traded comments on what had happened to our reviews on different resorts and like me his extremely negative reviews at and other online travel agencies were not posted. Only his good reviews made the grade with the agodas of the Internet world.

What I don’t get is how this video which I consider to be excellent while telling the real truth about the two Koh Chang Resorts has still not managed to generate as much as 400 views and yet anything I put up with sexy Thai women dancing gets thousands of hits in no time. Goes to show that for most people sex is the be all and end all and the attention spans for most men only extends as long as the length of their penises. As for this video it shows our room at Koh Chang Kacha as being hardly larger than a casket. Agoda lists it as 18 square meters. We had prison type bars across out windows and a really crappy view. It generates a 7.9 rating with Agoda, but if you ask me when negative reviews are culled by online travel agencies such as agoda I don’t see why resorts can’t generate averages of 9 out of 10 no matter how badly rundown they are and how bad the service is.