Road Testing Yamaha Nouvo SX, Elegance and Honda Click 125i motorbikes in Pattaya

After reviewing the Honda Click 125i, I felt I had not gone far enough in my review of the Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX and the Yamaha Nouvo 135 Elegance. I still felt both bikes were excellent and that they outclassed the Honda Click in most respects. But the Honda Click had so much acceleration for a 125 that my good friend PlOne commented to me how slow his Yamaha Nouvo SX seemed in comparison. So before returning the Honda Click to the bike rental shop, I borrowed my friend’s Nouvo SX just to see how slow it felt in comparison. PlOne was correct. The Click accelerated like a sling shot at city traffic speeds whereas it would take a while to wind up the power on the Nouvo SX. But PlONe also commented that he felt the Honda Click 125 i accelerated more quickly than the Yamaha Nouvo 135’s he had rented before purchasing his Nouvo 125 SX.

Honda Click 125

Moreover, I had timed the Honda Click 125i’s acceleration from zero to 50 kph and 80 kph. which was something new that I wanted to incorporate into all future motorbike reviews. But using a cell phone to test the Click’s acceleration had proved problematic. so I wound up purchasing a Seiko stopwatch from Amazon that would be much easier to use while driving a small motorcycle on a busy motorway in Thailand.

I just had to stop watch my beloved Yamaha 135 Elegance to see if it really was slower than the Honda Click 125 i. I could find just one horsepower rating for the Honda Click 125i on the Internet–11.7. If accurate this would have meant that the Click had one half a horse more than my Elegance did, which would have helped substantiate PlOne’s claim that the Click seemed the faster of the two bikes.

Honda Click near Rayong

I was also having reoccurring thoughts about two other characteristics of the two Yamaha Nouvos. The first one was my thinking that the new fuel injected Yamaha Nouvo SX lacked the range that I felt it needed because of its comparatively smallish 4.3 liter fuel tank. The second was the commonly held perception that the carburated 135 c.c. Yamaha Nouvo Elegance was a gas hog compared to its fuel injected competition. And yet, my Yamaha Elegance had matched the PCX 125, the PCX 150, and the Yamaha fuel injected 125 Nouvo SX in highway fuel economy with all four of the bikes turning in fuel economy figures exceeding 100 miles to the gallon. But city driving in Pattaya would be different with all the traffic jams, speed bumps and having to wait for stop lights to turn green to contend with.
But as frugal as it had been on the highway, I had every reason to believe that my Nouvo Elegance would not measure up to the Honda Click 125i and the fuel injected Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX’s fuel efficiency in city driving conditions.

For example, when he was purchasing his new Yamaha Nouvo SX, the salesman had told me that the new fuel injected bike would easily outdo the older carburated model for fuel economy in the city although he felt there wouldn’t be much difference driving in highway conditions.

The German bike rental shop owner had told me the Honda Click would get 100 kilometers from 2 liters of fuel compared to 2.5 for the Nouvo SX and 3 for the Nouvo Elegance.

next to the ocean

In earlier gas mileage tests my Nouvo Elegance 135 had managed only 32.33 kilometers to the liter. I felt this figure to be very accurate since I had gone through several tankfuls of fuel and diligently recorded the results.

But my girlfriend had been riding behind me most of the time I had been testing my Elegance’s fuel economy thus adding close to 45 kg to the weight. Obviously a complete retest for city fuel economy was necessary.

I also had a theory, but I really didn’t have any real data to support it, and that theory was the Yamaha had stuck with its “antiquated carburated 135 Yamaha Nouvo Elegance for four years because it knew it had a real winner so why fix what was never broken. It wasn’t that Yamaha was new to fuel injection. After all, it had been selling 125 c.c. and 250 c.c. fuel injected X Max models in Europe for years not to mention 500 c.c. T Max’s in the U.S.

As for the German shop owner telling me the Nouvo Elegance could only get 3 liters per 100 kilometers to the Honda Click’s 2 liters, the man had also told me the Honda Click had only a 2.5 liter fuel tank, and when I had brought in a spreadsheet on which I had typed in the tank capacity of the Honda Click, he crossed out the 5.5 liter figure I had typed in and written above it 2.5 liters. This really surprised me because the owner runs a first class bike rental shop which provides rental bikes that are meticulously maintained (albeit comparatively expensive), which is about one would suspect from most Germans.

Then the German’s ex partner reappeared on the horizon while eating at a restaurant on Naklua Soi 33. He still had his bike rental shop there, and most of his rentals were Yamaha Nouvos, either Elegances or fuel injected SX’s. And although he had a Honda PCX or two available his personal bike of choice was a Yamaha Nouvo SX 125.

He had no use for a Honda Click or any other floorboard style motor scooter. I had always liked the man, having known him for nearly seven years, and I even knew where he lived. He’s an East German who once told me how years ago he had tried to get past the Berlin Wall when East Germany was Communist, how he had been caught, put in jail (luckily he hadn’t been shot), and that he had to be bailed out by his friends. Even though this had been an unlikely story, I half believed him, because through the years I found him to be one of these really happy go lucky Germans with a very likeable personality.

While we talked over possible bike rentals, he walked behind one of his Nouvo Rentals and said, “Two shocks. Click has one. Not strong.” Yeah, my thinking exactly. I had finally found someone who knew what I already knew.

When I asked him about the fuel economy of a Nouvo SX 125 versus the 135 Nouvo Elegances, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Same Same.”

I decided I would rent from him and wound up renting a Yamaha Nouvo SX 125 for four days. By renting for such an extended period even though I already had my own motorbike, I figured I could really do a thorough road test while getting a real good feel for Yamaha’s newest creation so I could later on determine for myself when it was time to get a new bike, “Will a little 125 satisfy me when there are larger alternatives available such as Honda’s PCX 150, Honda’s 150 SH or even something on the order of a Honda CBR 250 or even a new CBR 500?”

Four days living with Yamaha’s 125 Nouvo SX

To put the experience into just five words, “I loved that little bike.” One week earlier I had rented still another Honda Click 125i on Koh Larn Island, this time for two days and had found that the seat did not latch properly without a great deal of coaching. This was the second out of two Honda Click rentals that had seats that failed to close properly. Moreover, the turn indicators were badly located which made the process of signaling for a left or right turn to be very unintuitive.

I was now starting to realize that Yamaha seemed to be making better bikes than Honda. I had never driven a Yamaha motorbike that had exhibited such poor attentiveness to detail. But one drives at low speeds on Koh Larn or at least I did so the Honda Click’s handling was adequate for those two days. But there is no way that I could even begin to be satisfied driving a Honda Click through the variety of driving conditions I had been putting this new Yamaha 125 SX rental through. I found the little bike to be an enornously satisfying mount no matter what I tried to do with it.

But it was not fast. On route 36 on the way to Rayong I managed to do zero to fifty kilometers per hour in 7.51 seconds whereas the Honda Click took just 6.3 seconds. The Yamaha Nouvo SX took 12.16 seconds to get from zero to eighty kilometers per hour versus 10.39 seconds for the Honda Click 125 i. I do want to mention, however, that for most of us getting good acceleration up to 50 kph is much more important than it is getting good times up to 80 kph. This is because when you really think about it, when you are driving in such cities as Pattaya when you go much faster than 50 kph you feel as if you are really flying and that it starts to get really unsafe going much faster than 30 miles per hour.

The thing is one doesn’t really feel that one is being deprived by the Yamaha Nouvo SX’s apparent lack of power. The power still seems to be there, but only when you want it. But more than enough power was there on tap. One simply reels it in by twisting the grip. In passing situations around Pattaya the bike performed splendidly, and even while I was doing the timed acceleration runs on route 36, I really couldnt’ detect any difference between the Honda Click and the Nouvo SX. Only the stopwatch showed a real difference.

The Nouvo SX has an interesting little gadget that’s a lot of fun to play with. That is, its little onboard computer that resides in the instrument cluster that normally consists of a speedometer, odometer, and water temperature guage. Not only is Yamaha’s little onboard computer fun to play with, it also provides a lot of useful and interesting feedback on what kind of fuel economy one is getting. One can set it to measure fuel economy at any instant in time for example or one can set it to register fuel mileage for whatever current trip one is making. Obviously then one can reset the odometer for each new trip which is something you cannot do on a lot of competitive models. But the most addictive feature of this onboard computer is that one can set it to constantly record the bike’s fuel efficiency. For example, as soon as the bike starts to go up a slight incline the digital display might go from 2.0 (liters per 100 km) to 2.5. Or if I ease up slightly on the throttle the digital display might go from 1.8 to 1.2. This thing is a blast to watch and it really does help the driver smooth out his driving technique so that he can get better fuel economy. I found myself constantly trying to drive the little SX with a more constant application of the throttle than I had been doing with my Yamaha Elegance. I started to notice that the SX was averaging 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers which is a far cry from the 2.5 the first German rental shop owner had been telling me. One thing I noticed about the Nouvo SX is that it seemed to inspire its driver to drive smoothly and sedately.

The bike’s handling is top notch. It’s so enjoyable to drive and the more one gets used to it the more it feels part of the driver’s body. However, when I first got on it, I could detect a very real difference in this bike’s handling and my Nouvo 135 Elegance’s. The SX’s front wheel felt lighter, not as firmly planted and not nearly as precise. But if there was any lack of preciseness in the bike’s handling the lack went away as I started to get used to the bike and began to appreciate its charming ways. The reason for all of this was the oversized aftermarket tires I had installed on my Elegance. These were Michelin Pilots that were roughly 14 % wider than the bike’s stock tires. I also suspect they are of a softer rubber compound than the Nouvo’s stock tires therefore offering superior handling at the expense of less longevity. I would rate the SX’s handling and overall feel as excellent even with its stock tires—but I’d have to rate my modified Nouvo Elegance’s handling as superlative.

I took the Nouvo SX back on my fourth day’s rental in the middle of a pouring rainstorm that was flooding many of the city’s streets. That rain got so bad that I walked to a nearby restaurant and called my girlfriend to get me on her motorbike. After a few minutes she called me back to tell me that the street we normally took had flooded and the water had gotten so high that she decided to take a different route and meet me somewhere else which forced me to walk a kilometer away from the restaurant. My girlfriend’s bike is a Yamaha Filano and it rides on 12 inch diameter wheels and tires. Certainly my Nouvo Elegance is a far superior bike to drive through flooded streets with its much larger diameter 16 inch wheels and tires. Moreover, there’s several speed bumps I’ll ground out on if I’m driving her Filano and it doesn’t matter how slowly I drive it to cross those speed bumps. The Filano simply lacks the ground clearance to be up to any Yamaha Nouvo when it comes to crossing obstacles or getting down flooded streets. And then there’s those times that I need to drive over curbs. Those situations do not occur very often but they do occur. I’ll take a 16 inch diameter wheel and tire anytime over anything that has 12 or 14 inch wheels and tires.

This now brings us to the subject of my Yamaha Nouvo Elegance. It had performed astonishly well for fuel economy in highway driving conditions but not so well in stop and go city driving conditions. Meanwhile over the four days I had rented it I had gotten an overall average of 44.5 kilometers to the liter on the Yamaha Nouvo SX. That’s over 100 miles to the gallon in the city, which means that all those know it alls out there who claim that small automatics get miserable fuel economy have no idea of what they are talking about. The fuel injected Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX wound up registering on its onboard computer 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers. So theoretically according to the computer I was getting 47.61 kilometers to the liter which meant that the computer was 7 % too optimistic. However, unlike both the Honda Click 125 i and the Honda PCX, the Yamaha Nouvo SX 125 lacks the stop start switch that shuts the bike’s engine down while the bike is stopped at traffic lights. In my opinion much of this 7 % discrepancy is explained by the fact that the bike is idling at stoplights, therefore using fuel while there is no simultaneous registering of miles being driven since there are none. The bottom line from my roadtests–the Yamaha Nouvo SX’s onboard computer is pretty accurate. But now I would use it to see if I could improve on the 32.33 kilometers per liter I had gotten with my Nouvo Elegance in my earlier fuel economy tests for city driving.

My more immediate concern was to see how fast my Yamaha Nouvo Elegance could get up to 50 kph, and then 80 kph. So once again I headed out to route 36 on the way to Rayong. This time there was less traffic than I had enountered while testing the Honda Click 125 i’s acceleration. With the Click it had been a one shot deal due to all that heavy traffic I encountered and also the fact that I was using my cell phone for a stop watch and which had given me at least one false reading.

The Seiko stopwatch was so much easier to use than the cell phone which had almost fallen out of my hand as I tried to dodge traffic testing the Honda Click. For one thing it had a lanyard that I wrapped around my wrist. Its start-stop button was large enough for me to be able to feel it while concentrating on the road ahead of me.

On the zero to eightly kilometer runs I recorded times of 12.56, 11.79, 10.54, and 11.72 seconds for an average time of 11.65 seconds which about splits the difference between the Honda Click and the Nouvo SX. However, on my two runs up to 50 kph I got 5.75 seconds and 5.41 seconds out of my Nouvo Elegance, both times being superior to the 6.3 seconds the Honda Click 125i had managed.

I ended up doing close to 100 kilometers on my Yamaha Elegance over several days of testing at the end of which I put in 2.17 liters of fuel. So I had used less than half of my tank to run around what felt like a considerable distance, considering that aside from my acceleration runs and getting to and from where I could do them, I had to negotiate around a lot of city traffic and that I actually had to try hard to keep driving so that I could run off all those kilometers. I wound up getting 41.9 kilometers to the liter with the Nouvo Elegance’s larger 135 c.c. engine and stone age carburator.

That’s a far cry from the 32.33 kilometers per liter I had gotten before. I can attribute this huge discrepancy to two reasons. Number one—I didn’t have my girlfriend riding with me so the Yamaha’s engine was contending with roughly 45 kilograms less weight. Number two—I was trying to drive the Nouvo Elegance in the same type of driving conditions I had encountered with the Nouvo 125 SX and I was trying to drive the Elegance the same way I had been driving the Nouvo SX 125. For example…I was not trying to accelerate unnecessarily with either bike and that this habit of not trying to give the bike any more throttle than I had to had been induced by the little onboard computer I had so much fun playing with on the Nouvo SX.

The Honda Click 125i and Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135 are both slingshots when it comes to acceleration at lower speeds, say up to 30 miles per hour or so. The Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX isn’t. The power just doesn’t seem to be on tap as it is on the other two bikes, yet it is there, ready to be reeled in when needed. But the Nouvo Elegance in particular seems to be always on the boil while driving in the city, with its torque right there providing instantaneous acceleration. And it is constantly inviting its driver to hit the throttle by being willing to respond with an immediacy that makes the engine seem even larger and more powerful than it already is.

From the specifications I’ve compiled from a variety of web sites, it appears that the torque of the Yamaha Elegance 135 exceeds the fuel injected 125’s by just 1.2 %. However, both the seat of the pants feel and stop watch measurements, especially from 0-50 kph would seem to put the Elegance much father ahead than that. My opinion is that Yamaha deliberately tuned the 135 Elegance to deliver superior torque and acceleration at the lower speeds that are common to city driving. 0-80 equates to about 50 miles an hour. You just never make use of it in cities such as Pattaya when driving 30 miles an hour already seems a bit too fast. So when Yamaha engineered the 135 Elegance it engineered it exactly right for the kind of driving most of us do in such city conditions.

Recently, in my opinion, Yamaha decided that it was starting to lose sales to other manufacturers such as Honda. It had a terrific little bike, knew it, and stayed with its carburated Elegance line for four years. But out of total ignorance and the inability to think for themselves, many potential customers started to back off from Yamaha in the mistaken belief that fuel injection automatically provided superior fuel economy and horsepower to carburators. And in the case of the Elegance, it might have seemed that way, since the 135’s superior torque and low speed acceleration was constantly inviting drivers to tap into all that power. After all, it’s really a lot of fun twisting that throttle of the 135 and feeling the bike surge like a much more powerful machine than what it really is. That’s part of why I think I was able to get just 32.33 kilometers per liter in my previous tests. But this time I kept resisting the urge to accelerate convincingly around slower moving vehicles. charge up hills, or just accelerate with authority simply because it felt good.

The Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135 will get excellent fuel economy provided that the driver does his part. It’s just that it’s a lot easier for the driver to get outstanding fuel economy with the 125 Nouvo SX than it is with its carburated sibliing. But I doubt if the carburator had anything to do with it. Yamaha always had a great engine in the 135. I don’t know how much better fuel economy it can get over its predecessor the air cooled 115 c.c. Yamaha Nouvo MX, but I had one, and drove it 13,000 kilometers before replacing it with the 135 Elegance. Although I never measured the fuel economy of the Nouvo MX, I knew that the Elegance delivered far superior fuel economy while delivering over 25 % more power.

One thing I did find disturbing about the Nouvo 125 SX is Yamaha downsized the fuel tank from the Nouvo Elegance’s 4.8 liters to a 4.3 liter tank which I viewed as a step in the wrong direction. The truth is, when we are comparing one motorbike that already gets over 100 miles to the gallon to another bike that might offer a tad more fuel economy, the dollars saved we are talking about is really meaningless. What is more important is range. And when it comes to highway driving where the 125 Yamaha SX and the 135 Yamaha Nouvo Elegance turned in identical fuel economy numbers at a figure of 50 km/liter, the Elegance will get 25 kilometers farther down the road than the Nouvo SX. And a Honda 150 PCX with its even larger 5.9 liter fuel tank will have 80 kilometers more range than the Yamaha SX provided both bikes are getting 50 kilometers per liter, which is easily obtainable for all the bikes I have mentioned, whether it’s the Honda Click 125 i, the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance, the Yamaha Nouvo SX 125, or either the 125 or 150 PCX .

Probably the greatest virtue of the Honda Click 125 i is that it has a 5.5 liter fuel tank which will probably give it the same range as the larger Honda PCX 150. Its second greatest virtue is its speed. If what I am reading is true, Honda stuffed the Honda PCX 125’s engine into the smaller and lighter Click which must make it one of the fastest 125’s around. Keep in mind the 125 PCX is already a good highway bike even if it is eclipsed by the 150 PCX, and with a weight of around 280 pounds compared to a Honda Click’s 246 pounds the Honda Click 125i will be noticeably faster.

The main disadvantage of the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135 is its carburator but not for the reasons that you might suspect. It’s got one helluva carburator setup, one that offers great fuel economy and excellent power and driveability. The problem is if you let the Elegance sit around for anything longer than 3 days it starts to get harder and harder to start due to gasoline settling in the carburator. If you go back to your home country for several weeks and return to Thailand, you will find that it’s going to take a lot of cranking of your bike’s starter to get your bike moving again and your battery might just wear down before you get done doing it. So far, knock on wood, I could always restart my Elegance on the bike’s battery without having to resort to the bike’s kickstarter. But if worse comes to worse, I’ll always get it started one way or the other.

Getting back to that issue I have made about range, most of us aren’t going to be doing a lot of highway driving. I could do a lot of city driving with the Yamaha Nouvo SX without using more than half a tank of fuel so the problem is not nearly as severe as I suspected. Nevertheless, I think Yamaha should have increased the Nouvo’s gasoline tank’s capacity instead of decreasing it, and if there was any improvements I’d wish Yamaha would make on succeeding models I would prefer that it would offer increased tank capacity over any horsepower increases it might make.

In my opinion the new Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX is the finest all around bike out there for the real world of driving most of us are going to be doing here in Thailand. It really offers everything a person realistically might need, and if he thinks he needs something bigger, I think he’s dreaming. Okay…the PCX 150 is definitely bigger, and it’s certainly got more power, and it is going to be a better motorbike out on the highway trying to keep up with car traffic. But the Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX is big enough and competent enough to be driven all over Thailand. But I suggest you don’t. Just one example should I think suffice to explain why.

Although I didn’t have any problems doing my zero to fifty and zero to eighty kph runs with my Nouvo Elegance I was almost killed afterwards. On the way home on the motorway, I found I had a choice between veering off the road to the left which would have taken me further South into Pattaya or traveling straight which would have taken me to Sukamvit at the Pattaya Nua intersection which would take me directly into Naklua. So I went straight, accelerating to about fifty miles an hour because I didn’t want to hold up traffic behind me as there was no shoulder to get onto and I was already in the slow lane. But someone wanted to pass me who simply couldn’t wait. He wanted to turn left so he zoomed ahead of me and then he cut to the left directly ahead of me so that he could veer off onto the road that would take him away from Naklua. So he pulled right out in front of me almost colliding with me as he suddenly swerved to the left ahead of my bike. It was a very close call, and it was almost certainly caused by a Thai driver who had no respect for human life, or driving carefully, or with consideration. I will also mention now that three times Thai drivers have passed me on the shoulder of the road while I was driving my Honda Civic in the right lane at over 65 miles an hour and that each time I was forced way off to the left to avoid the accident the other driver was about to cause. This is what I call driving with homicical intent. It goes beyond driving stupidly or neligently. It goes into the realm of actually trying to kill someone or oneself or at least not caring about taking human life.

It is because far too many Thai drivers drive with homicidal intent and too many unqualified drivers to start with that now causes me to not even consider buying a highway cruiser that’s capable of running with the big dogs. I have my Honda Civic for the highway. At least some of the drivers who might not care if they kill me or not might be somewhat worried about dying themselves. And certainly a car is much safer in a crash than any motorcycle which has virtually no chance against a car. Also one must consider all these tour busses that are proliferating on Thailand’s highways and streets. When it comes to homicical intent, I think the tour bus drivers take the cake for being homicidal maniacs. Check them out at night. Very seldom will you ever see Western faces in those tour busses. And most of them are Chinese. Consider that this year compared to last year the number of Chinese tourists nearly doubled, and god knows what increases we are going to see over the next year or the year after that. There will be a huge proliferation of tour busses that is already at an unacceptable level, and that is going to mean that Thailand’s highways and streets are going to become deadlier than ever. Nope–forget having a large bike. You are going to be far happier with a bike that’s between 125 and 150 cc’s and that weighs less than 300 pounds, and you are going to probably live a lot longer if you do.

Specifications Click here to get more easily read specifications

Honda Click Yamaha Nouvo SX Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135
displacement c.c. 125 125 135
price 46800-52500 baht 57000 baht N.A.
Horsepower 11.7@8500 rprm 10.4 11.2
Torque 14/7500 Nm/RPM 10.47 Nm @ 6000 rpm 10.6N-Nm @ 6,500rpm
Weight (Kg) 246 lbs 244 lbs 244 lbs
Tire Size Front +80/90/14 +70/90/16 +80/90/16
Tire Size rear +90/90/14 +80/90/16 +90/90/16
Fuel Economy test loop 59.8 km to the liter 53 km to the liter 53 km to the liter
Fuel Economy City N.A. 44.5 km to the liter 41.9 km to the liter
0-50 kph 6.3 seconds 7.51 seconds 5.58 seconds
0-80 kph 10.39 seconds 12.16 seconds 11.65 seconds
Handling (judging) Ok Very good Rock stolid
storage beneath seat good good good
fuel tank capacity 5.5 liters 4.3 liters 4.8 liters
Cooling water cooled water cooled water cooled
Fuel System fuel injected fuel injected carburator

125 Honda Click Review
From Pattaya to Rayong and back on the Honda Click 125. Note, this is the new Click 125 and not the Click 110 of an earlier review

Trapped by unrelenting rain inside Naklua’s Pen Bar with out of control Thai bar girls

Who says you have to go to Pattaya’s Go Go Bars for a great time? Real expats such as Peter claim Walking Street’s only for tourists who don’t know any better. The action in this video occurred just two nights ago at the Pen Bar on Naklua Soi 18. Peter (his name is Per in Norwegian) is out for just another typical night by his lonesome. My girlfriend is sitting just to my right, which is pretty good reason for my repeatedly telling one of the bar girls to stop what she’s doing. But my girlfriend’s presence doesn’t phase her one bit. Outside the bar no one’s going anywhere. We will be completely drenched before we get 100 meters down the road on our motorbikes so we are stuck here for the duration. This has been absolutely one of our favorite neighborhood bars going on something like 7 years now. England has its neighborhood pubs, and the United States has its neighborhood taverns for the locals to hang out at. We are eternally grateful to have places like this close by to our condos where the women are plentiful, the weather never turns too cold, we can ride our motorbikes year round, drink as much as we want and never have to worry about the police giving us a DWI.

All of this would not have happened if Obama were born 100 percent white

Let’s stop beating around the bush and come right out with it. I ask everyone who’s reading this—“If Obama were 100 percent white would he have had to face all this relentless obstructionism from Republicans that has finally turned into a government shutdown over Obama Care?

Let’s face the facts. Racism is bad. And even a racist knows he will be roundly despised if he says: “I hate blacks.” But to say that Obama is the wrong kind of Christian, or a Muslim (how can you be the wrong kind of Christian and a Muslim at the same time?), that he secretly hates whites, or that he wasn’t born in the United States and cannot therefore be president–all this is acceptable?

Consider that in our nation’s history that almost every newly elected president is provided a grace period of six months to make a few mistakes and to adjust to his new station as head of state. Sadly no grace period was ever given to Obama who was roundly criticized by his opponents before he became officially inaugurated.

Think about it. No matter what course of action Obama has tried to pursue Republican Congressmen have joined together in lockstep in nearly every single case unanimously or very close to it to defeat him.

And think about this:

In an interview with National Journal magazine published October 23, 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” McConnell said it. But the rest of the GOP has acted on it. In nearly every single case, it has joined together to do everything possible to make our president fail, even if it meant that it would cause the United States to fail by doing it.

When was the last time that an entire U.S. political party has threatened to stop the U.S. government from paying its bills because it didn’t agree with what our president and the opposing political party was trying to do?

And what about Fox News (False News). Has it ever occurred to anyone that its main purpose seems to be to undermine and to ridicule our president in relentless ongoing attempts to shape public opinion against him? Think Germany between 1933 and 1945 when the Nazi Party’s Joseph Goebbels had a monopoly on all news coming in and out of Germany and you have the true measure of Fox News. Perhaps an even better name for Fox News than False News would be, ” We hate Obama and we want to do everything possible to make you hate him too.”

I used to think that the U.S. needed to elect a capable black man as president. We could then show the rest of the world that we really weren’t a racist country. We could show Muslims for example that we really didn’t have it in for them because they were Muslims. Or Asians because they were Asians and didn’t look like us white folks. But I really became elated when Obama, who had a black father and white mother came out of practically nowhere to become our president. But oh…it was so much better than even all that. He stood almost alone in opposing our misguided war in Iraq at a time when nearly all U.S. lawmakers had been convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And he was not only a very intelligent lawyer who had graduated from Harvard’s Law School, he had been president of its prestigious law review. Here was a man whose intellect and wondrous speaking ability put him well above most men who had been running for president before him. And he could represent all Americans whether they were white, black, Hispanic, Asian or whatever and be a shining light to the rest of the world that here at least in this country that racism would no longer be tolerated.

But this was not to be—at least not with Republicans who have secretly been playing the race card to appeal to those Americans whose minds and hearts have not developed to the same extent as their peers. We have come a long way. But the enemy has shown its true self and taken its banner as the GOP. Now it’s caused the shutdown in Washington. Tomorrow it will once again threaten or even succeed in causing the United States to stop paying its bills. The GOP has truly become an enemy of the United States and everything that it stands for. In my own dictionary, the one that resides in my head, this amounts to treason. The Republicans therefore deserve to be defeated at every corner, to have every single one of its politicians defeated in the coming elections and to be scorned and vilified at every turn.

In 1997 we were the only online game in town in U.S. Strip Clubs

The evidence is indelibly etched into everyone’s faces in this slideshow I took from pictures I took in 1997 at Cruisers Gentlemen’s Club when our gang from Dollies Playhouse strip club visited our stripper friends in the North Webster, Indiana Club. In those days nobody brought digital cameras into strip clubs and everyone who is in this slide show knows it. Back then film ruled the day and if anything was going to go onto the internet all that film had to be developed, then scanned. But living in those dark ages of film and scanners was not for us. This time we’d get our pictures of all those beautiful Indiana stripper friends of ours onto my digital camera and then from the Indiana club owner’s office we’d put them online into the Lost Angels chat room within a half hour of the pictures being taken.

That was in 1997 when everyone else thought digital cameras were only toys, and that real photographers only used film. Back then we were the only game in town that was foolish enough to resort to those plastic little play toys that wound up killing film forever.

Exploring Koh Larn Island by motorbike

“Exploring Koh Larn Island by motorbike” is the video I published on You Tube yesterday which I immediately removed. The reason I did was it originally came out in 3D..that is in two windows. Don’t know how I managed that but the results for viewers was pretty horrific. If you are at all interested in visiting Koh Larn Island this video is a must. The reason is VERY FEW people ever experience this terrific little island by motorbike.

Not that many Westerners visit Koh Larne Island even though it’s just 5 miles from Pattaya, and if they do very few of them rent a motorbike there. Instead your typical Westerner who lives in or visits Pattaya as a tourist goes to beach resorts much farther away such as Ko Samui, Pkuket, Koh Samet, or Koh Chang. But Koh Larne’s a great little island. Most visitors there (there’s a lot of Thai, Chinese, Korean, and Russian visitors) will simply follow the rest of the herd as soon as they get onto the Koh Larne main pier from their 40 minute ride from Pattaya to Koh Larne on the ferry and get on a nearby baht bus. THe baht bus then takes everyone to a beach and that will be that. But the herd never gets to see much of the island. All in all there’s six beaches there and the vistas seen from the seat of a motorcycle are breathtaking.

Fewer people still will actually spend the night in a hotel on Koh Larne which is typically viewed as only an afternoon outing. But when you do, you can get a full two days at some really terrific little beaches (they are far superior to Koh Chang’s White Sands Beach while the salt water swimming is far superior to what you will get at Koh Samet) for the price of a single night in a hotel room. As far as the motorbike rentals are concerned, it’s a lot more relaxing exploring Koh Larn on one than it is driving around Pattaya

Here’s the modus operandi I find the best for getting the best two day outing possible on a single night’s stay in a hotel. 1. Get down to Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier early. If you have your own motorbike by all means take it and leave it overnight. There’s a car parking building within a hundred yards of the Bali Hai pier. There’s an overnight security guard there and it costs just 40 baht to leave your bike there overnight. 2. I recommend taking the 9 a.m. ferry to the backside of the island. This will take you to Taiwen Beach (I call it China Beach because it’s mostly Asians who favor this beach. Cost is only 30 baht each way per person on the ferry). You don’t have to get tickets at the main building. Just pay upon boarding the ferry. 3. Once you get off the ferry at Taiwen Beach you will likely be accosted by someone offering to rent you a motorbike. He will typically ask 300 baht for the day. Offer him 500 baht for two days. You are now home free and able to go anywhere you want on the island and on your way before 10 a.m.

We checked into the Xanadu hotel on Samae Beach a little after 10 a.m. where I paid 2500 baht cash. And then we either lounged around the beach for most of the day or traveled around on the motorbike. The next day we got up early, had the hotel’s free breakfast and then drove down to Nual Beach which is also called Monkey Beach. I got a lot of good swimming time on both beaches both days, plus on the second day over on Nual Beach we found a lot of monkeys to feed and take pictures of.

Amazon gives Wordperfect Office 4.5 stars to Microsoft Office’s 2.5

For a more in depth comparison between Microsoft Office and Corel’s Wordperfect Office, check out my earlier review here. I will therefore make this short and sweet. Magazines such as P.C. Magazine and P.C. World are going to give the best reviews for products whose parent companies spend the most money advertising with them. So, with all its clout, if Microsoft spends 10 million a year advertising in a computer magazine and Corel spends just 3 million, guess which company is the magazine’s favorite customer? So according to my hypothetical magazine, which product will be given its number one rating–Microsoft Office or Corel’s Wordperfect? It’s a no brainer because as with most things, money is number one and to hell with truth.

But if you want to really know the truth about what end users really think is the best, just go to the amazon.com web site and check the user comments and reviews. In this case go to the Amazon listing for Wordperfect Office X-6 Home and Student (download). You will notice that customers who have bought this version of Wordperfect’s latest version of Office award it 4.5 stars out of 5 and that 287 customers comprise this database. So who are these people offering their comments on the AMazon web site about the whole huge range of products offered at Amazon from watches, books, computer software to knives and televisions? They are people like myself who Amazon asks for reviews and comments s once they have bought a product at Amazon. I have done a number of reviews of items I have bought at Amazon and every time I’ve commented on a product my comment was published. And even if Amazon never invites me to review a product I can still go to the amazon page for that product and publish my comments and reviews there. So think about this—if 287 people who have recently bought Wordperfect give it a 4.5 star rating and these people are not getting paid or penalized for their opinions one can put a lot of faith in the veracity of the 287 comments and reviews. AFter all, no one has anything to gain by lying on the Amazon web site. Furthermore 287 reviews represents a very significant sample size. What I mean here is we all know that if you toss a coin it’s going to come up heads 50 percent of the time? But will it if you toss it only three times? But toss it one million times and it’s going to come up heads 50 percent of the time and tails 50 %. In my example with the coins the sample size is so large that we can be 100 percent confident that the probability for a coin coming up heads will be 50 %. But toss that same coin four times for it to come up heads twice might give us a confidence level of just 25 %.

Now, go over to the Amazon section for Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 Notice that Amazon’s customers have given it just 2 1/2 stars to Wordperfect’s 4 1/2 stars and that there were 249 customer reviews constituting this database or sample size.

Obviously AMazon’s customers who have bought Microsoft’s latest version of Office think it’s pure crap whereas those customers who have bought Wordperfect’s latest Office product think the world of it. If you want an analysis of how such an inferior product such as Microsoft Word has taken over the marketplace I invite you to read my review in this blog. But if you’d rather not for whatever reason, trust Amazon and don’t believe anything you read in the mainline computer magazines in their product reviews whether they are recommending which computers you should buy or what’s the best software. But above all, DO NOT BUY OR USE MICROSOFT OFFICE. It is unbelievably bad.

Want to see what a 124 million baht condo looks like?

Top floor, 1,200 square meters 9 bedrooms, with breathtaking views of Pattaya below it

Want to know what a 4 million dollar, 13,000 square foot beach front condo looks like here in Pattaya Thailand? Comprising 9 bedrooms, 9 plus bathrooms, with its own helicopter pad I just happened to wander into the place with my Nikon D-300. It’s the penthouse at Saranchou condominiums on Wongamat Beach. Out of my price range for sure, and I’m absolutely not involved in real estate sales or rentals, but if anyone is interested in checking this place out you can go to http://www.bigmangoproperties.com/. Needless to say the place is immense. For example a wall of one of the living rooms is plastered but behind the plaster is a sliding door. The original owner contemplated selling these two units separately. It would not take long to remove the plaster thus exposing the sliding door which can then be opened to transform two separate rooms into one.

For more pictures click here

New Balance Shoes still made in the U.S.A.

According to the New Balance web site, every single one of its competitors manufactures their running shoes outside the U.S. My Thai girlfriend was incredulous when I told her that my old running shoes were made in the U.S. believing they had to be made in China. After all, it’s China that’s supplying most Thais with their exercise shoes. She despises the Chinese stuff about as much as I do, and one would think with the low price of Thai labor that Chinese products are not flooding the Thai market, but it is, and most of it is absolute junk. So when I was approaching my annual two week trip to the U.S. she asked me to get her a pair of U.S. running shoes. So I ordered two pairs of running shoes from Amazon and a few other items, had it all sent to a U.S. business address of mine and brought it all back to my condo here in Thailand. And sure enough, my New Balance running shoes said, “Made in the U.S.” But hers read “Made in China”. I had thought the colors of her pair were very striking, but the look on her face went way South as if I had promised her a diamond, but when she opened the box a turd fell out at her feet.

A few days later we were talking to one of my German friends at the health club. The man just didn’t believe me when I told him my New Balance shoes were made in the United States. So after he told me, “they were probably only assembled in the United States I decided to check out just how committed New Balance was to U.S. labor.
The New Balance web site states: “One out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the USA is made or assembled here. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes “Made in the USA.”

The web site also states: “We’re proud to employ 1,300 U.S. Factory workers. That’s 1,300 more than any of our competitors.When it comes to strengthening our local economies, creating jobs, and crafting quality products, Made in America matters. At New Balance it always has. And it always will.”

That means that Nike, Adidas, Brooks and all those competitors are manufacturing shoes outside the United States. So I agree with New Balance, “Made in America matters.” And believe me, the New Balance shoes are a lot better than what their competition’s offering. That’s because New Balance offers its shoes in half sizes. My shoe size is 11 1/2. Not 11, and not 12. But here in THailand I’m forced into buying shoes that are either too short or too roomy to give me a snug fit. And that just not good enough for me. Be sure that when I return to the U.S. next year, I’ll be on the telephone with whatever outlet I’m getting my New Balance shoes at, and I’ll be insisting that our next pairs of New Balance shoes will be made in the U.S.

25 % of all

I am really starting to dislike Facebook

I have many reasons that I won’t get into now. What’s really setting me off is the constant intrusion of its moderators into my account that has once again resulted in my being blocked from “making friends”– this time for thirty days. This is laughable considering that I haven’t tried to make one new friend for at least 30 days. So, without getting into the many other reasons for disliking Facebook I am going to take a stab at why Facebook’s moderators might have singled me out as a target.

I just returned to Thailand from a two week business trip in the U.S. and while there I tried to log into my Facebook account. I couldn’t, even though I supplied my correct e-mail address and password. Instead of being allowed to access my account I was besieged with several lists of questions along the lines of “Do you know this person, do you know that person”? Accompanying the questions would be a group of photos I could choose from identifying my choices, all of whom I assume were among my 219 friends on my facebook page. To tell you the truth, I couldn’t identify many of them. So I was unable to log into my facebook account until I returned to my condo here in Thailand where I learned that once again I’ve been barred from making new friends, this time for 30 days, with a final warning that I’d soon be permanently barred from adding new friends if the powers that be at Facebook continued to receive complaints about me. Now, I’d really like to know how I could have ever committed a single action in Facebook that would invite condemnation from its moderators if I couldn’t log into my account in the first place?

I can only conjecture at what might have happened here. My best guess is that when I tried to log into Facebook from the U.S. that Facebook recognized that I was trying to log in from a country I don’t normally log in from, flagged me, and then started its grand inquisition to determine whether or not I was the real Jack Corbett. And then when I replied that I didn’t know most of the “friends” through Facebook’s line of questioning, the moderators then asked these “friends of mine” if they knew me or not. Well, to tell you the truth, I was really getting pretty upset with Facebook through putting me through this inquisition in the first place and if I were someone on my friend’s list who was getting the same intrusion from Facebook’s moderators I’d be getting pretty upset also. I just might blame Jack Corbett for putting me through all the unasked for questioning.

So how did I wind up with so many friends who I really don’t know? First off, if it wasn’t for my having a web site and Google I wouldn’t be on Facebook at all. However, as anyone who’s trying his best at improving a web site’s ratings at Google knows, it’s good to get an account at Facebook and once in Facebook any web site administrator who’s worth his salt needs to identify Facebook users who can benefit from his web site and enlist those users as friends. For example, when I go to my control panel at Hostgator which hosts my domain, I can go to SEO tools which I can then use to advice on how to improve my web site’s visibility in the search engines. Then under SEO tips, I can click on the following links at Hostgator 1. Getting started Guide, 2. SEO in 10 Easy Steps, 3. Writing Meta Tags, 4. Using Twitter to Promote Your web site, 5. Using Facebook to promote your web site, 6. Google’s Self Starter Guide, 7. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Hostgator, which I regard as the absolute world’s best web hosting provider also recommends SEO gears to improve its customers web sites search ability, and SEO Gears also shows how Facebook can be used to gain a larger audience for one’s web site.

So off I went to Facebook to get an account, design my Facebook page and to find those who might benefit from my web site here at Alphapro. My first step was to try and find out which Facebook users might benefit from my web site, and what’s provided there. But even before that it was important for me to identify exactly what pages on my web site might be of value for any friends I might make on Facebook. What immediately stood in my mind were the Uncle Bufford Walking Street, Uncle Bufford Naklua Bar, and Uncle Bufford Soi Six Bar Reviews. Another was my You Tube Video channel which currently has 452 subscribers and nearly one million three hundred thousand views of over 35 videos, most of which focus on Thailand’s bars but which also include vacation destinations in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Obviously if I’ve had nearly 1,300,000 views of my Southeast Asian videos, I would think a lot Facebook members would be interested in my content as well. That is, provided I could identify those Facebook members who have a lot in common with the content of my web site. I have also written and published four books, one of which, “Welcome to the Fun House” is all about Pattaya and expats like me who live there. In fact, while writing “Welcome to the Fun House,” I served on a three man committee that was placed in charge of running my condo building and directing the Thai staff, and for several months I was running the building all by myself when one of my fellow committee members quit, another left for a prolonged visit to the U.S. and our hapless Thai manager quit without giving any advanced notice whatsoever. So there I was trying to run our condo building without having a single committee member to help me, without a Thai manager, in clear violation of Thailand’s condo rules and regulations that specified that one had to have at least 50 % of all committee present to be legally run the place. After all that, and writing a book about some of my experiences I felt that yes….I had a lot of inside information very few people had and of those who did, none of them had ever written about it in a book before.

So where to start at Facebook? Obviously with so much of my You Tube content stemming from Pattaya’s bars and my Uncle Bufford Soi Six, Naklua Bar, and Walking Street bar reviews focusing on bars, I would think that customers frequenting these bars might be interested in those portions of my web site centering around those bars along with similar bars. It was a no brainer then for me to seek out go go bars on Walking Street that have accounts with Facebook. I found that Sapphires Go Go had a page at Facebook so I asked Paul Sapphire to be one of my first friends at Facebook. I then found that several Pattaya Soi Six Bars had accounts at Facebook so I added those bars to my list of friend’s requests. Finally I found that the Leo Bar in Naklua had an account at Facebook so I became friends of the Leo Bar, which is less than a mile from my condo and whose owner, Leo, I consider a personal friend of mine.

Okay–since I go to all of these bars which I recently added as friends and which accepted me as their friend, my next step was to approach the friends of these bars to see if they wanted to be “my friend”. I felt that the friends of any of these bars were either customers of the bars or Thai women who worked in them. It must also be kept in mind that many of these customers were men who like myself are expats who live here in Pattaya and who therefore are most likely not interested in what I might have to say about the area’s bars but also in the motorbikes I review, the restaurants I recommend, the hotels I stay at in my Southeast Asian travel experiences, or even where I feel is the best place here in Pattaya to get a watch or a computer repaired. So even though I didn’t personally know most of the people I requested friendships with, I felt that most of them would welcome my requests since we no doubt had a lot in common with each other, and I for one, was supplying a lot of good free content on a variety of subjects they were most likely to be interested in.

The problem started when I put in too many requests for friends too quickly. And that’s when the Facebook moderation team started to notice me. I think that eventually nearly all those I asked to be my friends eventually accepted my requests. I now stand at 219 friends and I seriously doubt if I made many more friends requests than that. Hell, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. Because it didn’t take any more than a week for the moderators to put a one week injunction on me that denied me the ability to make any more new friends. And when that initial one week moratorium passed, I slowed way down in adding any new friends. Even so, it didn’t take very long for me to accumulate 195 friends, and once I had 195 friends I said to myself, “That’s enough.” From that point on, the only friends I added were those who asked me to be their friends. The difference between 195 and 219 was not only made up by those who specifically requested me to be their friends but also those who initially ignored my friendship requests to them.

Actually I’ve been pretty dormant over at Facebook for the past month and a half or two months. I’ve put several more videos up over at You Tube and those have appeared on my Facebook page, and I’ve also done several new articles here in my blog which also appeared on my Facebook page.

I’m about 50-50 between deleting my account over at Facebook and keeping it. I have been able to reconnect with Lollytopps because of Facebook after being out of touch ever since I moved to Thailand. Lollytops is one of my models in “Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World” having posed with a Russian SKS rifle for one of my Xtreme Weapons articles. A feature entertainer traveling across the United States who competed at M.S. Texas pageants in Abilene and Wichita Falls, Nudes-A-Poppin and other adult events I covered as a writer and photographer, Lolly Tops suddenly dropped out of the U.S. adult entertainment world just as I had. Our being able to suddenly contact each other after all these years resulted in a two hour phone call during which Lolly Tops also put me in touch through Facebook with another adult photographer, who both of us had the highest regard for. I don’t know if Bob is seeing or reading any of my posts that appear on my Facebook page or not or if he’s gone to any of my you tube links. Hopefully he has. In any case, it’s possible others might eventually find me at Facebook who I’ve lost track of who might never think about trying to track me through a web site.

But—I just got another email from Facebook asking me if I knew Richard____, Bryon_____, or Trevor______, Carline clubredhot, etc. I don’t know any of them. Facebook’s supplied links to each of them so I suppose I can now request them to be my friends. Can I? Will I? I don’t know. Carline appears to be or to have been a stripper and I had a lot of stripper friends. Perhaps Carline knows Lollytopps or Bob, my adult photographer friend. But perhaps Carline will complain to Facebook which will then permanently cut me off from making new friends. After all just two days ago I was getting messages from Facebook informing me I could not make new friends for 30 days and that I was about to be suspended permanently.

Should I or shouldn’t? Will I arise the wrath of the powers that be over at Facebook? Let’s see, Carline is from Wyoming, and on my web site I have the Jack Corbett Guide to Topless Clubs. But of course I have listings for Wyoming. Perhaps Carline would like me to add her club to my list or if I already have listed her club she would like me to change my listing for Club Red Hot. After all, I keep getting such requests from topless clubs across the U.S. from club owners, managers, web site designers and adult entertainers who I’ve never met before and I have never turned any of them into Facebook. But what’s really ironical is when I keep getting requests from strippers across the United States asking me for a job and here I’m living all the way over here in Thailand 8000 miles away.

The truth is my web site over here at Alpha Pro’s been around for over s15 years and in that time it’s grown to encompass a lot of web pages that must be close to 1000 now. There’s one helluva lot of information there, and now that its emphasis has switched over to Thailand from the American Adult Entertainment scene, I would think a lot of Facebook members can get a lot of useful information there. But I won’t be spending a lot of time over at Facebook. It will be spent a lot more productively here at Alphapro where I don’t have to put up with a lot of nonsense and I have the freedom to create and distribute whatever I want.

The History Channel has become the Un History Channel

Cast member in the Duck Dynasty And I’m very seldom watching it. Consider for a moment where its programming has gone. For me it all started with “Pawn Stars”, which has obviously been very successful. Pawn Stars features the day to day activities of a Las Vegas Pawnshop that is run by a trio of men spanning three generations. The characters are likeable and much of what is presented on the show is quite interesting. Then came a rash of imitators which proved, at least for me, that too much of a good thing can be, a bad thing. For example “Pickers” follows the travels of a pair of men who are looking for saleable items from the past that has been tucked away in homes and barns throughout Americana. Then came “Kings of Restoration” which focuses upon the restoration of antiques and other treasured finds. And now there’s “Counting Cars,” which is, you guessed it, all about the acquisition and restoration of cars. Perhaps it was the success of such shows that focus on History only in a sort of way, that spawned off an infection of new shows that have very little to do with History at all. For example, there’s “IRT Deadliest Roads” which was followed by “Swamp People”. “Swamp people” dramatizes the shooting of alligators and the home lives of the families who slaughter them. Then came “Duck Dynasty” that follows the antics of what the History channel refers to on its own web site as modern day Beverly Hillbillies. So there are now two shows glorifying red necks from Louisiana on a channel that not too long ago was proud of its coverage of History. And if all of this is not bad enough one can add “Ancient Aliens” a series that expounds on the hypothesis that the builders of the Egyptian Pyramids, the Mayan temples in Central America and even the designers of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket could not possibly have been intelligent enough to accomplish such engineering feats without a lot of help from extraterrestrials.

Cajun Cast from the History Channel's Swamp PeopleIt seems to me that the History Channel is currently far more concerned with ratings and how much profit each show can produce than it is with History. It is also true that the educational standards for most Americans have plummeted from a plateau that was unworthy of much pride to start with. Very few people read anymore while video Games, text messaging, and Facebook, have become the national pastimes. Cowboy western role models of the past such as “Have Gun Will Travel’s” Paladin and Gunsmoke’s Matt Dillon have given way to either anti heroes who make a living from crime or unworldly super heroes who bear no semblance whatsoever to real life. There was a connection between a Matt Dillon or Paladin with the past as well as an enduring set of virtues and values that have stood the test of time. All of this reflects the sad fact that America’s place in the sun is drawing to a much more rapid end than most of us realize. As for the Un History Channel, one can only surmise that it’s become just one more symptom of where it’s headed.

Thoughts from the Expats Corner