Google Chromcast purchased from BestBuy

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

This Google Chromecast will allow us to stream video from the BLU R1 HD smart phone to the 27" LED tv we have on the boat. Using the "Hotspot" feature of the phone and the VPN app we should get good entrainment from the web. We do have access to Netflix and there are other free streaming places on the internet.

We picked this up at Best Buy.

New eye glasses for us both

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

Debbie and myself got new eye glasses.

 Debbie's first pair were kind of a test for us and they were single vision. They we free and cost $12.00 for the shipping. Then we like this so much we went ahead and purchased her every day glasses there.
Mine shown here are just reading glasses and a little correction for distance. We went to an eye doctor and got an eye exam under our VSP eye coverage. We decided the VSP insurance was a big waste of money so we canceled it. It is way better for us to get an eye exam at say Cosco or another place and then order the glasses online. So we ordered them, mine were free with $11.00 in shipping. Debbie's which were a lot more complicated (progressive\transactional) for $82.00 with free shipping and that is frames and all. We purchased these at They came with hard cases and cleaning cloths and screw driver and soft case.

Sold our 2001 Nissan Sentra

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

 We are leaving for home soon, in a matter of days to (s\v Elegant'sea) in Mazatlán, Mexico. We needed to sell this car the 2001 Nissan Sentra we had bought to get around in while in the US getting my new hip. So off it went to another adventure.   

Next summer we plan on purchasing another used car in Mexico with Mexican plates that we will drive up to the US and then back to Mexico again

Purchased a "Cable Matters" SuperSpeed USB 3.0 J45 Ethernet adapter

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, CAl!

 In Marina Mazatlán there is a Cruiser's lounge but it has no WiFi. Instead it has Ethernet connection in the walls. So to wire our laptop to the Ethernet connection we had to purchase an adapter because our old Acer laptop does not have a RJ45 port. But never fail, the USB port will work fine.

 It was simple and affordable enough to purchase this "Cable Matters" SuperSpeed USB 3.0 J45 Ethernet adapter. This is backwards compatible with our old USB 2.0 port and will work fine. We did get a Cat 6 cable also so if we do\when upgrade our PC to a new one with the USB 3.0...we will get the added speed, about 10 times faster.

 We usually do not hang out at the Cruiser's lounge and would prefer not to carry our heavy laptop there. However, in case we need to download something, well, we can on the laptop. We prefer our lightweight Samsung 8" tablet for this stuff but it is nice to have options and with no WiFi there at the Cruiser's lounge the tablet would not work. The Cruiser's lounge is open all night and has AC and free coffee!

We purchased this from Amazon.

We purchased this Cat 6 cable from Frys Electronics.

It has a couple LED lights to tell you if and how fast, data is moving.

This top LED is to tell you that there is power to the device.

BLU R1 HD Cell Phone 16GB - Black purchased from Amazon

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico
 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

The reasoning behind purchasing a smartphone is to get away from the Banda Ancha stick from TelCel in Mexico. The Banda Ancha stick is not sold any more and is a pain to keep putting time on. The web site is in Spanish and sometimes it changes and is hard to navigate with our limited Spanish. Also, the WiFi does not always get a strong signal. We use it for getting weather data and sending email etc.

We also use a phone, before a "Go Phone" from Mexico, to keep in contact with our daughter Lindsey who lives in San Diego along with other relatives in the USA.

So, to move forward and make our life a bit easier, we purchased the unlocked Amazon BLU R1 HD phone from Amazon using Debbie’s sisters “Amazon Prime” account.

 This phone has dual sim cards so we can have one US and one Mexico sim card if we wish. Also we can expand the memory to 64 gigs if we so desire. It does everything we need it to do and lots more.
 We got the $60.00 a month "International" Go Phone plan from AT&T so we can talk unlimited to our daughter in the US. This comes out to be the same as we were paying before for Banda Ancha and TelCel sim. Well, we needed to purchase the $60.00 version of the BLU R1 HD phone from Amazon. We can switch between our US and Mexican phone numbers which makes it easy for a person in Mexico, say a welder, to call us back on our Mexican number, which is free to call for the welder.
We can create a "Hot Spot" (WiFI network) with the phone and using Ultrasurf and PeerBlock free apps to keep us from being marked as being in Mexico so we can stream from Netflix or whatever to our TV with say "Google Chromecast". Just another option for entertainment.
We can also connect to the Hotspot (WiFi network) we create with our tablets and our laptop. With our laptop we can then download the weather data we need for our weather programs we use on the laptop. Also we can browse to web sites for weather data such as "Passage Weather".
"The inexpensive yet polished Blu R1 HD phone - the Blu R1 HD may come cheap (with or without its Amazon ad-supported feature), but it sure doesn't look it.
Blu R1 HD
Available through e-commerce giant Amazon, the Blu R1 HD costs $100 (8GB/1GB of RAM) and $110 dollars (16GB/2GB of RAM). But if you're an Amazon Prime Member and don't mind ads on the phone's display, those prices drop to $50 and $60.

There are lots more reviews on YouTube this is just one we grabbed.

We purchased a rubber case for the phone so just in-case?
 I am not much for carrying around a phone so Debbie does the honors.
Of course, our daughter and grandson are on the lock screen :)

Purchased a HooToo Powered USB 3.0 7-Port Hub with 2 Charging Ports

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Currently at our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

 With all these little purchases to make our life easier, wow it should be easy now! Yes we purchased a HooToo Powered USB 3.0 7-Port Hub with 2 Charging Ports from Amazon which will help make life better. It has already helped a lot. We have an old Acer 15" laptop top computer that has one 2.0 USB port and two 1.0 USB ports. Our old laptop is beat up but still runs like a race car, Ok an old Chevy but it still goes good. We paid less than $500.00 for this way back when. We upgraded to Windows 10 for free and it is great.

We will upgrade this old laptop some time so we purchased USB 3.0 gear for the future upgrade. The 3.0 USB is backward compatible with our older ports. This will come in handy at the boat for accessing our drives and charging the tablet(s) and phone. The HooToo USB 3.0 7-Port Hub has some things I liked about it. It is built well, has ample USB ports and the plug to the wall socket is the small plug with the power supply separate so as not to hog up the wall outlet. It has two charging ports so if we again do not need to plug in two additional charges into the wall of other devices and the cables should be long enough on the hub to reach where we want to place it. There are other nice features also.

HooToo USB 3.0 7-Port Hub with 3 hard drives connected
and our BLLU RD 1 HD cell phone charging on it.
This is all piled up on the table now but we have places
on the nav station for this setup.

Our old Acer laptop with Windows 10.
A dynamic weather map of Mexico (WeatherWatcher Live)
 is on our desktop and it looks like it is stormy there !

Purchased Standard Horizon CMP31 Ram 3+ remote mic

Beginning of November 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

 Our last house sit for 2016 here in San Marcos, Cal!

 The Purchased Standard Horizon Ram 3+ remote mic will be a welcome addition to our cockpit electronics.

Back in 2012 when we first installed the Standard Horizon GX2150 VHF radio.
When we installed the Standard Horizon GX2150 VHF radio we did not realize how nice it would be to have a cockpit mic. It is good in a way that we waited because now the RAM3+ can control all the Standard Horizon GX2150 VHF radio functions. The first version or few did not control every function of the radio. So, now we can turn off or down the volume of the radio on the radio in the boat and have the volume of the mic any loudness we desire. We can turn the radio on or off from the cockpit etc. This will make it nice for when one of us is off watch and sleeping below. Before the squawking of the radio could wake you up but now we can isolate the sound to the cockpit. Also when we are motor-sailing it is difficult to hear the VHF Standard Horizon GX2150 VHF radio in the cabin while out in the cockpit while steering the boat. And now the radio mic is in easy reach for entering the channel or calling the Dock Master etc. Just makes life easier and a bit safer. Of course it is yet to be installed by us so another project coming up!

Here is an older picture of our cockpit and where the new mic would go.
This is a mock-up of where we think we would like to install it.