A Strange Day of Messages

Today is Valentine’s Day and my social media feeds were bombarded with tons of mushy photographs and public declarations of love. I was stuck at home, down with a really bad flu, feeling miserable.

I was out of office for 2 days. The medicine I took was extraordinary strong and it made me so drowsy that I slept through the day. Later then I realized I took a lot more dosages than required. It was supposed to be once a day for 3 days. I took 3 times a day! No wonder my head was spinning the entire whole day.

This morning, I greeted Felicia “Happy Valentine” but she didn’t reply “Happy Valentine”. Instead, she replied me with a pictorial message.



Those were the first 2 messages I received at 8:22am. Geee, that’s the first watch I bought for her back in 1993! My gosh, she kept it so well!

At 9:02, I received another message.



This was taken back in 2009! Our first Valentine DIY breakfast! So appetizing and yummy!

At 10:02am, Felicia sent another message. 

Hahah, it was an old photo of my mischievous boy! By now, I spotted a pattern in today’s messages. They were all old photos/items from the past. At 11:02am, she sent me another photo.


And another photo at 12:02pm.



“Wow, so many printed love today” I replied. “Yeah. You should create a blog full of his funny moments and your layout. Each a day.”

“Hope they keep u company since u r home alone :)” she said.

At 1:02pm, another pictorial message popped up on my screen. This time, it was a video link.



At 3:12pm…4:02pm and 5:02pm (when I was dozing on my bed), more pictorial messages popped up on my screen.



“Heheh. Nice. You can published a book on all our stuffs..” I wrote.

“That a full time job! Haha.., I can do that when I retire. Compile for our grand children. “ Felicia replied.

At 6:02pm, 7:02pm and 8:02pm, she sent me a photo every hour. Those were old gifts and photos of yesteryear.



By then, I realized her photographs were sorted and synced with the timing of the day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

At 9:02pm, 10:02pm and 10:22pm, Felicia finally wished me “Happy Valentine” with the last 4 images. It was at 22:22 when she revealed the most important detail that I missed. All her photos were sent on either the second / twelfth / twenty-second minute of every hour.



“Heheh… Happy Valentine’s Day!!😘” Felicia wrote. “I hope you enjoy a long day with me today :). From 08:22 to 22:22!”

My wife outsmarted me again with another surprise. It was another creative version of her very long Valentine Greeting (read Longest Valentine Card). Except this time, it wasn’t inscribed on paper, it started digitally this morning at 0822 and ended right on the dot of my favorite magical number 2222.

Thanks for brightening up my gloomy sick day with all these sweet surprises. Thank you my lovely, creative Valentine!

Falling in love with the new twin-lens camera. Nope, I am not talking about the new iPhone 7. (MiNT’s new Instantflex TL70 2.0)

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Exactly one year and 2 days ago, I blogged about the world’s first twin-lens instant camera, TL70 by MiNT. I had so much fun with the camera and wrote a couple of wishes on my blog. Guess what? One year has passed and the passionate team at MiNT (and FujiFilm) granted every wish I written that day!

While browsing on the web late last night, I found out that MiNT has launched a new Instantflex TL70 version 2.0 instant camera earlier this June. I couldn’t resist the temptation and visited the official product webpage. Impressively, MiNT has made a couple of big improvements in the new TL20 with an upgraded brand new magnifier and a 5x brighter viewfinder! Not just that, the new version 2.0 comes with new enhanced and improved internal mechanism. MiNT also introduced new accessories (leather strap & camera case) and lens set for the TL70 series!

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I was so excited about the new upgrade that I contacted MiNT on Facebook after midnight and the hardworking administrator replied! After making a few enquires, I decided to head down to MiNT this evening to check out the new camera.

The friendly staff, Jo at MiNT recognised me and gave me an excellent introduction about the new camera and its accessories. I managed to get a really good deal and without much hesitation, I came back with 2 brand new TL70 Version 2.0!

After snapping 2 cartridges of Instax, here are my first impressions: (Note: This is not a sponsored or paid blog by MiNT.)

In terms of design, the new camera looks identical to version 1.0 but the overall production quality and finishes of the new TL70 2.0 is much better than its predecessor. It could be due to the fact that I was one of the earliest users last year and I spotted some minor physical quality issues (misaligned leather, slight glue marks and fine light scratches). I remember the magnifying glass came off after just 1 day and MiNT exchanged a brand new one for me. But this time, everything is perfect.

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With the new enlarged magnifying and 5x brighter viewfinder, TL70 2.0 enhances user-experience by a big leap. Even under very dim lighting environment, I was able to focus, composed and snapped without any visual difficulty. Amazingly, my first indoor shot came out just perfect! I was pretty amazed by it! It is indeed a great improvement and it matters a lot!

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The new Lens-Kit comes with 3 ND filters, 1 close-up lens and a lens-hood. The lens are easy to attach and detach. At the store, I saw a couple of sample photos – the colours are so much richer and balanced. I personally like the “close-up” lens as it creates a shallower depth of field. However, user will find it a hassle to carry the lens in the original protection box when on the go.

I love the new TL70 EverReady Leather Case! Made from premium leather in Japan, the case comes in 2 colours – brown and black. I prefer brown but the current brown is a little too bright and light for me. In the end, I chose black. The leather case fits perfectly and the workmanship is excellent. I wish the case comes with lens pockets so I can easily slot in the lens-kit on the go.

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Overall, the TL70 2.o is a much reliable and better instant camera than its predecessor. It feels very good and it looks just as charming as before. With growing demand, I believe MiNT will continue to explore and enhance this series (with self-timer, +/- lights for over/under exposure including ND filter sensor, battery indicator, better glass optics and even adapters for 3rd party zoom lenses). With the newly launched Fujifilm Black-and-White Instax Mini Monochrome Film, MiNT sets itself in the right segment, empowering instant photographers with new endless instant inspirational creations.


Personally, I prefer this new twin-lens camera over the new iPhone 7. It is like falling in love again.


Super Fan Joe @ DJI Hong Kong Flagship Store

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It reminded me of my first trip to Toys”R”Us except this is a hi-tech toy shop for adults. It was difficult to describe the kind of fanatic-love I had for drones and gimbals. Yes, I am a Super Fan of DJI!

A week ago, a friend (knowing my passion for DJI) sent me a link to take part in DJI’s photo contest. Winners get to enjoy 30% discount and visit the new flagship store before the store’s official opening. When I received the congratulatory email from DJI 3 days ago, I was so thrilled and excited. After all, I was amongst the 20 lucky winners to visit DJI’s first flagship store in Hong Kong!  (Located 535, Jaffe Road – Beside World Trade Center, Causeway Bay)

I woke up super early this morning and headed out to the store. Carelessly, I got mixed up with the street number and ended up walking an extra mile to the venue. Luckily, I arrived just in time for the big welcome! The vibe and the energy at the store was unbelievable high! At the store I saw a long line of shoppers queuing outside the entrance.

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At 10am sharp, the door opened and I walked into the store with the other winners. The shop staffs welcomed and cheered with much fanfare! It was an amazing experience! Wow!

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We were escorted to level 3 where we attended a short (and very insightful) history about DJI’s founder and its company values. It was very interesting and impressive to know how a company of 20 grew to become the world’s number 1 drone company with 6,000 staffs in just 10 years.

I spent an hour walking around the 3-storey store. The shop staffs were extremely friendly and helpful. I didn’t exercise the 30% discount (which expire within 2 hours) offer as I had most of DJI’s products. At the end, I bought a photo book and some accessories for my drones. DJI gave out limited edition T-shirt for the first few shoppers.

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I wish DJI offers more exclusive offers to superfans like myself. For the least, they can let us try out some of their “upcoming new products” or present us with a longer-term discount offer.

Nevertheless, I am super grateful to be here this morning! Big thank you to Kevin On and crew for your great hospitality to show me around! I felt so privileged to be here, witnessing the opening DJI’s flagship store in Hong Kong! I love the culture and energy of the brand! Without the tools from DJI, my blog and vlog won’t be this colourful and dimensional.

Yes, finally, I do not need to travel to all the way to Shenzhen to replenish my stocks! My favourite toy shop is just a few stops away from my home.

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Coincidently, the timing couldn’t been more precise. Thanks to my friends Crystalbelle and Anthony who published a nice short piece of my drone story and photo on China Daily. (Read here: http://asiaweekly.com/leading-the-buzz/#scrollNav-3)

What an exciting drone week of Karma and DJI! The Game of Drones season is here! I look forward to DJI’s big announcement on 27th Sept! Can’t wait for Mavic to top Karma. 

Changing shifts – Mum’s gone and dad’s coming!

This is Mum’s longest stay with me since I left Singapore 10 years ago. Like my old daddy, mum wasn’t used to life here in Hong Kong. She missed her grandchildren and home in Singapore and has been pestering me to shorten her stay here. Thankfully, mum was easily distracted by shopping trips to Shenzhen where she spent long hours combing shops after shops with Tracy over the weekends.

After 30 days of non-stop nagging, traveling, Pokemon-hunting, tireless shopping and makaning finally comes to an end. Autumn arrived and Mum fell very ill after catching my flu bug. Her condition worsen even after medication, I guessed she will recover much faster back in Singapore. Very unwillingly, 5 days ago, I got Tracy to change her flight. This early morning at 6am, she joined Tracy (who was traveling to Singapore for work) flew back home.

30 days ago, I was feeling pretty nervous about her long stay. I work long hours and worried no one accompanies her during the day. She managed to settle down well. Due to our small apartment, I slept on the couch for a month. Her presence changed many things. I got much tidier and I slept earlier too!

My mother is a SuperMum, she cleaned up my entire apartment so well that I thought we had a new coat of paint! Working quietly over the past few weeks, she transformed the entire messy space into a real cozy home! Kitchen, shower room, living room, shelves, fridge, bedroom – they are sparkling clean and dust-free!

From concert to Batman 4D ride, mum tried many new things during her short 1-month stay. Unfortunately, weather hasn’t been kind to us. The heavy downpour nearly ruined our holidays in Macau and Shenzhen. She was nursing a really bad fever and slept though the long weekend. Nonetheless, I saw the spark in her eyes and she took her phone to record our vacation.

Not going to hide my feelings here. But I really miss you, mum. And you are welcome to come back in the next few months to tidy my apartment again. For now, I am going to entertain my old daddy and hopefully, he can match up to you!

Knowing you dislike all my photos of you (without the beauty of Meitu App) – I create a short comic for you while you were in the air this morning. Enjoy!

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Last post from the DownUnder – VI/VI (Perth)

I am supposed to complete this blog in Perth 2 days ago but I have decided to spend the rest of free time with them at night. It takes a lot of time and effort to vlog and blog. I only do that during the wee-hours of the night when the family is asleep. Reunion time is precious to us and I try to stay away from my computer as much as I can.

Day 8 – After a night at the creepy foggy town at Hyden, we embarked our longest drive back to Perth City. It was super foggy and visibility was at only 100m. Unfamiliar with such road condition, Felicia took the wheel and drove cautiously.

We made a 20km detour to visit the Mulka Cave (thanks to Floyd’s recommendation) where we explored a tiny cave with many cave paintings. Elkan led the exploration and guided me to the top of the cave where we saw an enchanted forested garden. It was like walking on the surface of the moon except it was textured with colourful emerald and amber moss and with numerous sparkling pot-holes. The cold air and foggy forest mist made this place so refreshing calm. If we weren’t rushing for time, I would sit here for hours.

The drive to Perth took us 5 hours. Just outside the town Corrigin, we stopped by another unusual attraction – a cemetery solely for men’s best friends, dogs! It all started back in 1975 when a man by the name Paddy Wright buried his dog here. Soon after, more dog lovers came here to bury their deceased dogs. A cemetery care-taker by the name of Alan Henderson erected tombstones and decorated the site for a fee. This dog cemetery has then became the town’s most unusual tourist attraction.

Our final pitstop was at Fremantle where we rested for 2 days. I booked a 3-storey terrace house right at the doorstep of Fremantle Marina. It was our best stay in Western Australia so far. We had 2 really big balcony overseeing the marina and a 2-bedder attic on the top floor! Elkan was at first thrilled with such a big house but he has developed this fear for attic after 5 days of horror-movie watching on the road trip. He refused to sleep in the attic no matter how we hard we tried.

We spent the last 2 days (Day 9 – Day 10) walking around Fremantle. At Fremantle Markets, Felicia even bumped into her old friend whom we last met 20 years ago! What a small world indeed!

The weather was fantastic and I flew my drone around Fremantle Railway Station, the Round House, Fremantle Prison and Cottesloe Beach.

Later in the night, we visited the Fremantle Prison. This was Elkan’s most favourite activity of the entire trip. Geared with only a small torchlight, we followed a small group of tourists and explored the 161-year-old prison. The night tour was filled with lots of suspense and haunted tales. During the tour, Elkan was selected by the tour guide to lead the group into a small dark cell. Thankfully, he was brave and he did not panic. If not, his cries and mental breakdown will be too much for the poor tour guide to handle.

Just before we headed to the airport hotel, we met up with another old friend, Lambert and family. We spend a short afternoon with this fabulous family at their newly-built bungalow (where I took an aerial shot of his home!). Tracy and I had an embarrassing moment when we convinced Lambert that we spotted penguins along Mill Point Road. Despite being doubtful, Lambert was kind to lead us to the area where we had our sighting. The two families drove to that specific spot and we walked for 15 minutes before we realised our mistake. From the highway, it sure looked like penguins. From my super-zoom camera, those were normal birds (the colours and postures resembled the penguins) resting on a rock. What a laugh!

11 days and 12 nights of adventure finally ended yesterday. Time to wrap up all these happy moments and head back to office tomorrow. It is a short June reunion but full and complete.

Perth is indeed a very special place for both Felicia and I. It was in my first trip in Perth when I decided that Felicia was the one I wanted to marry. Felicia and I came back to Perth the second time to have our honeymoon and now we brought our son along to trace back the same route we took before 14 years ago. Who knows what happen in our 4th trip back in Perth?

Early Sunday morning, we took 2 separate flights out and we planned the departure time close to one another. Their flight was 30 minutes before ours. It was difficult to say goodbye, especially after so many days of intense fun, noise, chaos and love. At the departure gate, Elkan held back his tears and waved us goodbye. It was dawn and the sky glowed beautiful.

Distance and separation do bring us closer as a family. We treasure every reunion time.
I hope my son remembers and cherish all these adventures. He is becoming a teenager soon and by then, he won’t enjoy going out with his old folks. For me, my memory is fading off slowly but I have a rich vault of blogs and vlogs for us to enjoy later.

Time to plan our next reunion. 

Creepy Birthday Motel Surprise – V/VI (Wave Rock)

On the 7th Day of our tour, I celebrated my birthday at one of Australian’s most iconic natural landmarks – the Wave Rock. We left Albany early this morning and drove over 350km to Hyden, a distance equivalent between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Thankfully, I was blessed with blue sky sunny day! Finally, I can fly my drone once more!

Wave Rock is situated at one of the most remote corners in Western Australia, in a small town call Hyden. It is pretty far from the nearest tourist-friendly town. Basically, Hyden is like a small ghost town. There isn’t much to explore or see here except the legendary Wave Rock. Since I have never been to the Wave Rock (and Felicia mentioned many times it doesn’t worth the effort to visit this over-publicized landmark), I decided to detour and cross this check box off my list of “must-visit” places.

Is it worth it? It is no doubt one unique and majestic odd-looking rock formation. Considering we spent only 1 hour at the Wave Rock and over 8 hours making the detour, the numbers may not make much sense to many. However, this is a new experience for us. Elkan and Tracy walked on top of the 14m-tall ancient rock while I flew my drone over it; I am certain it does worth every second of our time to be here.

The other highlight of the day was our accommodation at the local motel. It may be the low-peak travel season and we couldn’t find other traveler-occupants here. Thanks to the successful cult-horror-movie, Psycho, I have a phobia staying in a motel; especially one that is remote and quiet. For a good 15 minutes, we walked around the compound and couldn’t find anyone. The brick-walled hallway and muddy driveway looked old and creepy. After watching 3 nights of horror movies, we spooked ourselves unnecessarily.

Other than the old scary outlook, I must say the Wave Rock Motel was distinctively new, clean and very well furnished! It was very comfortable and warm. Once inside the room, we forgot about the fear. Still, we met less than 2 souls around the big empty compound.

Just when I was going to spend the last 2 hours of my birthday writing this vlog and blog, my 3 darlings gave me another surprise! They walked into the room with a bigger cake and real birthday candles! I was so surprised!

What moved me so deeply wasn’t the surprise cake, it was the song they sang and played. Knowing I like listening to live piano, Elkan spent 2 months taking piano lessons and he played one of my favourite scores “Over the Rainbow” on his iPad keyboards. Felicia composed a new lyric narrating our journey; and Tracy and her sang along. I stood there, moved deeply by their performance and love. Trying to conceal my emotion, I broke into laughter and gave all of them a big hug and kiss.

As always, their presence is my greatest birthday gift. And there is no gift greater than to see us smile together. Thank you for giving me another priceless “handmade” gift. I will remember this piece forever in my heart. Love you all.

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