Sex and the City (of bikes, cheeses, weeds and clogs)

Amsterdam (19-24 Sept)

My new start-up life is hectic, no doubt, but I am enjoying the freedom and satisfaction in the remarkable pursuit of creating tomorrow’s innovation. My team and I were indeed very lucky that our product generated so much interests and demands. Since July, I was on the road to numerous cities, meeting new people and making countless presentations.  It was indeed time-consuming and I didn’t even have a decent break when my dad, mum and family were here.

A few months ago, I had a few business invitations to demo our new innovation to a couple of potential partners and clients in London. Suffering from aero-phobia, I never look forward to any long-haul flight. I was hesitant to go. Knowing a couple of close business friends will also be there in London during this “post-summer-holiday” seasons, I dragged myself on board a very bumpy 12-hour long flight.

Escaped from the endless violent typhoons and heat waves in Hong Kong, I had a marvellous and rewarding time in London. It was unreal to dine with my old friends  (Ricky, Olivia, Vicky & Cynthia) from Hong Kong (who have now moved to reside in London) in the unusual cold weather of London. Christy, Chowpo and Bianca also joined us for some light city-touring and dining. This was Chowpo’s first taste of Europe and I extended 4 more days to show her around.

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While in London, I was contemplating a short 3-day trip to Iceland to fly my drone. After checking with Olivia, a 3-day trip was a little too short. Also, there wasn’t any return air-ticket. Just when I was about to book a train ride up north to visit the distilleries at the Highlands, there was a failed bombing incident in London subway and another fire incident that disrupted the key railroad to Scotland.

In the end, I decided to take a train to Amsterdam (a city I intended to visit during our last family trip to the Artic Circle).

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Amsterdam is an unique and intriguing city. At the first glance, it was like a giant Venice with bigger canals, wider alleys and killer bikes. However, Amsterdam is more than just the “Venice of the North”, in my opinion, it is the unofficial “Sex and the City” or the “City of Weeds, Cheese & Bikes”!  Frankly, it was the infamous Red Lights Districts that enticed me to this city. Certainly not the power of Van Gogh or Anne Frank. And 100% not the windmills and Dutch Lady in heavy wooden clogs..

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For 4 days, Chowpo and I explored Amsterdam on foot. We walked nearly 100,000 steps (average 25K steps a day) – an incredible personal record and feat for both of us. We experienced all kind of weathers throughout our short stay – sunny blue sky, grey raining cloudy and even white foggy mist!

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First stop, we went window-shopping along the infamous Red Light Districts and visited its sex-themed museums. Wow! Big eye openers indeed! Many of these brothels are just located right beside a holy church! No wonder there are so many confession rooms in the church. On a serious note, the Dutch society is very liberal, after all, they are the first nation that legalised gay-marriage. There is nothing shameful or taboo about sex. It may be such openness that most Dutch households don’t close their curtains even when there is no one at home. It was quite an unique experience walking by and peeping into their beautiful homes.

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This is definitely a big Disneyland for the adults. There are so many sex-themed shops and coffee joints (selling weeds, space cakes and magic mushrooms)! Unfortunately, to the disappointment of many, we didn’t try the dope at all. Not even a puff. Why? At first I was tempted but after I listened to the horrific tale of Christy and Jeff that I lost all interests in those “magic tonics”. Maybe next time with my brothers-in-crime, I might.

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With only 800K residents, Amsterdam is certainly a big tourists magnet. Despite its kinky and naughty reputation, this city of slanting and crooked buildings charmed me deeply. We saw people chilling out by the edge of the canals and sun-tanning on the decks of their boat houses. What a pleasant and relaxing lifestyle! Unlike the stereotypes I heard about Dutch people, the people we encountered were generally warm, chatty and very humorous!

Here are some of the attractions we visited during our short stay. 

1) The Heineken Experience Tour

Like most Amsterdam’s tourist attractions, this place was overwhelmed with crowd. Beware of the crazy long queue and it is important to get a “quick-pass” to enter. For Heineken fans, this will be a great place to discover the heritage and brewing process of the world’s most favourite beer. There were so many interesting digital engagements and not forgetting 2 big bars for you to enjoy the beers! Remember to create your own “Personalised Beer Bottle” on the way out.

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2) WindMill, Cheese & Clog Factories (Zannse Shans, Volendam & Marken)

We joined a big group of tourists (50 of us) and explored the country-side of Amsterdam. Just a short 1-hour bus-ride away lies the famous Zaanse Shans windmills, the quaint fishing villages of Volendam and Marken’s Dutch cheese farm. Despite the big travel group, it was actually very enjoyable and relaxing. The tour guide was so chatty and fun to hang out with. The entire tour took about 4.5 hours. It was basically a touch-&-go tour, with little time to explore more at every stop.

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3) Canal Cruise (60-min Relaxing Ride)

There were many canal cruise operators. We got ours free when we signed up for the Windmill Tour at “Grab-You-Guide.Com”. The cruise comes with an open glass top ceiling. One important tip for the shutter-bugs – DO NOT BOARD THE CRUISE WHEN IT IS 80% PACKED. The next cruise is just 15 minutes away, board the next cruise so that you get a good window seat to snap the photographs.

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4) Sex Museum 

Located near Central Station, the Sex Museum is worth a visit. In my opinion, there are so much more to see here than the Museum of Prostitution. For a low price of Euros 5 bucks, it is worth every sense.

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5) Van Gogh Museum 

Having seen one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London, I wanted to see the other version here at Amsterdam. In the end, I was so drawn into the sad tales of this extraordinary artist. This is another star attraction with a long queue. The Van Gogh Museum is worth a visit. With over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters to discover, the museum reveals the colourful life of one of the world’s most iconic and misunderstood artists of our time. (No photography and bags allowed in this museum).

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6) Amsterdam Duck Store 

If you like the giant floating Rubber Duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, you will like the rubber collections at Amsterdam Duck Store. With so many duck characters to choose from, I couldn’t resist my shopping addiction. In the end, I walked away with 2 DuckVaders and I am now thinking if I should get a “Donald Duck Trump” to expand this rubbery dust-collection hobby.

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So, this is it! A short European “Eat, Play, Work” trip. Back to work and presenting more demos. Haven’t blogged for almost 5 months, I am getting rusty with my vlog and blog. This time, it took me more a week to put all the photos, videos and stories together.
This was more than just a business-vacation. This trip brought out the happy vlogger and excitement in me. Finally, I am back on the road once more, with my Osmo and Mavic Pro.  More happy trips ahead!

Never too late to say “Thank You”

Note: Wanted to write this “Thank You” note on the last day of my job (30th June) but I was moving house and all my gears weren’t intact then. And by the time I settled down my new apartment, I had to start rushing for deadlines and multiple business trips. Never had time until now to start gathering the photos and thoughts to pen this. Well, this was never meant to be a “Goodbye” blog… All I want to say is simply ~ “Thank You”. 

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2017 is an amazing year of changes.

First, I surprised many (including my old folks) when I made an announcement to leave my decade-long cushy agency job to co-found a new tech start up with a few partners. It was indeed a big decision but the feeling felt so right. With the departure of 2 of my beloved co-founding partners of the agency, it didn’t take me very long to make up my mind to leave too. After all, it’s time to chase my own dream.

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I wasn’t alone and I had many great help along the way.
I was very lucky and blessed to have many great partners and friends supporting my new venture. Saying goodbye to a “family” that I have seeded, shaped, nurtured and grew for over 10 years wasn’t easy. On the last day of my 11-year job, I received a touching token (a miniature gondola of all my favourite friends+wishes)  from these great friends who have been laying every brick of success in this agency with me throughout the years. Indeed, it was a very meaningful and lovely farewell gift. (Thank you Celia, Bianca, Wing, Chowpo, Aaron and Tracy for organising the farewell gift!)

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I originally planned to take a 3-month break touring outside Hong Kong. As things with the new start-up were progressing so fast, I had no choice but to postpone my holidays until mid September. There were a few weeks when I was working round the clock that I lost sense of time. It also coincided with the moving of my new apartment. With the slow unpacking, I simply had no gears, space and time to blog.

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Thankfully, things are getting back on track this month and it is time for me to post what I should have done 3 months agoA long overdue “Thank You Note” to my wonderful company of friends, families and soulmates who have been there with me every day for the past 11 years of my life at the agency. Especially to my lovely wife, son, mother, dad-&-friends, Chups and Auntie Amy (and not forgetting my brothers from Chicago, Taipei, Tokyo & Singapore) who were here with me throughout the past 3 hectic months. I love you all! Thanks for everything!

And yes, the blog is back! Time to travel, blog and fly my drone! On the road again!

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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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