Monthly Archives: February 2014

Message for U.S. Citizens: Newsletter Available

The March issue of the American Citizen Services Newsletter is now available online.  Inside you will find information on requirements to continue receiving federal benefits, voting from overseas, filing taxes while abroad, and much more.

The newsletter is available in the ACS webpage under Alerts & Messages.  It may also be accessed directly from this message.  See full URLs below.

Alerts & Messages page:

Newsletter: ACS Newsletter – March 14.pdf

Message for U.S. Citizens: Carnival in Panama

Following is the Embassy’s Carnival message.

Today starts the annual Carnival celebration in Panama.  This event is observed in Panama City and many towns throughout the country.  While it is a fun celebration, it also results in road closures and increased opportunity for crime.  The U.S. Embassy would like to draw your attention to the following information:

In Panama City, the Cinta Costera will be closed from 12:00 noon, February 28th until 12:00 noon Wednesday March 5th.  There is a map below that shows information about access and the flow of the event.  More information is available from or local media outlets.

Remember as you travel to and from the event, traffic is likely to be heavy and rerouted.   Be cognizant of the high-crime areas of:

Plaza 5 de Mayo, Avenida B, Avenida Cuba, Avenida Peru, and Avenida Central.

AVOID DRAWING ATTENTION to yourself and making yourself a target for criminals:

*Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry cameras.

*Avoid accumulating cash all in one place. Keep cash separately on your person.

*We recommend NOT carrying large bags, purses, etc.

*Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.

*Use sunscreen lotion.

Use the same security measures when traveling to the Interior. Also keep in mind:

*Make sure you get enough sleep before driving long hours.

*Hantavirus and Dengue have been confirmed in these areas.

*Remember to bring mosquito repellent.

If you are the victim of the crime, please be sure to report it to local police.  Attached is a victims of crime information sheet should a need arise to use it. Click Consular Crime reporting – Final Draft for the crime information Sheet.

Panama Vs Costa Rica

Many new comers to Panama come from Costa Rica. I sometimes wonder how people afford to live there. It is so much more expensive than Panama.

Lilliam always is up to date on the conversion rate between the US dollar and the Costa Rican Colon because her retirement comes from Costa Rica and she is paid in Colons. Today’s rate and the rates for the past few weeks have been changing almost on a daily basis.

The exchange rate is currently 550.0 colons for one US$. I think it was 538 colons on Monday.

Now you might think that is good because one US dollar is giving you more colons than before. You might think your buying power is greater in Costa Rica is better than in Panama. However, many purchases in Costa Rica are done in US dollars and your purchasing power has gone down.

When you compare items in Panama vs the same item in Costa Rica the cost of living in Costa Rica is extremely high. If you were considering Costa Rica and have decided on Panama, thank your lucky stars. You made the right decision.

Tuesday Boquete Meeting February 11

On the eleventh, I made it to the first Tuesday Morning BCP outing in 10 years in Chiriqui. I am good now for another 10 years. I missed the meeting getting to Boquete around 10 AM.

There were plenty of items being offered from paperback books, organic vegetables, chiropractic adjustments and massages, coffee and other things. A photo album is at the end if the post.

Lilliam bought a couple neat items from a Philippina friend she had met in the previous week. I looked at many things but managed to avoid all temptations.

The main temptation I am surprised I kept in check was this specialty chocolate being sold. I may have to make another trip to see if it is as good as it is attractive.

Video Surveillance Software For Mac

Seems like I haven’t made many posts lately. Lilliam and I have several projects going that have been consuming much of my time. Lilliam has a fairly significant remodeling project and I have been tired just watching it.

I have mentioned some of my security projects in past post. One of those security projects, is my video surveillance camera project. I had it completed and all working, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. I decided to design a different system using a MacMini. That is what I am going to discuss today.

When I built my previous system, I started off with a Dahua standalone NVR (network video recorder) and four Dahua 2100 ip cameras. I ordered all of the system components directly from the China distributor and had them delivered direct to David at a savings over buying the components in the US and shipping here. I could not find what I wanted in David. Continue reading Video Surveillance Software For Mac