Car Dash Cams – Some thoughts

I know a lot of people are considering dash cams now by the number of emails I receive asking about mine and where they can get one.

I did not research the one I got and it is not one I would recommend because of some reasons, I will describe.

I rarely buy anything without researching it, but I did in this case. The camera I bought was bought by a friend of mine for another gringo that changed his mind and never came to pick it up. I thought a dash cam was a good idea and said I would take it without doing my research.

Most of the dash cams are made by small companies in China. The instructions they come with are generally poor. Most will work with Windows based PCs. Some will not work with Apple PCs. I have yet to see one that specified what PCs they will and won’t work with.

Because of this, I recommend that people, with only Apple PCs, be sure before buying if they can transfer the files to their PC and use the video.

Some have proprietary recording software and may only be played back on the device. All that I have seen use a mini SD memory chip to record on.

The cam I bought was only able to have the date and time set by recording the current date and time on the SD memory chip and loading it into the camera. Horrible design! My video quality is fair, but certainly not great.

You can spend from $30 to hundreds of dollars on a cam. The differences may be worth the money to you and they may not. Most people are buying them for insurance purposes and if one is ever used, what ever you paid for it will be worth the money.

GPS is on the more expensive models. It will record your trip and it can be displayed on a Google map. Those with GPS will probably record the speed you were driving and G-force of an impact.

Some are now coming out with dual cameras. I am going to include a video review of one of these cameras. By watching this video, you will learn several things about cams in general and questions to ask.

Here is another Dash Cam review site. They rate the camera in the video as having poor night vision. I would still like to have one. I refuse to drive at night in Panama and it should not be a problem.

Choque filmed by Car Cam

As I mentioned in a previous post, I use a Car Cam when I am driving. The primary reason is that if I have an accident, I want proof as to who is responsible for the accident.

If a foreigner is involved in an accident in Panama, it is likely that he/she will be found to be the responsible party.

Yesterday as I was on my way to Chiriqui Hospital I caught the following accident on my car cam. If the car cam was in the silver Hyundai, then it would have shown that the Hyundai driver was responsible. Likewise, if it had been in the black car it would have shown that the silver Hyundai had hit it from the left side.

I am perfectly willing to accept responsibility for any accident I cause, but I don’t want to take responsibility for another person’s mistake. I carry my documentation with me.


I think they should require all Taxi drivers to have a car cam since most accidents have at least one Taxi in them.

Driving La Calle de la Muerta

In David, there is a single one-way street that runs north from Avenida 4 to the InterAmerican highway. It is known by several names. The official name is Calle C Sur. However it is better known by Chiricanos as La Calle de la Muerta or La Vía Rápida

The following video uses a starting point at the end of Calle Miguel Brenes, which is the road that runs in front of Super 99 and McDonald’s.

Some main points of interest on or near Calle C Sur are the Migracion office, where you have to go to for all Passport work, and the Municipal building where you will need to go for your car tags. That is assuming your car is registered in David.

Here is the video.

Nutre Hogar – Give Till It Feels Good

After talking to Bob Hatting and Chris Smoot yesterday, I decided that today would be a good day to make a video showing the location of Nutre Hogar in David. I thought if I drove without Bob, then I would make the same mistakes a person that did not the route well might make. I have been there several times, but it has been a while and the video will show that I made one mistake.

While I was there I went in and visited with Melitza whose photo is my original post for Nutre Hogar.

Today I got to meet Deysi (pronounced Daisy), who has not been there on my previous visits. She was gracious enough to allow me to take her photo. Continue reading

I Feel Like Meatloaf Today

Every week Chef Luis, of the Cuatro Restaurant, sends me his Executive menu for the week. Today, I am starting to get hungry and the thought of having some good meatloaf and mashed potatoes just sounds good to me.

If his weekly menu is posted on the Cuatro website, I can’t find it. If you ask Chef Luis., he might email you a weekly menu too. I think it should be a feature of his website and will ask him if my age is preventing me from finding it.

Here is the menu for this week.

Since I am going today, I will take a video of how to get there and publish it on my original post.

UPDATE:
I just got back. I ordered the onion soup, the meatloaf and ice tea. As always, everything was great. Continue reading

Driving to the Pedregal Marina

Following is another car cam video. This one takes you from the southernmost point on Calle Miguel Brenes at the traffic light and goes to the Pedregal Marina. The end of the video is at Stella’s Marina Restaurant, which is usually mo only reason to go to the Marina. It is closed this week for the owner’s vacation.

Points of interest in this video will be the David Jail (current home for “Wild Bill”), Coca Cola plant, the David Court house, The David Airport, and the Pedregal Marina.

Driving Eastbound Avenida 2 in David, Chiriquí

Following is a video driving the limits of Avenida 2 eastbound from Calle Miguel A Brenes to Calle Obaldia. Typically the Avenidas have the right of way and don’t have stop signs to honor. The exception is the One-way Calle that runs from Avenida 4 (Eastbound) to the InterAmerican Highway.

Typically the Calles have stop signs at every corner. Some exceptions are the One_way Calle mentioned above, Calle Miguel A Brenes, and Calle Obaldia.