Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's just after midnight here in Thailand, so all the very best for 2010 (or 2553 as it is in the Thai Buddhist calendar)!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My other personal blog

I have another blog over on WordPress that I use occasionally, and I have now decided that in the New Year I am going to start using it to write about things that I dare not write about in this here nice "family friendly" and "child safe" blog, if you know what I mean! ;-)

So perhaps you might want to check it out during the course of 2010. But please be warned in advance that it might not be suitable for persons under 18 years of age!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 Online Games of 2009 - Movie Games

Continuing the Top 10's of 2009 theme from my previous post, here is my own personal list of the Top 10 Flash online games that tie-in with movies released during 2009:

1.     UP: Kevin's Chocogobble

2.     Monsters vs. Aliens: Panic in the Streets

3.     A Christmas Carol: Ghostly Adventure

4.     Transformers: Roll Out

5.     Ice Age 3: Bubble Trouble

6.     Astro Boy: Blast-A-Bot

7.     Star Trek: Flash Trek V2.0

8.     UP: Merit Badge Mayhem

9.     Transformers 2: Starscream Showdown

10.    Monsters vs. Aliens: Video Game Demo

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Top 10 Celebrity Searches of 2009

Following on from my recent post about Top 10's of 2009, for all you celebrity followers out there Yahoo UK have very thoughtfully provided a list of the Top 10 celebrity searches for this year, which is as follows:

1. Michael Jackson

2. Jade Goody

3. Katie Price

4. Cheryl Cole

5. Patrick Swayze

6. Lady Gaga

7. Susan Boyle

8. Lily Allen

9. Oasis

10. Megan Fox

My wife has a proper web presence now

Further to my post earlier this year listing all my different places on the web, I am pleased to say that my wife Su is now on Facebook, plus she has a Blog and a YouTube channel of her own too. Top girl!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Really useful Pattaya, Thailand tourist information.....

.....can be found here:

Primarily it's a free-to-join discussion forum site with more information about Pattaya than you can shake a stick at. Everything you will ever want, or need, to know about Thailand's most famous tourist city will be in there. And of course, once you join you can post your own questions to the more than 16,000 other members.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Larry Niven's Known Space book series

Way, way back in 2006 I wrote in this blog about some sci-fi books I had just read, one of which was "Ringworld's Children" by Larry Niven. Well, since it's Christmas today I'm taking a break from my website work and am reading Larry Niven's latest book, "Destroyer of Worlds". It's a great read.

Both of these books are part of Larry Niven's famous "Known Space" future history series, which is my all-time favourite book series - I like it more than the Star Wars Expanded Universe series, more than the Star Trek Expanded Universe series, and even (shock, horror!) more than the Harry Potter series!

If, like me, you're a sci-fi/fantasy book lover, I highly recommend you to get hold of as many books in the series as you can - I'm sure you'll enjoy each and every one of them!

Here is a list of all current books in the series in recommended reading order, including links to pages for those that are still in print in case you wish to order them. There is also a free online short story which is highlighted in italicised text:

Three Books of Known Space (3 books in 1 volume: 2 novels - World of Ptaavs and A Gift From Earth, plus 1 short story collection - Tales of Known Space)

Flatlander (Short story collection)

Protector (Novel)

The Man-Kzin Wars (Shared Universe short story collection series, various authors, currently 11 books including Man-Kzin Wars IX, Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War and Man-Kzin Wars XI)

Neutron Star (Short story collection, currently out-of-print)

Crashlander (Short story collection, includes 4 stories duplicated from the out-of-print Neutron Star)

Fleet of Worlds (Novel)

Juggler of Worlds (Novel)

Destroyer of Worlds (Novel)

The Color of Sunfire (Online short story)

Ringworld (Novel)

The Ringworld Engineers (Novel)

The Ringworld Throne (Novel)

Ringworld's Children (Novel)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's one minute past midnight here in Thailand, so it's officially Christmas Day here now! On that basis, even though it's probably not quite actually Christmas Day yet wherever you are reading this, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!!

I hope you've enjoyed my blogging this year - check out the rest of this blog here and my other blog here to make sure you haven't missed anything, because there are loads and loads of lovely free online games and wallpaper backgrounds listed throughout both blogs.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Online Games

I love Christmas, and even though over here in Thailand where I currently live it isn't celebrated very much, I am trying to get into the festive spirit by playing lots of Christmas music on my hi-fi, and by enjoying these great Flash online Christmas games that you can find in my site:

  Jingle Ballistics

  Snow Throw


  The Nightmare Before Christmas

(This game also includes a Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" wallpaper background picture)

  Casper's Haunted Christmas

(This game also includes a "Casper the Friendly Ghost" wallpaper background picture)

  A Christmas Carol: Scrooge's Star Ride

  A Christmas Carol: Ghostly Adventure

  A Christmas Carol: Rooftop Surfer

  A Christmas Carol: Penny Pincher

(These games also include a Disney's "A Christmas Carol" wallpaper background picture)

  The Polar Express Ticket Chase

(This game also includes a "Polar Express" wallpaper background picture)

I hope you enjoy playing them! :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Earth-like world discovered only 40 light-years away!

This interesting little news item in caught my attention this morning, being the space-buff that I am.....

Nearby Super-Earth May Be A Waterworld

A rocky and water-rich planet, not much heftier than our own, has been discovered so close to our solar system that astronomers one day may be able to study its atmosphere.

And though astronomers are pretty certain the water exists, they don't know its state, with speculations ranging from liquid water to water ice and an exotic state called a superfluid.

The extrasolar planet, now named GJ 1214b, is about 40 light-years away. It orbits a red dwarf star. It is the only known "Super-Earth" exoplanet — worlds that have masses between Earth and Neptune — with a confirmed atmosphere.

"Astronomically speaking, this [planet] is on our block," meaning it's in our cosmic neighborhood, said study leader David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Mass. "For perspective, our own TV signals have already passed beyond the distance of this star."

The planet is about three times the size of Earth and about 6.5 times as massive. It is the second smallest planet discovered outside of our solar system to date, trailing behind only CoRoT-7b, which is 1.7 times Earth's size and about five times as massive.

GJ 1214b is rare among known rocky exoplanets because it partially eclipses, or transits, its star as seen from Earth.

This fortunate alignment allows astronomers to calculate the size and density of the planet, and Charbonneau's team thinks GJ 1214b is likely a water world with a solid center. Moreover, the planet has a thick surrounding atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

Normally, a planet located at that distance from this particular type of star would be so hot that any water on its surface would be in a vapor form.

But scientists think the thick atmosphere of GJ 1214b creates a high pressure environment that keeps water on the surface in a liquid state.

That's just speculation, however.

"It really depends on how hot the planet is on the inside, and we don't know that," Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT, told "I think this planet doesn't have liquid water because it is too hot on the inside. I think it goes from water ice, to a very exotic kind of water — a superfluid — and then it goes to vapor," added Seager, who just published a new eBook on exoplanets called "Is there Life Out There? The Search for Habitable Exoplanets."

(Seager was not involved in the new planet discovery.)

There are downsides to having such a thick atmosphere: First, the pressure is crushing, making life as we know it difficult. And secondly, the thick atmosphere blocks light from the feeble star from reaching the planet's surface.

"If you picture the sun as a 1,000-watt light bulb, this star is a 3-watt light bulb," Charbonneau said.

Whatever its exact composition, astronomers are excited about the finding. "We're really looking for a planet that's a big Earth orbiting in the Goldilocks zone of a small star, transiting," Seager said. "This one scores three out of four. We're excited because we're getting closer and closer to the thing we want to find." The missing piece: GJ 1214b doesn't orbit within the star's habitable, or Goldilocks, zone.

The planet was discovered using a suite of small, ground-based telescopes and is detailed in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
(End quote)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cheap but good hotels in Bangkok, Thailand - Part 3

Also: My favourite relaxing bars in Bangkok - Part 2

Amongst my favourite relaxing bars in Bangkok (see here for another one) is the Tequila Bar, which is in Soi 4 of the Nana area of Sukhumvit Road. It's just around the corner from the 7-Eleven minimart that is on the right-hand side of Soi 4, about 250m down from Sukhumvit Road and about 175m down from Nana Plaza.

It's a very relaxing, friendly, inexpensive and honest ex-pat style bar, but what I like most about it is that the amiable owner, Eddie, has over the years put together an absolutely incredible collection of over 130,000 MP3 music tracks in iTunes for customers to use as a super jukebox. It's well worth a visit for the amazing choice of music alone! Eddie runs a fun Music Challenge where if he doesn't have a song you request, no matter how obscure, if he can't get it on his computer system for you to listen to the next day, you get a free beer upon your return.

The bar also has air-con, 4 satellite TVs with full sports coverage, a pool table, some lovely relaxing sofas to lounge around on inside, and outside seating should you want it. I love going there and I visit every time I'm in Bangkok, usually with my wife who is also a big fan of the fact that it's a totally hassle-free place. It's great for chilling out, like an oasis in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the rest of Nana.

As well as being a friendly and chatty host, Eddie is also a fountain of useful Bangkok knowledge. For example recently, when I was looking for a nice but cheap hotel to stay in because all the hotels I usually use were full at the time, he recommended me to stay at the Nana City Inn hotel, which I'd never used before.

Normally I'm a bit wary of other people's recommendations because I have found over the years that what someone else thinks is good isn't always good for me. But in Eddie's case it was an excellent recommendation because the hotel has lovely double-bed rooms for only around 1000 Baht per room per night, with air-con, hot water shower, cable TV, safe and mini-bar fridge, plus free Wi-Fi on the ground floor. It's just over the road and slightly to the right from the Tequila Bar, so it's really handily placed in Nana too! The Nana City Inn's phone number is +66 (0)2 253 4468.

(See here and here for some more Bangkok hotel recommendations.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

How to sync iTunes with a Nokia N97 in Windows, perfectly

Following on from my previous post about how to make decent quality MP4 video files for the Nokia N97, Apple iPhone, iPod and so on, here now is my recommendation for the best and most reliable way to get your Windows-based iTunes music library to sync with a Nokia N97 (or any other Nokia S60 phone for that matter):

Use MediaSync for Windows, from Salling Software, which is free to try (and works fine in trial mode), and which only costs US$22 for the full version.

It is truly excellent. After running it with my N97 plugged into my Windows XP PC, I ended up with an exact clone of my iTunes music library on the N97. This includes all 3192 of my music collection's MP3 files having been automatically copied to my N97, using 16.4 GB total of the phone's internal mass storage.

Wonderfully, this also includes around 99% of the MP3 files' album artwork having been automatically converted to display correctly on the N97, which is a seriously tough thing to get to work right using any other sync method - including directly copying your MP3 files to the N97 yourself - just in case you weren't aware.

Additionally, all 104 of my iTunes playlists were automatically converted into .M3U format and copied onto the N97. The volume of each MP3 track appears to have been set to the optimum level for the N97 too, and certainly all the volume levels have been more-or-less equalised. Utterly, utterly brilliant!!

I hope that helps you as much as it helped me! :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to make decent quality portable MP4 video files

I wanted to convert my DVD collection into MP4 video files on my Windows XP PC, for use on my Nokia N97 phone and my Apple iPod. It turned out to be quite a tricky job, because finding the right software tool to do the conversion work was not easy - there are so many different conversion products to choose from, and there is only so much time available to do this sort of thing. However, doing it right is, of course, of the utmost importance.

So, to save any of you out there having to go through the same trials and tribulations and time-consuming effort as I went through..... if you want to convert your DVDs into decent quality and decent sized portable files, here's what I found out:

After a great many false starts, I finally settled on Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum, because out of the seemingly hundreds of different DVD ripping products that are available, Xilisoft turned out to be the best for me. It is extremely good at what it does, and it is easy to use, reliable and reasonably priced.

It can convert any part of a DVD (the main feature, the special features, etc.) into any kind of video and/or audio format you like, such as MP4, MPEG, AVI, 3GP, 3G2 and so on. And it will convert and optimize for almost every type of portable video viewing device, such as the N97, iPod, iPhone, Sony PSP, HP iPAQ, Pocket PC, iRiver, Creative ZEN and most others. Genius!

So far I have converted 10 of my favourite DVDs into standard MP4 format, and it really is a great set of results - around 1 GB per full movie, with decent video and sound quality. In fact, it is a very good all-round balance of file size vs. quality, which is the eternal BIG issue for all of us digital media nuts, LOL! Job done!! :-)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Problems with

My sincere apologies to everyone who likes to visit my site for the fact that it has been rather unreliable over the past 3 days or so.

The outages were a result of my hosting company ( suffering a major server failure in the second half of last week, which has only just now been fully resolved. Not good! Sorry.

Everything should be fine now, at last - hoorah! Thanks for your patience, you can fully enjoy the site once more.....

Friday, November 06, 2009

Disney's A Christmas Carol movie is released today

One of the posters for the 2009 movie "Disney's A Christmas Carol"

A new Disney movie version of Charles Dickens's classic 1843 story, "A Christmas Carol", is released worldwide today, following its premier in London three days ago.

The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Jim Carrey in a multitude of roles, including Ebenezer Scrooge as a young, middle-aged and old man, and the three Christmas Ghosts who haunt Scrooge. It is a 3D computer-animated movie produced using the process of "performance capture" (digitally recording the actions of human actors, and using that information to animate 3D character models), similar in style to two of Zemeckis's previous films, "The Polar Express" (2004) and "Beowulf" (2007).

Having watched a few of the trailers for it, I have to say it looks marvellous - a very different style of computer-animated movie compared to the others released this year.

Here are some great free Disney's "A Christmas Carol" online games for you to play (which also include some Disney's "A Christmas Carol" wallpaper backgrounds too):

  A Christmas Carol: Scrooge's Star Ride

  A Christmas Carol: Ghostly Adventure

  A Christmas Carol: Rooftop Surfer

  A Christmas Carol: Penny Pincher

As a bonus, here is a game based on Robert Zemeckis's 2004 3D computer-animated Christmas movie, "The Polar Express":

  The Polar Express Ticket Chase

And just in case you want to play even more movie-related online games, here are links to some collections of games based on other top family movies of the past 12 months:

Astro Boy online games

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online games

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs online games

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen online games

Disney/Pixar's UP online games

Star Trek online games

Monsters vs. Aliens online games

Disney's Bolt online games

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa online games

You can find all these games, plus hundreds more, in the
Free Movie, Cartoon and TV Online Games Website. Enjoy! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm back in Thailand now

After one month away from home staying in England and Portugal with my parents, and after a total of 6 different flights to and from the three countries, I am now back in beautiful Thailand where it is still raining during parts of every day even though the rainy season ought to have been long finished by now.

It's been a bad year for our rice farming here, with not enough rain earlier in the year, then far too much recently, and now there are too many pests presumably due to the crazy weather. Oh dear. Climate change is all too real it seems.

All these problems have caused us to have very much lower rice crop yields than usual this year, and that has now also been compounded by a very low cash price for rice (currently 6,000 Thai Baht per tonne), which makes it almost a loss-making enterprise to grow the rice when taking into account the costs and effort invloved (such as ploughing, fertilising, sowing, irrigating, pest control, harvesting, etc). Not good. We're going to review our farming policy to see if it might be better for us to switch to growing a different crop in future. Many farmers here in Thailand are switching from rice to other crops for the same reasons.....

Consequently, I predict a world shortage of rice next year, which ironically will probably make it worthwhile us growing the crop again at that point given that the price should then rise. I can see a rather large flaw in the world's rice production system on this basis - Asian farmers won't grow rice unless they can make a profit from it, and they can only (it seems to me) make a profit from it when there isn't enough rice available to eat. Oops.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going back to England tomorrow, again

This time I'm going back there from Portugal where I've been enjoying a lovely holiday in the Algarve for the past two weeks (see my previous post about that here). Once back in England I'm only there for three and a half days and then I'm going home to Thailand. That will have been one month that I've been away from home by then, and I can't believe how incredibly quickly the time seems to have passed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Astro Boy goes 3D after more than 50 years in 2D

One of the posters for the 2009 movie "Astro Boy"

The classic Japanese manga and anime character Astro Boy gets a 21st century 3D makeover in an eagerly awaited new CGI cartoon movie due to be released worldwide later this month.

Given the long history and popularity of the character - he first appeared in manga form in 1951 and then, in 1963, in what is considered to be the first ever Japanese anime series - it will be very interesting to see how this new version turns out. It certainly has a lot to live up to.

Judging by the trailers for it I think it will be a great film, and I'm looking forward to watching it and then being able to make a proper comparison with the original version. You can watch all the movie trailers for it here in YouTube, in full HD, if you're interested: Astro Boy HD trailer 1, trailer 2, trailer 3

To tie-in with this historic movie event, here are some great free Astro Boy online games for you to play (which also include some Astro Boy background wallpaper pictures too):

  Astro Boy: Blast-A-Bot

  Astro Boy: Rescue

  Astro Boy vs. One Bad Storm

And if that isn't enough movie fun for you, you can play lots more fun free online games based on the best family movies from the past 12 months by clicking on these links:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online games

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs online games

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen online games

Disney/Pixar's UP online games

Star Trek online games

Monsters vs. Aliens online games

Disney's Bolt online games

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa online games

You can find all these games, plus hundreds more, in the
Free Movie, Cartoon and TV Online Games Website. I hope you enjoy them all! :-)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Disney/Pixar's UP is finally being released in England on the 9th!

So once again England (and the rest of the UK) has been made to wait longer than anywhere else in the world to see the newest Pixar movie!

"UP" is being released across the UK in two days time, but it was released everywhere else in May, apart from Australia where it was released last month. See this post about the same thing happening with "Ratatouille" two years ago. I cannot understand Disney's reasoning behind this, it is very strange.

Still, "better late than never" is certainly very true in this case! I was lucky enough to see UP in Thailand back in early June, and please believe me when I say (or shout in this case, sorry) that YOU MUST GO AND SEE IT - it's utterly brilliant!! It is Pixar's best movie yet in my opinion!

To celebrate this happy (but belated) occasion, here are some superb free UP online games and other goodies for you to enjoy:

Pixar's UP online games, trailers, film clips and wallpapers

Monday, October 05, 2009

Updated list of wallpaper backgrounds in my websites

It's time for my more-or-less annual update of the list of wallpaper backgrounds that are available for free download from my group of entertainment websites. There are lots of new high quality, non-watermarked Sci-Fi Wallpapers, Movie Wallpapers, Cartoon Wallpapers and Video Game Wallpapers for you to choose from, available in all sorts of different screen sizes.

Links to pages with 1024 x 768 sized wallpapers are listed below, and within those pages you will find links to lots of other sizes for each of the wallpapers. All the wallpapers also have at least one related Flash online game for you to play too:

Star Wars
Star Wars - R2-D2
Star Wars - The Clone Wars
Harry Potter
Sonic the Hedgehog (x 5 alternate versions)
Sonic Heroes
Shadow the Hedgehog
Super Mario Bros. (x 5)
Mario Memories
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
PoKeMoN (x 4)
Puyo Pop Fever
Super Monkey Ball
Crash Bandicoot
Donkey Kong
The Legend of Zelda
Mega Man
Street Fighter
Prince of Persia (x 3)
The Banana Splits
The Flintstones
Scooby-Doo Movie
Scooby-Doo 2 - Monsters Unleashed
Wacky Races
Hong Kong Phooey
Tom and Jerry
Looney Tunes (x 2)
The Simpsons (x 3)
More Simpsons
The Simpsons Movie (x 2)
Red Dwarf
Thunderbirds Movie
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
TMNT Movie
Power Rangers Dino Thunder (x 2)
Power Rangers S.P.D.
Power Rangers Mystic Force
Power Rangers Jungle Fury (x 2)
Power Rangers Super Legends
Transformers Movie
Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen (x 4)
The Matrix (x 2)
Hellboy II - The Golden Army (x 2)
Batman Begins
Batman - The Dark Knight (x 2)
Superman Returns
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 3
The Incredible Hulk
James Cameron's Avatar (x 4)
Star Trek (x 3)
Star Trek Ships of the Line
Star Trek USS Enterprise Collection (x 5)
Star Trek Movie
The Fast and the Furious
2 Fast 2 Furious
The Fast and the Furious - Tokyo Drift
Fast and Furious
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
National Treasure - Book of Secrets
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End
The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
High School Musical 3
Toy Story 2 (x 2)
Toy Story 2 Little Green Men
A Bug's Life
For the Birds
Monsters, Inc. (x 2)
Finding Nemo (x 2)
The Incredibles (x 2)
Cars and Cars 2
"Real" Cars
Ratatouille (x 3)
WALL-E (x 3)
UP (x 2)
Walt Disney / Mickey Mouse (x 2)
Winnie the Pooh (x 2)
The Lion King
Lilo & Stitch (x 2)
Chicken Little
Meet the Robinsons
Bolt (x 2)
The Princess and the Frog (x 2)
Disney Princess
Ice Age 2
Ice Age 3
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who
Shrek the Third
Shark Tale
Madagascar (x 2)
Flushed Away
Bee Movie
Kung Fu Panda
Monsters vs. Aliens
Open Season
Happy Feet
The Ant Bully
SpongeBob SquarePants (x 2)
More SpongeBob SquarePants
Danny Phantom
Avatar: The Last Airbender (x 2)
Ben 10 (x 3)
Ben 10: Alien Force
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
American Dragon (x 2)
Camp Lazlo
Dexter's Laboratory
Astro Boy
Astro Boy Movie
The Smurfs
Mr. Men and Little Miss
Garfield Movie
The Muppet Show
The Muppets
A Christmas Carol
The Polar Express
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Felix the Cat
Betty Boop (x 2)
Dan Dare (x 4)
South Park
Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas
GTA IV (x 2)

(See this wallpaper site for visual links to some of the above.)

I hope you find something you like amongst them all! :-)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

European Commission list of "Unsafe Airlines"

Well this is very, very, very interesting indeed, especially to me given that I have recently flown from Thailand to Bahrain, Bahrain to England, England to Portugal and am (during the course of the next 3 weeks) due to return to each of those destinations in reverse sequence! Today the European Commission published a "blacklist" of what it considers to be "unsafe airlines", each and every one of which it has consequently barred from flying through the majority of European airspace!

See this article in Yahoo! for full details: Which airlines can you trust?

And here is the regularly updated list of "blacklisted" airlines: European Commission Airlines Blacklist

(Disclaimer: I am not personally stating that any of the airlines listed in the links above are actually "unsafe", and I have no opinion myself concerning which airlines are, or are not, deemed to be "safe" by anyone anywhere. I am simply quoting and linking to the freely available public information provided by the European Commission as of today. If you have any issue with anything I have quoted or linked to above, please pursue the matter with the European Commission directly. I cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy, or any potential lack thereof, of any of the relevant information provided by the EC.)

Friday, October 02, 2009

I'm in the Algarve in Portugal now

I've come here with my parents for a two week autumn holiday - the first time I've gone on holiday anywhere with them, as just the 3 of us, for almost 25 years. We're staying near the beach in a lovely quiet small town called Altura, which is located between the regional capital Faro and the Spanish border. It's a beautiful relaxing place.

I would recommend anyone who likes to relax with sun, sea and sand to come to the Algarve on holiday, especially at this time of year if you like to be "far from the madding crowd" - there aren't many tourists now. It's not hot now either, but neither is it cold. It's just right in fact, mid 20's on the Celsius scale with plenty of sunshine.

Useful map links: Algarve Interactive Map and Altura Google Map

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hanna-Barbera online fun and games

My previous-but-one post in this blog was about Tom and Jerry, which is one of my all-time favourite cartoons. Now, how many of you out there know that every single one of the all-time classic 1940s and 50s "MGM" Tom and Jerry cartoons (114 cartoons in total) were written and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and that the same two men then went on to create some more of the world's best-loved cartoons in the 1960s and 70s for their own production company - "Hanna-Barbera"?

Among the great many wonderful cartoons they created during that period were classics such as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Pixie and Dixie, The Flintstones, Top Cat, Touche Turtle, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, The Banana Splits, Wacky Races, Dastardly and Muttley, Penelope Pitstop, Scooby-Doo and Hong Kong Phooey. Without a doubt, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were animation geniuses who deserve to be ranked right up there with Walt Disney.

I grew up with all the Hanna-Barbera classics during my childhood in the 1970s and early 80s, and because those cartoons are still amongst my favourites, here is a collection of tribute pages from me, plus official online games and desktop wallpaper backgrounds, based on the most famous of them:

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Images, Music and Games
(includes MP3s of some of the classic theme tunes)

The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo Movie Posters

Complete List of Wacky Races Cars and Drivers
(includes giant animated GIFs of every car)

The Banana Splits Images and MP3 Music
(includes an MP3 of the classic "Tra La La Song")

  The Flintstones: Bobsleddin' Blowout

  The Flintstones: Runaround Fred

  The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling

  The Flintstones: Bedrock Bust-A-Boulder

  Scooby-Doo and the Creepy Castle

  Scooby-Doo: Big Air

  Scooby-Doo: Big Air 2

  Scooby-Doo: 1000 Graveyard Dash

  Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Coolsonian

  Scooby-Doo: Monster Food Fight

  Scooby-Doo: Snack Machine

  Scooby-Doo: Shaggy's Midnight Snack

  Scooby-Doo: Kickin' It

  Scooby-Doo: Monster Sandwich

  Wacky Races: Wacky Racing

  Hong Kong Phooey's Karate Challenge

  Hong Kong Phooey Mahjong

  The Banana Splits: Banana Bop

  The Banana Splits: Pie-Toss

The Flintstones Wallpaper

Scooby-Doo Wallpaper

Scooby-Doo Movie Wallpaper and Scooby-Doo 2 Movie Wallpaper

Wacky Races Wallpaper

Hong Kong Phooey Wallpaper

The Banana Splits Wallpaper

You can find all the Hanna-Barbera games and wallpapers listed above, together with hundreds more classic cartoon related fun and games, here: Cartoon, Movie and TV Online Games

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Virgin Comics "Dan Dare Omnibus", plus other Dan Dare books

Way back in January of this year I posted an entry in this blog about an at-the-time forthcoming omnibus edition of the 2008 Virgin Comics "Dan Dare" series by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine that would contain every episode of the story.

Well, I only just now managed to get hold of a copy of the book (Dan Dare Omnibus, hardcover, published by Dynamite Entertainment, ISBN 1606900277) because I had great trouble tracking it down, but I have to say it was well worth the effort in the end. The book is beautiful, consisting of very high quality paper and colour printing, and the story is really very good when read as a complete graphic novel, which it becomes by virtue of it being "all in one place" in the book.

I thoroughly recommend you to get a copy of it for yourself if you're a Dan Dare, sci-fi or comic-book fan. Buy it from here

Also for sale in is the ongoing Titan Books series that reprints Frank Hampson's classic original 1950s "Dan Dare" stories - find them here

And while I'm on the subject of Dan Dare reading material, why not visit this site to subscribe to a fantastic periodical Dan Dare magazine: Spaceship Away

Find out more about Dan Dare online by visiting these great free sites:, and

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tom and Jerry online fun and games

I was just now reminded of one of my all-time favourite cartoons, Tom and Jerry, when I switched on the TV and flicked through the multitude of Sky channels. Two separate channels were running Tom and Jerry cartoons - one channel was showing the 1940s and 50s MGM originals, while the other was showing some more modern ones - which was very nice to see. I've loved Tom and Jerry since I was a little boy, so I can honestly say I've been a fan for at least 35 years now! :-)

Click on this link to view my Tom and Jerry tribute page, which includes a complete list of every T & J cartoon ever made, together with a selection of related multimedia (including MP3s of all the different versions of the Tom and Jerry theme tune, plus lots of cartoon clips) and a desktop wallpaper background picture.

For some more Tom and Jerry fun, here are some great free T & J online games for you to play:

  Tom and Jerry: Refiger-Raiders

  Tom and Jerry: Tom's Trap-o-Matic

  Tom and Jerry: What's the Catch?

  Tom and Jerry: Run, Jerry, Run!

  Tom and Jerry: Bowling

  Tom and Jerry: Mouse About the House

  Tom and Jerry: Midnight Snack

You can find all these Tom and Jerry games, plus hundreds more classic cartoon related fun and games, here: Cartoon, Movie and TV Online Games