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