Tag Archives: Remote Working

Mahindra College, Pune to Varanasi.

I woke to a sunrise that calmed the clamorous valley of the previous night. I walked up the arcing stairs of the YHA to the roof and was met with a far warmer world. The laborers on the neighboring building site were huddled around warming morning fires, Pune had become solid after the little pinpricks of light had joined together.

Continue reading Mahindra College, Pune to Varanasi.

Bombay to Pune YHA

Arriving in Bombay was like going straight from Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here on a walkman to having Johnny Rotten singing in your face. I’d think it a privilege if Johnny would do that, but I’d have to be in the right mood and when I arrived in Bombay I wasn’t, so I muttered my way to an overpriced hotel and battened down the hatches until I felt cheerful enough to make the journey to see my daughter at her college near Pune. Continue reading Bombay to Pune YHA

May in a brightly crisp Blighty

There’s one thing I noticed about Cornwall is that the light is brighter. I thought it was my imagination until I was enlightened by a wonderful German fella called Chris who happens to be a photographer.  He said it’s because Cornwall is surrounded by sea, the water reflects light back at all angles Continue reading May in a brightly crisp Blighty

Back to the source

It was around 12 years ago that I saw a Norwegian feller on the beach in Tioman with a laptop. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was connected to the web via a sat phone and that he was working.

I decided that if this woas work then I wanted to get involved, so I learned how to use computers and got busy.

I am now sitting on the same beach in Tioman, with my laptop connected to the internet and I’m not working too hard.

It feels like I have come full circle, back to the source.


Just to show I haven’t forgotten that I am supposed to be writing a blog about work and travel I had better mention that I do work whilst on the hoof y’know.

Today I updated three websites and went half blind staring at my monitor until the early hours – it’s worth it though as when I put my laptop down the scenery is still stunning.

For this evening we went to one of those Ozzy restaurants where S.E.Asian food is given the reverence it deserves, then back home for a few cold beers. Life is good – only a few more days until I fly to Singapore and then Malaysia so I had better make the most of Australia now, I do hope to be back.

How to make money online

First, my fellow gypsies, we have to learn how to get some tools on the fly.

Now I am not going to espouse the theft of software in any way, but each to his own. I tend to think that if you try something out and you like it buy it, so it’s up to you if the trying comes before the buying, or you opt to put your hand in your pocket up front.

A great tool for searching for any kind of resource is called a bit torrent. I won’t go into it here, but let’s say if you get a tool called Azureus, you can open tiny little files that you find by going here www.torrents.to, and then you can download whatever saucy bit of software you care to mention. Just do it, you’ll get the idea.

Be careful what you download, so try a free anti virus like AVG from here and check what you get.


If you want to get a website up these days you will need some hosting to start.

Now If you are serious about getting going on the web I’d opt for some serious server space. When you get a little up the ladder you might need to do all sorts of things that require you to have control of the nuts and bolts of your server. It is also good that you you can add domains as and when you please because you will get some whacky ideas. I find that I get more than 10 ideas out there before one of them starts working, and hundreds before I get one that actually pays the bills.

It is too costly to get your own server in the beginning, so try a dedicated virtual server...it is the budget way to get a professional start, and you can trade up when you need to.

When you get your server space you will need to get domain names. I find goddaddy.com cheap but full of bling, freeparking not quite so cheap but feels more professional.

Get yourself your first domain and learn how to point it towards your web space name servers. You only need to change a few bits of info to do this. It’s simple. READ THE MANUAL if you don’t know how.

It is getting too easy to do so many things on the web so that people are expecting it all to just happen, you need to learn how to get info from either the help files or from Google. If you can’t do that then backtrack and get the hang of LEARNING.

You will also have to set up a new space on your server. Again it is a simply a process. On my web space I go first to my account and tell it I want it to add another domain, then I have to go to my actual hosting and set up some space. First time it took me half an hour, now it takes a minute.

So. You have web space and a domain name pointing to it.

What you need now is a website to suit your purposes.

More important than any idea you have is learning how to make sure that your website is above all other websites in Googles search pages for the search terms applicable to you.

A great e book to read about optimising websites so that Google takes notices is by Aaron wall, but you can find out yourselves by hanging out on forums and by asking questions. In this field you will be up against people who have been doing it for a long while, so to get to the top of the search engines you will need to immerse yourselves in the language of the web.

Forums such digitalpoint.com, seochat.com, etc etc. There are many. Search in Google on SEO.

I am experimenting with getting to the top with the search term ‘Ethical SEO‘, so if anyone likes this article and wants show appreciation by linking to me using THAT EXACT PHRASE, I’d be most grateful. And that’s how you do it.

What you will learn is that it is best to have a well built website that has certain parameters fulfilled, some easy (construction) some difficult (getting other people to link to you with relevant anchor text).

Luckily these days you can get great website templates that fulfil the criteria for next to nothing.

Some are less good for SEO but rather pretty like www.easycommercestores.co.uk some are good HTML templates that work rather well for SEO like www.thetemplatestore.com

You will need something like Adobe Dreamweaver to edit these. You will learn the basics of using this program by editing your template. Learn to so this because asking other people for help every time you have a great idea will get to be more of a pain the arse as you get more ideas.

If you need to do anything more complex than simply present information, then you will most probably need something like a Joomla store. They are simple to set up on your hosting, so do not get put off by scary things like creating a database, that’s just a matter of pressing a button.

At this point there are a lot of different solutions around, so take a look. If you pride yourself on your fly nature then get the hang of hpw to use a couple of them, it’ll pay off. A free Joomla CMS can act as anything from a blog to an e-commerce store all for nothing but your time.

If it is a blog you want then WordPress has to be yer man. They are gorgeous bits of kit that can act as websites if you so need. It is best to get the version you host yourself by downloading the software from www.wordpress.org – you can get a hosted version but Google likes it when you make an effort and again, it gives you options.

WordPress has PlugIns that can make page titles Search engine friendly, and last thing I heard there was even an e-commerce plug-in. But I digress..

To monitor your website and how it is doing try the miriad of free SEO tools out there. Digitalpoint.com has a few, and there are some good SEO plugins for firefox. Search for ‘SEO’ when you go to the firefox add ons page.

Now all you need is an idea.

Then figure out what combination of tools best serves your idea.

For most ideas there is nothing better than a well built website using HTML and CSS where every page is optimised (great tool for checking text at www.ranks.nl).

I can almost guarantee you that you will mess up for a while, have your nose stuck to your computer screen waiting for Google to massage your ego and wonder why nobody is taking notice.

Whatever idea you have will be successful in a direct correlation to the effort you put in. Sadly for some this will put them off, the others take stock here and get stronger.

If you plug at it, don’t get disheartened when one idea doesn’t come to fruition and just get another started up, you will succeed, usually in a way that you wouldn’t expect.

The important thing is that you keep moving, that you carry on learning.

If you have an idea to get rich quick then try selling your arse. The internet is as competitive as any other field, and requires you full attention to get you above the billion other people who want to make a fast buck.

But when you succeed you can sit wherever you want on this big blue shiny beach ball of a world of ours and make yourselves a living.

Like me.


Data Cards, WiFI and Roaming

In 2004 I set up my first on-line store whilst on the 17th floor of a hotel in Chiang Mai, overlooking the night market, and the hills in the distance where nestles the monastery of Doi Suthep.

My internet connection was made by stripping a dial up connection lead, popping on a connector and plugging into the telephone socket. I then used a local prepaid card that gave me lots of low bandwidth connection time, enough to get my site up on-line.

Since then you can just use a 3G data card which costs 1,767 a month from here, that’s around 27 quid a month..although it seems you have to pay around £230 up front for that.

I was recently researching into European data cards and came upon a Spanish data card that you use through a 3G mobile, then just activate and pop up as you go. It works out to be very cheap in Spain, but as usual the price goes up to 5 Euro a MB outside of Spain.

All I want is a Data card that will allow me to cross borders and still do my work. And I want to pay around £20 to £30 a month for it, that’s not too much to ask is it ;0)

Still Stranded

I can feel the winter rolling on to the London streets because it wakes up something that should be left sleeping. I feel too awake in fact, which doesn’t scare me half so much as it used to.

This is the time of year to be heading south with the beautiful birds, perhaps as a bit of a loping companion to them but all with the same goal in mind.

I however have to stay in London to babysit some important work that will sustain me through winter, so I am hoping to be a fluid gypsy by Christmas, or it’ll be a fluid Christmas for me in the cold clutch of blighty.

The good news is that I am doing ninety nine percent of my work on a laptop meaning that when I do pull in the anchor I will take my ability to pay the ferryman with me. And isn’t that what this is all about my fellow travellers?

On that note I have been looking at SIM cards that will work across Europe.

Apparently the way forward is to use a Spanish SIM card for internet access because it proves to be very cheap in Spain, plus not stupidly expensive like our UK versions whilst in other countries. I’ll tell you where to get hold od these SIMS when I get more information.

Batteries ETC

I have a £50 Battery in my vaio and it is working fine. A SONY original 7200 mah original is £270, so for the change I could go on a week’s holiday to Spain, eat 150 kebabs or afford a few tickets to go see Tottenham Hotspurs play at white hart lane.


I’ll report back if my VAIO fries in hell, which is what SONY would have you believe would happen if you use a non standard battery. I reckon the risk of data loss from not having a working battery as a backup power supply is more worrying.

I have been hearing more and more rumours of WiFi networks in London. The square mile is supposed to be switched on soon, which would expand my office somewhat. Nobody knows who will pay for it, and it does not look as if it will be a free network like in Norwich, but it’s a start.

The question is what we’ll do when we have it. In zoo’s the animals often stay put when the cage doors are open, even alerting the zoo keepers to the fact because they feel insecure, so maybe we will take time to adjust to our new found freedom.

We’ll see.


It’s deserted here.

The French all go away on holiday for the month of August leaving a skeleton staff in Paris. It’s like some post apocalyptic movie where the streets are ours, tinned goods can be fetched at will from empty supermarkets. I was here only two weeks ago in the blistering heat, when the banks of the Canal St Martin were thick with people. Today we even managed to get into Antoine & Lili’s shop without a fight.

In between trips out I managed to get a little of my redesign done for my website templates store. I am making it a lot more web 2.0, but you’ll see. But all in all I am staying away from my vaio.

So that’s all for now…

The Middle Of Nowhere

Well not quite the middle of nowhere.

I am house sitting in a remote village on the welsh borders. Apparently it was one of the last valleys in the UK to have gotten electricity, but that was a while ago now.

The house I am in was wired up to broadband only last week. There was a connection for a year before that, but the neighbour had it, and he wasn’t sharing.

It is excessively quiet around here. It is so quiet it’s noisy. I am basically being a small scale zoo keeper. Well, I’m looking after two cats that leap cheerfully about like wraiths, looking all cute but killing off the local fauna in large amounts. I see the furry evidence that they leave me as presents.

I have a few deadlines to meet, so am tapping away on my trusty VAIO, still marveling a little that I can move my business with me. As long as I can reach the net, I can be in touch.

I’d like to move to warmer climbs when the frost moves in. that means getting a good client base built up by winter.

Work harder..

Google’s neighbourhood, one big WiFi network!

Last week Google offered to make it’s entire hometown one big WiFi network

Mountain View, California, will then be the biggest community in the US with free WiFi.

About 72,000 people live in Mountain View, an 11 square mile city 35 miles south of San Francisco.

companies like Google and VeriSign are based in Mountainview, so during the day the population can rise above 100,000