Scared of Flying?

June 6, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

There are a few fears in life that defy logic. Fear of spiders may be one, fear of lifts is another, and perhaps a fear of flying is another. Everyday, thousands of planes take off around the world, carrying millions of passengers safely to their destination. Flying is one of the safest, if not the safest, form of travel available. It is far safer than getting in the car, yet over one third of the population still report a fear of flying.

Quite a few people cite various concerns when speaking of their flying fear. Of those, many state a lack of confidence in the navigational systems or even a fear that a routine error on the surface can cause a disaster in the air. Then there are fears of problems with the airplane itself. Quite a few people saw the pictures of the impressive concord crash several years ago and when you’re about to get on an aircraft, just a few feet from the roaring jet engines humming steadily, it seems very difficult to believe that not one single thing could go wrong with such a aircraft or man made engine. Sometimes the very appearance and shape of the airplane does very little to inspire confidence in people who are already having doubts and fears about the ability of the plane.

Then there are the reports and press attention of the troubles of deep vein thrombosis.

The fact of the matter however, is that flying is extremely safe. It is one of the wonders of technology that air travel, with all the multitude of potential failures, keep delivering flight after flight, on time and without a hitch. In fact, in contrast to almost all other forms of travel, air travel is becoming safer and safer every year.

The statistics truly speak volumes. Do you know the chances of having a death on a flight? Well according to the BBC, it is 1 out of every 16 million flights. Also, the overall majority of problems where there are fatalities, greater than 50 percent of the others on the flight survive. This means that even if you are unlucky and happen to be on one of the few doomed flights that does crash, the odds are in your favor that you will still survive the accident.

However, there is one issue with air travel that the statistics don’t commend so highly. Delays, lost luggage and missing flights are still frequent issues that plague passengers. Luckily, all of these can be covered for with some good, comprehensive travel insurance.

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Swapping A Scope

May 2, 2012 · Posted in Hobbies · Comment 

One of the reasons I’m learning to fly is to get into the back country and hunt. I’ve always liked remote areas. I’ve also always liked moose hunting. I’ve been around it since I was about six.

My weapon of choice is a pre-64 Featherlite. That’s a Winchester Model 70, and mine’s in a .308. My dad got it from my uncle back in 1965, so it’s got some history. I inherited it almost 20 years ago.

It’s a good firearm, and it came with a great scope for the time. It’s a Bushnell 4x Scope Chief. The thing is, scope technology has progressed a lot since 1965. Scopes today have better optics and magnification. They also zoom, typically from 3x to 9x.

Once in each of the last three years I’ve been presented with a long shot at moose. One I took, and two I didn’t. I think that I could have been successful with both of the ones I passed by if I had a rangefinder and a good scope. For that reason I decided I would buy both. I started with the scope.

The new scope is also a Bushnell. However, instead of being a Scope Chief it is an Elite. Instead of being a 4 power single range scope, it’s a 3x-10x, meaning it can magnify over a range from three times to ten times.

Scopes seem confusing. The salespeople I ran across didn’t make them less so. I am a pro salesman, and I wasn’t impressed. They were nice enough people, but they made it seem like a very arcane science that the uninitiated couldn’t penetrate.

When I heard that mounting the scope would run $100 I decided I’d do it myself. I thought it couldn’t be too hard. Besides, it would be a learning experience. I don’t want to be one of those guys who can’t care for his own gear.

Changing one scope for another can be very easy. In this case I use the same mounts, and only change the rings. The result is that all I’m doing is undoing screws.

The scope on my rifle attaches to what are called Weaver bases. These bases are attached to rails that are screwed directly to the receiver. The bases are secured to the rails by larger screws that run perpendicular to the rifle. The rings hook onto the bases by small screws.

The swap scopes you can use the same rails. However, you may have to change either the rings or the bases. In fact, sometimes you have to change both. In my case that’s what happened. The new scope is shorter, and so it needed new bases. The new bases allow the scope to slide forward and back. The old bases didn’t allow for any adjustment.

Still, the job was quick and simple. I did it on the kitchen table. Six screws were all that was required. Two to secure the bases to the rails, and four to secure the scope and rings to the bases. All that’s left to do is sight it in.

And that’s all there is. If all you’re doing is changing a scope on existing mounts it’s that easy. Mount the scope, fire up your airplane and go hunting.

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Stress-Free Travel Made Possible With These Ideas

February 2, 2012 · Posted in Hobbies · Comment 

When visiting a new place it can be scary, but fun at the same time, no matter the level of experience you have in traveling. Your next trip can be so much better if you just read the ideas and suggestions from this article.

Before heading out on your next trip, make sure you have made extra copies of any essential documents you need. Also, be sure that these copies are kept separately from their originals. Make sure you leave a set of documents with a friend or family member in case yours get lost or stolen.

When you’re traveling, know where your most important belongings are at all times. If you are carrying a purse, be sure to have it tucked neatly under your arm. Also avoid pocketbooks which are easily opened by others on a busy street or subway. Keep these things in mind when you choose a bag for your trip.

Travel is a great way to educate family members. Even developing countries can be perfectly safe if you plan carefully for safety, and it’s an awesome learning experience for your children. Traveling to other countries is a good way to better understand them and the world as a whole.

Keep track of your important belongings when traveling. If you have a purse with you, keep it close to your body at all times. Avoid choosing bags that have zippered pockets on the outside. These are easily accessible in crowded areas, so if your bag does have one, it is best to leave it empty. Make sure you take this advice into consideration when purchasing a dependable travel bag.

You can often hook your computer to the television when staying at a hotel through the use of the cables. Instead of paying out the nose for hotel movies, you will be able to enjoy the best that Netflix and other similar services have to offer.

Take extras of anything you absolutely need on your trip, like eyeglasses or contacts. Having a back-up pair is handy if your regular pair breaks. You may want to keep them on your person, or you can pack them into a suitcase if you prefer.

Emails that hawk travel products should be considered suspicious. Don’t open unsolicited emails from travel companies.

Whenever you can, print online tickets in advance of your visit to a special event or attraction. This sometimes costs a small amount extra, but the time saved waiting in a line makes up for it. Another option to skip admission is by using the timed entry into the park.

Get a nice sum in the local currency before you leave to save time. Exchange rates at airports can come with some hefty fees, or it could be difficult to find an exchange office that is open if you arrive to a country at night. The bank is your best bet for a safe exchange for another country’s currency.

If available, try requesting a room on an upper floor. Although it might seem inconsequential, burglars can access your room more easily if it’s on the first or ground floor. Sliding doors also make your room easily accessible, and you should avoid these if possible. Sliding glass doors are, unfortunately, quite easy for thieves to get open.

Make sure you are knowledgeable about the current events for any destination that you have in mind. The website provides real-time information about affairs that may be troublesome for travelers. Checking this site out will prevent you from traveling to a potentially dangerous country.

You should roll your clothes or use a travel vacuum bag instead of folding them. They will fit into a smaller space by using this method. When you reach your destination, you can simply unroll the clothes and fold them normally if you wish. This, surprisingly, can help you reduce the number of suitcases you need to bring with you.

In conclusion, the reason for so many horror stories about vacations is that people do not prepare for their vacation in the right way. The pointers presented in this article can help you properly plan a vacation which will be memorable and stress-free.

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Renewing Passports for Children

January 3, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Obtaining a passport for a minor can be an extremely tough task for any parent. With new laws to prevent child abduction and trafficking, passport renewal by mail is simply not an option. Parents should begin the application process early since it can take up to six weeks, three if the parent wishes to obtain the document sooner.

United States law requires both parents and the minor to be present at the proper agency when applying. A DS-11 form must be completed and signed in the presence of an agent. Parents should be prepared to have proof of citizenship of the child. Proof can be in a form of a United States birth certificate if the child was born in the United States. If the child was born in a foreign country then parents must provide a certificate of birth abroad along with a certificate of US citizenship or naturalization.

The process will also involve proof of relationship the child has with the applying parents. The child’s birth certificate must contain the names of both parents that are applying. The names must also appear on the certificate of citizenship or naturalization. Along with those documents, valid identification in the form of a driver’s license is necessary.

Parents of children living in different familial situations may find the process extremely difficult. Individuals that do not have proof of sole custody must obtain a letter of consent from the non-applying parent. A consent is not needed in cases where the other parent is dead or incompetent, however agents at the office will ask for a copy of a death certificate or a declared court order of incompetence.

In situations where the father is unknown, a notarized letter of consent is not necessary since only one name appears on the child’s birth certificate. In other situations where custody is an issue, the applying parent can get a court order authorizing the issuance of a passport despite the current custodial arrangements. In some cases however, a court order granting custody to a single parent might be needed.

There are often circumstances where the location of one parent is unknown. This can cause a lot of problems since many agents will not grant the renewal despite filling out a form of special circumstances. Agents may only accept the form if the other parent had been deported and proof of deportation can be provided.

There are very rare cases where passport renewal by a minor can be done without the consent of any parent. Children in this situation have been legally emancipated from their parents and are then seen as adults in the law. An emancipated minor will simply have to provide court documentation at the time he/she wishes to apply.

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How has In-flight Entertainment Changed over the Years?

December 23, 2011 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

We complain a lot about flights these days, despite the fact that it’s remarkable that we can travel so far so easily, and that the safety and comfort of this travel is equally impressive. Something that’s especially taken for granted is the quality of entertainment available on board many flights today. Anyone that flickered through the hundreds of songs and movies on a mini LCD screen should appreciate that there’s a lot on offer to while away the hours.

The history of occupying passengers on long flights is a fairly long one. Of course in the early days, lifting off the ground was the entertainment, being as it was a miracle of technology. But from as early as the 1920s companies had begun to supply extras to make cabin confinement a little more exciting. Surprisingly enough, some of the earliest examples of this were in-flight films, although they often related to information on the place you were flying over rather than more general entertainment.

In the 1960s things really took off. Air travel was more common and affordable, but the image of flying retained its glamour. As a result companies wanted to make their experience that little bit more futuristic and comfortable than their competitors, and a race for in-flight features began. The first feature film was included on flights in 1961, although it remained the same movie – By Love Possessed – for quite some time, which was frustrating for regular passengers, especially because sound was played throughout the whole cabin.

Air travel might not hold the same mystique that it used to, but the airlines are constantly finding new ways to entertain people. Next on the list are feature length movies in 3D, from your own personal screen.

So it’s been a long journey, but the quality of in-flight entertainment has got better and better over the years, believe it or not. If only they could pick some good movies.

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