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 > Your search for posts made by 'bstark' found 7 matches.

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RE: Six month limit for northerners?

An appropriate time to perhaps throw some gas on the fire in the sense that everyone should keep in mind that CBP Customs and Border Patrol reserve the absolute right to modify, apply,or interpret these rules in whatever fashion they desire at the time of entry. They reserve the right without stated reason to allow you entry for a specific time less than the assumed B2 visa of 180/183 days. They can do this at their discretion. They reserve the right without explanation to modify the 180/183 starting/end point from the stated "calendar" year to any period of start/end time "they" deem appropriate at the time of entry. All of the above is usually contingent upon but not exclusive to you encountering that rare but still possible agent experiencing a bad hair day. Eg; during one of our secondary inspections; when asked if the "accumulated during CALENDAR year" as stated in guidelines was the ONLY interpretation, the answer was "NOPE, we reserve the right to judge whether it is our feeling you should spend more time in your own county and less time in ours." It is wise to be mindful that experiencing a 5 to 10 year bar from entry to the U.S. is always a possibility from nothing more than a snarky response to an agent whose day has started by spilling his take out coffee into his lap on the way to work and asking you a seemingly inane or impertinent question as a result. Both countries give their agents the right to make decisions based upon nothing more than instinct or even bias. Keeping that in mind and pushing the mistaken belief of "attained rights" as far into the background as possible is absolutely necessary if you desire the privilege of visiting the U.S. to continue.
bstark 05/01/16 07:34am Snowbirds
RE: Snowbird golf green fees

I'm in Central Florida and have played three rounds a week travelling no further than an hour's drive to any of them and have yet to pay $50. Just played Brookeville for $35 Have played Lake Bernadette, Mystic dunes, Champions Gate, Legends, Rio Pinar, Babe Zaharias, Mission Hills, Eaglebrook, Diamond Hill, Wedgewood among a host of others and have yet to pay anywhere near $50. Assign one member of your foursome to cruise the various tee time bookings sites like "golf now" etc.,and grab the bargains offered using his credit card. you reimburse him for your share he gets the additional airmiles and all are happy. Even clubs like Bella Callina offer specials on those web sites that can see you play a premiere course of 18 with lunch and one beer included for under $50. One other consideration; you do not need fear taking a divot in Florida nor arriving in a bunker due to the "pit-run" as Florida courses actually have some soft stuff under that layer of grass on the fairways other than gravel and the traps/bunkers usually have real, actual sand instead of that aforementioned stuff we would call "pit-run" (the stuff left over after crushing gravel to it's various sizes) anywhere else in North America. I ruined at least two sets of clubs by playing Arizona courses over the span of a few years of wintering there.
bstark 03/02/16 04:38pm Snowbirds
RE: Depressed snowbird housing market - Yuma

Take heart gitane59; if there is one thing I can assure you of; the pendulum will swing. You will however, find a way to realize your dream plan regardless if it doesn't. Full retirement brings with it a completely different perspective of assigning priorities. The old guard leaving are in reality making room for the newbies in a facsimile of the age old cycle of life. Whatever your choice of retirement lifestyle, the single greatest imperative is to fill every moment of free time with what you want to do. Should the wheels fall off, you then have fewer regrets of the "if I'd only done that".....kind. Best wishes to you both.
bstark 02/05/16 05:23pm Snowbirds
RE: Loss of partial power

I'll make some additional assumptions based upon info given in O/P. 'O5' unit would; with options mentioned, almost certainly be a 50 ampere rig. Also mentioned is a genset so will assume his rig is generator prepped rather than one necessitating unplugging the umbilical and using an adaptor to plug into the genny each time you use it. Based upon those "assumptions" all 50 amp, genny prepped rigs have two legs of service within the service box breaker panel AND a 50amp or higher rated "transfer switching device" somewhere in the service bay of the rig. A frequent occurrence with all RV units is poor assembly protocols leaving contact screws loose or road vibration causing the same loose connections to happen. You need to isolate your rig from all power sources then do a contact audit of ALL connections in your breaker box first (easiest to eliminate quickly) and that transfer switch. If the transfer switch is the commonly used "Iota" brand, just follow your major 50amp service wire back from your breaker panel where it will come from the transfer switch/service box OR follow your incoming supply line through the belly of the beast until it arrives at that transfer switch/box before continuing on to your breaker panel. Removing the top of that transfer box will reveal a double row of contact screws numbering from 12 to 24 in all and any one of them being loose on the outlet side of the buss bars could cause your issue as it would reduce your rig back to 50A/120V from a 50A/240V supply thereby rendering one half of your breaker panel inoperative. I target the outgoing bussbar in the transfer switch because it would behave as described regardless if incoming was from shore power or genset. I'm going with this assumption based upon more than one of your larger draw 120 items being dead as it is unlikely they would put a couple of those together on one breaker and it would be unusual for more than one breaker to become loose at exactly the same time. You need to address this ASAP as loose/arcing connections at the 50amp incoming to outgoing in the transfer box or at the breaker panel are a major fire hazard indeed. Wherever you find those loose screws you will almost certainly find heat/melt/blackened degraded plastic insulation for an inch or two on the associated wiring...your call if it's bad enough to indicate brittle copper in the wire itself. Should you find your problem in and be uncertain if the short sections of copper wiring within the Transfer switch need replacement consult any electrician in your RV fraternity as to how to determine copper degradation but usually a simple test is to take that portion of the wire exposed for the connection and bend it a couple of times to and fro...if it breaks off easily it needs to be replaced along with it's brothers. Re-cap: ISOLATE from any 120/240 supply either shore power OR genny. - - Follow your major incoming 50 amp wire and tighten every connection you find along it's path to your breaker panel.- - Don't delay your troubleshooting/repair as while it's not functioning it could still be arcing. ****EDIT PS**** Neglected to mention that if rig is 50AMP with a large round Female incoming socket for the umbilical, the rear of that female receptacle and one loose screw could also be why one leg has dropped out of service. Good luck.
bstark 02/05/16 11:55am Tech Issues
RE: Depressed snowbird housing market - Yuma

As in all major financial decisions related to lifestyle choices one must consider the worst case scenario and if not able to completely immunize yourself from total loss, at the very least, mitigate that aspect as much as is possible. We have met so many wonderful people over our years of snowbirding, suffering from that terrible event of the 2008 meltdown and losing everything due to using their major appreciating asset, their principal home, to finance a depreciating asset RV or other high-dollar "Toy". I cannot begin to tell you the terrible carnage that one simple decision has created among the now elderly who opted thusly. Our hearts go out to those who've made plans based upon the then current environment only to have the rug pulled. Canadians are now facing the spectre of unrestrained and absolutely ridiculous medical costs in the U.S. requiring insurance companies to raise fees and add restrictions as never before. Our out-of-province healthcare is provided by our Private Pension Plan but even so, we are cautioned that if we can be stabilized; our arses will be on a med flight out of the U.S. so fast, the U.S. hospital computer will still be printing the vital stat's & admissions paperwork. A wide dollar disparity only exacerbates any costs associated with Canadians needing U.S. medical intervention. Friends with a house near us in Lakeland Fla. have decided to sell based upon his advancing age and pre-existing conditions of diabetes bringing with it horrendous medical insurance costs and along with the dollar disparity virtually doubling home maintenance and entertainment costs. They now intend to travel to locations worldwide at far lower quoted insurance costs without the prospect of a U.S. realty millstone around their necks. Contrary to most discussion on here; they were fortunate to be in a locale with a resultant bidding war for their property. Americans are replacing a significant part of the Canadian exodus created snowbird void in this area of the U.S. I fully understand how these decisions are influenced. My wife and I are among the very fortunate who both have fully paid up CRA allowed 70% maxed-out pensions with a host of paid optional medical provisions that allow us the luxury of maintaining our snowbird lifestyle without consideration to anything other than our entertainment costs wherever in the world we choose to go. The downside is watching our pool of snowbird friends, both Canadian and American, dwindle around us due to both financial AND age impact. For those arriving at that juncture in their lives, we send commiserations with the knowledge we'll be along shortly to join you, so please leave a light on for us, eh?
bstark 02/05/16 10:33am Snowbirds
RE: Canadians Avoiding US due to Gun Violence

To the "OP" Do you have any comments on the comments? Please be polite and come back to the conversation you started. I don't want folks to think us Canadians are a bunch of "scaredy cats" blaming increased "issues" in the USA as a reason for not going there. I feel ever bit as safe here in Florida as I do at home. Of course I am situated equidistance between the number one and two ranked cities as the murder capital of Canada. That's Thunder Bay 200 miles east and Winnipeg 200 miles west. My daughter lives in one of those cities and my granddaughter in the other. Not scared to go visit either of them.. :B Folks who know the makeup of those cities will understand what I am saying next. Like in the USA the media/stats people have these city's ranked "1 & 2" as murder rates. If you pulled all the family related--partying friends--after bar fights out of the equation, the stranger on you statistics probably would not even be countable. That's why I have no fear in those cities OR in the USA, The ONLY real reason Canadians may be in short supply this year down here is they are just frugal.. :S BINGO! I consider whatever exchange rate the premium I'm willing to pay for 80 degree temps, not struggling behind my honking 12 horse snowblower, not having to dress with an additional 30 lbs. of weather resistant clothing but shorts instead and reasonable greens fees to golf on lush courses that would cost me $70 Canadian just to enter the dang parking lot. The only reason Can. snowbirds are perhaps fewer in number is the dollar and anything else used as a reason is simply an excuse to avoid having to admit they can't afford it any longer. Safety concerns; my butt.
bstark 12/07/15 06:50am Snowbirds
RE: Canadians Avoiding US due to Gun Violence

I remember when it took $1.60 CA to buy $1 US... did that stop you from coming south? In 2010 the rate was much the same as today, did that stop you from coming? Do you really think being on par was going to last? Not sure how a 25% difference from a all time high equals costing twice as much. If you use the FBI definition of mass shootings then France has had more gun related injuries this year than the US has had in the last 7 years. I would stop going to France before stopping to come here. The 30,000/year gun deaths in the US you hear about is close to the 33,000 vehicle deaths/year BUT 21,000 of the gun are suicides. I guess the Canadian vehicle deaths would be less if you had guns to commit suicide. I found this video interesting on Gun nation US. This is closest to the fact of not travelling south. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with safety. Those of us who have been spending winters in the U.S. for years, have done so when the dollar was as low as .66 cents relative to the greenback. So what we might be seeing now is those who jumped into the RV experience when the dollar was close to par and now decide they cannot afford it. ERGO they should not have gambled unwisely in the first place on the tarsands boosted Canadian economy staying that way when oil based economies have being doing the pendulum thingy for over a hundred years or more. Everyone with a scintilla of grey matter would never attempt suggesting Mexico being safer than the U.S.. That dog just won't hunt. They're going to Mexico because it's cheaper and that's why you'll see so many rigs out of Quebec travelling all that way diagonally across the "unsafe" U.S. to get there.
bstark 12/06/15 07:29pm Snowbirds
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