Archive for Shopping

Early Christmas Pressie (for mum) – iPad Air 2

After much consideration, I decided that I should get my mum an iPad, as she was very keen to get one to use when she is on her travels, and also make it easier to read websites and digital newspapers etc…oh and to play her games 🙂 haha!

I was looking at the latest model and version – so it would be the iPad Air 2 – and I decided that the 16GB version would suffice.

I had done a bit of research and found that in HK, it would cost HKD 3,888 (about £330), whilst in Singapore it would cost S$688 (£340), whilst in the UK, it was £399. All of these prices were from the Apple website. So I decided to get it from Singapore, but used my Amex True Cashback card to get an extra 5% discount on top, which made it pretty reasonable 🙂

Definitely worth the purchase, and I am glad that my mum has something ‘new’ rather than a pass-me-down, for a change.

Synology NAS Drive Purchase

Synology DS214 NAS Drive

Synology DS214 NAS Drive

I always wanted to get a NAS drive – as a way to ‘back-up’ the data (documents, movies, music and other files etc) that I don’t want to lose off my laptop, so I decided to succumb to the cost-effective way of achieving this, by getting a NAS drive.

I previously, did an adhoc data back-up, which resulted in buying standalone USB back-up portable storage drives, and using Norton Ghost or similar to create an image of the hard disk drive to the separate drive, but this has its own limitations. I didn’t do this often enough, and it was a bit difficult to access the files.

Whilst using a NAS drive, I would be able to connect it to my wifi and use the local network to store the personal files and data onto the NAS and then I could look to ensure it is saved with some level of redundancy (mirrored over 2 HDDs) and could then limit the storage on my laptop. In theory, I could also set it up so that I could access the documents from anywhere, securely. But at this time, I didn’t want to open up this function just yet.

I decided to get an Synology after a local electronics store suggested that this was a cost-effective personal storage device name that I could trust. Looking around, I decided to get the Synology DS214 – with a 2-bay storage – and I set it up to mirror across both – meaning that there is at least one back-up of the data each time it is saved. I decided to get two 3TB Western Digital drives – theoretically this means I can get 6TB of storage, but as I mirrored them, this means I only get 3TB storage but mirrored across both HDD for double protection – just what I need!!

I’m glad I did this now (albeit maybe later than i really should), and now should look to try to get the data copied across from my laptop. This should also ‘free-up’ the data on my laptop, and ensure I can clean-it up properly, as it is running quite slow with the limited amount of HDD available on it now.

Would highly recommend getting a NAS drive if you haven’t yet done so – and it’s easy to set-up and use 🙂

Mastercard Masterpass – Free $50 Prepaid Card

I never say no to freebies, so it was great to see some companies do some nice gestures as we approach the festive Christmas season…and no, I’m afraid this doesn’t include Amex!

Instead, it is MasterCard’s Wallet solution (called Masterpass) who have partnered with EZ-Link to offer a free $50 prepaid card for registering for their Masterpass service…so why not 🙂 MasterPass by MasterCard is a digital wallet service that makes online shopping safe, easy, and convenient. MasterPass stores all your payment and shipping information in one central, secure location. With MasterPass, you can shop, click, and checkout faster online.

Free $50 EZ-Link Fevo Prepaid Card

Free $50 EZ-Link Fevo Prepaid Card

Masterpass are really blitzing the island, with full-page ads in the various newspapers, billboards and bus-stop advert boards, not to mention these types of expensive promotions. So I managed to sign up and become one of the first 3,500 CMs and registed from 12th November (to 31st December – although I think it will be fully redeemed in a few days!) – and voila, an email confirming that I registered succcessfully, and a few days later, an email to confirm that I was indeed one of the first 3500 new Masterpass registrations! Yay baby! The great thing is that it can be used anywhere in Singapore where there is a Mastercard sign – at a bricks and mortar establishment or online store. I am sure I can buy myself something nice! Ha!

Taylor B – Patriotic Views

Well we were looking for interesting furniture, and we went to the Taylor B furniture store, just off Keppel Road. It was actually a very nice and intriguing place, with a very nice selection of furniture – although a little pricey, it was of fine quality products.

What I did notice is a nice furniture set – in the great patriot colours of the United Jack – what made it more enjoyable was that the Scottish Independent vote had just came in – and the United Jack would remain United – yay!

It was sooo tempting to buy this nice furniture set – but I held out (well just about) – I had to buy two cushions to feel the part – after way, they were delightful velvet quality 🙂

It is really good to be British – the best of British in all its glory!

Taylor B. Furniture Store
43 Keppel Road
Singapore 099418
Tel: +65 9420 4040

Intelligent Cleaning Robot (iClebo) GroupOn Offer

iClebo Groupon Offer

iClebo Groupon Offer

During an expo in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, the iRobot vacuum cleaner was the fad device on show – lots of manufacturers had stalls set-up promoting the device. They were quite expensive, 3-4 hundred quid, so I decided that I would probably not require it – and for me, it was easy to clean my UK home and my Singapore apartment with the more traditional Dyson vacuum cleaner.

However, there was a GroupOn offer and I noticed that there was one device on offer – so I decided to get it 🙂 It was the second time they offered it, so I presume that they had quite a few in stock – and were trying to shift them quick. It wasn’t the more traditional iRobot brand, but it was a Korean brand called iClebo (Intelligent Cleaning Robot).

The model number was YCR-M06-L1 – which looking on the iClebo website seems to imply it was a dated model – but alas, it should fit the bill for my needs. It’s listed RRP was S$999 (about £500), but the GroupOn offer was priced at S$389 (£190 ish.) – that was okay in my books.

Can’t wait to use it now – haha! 🙂

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Beerfest Asia 2014 in Singapore

Beer Fest Asia 2014

Beer Fest Asia 2014

Well it is traditional annual event in Singapore, and I have managed to skip it for the past 2 years I was in town, so this year I decided to go and pay it a visit. This year it was scheduled for 12-15 June, so it is a short event to enjoy the sights and sounds of some delightful beers.

It’s located near to the F1 circuit, in the Marina Promenade, just behind the Singapore Flyer, and the entry fee was $30 for a day entry – you get a complimentary beer, and then you have the buy beer credits to ‘buy’ the beers on show. It was a great location, and a great venue for this event, and I am still amazed on the amount of beers, flavours and alcoholic beverages that are available – you have such a choice.

We got a few beers – one Crabbies (still like that), and then we went for a Banana Beer and a Double Chocolate stout – which was quite ‘interesting’ to say the least.

Anyway, it is certainly worth to pay a visit, although just need to quick yourself hydrated as it gets very hot in the mid-day sun!

Beerfest Asia
1 Old Parliament Lane #02-01
Singapore 179429
Tel: +65 6338 8277

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Well it was something I was checking out for a while having seen it at a friend’s place – and my mum was keen to get one – so I decided to go visit a place in town and try to buy one.

I found a place on a website, it seems to be an wholesaler and distributor, but it also allowed ‘walk-in’ customers, so I thought I’d give it a go. It was in a business park, so finding it was a bit of a challenge, but once I located the building, I located the unit location. I took a taxi from work, and arrived at Playfield Road in Tai Seng district. The one I saw on the website was S$198 – and the table top size was 36″ x 36″.  The table was called ‘SHP Solid Wood Folding Mahjongg Table’.

(Un)Folded Mah Jongg Table

(Un)Folded Mah Jongg Table

When I arrived, they had one in stock, and when I saw it, I looked a bit surprised on the size of the thing. I could carry it, but it was quite awkward to carry. I took the table and booked a taxi back to my apartment – I had to put it on the backseat, luckily it fit (another nightmare moment). Then I had the thought of how I was going to get it to the UK…hmmm…

I weighed the item, and it was just over 9 kilos, so I knew I had to be careful on how much luggage I would carry back to the UK…luckily my allowance was 30kg on Emirates. I think I will just try to put it in the hold in the box and ‘fingers crossed’ that it arrives in one piece 🙂

But It was a nice table and I am sure it will arrive safely!! Haha!

Swee Huat Plastic Company
80 Playfair Road
#04-18 Block B, Kapo Factory
Singapore 367998
Tel: +65 62843313

New SingTel Phone Upgrade

I had purchased a 2-year phone contract from SingTel, and there was an opportunity to get a free upgrade after 12 months…free in the sense there is no additional contract charge, but the handset would still cost me $$$.

I had ummmed and ahhhed for a couple of months already, as I knew the iPhone 5S would be out soon. I decided to take the plunge (or easy option) and simply upgrade my handset to the new iPhone, rather than switching to an Samsung S4 (which was a strong possibility). The key reason is that everyone I had was on my iPhone, it was working fine, I liked the ecosystem and size overall and I knew it was easy to upgrade (in a few minutes), versus having to configure everything from scratch on the new phone type. I also thing that for me it was actually quite a nice size for my hands 🙂

Anyway, it cost me S$668 (for another 2 years) – which I know is a bit pricey, but I think worth the upgrade. I also set-up my old iPhone 4S for me mum to have – aren’t I nice 🙂

The funny thing is that I actually have gone for the ‘S’ versions for each iPhone…3S, 4S and now 5S. I wonder whether I should wait for the 6S next year, or whether I would be tempted away at that point…well that’s another year to go…so lets see what happens.

Free Watch Repair – Thanks Tag Heuer

Original Watch

Original Watch

A couple of months ago, I noticed that there was a problem with my watch, I visited one of the Tag Heuer shops in Orchard Road, and they advised me that it the mechanism could have been damaged – and they asked me whether I had changed the date/time during the ‘freeze’ period between 8pm and 4am – due the risk of damaging the mechanism – I stated that I am aware of this risk, but stated that I did not do this.

The watch itself is still £2,050 from the Tag website, so it isn’t cheap…so anything to keep it going for another year or two would be great for me 🙂

I usually change the date/time when I wake-up at 6.30am, so I knew it couldn’t have been this, but this was the only thing that I could thing off that could have been damaged.  Anyway, after researching the issue (yup on Google), I did feel that this was likely the cause of the issue, I decided to email the Tag Heuer Service Centre in the UK, as I had purchased it from Ernst Young in July 2011.  I knew it had a 2 years warranty, so I could be slightly outside of this, but advised them that I noticed the issued a few months ago, and I know for a fact that I didn’t change the date/time during the freeze period, so am confused why the mechanism was damaged,  They said that I had to take it to the Singapore Service Centre, and so I decided to do this.  I decided to visit the local official Tag Heuer service centre here in Singapore and ask them for their opinion.  It was located in an office block within Ngee Ann City (in Orchard Road), so I finally managed to visit there after work (it closes at 7pm, so I had to be quick).

Anyway, they took the watch in for inspection, and after a week phoned me advising that the mechanism was date/time fine, but the face plate had been damaged, possibly due to a shock (like dropping the watch etc).  I knew I had not dropped or banged the watch, so I explained, I don’t think there was anything I did which could have caused this.  I said to email me a quote for me to review, and then I emailed this to the UK Service Centre complaining, that I cannot believe the watch had been damaged, and noting that the watch condition was like this was a few months already.

I continued to have a few more email exchanges between the 2 Service Centres, and then I eventually caved in and agreed for the watch to be repaired. About 3 weeks later, the Tag Heuer Singapore Service Centre called me stating that the face was out of stock, but they had an alternative face – it was still black, but the hour notches were slightly different.  I said to proceed, as I knew I would have had to wait for another month if they had to wait for the parts from another location.  At least, it will now be a ‘unique’ watch 🙂  They then phoned me back stating that the watch specialist looked at the watch and decided that as a gesture of goodwill, they will repair it free of charge, which was a nice touch from Tag Heuer.

I then received an email SMS on 3rd January advising me that the watch was ready for collection – wow, am so glad that it was free…I now have saved S$510!  Yay!  A happy bunny indeed.

Robinson’s Voucher Redemption (16th Dec 2014)

Buying Myself Presents

Buying Myself Presents

Well there is nothing like a free lunch – and I do tend to agree with most offers I receive or review.

After opening a Robinson co-brand credit card account with OCBC, I received a set of vouchers for Robinson vouchers – but these ranged from $50 if you spend $200, $30 if you spend $150 or $10 if you spend $100.  These are quite annoying offers, but yes it is a marketing engagement and spend activation campaign – so I shouldn’t be surprised – but it is still very annoying and vouchers like this are in my opinion rubbish.

Most vouchers in the UK, you usually get the voucher free or get a free gift card or similar – this way, you are still ‘buying’ from the shop, and you are likely to spend more than the face value of the vouchers – unlike in Singapore, where they expect you to spend a ridiculous amount to get a small amount off.  Hmmm…

Either way, I was keen to use them, rather than lose them!  So decided to go with my mum to see what I can buy, I decided to replace my wallet and also a Fahenheit 32 eau de toilette – spending just over $200 and get the $50 off.  Not that bad, I guess.

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