Short day hikes surrounding Thimphu, Bhutan

For those fortunate enough to end up living in Thimphu, Bhutan or if your travel allows for some extra days to explore, here are a few gpx files of shorter day walks that are easy to fit into a weekend that I found on my phone.

Disclaimer: Some of the gpx files captured only portions of the hikes due to intermittent GPS signal and some have substantial bush bashing prior to finding the actual trails. So user beware!

There are many more day hikes than those listed here. I would recommend reading the online pdf ‘Mild and Mad Day Hikes around Thimpu’ by Piet van der Poel and Rogier Gruys.

Walk through Jigme Dorji National Park to Cheri Gompa Monastery approx 2890m gpx

Walk to Tango Goemba approx 2950m gpx

A short weekend walk to the music cave on outskirts of Thimphu of approx. 2500m gpx

Day walk up to BBS Radio Tower then onto Chhokhortse Goenpa approx 3000m gpx

Day walk up to BBS Radio Tower then a loop to Wangditse Lhakhang (under restoration) gpx

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LMiC and LoRa – Creating a The Things Network (TTN) Node in Sydney, Australia

A few weekends ago I decided to create a test node for the The Things Network (TTN) gateway in Sydney and purchased a RFM95W 915MHz LoRa Transceiver module hoping to hook it up to an Arduino using a port of the LMiC (LoraWAN-in-C, formerly LoraMAC-in-C) framework provided by IBM. In my haste I didn’t realise most libraries didn’t support the Australian frequency.

Tip – If you don’t want to use LMiC you should look at a LoRaWAN module. These basically integrate a LoRa transceiver with a microcontroller for the LoRaWAN protocol. I believe the most common module (pre-programmed with the Australian frequencies) is the Multitech mDot LoRaWAN module ( )

After a few trials and tribulations I managed to cobble together a very rough node with sensor from the limited parts I had on hand.

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Clean Slate
In an attempt to clean up multiple blogs I have decided to make my predominate posting location for random ‘collectables’ moving forward. Please ignore posts prior to this, as I will neither confirm or deny they were purely designed to test out some search tools.

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What to do with foreign coins?

Foreign coins

If like me you have a predisposition to removing loose coins from your wallet, then after travelling overseas you will have accumulated a nice collection of coins that have no use within Australian. Foreign coins are notoriously hard to exchange with banks and Forex locations only accepting foreign notes, so the only options left available to you are to use on your next travels or alternatively donate.

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How to Exchange Coins

I have quite a disdain for coins in my pockets or wallet, particularly Australian coins that are at times unwieldy in size (I do question what they were hoping to achieve with the 50 cent piece). As a result I religiously dump any shrapnel at the end of the day into a rather sizable collection box. However with this mindset the stash of coins can accumulate quite readily, particularly after passing the hat around for donations, fundraisers or the odd going away party.

Australian Coins

Typically I will exchange coins two or three times a year with the coin collection ranging anywhere between 200 to 300 dollars each time. This gives me some credence when I claim to have considerable familiarity with the coin exchange process.

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Convert DVDs for iTunes, iPhone, iPad & iPod

This post aims to share with you how to convert DVDs for iTunes, so you can watch your favourite movies and TV series on your iPhone, iPad and iPod.

I am an avid traveller, and in years gone by airlines with legs departing to/from Australia were notorious for their lack of Video on Demand (VOD)/inflight entertainment systems. Or more often than not these systems (consistently plagued with glitches) played with my fickle emotions by promising all the new movie releases I could dream of, only to leave me starring at a blank screen for eight hours. Learning how to convert DVDs to iPhone saved me from these emotionally charged moments in time.

Also being a TV series junkie I have found being able to convert my DVD box sets onto my iPhone, has also assisted motivation levels in making perennial trips to the gym.

Disclaimer: Some media companies and organisations (AFACT [Australia], MPAA [United States]) are of the position that you can’t legally copy or convert commercial DVDs for any reason. The law seems somewhat ambiguous on this position at this point in time, however as a general rule of thumb if you own the DVD, think before you convert. If you don’t rightfully own the DVD than it is a lot more clear cut and you shouldn’t be contemplating converting.)

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