By any rational criteria, I have a wonderful life. I'm married to a beautiful woman that I've only grown closer to over the last 10+ years. We have been fortunate enough to do a lot of travel and experience some wonderful places. We've hiked the Inca Trail to stand in Machu Picchu, and explored the Galápagos Islands. We have a lovely home in a great location with no mortgage, and we plan to start traveling more soon with the rental...

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For anyone who doubts that the web and social media is full of foreign exploiters, looking to influence the unwary, here is a tale for you - as well as an update for those who subscribe to this blog. I recently noticed a big uptick in the number of people registering on my site. Mostly after I changed the tool that handles new signups. I also noticed in my security reports, a lot of attempted logins to my administrator site....

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As some readers may already have seen in this blog, other articles, or in social media posts, after six wonderful years of living in Ecuador Rita and I decided to move on. Our beachfront condo in the resort city of Salinas has been sold. We have relocated our US property from West Virginia to Tennessee, a state with no income tax on retirement and a more forgiving and temperate climate, and are preparing for a new lifestyle starting in 2020....

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I'm no stranger to Death. I have had to deal with the Grim Reaper on all too many occasions. I watched my older brother drink and eat himself to death before the age of 35 when I was in my 20's. I lost my first wife of 25 years to cancer. More recently, Rita lost a brother, my mother passed this last Thanksgiving season, and there have been at least four in-laws and acquaintances who have left this earth in...

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I received a lot of emails after my post on the Queen movie and my reminisces on playing in local bands. Much to my surprise, people wanted more band stories. So here we go, by popular demand, a look back at one of the most dreaded events in any amateur musician's life - that nerve-racking procedure know as the audition. It is a well-known fact that the only thing harder than keeping a band together is putting a band together....

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If you never watched Game of Thrones or read any of the books, that is fine. I really don't understand how many people think that gives them something to brag about, but there does seem to be an American tendency to applaud your own ignorance for some reason. More on that another time. Those of us who have be-spoiled ourselves have mixed feelings about the ending of the series on HBO, to say the least. I know it is popular...

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Ten years ago today on May 3rd, 2009, my life changed. Not that I was aware of it at the time. In fact, I was not aware of much of anything. Mostly I was in a kind of an emotional limbo. My wife of 25 years had finally succumbed to a battle with breast cancer just five months earlier, and although I appeared to be functioning in public, I was still in the last stages of what I came to...

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Since I made the decision to resign as International Living's Ecuador Coastal Correspondent back in March, I've been ramping up the attempts to find more freelance work. I'm still writing articles for IL's magazines and website about places we have lived and visited - in fact, look for a Feature Article I co-authored due out in the May issue - but I'm looking to broaden my subject matter when it comes to writing. I'm now officially a "freelance writer". What...

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We've gone overboard on every album. But that's Queen.- Freddie Mercury Back in the States now, we've been catching up on our streaming of series and movies. One of the first movies on the list, was the Oscar-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody. In case you've been living under a rock since the 70's, the movie presents some of the background story of the rock group Queen, from their early days up to their record-setting performance at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium in 1985, which many music publications have called the best live...

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Rita and I recently returned to our home in Salinas on the southern Pacific Coast of Ecuador after our longest time away in the last five years. Between taking care of some business in the States, attending the International Living Boot Camp Conference in Santa Fe, and enjoying Thanksgiving with family, we were away from home for nearly four months. Once we returned to Ecuador, it didn’t take us long to remember the number one reason why we chose to...

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