I will think of June 2013 as the month from Hades. I’ll tell you about it in my Philippines expat journal. This month even includes murder!  It was a difficult month for me. Awwww, it really wasn’t that bad but it was a struggle. It is my goal to summarize my life in the Philippines in a Philippines expat journal each month.  In this series of articles, I reveal more of my personal life as I write about my day to day life in the Philippines. Its not all pretty girls and island hopping. Sometimes, it grilled cheese, a doctor visit and just dull.

As soon as I got my pension and transferred money over to my Philippines bank account, I knew it was going to be a hard month. That was before I found out we had a $450 electric bill. That was probably the lowest point in the month, instead of the highlight it was the lowlight. Didn’t think that was really a word but MS Word didn’t complain about it.

So it was a month of eating lots of processed grill cheese. I even had to skip my once a month Pizza hut splurge.

Rusty Ferguson’s Philippines Expat Journal for June 2013

I did go to the beach in June. It was the first time in a long time. That probably cost me around $25. Had I known aboutOdlot Hideaway that light bill, I wouldn’t have gone. I already have my light bill for July and it is a little lower than normal. It is under $200 this month but just barely.

I think it was in last months journal, I wrote that Jessie had to fire the pretty ya ya that was a bit sweet on me. I hated it but I agreed that she had to go. That girl’s problems seem to never go away. In June, her mother shot her father. Well, I think she hired someone to do it or got another family member to do it. I don’t really know the details. Last I heard she was in hiding. I have not heard more on it. At the time he had a 50/50 chance to live. If he had died, I think Jessie would have told me.

And to top it off, I had a close friend that caused me some depression. We are not close now. I rarely talk to her any more. That friendship fell apart on Father’s Day. I don’t have many friends. I have no close male friends. I generally like hanging with the guys. For some reason, I don’t seem to fit in. I don’t know, just the way it is. But when I loose a friend, it’s hard for me.

To be honest, holidays lost their appeal to me a long time ago. There was a period of time in my life where I spent most of it alone. Holidays alone are very difficult. So, I learned to block them out and 20 years later it seems I still mostly do that. I don’t like it but I suppose it was necessary at the time. Life can be hard at times. It is for nearly all of us. I think that’s why older people are so often jaded and cynical. Despite the hardships in my past life, I think I’m still more positive than most people in my age group. Though I don’t tolerate brainless insulting people or Internet trolls for long.

Expat Doctor VisitHealth wise was mostly a good month for me. I had thrush which is a yeast infection on my tongue. Diabetes, lupus and prednisone are a bad mix and yeast loves sugar. It is not a huge issue but it does hurt. Since my body can’t process sugar properly, I probably sweet sugar. I’d be surprised if I don’t. That caused me to drop the prednisone for a while and the cracks on my feet got much worse for a while. It was all under control about mid June and I think over all, I had a good month health wise. I need to move back to Cebu City so I can get better medical treatment.

Getting medical treatment out in the province is not an easy thing to do. There are doctors that can treat most people. If your health is as complicated as mine, they will turn you away. The hospital, I don’t think would but the doctors with offices here mostly do. They tell me I’m too complicated and that I need to go to Cebu City. They are very nice about it and are just looking out for my best interest and not there own. Often they don’t have the proper license that allows them to prescribe some of the medications I take.

If you’re thinking of living in the Philippines and do have health issues. Cebu City and Manila are really your only two choices.

My Online Business in July 2013

Business wise, I made a lot of changes. Most changes were to reduce my cost and to try to get back in the black.

I cancelled my dedicated server that cost me $219 per month. I moved it to much a much cheaper reseller account. ThisRusty Ferguson Philippines Expat Journal new account cost me only $35 a month. I had 21 websites on the server. I still have most of them on the reseller account. I think I deleted one or two. For most of the month though I had to suspend most of those websites as the account kept crashing. Some of it was just too much demand on my cheap account. I think HostGator was having issues too though. Cebu Experience keeps going up and down. I think I will move that site next.

One day, I wrote an article and about two hours later it was gone as was another article. So I spent about an hour and half re-posting it and then suddenly both of the missing articles re-appeared. I never could get HostGator to tell me what happened. It doesn’t really matter. Any hosting company is going to have issues. When you are on a “shared server” those problems go up. You never know what the other 250 people using that server are going to do.

When I cancelled the server that brought more issues, I had to move my sites. HostGator told me they’d do it for me. Then they said there would be a fee so I started doing it myself. For two weeks I worked on that. I got some of the sites moved. Perhaps all of them were working but I couldn’t fully test them due to the websites being on temporary URLs.

Then all of a sudden, with about a week left before the re-bill on my server, HostGator said they were starting the migration. It took them another five days to do it. That left two days for me to test the migration and cancel the server. I did what testing I could and submitted a request to cancel the server.

I had looked all over for their cancellation form but couldn’t find it. Clearly, they hid it on purpose. I asked in ticket where is the form. No one responded but I noticed the status of the ticket had changed from billing to cancellations. I followed up on the request asking that I not be billed. Not a word. Then on the 26th, like clockwork I got re-billed. That caused a $35 overdraft fee.

HostGator refunded the $219.00 but refused to give me a credit on my account for the $35 hosting fee. I asked once, they said no. I asked once more, told them I wouldn’t ask again and they said they had done me a huge favor on refunding that server bill because it was never done.

That didn’t sit to well with me. Telling me they did me a favor when it was clearly their issue. So, I went to WPEngine,  one of their competitors and signed up for a new account with them. I then logged back into my HostGator billing and added the welcome message to from WPEngine to the trouble ticket that I had going about the refund. They didn’t bother to respond to that. I would be upgrading my HostGator account but because of this, I am going to likely upgrade the WPEngine account instead.

I would like to leave HostGator over that NSF fee and I planned to but the bank did refund it. You see, I was going to do a charge back on that fee if possible. So, I would have had to leave HostGator. I really didn’t care how much work it cost me. That situation really hacked me off.

I’ve been with them for more than ten years. Their support is not as good as it use to be. Response times are now around 4 hours where it use to be about 30 minutes. HostGator is still a good hosting company for beginners. WPEngine is much better but it cost me $30 a month to host just one site there. It will cost $100 a month to host ten of them there. I want to move ten more there. I may have to hire someone though to move one part of one site. I don’t think I can do it. I am going to try to wait until August to upgrade the WPEngine account.

Rippln Rusty

As most of my regular readers are likely to know, I entered into a new business opportunity late in June. It is called Rippln. Rippln is a new social network that is showing a lot of promise. It has been clear to me for a couple of years that desktop PC are going to  go away. Unlikely they will ever go away completely. If you do a lot of writing, doing it on a tablet or phone is not all that pleasant. We still need our large PC for that. I prefer to use my tiny phone whenever possible. It’s far more comfortable to use. I can lie down and use it if I like. I can put it in my pocket and while traveling it is really nice to have. Mobile is the future. This new social network is focused on mobile users.

The network isn’t live yet but they are signing people up. To get in the network you need an invitation. It cost nothing to Rusty Ferguson Philippines Expat Journaljoin or to invite other members. Later on, if you wish to level up to a money making member you pay a yearly fee of $69 and then a $25 monthly “hosting fee”. I do think I will level up at some point. I might even do it in July.

Some think it’s a scam but that doesn’t make any sense to me. The people behind it are too exposed. If it’s a scam they will go to prison. I just can’t see them trying to deceive people with this. What they are doing makes sense. Someone will do this, a mobile social network. The only thing different about this one is that you can earn money from being a player on the network.

So my thoughts on this are that I’m going to put myself in a position, as best I can, to be ready to pounce if Rippln does turn golden. It’s like any business opportunity. If you wait until it materializes, it’s too late. There are over one million people in this network and the network isn’t even live yet. That is amazing. The people behind it would have to be out of their minds not to tap into those one million people and do something positive with it.

The key is how well does their application work and what applications will be available. They only need one really good application and boom, they will make a fortune. Hopefully, it will do much better than just one application. This is the part that is still unknown.

Rippln basically has stalkers, people that do everything they can to trash the idea. One of them latched onto me in Google Plus. I engaged with him a bit. I wanted to hear what he had to say. He mostly kept throwing around loose accusations. So I asked him for specifics. He gave me a file and it was the same lame stuff I had already read. One company that might have been linked to the Rippln founder had some issues with the FTC. Heck, Google and Microsoft have had issues with the FTC. There is no real proof that the owner was even part of the company.

When I was first talking to the guy he was claiming that the FTC had already condemned Rippln. I found that very difficult to believe. Being a former federal employee, I know that government agencies can’t really discuss these kinds of things unless it is criminal and then they can but still won’t say much. When I pressed him on it, it was about this other company that Underwood, the owner of Rippln might have been involved with. Give me a break.

Living In CebuLike I have said, I’m putting myself in position to pounce on this. It hasn’t cost me a dime yet. I don’t know if I will upgrade to “Player” status or not. I might because this really has a lot of potential.

For about a week, I spent most of my time on this new project. I have signed up directly and indirectly over 80 people in that week’s time. If you would like to jump in this and start inviting people before someone else does, you can join with my invitations. To get it, click here.

Sometimes I have an unlimited number of invitations. I do right now and will for about a week. After that, you have to get on my waiting list to get one. For me the key to this is getting in early. I wish I had bought Microsoft, Amazon and Google stock in the early days. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines this time. I hate to see so many of the people I know doing just that. I think you’re making a huge mistake. I don’t understand, you have nothing to loose.

If you have an Android or iPhone, it is likely you are going to be a part of this network sooner or later. Why not get in now while there are still lots of people to invite. It is like being an early Amway distributor. Most of those folks made a LOT of money. Again, for my invitation link, click here.

Other Business

During the month, I found that the purchase link for my eBook was broken. This happened due to a change in the settings of a caching program I have installed on the account. It changed some links and it changed that one. It was broke for at least three weeks. I wondered why I had sold no eBooks. I kept looking around but I didn’t click the buy link. Then, finally I did. That hurt my soul.

I think that about sums up my expat life in the Philippines during June of 2013. For me it’s not all fun and exciting. If I can get my business turned around I can travel more. With it being the way it is, I don’t have a lot of fun money left over. I know I’m working way to much for a retired guy but I’m going to make a million dollars doing this. You can sit back and watch if you like. You could join me though.

If you find this article of value, please hit those share buttons below. I could really use some more tweets and G+ shares but however you see fit is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, use the comments section. I love to hear from all of you.

By Rusty Ferguson

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