Adventure In Rome

After my tired yet exciting day in Florence, we moved on to our next destination – Rome. I’m a huge fan of Spartacus series (currently watching season 4) and very eager to visit this 3000 years old ancient city.

Me and my gang took high speed train from Florence. It was only 2 stops away, yet took us around 1.5 hours. Upon reaching, we immediately snapped tons of photos, while moving towards the metro.

There were lots of people at Roma train station, and it was where our “real adventure” began …

While waiting for the train to arrive, my group of 5 were busying taking photos and chatting. All of us were very excited. Our day was fully planned and we had to rush in order to see more. By the end of the day, we would be going back to Venice.

The train fully arrived and just liked Singapore, every body pushed hard to squeeze in. We were trapped right in the middle, with people pushing us from behind. We just followed the crowd in.

Finally the train door closed and off it went. One of my friend suddenly looked at me and said “I lost my wallet!” Initially I thought he was joking as it was totally unexpected. Another friend who was besides us told us the same thing, “Mine was gone too!” My third friend touched his pocket and shouted “Same!”

We were totally stunned! 3 out of 5 people were pickpocket at the same time, without knowing! Out of the blue, someone touched my friend and pointed to the floor. His phone was lying there. He quickly picked it up and was very glad to recover it back. I guessed the pickpocket just interested in the money.

Once we reached our stop, we alighted and made police report. My friends had to call the credit card companies to deactivated every single card. What a memorable way to start our day!

Although it was impossible, we tried not to think about it and continue with our journey. We walked slowly, and along the way we joked about how we could prevent it from happening. I knew the moods were low, and the loss was huge. Nevertheless, we still reached one of our destination – the Colosseum.

The whole Colosseum was made of rocks, and part of it was already destroyed. Based on the story, Spartacus burned it down while rioting. Despite that, the Colosseum was still one of the grandest building ever built, and remembered, it was 3000 years ago!

Due to the time constraint, we could only see one more attraction, and we’ve decided to visit Vatican City.

Walking there took us around 1 hour, and in between we stopped by for lunch, and allowed our legs to rest. Vatican City was a place where pope lived, and currently, Pope Francis was there.

When I reached there, frankly I was slightly disappointed. I was expecting a huge and nice city, but it was plainly a big church with St Peter Square outside for the audience. The rest of the city was filled with garden. Maybe if we had the time, we would to get into the building to see the paintings, but we did not. We did not want to miss the train to Venice and therefore, we left early for the station.

On the train, everyone was relief. Rome was indeed beautiful with the ancient ruins and buildings, but we were still traumatized by what had happened earlier on. Maybe one day, we’ll come back with more caution, but right now, we did not want to step into Rome again.

So what about you? Any exciting experiences to share?


Maranello – Ferrari Factory and Florence Tour

During the past weekends, I’ve encountered one of the most amazing incident so far in Italy. Before that, let me bring you to Maranello, the Museum of Ferrari.

I’ve to admit Ferrari is one of my dream car ever since I’ve seen one during my younger days. However to be realistic, I know I don’t have the ability to own one, or maybe not yet πŸ™‚

In order to fulfill my dream, my friends and I traveled to a small town called Maranello. This town is quiet and peaceful, roads are small and narrow, but the cars are fierce. It’s the factory of Ferrari!



Can you see how excited I am?

After the Ferrari tour, we proceed to Florence. To me, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. The buildings and bridges are simply astonishing!

People said when you went Florence, you had to see David, the finest sculpture in the world. Too bad the real one is lying in the museum, but nevertheless, it’s still amazing.


We’ve ended our day with nice, big Florence steak. Wonderful day!


Milano – First City in Italy

My plane landed in Milan Airport, and I’ll be spending a night here. From the airport, I’ve hired a private van to send me to my Hotel – Michelangelo Hotel.

The car ride took me around 40 minutes. Along the way I could see the countryside, which I could never see in Singapore. The temperature was cold and the whole journey was very comfortable.

Some thing I’ve noticed about Milan was the Graffiti. It was everywhere, on almost everything piece of wall. The streets were dirty too, full of leaves and rubbish. My impression of Milan was a fine, modern city where designers were born and it should be a very high class city, but it was totally the opposite. The buildings were old, streets were dirty, giving me a sense of insecurity.


I’ve chosen Michelangelo Hotel because of the location. It was 3 min to Central Train Station, where I’ll take one high speed train to Venice the following day. Michelangelo Hotel was cosy, not very grand, nor magnificent. But the staff was friendly, and I must mentioned the breakfast was very nice.

Without further delay, after checking in to my hotel, off I went for a city visit. The first place I went was – San Siro Stadium. Being a soccer fan, this was one of the popular stadium in Italy, shared by 2 famous football team – Inter and AC Milan.

From the outside, the stadium did not look magnificent. I guessed the skills of the cameraman must be very good, giving me the impression the stadium was grand and huge.

The next place I went was Duomo. I’ve heard it’s where all designer brands are located. True indeed, the place was nice! There’s a famous Milan Cathedral there, and it was huge! The wall sculptures were simply amazing! I really wonder how much time and people had worked on this building to make it such an attraction.


If you’ve never been to Milan, I suggest you just stay a day or two, definitely not more. There’s nothing much in this city. Spend your time on other places.

Ok I’m preparing myself to my next destination – Venice. I’ll be spending a couples of days there. See you!

Journey To Italy

I’m writing this post right now with my iphone. Reason is simple – I have nothing better to do.

I’m taking SIA to Italy, and it’s closed to 13 hour flight. The previous time I took such long flight was my trip to Florida, a crazy 29 hour flight. However, flying with SIA is really different.

SIA is known for their world class flights and service. You’ll feel like a king, being treated as if you are a royalty. The food are pleasant and I just realized they have upgraded their entertainment sets.

The in-seat screen is much larger now, around the same size as my iPad mini and the thing I really like is the ability to charge my devices through USB port. SIA allows in- flight charging, where most other airlines don’t. This shows how sconfident SIA is with their flight electrical wiring system! They fear no risk of battery explosion or fire. Good job!

I still have a good 3 hours to go before touching down in Milan. I already miss my family, especially Vilena. The night before I flew off, she was still giggling and moving her hands and legs. She is so adorable!

This trip is mainly for business and I have serious stuff to settle. But of course I’ve packed holiday into it as well. Some of the cities I will be visiting will be:

– Milan
– Venice
– Florence
– Rome

As much as I miss my family, I’m pretty excited as well. This is my first time to Europe and I’m going to make my time well spent!

Watch out for my next few posts, I’ll take more photos for you. Enjoy!

Vilena Two Months Old

These two months were pretty tiring for me. Ever since Vilena was born, I hardly had time for myself. I meant it.

For those readers without baby yet, this is what you’ll get once you’ve a baby – sleepless nights! If you ask me one thing I truly miss after having a baby, I miss my beauty sleep, whole, undisturbed good sleep. Right now, my timing totally follow the routine of my girl. When she wakes up, I’m awake. When she wants milk, I’ll be there for her. After drinking, I’ll have to burp her (usually 1/2 hour). After that, I’ll have to steam her milk bottles, change her diapers. And the routine goes on again two hours later.

No doubt it was tiring, but it worth every single minute of my time. Watching Vilena grows up every day is truly a joy. I remembered the day she was born, and her cries awaken the whole hospital. Now, she was already two months old!

As much as I love my family, I’ll have to leave them for two weeks soon. I’ll be on business trip to … Italy! Yes, the place where I’ve been longing to go!

I’ll be there for a short two weeks, visiting probably some cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. I’ll take some photos and I’ll try to blog my journey to Italy whenever possible.

So, have you been to Italy? Any places to interest to recommend? I’ll love to hear from you in the comments below.

Best Confinement Lady in Singapore

When Vilena Tan was born, my wife, my mother and I were over the moon. We worked hard for the past 9+ months, preparing everything that came to our attention without failed.

“I think you’ll need more baby bottles.” – Buy.

“I think you’ll need a bigger baby cot as baby grows up fast.” – Buy a super big baby cot.

Our daily conversation routed around my unborn baby. No matter how much we’ve prepared, there seems to be things we’ve not purchase.

About 4 months back, my cousin just gave birth to her baby (good family productivity) and thankfully we’re about to share some tips. She told me the importance of hiring a confinement lady during the first month my baby was born.

I asked around and most of my friends did hired a confinement lady to help out. I called my cousin’s confinement lady and booked her month of Sept – expecting delivery date of my newborn.

Finally the big day arrived. You can read my previous post about how messy and excited I was. The real story came AFTER we brought Vilena home. That’s when the real excitement began.

Before my wife discharged, I called my confinement lady to fix the exact date. On that day, she arrived early (she’s a Malaysian Chinese), and was patiently waiting for our call. She knew we were very short handed and did not bother us at all.

After sending my previous girl back home, I met her and brought her back. She automatically started work, tidying up the house, preparing dinner for the whole family. In fact, I was quite taken aback by her initiative.

After dinner, we went NTUC. It was my first time preparing for my wife’s confinement. I totally had no idea what to buy for her. I’ve heard some house wife’s tales of ginger, soya sauce chicken, etc … But when it came to food selection, I gave up. Luckily Ai Wen, my confinement lady cum life savior came to my rescue. She was very experience and patiently explained the purpose of buying confinement food. I could only say I was impressed!

Back at home, she automatically cooked while all of us were resting. Frankly, I wasn’t used to having someone to cook and cleaning the house for me. I never had a maid in my life and I hated the idea of having someone to do the “dirty” work for me. However, on the other hand, I felt glad she was around, guiding us and helping us with the holes we could not have fill without her help.

Not only she cooked and cleaned, she took care of Vilena well. She taught my wife how to breast feed, pumped and stored the milk, how to clear the poo, changed diapers, etc … She was very patient with us, explaining step by step the correct ways of handling a baby.

Another distinct behavior I really like about Ai Wen was her thriftiness. I myself was very thrifty. I totally against wasting anything, be it food, electricity, money, water … As long as it’s a waste, I tend to be agitated. Can’t everyone just do their part to save the world?

Back to Ai Wen. She was way thriftier than me! Before she came, I was quite worried about the additional cost, especially during the confinement month. Anyone goes through this period will know that somethings are unavoidable. Woman who just gave birth can’t be exposed to any wind, and therefore aircon is a must for a good rest. Baby bottles need to be sterilized frequently. All 3 meals had to be cooked at home, for my wife. All these added up to huge amount of utility bill.

Luckily, Ai Wen herself was thrifty. She never waste any food or water. In fact, at night, she doesn’t even mind without a fan, but of course I insisted of giving her. I’m not that evil hearted πŸ™‚

She did not eat a lot, or spent any of our money. She brought her own toothpaste and shower form. In fact, besides 3 basic meals, she did not spend any other thing. Ok I could count showering once a day in. Her nature was thrifty, and she had the heart of us, which I really like.

At night, we were dead tired even though we did nothing much in the day. Ai Wen was the one handling everything for us. Yet, at night, she still managed to take care of Vilena well. Newborn baby tend to wake up every 2 hours for milk, and she single handedly fed, care and rocked Vilena back to sleep, all throughout the night!

The next morning, she was up the earliest to prepare breakfast for us! Up till a point I felt quite guilty. She always had a smile on her face, and never a time showed us her tired look. She would mop and cleaned the house everyday, washed and hanged the clothes, with frequent trips to NTUC! Impressive lady!

The day she left, I admitted I missed her, not because of her excellence service, but we treated her as part of our family already. Vilena was so lucky to have such a good nanny to take care of her for 1 month and we felt blessed!

Ai Wen came from a humble background and she had 5 kids to take care at home. Her youngest was just 9 years old. She needed this job badly to support her family and this was the reason she was working so hard and doing such excellence job. At the end of service, my wife gave her more than what she asked for, as a token of appreciation.

If you need a good and humble confinement lady, you can seriously consider Ai Wen. You can contact her at 96109217. Just said Ah Han (that’s how she call me) recommended you πŸ™‚

Now, pardon me, I have to warm the milk for Vilena. See ya!

Get Your Website Rank Without Any Banklinks

While my baby girl – Vilena Tan was still sleeping, I tried to write up a post with my limited given time. I had finally understood why parents were always complaining about not having time for themselves. It was so true! One cry from baby and you had to drop whatever you were doing to attend to her. Princess girl!

Anyway, in June, about 3 months ago, I’ve created another niche site using Yes, it’s possible to use this free google blogging site and get ranked. Many people thought they had to buy a domain to get rank in Google. No doubt that it will work. However, you can rank equally well in Google with Blogger and other free sites if you know how.

Look At The Stats

As mentioned, I’ve created this brand new niche site using Blogger in June. I’ve pulled my traffic stats from June to July. Let’s see.

Site Stats 1

Not too shabby for a brand new site. And take note, I’ve not done any backlinking yet. I’m too lazy for that. I’ll just write some simple blog posts and let the site grows by itself. So most of my traffic comes from search engine.

More Stats

Frankly speaking, I do not know whether this site will grow or not. Non of us know. Google can just change their algorithm and everything changes over night. But 1 thing for sure, if you are doing white hat, using original contents, your site is there to stay.

Let’s see my stats all the way till today (5th Sept).

Site Stats 2This site basically grow very well. You can see I’m hitting around 100 UV per day, without doing any backlinking at all. All in all, I’ve written a total of 19 posts (last post on 17 Aug) and have not touch this site anymore. Yet this site is still growing everyday!

So where are all my traffic from? You can see from the stats below yourself.

Site Stats 3

Yes, all from Google! This proved that Google can rank any sites, provided they have good and unique contents, even without any backlinks! But is it really that simple? Of course there are other things to take note of. Interested? Continue reading …

Reason For My Site To Rank Without Any Backlinks

The main reasons for my site to rank high (still growing), with just 19 posts and 0 backlinks is because of Keyword Research! Yes, that simple.

Many people think that backlinks are the most important factor to rank in Google. I can only agree that backlinking is only one of the most important factor. To me, keyword research IS the most important point to your internet marketing success.

First of all, it’s MUCH easier to rank in a non-competitive niche. A good keyword research can lead you to success much much faster with less or no efforts!

You can totally ignore backlinks, guest posting, social media marketing, etc … All you have to do is to focus on creating ok content. Yes, ok content, not great content will be enough. Reason is simple, there’s not much competition at all. Whatever you write will stick on Google.

So remember. Whether your site can earn, or rank solely depend on how well you do your keyword research. Do you agree? You can write in the comments below.


My Baby Girl Is Born

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. It’s because I’m busy with my family. My wife was due for delivery in Sept, and we were both busy preparing for our first born.

There were so many things to prepare in advance, such as buying baby cot, stroller, milk bottles, breast pump, etc … The list can basically goes on and on. Before the baby arrived, we were reading as much baby books and magazines as possible. We knew that once our baby came, we would hardly had any time for ourselves anymore.

About a month before the due date, we cleaned our baby room, washed the clothes, packed the bottles and prepared everything in advance. We did not want to panic, just in case the baby came earlier.

Water Bag Burst

My wife and I were preparing to sleep on 1/9. I was dead tired as I usually woke up around 630am for work. I still remember the time was around 1130pm when I was finally on bed. Thank god I was able to sleep finally. At 1150pm, my wife woke me up. “My water bag had burst!” My wife screamed.

I jumped out of bed immediately, checked on her and grabbed our bag. Off to hospital we went!

At Mt. Alvernia

We went straight into the emergency labor room. The nurses helped us with everything. Basically I just follow what they said. I was still in the shock. After moving into the delivery room, things started to settle down. I thought the baby would be out immediately, but I was wrong. The nurses just told us to wait for the contraction and they told us we would have to wait around another 12 hours!

I could do nothing but to wait patiently. Luckily the room was clean and nice, with a cosy sofa bed for me to rest. I jumped on it and tried to grab as much sleep as possible.



Prepared For Delivery

Time passed slowly, ticking every second. We were waiting, my wife was in so much pain that we decided to take epidural to ease her pain. Many people said there were side effects, but pretty harmless. The pain was too much for her to take and the decision was easy to make – take the epidural!

As miracle as it sounded, after 20 minutes, the pain was completely gone! She could even watch TV, ate biscuits and chatted with me! The decision was definitely right one. We had regretted not taking immediately, suffered for the past 7-8 hours.

The gynea came, and told us it was time to deliver. This was the moment. The head nurse prepared for everything, and taught my wife how to push. The timing was critical too. Pushing at the wrong time did not help, she should push at the start of contraction.

To make things short, my wife pushed for an hour plus without any success. The gynea checked and told us the pelvic bone was too tight for the baby to come out. We had to go for caesarean immediately!

Caesarean Birth

On the way to the surgery room, my wife looked very pale. She was exhausted and now she had to go though caesarean. It was a shock for her. But we did not have much time to lose. I dressed up and went in to the surgery suite with her. I knew she needed me now.

The process was rather fast. I was there to witness the whole process. My wife was on epidural, but fully awake. The nurses had covered up the view from my wife so she did not know what was happening.

The scene was scary, the gynea cut her open, torn open her skin to take out the baby. My wife was shaking, but not painful. After about 30 min, we finally heard the cry of the baby, our baby girl!


Vilena Tan, our new member

She was such a beautiful girl, and healthy. My wife was weak after the operation. I followed the baby to the infant room, and waited for my wife to be back. I felt that I was the happiest man at that moment, with my newly arrived daughter. Nothing could describe that feeling. I just knew that I would do whatever I could to give my family the best possible life, and I had to work extra work now.
1 more mouth to feed. She worth every effort of mine. She’s my princess, my whole world now!


Now, I was in hospital with my wife. Vilena was sleeping. I felt completed. I had a family. Life is wonderful!

My eBooks Income Report (July 2013)

It’s nice to keep track of my projects and share with my readers whatever findings I have. This is one of my project which I have started last Dec 2012. I’m trying to start a stream of passive income by selling ebooks on Apple iBookstore.

You can read my previous month ebook income report to have a better understanding of my status before going deep into my July’s sales. Every month, I’ll do some analysis on my sales figures, and I’ll think of ways how to bring my sales further.

I treat this income as an experience to share with my readers. I’m optimizing the best pricing per ebook, number of ebooks sales, etc …. Without further, let’s dive in.

Number of eBooks published in July 2013

I’m still publishing 1 ebook per day, according to my plan. I’m trying to increase the number of ebook published, but unfortunately, I don’t have the capacity at the moment. In fact, I’m already struggling to maintain this frequency due to my extra commitment to my family (my daughter is coming out soon) and next month, I’m not even sure if I have the time to continue this project.

Nevertheless, right at the beginning, I started this project with the aim of having it runs itself automatically, without me managing it. If I stop now, my ebooks will continue to sell, making meΒ  a small passive income day after day.

In July 13, I’ve published a total of 28 ebooks (+12%). It’s always nice to see a positive figure. But I think I’ve reached the plateau. It’s not possible for me to go any higher without doing 2 ebooks per day. Let me think of a way, but right now, I’ll stick with 1 ebook per day.

In total, from Dec 2012 to July 2013, I’ve published a total of 110 ebooks! Finally I’ve crossed the 100 ebooks mark! Wow! I was thinking to myself the other day, if I never even take action 1/2 year ago, there will not even be a single ebook at all. A small step a day brings great success later! Target to hit 150 ebooks before year end. Possible?

Number of eBooks Sold

This is the interesting part. Let’s look at the chart below.

eBook Sales (Jul 13)You can see a jump in the blue bar, that’s the increase of ebook sales. I’ve managed to sell a total of 466 ebooks (+57.4%). This huge figure is because I’ve published several free ebooks for users to download. I’ll explain more in future posts.

As for the red line, you can see something interesting. My amount earned in July was $141.28 (+2.7%). The figure doesn’t go consistent with the previous few months. Despite the increased in number of ebooks published, my earnings stop increasing. This proved that more ebooks don’t mean more money. My ebooks published in July did not sell as well when comparing to the previous month. Why?

The main reason for this is the Cost. If you read my previous post, I’m currently doing an experiment to test the best pricing for an ebook. I’ve did well for the pricing for >$2, and in July, I decided to ramp up the prices to $5.99 per ebook. I know it’s crazy, but hey, you never know.

Well, the data proved everything. In July, my earnings did not increase despite publishing a record of 28 ebooks of $5.99 each. Initially I wanted this test to go on for 2 months but since the first month already proved it wasn’t working, I’m going to stop in Aug and revert everything back to $3.99 pricing.

The change in pricing will take some times to be reflected, and therefore I believe the earnings in Aug will not be much, or even drop. We’ll see again in my next month’s income report.

Pricing of eBooks

Sales PricingI’ve print-screen to share my sales figure breakdown, according to the pricing. I’m still trying to find the optimal price for ebook. Let’s see what we can conclude from this data.

First of all, sales of ebooks is highest again at the range of $1-$2. People like cheap ebooks, but not as cheap as below $1. People will find these ebooks probably junk to be that cheap.

Secondly, there’s a drop in the sales figure in the range of $2-$3. This is probably because I’ve not uploaded any ebooks in that range in the month of July.

Thirdly, there’s no sales in $5.99 range and I can confirm it’s too expensive for readers.

Lastly, even though sales figures ($2-$3) is lower than $1-$2, the earnings is still higher, for continuous 2 months. Therefore I can almost conclude that, in order to earn the most, I have to set my prices around $3.99 range (after the fees from Apple and Lulu, each ebook earnings will be around $2.99).

My Plan

I’m going to change the pricing for all my ebooks published in July ($5.99) to $3.99. On top of that, in the month of Aug, I’m going to set all the ebooks that are going to be published to $3.99. I’m looking for a rebound in the sales, hopefully. But I know the updates in pricing will not be immediate. So we’ll see the earnings again next month.

If the earnings are stable, I’m going to change all the pricing to $3.99 flat. I’m not going to do it immediately. I’m going to spread out the ebooks and maybe change 10 per week. But I need more data before taking this step. Hopefully, after my split test, I’m able to find this optimal price to maximize my earnings.

My target is to hit $200/mth by year end. I’m left with about 3 more months. Frankly speaking, I have no confident at all, but we’ll see. Next month, with the arrival of my precious daughter, I’ll perhaps spend even less time on this project. But nevertheless, I’ll keep updating my progress, whether it’s positive or a drop in income.

So have you published your first ebook? Let me know in the comments below.


Getting Jawbone Up To Track My Life

Previously, I’m written a post about Fitbit Flex Wristband. Recently, one of my friends told my about Jawbone Up, a similar wearable piece of fitness tracker that work 24 hours a day to track your life. Now, I’m seriously thinking of getting this instead. So what is Jawbone Up?

Jawbone Up

Jawbone is a maker of music accessories, such as headphones, etc … They ventured into wearable electronics recently and successfully came out with this piece of wristband that can track your movement.

You do not have to do anything except to wear it on your wrist. I find the design much nicer than Fitbit, and comes with 8 different colors. However in Singapore, there’s only black and blue available. If you are interested in other colors, you can purchase online instead.

What Jawbone Up Does?

Jawbone Up is a tracker. It tracks what you do daily, such as numbers of steps you walked, how much time you are idling. What I really like after reading 4 hour body by Tim Ferriss is the ability to track my sleep. As you know, I like to track everything I do. My businesses, my shares, my savings. Tim took a step further by tracking his sleep, which totally amazed me.

Jawbone Up has Day and Night functionality. At night before you sleep, you can just press the button to change the wristband to night mode. It will track how fast you fall asleep, number of times you wake up, number of hours you are having deep sleep, etc … It’s so interested, especially when you are receiving so many data. All these data are saved inside Up wristband, and it sync seamlessly with your iphone, or any Android devices.

Jawbone Up Sync

Another cool feature about Jawbone Up which I really like is the App. It has clean interface and all our data will be saved into the app. We are able to track our daily lives from there.


You can track your daily movement, your sleep, your mood, your food intake, calories burned. It’s totally Up to you to design your very own healthy lifestyle!

The last feature I love is the built in vibration. You can wear this device while sleeping, and preset the time to wake you up. When the time’s Up, it’ll vibrate, not waking the rest of the people around you. There’s an idle mode as well, alerting you that you’ve not been moving much. Time to stand up and do some stretching! All these can be done with a single charge that can last Up to 10 days!

Jawbone Up Apps

Not only Jawbone Up App, there are tons of other third party apps available, such as:

  • RunKeeper
  • My FitnessPal
  • MapMyFitness
  • IFTTT and many more!

I’m seriously thinking of getting Jawbone Up myself, to track my sleep mostly. I feel that I’ve been waking up several times a night, but I’ll forget the moment I wake up in the morning. With this, I’m able to tell what’s wrong and I can start changing my habits. Perhaps a glass of warm milk before sleeping?

So what about you? Do you want to track your daily lifestyle as well? Let me know in the comments below.