I Am Going To The US!

Las Vegas, to be exact. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know how to put it in words better than how I feel right now.

When I was having my late lunch, I kept looking at my passport. The page plastered with the Visa to US. To think that I waited 4 years for this!

——————————

You see, back in 2006, I wanted to go to the US to attend a JV Alert seminar in Philadelphia. I was year one old in the Internet Business, and I wanted to meet other Internet Marketers in the US badly.

I was staying in Johor Bahru and I didn’t have a car at that time, so I took a bus down to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. I was to go back the same day.

Imagine the horror when the officer told me, after rushing to get the documents down pat for several days, six hours of getting here, and two hours of waiting before the interview…

The American officer said to the effect of:

“Young man, I am sorry but I cannot approve your visa. You failed to demonstrate strong ties to your country. Your business is so virtual you can just operate from Starbucks and not come back to your country.”

I did my best to assure the officer I would come back to Malaysia, then he went on to say:

“Your visa application is declined and that’s final. By the way, please don’t try again next month. Don’t come back the next 6 months. Don’t even try again next year.”

And I let those words sank in. Those words kept playing, over and over again in my mind, on my way back to JB. I was despaired.

Problem was, I was a total nobody on paper. Granted, I was doing somewhat okay financially.

But I was not a student.

I was not an employee either.

And as a business owner, I didn’t have a company registered at all.

To add, I didn’t have anything else to back up my proof that I would return to Malaysia. I didn’t have a house or even a car to my name to prove that!

I went home, dropped an email and told the people in US I had to give up my seat at JV Alert. It totally SUCKED.

But I was very sure that one day I would overcome this.

… And that day actually came! Albeit a really long wait.

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It’s been a while since I last heard from Dylan Loh. And when he messaged me on Facebook, he asked me, “Hey Edmund, wanna follow me to Las Vegas?”

There’s an Affiliate Summit 2011 going to happen soon. There will be the big shots and giants of the Internet from companies like Google, Facebook, Zynga, Twitter, etc. going. There will be a ClickBank party too.

I had been spending unusually a lot as of lately – the recent Egypt trip being one. My mother was to go for operation to remove a thyroid from her neck which is going to cost a bomb.

But I knew I cannot pass this up this time. FOR REAL.

So I hurried to apply for my Visa to the US for the second time – paid the processing fee, get my visa-sized photo done, and went through the tedious application form on the Internet.

“This has got to work!”

——————————

Yesterday, I drove to the embassy. It’s been 4 years since. Cold. Impersonal. Nothing at this place changed.

I surrendered my car keys, hand phone and IC to the guard house before entering. It was less than two hours before it was my turn to get interviewed.

While waiting, I heard the American officer booming through the glass window at some of the applicants.

Vietnam guy didn’t make it. A lot of discrepancy in his application.

Iranian woman was feared that she won’t return ever, even though she already has a family there.

Then… my turn.

And I was more well prepared than I was years ago. My company is registered. I have a house and 2 cars to my name. And a healthier bank account. I’d also like to think that I was lucky to be interviewed by an officer with a more positive attitude.

“Your visa application is approved, Mr. Loh. Collect your passport from Wisma MCA tomorrow anytime from 3.00 to 4.00 PM.”

YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!

Las Vegas baby, here we come! 8)

This is like a dream come true for me. I’m going to be meeting some of my marketing heroes face to face for the first time ever – two of them being Jeremy Gislason and Simon Hodgkinson!

I hope I can meet up with Stephen Luc too, though he stays far from Vegas. All these years of communicating online, I really can’t wait to meet face to face. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, another reason why I really want to go for this is so I can meet up with new joint venture partners for my business. I have no connections with the ClickBank marketers at this stage, and I have a launch coming up that is going to use ClickBank as the main platform.

I’m looking forward to this – 5th January 2011. I’ll be back in Malaysia again on the 18th. ๐Ÿ™‚

YAY!

City Square Shooting Gallery

I didn’t know such a place exist in Malaysia… until my friend Nic Thooi told me about it. And I knew right away that we had to check it out. The City Square Shooting Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

So a group of us friends arrived at the entrance of gallery and first thing we needed to do was fill in some forms, including the one for indemnity. (heart thumping)

For the next 2 hours, our Instructor Kelvin showed us how to handle and shoot a handgun properly.

“This is how you reload the gun…”

For beginners, we practiced pushing in the 9mm rounds into the magazine. The more rounds you put in, the harder it gets.

There were Glocks, M1911s, and CZ75s. We fired the Glock23 and M1911.

The proper way to hold the handgun. Nic has fired handguns before in the States, thus this being the second time for him.

This was just before I discharged the first live round in my life. We were told not to wear the ear protection just yet, to find out how loud the firing really is. And yes, it was REALLY LOUD.

(Note I was holding the gun in ‘tea pot’ position. This is not the best way to hold a handgun. I feel so cheated and lied to after playing all those computer games.)

Us boys standing in a line and taught the proper stance of holding and firing a pistol.

“Now that’s the proper way!” Personally, I prefer the European grip compared to American grip but each to their own.

Pictures tell very little, I’ll let you watch this video we took while shooting targets. ๐Ÿ™‚



Honest to goodness truth, I felt really scared when handling the gun. The computer games made it look so easy. What a wrong mindset to have! But then, I got used to it later into the course. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to try out shooting, you can look up CSSG. They are on Facebook too, just look up their fan page.

We fired about 20-25 rounds each, which I think it’s more than enough for a person. Any more and your wrists will probably get sore from all the gun recoil.

New Yearโ€™s Eve 2010

It’s been some time since the last post. A lot of overdue posts! Year 2010 kick started with a big bang for me.

The atmosphere was happening around me just before the world celebrated 2010 – congrats everyone, we lived one decade into the 21st century! ๐Ÿ˜€

Also in the last 3 weeks, I became highly involved in the SRDC Forex previews, went to Jakarta and Brunei, and launched my first 72-hour PLR Sale of the year at the same time!

Alright, alright I’ll stick to the theme of this blog post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Got carried away, too excited. LOL

I didn’t have any solid plans to celebrate the New Year and was thinking of staying in… until I saw an event on Facebook – the ‘Black & White’ NYE Party at Terrace @ Hok Choon KL.

Forget staying at home to celebrate 10 years of the first 21st century, man… call in the cavalry!

Yep. Me, Jimmy Chen, Constance Ying (his gf) and Kenneth Lee. We went there to do the countdown.

I also met Eunice Cheng by lucky chance! Practically the first person I see as soon as the clock struck 12! Will I be lucky for the rest of the year? ๐Ÿ˜‰

The night was still young so the four of us went to Zouk KL to partay partay!

It was Jimmy’s sister’s boyfriend’s birthday too, so we had the privilege of getting access to the VIP lounge in Phuture. Though that was after trying to find our way there amidst the HUGE crowd of people dancing and music blasting through our ear drums.

That’s me pretending to be drunk. But then, after looking at this photo I don’t think I needed to act out too much. LOL

Happy New Year 2010, Everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Moving Into Casa Tropicana

It’s been a month since I last posted any solid updates to my Personal Blog! I’m still swamped with a lot of things on my table now – one of them being the customer support for my recently launched Mega Red Packet, the other being just getting settled down at my new crib in Casa Tropicana, PJ. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s 3:00 in the morning so I gotta do this fast before I sleep. But then, I supposed you’re more interested in seeing the pictures than reading what I have to say!

Moving Into Casa Tropicana

It was just after the Mega Red Packet launch I’ve pulled with my business partners, Vince Tan and Stephen Luc, and my family and I drove down to Klang to stay for a night. We were to get me a new place in PJ the next day. We secured a nice apartment over the weekend to rent!

Since it was a Sunday, the Management office was closed and so were many places, I spent the night in the empty hall.

Empty hall on first night

Okay, meet Elle Wong. My new friend and neighbor. ๐Ÿ˜›

Edmund and Elle!

We went on a shopping spree for the next few days to get new stuff for the house. Elle had her own design company and she sure lived up to her trade name. If it were anything like the last 2 houses I used to stay back in 2007, I would have stayed in another ruined environment owing to my poor taste. LOL

It was amazing eye opener to me. Before this, I would shop on impulse and get the cheapest thing I could get. I paid little to no attention to details and like most guys, I hated shopping.

Typical guy, I know I am.

So alright, with Elle’s help, over the next couple of days – the apartment went from nothing to homely!

The kitchen

The sofa

The cabinet

Multipurpose table

Work place

View from the window

Bedroom

Curtains

Curtains

Seriously, the house wouldn’t be anything this nice and cozy if not for Elle’s help and her good taste in design. ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks a heap Elle!

(On a side note, I have to admit I was embarrassed that she’s much better at handiwork as well and I clearly have 2 left hands. I shouldn’t have told her I used to serve the Scout troop last time.)

Winning a PSP And The Grand Prize For Web Fusionology Sales Contest

Winning a PSP from Khai Ng

They used to say that when it rains it pours. But good luck and good things sure come in a streak too!

While moving to Casa Tropicana and getting new stuff for the house took up most of my time, I had the time to participate in Khai Ng‘s Web Fusionology launch. I bagged the Grand Prize of $1,000 with my friend from Australia, Aurelius Tjin, and also won a PSP!

WOO HOO!

Okay. Okay. The full gist is here.

Sweet – now a PSP to play when I’m bored. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Clothes, New Fashion?

I used to dress REAL sloppily (for like what? 22 years?) until I became more aware of my self appearance not too long ago. I expect to meet more people – new and old – and I could really begin with dressing more properly this time. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Casual

More like it!

Never took shopping seriously in my life – up until now that is.

Meeting Old Friends and Acquaintances

Just when I thought many of the people I used to know are out of the country, there are still some familiar faces loitering around PJ. One of them happens to be Kimmy Foo.

With Kimmy Foo

Met by freak chance while shopping at IKEA! I needed to catch up with her again as I sure missed a ton of things that happened back in high school when I left prematurely in my final year. So yes, that makes her my old high school friend.

Siew-Ann

An old church friend of mine, Siew-Ann, got back from the States. We kept in touch now and then on FaceBook and so we caught up too! We played a game of Scrabble just last night with Khai Yong and his friend from Outward Bound School, Cindy.

Khai Yong and Cindy

I’ve known Khai Yong since we were 13 (almost 10 years!) and he hasn’t changed one bit. Especially the way he laughs.

So the 4 of us played a game of Scrabble at Dessert’s Bar, just downstairs from where I live.

Scrabbles

It was good fun catching up with people I thought I wouldn’t be in touch again, since I left PJ for my own roller coaster adventure some 6 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

And hey, they all creamed me at Scrabble.

0wn4g3

Should hire them to write for my digital products next time.

The Shopping Spree Continues

If you’ve been reading my messages on Twitter and Facebook then you’ll know it’s obvious I’ve been on a shopping spree. I’ve been spending a lot more than usual as of lately, though I could use some indulging in luxury. That’s for making up all the years of window shopping. LOL

Getting a Custom Tailored Suit

My first Internet Marketing speaking engagement as main speaker is coming up and I need a new suit. Real bad.

At the Tailor Shop

At the Tailor Shop

Because of my small built, the suit I currently have appears to be one size bigger than I am. So a week ago, I walked into the nearest tailor shop to get a suit custom made to fit my size.

The first try out to get the measurement…

The First Try Out

A week later, I returned to test out the ‘prototype’ suit. Because it is still being tested for fitting, I won’t put photos of the by-product suit here yet.

I also need to get one done for the pants. I’m done with wearing over-sized pants with legs longer than mine.

Talking to the Tailor

I want this, this and thatโ€ฆ

So, done deal!

I hope the suit and pants will be ready in time before I fly off to Penang for the speaking engagement!

SIDENOTE: Worse comes to worst, I’ll just borrow Vince Tan’s suit. Good thing he’s coming to Penang to speak too, and our speaking schedules are different! ๐Ÿ˜›

PlayStation 3

When I got the word that Resident Evil 5 came out, I knew it was time to grab a PS3. There are many other games I want to get my hands on too later on. ๐Ÿ™‚

It wasn’t easy finding a PS3 here though. Many of the shops at City Square have declared a sold out on this hot baby. My hunt for the PS3 ended at Tebrau Jusco. So here it is: Playstation 3 with 80GB memory.

PS3

Since my schedule’s pretty packed this month and the games are pricier than I thought, I bought one game first. Resident Evil 5, of course.

Resident Evil 5

I have finished the game in 3 days. I’ll chalk up a quick review on the game over the weekend when I’m free.

Need a New Laptop While I’m At It…

Dell

I’m comfortable working on desktop computer but it would be too inconvenient to take it with me when I move so I have to invest in a new laptop. The Acer laptop is old and too slow for my workload, and using it was frustrating for me.

With the help of some recommendations from friends, I bought a customized version of Dell XPS M1530. Though relatively a noob with laptops, I’ve heard mostly positive and favorable reviews about Dell laptops. Anyways, I’m already convinced that any laptop is perpetually better than one I have now!

This is going to be my portable work station when I move to KL.

And A Second Car? Hmm…

Yeah, a lot of my heavy expenses lately are motivated by my move to KL. And this is the biggest of them all – I need a car. VERY badly.

When I was in PJ/KL, I relied heavily on public transport. And it’s no secret that public transport in PJ/KL are horrible. This may surprise some of you, but the taxi and bus services in Johor Bahru are much, much better anytime than that of KL’s!

So yes, I need a car to go around.

I was contemplating between the Toyota Vios and the BMW E46 model. The Beemer, at first glance, appears to be a very tempting choice. I mean, who doesn’t want prestige and status?

I had to think with my head than with my ego though. For many logical reasons, getting a Toyota Vios is a smarter choice over the BMW. The Toyota Vios is fuel savvy, easier to maintain and the parts are affordable and easily replaceable.

The second hand beemer: RM100,000 for a 10 year-old car that’s expensive to maintain and consumes fuel like a German man on beer?

Hmm…

Not really wise spending on the BMW after making many considerations in spite of its high prestige value, since I also don’t foresee myself driving the same car for many years.

Plus, cars depreciate in value real easily – it’s 70% its price the moment I drive it off the parking lot – so it’s better to put more money into business and investment than on a liability that depreciates in value over the years.

So Toyota Vios it is!

Generous space in the boot - for sub woofers?

Side profile

Inside the car

The engine

Checking out the Vios

Haha, me!

Making sure the carโ€™s in absolute good condition

Toyota Vios

Going out on a test drive

I won’t make the same financial mistake this time i.e. being in a hurry to pay up entirely for the car like I did with the Myvi! I’d rather use the money to invest plus as mentioned, I don’t foresee myself driving the same car for after another 3 to 5 years.

So yep, done deal. Getting this 3 year-old Toyota Vios. Will be mine in a week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Letting my mom have the Myvi so she can drive around places in JB and do her shopping with ease.

UPDATE: 7th April

Custom suit and pants are done! Alright, this is exactly what I’m talking about… No more over-sized coats and pants! ๐Ÿ™‚


Wait, a little bit of adjustmentsโ€ฆ

The complete tailor made suit and pants

Side Profile

The Back Profile

Vince, you can keep your suit. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚