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REC

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Everything posted by REC

  1. I think there are two issues - getting signed up with Shaw for access and obtaining/installing the necessary equipment. If you are Canadian and have a legitimate Canadian residential address you have some options as far as signing up for service including signing up directly with Shaw yourself. Do not mention Mexico in any of your communication with Shaw - VERY important. If you don't have that option you will definitely need help getting signed up. Ajijic Satellite & CP Electronics can help. You might also find someone that can add you to their account but I personally would not do so. This is not something you want to get wrong as Shaw seems to be paying more attention to verifying "legitimate" users. Just my opinion. For the equipment those two companies can provide you with the dish and box(es) you need. The equipment is not cheap to start with and when those folks import the equipment including shipping and duty the cost can only go up. It is possible to buy the equipment yourself and I have even found an online resource that will ship to the U.S. - but not to Mexico. As mentioned you might find someone selling equipment that could save you some money. My suggestions are that you make sure to buy up to date boxes - 600 or 800 series and not the older 300 or 500 models. Also I have heard of a few folks that bought used boxes that had previously been activated where they ran into problems reactivating them under a different name. For the dish it doesn't really make sense to try to have one shipped. Size and shipping cost would be at least somewhat problematic. Probably best to buy at least the dish from one of the local providers and then have them install & align it. I guess you could bring a dish down if you were driving. I have brought more than one box down in my airline carry-on luggage - but never considered bringing down a dish. Be prepared for a little "cost shock" upfront but once you are up and running you should be happy with the available content. I don't think you can go wrong with either of the recommended options. I use Ajijic Satellites in part because they are "local" but I have heard good things about CP too.
  2. Sounds like some tinkering will be required. At a minimum an MPEG-4 receiver ($$$) and access to all three satellites including the new one that may not provide decent reception for those of us outside of Shaw's intended service area. Shaw will not "go away" but it may become a less viable option for those of us down here do at least in part to the footprint of the new satellite. That could happen at any time and almost certainly way before 7 years. Shaw could also take other steps that may affect those of down here that don't affect subscribers who are actually in Canada. I doubt they are going to do much to actively deteriorate our service down here but they certainly aren't going to do anything to make things better for us. Shaw in Toronto versus Shaw at lakeside are very different issues. Just sayin'. Also, contacting Shaw directly in any way is a really bad idea if you are not Canadian, don't have a "real" Canadian physical address, and didn't set up your Shaw account yourself while in Canada. Even if you have your own completely legitimate Canadian account, contacting Shaw from down here in any way is unlikely to turn out well. If even a hint of "Mexico" comes up during such a contact things will probably become difficult very quickly. And I agree with RVGringo - as is pretty much always the case. Neither Telmex or Telecable is going to make much of an investment in our small primarily residential market. ILOX was willing to consider doing so but if I were them I would have all the information I need and would run away as fast as possible.
  3. I am sure there are others but Todd TV has the U.S. networks from a bunch of markets/cities.
  4. Long response and this won't be at all interesting or useful for a lot of folks but here is what I am doing. Amazon sells a number of Android TV boxes that are fairly inexpensive, fairly easy to setup and can be shipped directly to Mexico. Some are available from Amazon Mexico but I just ordered this one from Amazon USA and had it shipped directly to my house in Ajijic. Paid the shipping and duty but it arrived in about a week. This is the one I bought but there are lots of others including some that are close to 1/2 the price of this one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B94S68Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 For content I am using several services but one that provides tons of content is Todd TV. Todd TV even sells Android boxes with their app already installed. Don't know about having those boxes shipped to Mexico since I bought mine from Amazon and installed Todd TV myself. http://www.toddtv.org/index.html It didn't seem too difficult to set up either the box or the app but again I was able to handle the technical challenges. There will be changes somewhere down the line but that will happen with anything - Sky, DirectTV, Shaw, Telecable. Change is unavoidable. I think the problem with the folks that are "about to be run out of town" are that they didn't set expectations very well or that people are sort of ignoring those expectations. It seems like those folks are "reselling a product" rather than "providing a service" - at least in my opinion. On the Todd TV site you can even find details about "buying credits" that you can then "resell". Again, just my opinion but that is a major distinction. We all want easy, cheap, reliable, intuitive and consistent options in most parts of our lives. Unfortunately we can't get all of those features very often. The only problem I have had with my setup is due to internet speed. And then a slight annoyance with Todd TV is "navigation". There are something like 2000 channels so it is going to be a little difficult to find what you want in a seamless, intuitive way. But that is a function of having 2000 channels - so good news and bad news. The night I got my setup running I watched Rugby 7s from Hong Kong, a snooker tournament from Singapore, cricket from India and Australian rules football from Sydney - just because I could. My only problem was stuttering/buffering due to internet speed. I also use Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Acorn TV and other resources on my smart tv, a Roku box on another older tv, my laptop, my iPad and even on my phone. i use a VPN for access to some of those resources. However, for Netflix I am pretty happy with the options I get using my USA Netflix account down here without using my VPN all the time. I am binging on a couple of series from Amazon Prime Video on my phone over WiFi most nights without any problems. I does take some tinkering and I am technical enough to do all that for myself. I definitely understand that others can't, won't or don't want to bother with all that. I can also understand folks not wanting to be in the position of providing "service" for these options. But if any of us wants lots of options and lots of content then a ton of stuff is available. Again, there is no doubt that all this is practical for me since I can handle the technical issues. The only barrier for me is fast, reliable internet service. In my opinion we are not ever going to get that from Telmex or Telecable/Izzy. Megacable is not going to come to lakeside. ILOX was our best option but we as a community have pretty much killed that opportunity. "If" we had high speed internet it could make sense for someone to provide a service to deal with all this and really make it come to life. Without high speed internet it is a mute point. Good to hear that we absolutely for sure will have Shaw for 7 more years. I am not positive that is accurate but if so I will be very happy. But I still want Netflix, Amazon Prime, sports, etc. and the best option for all that seems to be streaming. I would be happy to answer questions or to discuss what I am doing. However, I don't want to make house calls, write a "how to guide", teach a class or anything like that. But I am happy to answer questions.
  5. Hi there. "Passionate advocate" here. And here is another of my rants. I don't think it is an absolute certainty that Shaw will disappear in two years but I think it is inaccurate to say that is not a possibility. In fact, it is possible that Shaw could disappear at any time. Even those of us that are not account sharing or doing something else that deprives Shaw of the money they are due are at a minimum stretching Shaw's terms and conditions.I fully acknowledge that I am "guilty" of that but rationalize it by taking the steps to pay Shaw 100% of the fees they are due. Sooner or later technical, business and/or regulatory issues will remove Shaw from our list of options. However, I do believe that Shaw will almost certainly cease to be an option at some point and for me it makes sense to take the necessary steps to have an alternative in place before that happens. In my opinion, streaming is the most viable long term option. I think that is where technology is headed. And that requires reliable, consistent, high speed internet access. We have streaming options now - but don't yet have the internet structure available to make those options viable. So I am "all in" on ILOX. I never thought that ILOX was "keen" to provide this service to the lakeside area - but they have been "willing" to do so within parameters that work for them. They didn't approach us - some incredibly generous volunteers from our community approached them and asked what it would take for ILOX to come to lakeside. MANY thanks for all that work. I am very humbled by your efforts on our behalf. I am a "recovering techie" having built and managed networks for a good bit of my working life. I have done my own research and have become comfortable with ILOX's business practices, financial strength and goals. As I have said in previous posts I think we are seeing that their market research was right on target. Nearly double the required number of people "said" they would pay in advance but right at half the required number have actually done so (4 to 1 ratio for "said" versus "did"). I can't imagine that ILOX will waste any more time on us. They have all the information they need. Just my opinion - and my disappointment that it looks like we won't be getting access to this service. A loss for all us! Now we can all go back to being mad at Telmex.
  6. I think pretty much everything that can be said has been said - but here I am again. I was talking with someone in the past few days - an actual person to person conversation - who knew that was even possible anymore? The topic of "why didn't ILOX do market research" came up. After some discussion we both came to the conclusion that ILOX actually did the most effective job of market research possible. They asked how many people would be willing to pay in advance - and then strangely enough asked people to actually do just that. 100% accurate feedback rather than opinions or "maybes". Again, no one has to agree as to what constitutes "market research" but I can't imagine a more effective approach. They determined exactly what people would or would not do rather than what they might do - or what they said they would probably do. We also discussed the "interest free loan" topic. I guess that as a matter if principle some folks will be philosophically opposed to entering into any agreement that they see as that type of arrangement. I'm not worried about that but I guess I can sort of understand that view as a matter of principle. But here is the math - Let's say that for round numbers we send them $15,000 pesos, it takes a year before we get "return on investment" for that money, and we "could" have earned 10% on that money during that time. I think 10% is perhaps optimistic and $15,000 is a bit above the highest amount but let's go with that. So for a year that $1,500 pesos that we are "losing" breaks down to about $4.11 pesos a day (1500 / 365) . Even if I was concerned about the "right or wrong" principle of this "interest free loan", $4 pesos a day doesn't seem too material. Warning - tacky comment to follow. Those of us that have sent in our money are not only giving ILOX all this money for free, we are making it possible for others that want the service but are unwilling to pay in advance to be able to get the service at all. We are subsidizing your access to this opportunity. You're welcome! Sorry - I warned you it would be tacky but I couldn't help myself. I really do understand that others just won't do this. Really, I do. I hope I am finished with this topic as I have probably (definitely) gotten too far into the weeds on this - but I am not all that smart so can't guarantee I won't have other comments. Just ask my wife about how often I know when to shut up.
  7. It is the "Real Bobby" and I am sure he will do a great job. He is really excited and motivated - and an excited and motivated "Real Bobby" is something to look forward to. Here are a few links that address high end/modern Mexican food. I love good ole Mexican street food but there a lot of places around the world that are "kicking it up a notch". http://www.rickbayless.com/recipes-from-chef-rick-bayless/ http://www.emmasmexgrill.com/ https://www.yelp.com/biz/teocintle-ajijic https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/04/mexican-food-enters-the-fine-dining-realm/478341/ And Rigo and Joel at The Cocktail Bar are discussing putting together a nice menu of "upscale" Mexican dishes - perhaps a once a week event and perhaps some special events to include special drinks and wine pairings. Still in the discussion stage but he will be posting to his Facebook account as he works on developing the idea. I'm looking forward to what Rigo and Joel come up with and am REALLY excited to see what Bobby does in his new place.
  8. I am struck by how different our experiences with employees has been compared to others' experiences. We just haven't had these kinds of problems except in one case when we first got here. Had to get rid of our first gardener but it was very simple and painless. We had a lawyer do the paperwork and paid what was due without any problems. We have had the same housekeeper the entire time and the same gardener since replacing that first one. No problems at all. Maybe we are just lucky.
  9. Clearly everyone can decide to sign up and pay - or not. And we can all agree with and understand how ILOX has chosen to structure this - or not. As I understand it ILOX is primarily interested in and focused on large commercial connections - not so much on individual retail clients. This seems to be their business plan as mentioned in a number of sources. They are willing to consider deviating from their general approach by considering providing direct retail connections to the relatively small lakeside market. As has been said they are a very large organization with lots of resources so we are small potatoes to them. Like any other organization they have to make decisions about how to direct those resources - including bank loans and lines of credit. In order for them to deviate from their preferred market for a relatively small amount of business they have come up with what I think is a pretty creative way to make that attractive to them and their investors/shareholders. In my opinion they are thinking "outside the box" and in some ways doing us a favor. I definitely understand that others don't see it that way. I for one appreciate what they are doing. Since the opportunity to have dramatically better internet speed is important to me I am willing to accept their offer and pay in advance. In doing so I am actually making this available to others who decide to wait. I am subsidizing those of you who definitely want the service but don't want to do it the way ILOX is willing to do it. I'm fine with that. I agree with Gringal that most of us understood what internet services were available when we made the decision to move here. However, as new opportunities have become available many of us have taken advantage of those new options. I respectfully disagree that just because we were okay with what was available when we moved here we shouldn't be thrilled when something significantly better comes along. Some of us were here when dial-up was the primary option but I sure was happy when other options became available. The ILOX deal is a major upgrade in speed - and hopefully reliability. Things change. That's a good thing - at least in my opinion. This is really not much different than a GoFundMe/KickStarter campaign. I have signed up and paid but completely understand that others see it differently. I am really looking forward to taking my ILOX connection out for a spin when it becomes available.
  10. We have used Miguel Ramirez for all the major project around our house. He is an Ajijic native and has been in the construction building all this life. We have been very happy with this work - not the cheapest but we have never had a problem with anything he has done. Here is his cell number - 331-068-3827 Just one observation based on our experience. Tiles will never block out 100% of the water hitting a roof. They will help move the water off of the roof and will provide some protection for the underlying roof so it will last longer. But the really important detail is the underlying roof. We had a patio where no matter what we tried we couldn't get it to quit leaking - especially with heavy rains. Miguel completely stripped the roof and went a couple of meters up into the roof where the patio joins the house. He then put down waterproof MDF with a covering of sealed plastic/impermeible - pretty much like what you would do on a roof without the tiles. He then cleaned and put the tiles back in place. I don't remember any discussion about coating/sealing the tiles and wouldn't think that would make much difference. But I could certainly be wrong. From what I have seen and been told water will always get past the tiles - especially in a heavy rain. It seems logical that there will always be some gaps or openings in the individual tiles. The underlying roof is really the key. At least that seems to make sense to me.
  11. The door was opened LONG before any of us got here. There is no such thing as a "residential zone" in any of these communities - other than gated communities or perhaps La Floresta. And even those communities don't have as much clout as they might like. We have a restaurant across the street from us that was not there when we bought our house - very busy with live music several night a week. Nobody in the neighborhood is thrilled but it is what it is. We all just deal with it. The biggest problem that we have is people parking in front of our garage - sometimes several times a week. Very inconsiderate and totally avoidable but not the end of the world. Still love our neighborhood and our house.
  12. The original question was about the cost of registration - whether included in the price the dealer quotes, if the dealer pays it, or if the buyer pays it separately. My $30 comment was about the licensing fee which is not a lot of money in the overall cost of a major purchase like a car. Several folks - included myself - got off into a discussion about dealer discounts on new cars in Mexico in addition to comments about the registration fee.
  13. I'm using Express VPN for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and it is working for both of them. You just have to try different server locations to find one that is still working because as everyone has said Netflix is always looking for servers and blocking them. I usually use Express VPN to get U.S. Netflix content but the Mexico content provides just about everything I want. Amazon Prime Video doesn't work at all with the VPN. Express VPN can help you work through the settings in a chat session. They specifically ask that none of us post the details on this type of forum as Netflix monitors sites like this.
  14. I just renewed my plates on my Mexican plated car. I personally saw people in the office successfully renewing with tourist visas. I was talking with the guy sitting next to me in line who was doing exactly that. He went up to the counter right before I did and walked out with his renewal and a smile.
  15. In my working life I had a Fortune 300 client that owns hundreds of auto dealership in several countries including over 150 in the U.S. alone. Their CFO had been the CFO for Ford in Latin America and later in Europe. He told me that the "franchise agreement" that dealerships have with manufacturers are different in the U.S. and Mexico. Franchise agreements give dealerships the right to sell a given brand of vehicles. In Mexico all dealers are "required" to sell the same vehicle a the same fixed price. Dealerships might deviate from those requirements but doing so puts them at risk. In fact, the CFO told me specific stories about dealers in Mexico losing their franchise. Just imagine a Toyota dealership that couldn't sell Toyotas. Again I have no doubt that some dealerships might give discounts or play other games. But the price is the price. Spending tens of thousands of U.S. dollars and getting hung up on about $30 USD?
  16. REC

    Casa Linda

    Keep up the good work! Our recent experiences have been great. We look forward to improvements in what we already have found to be a nice place to have a good meal.
  17. REC

    La Mision

    Went there for brunch a week ago and for lunch a day or to ago. VERY happy both times - very good service and very good food. We took a look at the dinner menu but haven't been there yet for dinner. I'm not disputing others' experiences - just noting our recent experiences. Look forward to trying out the dinner menu.
  18. The bottom line is that a U.S. number is always a U.S. number no matter where you are. If someone calls you from a U.S. or Canadian number they dial it without the 011-52. If they call it from a phone number in another country it is an international call no matter where you are - Mexico or anywhere else outside the U.S or Canada. If you have a plan that connects to roaming services in another country your U.S. number will work but it will still be a U.S. number. Lots of "apples and oranges" in the previous comments - probably including mine. It is actually pretty straightforward. There are ways to stay in touch but having a U.S. number act like a number in another country is not one of them.
  19. When I signed up for SS I did it online from Mexico. But I used a VPN so it would show a U.S. IP address, Not sure if it would have worked without doing that but don't know for sure. I use a U.S. address and have my check deposited to my U.S. bank. I didn't have to go to the U.S. or sign anything in person. That was 6 or 7 years ago so things may have changed.
  20. I can't imagine any way to call a U.S. number from a Mexican phone number without dialing the country access code. I have a TMobile plan where I get free roaming in Mexico but people calling me from a Mexican phone still have to dial 011-52 and pay the international rates. When your AT&T U.S. phone shows TelCel it is just roaming on the TelCel network but it is still rolling back to your U.S. plan. I also have a phone with two SIM cards - a Samsung S7 that I bought on Amazon and had it shipped to my U.S. address. I have a U.S. TMobile card and a Mexican TelCel card but they are two separate plans and of course two different phone numbers.
  21. Agree with the comments above - just a little more detail - - The contract will probably be sort of "boiler plate" and will often be drafted by the selling party's agent - but you can certainly provide input and pretty much anything is negotiable within reason. It should be okay but make sure you understand all the details and if you are not fluent in Spanish be sure you are confident in the person translating/explaining it whether in writing or verbally. Remember that an English translation is not enforceable so be sure you are clear how the Spanish version works. - While not directly addressing the sales contract be sure to understand how the deed you will receive works. This is especially important if you are married in regard to survivorship, heirs, etc. Definitely the same as what you may be used to. Just ask questions - your agent and attorney will explain that and any other issues. - In any case have it reviewed by your agent but remember that responsibility, licensing, liability, etc. for agents is vastly different than NOB. Also, agents and sellers here do not have the same level of responsibility to disclose previous problems/damage/issues as they do NOB. No matter which agent you use I would have it reviewed by an experienced attorney as suggested by all the previous responses. - A home inspection is not a bad idea but be aware that the folks providing those services do not have the same requirements or liability as those folks do NOB. We didn't have one done but we knew a lot about the house and the folks we were buying it form. - As the buyer you should be able to select the Notario as Maincoons says. We have also been completely happy with Luis Enrique in San Antonio for several needs including buying our house, our Mexican will, etc. - Don't overlook getting a finquito for any existing employees to be sure you are not inheriting any responsibilities you are not aware of. Get them in writing and have them reviewed by the attorney that reviews the sales contract. Be sure to preserve those documents. - Pay close attention to making sure that utilities are paid up to date to the extent possible and have a clear understanding about who pays for utility bills that arrive after closing. Also confirm that utilities are transferred to your name and you know more or less when to expect the next bills. A chronic problem as that you may not always receive paper bills - but of course you are still responsible for paying them on time. Our house and casita are on separate meters and we get two electric bills. Right after closing we received the bill for the casita and paid it. We didn't receive the one for the house, weren't very smart, and had the electricity turned off. Big hassle to get it turned back on but at least we could stay in the casita while we were dealing with that. Totally our oversight as newbies. - Same for property taxes - make sure they are paid through the most recent year and that there is a clear understanding as to how costs for the current year will be allocated. Not as big an issue as NOB since taxes here are very low but it sounds you are trying to reduce the possibility of any surprises. You probably won't receive a bill for your property taxes until it is past due for the next year. Be sure you know how, when and where to pay your annual taxes and water bill. - Select a good agent, attorney and notario and this should be pretty stress free. Don't let all these comments worry you too much. It will definitely be a different experience than real estate transactions NOB but for us it was quite painless. - And most importantly enjoy your new home. Welcome and we hope you are as happy here as we are.
  22. The advice to use a lawyer is right on target. What they can do for you is to explain the applicable laws, accurately calculate the amount due, prepare the equivalent of a "release" (finquito), have the employ sign that final document (and witness the signing) and file the paperwork on your behalf. We had to get rid of a gardener when we got here and it was quick, painless and not at all expensive. Several lawyers in the area including Spencer who is mentioned in an earlier response. We used Azucena Bateman in Ajijic but there are several excellent options. Definitely not something you want to do on your own or a place to cut corners no matter the circumstances under which an employee leaves. Even if the employee "quits" you really want to do the paperwork absolutely correctly.
  23. Instructions for downloading, completing and submitting the form. I think DHL or Fedex would be the quickest and most reliable way to send it to SSA. I have also read that the form can be submitted by fax but some folks have said that didn't work for them. https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms/images/SSA7/G-SSA-7162-OCR-SM-1.pdf https://nanlevin.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/g-ssa-7162-inst-1.pdf https://cl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security-2/form7162-2/
  24. Our regular guy charges $450 going to the airport and I understand that is the going rate for cabs here in Ajijic to the airport. Cabs from the airport to Ajijic are still $420 - just returned from the U.S. last Tuesday. I tip both of them but I know folks who think that is absolutely to crazy. So that confirms that I am crazy in many ways - just ask my wife.
  25. It is so quick and easy to just follow the procedure.
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