Internet Woes & Satellite TV Quandry

ISSUE #205: Sep 8-13, 2008


Internet Woes & Satellite TV Quandry


When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter —determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

In an effort to make the format more interesting and visually appealing and to field inquiries re. El Dorado, the news letter is now being distributed by Jan Kozak, Marketing Manager, Hacienda El Dorado. I will remain the author.


Sales: The investor group has disappeared. Jan is preparing a new PowerPoint Presentation for another group of investors. It's nearly finished and will be presented this coming week.


Permit Applications: A geological fault runs through one small section of the property which had thought to affect one building.  We had a study done by the University of Costa Rica.  The conclusion is that it is basically a geological phenomena but not one that presents a significant seismic concern.  The consequence of this is that we use a bit more re-bar and concrete on that building...  This is not a concern.

We have a meeting with the consultant and engineers on Thursday to compare notes, finalize some plans, in preparation for submission of some documents next Friday.


Website Upgrade / Marketing: Photos of Residencias Los Jardines, the Santa Ana area and some of the houses are available on line at:
I noticed that some of the pictures popping up on the opening page are very dated;  this will be changed.

Drainage System:  No heavy rains yet to test it out.

Kirebe: As of now, the "denuncia" is in a black hole--as so often times happens here.

Internet / Cable TV Outages:  Following on last weeks, electrical outages where ICE seemed to rewire the entire area, this week we had numerous problems getting internet and VOIP  service.  While CableTica (the provider) denied, denied, denied, that they were the cause of our grief, RACSA confirmed it, and our observations did as well.  We don't know if all the work has been done yet so we can rely on the system again --  we'll just have to wait and see.

Accounting System:  Paul is working with several providers of systems and seems to be narrowing in on one person.  I expect we will let the contract next week.  This system will be developed with El Dorado in mind and we will have experience with it at Los Jardines for several years.

Satellite TV: The dish cannot be cost effectively repaired.  We can have a new, 3 m diameter dish installed for $1,700.  We are told this will boost the signal strength by about 20% and we will have very little down time with heavy cloud cover.  There are some administrative issues which we are currently debating.  They will be sorted out -- eventually.

Garden Lights:  The garden is lighted at night.  We have installed outlets on timers which provide an ambiance and raises the comfort level of wandering out at night.  We have had various types of small clear lights in strategic locations. Thesel lights are common during Christmas but disappear the the rest of the year.  In past years, I've purchased an inventory of them to last us through out the year. Last year, they didn't import many and there were no sales or even product after Christmas. We were down to very few operational lights. I've been anxiously awaiting forPriceSmart to display them..They did this week. I've bought a lot but many for replacement of existing;  no inventory items yet. We're back to where we should be for night lighting. 

Units for Sale/Lease:

Unit #107 - For Sale

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes
This 1,716 sf. (plus parking for one car) two story, detached house, with three terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and upstairs master suite is a beautiful home. This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms (one on each floor) with en-suite bathrooms and a powder room, each with large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor, provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are three TVs (one in each bedroom and one in the living room.) This is a beautiful home. There is a rough-in for a dishwasher in the kitchen area.

Read More


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September 13, 2008
Brit Scientists Seek Rare Frogs in Costa Rica
(The Tico Times) What makes a herpetologist hoot for joy in the humid night high in the cloud forest of Monteverde?

September 12, 2008
China Buying Costa Rica Bonds Over Taiwan Ties
BEIJING, Sept 12 (Reuters) - China is secretly spending $300 million of its currency reserves to buy Costa Rica government bonds to reward the central American country for cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

September 12, 2008
Costa Rica Top Court Blocks US Trade Pact Approval
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (International Herald Tribune): Costa Rica's highest court on Thursday overturned an intellectual property law demanded by the U.S. prior to the enactment of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

September 12, 2008
Condo Project Seems to Have a Mystery Source of Water
(AM Costa Rica) After weeks of problems, suspicions, people falling ill and allegations of illegalities, the national water company still does not know where the water at Avalon Country Club in Santa Ana comes from, said a representative from the company Tuesday.

September 12, 2008
Cash Helped China Win Costa Rica’s Recognition
(The New York Times) As part of an incentive package to persuade Costa Rica to shift its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China last year, China used the muscle of its enormous foreign exchange reserves, agreeing to buy $300 million of Costa Rican bonds, documents released in Costa Rica this week revealed.

September 11, 2008
Court Rejection Puts U.S. Free Trade Treaty in Peril
(AM Costa Rica) The Sala IV constitutional court has found legal flaws in the last piece of legislation designed to implement the free trade treaty with the United States.

September 10, 2008
Hail Yesterday, More Rain Today as Costa Rica Rainy Season Peaks
(The Tico Times) Meteorologists forecast more downpours this afternoon as Costa Rica heads into the wettest part of its rainy season, September and October.

September 10, 2008
USA, Mexico, Costa Rica continue march toward South Africa football WC 2010
CHICAGO (AFP) — The United States, Mexico and Costa Rica remained unbeaten in the semi-final phase of regional World Cup qualifying Wednesday, continuing their march toward South Africa 2010.

September 09, 2008
Any Port in a Storm? Maybe Not in Costa Rica
(The Tico Times) Costa Rican customs officials have sent foreign seafarers packing this hurricane season, denying the three-month temporary import permit extensions that used to make the country's Pacific Coast one of the best storm refuges in the world.

September 09, 2008
Ramadan Off to Quiet Start in Costa Rica
(The Tico Times) Costa Rica's sparse but diverse Muslim community has begun its second week of observing Ramadan, the solemn month of fasting by day and feasting at sundown.

September 09, 2008
Foreigners Come to Costa Rica for Better Prices
(Costa Rica Pages) It’s a well-known fact that Costa Rica is a popular vacation spot, but the small country is also a favorite for real estate investments, medical tourism, and even high-tech needs. In fact, CNBC and ABC have called it “the hottest country” on the planet for these services, a title that simply explains a very complicated phenomenon.

September 09, 2008
Costa Rica: No Mercy for Haiti in World Cup Play
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (The Associated Press): Costa Rica coach Rodrigo Kenton doesn't want his team to show any mercy against Haiti in a World Cup qualifier to be played in the storm-battered country.

September 08, 2008
Water Authority Reveals Popular Costa Rica Beaches in Bad Shape
(The Tico Times) Some of the Pacific coast's most popular beaches are dangerously polluted with sewage runoff, according to a broad study revealed Friday by the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA).


Weather: Fairly light rain; mostly beautiful weather--many sunny, clear mornings with some afternoon cloud cover.

Paul has purchased a new home not far from Los Jardines. His non-site presence shifts more demand onto me but that's life.  He takes possession October 15. He's made arrangements to leave in a leased house which won't be occupied for the two weeks he needs a place.

Time Out Tavern: Continues to delight.

Avalon: It continues to have start up problems. The origins of their drinking  water appears unclear and the supply from AyA seems to not yet be cleared up. Some people are reported to becoming very dissatisfied and a bit militant with the developer.  How this could have happened is an even greater mystery and area of interest to me but I don't expect to ever know the answer.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies — Chico and Chica.

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