Welcome To Simon's Diary Reviews


This is where I get to spout my opinion, good and bad, about all sorts of things.
If someone treats me well I'll recommend them.
If they don't then I'll try to let you know what happened from my point of view.
The same goes for things I buy.
I'll also try to give solutions to problems I may have found, or failing that ask for help.

I hope you find this interesting.

Click here for companies, establishments or products

Click here for review regarding films, music and other artistic productions




Tempting but better not



Companies, Establishments and Products



I have been to some great Thai restaurants in the UK, including the Blue Elephant and Cafe 209 both of which are in Fulham, (The former scoring a whopping 9.5/10 and the latter 8.5), so I was very surprised to find the food, service and price of this establishment at such a competitive level. If you're in the neighbourhood it's worth a try. I had the mixed starter, the Green curry, Sea Bass in Red Curry Sauce, Coconut Rice, and then for dessert Banana in coconut mil and a Thai Pancake. I hasten to add this was shared with others.


The Corner House Hotel Taunton July 2010 5/10

A bit of a mixed one for this hotel. The staff, food, bar and building were very good. Unfortunately the rooms were a bit of a let down. Firstly they were smaller than average, the decor left a lot to be desired - my room had mustard walls and the ceilngs still had a wood-chip covering. My toilet hadn't been properly cleaned and when I complained the person on the desk said sorry but nothing was done about it. Also the drains to my room stunk, enough to force me to keep the bathroom door shut. Other problems were a lack of security at night, a drunk caused a big disturbance outside, shouting up at the windows, had they tried to get in they would have done so as the door wasn't closed properly. They should have had a member of staff on hand through the night in my opinion. If there was one I didn't see them. Also the shower holder was broken in my room. Had there been an automatic system for feedback from guests they probably would be aware of small faults, such as this, which would be of some use to this place. The car park has a tight entrance and even tighter exit.

It's a shame because it's a good building, the breakfast was very good
and this place could be som much better..


The RoadHawk In Car Camera

7/10 Reviewed on the 19th June 2010

See details at http://www.roadhawk.co.uk/roadhawk-RH-2.html

This product is used for recording video images forwards and backwards from inside the car cabin, it also records sound, global position, direction, speed and vibration (including crash / vibration stats).

This is the future for cars but in the future this will be integrated in to the vehicle.

On the whole this is a good product but I have several criticisms:

1 The GPS signal takes too long to start recording - about 4 minutes - .

I got the following response to this: "Attached is the latest firmware for you unit (click here to download this file, but preferably check the Rh2 website linked in the title for more up to date versions). Please put the file on to a blank sd card and insert it in to the camera turn it on for 10 mins. Once you have done this, make sure to set the time to GMT using the config in the software. This will make it lock on to satellites much quicker."

2 The infra-red clip on part should have been integrated, it's a nuisance in that it can, if caught in the process of clipping the unit to the bracket, slip out of its socket although it doesn't slip out easily, it also requires an additional power cable to be inserted, which adds time to the whole process of using it, which may in turn lead one not to put it on at all!

3 The slot for putting the memory card in to the unit is too deep. It is necessary to use a key or a knife to put it in or get it out. The company told me this was part of the original remit ( "It is not easy to remove the card from the device, our original remit for the device speculated this for a particular client.") It's still a pain though.

4 it's not possible to plug the unit directly in to the pc in order to get to the files.

Had these annoyances not been there I would have given this unit a 9/10 but instead I'll give it 7/10. However if you want to provide yourself with a way to record evidence when an incident occurs this is a great device. It'll be interesting to see if the manufacturers deal with some of these problems with their next incarnation of this unit.



The Regency Restaurant in Brighton

- Sea front Fish and Chips establishment - visited on 10th june 2010 - 7/10

Good food on the whole, but let down by being stingy on the prawns in the seafood platter - we only got one and when questioned they said "you only get one" but the menu states "prawns" and when we asked for a fruit cheesecake we got a strawberry one, when questioned they said "it's a different fruit each day". However for price, quality, location and service it was good. 7/10



Provisiondirect - Professional Video equipment sales
May 2010
(Highly Recommended) 10/10


I had gone to Tottenham Court Road to get a quote for a camcorder, (£5250) and then found the same camera on this website for £3950. I called the first shop I'd visited and they said the price was impossible and I should beware Internet traders, which generally speaking is good advice. However I checked out this website by doing the normal Google searches to see what other's had written and all that came back was praise. So decided to proceed.

I had read that one of the main sales person's was someone called Jeremy and it was he who I was put in contact with. He gave me good advice, price matched as best he could, and delivered the goods as agreed. So if you're looking to buy some Video equipment check out this company, my experience with them was very good. Please don't confuse this company with http://provisualdirect.co.uk/ with whom I have had no experience.



Apple iPhone 3GS
Spring 2010
Medium recommendation 6/10

Great phone except for:
No Bluetooth support for transferring files to other non apple phones
No Flash for the camera
Camera resolution isn't very good
Does not support Flash so some sites are inaccessible.

The new version out this Summer (2010) should address some of these issues.



Nokia N97 Phone
Summer 2009 7/10

A great phone but for itslow internal system memory - which can cause problems. It has a big storage memory but that's not shared with the system area.
Hard to transfer Contacts using a PC so I used Google and synced the contacts to my google account.
The keyboard is a bit annoying in terms of changing to different modes such as numbers or capitals.



Western Digital "My Book" World Edition Ethernet Hard Drives - Spring 2010


I have three of these linked up to my network. Although they do their job well there are a few gripes. Firstly the software they come with is a bit awkward, secondly it's proved a bit difficult to get to them remotely, say when I'm away from home, I ended up using an FTP technique (ftp://username:password@static ip address). Lastly they're very slow when running them on a network compared to a USB type external hard drive. Other than that they look great.


Toshiba Satellite T110-11U Ultra Mobile Laptop

Spring 2010


11.6-Inch Notebook (Intel Celeron Core Solo 743 1.3 GHz Processor, 3 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD,
Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit)

Great size, ok speed, not good for audio levels, seemed to lsow down massively when I installed Norton Anti Virus so instead I used Avast with windows Defender. Lovely for carrying around the house and for taking to meetings, good battery life too.


Digital DSLRs


Canon Eos 5D Mk II - Spring 2010
(Highly Recommended) 9/10

There's loads written about this camera on the Internet. It is a great camera, however although it creates exceptional quality video there are a few drawbacks, firstly you just can't use it as you would a pro video camera. This is particularly apparent when it comes to making adjustments whilst shooting. If you use the internal mic it'll pick up the camera making adjustments or the slightest touch. Also the autofocus is not smooth, so you're stuck between that or trying to focus manually and finding the camera moves slightly. For straight shots it's great though. I find it useful as a second camera (wide), or for beautiful, thin depth of field shots. The other thing is the video format that comes from the camera will probably have to be converted to another for editing purposes.


Canon Eos 7D - Spring 2010
(Highly Recommended) 9/10


Canon Eos 40D - Spring 2010
(Highly Recommended) 8/10


Eating Places

Places to eat in Eastbourne

Click on the name to source more information


Indian Paradise


The food and service here is above average and on Sundays much of the menu is at half price (excluding drinks, king-prawn dishes, and desserts). Well worth a try. Book first if it's a Sunday.

166 Seaside
Eastbourne BN22 7QW
01323 727 122




Chinese Buffet

I've been to many Chinese buffets in London and this one easily competes with the best, with good quality food, hygiene, decor and service it's well worth a try. Prices vary with a lower tariff being charged in the day times - around £6 ish - and over double that in the evenings and weekends.




Turkish / Middle Eastern Cuisine

Typical Mangal (Open Grill / Oven) type establishment, but in Eastbourne.

Good decor, service and food at a reasonable price, best to book first if possible.





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