The new QuikPod SPORT

Over the past two years, I’ve really changed the way I’ve shot my videos. Everything used to be handheld, but that changed a couple of years ago. When I started using my GoPro more, I knew I wanted to take advantage of its action cam settings, but needed a better way to hold on it. So I reached out to QuikPod. They were kind enough to send me their POV/DSLR model to review.

I loved it.

It really changed the way I filmed with a GoPro. The original DSLR/POV wasn’t perfect, but was pretty damn close. In my review, I outlined a number of improvements. A year later, an updated model was released. This new version was just about as close to perfect as one could get. Everything I had concerns about with the original were addressed, and it became my go-to monopod for extreme sport activities.

At the same time, QuikPod sent me their new Explorer 3. It instantaneously became my favorite. It’s small, it works incredibly well with my GoPro, and light. This means I can carry it with me where ever I go… and I do. When you see me walking in Seoul, I have the GoPro and the Explorer 3 in my bag and ready to go.

While the Explorer 3 is great for normal selfies and filming activities, it just doesn’t have a feel I’m comfortable with when going SCUBA diving, bungee jumping, or sailing through the air on a zip line. For those activities, I still use the new DSLR/POV model. But as you can expect, a mono pod geared towards holding a 2kg camera is bit on the heavy side. So what to do?

Well, QuikPod has THE answer. They’ve just launched a new product called the Sport.

So what is the QuikPod Sport? It’s a hybrid between the Explorer 3 and DSLR/POV. It will carry a camera over a pound, anodized aluminum with locking cams, fully weather proof, light, and sturdy. It’s not as small as the Explorer 3, meaning I can’t keep it in my daily bag; however, when traveling, I’d much rather have this with me since it weighs just over 200g.

I’ve taken it out to test and have to report back this is an awesome product and one I fully endorse. If you’re looking for a monopod for extreme sports and you use an action cam – this is the one to get. Seriously. It’s that good.

If you’re going to pick up the Sport or any of the other QuikPods, I’d like to make one recommendation. Spend a few extra bucks and pick up the tripod legs. These screw into the bottom of the monopod, allowing it to stand. I’ve been using this for a while and love the ability not to have to carry around multiple devices.

Uploading Podcasts to iTunes

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about podcasting lately. The most common question seems to be about uploading podcasts to iTunes. The honest answer – there is no way of uploading a podcast to iTunes.

When you’re making a podcast (audio or visual), you’re creating a file. That file has to be put somewhere so people can download it. iTunes isn’t the place. iTunes is a directory of podcasts. It simply reads where the source material is and distributes it.

Currently, I’m running two podcasts: 1) Asia News Weekly and 2) Asia Now. Asia News Weekly is available in iTunes, but Asia Now isn’t. It’s too new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it. There is an active feed and one can manually add it to any podcast catcher.

If you’re making a podcast, you must have a server you upload the file to and then apply to iTunes to be listed in the directory. It can be your own host (a .com, .net, or something else) or a podcast hosting service.

In Episode 14 of the Just Japan Podcast, I sat down with Jim Mullins (MULLY) and Kevin O’Shea to talk about podcasting in Asia. If you’re really interested in learning more about podcasting, I’d give it a listen.

Korean University Classroom Technology

Today I take you inside one of my classrooms. This semester, I have a total of seven different rooms, but the one thing that unites them all is the educational technology installed. So in today’s VLOG, I showcase the e-Station in just one of them. In my classroom, there’s a Sanyo projector and retractable screen. It’s controlled by the podium’s touch screen, that also controls the other multimedia devices like a DVD player, VHS player, card reader, and other inputs. It’s a far cry from educational technology I had when I was in school.

Blue Yeti Microphone Sound Test

As many of you know, I recently completed another lap around the sun (had a birthday). While I generally don’t want anything, I am trying to make better products this year. So at Jo’s recommendation I finally caved in and decided on upgrading my mic for podcasts and voice over. There are many options out there, but after hearing reviews and thinking about what I wanted to do, I opted to have Jo buy me the Blue Yeti Microphone.

Overall, I am quite pleased with its performance. The reason I opted to obtain this microphone is because it has four recording options: stereo, omni, cardioid, and bidirectional. In this video, I show the subtle differences between these four modes.

Seoul’s Gusto Taco

Growing up in both Texas and Arizona, if there’s one type of food that I would call comforting, it would be Mexican. Since arriving in Korea almost five years ago, I’ve been pleased to see the number Mexican food restaurants rise. This week, Jo and I venture to Hongdae to Gusto Taco. Trip Advisor consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in Seoul, so I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

gusto taco sangsu hongdae seoul korea steve miller qiranger iphone 5s

The restaurant is located just around the corner from exit 1 of Sangsu Station (Line 6). A few buses do run in the area, but your best bet is to get there by taking the subway or walking. If you want to take a taxi there, just tell them to take you to the station.

It’s a fairly small restaurant divided into two floors. The first floor is nothing more than small window, where you can see the prep cook making Gusto Taco’s signature tortillas. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, they make their own here – and that is a very good thing. However, while we were there, they wouldn’t allow me to film. SAD PANDA

We made our way upstairs and found ourselves the very first customers of the day (or at least the only ones there at the moment. After settling down it was time to get our grub on. We ordered the following: 2 margaritas, 2 sets of chipotle pork tacos, and chipotle pork nachos. The total came to W40,400 ($38.33). That might seem like a lot, but for Western Food in Seoul, it isn’t.

gusto taco sangsu hongdae seoul korea steve miller qiranger iphone 5s

The margarita was… unique. It’s served in a rocker glass and despite asking for a frozen margarita it was simply a regular one placed in a glass with a ton of shaved ice. It tasted all right. I found it quite tart, but that’s the way I like them. All that being said, the margarita wasn’t anything special. For its price, I found it quite lacking and opted to purchase a 500ml San Miguel beer for an additional W6,000 ($5.70).

gusto taco sangsu hongdae seoul korea steve miller qiranger iphone 5s

Moving on to the nachos, I had some high hopes, since I know they make their own cheese sauce. Unfortunately, that’s the best thing about the dish. Seriously, it was so good, I used my fingers to scoop up the excess cheese. YUM However, that was the only thing special about the nachos. Gusto Tacos doesn’t make their own tortilla chips, as that would be “cost prohibitive.” While, there’s nothing wrong with that, kit’s also a shame, since that would make the dish extra-special.

gusto taco sangsu hongdae seoul korea steve miller qiranger iphone 5s

Now let’s talk tacos. Our chipotle pork tacos arrived hot and served wrapped in tin foil. No plates needed here and it reminded me of all the times I got tacos off the end of a truck when crossing the border years ago. The tortillas, as I’ve alluded to before, were amazing. The pork was tender and full of rich spices. When I took my first bite, savory juices dripped out its back end. It was a joyous taste explosion in my mouth and one I would pay for again and again.

While the margaritas and nachos weren’t anything beyond ordinary, the tacos were. Overall, this was a great place to come and eat. On a scale of one to five bottles of Awesomesauce, I’ll rate it a solid 4.

Gadget VLOG – iPhone 5S, Canon C100, and ETM-008

Over the weekend, I was traveling in Gangwondo, filming the last two episodes of EYE. While filming I got to geek out a little with the equipment I was using. First up was the iPhone 5S’s slow-mo feature capturing flying geese. The way it slowed down the images was amazing.I really love using the iPhone 5S for fun slow-mo things. Editing in camera is easy and the results super. The second thing I was super-pleased about with this shoot what the way the Edutige ETM-008 isolated my voice while standing on a waterfall. It was perfect. I highly recommend this mic for any one with a GoPro.

Since I’m geeking out… what features of your toys are you excited about?