NEWS AND VIEWS JUNE 08, 2007
Mike and Laurel Kohl
S-9141 State Highway 23
Plain, Wisconsin 53577-9612
June 08 2007
Lots of news and decisions since the middle of May. Longtime readers may want to sit down or otherwise pay special attention. We have been struggling with this business for the last two years, and hoping that our loyal customer base would come through and give us enough traffic so that we could continue our dream of making a living solely by selling satellite equipment and being available more or less continuously to answer questions by telephone or Email in a professional manner.
The past few months have been loaded with bad news, and delays with the anticipated Russian project have made it impossible to continue without seeking an alternate source of cash flow. Therefore, I have made the painful decision of taking a day job part-time (Monday, Wednesday and Friday for starters) in the alternative energy field with a local manufacturer of digester systems. These involve a large cement enclosure that "brews" a batch of biogas fuel from a nasty mix of cow manure or other waste product. It has great potential for electricity production, to allow the farmer to generate his own electricity from waste materials that would otherwise have to be disposed of, and sell the excess back to the power grid. In some deluxe circumstances, the same system can be expanded for insertion of pipeline grade biogas fuel for purchase by gas companies or other users.
The above situation does not mean that we are closing the satellite business. Exactly the opposite is true. It's just that recent equipment sales are not sufficient to pay expenses, and in order to continue the business, something has to fill the financial hole that has been created. We feel that this will be a good solution that allows me to get involved in a potentially growing business (and not have to put a shovel into those tanks too deeply), which will provide a secure base for retirement. I have been in the satellite industry since the 1970s, and do not want to leave it. It's in the blood, and the perfect job is one that allows you to pursue a hobby at the same time. I will normally be in the office on Tuesday and Thursday fulltime, and when not here, Laurel will normally be available to answer the telephones. If you need unusual technical advice, please drop an Email so that your situation can be looked at in depth, and we'll get back to you in a prompt manner.
There is still the possibility of going to Siberia later this summer, but the new corporate owners of the mining company have drastically cut back on expenses, and I am not expecting this to be more than a do-it-yourself project for mining workers, with technical assistance provided by telephone and E-mail. A less costly solution that might pass financial muster would have me fly over for a limited number of days to insure the system is properly aligned and commissioned. Time will tell if practical decisions might override hasty financial worries. It was this last bit of bad news that caused me to take up a close friend on the biogas opportunity, so we shall see what happens in coming weeks and months.
Panarex Electronics sent me an advance production unit of their new Pansat 9000-HD MPEG-2 receiver, which combines standard and high definition satellite reception with an off air ATSC tuner for digital terrestrial TV from your local stations. It is reviewed at the end of the specifications sheet linked here. I give it high marks for quality and versatility, as long as you don't expect miracles such as Blind Scan to be included in the unit. Read my full review at the above link, and if you are interested, they will be for sale after mid-June at the price of 429.00 plus 20.00 UPS Ground to U.S. Lower 48 locations. Those that want it now can order before June 15, to obtain one of our limited number of first production units arriving by ocean shipment, at the special introductory price of 399.00 plus 20.00 shipping. It's quite a machine, and you should be quite pleased with its performance.
Star Choice is adding more and more channels and features to their offerings from Canada. Two new French language HD channels, available free of charge to all subscribers with the ESSENTIALS package (English or French) and an HDTV receiver such as the DSR-505. If you want an excellent HDTV source, STAR CHOICE delivers quality in both programming selection as well as superior pictures and sound. Let us know if you need more information. Other goodies include the addition of MUCH MUSIC to the ESSENTIALS as well as BASIC DIGITAL package, and the Italian/Spanish service from Toronto called TELELATINO being added to English ESSENTIALS at no extra charge. Soccer fans will be interested in that, plus the offerings of FIFA World Cup Soccer on COUNTRY CANADA, starting on June 30. There is a free preview of Country Canada for the rest of the month of June, showing a number of sporting events, and alternative programming, from the vaults of CBC and others. CBC also has DR WHO's latest season starting on June 18th. And reruns of the first eight episodes of LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE starting in a few days, for most of the summer. Very interesting television for everyone!
Enjoy the beginning of summer!