Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet (for Thailand)?

Teaching online has been a side hustle for 10+ years and I’ve taught a few workshops along the way, so I get asked about the best platform a lot recently: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet?

So after testing and teaching classes this summer on all three, I can say that Google Meet is the best for a university teacher in Thailand.

This is based on performance, security, ease of use (for both teacher and student), and features. Price did not really factor into this decision, because my employer enabled free access to Meet and Teams. I will say that the 40-minute limit on free Zoom account meetings probably affects many.

Google Meet (basic but reliable) > Zoom (dumb 40 min. limit) > Microsoft Teams (uh… better suited for business?)

BONUS TIDBIT: Google Meet can now show many (max. 16) people on the grid, one of the last advantages Zoom (max. 49) had over it (Microsoft Teams is still at 4).

COVID-19 Numbers, USA

Doubled nationwide and doubled in Hamilton city (not county), in comparison to 10 days ago. People from other countries cannot understand why many Americans won’t wear masks, but it’s simpler than you’d think – Freedom or Death!

It would be remiss not to mention that arsonists have tried to destroy at least 50 5G towers in several countries in the EU, UK, and US. It has not helped the spread of the coronavirus at all.

There goes Cincinnati.

So here’s the number of infections in that county today (the video was taken a day or two ago in Over-the-Rhine, an urban historic district):

via COVID-19 Global Cases tracker by CSSE at Johns Hopkins University

And now the county jail is probably at higher risk of infection:

Man arrested for violating stay-at-home order, accused of posting video of large gathering in OTR

Reading the comment feed on that recorded livestream will tell historians everything they need to know about the United States at this point in time.

Update: Well not quite everything, because there’s also that 5G/Coronavirus rumor spreading to the states from the UK, where they are setting 5G cell towers on fire.

We bought Covid 19 insurance

Many insurance companies started offering it in Thailand from about last week, and the rated are similar. We just have the lowest tier of coverage, which starts at about 250 baht (one time payment) and covers up to 200,000 baht in medical expenses for a year. The higher tiers cover about double that.

I have to go pick up Max in Washington state in a couple months, so it seemed prudent. I looked at air tickets last night, and the transit countries (Japan, Korea, China, etc.) are all hot zones, except for Taiwan. So, hopefully Taiwan stays safe and I can use Eva Air. But who knows how all this will turn out. Fucking pandemics, man. Really inconsiderate.

Photos of the “Elephant Cage” in Udon Thani, Thailand

Pages like this one and this one and this one got me interested in the cold war antenna array known as the “Elephant Cage.” It was built by the US military in Udon Thani province, northeast Thailand, at an air force base used for signals intelligence back in the day, and suspected of housing a CIA black site in more recent years (although it is now apparently a mushroom farm/museum open to the public). Wikipedia describes the Elephant Cage as thus:

The AN/FLR-9 is a type of very large circular “Wullenweber” antenna array, built at eight locations during the cold war for HF/DF direction finding of high priority targets. The worldwide network, known collectively as “Iron Horse”, could locate HF communications almost anywhere on Earth. Because of the exceptionally large size of its outer reflecting screen (1056 vertical steel wires supported by 96 120-foot towers), the FLR-9 was commonly referred to by the nickname “Elephant Cage.”


None of the Elephant cages exist anymore, although parts of the one in Udon might still be found around town, if local stories are to be believed. I just wanted to compile all of the photos I’ve bookmarked in a single post.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1528890/ex-us-base-not-secret-prison
Source: https://disabledveteransthailand.wordpress.com/ramasun-station-thailand/
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254318616/
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254433519
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/Maps/Non_Sung_Mueang_Udon_Thani_Thailand.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html

Thailand IFF

Nam, Mina, and I invited my friend Taro to go on a road trip last month and we played Okinawan music in front of thousands of people. We got back a couple weeks ago, but it seems like so long ago… I need to write about it here, but my time is split working and learning Adobe Premiere, which I’ve put off for years. Anyway, I still have many hours of reviewing and editing ahead, but I managed to put together a title screen.