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January 2021

February 2021

 

 

The month is half over and we are still waiting for the part to show up all the way from England, and naturally the delay is blamed on COVID!
 
During the down time we have kept busy with little jobs around the boat and perfecting our solar use!
Our boat is now compl…

Read more

Boat and RV December 14 (Free vs Paid)

Boat and RV

December 14, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is breaking with the general format today.

There are 22 photos and not in the order of travel but rather in the order of amenities.

I was reading a piece about a very bad commercial campground experience, qnd thinking back I remembered some…

Read more

July 2019

Boat and RV

July 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with general ramblings and more about our Solar experiment!

This is the second day in Cabin Creek which is really easy access off the I-90  Exit 63 and even comfortable for a class A! (GPS Lat 47.2933 Lon -121.2877)

Something that is troubling …

Read more

June 2019

Boat and RV

June 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie here with two more files for new and potential owners. And if all works well they will be posted in order!?

New Owner File 3

Another aspect of purchase is learning how to operate all the systems.

Our dealer provided a “run through” of how it …

Read more

May 2019

Boat and RV

May 3, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and crew welcome the new members to our group.

The group is growing nicely and so far appears to be well balanced between Campers and Boaters.

Many travel by both so hopefully in the near future we will see more travel stories posted by our membe…

Read more

April 2019

Boat and RV

April 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie heading south after Oklahoma City and visit to the Route 66 Museum.

Thankfully nothing but normal traffic problems on the way to friends in McKinney Texas.

With one stopover in Ardmore Oklahoma to mail a package we arrived on a nice sunny day w…

Read more

March 2019

Boat and RV

March 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie sitting in Tucson still.

Today I am going to talk about money!

Not the green stuff we need for day to day living and travel, but the reserves we need for emergencies.

Most will carry a specified amount in a savings type of account that can b…

Read more

February 2019

Boat and RV

February 5, 2019

Conestoga Charlie back after a few days of intense packing!

One of the many things people say during our travels it how much they would enjoy the free lifestyle, however they also lament about how much stuff they have.

Those readers who are contemplating a mo…

Read more

January 2019

Boat and RV

January 1, 2019

A big welcome to 2019 from Conestoga Charlie and the crew of the Dawn Treader.

We wish to thank all the loyal readers for their encouragement and support.

Today’s special New Year’s Blog is a walk down memory lane.  It is a short picture story of the Odyssey i…

Read more

July 2018

Mystery Blog

Suggestions have been pouring in (well more like a trickle really) for the new name.

On July 4th it will be one whole month since we left our boat and headed up Interstate 75 with the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, a 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

During the last few weeks I have been com…

Read more

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Blog Posts

January 2021

February 2021

 

 

The month is half over and we are still waiting for the part to show up all the way from England, and naturally the delay is blamed on COVID!
 
During the down time we have kept busy with little jobs around the boat and perfecting our solar use!
Our boat is now compl…

Read more

Boat and RV December 14 (Free vs Paid)

Boat and RV

December 14, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is breaking with the general format today.

There are 22 photos and not in the order of travel but rather in the order of amenities.

I was reading a piece about a very bad commercial campground experience, qnd thinking back I remembered some…

Read more

July 2019

Boat and RV

July 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with general ramblings and more about our Solar experiment!

This is the second day in Cabin Creek which is really easy access off the I-90  Exit 63 and even comfortable for a class A! (GPS Lat 47.2933 Lon -121.2877)

Something that is troubling …

Read more

June 2019

Boat and RV

June 1, 2019

Conestoga Charlie here with two more files for new and potential owners. And if all works well they will be posted in order!?

New Owner File 3

Another aspect of purchase is learning how to operate all the systems.

Our dealer provided a “run through” of how it …

Read more

May 2019

Boat and RV

May 3, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and crew welcome the new members to our group.

The group is growing nicely and so far appears to be well balanced between Campers and Boaters.

Many travel by both so hopefully in the near future we will see more travel stories posted by our membe…

Read more

April 2019

Boat and RV

April 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie heading south after Oklahoma City and visit to the Route 66 Museum.

Thankfully nothing but normal traffic problems on the way to friends in McKinney Texas.

With one stopover in Ardmore Oklahoma to mail a package we arrived on a nice sunny day w…

Read more

March 2019

Boat and RV

March 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie sitting in Tucson still.

Today I am going to talk about money!

Not the green stuff we need for day to day living and travel, but the reserves we need for emergencies.

Most will carry a specified amount in a savings type of account that can b…

Read more

February 2019

Boat and RV

February 5, 2019

Conestoga Charlie back after a few days of intense packing!

One of the many things people say during our travels it how much they would enjoy the free lifestyle, however they also lament about how much stuff they have.

Those readers who are contemplating a mo…

Read more

January 2019

Boat and RV

January 1, 2019

A big welcome to 2019 from Conestoga Charlie and the crew of the Dawn Treader.

We wish to thank all the loyal readers for their encouragement and support.

Today’s special New Year’s Blog is a walk down memory lane.  It is a short picture story of the Odyssey i…

Read more

July 2018

Mystery Blog

Suggestions have been pouring in (well more like a trickle really) for the new name.

On July 4th it will be one whole month since we left our boat and headed up Interstate 75 with the Gulfstream BT Cruiser, a 23 foot Class C Motor Home.

During the last few weeks I have been com…

Read more

View older posts »

March 2019

Boat and RV

March 2, 2019

Conestoga Charlie sitting in Tucson still.

Today I am going to talk about money!

Not the green stuff we need for day to day living and travel, but the reserves we need for emergencies.

Most will carry a specified amount in a savings type of account that can be accessed quickly in case of need.

So what is my point?

Simple. Banks pay lousy interest, and a credit union is not that much better.

With a little savvy yields of 8 to 11% are possible but there is a little higher rick involve. Still it is better than that 1.25% maximum in a 12 to 18 month CD!

My income tax return is safely tucked away in just such account waiting for our return to the sailboat and Fuel Injector Pump repair or replacement. A few of my friends and myself have been using this method since 2007 and when I had to replace my Fuel Tank in my boat it was covered and I might add with a bit of a profit as well.

I am not a financial consultant so I will stop here however I did serve as a CFO for a Risk Management Firm!

Happy Camping! 

Boat and RV

March 3, 2019

Conestoga Charlie planning the next leg of the adventure, and like most started surveying the route. Rather than the same route into Texas I thought it would be interesting to go through Amarillo this time.

What a surprise this morning, it was 16 degrees! What is with that?

Yesterday some financial discussion started And I fear I left off too soon. I did not want to sound like I was purveying a scam.

My intent was to get the readers thinking outside tradition and consider better forms of saving. I am not talking about anything that is a gamble, as like most, we are existing on a fixed income and there is not enough excess to waste any.

With a little research and care one can find some very stable high yield dividend paying stocks. About 11 years ago when the "big crash" hit, I compiled a list that paid 8 to 11% and that list is still valid today and the price has been more than stable. One from that list completely paid for my boat’s new fuel tank ($450) from the dividends and increased value alone.

Two things I want to say upfront; one, I’m not a licensed consultant, and two, I’m not wishing to promote any trading activity.

However in those 11 years, one stock on my list has been at or near $18.50 and has paid 50 cents a share every quarter with 2 special dividend announcements of 50 cents a share.

Most have IRA, 401K, Tax Deferred Annuity, or other and what I just mentioned is what is done with your investment except you get 6% they get the rest (nothing is done for free!)

I am not selling anything but what I’m encouraging everyone to do is do a little research as many have no idea about how stocks can really work for you with minimal risk.


Boat and RV

March 5, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with some fun things as well as a serious note. The Photos today are from a collection used on the masthead (Facebook).

The discussion is the last of the financial discussions.

It is kind of a question/statement.

Just how much is a reasonable reserve for living aboard a boat verses living full time in an RV?

I realize it is going to be a wide range of figures, and will also have a wide variation!

My own experience is not a suggestion but only a personal example of how fortunes change!

I started out with a cash reserve of a few thousand and a TSA (Tax Secured Annuity that matured at 59 1/2).

My savings was used to prepare and move my first boat to Texas; the TSA was used to buy my second boat. The cash reserve went to maintain the sailboat and travel.

If like us one does all their own maintenance the cash reserve may be minimal.  

What is a good rule of thumb?

For me it is whatever the cost will be for things I cannot fix myself, or those I really don’t want to fix myself!

Both Boats and RV will be contingent on the condition at purchase. I’ve stated many times these will cost X dollars. One either pays all up front or prolongs the torture with a bargain and fixes it themselves.

Either way time and money add up the same.

I often tell people young and old alike that the more you spend in the beginning the more time is left to have fun traveling!

My Cash Reserve Today?

A whole lot less than I would like! Still we are managing and life is good!

 


 

Boat and RV

March 6, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is here with the subject triggered by a comment from yesterday.

To recap, yesterday was about how much reserve to keep on hand, and the suggestion was to estimate the largest expense for repair.

I was reminded not to forget the most important machine, our bodies!

Health maintenance while traveling is quite important.

Access to medical care in the United States and Canada is very good and even in Mexico the facilities are better than many people realize. My friend in Arizona received all of her dental care just over the border in Nogales, Mexico.

Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands, Tortola, British Virgin Islands as well as throughout the Caribbean all had excellent medical facilities.

Today it is not so much as where to find help, but how to pay for it.

That brings the discussion to insurance.

It is not my intent to open a discussion about insurance but to state it is going to be necessary. Rising health cost make it necessary to have coverage.

Those of us over 65 also have Medicare, however, seriously, it is advisable to also have some sort of supplementary insurance as well. I personally have a Medicare Replacement Plan.

If travel outside of the US is planned, again, supplementary medical coverage is needed. As many policies do not cover other countries.

Another option is something called Medivac Insurance (SkyMed is another option). Medivac will fly the policy holder to the United States from anywhere (Depending on the policy) back to the United States for medical treatment. Research the Internet for your choice is recommended.

Each person must evaluate what is best for their needs, however before hitting the road or setting sail be sure to have adequate coverage.

Today’s photos are a mix of land and sea with a little inspirational thrown in!

 

 

 

 


 

Boat and RV

March 8, 2019

Conestoga Charlie’s continuing subject about all those little details that go with us in our travels.

Last issue health insurance was the topic of discussion and travel in or out of the US requires basic care. Dawn is a veteran so she has access to a comprehensive network. As stated I carry a PPO Medicare replacement that allows access country wide. We have both taken advantage of that mobility.

To conclude the desired characteristics would be affordability and flexibility.

On the savings front an alternative to straight savings account was mentioned a few days back. I am happy to report that since a total of just over $59 will be accrued at the quarterly dividend payout early April and that was only a $1500 deposit which is meant to cover my boat’s Fuel Injection Pump. I take my own advice!)

The reason most people choose a mobile lifestyle is to reduce the stress and enjoy the world’s wonders, not get bogged down.

Today’s photos divide between landlubber and seaman alike.

We left our boat in safe hurricane storage and last June joined the RV world,

Many of the sights were planned in advance, some only the day before.

Some were discovered accidentally such as the lollipop factory in Hankinson South Dakota.

We had arranged to have our mail forwarded there and after picking it up walked around town. One of the workers was taking a break and offered us a tour which included a freshly made watermelon lollipop!

Later walking through the only food store in town we bought that night’s dinner at a very competitive price as well as a history of the town.

This is just one of the many adventures and wonderful people across our land.

 


 

Boat and RV

March 13, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with an update on my March 9th Blog (copies available PM).

I realize not many are familiar with the workings of the stock market and therefore somewhat reticent.

Many of us worked toward our independent lifestyle and want to protect our resources.

I hope to dispel a few myths and share a method to help preserve and enhance the ability to travel and enjoy retirement. I developed this system back in 2007 shortly after many of my friends and colleagues lost considerable retirement funds due to the recession and dip in the stock market.

It is quite understandable to have extreme caution.

My intent was to share with my sailing friends and quite frankly received considerable flak from them. Because of that I put it on the shelf for a couple of years.

What follows is some hard facts and figures that require a bit of digestion and careful reading.

(For the financial savvy please bear with me as much may seem obvious to you)

I invite any one reading to pay the fee and check with any financial consultant and they will confirm what I am writing!

This is about how to have a savings for unplanned expenses and at the same time have it available for use. (This is called Liquid Capital)

For most this is a savings account, Certificate of Deposit, or under the mattress.

The first two pays a little interest the last does not. ATM’s and Internet have made the first two almost as immediate as the last.

The key is you get a little interest on your savings.

However there is something better.

It takes a little more effort and obtaining some knowledge, but the rewards are much better.

Many people are afraid of the stock market because of lack of knowledge. I hope to clear some of that.

There are many reasons to invest, but the one for our purpose is to collect dividends.

Dividends are like interest paid to a savings account except much better.

What are dividends exact ally? Shares of a company’s stock represents part ownership in that company, and dividends are that share’s part of the profit.

How is that put to use for our purposes?

Simply put, buy the stock collect the dividends and if you need the money, sell the stock!

What about risk? That is something that needs to be minimized. There is even risk in a bank account, ask any survivor of the 1929 Depression!

This is where I step in.

I shared 2 main stocks, CIM and NLY which both pay close to 12% dividends and have been very stable. The 52 week range for CIM has been from just under $18 to just over $18 per share with50 cent per share dividends.

Because dividends are paid every quarter for these, the only important thing is when to buy and when to sell. This is done using what is called Date of Record. Simply, buy before this date and sell after it, or simply hold it and collect a quarterly income if the money is not needed.

What if! First is my own current experience.

When I posted this I had bought 55 shares of CIM for $18.45 and 45 Shares of NLY for $10.5

$1,480.90 Today CIM is at $19.05 and NLY is at $10.35 for a total gain of $32.60, however I am not interested in that figure yet because I can’t sell tell March 18 if I want to collect dividends which at that time will be $67.20

What if something comes up before March 18 and I need the money?

I sell and still and 3 days later I have $1513.50.

However that will not happen because I don’t put all of my reserve money into this!

Does the old saying apply “If it sounds too good to be true----it is!” Partially!

Even a neophyte knows stock go up and stocks go down, sometimes even in the same day.

This is true of CIM as well because it opened at $19.14 this morning and may finish higher at the close, I could have sold this morning and bought back now at a slight profit but that is way too intense for the average person.

The Goal is those dividends over a period of time.

What else? The stock could drop even farther or the company could not pay dividends for the quarter. So far CI<M and NLY have paid dividends even back in 2007 and as stated before the price has been stable at writhen a few cents of current price.

There is another thing to watch because other savvy investors are taking advantage of this to the tune of millions, so as the Date of Record approaches the price will usually climb and after the Date of Record it will usually start back down, so the window of opportunity has passed for maximum gains.

This is already longer than intended and for most to digest but I must give a hypothetical.

Upon retirement the house is sold and a boat or RV is purchased. There is still a significant amount of cash available so using a portion say $20,000 and say 1,000 shares of CIM is purchased. Every quarter you will receive a $500 payment and for the year that will be an extra $2,000 added to your current retirement income. The stock price could lose 52 cents a share and it would still break even.

When I was still teaching I signed up for a TSA and the guy had me convinced I was getting a good deal at 6% meanwhile they were making 12% on my money. 7% will marginally keep pace with inflation!

Quite frankly there was a lot of work put into this and others charge for this.

You paid someone voluntarily or not if you have any kind of retirement income, with a little extra effort you can benefit yourself.

 

Original post may be found here in Mobile Odyssey

https://www.facebook.com/groups/425536471285181/?ref=bookmarks (no longer available)

 

Boat and RV

March 16, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is back in the saddle again. With the boat repair money safely tucked away in a 12% dividend account we head off to the Renaissance Fair in Gold Canyon Arizona.

On the way we stopped at the Tom Mix Memorial.

Tom Mix was a famous Western Actor and was in movies from 1909 to 1939.

He was born in 1880 and died in 1940 from an automobile accident in Florence Arizona.

Tom Mix was a pallbearer at Wyatt Earp’s Funeral.

Along the hiway there are many Saguaro however it is very hard to find a place to pull a motor home off to photograph them.

We had a great time and as usual it is a fun tourist spot. There are 2 more weekends left if your around the Phoenix area.

 

 

 


 

Boat to RV

March 18, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and Company visit Tombstone and Bisbee while waiting for the post office and DMV to open Monday.

One of the many interesting things to do while traveling, renew a driver’s license!

Tombstone and Bisbee are typical of tourist venues and the daily reenactment of the “Shootout at the OK Corral” is fun for all to watch. It really is a coin toss for who were the real bad guys.

The movies take a little license but its all fun today. Enjoy a brew at the Crystal Palace while imagining Wyatt as the Faro Dealer!

On to Bisbee Copper Mining town with many shops and of course the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum.

The Queen Mine offers underground tours for the inquisitive.

Tomorrow we will push on toward the East and hope for the weather to warm some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Boat and RV

March 19, 2019

Conestoga Charlie on the road and welcoming all the new members to Mobile Odyssey.

Just for review, we created this group for those people who either live aboard a boat or full time in an RV, or wish to do so. Some in this group own both.

Choosing a Mobile Lifestyle encompasses so unique challenges.

Along with the photos and travelogue we hope to share information to make the transition less troublesome!

Two things that are common to both is finding a transitional, stop for a night or two.

Boats need a safe place to anchor and RV’s to park. These are becoming harder to find and many cities place restrictions for both.

Long term is also not as easy, some RV parks have age restrictions, and many marinas bar live-a-boards.

There are still many options for RV that can be found freecampsites.net, and people who have Google Play Store can enter RV and many useful things will come up.

Boaters have some restrictions such as various places along the Atlantic Coast of Florida; however there are few free docks available. We have found several transient docks at $1 per foot which include Shore Power, Potable Water and on shore Shower and Toilet Facilities, some offer pump out service at additional charge. Boats US, Marine Ways-Free Nautical Charts will help.

Our current camp was found on the free campsite web page, and has ample parking but no facilities, great for self contained RV’s, and is quiet and clean.


Boat and RV

March 20, 2019

Conestoga Charlie with a question to all “Full Time Boat and RV people1

Are you using mail forwarding as an exclusive address?

If So are you having any problems with Voter Registration, Banking, or other business issues?

Our mail forwarding recently had an issue with our State which passed a law that does not allow mail forwarding address for Voter’s Registration.

We will be contacting our State Representatives and Governor over this issue.

In the meantime if you are planning to live full time and need this service check with the local and state law as well as the mail service before committing.

Sometime back I wrote that as far as HUD is concerned those of us who have chosen a mobile lifestyle are considered homeless.

We are working to change that issue as well~!

‚Äč


Boat and RV

March 22, 2019

Conestoga Charlie waving a big good bye to Veterans Park about 2 miles north of Lordsburg New Mexico.

We have been camped here for 3 days of blissful quiet.

The campsites are clean and well maintained with sheltered tables and BBQ grills, with ample space.

There are no amenities other than level campsites and trash bins.

During our stay we had 3 others come and go with 2 currently as we leave.

Personally I feel it rivals some paid campgrounds, and just north is the Ghost Town of Shakespeare.

Lordsburg is a nice little town to visit as well!   


Boat and RV

March 23, 2019

Conestoga Charlie and company are happy to be on the move again.

After a 3 day stay outside Lordsburg we made Socorro New Mexico for a dinner and overnight stay. Dinner at El Camino Restaurant was a delightful experience and the next morning bright and early the people from Coca-Cola set up a sample stand with very loud music, we were leaving anyway!

Next scheduled fuel stop was in Albuquerque and next door to the Shell station the Smith’s parking lot was holding an Albuquerque  Police Fair Display.

It is too late to continue to Amarillo as the Cadillac Ranch and The Big Texas among other Route 66 sights are planned.

The advantage of being self contained is allowing us to spend the night in a “Picnic Area” which is Texas for a place to park with tables and trash cans! 

Enjoy the photos.

  


Boat and RV

March 25, 2019

Happy ???? Monday hopefully, from Conestoga Charlie.

We made good time from Lordsburg New Mexico to Amarillo Texas and the motor home returned 11.3 and 14.2 MPG which is really great!

Sunday morning was the Cadillac Ranch, an art project from 1974, by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, Doug Michels, and the 10 Cadillacs range from 1949 to 1963.

Then it was late lunch/early dinner at The Big Texan first built in 1960 and stared the “Steak Challenge” offering a $5 prize.

That same challenge has evolved to a 72oz Steak Dinner that must be consumed in 1 hour.

On the way out on Interstate 40 is The Leaning Tower of Texas.

Ralph Britten originally towed it 34 miles to Groom in order to start a Truck Stop and Restaurant. It was quite successful in attracting customers who would always comment about the impending doom.

Today it is still one of the most photographed landmarks of Texas!

Two very useful websites we have used on our journeys has been www.freecampsites.net and www.atlasobscura.com !

We have found 2 excellent campsites, one in Montana and another in New Mexico that would rival any paid site, and loads of interesting roadside attractions.

  


Boat and RV

March 26, 2019

Conestoga Charlie is happy to report that there are no issues with our Motor Home as we work our way East on part of the Historic Route 66, before heading down to Texas.

There are many sites along the historic highway and the Route 66 Museum in Clinton Oklahoma has a great film as well as artifacts throughout.

The staff is well versed on the roadway’s history.

Outside is a sample of a mini-diner which literally dotted Route 66 long before Mc Donald’s and other franchise fast food.

These little diners were transported to the sites ready for operation. Inside was a lock box where the new owners would place the payments and a company man would come weekly and collect the money.

President Eisenhower signaled the death of Route 66 with the inauguration of the Interstate Highway Act.

To the delight of many the highway fans much of Route 66 is being restored.

As stated in the movie in the museum it is America's Main Street the Highway that Refuses to Die.  


 

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