Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Day Out House Hunting

Today, I went to 8 apartments looking for a permanent roof for the next 10-11 months for my stay here. It was nice to see all these apartments and compare them. I did not take pictures of most of them as the agents have printed them off but there were some agents who did not prepare anything.

My requirements are pretty much simple which is the location needs to be near the city center, it must be equipped with a washing machine with dryer, microwave oven, stove, dish washer and all kitchen utensils. I do not intend to furnish it myself as one year will be just a wink of an eye and I will be stuck with the problem of trying to get rid of the furniture.

Well, here are some pictures that I have taken today.


Living Room

Typical Living Room



Bicycle Rack

My Fave Bicycle Racks or Hooks?



Kitchen

Kitchen


I found the apartment that I like which overlooks the Southampton Walls and have views of both side of the building which I am going for a second view tomorrow.

Cheers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Burn Myself In The Kitchen

If you know me personally, you will know that I am gifted to be quite hairy for your regular asian kid. Some culture believe that it measures the manliness which I couldn't agree more. Well, everything has its ups and downs.

It is regular occurences that I get myself to close to a flame and get the hair on my arm or hands burned. Just brushing near a fire will wipe out my hair. I usually don't realize it until I smell burning hair and once I found the area of disaster, it always looks like a site that has gone through a forest fire. The hair will twirl back.

This is the picture of the damage after I got myself to close to the flames on the stove.

Burnt Hair


Burnt Hair


Recovering from the third degree burn pain (yeah rite), I still manage to cook up a brilliant meal. Well, tons of people have told me boiling pasta till they cook ain't cooking but I beg to differ. Here are some of the other variations that I have prepared over the few days.

Pasta


Pasta with Irish Stew


Pasta


Pasta with Chicken Meatballs


Cheers!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Website Screenshots

If you write website reviews occassionaly or happen to need a screenshot of a website that you are going to feature in a blog or online article, MyThumbshot.com is the solution for you.

MyThumbshot.com

The website is FREE to use and allows you to automatically generate thumbnails of websites automatically like the one above by using a string of URL.

How To Use?

http://www.mythumbshot.com/get?url=[url]&size=[size]

You need to replace [url] with the page you need a screenshot of and [size] with one of the following params to show the sizes:

xs = 120x90
s = 160x120
m = 320x240
l = 640x480
xl = 1024x768

Demonstration

Please look at a few size variations of the results:

Extra Small (XS)
XS

Small (S)
S

Medium (M)
M

In A Nutshell

I am not sure how this website sustains itself by having just Google Adsense but if you use it, you have to take on the risk of your website having invalid image links if it ever go bust. I am using it and have faith that this website will be around for a while.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Affiliate Program

I have been with AffiliateFuture.co.uk since 2003 and that makes it 5 years now.



The reason that I sharing about this affiliate program company is because they have been reliable and have so far paid out every commission due. They offer a wide range of companies for you to promote and also various tools and feeds.

They now have US and European operations which means affiliaties from other countries can participate. If you have a UK bank account you can make them transfer your commission straight into your bank account via BACS.

Cheers!

Cheers.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Exploring The Southampton Walls

I went out later today then as planned to further explore the city. I was a bit tired yesterday which explains my early return to the crib. The good thing about today's venture was that I return with a map that I bought from the Tourist Information Center. I also took a chance to snap a couple of pictures of the tourist spots.

Titanic Memorials

One Of The Many Titanic Memorials


Titanic set sail from Southampton on its maiden journey which resulted in a lot of memorials scattered around the city in the memory of those who lost their lives. The main city of Southampton is also surrounded by an ancient wall and is well preserved.

Southampton Walls

Walking Next To The Southampton Walls


I came across the Archaeology Museum and popped in. The Museum is free and I believe is a part of the walls which will give you a good feel on how it is to be inside it.


Museum


Archaeology Museum


Having a chat with the nice lady at the Tourist Information Center also made me realize there are free weekly guided tours along the Southampton walls. It starts at 10.30 a.m on Sundays and the meeting location is at Bar Gate as pictured below:


Bar Gate

Bar Gate


I will be joining the walking tour next week and stay tune for my blog post about it.

Cheers.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My First Weekend In Southampton

Finally, the weekend that I have been waiting for has arrived. I have so much exploring to do and I seriously need to stock up on food.

I was trigger happy with my camera when I started my journey to the city center and here are some of the pictures:

Outside The Apartment

Outside My Apartment


The Street

The Street


A Random Ship

A Random Ship


I spend quite a while in the City Center especially in ASDA on buying food.

Here are a sneak peak to what I have been cooking up (heating up instant stuff realy but I cooked the pasta!!!) and eating.

Chicken Curry

Pasta & Chicken Curry


Sweet & Sour

Pasta With Sweet & Sour Chicken


The next in my Menu includes Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and also Irish Stew... Yummy!

Cheers,

bennyong

Friday, January 25, 2008

Get Free UK Sim Cards

I am starting to get a bit frustrated with getting my O2 sim card replaced. It is so complicated that I would spare you the details. Well, luckily I received a free Orange sim card that I ordered a couple of days back in the post today. This means, I can finally have my new UK number after my previous one went dead on me.

Word of advice, that if you are in the UK and would require a sim card, order it for free instead of paying £9.99 in the shops to get them. All you need is a valid UK address to post it to. I am not sure if they send it to hotels or offices but my two previous encounters of staying in a service apartment works fine. This post is also useful for students.

Here are a couple of links which are valid at the time of posting for you to order your free Prepaid (Pay As You Go) Sim Cards:

O2
1) 02 Sim Cards (Request Up to 4 Cards Max)

Orange
2) Orange Sim Cards (Request Up to 4 Cards Max)

Vodafone
3) Vodafone Sim Cards (1 only)

T-Mobile
4) T-Mobile Sim Cards (2 Sim Cards)

Virgin Mobile
5) Virgin Mobile Sim Cards (1 Sim Card)

After receiving your sim cards, you will need to activate them by usually simply calling a toll free number and later putting in some credit to your phone. The good thing about Pay As You Go sim cards is that you do not have to sign any contracts and may terminate it whenever you wish.

Having your UK sim cards will avoid you paying expensive roaming charges with your home country mobile.

I hope the tip above is helpful to anyone who needs a UK mobile number and be able to save up some cash while being in the UK.

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Cooked Dinner

Read the title? Well, not exactly but if you would consider buying a pre-marinated packed of Chicken Wings from Tesco meant to be oven cooked and putting it in the microwave instead; it is fair to say that I have cooked up a meal indeed. Here is a picture of what it turned out to be:

I Cooked Dinner

"Yummy!"

The verdict, it taste suprisingly superbly good. I did not finish everything but will keep the rest for dinner the day after.

Well, that's all for now and I better go shower and get ready for bed.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PortableApps.com

I wish I would have discovered this tool earlier. After being in Southampton for less than half a week, I am starting to miss the applications on my PC back home. On streaming one of my fave shows on the net, BBC's Click, I found out about PortableApps.com.

PortableApps

PortableApps.com is a free application that allows you to install and run your applications from your USB drive hence allowing you to bring all the applications you want with yourself everywhere you go. As the name implies, you can make your applications portable.

Browsing through the website, I also found a list of free applications that I can download which includes sudoku games, office suites, web browser, e-mail clients and etc.

I have not personally tried it yet due to time constraint but will do so the soonest I get a chance to.

Well, that's all from me now and I better get showering for another productive day at work.

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Walking to The Office?

animated52.gif

Today, I set out to conquer a mission that many have said was impossible. Well, I decided to walk to the office after getting fed up with the taxi costs. So, I confidently started my journey with the bus map in my mind after seeing in on the website. If I can't get directly to the office, I would be more than happy to settle for a bus ride.

So, I left at 8.30 a.m. and aim to reach the location at 9.30 a.m latest. I walked along the path by back tracking the journey the cab took to fetch me home last night. After about 30 mins of walking, I got myself to a dead end. Well, not a dead end exactly but there was no longer a footpath next to the highway. I wouldn't be that crazy to risk myself getting run down.

So, I took a diversion which led me to the Central Train station and although there were several bus stands scattered around, I found the one I wanted but the next available bus is coming in 30 minutes. My overjudgement of the matter as buses run like every 15 mins in London but not in Southampton. I ended up taking the cab to get in the office on time.

Well, if you are wondering that I walked back from the office. The answer is no because it was to dark and cold. Plus feeling tired and drained was to helpful as well.

I managed to go out during lunchtime whereby I wonder around the city center. They have all my favourite stores in one place, H&M (I use to work there), Primark (Damn Cheap Trendy Clothes), Argos (I just like browsing through their catalogs), WHSmiths (Where All My Fave Web Design Magazines are available!!!), ASDA (Cheaper Tesco Alternative) & The Works (Love buying cheap books).

I also did a tour of the Southampton office and the site plus I manage to see the old factory which is vacant now due to it shutting down.

Side tracking a bit, my UK mobile sim card died on me a week before I got here (The irony!!!) and I tried to reactivate it today but was told I will have to say goodbye to the number. Well, this could be a good start to adapting to change but we will see.

Cheers,

Bennyong

P/S: I can't wait for the weekend to start exploring at my own pace.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Day 1 in Southampton

I woke up at 6.30 this morning and my jet lag has been officially cured. It must be thanks to me forcing myself to stay awake and also the sequence of events yesterday. I had to take my top off in Heathrow, a sight that you would not want to see but it was done in the Health Check area. Apparently, as a work permit holder, I am required to show a X-ray of my chest. I did not make a big fuss out of it because it was free anyways. It would however saved me time if I did it in Malaysia and show them the results there. I was a bit worried as the taxi company was waiting for me for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I was afraid that he will abandon me but was fortunate that he was about to leave when I spotted him carrying a sign with my name on it.

It was later about 2 hours drive to Southampton whereby we had to find the Apartment because the address provided to me and the cab driver was different. We however managed to track the housing agency which passed me the keys to my apartment in luxurious Ocean Village. (Unfortunately, I will be staying here temporarily as I will be looking to relocate to a cheaper location nearer to the office) Here are a few pics to share with you:

 Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

 The Kitchen

Kitchen

Living Room

The Living Room

Patio View

The View From the Patio

Back to today, I went in to the office and attended all day inductions on Health & Safety and Security which I found very helpful and useful for my stay here. My only concern about working in Southampton is that the taxi fare for me to get to work was GBP 7.20 and return was GBP 10.20. This totals up to GBP 17.40 a day commuting. I will however spend the next few days looking for a cheaper alternative. I just got back from Tesco and managed to buy some food. (Yipee! I don't justhave to rely on the instant noodles that I bought)

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Southampton Here I Come

Let me spare a few minutes on this beautiful Sunday morning before I leave for Southampton. I set my alarm for 6.30 but was woken up by my anxious mom half an hour earlier. I requested for a snooze but her advise of getting ready earlier was better and I did not negotiate further.

Just finish showering and did my last checks on my packing. I manage to squeeze in a few more toiletries. I am looking up for the weather report for Southampton which indicates rainy weather for the next two days in London but the lowest of 4 Degrees for Soton with heavy rains. What a time to fly!

Bad Weather

I have already made a list of things to be done when I arrive and can't wait to get it done with. I will be going into the office the next day for a couple of meetings and will get myself familiar with location soonest.

Not sure weather my apartment will have internet connection which might prevent me from blogging in the couple of weeks to come. I couldn't be bothered to use an internet cafe as I am to spoilt for that. :) I have already did my housekeeping by tidying up my mail account and also facebook. I stored some files and folders that I will need to use in my e-mail inbox as drafts. This will make it easier for me to retrieve them for later usage.

Well, I am not gonna spend too much time on this post and will carry on with the other activities around the house before the Airport cab picks me up.

Take care everyone!

Free Tic Tac Toe Game

Tic Tac Toe Screen Shot

I dug this out from my vault of compiled softwares that I finally thought I should share instead of it gathering ionic dust on my desktop. I will distribute this to other download sites like what have been done for a majority of the software that I have released. The snake game distributed had brought loads of visitors to this blog which I hope other free applications could be. This is a very good viral marketing tactic.

Back to the Tic Tac Toe Game:

A bit of info from the good folks at wikipedia.com on what Tic Tac Toe is "Tic-tac-toe, also called noughts and crosses, hugs and kisses, and many other names, is a pencil-and-paper game for two players, O and X, who take turns to mark the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three respective marks in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row wins the game."

Click Here to Download the game for free!

This software does not require installation and is small enough to run from your thumb drive.

Cheers

Friday, January 18, 2008

Song Yia's Farewell at Scarlet

It is quite uncanny for a club to be situated on the first floor of a shopping mall but we were at Scarlet in Cineleisure for Song Yia's farewell. Most of you might have known that she will be relocating as well but to Hamburg. I took the liberty to kind of crash the party and made it my farewell as well. This is very well justified as I have valid reasons which includes me being invited there and I am leaving on the same date.  It was no harm having a few drinks to my move in Southampton as well. (Look at how I stole the limelight of Song Yia's party!)

It was nice to see the turn out and due to the graphic nature of the pictures taken during the night by our in house paparazzi, Angie, I was only able to share the following two pics out of over 250 that was taken. I have to take this seriously because I am certain that the peeps in those picture will abandoned me if I ever post it over the net.

Photobucket

With 50% of Song Yia's Existing Team

Photobucket

Cheers To An Exciting Year!

Well, I got to catch up with my long overdue packing. I am sure that I have packed everything yet I believe I am missing out some stuff but do not know what!!!

Till my next post. Take care!

Cheers.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

French Name Generator

I can still recall the craze with name generators and here is one courtesy of BlogThings.com




Your French Name is:



Leroy Beaudouin




A quick search on Google also lead me to discover http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/namegen/ which hosts an endless list of name generators.

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Imagini.net Visual Profile

Another cool website I discovered. Well, a bit later than about a million others but what the heck!

Try this thing out from Imagini.net. It asks you a series of questions with the answer options given in pictures. This will in return used to formulate your personality test results that you can have in a page to share with your friends. Click here to see mine as a demo.

Here is a screen shot of my profile page which I will be customizing shortly.

Imagini.net

Below is a widget which you may generate after you have created your account. You can use this to blog and add it on your social network sites like Myspace or Friendster.


Read my VisualDNAâ„¢ Get your own VisualDNAâ„¢


There is also another widget, which is generated from another series of questions similar to the above but is about wishes.


In a nutshell, I believe this site has huge potential and is a cool tool. They better come up with more fun stuff to do on their site moving forward or their popularity might die off. It will no longer have its stickiness factor. We will see about that.

Cheers!

Leaving For Southampton

Oh well, the day has finally arrived. I have now received my UK Entry Clearance which means that I am all set for my one year relocation to Southampton (Soton). How am I feeling you may wonder, I am excited and am looking forward to the hectic weeks ahead of working and settling in at the same time. I have to admit that I am leaving my family and loved ones with a heavy heart but I better do it now before I have more commitments.

Southampton

I am thankful that I going there as UK is not that foreign to me as I have spent about two years in London both working and studying. I am also fortunate that I have this opportunity that I hope I will be able to make full use of.

I have started looking up maps of Southampton and where my new office will be. I am planning to walk to work but I guess this depends on where I will be staying. So maybe, cycling will be a better option. Still to soon to plan and it is best that I settle down first. A couple days on the cab should not be a big issue.

UK is also a famous hub for traveling around Europe, there is an airport and port which hopefully be my gateway to a whole lot more traveling and adventures.

It's getting late now and I have just gotten home from some shopping. I am getting packed and ready for my trip there which I most likely will be posting a lot about.

Cheers.

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Blog Won An Ipod!

I won an Ipod. I won an Ipod…..

Yipee… this is the first ever win for this blog ever and my second Ipod win. I got the first Ipod from a Walker’s Crisp competition when I was working in the UK.

Now, thanks to a winning review on Nciku.com, I have a better model. Although it is not the highest end Ipod. I am thankful for the fact that I am getting one especially through a blog review. I also take the pride for being the only Malaysian in the list!

Winner's List

I can’t wait for the Ipod to be shipped to my house which means all I have to worry is about the postman if it is being delivered via standard mail. I sure hope it will be couriered over which then I have to think about someone being at home to receive it. Why bother, I will cross the bridge when it comes.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the friendly team over at Nciku for developing an addictive and yet very useful site. It is a bonus to get an Ipod for reviewing such an excellent solution.

Let’s hope this is a start to many more wins from competitions and blogging contests. My next target is a PSP.

Cheers.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blog Wars With Rewards

I was aware of a popularity contest going on between two tech centric blogs and after reading John Chow’s blog post and endorsement, I decided to jump into the bandwagon and participate. (Peeps….That does not mean I am easily manipulated!)

Well, first and foremost, Tyler Cruz and Gyutae Park from Winning The Web has organized a competition which will decide who is the more popular blog. Fellow bloggers may vote by posting about this competition and mention their choice. Each bloggers are arranging incentives to vote for them and the voter of the winning blog will be on the run to win 3 of USD 100.00 prizes paid by the losing blog. Very interesting indeed isn’t it? The full details of the competition are at both Tyler and Gyutae posts respectively.

I Vote For Tyler

The moment of truth on who I will be voting for. It has to be Tyler Cruz because of the following:

1) I like the layout and design of the page better
2) I don’t know what EntreCards are and would like to find out with the points given
3) I don’t want another t-shirt as I have heaps in my closet

If it was based on a quick look, Winning The Web offers better incentive but I would still to my judgment.

What they could have done better to win is to come up with a template post that any participating bloggers can use. This will encourage more fellow bloggers to enter as they need to expand the content rather than writing the whole blog post themselves. That is my take on the situation.

Regardless, this is a very good tactic on increasing hits and getting exposure to their blogs. To be honest, I have not heard of these two chaps until the competition caught my attention. I have been living in a cave and reading my own blogs for far too long. I could be a testimony that this strategy is affective.

Do join in the fun by posting your vote on your blog. Do keep in mind the terms of the conditions. At time of this post, you have approximately 24 hours to participate. Although Gyutae Park has the lead, we will see what will happen.

Once again, good luck to both on winning and I will my fingers cross for choice as I want the $100 in my bank account.

Cheers All!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Anne's Wedding

I rarely get invited to weddings nowadays. This could be because of my consistent turning down of invitation that I eventually have the “why bother� response whenever anyone is considering my name for the guest lists. Don’t be that quick to judge me, I am sure I have valid reasons for all the NOs I uttered out last year.

Anne is a teammate of Song Yia’s and a colleague at work. She has always been very helpful in the office and I am glad that she is finally getting married after seeing her getting so stressed out for the preparations.

Besides being invited for Anne’s Wedding, this is the first time ever someone has asked for my help in their wedding and I just could not refuse. We were told to register the guests as they come in for the wedding reception. Although it was not much of help, every little counts.

Photobucket
Posers in the Church

The church wedding was conducted at 4.30 p.m. in St Mary’s Cathedral just opposite Dataran Merdeka. I never knew there was a church there to be honest.

Photobucket
With Anand and Anne, the bride and groom

After the ceremony, it was raining cats and dogs. We however manage to brave through the weather to arrive at Holiday Villa Subang for the dinner. It was held at the Victorian Ballrooms. I was there last time for a close family friend’s 80th Birthday.

Photobucket
The Entrance of Victorian Ballrooms

We soon arrange ourselves and were taking care of the registration. Although we were not the most professional bunch, at least we had fun!

Photobucket
At The Registration Desk

Once the dinner started, we all joined the guests in hall. There were performances by the bride’s friends which gave the wedding a very personal touch.

Another thing, I finally used photobucket to host all the pictures because flickr was down at the time of posting.

Cheers!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Create Your Own Mini City

When you thought that you have done it all, think again? Have you ever dream of building your own city watch it prosper through time?

Why not challenge yourself to create your own city. Just a point to make that my boundaries don't stop there, cause I intend to start my own religion; Bennyism: the Art of Self Worshiping. That will come right after I dominate the world.

My Mini City

Well, the SIM City like game allows anyone on the internet to create their own city by giving it a name in the country of their preference. The cool thing about this is that it does not require any registration and the population grows by the amount of visit the page receives.

Click here to visit MyMiniCity located in beautiful and sunny Malaysia. As I have just created it a couple of hours ago, there is not much to see and loads of greenery. A very good place for people to escape the buzzling life with ample greeneries. Analyst have forecasted that the city will grow in a rapid rate through enjoying a steady stream of visitors.

Did my story sound convincing? I am pretty sure that I will be addicted to this page a couple of times but should be over it very shortly. Let's see how huge can the population and industry grow in the city of Bennyong.

In a nutshell, this page is just novelty and a cool to have. It is a very interesting idea as I have never come across any sites like this with a similar concept. I wish I would have thought of the idea first. :)

If you wish to create your own city, go to the main url of myminicity and create your own.

Brand New Blog Layouts

I took the opportunity today to update and revamp my whole blog. (Updated to the latest version of wordpress, new template and whole load of plugins) Well, this is part of my back logged list of website revamps. So far, I manage to redesign one of my many sites which is Soscili.com which is not even near completion. With determination and more time I will eventually get there.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

If you realize, I have chosen a more corporate centric template this time around for my blog in hopes to optimize the monetization of the blog. I have realized an increase in traffic lately and thought I should ride on the opportunity. Funnily, after resting a short nap, I realize my blog was not up and running due to the header not properly loaded using the FTP. This means my site was down for a good 4 hours plus.

I learned a good lesson here whereby to verify everything is up and running before escaping reality into dreamworld. I have fixed the issue now but the site is far from complete which I will continue working on till I get it done.

Before completion, I have already got a few critics on my back. It might be premature to judge my site and I urge everyone to see it when it is ready.

On the other hand, I have made a choice to consolidate all the sites I manage into a few key online brands which I hopefully do a blog post about. We will see and I hope you can stay tune to it.

Just let me know what you think of the revamp.

Cheers

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Meet The Spartans

For Sparta! If it was an ideal world, I would be topless wherever I go with the perfect build like the ones portrayed by the Spartan Warriors in 300. Well, before I continue on talking crap, I saw this trailer online which I found very amusing. I thought the movie 300 will never have a sequel or a parody to be exact. See the trailer and let me know your thoughts.



Meet the spartans will be out in 2008 along with Kung Fu Panda which I can't wait that have a voice cast of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan & Dustin Hoffman. See the trailer as follow:



This are just a sample of movies that Hollywood have in store for us in the Year 2008. Let us see what other blockbusters there will be.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

UK Entry Application Tips

Finally I have submitted my UK Entry Clearance Application. It has taken a while and today, officially at approximately 9.50 a.m. on the 19th Floor of Wisma MCA along Jalan Ampang, everything has been sent in. Now all I have to do is cross my fingers and wait for it to materialize.

UK Visa Application

It has been in discussion for about a few months now about my potential move from KL to be based in Southampton, UK for a year. Lately, I have mixed emotions about the move with the sequence of events especially the battles on getting my work permit, package and entry clearance sorted out. Back to my Visa Application experience.

Although I was one of the earliest there, I was told that they would require my bank statement for the past three months. I found it a bit ridiculous but it eventually made sense when they was explained that I will need to show proof of being able to sustain myself for the first few months.

I rushed to Maybank at Ampang Park whereby I was charged RM 10.00 for my bank statement that is printed from my online banking account. I should not be complaining as I previously was charged RM 30.00 from HSBC for a letter. Regardless, this banks should not be charging huge sums to their customers as they are making profit from their other investments. Why can't an entrepreneur start a new bank with no charges. (This could be your billion dollar idea)

I soon headed back to the center and have all the paperwork submitted along with my passport. They filed everything and passed it on the cubicle like room next door whereby my name was called shortly. It was for a biometric test whereby all my finger prints were taken and also a picture of myself. (A bit redundant as I have already submitted my passport photo). The finger scanning portion was a bit fun as you start out with the four fingers excluding your thumb of your right hand on the scanner. It is then followed by the same amount of fingers from your left hand and ends with both your thumbs on the scanner. (I am not too sure why am I going into so much detail)

It is stated that it takes 5 days to get the entry clearance approved and up to 15 days if I am called for an interview. Another cool part is that I check the status of my application online. (We could do the same for our IC but I only found out after I collected mine)

Here are some tips:

1) Get all your forms completed with supporting documents filled

2) If you are printing it off a website, print extra copies just in case

3) Most visa application would required different passport size photos (Some accept light shaded background and some strictly white)

4) If you can't get your original supporting documents, get a certified copy

5) Bring more supporting documents than needed just in case to avoid a revisit

NOTE:

My advise above is just my thoughts, for more accurate information, visit the UK Visa Application Center website at vfs-uk-my.com.

UPDATE (JANUARY 11):

I just used the web status checking tool and here is a screenshot of the results which is quite cool, let us see what is the next status up?



UPDATE (JANUARY 14):

Just check the status a couple of minutes ago and it has changed since the morning. I have not collected the VISA yet but hopefully it is already approved as it indicates, I guess. I requested for it to be courier, so hopefully I will get them in the office tomorrow.

New Status