Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Adventurer Guru

Romeo Durscher - Director of Education for DJI 

I found it fitting to call my friend Romeo Durscher, The Adventurer Guru, for good reason.

Romeo has traveled the world many times over from far away places, like Vietnam, China, Europe, Russia and South Korea. 

I met Romeo on Facebook, during his employment with NASA, technical specialist with Little SDO, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory keeping a close eye on the solar activity of our Sun.  Romeo was also a big part of STEM, encouraging kids to pursue a career related to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. 

Romeo - The Adventure Guru - photo credit Romeo Durscher

Most recently, Romeo has taken on another adventure, as Educational Director for DJI Global, operated and owned by Frank Wang since 2006.

Within a month, his first excursion took him across the world to DJI main headquarters, in Shenzhen, Guangdong, province of China.  And not long after, Romeo was taking on the worldly adventure deep within the jungles of Vietnam.

You most likely saw Romeo's adventure on Good Morning America with host Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC News. As a matter of fact, when I wrote this article, Romeo had just spent the last seven days deep within the biggest cave in the world, mastering his skills and representing DJI Drone Global.

Part of the ABC Good Morning America with@ginger_zee and team @djiglobal with @ferdinandwolf 

Not only Romeo, but a team of experts embarked on a wild ride with a  Russian M-17 helicopter, trekking across the vast jungle, deep into the heart of the Sơn Đoòng Cave.

Read Romeo's Daily Journal.
The Russian  Mi-17 Helicopter - Wild Ride - Photo Credit : Romeo Durscher

Sơn Đoòng Cave quickly became famous world-wide, not only because it was just recently discovered in 2009, but, so far, it's classified as  the biggest cave, located in Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Bố Trạch District, Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam.
Sơn Đoòng Cave - Photo Credit Romeo Durscher/ Ferdinand Wolf

Sơn Đoòng Cave reaches depths of 200 metres high, stretching over 5 kilometres in length and a remarkable 150 metres wide.*
Vietnam - Photo Credit Romeo Durscher

It was indeed an adventure, as said by Romeo himself,"

My Dear Friends,

30 minutes ago we landed on our Mi-17 helicopter and are now out of the jungle and now at Oxalis Adventure. 

I am sitting here eating a steak, stinking like I spent the last seven days in a cave...wait a minute...

For the next few days you will be hearing a lot about my two trips to Son Doong, a hidden wonder world !  This was an amazing project and we all wrote a little bit of history by live broadcasting from deep inside the jungle, with drones providing aerial views.

The entire ABC and DJI team worked wonders to make this happen.  And we had the help of the most amazing local people..."

Romeo also adds at the end,"...during the live broadcast...a storm was about to hit and interrupt our cons to New York twice."

Twitter was humming with activity,

 @JRobbMontana: Awesome @romeoch: The view  @DJIGlobal Inspire 1 inside the Sơn Đoòng Cave in Vietnam with @GMA - "Beam of Light”


@JRobbMontana: Very cool @romeoch @GMA: .@Ginger_Zee drones explore cave Vietnam jungle#HiddenWorldsGMA ”

Indeed, Romeo has sparked interest throughout his Twitter, Facebook, About me and Instagram accounts as the Director of Education for DJI, the world's leading drone company DJI Global. 

Photo Credit : Romeo Durscher 

Best way to describe Mr. Romeo Durscher? 

He's a kindhearted American, Swiss born bachelor from San Jose, California, devoted to his career and friends. 

Romeo (truly an avid adventurer) it was a no-brainier, when his long time friend, Mark Johnson introduced him to the DJI drones, filling their thirst for technology and exploring the vast outdoors throughout Europe, United States and Mexico. Before you knew it, their rapid growth of expertise in the field of drones was inevitable. 

Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson - Visual-Aerials

Closer to home they were scouting the California countryside with this remarkable flying machine.  As quoted by DJI, "'s the most advanced technology, comes together in an easy to use, all-in-one flying platform that empowers you to create the unforgettable."

Mark and Romeo quickly set up their own website, Visual Aerials, educating prospective drone pilots at the Adobe Photoshop World Las Vegas, September 3, 2014. 

Panorama View of Las Vegas highlighting The Wynn and Encore Las Vegas - Credit Photo Visual Aerials

With my interest in the film industry, it wasn't long before I met Romeo's Mark Johnson myself,(Principal Creative Chief Officer with Visual Law Group and Principal at Fat Monster Films).

Before you know it, I too was following their adventures throughout the social media, sharing their astounding photos on my Facebook Page, Vegas Reviews, a Vegas Lovers paradise of tips and photos. 

Romeo is certainly the right candidate as Director of Education for DJI. You can follow him on Twitter @romeoch, along with @DJIGlobal and Instagram.

And be sure his amazing Daily Journal!

In conclusion. I'm so grateful for my friends Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Turtle Mountain, Vernon,B.C.

This is my home, Vernon,B.C. in the Okanagan Valley.  

Top of Turtle Mountain, Vernon B.C. by Bari Demers

The photo you see is on top of Turtle Mountain, where my childhood dreams would come alive. 

As you can see, the rich green orchards are a striking contrast to the original native desert habitat which once covered the Okanagan.  The Vernon area became a cattlemen's paradise, because of its vast ocean of grasslands.

Prefect for raising cattle.  

Believe it or not, but Turtle Mountain played an important historical role in making Vernon the city it is today. 

Grey Canal Trail Sign by Bari Demers


In the late 1800's a Scottish King, Lord Aberdeen and his Lady came to Canada. Their first visit from Scotland was mostly spent in the eastern Maritimes, but eventually they travel west, discovering Vernon, British Columbia.  

Lord Aberdeen

It was here the distinguished aristocrats fell in love with the Okanagan Valley.  Wasn't long after, they bought the Coldstream Ranch in 1890, settling in Canada once and for all. 

Owning Coldstream Ranch, cattle became its main resource of income, until one day, the Scottish King became interested in growing fruit orchards.
Okanagan Cowboys and Ranchers of Okeefe Ranch  - Photo taken by Bari Demers at Okeefe Ranch

But he had a problem.

How were they going to bring the water to grow the orchards? 

In order to have fruit orchards, they need lots of water.  There was plenty of water around, like the vast 135 km ( 70 miles) long Okanagan Lake, including the once glacier feed turquoise Kalamaka,
 "Lake of many Colours" and Swan Lake to the North.

Northside of Turtle Mountain - Overlooking Swan Lake by Bari Demers

But, back then they didn't have electricity to operate pumps.  They had to rely on a gravity system, where water would flow downwards.  

After much thought, he convinced his fellow ranchers, like his friend Cornelius O'Keefe, to start building large wooden troughs, known as the Grey and South canals. Ironically, with all the water around them, they decided their best choice of water was from the high lakes above in  Monashee Mountains to the east. 

Northside of Canal Trail by Bari Demers

Interesting enough, it was Cornelius O'Keefe who convinced settlers to come to the Okanagan in the first place.  The tough Irishman was also responsible for the postal service, which ran a stagecoach (BC Express Stage Lines) from Cache Creek, along the dirt road from Fort Kamloops to O'Keefe Ranch.*

Historical Okeefe Ranch, Vernon B.C. - Picture by Okeefe Ranch - Photo taken by Bari Demers

This expensive project of building the Grey and South canals, started in 1905, costing a staggering $423,000.  In those early days, that kind of money would be equal to 4 million today.  

The water was carried down the Monashee Mountains, through the Coldstream Valley, circling Vernon by means of benchlands, to the top of Turtle Mountain.  It also crossed along the side hills to help feed, what is today, the Davison Orchards.

Scenic View from Turtle Mountain - overlooking the Valley below with Okanagan Lake in the far distance - Photo by Bari Demers

The ranchers of the Okanagan successful achieved sub-division of ranch lands and a rich resource of fruit orchards, which are flourishing to this very day.

Inside The Okeefe Ranch House - Photo by Bari Demers

Okeefe Ranch House Today - Photo by Bari Demers


Today, Turtle Mountain overlooks the beautiful valley, overlooking Okanagan Lake in the distance. The two Grey Canal Trails intertwines with prestigious subdivisions featuring luxury homes.  The green orchards below not only supply apples, cherries, peaches and assortment of veggies, it's also home to the Bella Vista Vineyard and Turtle Mountain Vineyards.

Luxury Homes on Turtle Mountain - Photo by Bari Demers

At 10 years old, I would climb to the top of Turtle Mountain, sometimes mistakenly sitting on a patch of Prickly Pears, the only native cactus in the Okanagan.  It was my place to explore and to admire the gorgeous view below. 

Canal Trails - Photo by Bari Demers

Canal Trails - Photo by Bari Demers

It was also where I found peace within myself, mediating, even when I didn't even know what meditation was.

View from Turtle Mountain, Vernon, B.C. - Photo by Bari Demers

By Bari Demers


Bari Demers is a freelance writer and screenwriter. His childhood was in Vernon, B.C. where  his parents owned the famous Spudnut Shop. He graduated at VSS ( Vernon Senior Secondary School), continuing his studies in Kelowna, at Okanagan College.  After Okanagan College, he went to Cariboo College in Kamloops to take a Drafting Technology Program, where is graduated as a Draftsman. His writing abilities comes from his time at Okanagan College.

You can read a collection of traveling reviews with his Facebook Blog - Vegas Reviews with over 1000 photos of Las Vegas.

Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas - Photo by Bari Demers


Turtle Mountain

Lord Aberdeen

Okeefe Ranch

Travel By Bari Demers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who is Travel Costa Rica Now ?

Photo Credit: Travel Costa Rica Now

I had to write about these two cool guys from Travel Costa Rica NowA down to earth sincere touring company in the heart of Costa Rica in La Fortune owned by two Americans, Michael and D'Angelo

Experience in Costa Rica Living comes to mind when I watch Michael and D'Angelo showcase their videos mixed with strong advice and a flare of entertainment.

I would classify them as the Truth Serum for those interested in staying in Costa Rica for a long period of time, from a few months to possibly becoming a perpetual tourist

They don't sugar-coat their videos giving the frank approach to the ways of Costa Rica, which is really good to hear. But most importantly they offer cool tour packages throughout Costa Rica. 

And, what about their advice on retiring in Costa Rica? 

Photo Credit: Travel Costa Rica Now

About Retirement in Costa Rica

Retirement for baby boomers, like myself, is a big step to consider. First and foremost, can you afford to retire? 

In Canada, it's becoming increasingly more expensive to live on an average expense income around $2500 per month with the understanding YOU are debt free! For those high in debt, working along on society's treadmill, is the only way to survive. 

But let's say you have a firm hand on your finances and are ready to retire.

Heading out to a country like Costa Rica will take a lot of planning, not to mention getting use to the Culture Shock
Don't expect things to be the same as in Canada or United States. The process of getting things done in Costa Rica isn't the expectations we are use to in Canada, so don't get discourage if it takes longer. According to Michael, seventy-five percent of those coming to Costa Rica to retire, end up going back home within a couple months to a few years. 

Photo Credit: Tianndra Demers

What have I learned from Michael Alan and D'Angelo ?

So, what I have learned from listening to these two cool guys living in Costa Rica, is this...

There are certain Rules to follow, saving you money and heartache. 

As Michael explains: 

Rule One : Don't listen to websites who's soul purpose is to sell you real estate property in Costa Rica. 

Rule Two : Never ever buy anything in Costa Rica until you have rented for at least one year. 

After all, Michael gives fair warning, you may not like it in Costa Rica. And then what? You're going to have to sell your property for half the price you bought it. 

And who's going to buy it? 

An unexpected Gringo; that's us! English speaking naive western tourists.

Rule Three : How to Rent in Costa Rica. It's not a good idea to rent off the internet. It's best to go down to Costa Rica for a two week holiday . Catch up with Michael and D'Angelo who will give you the best places to rent from and where, including re-location tours along with touring packages to suit your lifestyle.

But there's one exception to the rule here, I noticed on one of his YouTube Videos during his interview with one of his friendly expats.* (check below for the meaning to these terms)

The rental rule is still in place, however you can join a community group who already are set-up in a co-op Eco sustainable resort. There are two of these communities, OSA Mountain Village and their sister community, Serenity Gardens Eco Village, by co-founder Jim Gale.

As their website says," The community is located in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone along the pristine Pacific Coast, where the mountains meet the ocean. "

The above gives you a good rule-of- thumb approach. To me, Travel Costa Rica Now, offers sound advice you can take to the bank. 

Michael and D'Angelo go on giving a ton of valuable information, including the cost of living in Costa Rica for around $970 (US funds)per month. This includes rent, food, internet, phone, cable and electricity. 

This is over half the cost then living in my own country! It means you can live in Costa Rica for a longer period of time with a modest retirement income.

Their interesting blog explains from the Tico* Culture to how to start-up a Bank account. 

All the Travel Costa Rica Now YouTube Videos give valuable inside information for those thinking of living in Costa Rica and fun tour package adventures for the whole family.

In conclusion, it's best to give a quote by Michael and D'Angelo,"The good the bad and the ugly of living in Costa Rica with no agenda to sell you anything. Our goal is to offer our perspective, experience and expertise of living in Costa Rica so the folks who go on our tour, by the end, will know whether relocating to Costa Rica is a good idea for them or not. 
That's it. "

Are you thinking of retiring or vacationing in Costa Rica? Then it's time to check out Travel Costa Rica Now.

By Bari Demers

Bari Demers is not affiliated or related to Travel  Costa Rica Now. He writes only about the good things in life.

If you have something good you would like to write about in regards to traveling or experience of living in another country, ask me to do a small write-up about it for a nominal fee. Included are links to your website and Facebook page. 

A Canadian freelance writer/screenwriter who is also considered a Vegas Lover with his very own Facebook page : Vegas Reviews - If he experiences a great time or adventure, expect to hear about the fun he and his wife had,"Going to Vegas since 1989..."

Bari has worked on several screenplays, such as Agent Sky, Black Angels and Missing through James Montana Scripts.

He is presently looking into doing his own short film or collaborating with film makers for his screenplays. Check out his blogs on Vegas  and more on his Travel Blog.

Glossary Terms:

Expats - An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country *

Gringo - A Spanish term used to categorize foreigner visitors.

Tico - A term used for native people of Costa Rica

Perpetual Tourist - are referred to as travelers living in another country unterthered to any restrictions as say a resident would.  Overall freedom of enjoying the same as any other tourist but live in the country more than 90 days.  The only draw back, they must head across the border before their 90 days are up to be reinstated into the country again for another 90 days.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Explore Southern Saskatchewan

Photo Credits: Tenho Tuomi Observatory

For those who haven't been to Saskatchewan you will still appreciate this film  by TSN.

Our family had the opportunity to live in Southern Saskatchewan for one year in Frontier, just a hop skip and jump to the Montana Border.

At the time we moved from Vernon, British Columbia for work as my trade back then was a draftsman.

My job consisted of producing mechanical plans for farm implements, such as cultivators for the Friggstad company.
The Honeybees now own this massive 100,000 sq ft industrial warehouse. Honey Bee Manufacturing Ltd. is a family owned business that was incorporated in 1979 by brothers Greg and Glenn Honey and their wives.

Back then I had the opportunity to be able to sit in the prototype Honey Bee Tractor. This massive friendly beast of a machine was like climbing 3 stories of a building. Inside it had all the luxuries you could think of including air-conditioning. We were one of the few to sign their log book.

Our family Jim & Pearl McILveen lived on a large farm just east of Frontier.

Coming from B.C. living in Saskatchewan really opened my eyes to what is actually out on the prairies.

I was surprised to see the abundance of wildlife with herds of deer and antelope with a count of over 75 to just one herd. It was a normal occurrence to come up on the back-roads to see the dirt road filled with wildlife. You had no choice but to stop and admire the view. Of course we didn't mind relishing the time and count how many in each herd.
Photo Credits: Tenho Tuomi Observatory

For stargazers Saskatchewan is a cosmic paradise with the only light of night being the stars and the full moon. The milky way would stretch across the open sky as crisp and clear as any 3D Movie.
You have first class seats to experience natures wonderment including the Northern Lights where they even have summer Star Parties in Cypress Hills.

The next impressive spot to visit in Southern Saskatchewan is the Cypress Hills Inter-provincial Park along with Fort Walsh. A lush green mountainous forest in the middle of nowhere.  A geological phenomenon stretching an area of 965 sq miles with the highest point at 1468 m above sea level (4816 ft) in comparison to the Rocky Mountains of 4401 m.
Cypress Hills is an isolated gem of mountainous region soaring a good 2000 ft above the surrounding area.
Photo Credits Courtesy of  Maximilian - future Canadian Paleontologist

If you haven't heard anything at all about Saskatchewan you would be hard press not to have heard of the prehistoric archaeological discoveries of dinosaurs species dominating in southern region filling over into Montana.

Saskatchewan is a vast ancient sea bed offering exploring travelers more than they would ever expect.

We were enlighten by the province of Saskatchewan and you will be too.

Written by Bari Demers

About Bari :

Bari is a screenwriter for Black Angels of Sirus 5 - a science fiction horror thriller based on intelligent ancient aliens visitors over 100,000 years ago.
Here are an example of  Science fiction stories and documentaries by Bari Demers:

He is also administration manager of these Facebook Pages:
Photo Credit: Bari Demers

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Extreme Hiking - Traveling Blog by J. Robb Montana

All rights reserved. No part of this manuscript may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical,photocopy, recording or otherwise without the written prior permission by J. Robb Montana.

One of the most rewarding opportunities is climbing to the top of mountain range in Alberta, Canada. Looking over the vast rugged country side leaves you content with satisfaction. Here you are at the top of the world walking along the ridge of Starlite Mountain range, precarious peaks within Willmore Wilderness. Willmore Wilderness is the best kept secret, traveling into the provincial park is only by foot, bike or horse. All motorized vehicles are prohibited in order to preserve the raw-land.

The one question that you must ask yourself before you walk into wild country - Are you ready?
Walking into the wilderness with a heavy backpack is in itself an accomplishment; your pack must be carefully planned in advance with the right supplies ready for your trip.
Here is a list of items you should bring with you into the raw wilderness: 
  1. Water and water purification
  2. First Aid kit with items that you can actually use - Check out your kit before you leave (most injuries are related to sprains, strains, blisters and wounds) And remember to bring some kind of relief medicine, such as Tylenol.
  3. High energy bars with nuts and oats - don't be afraid to stick at least 20 of these throughout your backpack
  4. A small mirror - used for both signaling if in trouble and start a fire by use of the sun. You can bring along a magnifying glass as back-up.
  5. A sharp hunting knife with a secure sheath
  6. Water proof matches and preferably small dry kindling (Just in case you aren't experienced to find kindling within the wilderness)
  7. Bring along other types of firestarters - such as flint. Check your outdoors shop for more suggestions.
  8. Sleeping bag and Tent
  9. Proper hiking shoes - make sure they are well worn in before you begin your hiking trip
  10. GPS or compass - I prefer a GPS
  11. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  12. whistle - not to scare the bears - but to use in case of being lost
  13. Light source - flashlight with batteries
  14. writing source - pencils or even pencil crayons ( Pencils can even be used as kindling source if need be in an emergency)
  15. Rope - preferably 20 metres (Use strong rope material, such as: nylon)
  16. Emergency blanket
  17. A good set of sharp scissors - check them out before you leave
  18. Map of the area you are traveling
  19. Insect repellant (Anyone in trouble with Bees?)
  20. pocket knife with multi- use items; Swiss has always been my favorite
  21. Proper Clothing: therma-socks, underwear,hat, t-shirts, long light pants and shorts,windbreaker, warm jacket, sweater. In other words make sure you are ready for any kind of temperature within the mountains - the weather can change from summer to winter within minutes.
  22. Fishing gear - like fishing line and hooks
  23. Compact cooking equipment
  24. Non - perishable food items
  25. Outdoor books - such as Canadian Recipes of the Great White North
  26. Bear bangers
  27. And last but not least - never enter the wilderness by yourself - make sure you bring along a buddy
Are you ready for the great outdoors? Be sure to get the inside information  on the outdoors : Canadian Recipes of the Great White North with more outdoor tips with fun stories, outdoor recipes and fun interactive illustrations the whole family will enjoy 

J. Robb Montana is a freelance writer presently working on a movie script :  Black Angels of Sirus 5 and science-fiction book : Robotics on Mars

Love to Travel to Vegas? Check out my review of The Venetian Las Vegas - one word : Wonderful

The Venetian Las Vegas

If you love to travel to Vegas - check out this hotel review

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Travel Alberta - Lake Louise

Enjoy Lake Louise and Beyond  by Bari Demers

Traveling Alberta is a must when visiting Canada. Just last week we decided to stop at Lake Louise in Banff National Park, of course Alberta. After visiting family in British Columbia, our usual route headed directly home due to our schedule, but this time,we had a couple days to explore Lake Louise just a little closer than before.
Canadian Rockies
Lake Louise 
Lake Louise is nestled within a scenic valley of mountainous peaks, showcasing a clear turquoise glacier lake named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta in 1884. Overlooking the emerald Lake Louise is the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel, boasting a five-star experience.

We took to the lake shore memorized by the beauty and awe inspiring picturesque glacier in the distance combined with the brilliance of the bluish green waters. It was obvious our next step was to explore Lake Louise itself by paddling along in a canoe, enjoying the peaceful tranquility of nature. 

Pushing off the shoreline, it wasn't hard to observe the depths of the icy crystal clear lake or spotting rainbow trout swimming at their leisure.It didn't matter how icy the water was, the warm summer weather tempted us to dip our feet, feeling this invigorating surge of freshness.

After a long slumbering canoe ride we treated ourselves at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to a fine dining experience at their four diamond Fairview Dining Room offering tantalizing morsels of Yukon Gold Potato wrapped in crispy wild prawns and mouth-watering seared duck breast in a szechaun peppercorn jus. We couldn't resist the warm liquid centered Chocolate Cake with spiced pineapple carpaccio and raspberry puree.

Canadian Outdoor Photo by Bari Demers

The National Parks of Canada offer a wild wilderness setting with outdoor adventures to suit anyone.

 If we had more time, we certainly would have taken a heli-tour over the majestic Lake Louise.

I highly recommend your next stop at Lake Louise with the Banff National Park of Alberta,Canada. Traveling Alberta is a sweet memorable experience you will cherish forever.


Vegas Travel by Bari Demers

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Travel Blog: Travel Edmonton

Travel Blog: Travel Edmonton: Why Edmonton? Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has always been known as the "Gateway to the North". During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896. A sta...