Friday, 8 March 2013

Another Illegal….

Google Calendar is configured to email us a monthly reminder to send a text message to Waiouru. If we don’t send a text to the boat each month the the Vodafone SIM card in the on board GSM module will deactivate (it’s a pre-paid SIM card which must be used a minimum of once every 30 days).

A few days ago we sent a text query to Waiouru asking for the battery voltage to be checked. We could have sent any message but “Volt?” is the shortest.  The GSM Module didn’t reply and when I checked it none of the LED’s were illuminated.  After some fault finding I came to a provisional conclusion that the module had failed.  Atlantis Marine (Empirbus UK distributors) were quickly onto the case and offered to test and replace the module if it was defective.

Rather than embarrass myself sending the module back only to find it was serviceable (and to avoid the postage costs) I did further testing today.  After temporarily wiring the module directly into the main 12V distribution system it came to life.  Obviously there was nothing wrong with the module.  So the problem was either in the Empirbus node or the wiring.  There was power at the node which pointed to a wiring fault.  Rather than rip out the existing wiring I installed a new cable which appears to have rectified the fault.

Wireless remote transmitter/receiver at top.  GSM/GPS Module in the middle. Empirbus Node at the bottom.

Jan has a UK passport whilst I’ve been allowed into the UK on a $1500 two year visa which expires in June (where has all the time gone?……. Building a boat Idiot!).  Before I can apply for another visa (£1000 please) I have to pass the “Life in the UK” test.  There appears to be no information on the Border Agency website about the timeframe in which to sit the test so I phoned them this afternoon.  Apparently I can sit the test (and pass) any time prior to my current visa expiring.  However there is some information I must provide before sitting the test.

  • Proof of address…. don’t have an address.. live on a narrowboat
  • Proof pay council tax.. don’t pay it
  • Proof pay utilities bills (water, electricity)…. don’t pay
  • UK drivers license.. don’t have one
  • UK bank account with address on statement… only do internet banking
  • UK post code… No.. don’t have one!

Houston….. we have a problem! 


Halfie said...

Well, if you don't have an address, council tax bill, utility bill, driving licence, bank statement or postcode - you obviously don't exist. Therefore you won't need a passport. (Could be a problem if you want to leave the country, though!)

Mind you, I bet you know more about "Life in the UK" than many residents!

Tom and Jan said...

Pity Jan, she was born here and they can't find any reference to here existence! No wonder they can't find the absconded 200,000 illegal immigrants (soon to be 200,002)! :-)

lois hale-fergusson said...

Well may I just apologise for the state of our have to laugh...

Tom and Jan said...

Lois by all mean have a laugh, but please don't apologise. You aren't responsible for "the system"! There will be a solution. We will just have to work our way up through the management levels until we reach someone who has the authority to approve an exemption to "the system" LOL

lois hale-fergusson said...

Haaaa well good luck with that one, keep the headache pills at hand, could be a long difficult time just like us with the boat builder.

Tom and Jan said...

Lois... You have a boaters blog and didn't mention it! Caught you now... you're on our Blog Roll :-)

John said...

Hi Tom,
Surely the fact that you have a pensioners' bus pass would be proof that you live somewhere in the UK. All the BA have to do is go back to the authority that provided the pass see the evidence you gave for them to issue the pass and 'Bob's your uncle' proof of existence.


Tom and Jan said...

Hi John
The bus pass isn't acceptable proof of an address (which we don't have... the address that is!)

lois hale-fergusson said...

Oh no..........haa well at least it's up today endow. I only had my mobile at one point and couldn't upload pics and sometimes even my posts would fail. It became a nightmare so I posted very few times unfortunately. Anyway, back on track now just in time for our move from narrowboat to widebeam.....hope I am not too boring, he he