Dear Steve,

I stumbled across your blog from the 20th December today while trying to find prices on the 5d ii (just dreaming about it for now).  I really enjoyed what I read and look forward to going through other posts.  I'm an amateur photographer in my spare time and work for a development NGO in Lao PDR the rest of the time.

Reading your blog I had a couple of specific questions come to mind.  First: I've had my 5d now for a couple of years and have travelled a lot with it and would really like to have it professionally cleaned.  What you described about getting your DSLR body and lenses cleaned is exactly what I have wanted!  Would you please tell me where they are?  Next time I'm through BKK I'll get my stuff professionally cleaned.

Second, given my NGO experience, your blurb about "Flashes of Hope" caught my eye and looked really interesting.  Unfortunately the link no longer works.  Do you have any other information on them?  (Ooops, never mind, just found them in Google! This is pretty interesting!)



Luke -

I'm glad you found my weekly column.  It's not about Laos, but I do get over there from time to time and include my Laos photos when I do.

To answer your questions:

1.  Do you ever visit Bangkok?  The official Canon service center in Bangkok is very good and inexpensive.  They can clean your camera (inside, outside, sensor) while you want (in most cases) and I think the charge is baht 400.. I've used them many times and I've always been very pleased.  If you need to send it to them you can find their address under the Canon support site for Thailand..

They're located at:

10th Fl., 179/34-45 Bangkok City tower South Sathorn road, Thungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel. (66) 0-2344-9888 Fax. (66) 0-2344-9861

2.  The Flashes of Hope program is indeed interesting.  I'm glad you found the reference to them useful.  Let me know how your contact with them goes.

And if you ever have anything for our Readers Submission section I'm sure there are many readers who would love to see pictures from Laos..

Take care and let me know if I can answer any more questions.



Please submit your questions to  All questions will be answered and most will show up in the weekly column.