Sep 30, 2013

Here are some wallpapers from photos taken at the 2013 D1 Nagasaki event. I didn't take very many pictures, since I was focusing on video, but I did grab a few. I figured I could use them to make some free gifts for the loyal readers of eXite Video Magazine.

The first image is of the Goodyear FT86 pulling off a pretty sweet slide from the main straightway into corner 1.

The second image is the very beautiful Toyo Tires S15, waiting to approach the line.

I don't think that I am alone in saying that I wouldn't mind having either of these cars.

I am offering up two sizes. One in a regular 4:3 aspect ratio at 1024x768, and the other is a 16:9 ratio at 1900x1080. You should be able to scale these to fit any other resolution within the respective aspect ratio.

Thanks for reading guys (and gals)! The other sizes are below.

Sep 27, 2013

I know I promised something on the blog, so I dropped off a Quick Snap article on a Nissan Z11 cube here.

Then I got to thinking about the fact that I'm going to be gone for a long weekend to go to my girlfriend's nephew's Undokai (Sports Festival) in Fukuoka this weekend. Since I will be away from the internet and the blog again, I wanted to give you a little bit more. So here it is:

 On the way back from Nagasaki's D1 event, I stopped into UpGarage in Saga. This is my second attempt, and guys, let me tell you... If you are ever in Japan, and want to visit this UpGarage... GO EARLY. The first time I arrived at 7:40p. They close at 8p, and to be honest, if you are just doing a quick browse twenty minutes is just fine.

Except there was no twenty minute browse session. There wasn't even a one minute browsing session. They closed early. I had my girlfriend call the next day to see what was happening. He said they were having a meeting. It was a Sunday, so I assumed either it was a beginning-of-the-week meeting or an end-of-the-week meeting, depending on how you view Sunday.

This time I went on a Monday, but this time we left her hometown a little earlier. I thought it was a little paranoia on my part, but we both agreed, that it was better safe than sorry. Thank God. I got there at around 7:10p this time and was in there roughly ten minutes when they started playing "Auld Lang Syne." Anyone that's ever been in Japan knows that when a store starts playing "Auld Lang Syne," what they are politely saying is: "We're closing, GTFO."

So I've come to the conclusion, that either this store has the most well trained second-hand-automotive-parts staff ever, due to all their "meetings," OR they just like to close early, and they know most people would buy the excuse no questions asked. Personally, I call BS.

They didn't have too much. But I did find a good pair of ITR Taillights for a DC5 Integra. Some good prices on some wheels in sizes that look like they were mainly for AE86's could be found, too. They just needed a little TLC. If I had a Hachi, I would have bought both sets as-is for drift tires. A person that is good with fiberglass mat and fiberglass repair could really clean up here. You can find legit, brand name body panels with some damage for cheap. Bomex isn't my favorite brand, but for $60, I would definitely take that S13 Silvia bumper off of their hands...just need a place to work in.....

Anyway, enjoy the short video. As usual, the YouTube version is at the top and the Vimeo version is at the bottom. I picked some chiptunes since it is a short video. I always loved Gameboy music, and the soundtrack definitely sounds like it comes from a Gameboy sound board. So I couldn't resist making the title screen a little Gameboyish. The OGs in the car game will understand.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

I spotted this cube in Higashi-ku Fukuoka coming home one day. I almost missed it, because I had left the flash on on my iPhone camera. I think the combined processing needed to open the Camera App and get the flash ready was too much. And it seemed like it opened EXTRA SLOW. The front of this picture is not a crop job. That is literally the edge of the frame.

This cube (yes it is really supposed to be lowercase) is sporting what looks like factory option Aero, and a color matched factory grill. Normally the grills on this model are the standard Nissan gunmetal.

The rims look like they are 16s, probably 16x7 with a high offset. That's pretty common FWD fare. It's definitely dropped, even if only slightly, so I'm going to venture a guess, and say springs!

It did have an exhaust note, but nothing super crazy. Just nice and mellow. Most import guys (and gals!) would understand me if I said it sounded similar to an a'Pexi World Sport tone on a Civic. Not annoying, but throatier than stock...nice.

Sep 26, 2013

So I promised that I would make a post when the name update was competed, and is. It is official: We are now ! On top of that I have created the Facebook fan page, and linked it in the widgets. The RSS feed is working, so if that is your thing...well get at it! While I am talking about widgets, also let me mention that I linked the official eXite Video Magazine Twitter account. You can also find that widget at the top of the page. The Facebook needs a little bit more work however, as I just have temporary images up, and I have not made any posts through the account yet. I will work on that more tomorrow, it's getting late and I have to teach early tomorrow morning, about an hour away. I know have haven't posted any pictures or fun posts lately, but that's the problem of running an incomplete, yet functional blog. Been bustin' my hump to get things squared away, but you can't really see any proof of it. But tomorrow I promise that while working on editing the D1 footage and fixing up the FB page... I will post something fun. Maybe I will edit a quick video, or dig into the photo vault for a quality article. Only time can tell....

Sep 24, 2013


Shooting for an early October open date. I can't set anything in stone, because I still have to do some checking up on payment arrangements, but this month I will have a shop online, with various JDM Trinkets, and Magazines and DVDs. I know what I am interested in, and I know your main interest from the simple fact that you are reading this blog, but for the different stuff, give me a shout and let me know what you want, or better yet, need from Japan. I can either put it up on the shop, or we can work on a different arrangement that works for you via e-mail.

I will also be getting an eBay store up and going. Personally I don't like eBays hands always being in my pocket, but it's a great way to advertise the blog, via putting leaflets in the packages. You have to pay to advertise, so why not minimize it as much as possible?

I will have more details listed in a post that I publish the day the store opens. I can tell you with certainty, that it will be small items in the store. I CAN GET BIG THINGS. If you need it, tell me. Just be aware shipping from Japan isn't the cheapest thing available, but I will do what I can for you, simply because "I am your passport to Japan."

I have had the domain parked for almost 4 or 5 years while I waited for an opportunity to really use it. I admit I should have started the blog then, but I kept putting it off, wanting everything to be "perfect." Let me tell you, folks, nothing will ever be perfect, and we are not promised another day. Therefore although some functions of this blog aren't fully functional yet I am pushing on. That being said I am working on tightening everything up, and I will have the domain up and running next month.

I have to get a hold of, who I parked my domain with, and send them a copy of a photo ID to get my user name and password back, it's been that long! That will happen tonight (for me, it will be daytime in America). After that happens, it will be my first priority. That way I can start working on advertising with a real domain name.

I will make a post when the domain name is switched. I am pretty sure no one is even following me yet, if you are... I don't care if you are one person or 1,000,000 you are important to me and you deserve to know.

Super GT (JGTC) Video Edit
I will be going to Super GT at Autopolis. It's only 2 hours from my house.

Wow though, two big automotive events in 2 weeks.... draining my wallet and sucking my car fund. Oh well.... I can honestly say that all of my life, I have wanted to go to a Super GT event, D1GP, and Tokyo Autosalon in Japan. In two more weeks, I will have knocked two of those goals out.

On the D1 edit that I'm still working on, I shot first and asked questions (about music) later. No, no, no, NO. I know better. That is not how a good music video edit is made. It's true that I can't control what happens, but I can at least figure out what kind of shots I want to grab. Therefore, I'm going to pick a music selection first. Preparation never hurts.

I have pit walk passes, so I am going to try my best to get you all as close to the action as I can.... I really need to start working on Media Passes....

RPM: Red Passion Men's Story Manga Scanlation
Option Magazine is running a monthly manga, called RPM: Red Passion Men's Story. As a 30 year old who is also remembering his early days in the car scene, I can tell you that this story is PHENOMENAL. I am translating it with the help of my girlfriend, and even she (who is not a gearhead whatsoever) cannot wait to translate the next issue. We just love the story so far. Anyways, that's coming up, and I will fill you in on it a little bit more in a pre-launch post here in about a week or two. I think you will love it.

Back Issue Scanlations and Snippets
I have a stockpile of old car magazines laying around ranging from Drift Tengoku to K-Style, andI am randomly going to do scanlations from the back issues to present to you. I will try to release at least a blurb every week or so.

I have a couple of other projects running around in my head, including two how-to video series and a tools review series, but I need a little cash-flow and a little sponsorship (or a lot of both) to make it happen. I also want to do some tool reviews as I build my tool collection.

No...really? I have listed some stuff, but this is your magazine blog just as much as it is mine. Hit me up in the comments section and tell me what you want to see. I might not be able to make it happen right away, but I can promise you I will try my best. If you are still reading down to this point, thanks so much.... now comment me and tell me what you want. 

Meanwhile, here is a wallpaper that I found while browsing the net looking for something for the school computer. I fell in love with it, so I wanted to hook you up too. It's 1900x1200, but it should scale nicely to a 1080 desktop.

Sep 19, 2013

This nice Panda Trueno passed me as I was coming home from teaching an English lesson. Nothing crazy happened, we are just driving normally.

When he passed me, I noticed a fiberglass fixed position race bucket, lowered stance, and RS Watanabes. Those wheels are such a common trend over here on these cars, and I can see why. They simply look great on the Hachi Roku.

He took the exit for a love hotel... guess that's why he was in a hurry, lol.

And yes, I do normally drive around Japan listening to Euro Beats and Trance. This song is called "Speed Car." Incidentally, it is about Takumi's AE86 in Initial D.

Still working on that D1 Nagasaki footage. Sorry to keep you waiting, I've just been so busy trying to get the blog straightened out and working my 9-5 job, that I've neglected my girlfriend a little bit. I'm trying to restore balance to my job, hobby, relationship triangle. Since my employer might frown on me being absent from work, the hobby section of the triangle had to be brought into balance.

I will also always try my best to include both the YouTube and Vimeo Versions of my videos. YouTube is more accessible to the largest crowd, but I really feel that Vimeo has higher quality video. I do think, however, that Vimeo is a little more taxing on your system. I use an OLLLLD laptop at work (read: Windows XP struggles), and it chokes a little on even the SD Vimeo version.

Pick your poison, and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Sep 17, 2013

I'm a little bit backed up, since I was three days without the internet, but here are a few screen grabs from potential candidates for the featured post slider. I'm posting them here for you to check out, hoping to appease you while you wait for the real video and post.

Overall it was a fun event, but a word of caution, NEVER think the 20$ seats are ok. More about that in the next post.

Tomorrow, I am fixing the featured post slider and redirecting the widgets.
I also have the footage uploaded to the edit PC for D1, and I am almost done with the rough cut of a future UpGarage mini vid from my Saga visit.

My friend Besus is going to get me a few retro video clips for my graphics, and that's all I'm really waiting on to finish the videos. For now enjoy two more pictures below, and the two up top.

Yes, there was a crash.... and YES I caught it on video in clear view.

Sep 13, 2013

I am going to D1 Nagasaki this weekend. Actually I'm leaving for Nagasaki tonight around 8 or 9. My girlfriend is from Kawatana, which is the town right next to where D1 Nagasaki is happening, Houis Ten Bosch. I don't get a wi-fi signal in this town with my carrier, so there will be no live updates (Sorry), but when I get back, I promise to get the slider going and to start posting up some pics. I will be taking lots of video and working on an edit, but I use a desktop to edit, so I also will have to wait....updates this week though, I promise! I have never been to a Japanese car event before. I am actually really excited, and very curious.

We all see the Japanese events portrayed in a certain way, so I just want to see how the reality is. The same goes in America. The mag coverage always looks so crazy and fun, but how many of you have actually been to a Hot Import Nights? It's way more fun to read magazine coverage, trust me.

However, I went to D1 USA vs. Japan in 2004 at the Super GT (Formerly JGTC) event in Fontana, California, and it was amazing. Hopefully this event is just as awesome. 

Iki masu!

Sep 9, 2013

This photo is the epitome of the quick snap series. I snagged this in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka one night.

I heard it coming down the opposite street. Everyone that's ever owned an SR powered car knows the exact sound they make. I fumbled to get my iPhone because I knew it was coming. As I was pushing the camera app, the thing decided to take it's time. Finally it opened, and the car was so close I had to pan as I shot to keep the blur down..... quick snap philosophy in action.

The car was sitting on some kind of suspension and had what sounded like an RS*R exhaust. It had different wheels on the back that the front, indicating that this fine fellow was more-than-likely a drifter.... now if only I knew where he was going that night.
When I first came to Japan in March of 2013, one of the first things I wanted to do was visit Uras. Nomuken has always been one of my favorite drifters, because of the huge amount of smoke that he throws down. Same reason that I love Vaughn Gittin, Jr., SMOKE. Actually, here is a video I found of Nomuken vs. Gittin, Jr. on YouTube.

Nomuken's shop is in Minami-ku, Fukuoka. My girlfriend's cousin lives in Minami-ku, so I was excited when she wanted to pay a visit. I asked, and she said "of course." After an endless bus ride, we arrive at..... construction.

That was a while back, and Fukuoka is only 3 hours from where I live, so you know we'll be back.
What do you want me to cover when I return? What do you want me to ask Nomura Ken if I get a chance?
The Sunny Truck above is from around 1978 to 1988. The chassis code is B121 (GB121 denotes a long bed, in case you're wondering). I found this about a block away from where I spotted the Euro R Accord wagon that I posted earlier.

It's sitting on Hayashi Streets that looked to be in the neighborhood of 16x7 up front and 16x8 in the back, but please don't make me swear on it.

As I post, I realize that I really need to bring a pen and paper, or utilize iPhone's note app so that I don't forget these *very important* details. Then again, sometimes you're in a rush and you HAVE to be somewhere, and you have time to just fire off one quick shot.

That's the idea behind the quick snap series. See something amazing and grab it. Not being able to give you 5+ photos is no reason to skip on sharing something with you. I do, however, always hope that there is a chance to revisit these cars in depth, although, that may be a pipe dream.

It's a shame that the "chicken tax" laws that started in 1963 prevented this thing from coming stateside. I could have really seen this thing becoming a hit in California with an SR, RB, or even 13B swap.

I would go for an SR20DET myself....what about you?

Sep 8, 2013

 I took a lot of iPhone pics when I first came to Japan, because it's hard to keep up with multiple cameras when you are exploring an area for the first time, and the iPhone does video and photo, so it makes a great light carry. In fact, I know many indy film scouts that use this for almost everything.

One of the cars I found when I was exploring was this Accord Wagon Euro R, which should have been manufactured sometime between 2000 and 2002.

From Wikipedia:

The Euro R included an H22A engine, 5-speed manual transmission, Recaro seats, leather-wrapped MOMO steering wheel, helical-torsen LSD, sports suspension, sports exhaust (including 4-2-1 stainless headers) and an aluminum-alloy gear shift knob. It was also fitted with a unique factory body kit that included flares and was available in some colors not available to other accords (such as Milano Red). The Accord (sold at Honda Clio locations) and the Torneo (sold at Honda Verno and Primo locations) are the same car, aside from minor cosmetic differences in the exterior.

The 2002 model was named the Euro-Rx. This model came with a few slight modifications from the 2000/2001 model. These included factory rear privacy glass, a titanium gear knob, optional Red-checker interior (original gold-checker) and bronze coloured alloy wheels. The high-stop spoiler also became standard on all models. Honda also addressed two common issues that had become apparent. The ECU was upgraded to resolve the issue of cold-starts causing hesitation on acceleration and the gearbox syncros were upgraded to a higher quality alloy to lengthen their lifespan.

I really like the color scheme on this one. I have always been a sucker for Gold/Bronze Wheels on Dark Grey. I don't know the manufacturer of the wheels off-hand though. Can anyone help me out?

The body is stock aero, and from the amount that it's lowered I would say that it's lowered on springs. The exhaust was OEM, but the interior had a few goodies for us to see. Sorry about the reflection. That's the pain of using iPhone. I really need to get some polarizing filters for my lens set for my t2i.

Inside of the dirty windows, we can see a MOMO steering wheel, but also revealed the fail of fails in the automotive world....automatic.

Here are a few more pictures:

I have always really liked the Euro R Accord. Back when I was into Hondas and owned a del Sol, I really wanted to buy a 2000 model Accord to do a Euro R conversion. When I saw this those memories came rushing back.

What do you think about the Euro R? Do you think it's worthy of wearing the R badge?

Also, Check out Honda Style magazine if you are into JDM Hondas. It features everything from factory features to modified cars to race models. I would say it's the JDM version of America's Honda Tuner.

 Most posts won't be this wordy, but we have a lot of ground to cover.

Welcome to the very first post on the eXite Video Magazine blog! This has been a long journey, and I have wanted to start for a long time.

I will tell you more about the name, the style choice, and myself, all while dropping off a video after the jump....

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