1. Netflix

Netflix has a lot of great content. They ship to APO addresses, although it does take a bit longer to receive the discs in the mail. You will need a VPN service if you want to stream instantly to your computer, PS3, or Apple TV. But it can be worth it considering how many good shows are available.

Top Shows: Futurama, 30 Rock, How I Met your Mother, The Wonder Years (yeah that’s right!), Breaking Bad, Lost

How I Met Your Mother

2. Hulu

During the first part of my deployment, Hulu was blocked and required a VPN service. But towards the end, they opened it up and I could access it from a military base. So give Hulu a shot! Like Netflix, they have a lot of great content. The interface is very slick.

Top Shows: The Office, Family Guy, Southpark, Tosh.0, Desperate Housewives, Modern Family

The Office

3. Amazon Instant Video

Amazon has really improved their service over the last two years. Viewing shows over Prime used to be very clunky. But I logged into Amazon Prime with my PS3 the other day and was surprised how nice it was. My son and I watched Spongebob for a few hours!

Top Shows for free with Prime: Spongebob Square Pants, The West Wing, Arrested Development, Dora the Explorer, Dinosaur Train

Top Shows for Purchase: Breaking Bad

Spongebob Squarepants

4. iTunes

Of course iTunes doesn’t have anything for free. But they do have the best selection. If you can’t find your favorite TV show for “free” on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, then iTunes is probably your best bet.

They’re also one of the best options for overseas military, since they don’t block you from downloading while connected to an overseas IP address (that’s my experience).

iTunes

5. HBO Go

HBO Go only works if you subscribe through your cable provider. In addition, they only support certain cable providers, such as Comcast and Cox. If you’re lucky enough to have this working, then congrats! HBO has some of the best shows on television!

Top Shows: The Wire, True Blood, Sopranos

HBO Go

6. Slingbox

If you deploy overseas but still have cable back in the states, then you can hook up a Slingbox and stream all of your channels to your laptop. I would love to hear some feedback from someone who has this working. I haven’t personally used it, but wish I had tried it during my last deployment.

Slingbox

7. Streaming from network TV web sites

NBC, ABC, CBS, TNT

This was how I watched Survivor every week while deployed. Just be careful when browsing to the episode. Sometime they show you who gets kicked off!

Tell us which solutions are working for you in the comments!

 

Today I want to introduce you to five books that have influenced my life in every way. These books are straight forward and simple, but yield amazing results.

1. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done

Productivity. It’s essential in today’s military. There’s not enough time to accomplish everything on your To Do list. Your head feels cluttered trying to keep up with your primary job, family, volunteering, and college. Getting Things Done is the answer to the knowledge worker’s problems.

In his book, David Allen shows you how to capture everything that you think about into a single system. Write down all your projects and commitments. Organize them by context, or the place where you will likely accomplish them. If something takes less than two minutes, do it.

I’ve used GTD for five years now and have accomplished so much. I feel good about myself knowing I’m keeping up with my job and not neglecting my family. Give GTD a try!

 2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Total Money Makeover

The first books I read on personal finance were about investing. I was really into the Motley Fool and Rich Dad Poor Dad. Those books are great, but you need to read Total Money Makeover first. Why? You need to have your finances in order before you start investing.

You need an emergency fund (at least $500). You need to pay off your credit cards and get out of debt (for good!). Dave Ramsey calls these baby steps and he lays them out in plain english.

Dave Ramsey has a great radio show that will keep you on track. My favorite thing about Dave Ramsey is how he keeps you motivated!

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleA huge part of leadership is learning to deal with people. I can’t think of a better way to learn this skill then by reading How to Win Friends.

This part of the book has always stuck with me:

Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

This book shows you how to treat people, whether it’s in the workplace or not. I’ve given this book to several NCOs that were trying to improve their leadership skills, and have seen improvement in every one.

Improving your relationships will improve your life. This is a book that everybody should read at least once.

4. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleThis is a great all around book on improving yourself. If you want to get promoted at work, just try implementing the first seven habits:

Be Proactive
Begin with the end in mind
Put first things first

There are countless books written on each of these three subjects alone. Steven Covey covers them brilliantly and in a simple fashion. His final habit “Sharpen the Saw” reminds us to continually read, learn, and exercise to keep our bodies and minds in excellent shape.

5. Body for Life by Bill Phillips

Body for LifeBody for Life is a great book that will help you get in shape. It not olny covers fitness, but also eating healthy. The support files on the web site are great and help keep you on track.

How to Pass the PT Test – When you Suck at PT

August 5, 2012

The PT test is stressful. You can’t prepare for it overnight, and there’s a lot riding on the line if you fail. If you’re like me and suck at PT, you need to put the odds in your favor. Here’s how: 1. Schedule your PT test well ahead of your annual report Do not take […]

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Bad Grades in High School? No Problem

May 10, 2012

I graduated high school with a low 2.3 grade point average (GPA). This was good enough to get me into the Air Force, but it sure as hell wasn’t getting me into med school. Despite my low grades, a short three years after high school graduation I did the following: 1. Earned a full ROTC […]

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Property Tax Rates by State

April 28, 2012

This calculator provides an average annual property tax bill, which can be used to estimate property tax before purchasing a home. I tested it against my home in South Carolina, and it was within $50. Select State: AL AK AZ CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME […]

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Shipping a Vehicle Overseas – Top 3 Tips

April 23, 2012

If you have orders to Germany, Hawaii, or some other amazing overseas location, then you need to ship a vehicle. The military pays to ship one of your cars, but you will have to foot the bill for a second. Here are my top tips for shipping your primary vehicle overseas with the government: 1. […]

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Skype: Receive Calls While Deployed

April 18, 2012

Skype is awesome. Walk through any barracks lucky enough to have internet access while deployed, and you’ll hear that familiar “boo bee boop” ring tone. Beyond using the free version of Skype, I recommend setting up a Skype phone number. That gives you a US based phone number, that rings when you are logged into Skype. […]

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The Best Boots in the Military

March 15, 2012

These are my 6-year old Rocky S2V boots. They’ve been to seven countries and twelve states. I’ve worn these on the back porch of the squadron on Friday, drinking beer after a week’s hard work. I’ve worn them while training Airmen, while briefing Colonels and 3-Star Generals. They’re dusty. Touching Iraqi soil for the first […]

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TSA Testing Quick Screening Process for Active Duty

March 14, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently rolled out a quick screening process for active duty at Ronald Reagan National Airport. Show your CAC card and skip: Taking off your shoes Removing a laptop Removing your jacket and belt Active duty, National Guard, and Reserves are all eligible. The TSA hopes to roll out the program […]

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How to Sell or Rent your Home Fast Using AHRN

March 11, 2012

The Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN) provides a great, free way to sell or rent your home. While looking at AHRN during my move to Hawaii, I noticed many advertisements had no pictures and short descriptions, causing me to skip right over them. If you’re advertising like that – you’re losing money. With a lack […]

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