Make Free Music Videos with Animoto

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You too can create videos like this one for FREE! Animoto allows you to turn your photos and videos into 30 second slideshows with very little effort. All you have to do is upload 8-10 images, arrange them in the order of your choosing, pick out a song and theme (earth, water, fire, classic) and let Animoto create a music video for you. They choose the transitions and make sure the timing works with the song. You can even add text, like I did for the video above. One of the difficulties I’ve had with the service is not knowing how many photos will fit in my video. I often upload the number recommended with two or three text slides and find out that the last 2 photos didn’t make the cut. I think this may have to do with the length of the songs I choose; some are less than 30 seconds long.

However, if you’re looking for something more elaborate, you could just purchase an All Access ($30/year) or a Pro account ($249/year). For $249 a year you can make music as long as you want, as many as want. Unlike the free account, they won’t be branded–no Animoto graphics for you. With a professional account you also have the option of downloading your videos so you can upload them where you please and create DVDs. Members with free accounts can email their videos or share them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, MySpace and a few other places. Videos can also be embeded on a person’s website. However, the video above had to be exported to YouTube first, then the embed code for that was used here on this blog.

I like using Animoto because I know next to nothing about editing videos, but I do like to showcase our commercial clients, like Rejuvenation Station Studios. I usually export my video creations to YouTube and then share that link on Twitter and our Facebook page. If you’d like to try out Animoto for yourself click here to create your free 30 second video. Don’t forget to show us what you made!

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5 Years After Katrina: Are You Prepared?

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Can you believe that’s been nearly 5 years since Hurricane Katrina swooped through the Southeast United States? No other single event in the history of global insurance has ever been so costly. 1.7 million claims were submitted and over $45 billion were paid out by insurance companies as a result of this Category 3 storm. Not only was Katrina one of the most costly storms, it was one of the deadliest. Sadly somewhere between 1,300 and 1,500 lives were lost. Countless people had to uproot their families and move to new cities and states because their homes and businesses were destroyed. We don’t know when another hurricane of this magnitude will strike again, but we can learn from the past and better prepare ourselves for future storms. Below you’ll find a video from the Insurance Information Institute that will give you 4 steps you can take to protect your family and your and your property.

You can also read our other blog entires about preparing for hurricanes. To learn about disaster supply kits click here. To learn how to prepare your home and yard, click here and to read about having a hurricane plan, click here. Finally if you’d like to speak to an insurance agent about insuring your home and belongings, please call us at 1-888-721-1949, stop by our office (11322 Seminole Blvd. Largo, FL), or visit our website (www.patronsinsurance.com).
One of our friendly and knowledgeable would be happy to help you purchase the coverage you need.

Partner of Patrons: Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe

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Last week Katie also interviewed another one of our partners of Patrons, Debbie “Bubbie” Scheier of Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. They’re a Jewish-style deli in the same plaza as our office and you can view their ad here. Unlike Tom at Gulf Flooring, Bubbie and her son-in-law Chris Dunn (owner of Bubbie’s Cafe) have only been in business for a little over a year, but they already stand out from over bay area lunch spots. Bubbie’s Cafe provides nutritious lunches for many private preschools all over Pinellas County and they only serve certified Angus Beef.

Katie, one of our commercial insurance agents, talked to Bubbie about how their business came to be and how they are reaching today’s consumers. Did you know that Bubbie’s Cafe has a special coupon just for friends of Patrons Insurance Agency? Just click here and print out a coupon for a free bag of chips and drink with any sandwich purchase. If you’d like to see their menu before stopping by for lunch or you want to get more information about Preschool Catering, visit their website at www.bubbiesbrownbagcafe.com. You can also find them on Facebook here. To watch Katie’s interview with Bubbie, check out our You Tube channel here. You’ll also find Katie’s interview with Tom at Gulf Flooring as well as our Ask An Agent videos.

Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe is located at 11334 Seminole Boulevard in Largo, Florida. They’re open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.. Call ahead (727-319-3377) with your order if you want to grab your lunch and go. Don’t forget your coupon!

My Beach Safety Tips

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Beach Safety Tips

  • Children need to be under constant supervision, especially near the water.
  • Know how to swim and teach your children how to swim.
  • Know child and infant CPR.
  • Stay out of the water at twilight or in the dark, when sharks are most active.
  • Swim with in a group or with another person.
  • If a lifeguard is present, swim directly in front of them in water that is waist deep or less.
  • If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of it. Then swim to shore.
  • Try to avoid being in the sun during the hottest parts of the day 11:00 a.m. – 2:00p.m..
  • Wear sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. Put it on before you get in the sun and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Don’t forget to wear UV protection on your lips and protect eyes with sunglasses.
  • Wear sandals to protect your feet from the hot sand, sharp shells and debris.
  • Stay hydrated; drink plenty of water.
  • Make sure to check the weather for coming storms and seek shelter if you’re caught in one.
  • And of course, don’t forget to do the Stingray Shuffle! Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Don’t let these tips keep you from having fun. Enjoy the beautiful beaches while they’re oil free and the weather is nice. To find out where the best beaches are, check out Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches. I hope you notice that Florida has two beaches on the list, including Siesta Beach (Sarasota) at #2!!!

A Yummy New Video about Cookie Friday!

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Come join the fun!

Click Cookie Friday! to view our new video.

We hope you’ll stop our office this Friday or another for a free insurance quote and a delicious Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. Our office is located at 11322 Seminole Blvd Largo, FL 33778.