Design later loading stuff to come in below the fold
interestingly I think because the bulk of the page is leaded via the php scripts and the US sever the entire page does not display until it is all downloaded. I think this is because the php is loaded before the html code.
thanks for the other ideas - I'll run some tests to see what the improvement is like.
So far it looks like I'll still need to relocate the first server out of the US