Sunday, 29 May 2016

Cold weather

It's now end of May & low temp to last until next weekend. Bedding plants read to go in outside but dare not risk. Saw 23 degrees on bbc weather app for next Tuesday, now revised to 19, but still much better than this!! Heatwave on its way--- yes?
First aerial pic of our place using syma x8  quadcopter with a Mobius cam. This still taken off video as the x8 cannot lift a gimbal safely for more than a couple of minutes, hence the footage follows every wobble the craft makes.



Thursday, 8 May 2014

nature's ways

The blackbirds have nested again in our hedge just outside our kitchen, we saw 3 eggs in the nest, & low & behold the magpies have had the eggs again. A friend in a flat on the other side of the building overlooking where i filmed the 5 foxes a few years ago saw at least 5 last week, some obviously being youngsters. We have seen odd ones about  in our grounds, but we haven't seen them where their den was until last week. It was in the afternoon when they were seen.
   I also put a bird box on the fence, & pleased to say blue tits are in and out of it, so something's going on.

Friday, 28 March 2014

radio caroline

Congratulations to radio Caroline on its 50th anniversary. I was a teenager growing up with the pirates in the sixties, the Beatles etc and feel very privileged to have witnessed a musical revolution that will never happen again, a wonderful era.
There's a link to Radio  Caroline on this page, you can also find all the fabulous jingles which the pirates were famous for.

Monday, 18 November 2013

found foxes Xmas lunch

just using this blog page from now on, but there are still links to pond info etc. I was planting some daffodil bulbs in our raised bed last week, but as i knew the foxes had made a hole & there had been ants nearby, i used my spade to prepare a hole for the bulbs. So glad i did as the fox had buried a chicken there.I've now put a few more sticks in to try & deter them, but now the cats have decided to have a go at rearranging everything, i give up!!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Don't forget to view my Youtube channel, which has a few videos of interest, by clicking "over the rainbow" in the useful links

Saturday, 9 February 2013

For sheltered accomodation in the Gateshead area, you are most welcome to view the short video clip about life at one of Johnnie Johnsons' finest sheltered accomodation complexes by clicking the following link http://youtu.be/w8ZyeP7q6gU

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Iplayer on itouch 1st gen

I have an itouch 1st generation which will not upgrade passed os 3.1.3 version. I have always used it to watch odd things via iplayer on it in bed, it was so handy, but a week or so ago iplayer stopped working on the itouch, i couldn't believe it. Whether Apple tried to make us upgrade to a later model or what, it didn't work as i have a xoom which i could use. But my itouch is just perfect for what i use it for, either catching up with iplayer, not long programs but for example if i missed a house on homes under the hammer or something & the phone went, i can always see it on my itouch later. I googled the stoppage & other people were up in arms as well as me, but hey!!, it's working again, so thankyou Apple, or BBC or whoever  messed with it. I do of course also use it for music , videos & photos, it's a brilliant piece of kit, only thing it has no speakers, but i don't need any as i have other equipment if i require speakers, the ear pods are fine, otherwise i wake the wife up!!! Update, as of november 2013 iplayer is off the early models.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

strange weather

Well we're into December now & my garden certainly does not look like it's nearly Christmas, the bush lobelia has come into bloom again, the blackbirds seem to be looking around  near to their old nest, bulbs are coming through, i've only just brought the geraniums in, & they were all sprowting new flowers, wow!!
This time last year i think it was slightly different, & very white, but we have had some very strong winds, & more of the same in the coming week i hear. Wonder if we'll get a white Christmas??

Monday, 10 October 2011

more tech news

I was also due for a new laptop, but i was looking for one with dedicated graphics, as i like a bit of gaming, but a machine with graphics suitable for gaming one normaly has to pay from £650 upwards.
Whilst looking at Pcworld i found a Samsung RC520-SO2 with 6gb memory, 750 gb hdd, cpu  Intel core i5, and a Nvidia GT  520M graphics card. all for £589 and guess what, i recieved £50 cashback off Samsung with a student offer, so i am very happy with it.
On my desktop i was getting 20 odd fps while on this laptop i'm getting 47 fps sometimes. I,ve had this laptop for about 3months and i really like it, it's fast, responsive, the screen is ok, the sound is better than other laptops i have heard, apart from the xps with jbl's, obviously. It is also quite sturdily built and the keyboard seems ok, and the webcam is good for skype video, so all in all this is definitetly one to look at.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

tablet news

At last got time to post something , i am writlng this on my Moto Xoom wi fi, & if anyone reading this is thinking of a tablet, then i recomend the wi fi version of the Xoom. It is absolutely awesome, i've had mine for about six months now, & i still haven't found anything i  don't like about it.
I was thinking of an ipad, as i have a 1st gen itouch, the one with no speakers, but i love my itouch, i watch iplayer on it when i get in bed with the ear plugs, & it's wi fi so i get my emails on it, but the Xoom is 10" so it's a lot easier to reply, surf , etc on. I was looking at a 7"  tablet, but i am really glad i went for a 10" version.
Also  glad i got this instead of the Ipad, because apple doesn't have flash & you are tied to itunes. To put photos on my Itouch i have to first  put them into my folder in itunes, but to get them on to my xoom i can connect to computer & drag them over or just bluetooth them over from my phone, plus the cameras are ok. I am just awaiting video for skype then i will be 100℅ happy.
Any questions just contact me & i'll be happy to help.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

news of the world

Why is it always the ordinary working man who suffers for the incompetence & arrogance of those higher up, first it was the bankers, who are apparently still enjoying their bonuses, whilst we suffer the cuts, now the workers at NOW have had their jobs, while those who allegedily knew what was going on are still allegedily denying all & sundry.
We close train manufacturing here in Btitain & order trains from Germany, while Hitatchi are sending train parts to be assembled in the North East. Ok it creats jobs, but why can't we make something ourselves like we used to do.
We sold north sea oil & gas which we were supposed to be self suficient for years to come, but sold it abroad & bought it back at a higher price, where is the logic, the world is going mad. Politicians & people at the top just seem so far from reality.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

saxophone tuition Tyne and Wear

tenor and alto saxophone lessons available, see "Biography & music" for more info.
Please Email dave clarke for info
Beginners welcome with music theory as well as improvisation technique, you're never too old to learn an instrument. I have a gentlemen of over 65years who started from scratch a few years ago who now plays his favourite swing numbers and absolutely loves it

Thursday, 29 April 2010

208 radio Luxembourg

Heard "the lion sleeps tonite" the other day, which reminded me of when i was having breakfast before going to school in approximately 1955 in Burnley Lancashire.
The program i listened to in the mornings was radio Luxembourg, which transmitted from 6pm in the evenings until about 1.0 am in English, but in German in the mornings.
Take your pick and double your money started out on 208 before moving to tv, and of course there was "horrace batchelor" with his keynsham Bristol football advert.
208 was about the only pop music program around in those days, until the pirates came along. Remember johnnie Walker on Caroline South with Percy Sledge's when a man loves a woman at 10.30 pm every night and the cars on the coast at Frinton Essex flashing their headlights.

Friday, 9 April 2010

some of my "life songs"

These are just some of my favourite songs which have a certain significance in my life up to now. there are more when i remember them, if i think about or if someone mentions a time or memory or whatever, it will almost always trigger a tune that was out at that time.
Fortune teller----Mersey beats
She loves you---Beatles
Little by little-----Stones
All over now---------Stones
Then only then------Julie Grant
Macarthur Park----Richard Harris
U made me so very happy--B.S & tears
Sometimes in Winter---B.S.& tears
Say a little prayer--Aretha Franklin
Close to you----Carpenters
Walk on bye---Dione Warwick
Something in the air--Thunderclap newman
Do you really want to hurt me---Culture Club
Rapture-----Blondie
Piano in the dark---Brenda Russell
Cry me out----Pixie Lott
Music has always played a part in my life, i remember situations by the music of that particular time & place, for example, the Mersey Beats fortune teller came out as a b side & my mates & i were starting a group up so my mum bought me an electric guitar & amp from Pollards music shop near Burnley market on standish street, opposite the blackpudding stall.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

the frogs are on the move

What a beautiful day once again, there was certainly some heat in the sun this lunchtime, nearly shorts time!
Had a peak in the pond and could clearly see two frogs stirring on the bottom, i just hope they don't start too early as all the frogspawn died in the frost last year. I 'll just have to get some in if the weather turns cold again, and put the tadpoles back in later
For all the pond info, please go to Blogs of interest / Pond life.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

it isn't white no more, oh yes it is!

On Thursday i said to a friend this is the longest we've been without the white stuff on the ground, when low and behold a few hours later the damn stuff is back. The snow is brilliant for the security cams, lightening the image nicely.
I did catch a glimpse of all the bulbs beginning to show, although they are obviously a week or so behind this year.
The pond is looking crystal clear now all the ice has melted, and the fish are quietly waking up, and i eagerly await the first sign of frog activity. The fish must be 16 or 17 years old now and i think the spinal thing which i mentioned in an earlier post has definitely spread, as i can see a slight kink in all of them.
You are supposed to kill them but i cannot bring myself to do it so when they all pop off i shall remove the net and have a wildlife pond and allow the heron as well as the fox and hedgehog to take a drink as there will be no beakfast for them. Also i think a net keeps the dragon flies at bay so that's another thing to look forward to.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Computer problem solved

I had a problem with my Dell vostro 400 desktop machine, in that my frame rate was way down when in gaming, & also a strange occurence at start-up.
I would switch on, the blue light appeared, the fan came on at full speed as normal, but as the fan slowed down the light went out & the computer was dead, then it immediately started up again, then died down, & on the 3rd time the bios bleeped & it stayed on. This was driving me mad, i trawled everywhere on the net & all seemed to point to faulty power supply, others said faulty motherboard, but i wasn't fussed on installing new power supply as it was about £80 for this model. Incidentally the graphics card was a nvidia geforce 8600gts.
I finally took up a friends suggestion of a gainwood 9500gt 1gb DDR2 graphics card which only cost around £50, & it is absolutely brilliant. My fps went way up & the machine starts first time.
On the start-up issue, this new card takes power only from the pci express slot, not from a flying lead, so whether that was part of the problem, i don't know. The card has no fan so i thought it may get hot as on the vostro midi tower it is upside down, & also takes up 2 slots, but it has been fine.
So if anyone has had similar problems as i had, i hope this has helped.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

pond life

Well all the snow has nearly gone but the pond has still quite a bit of ice on it, got a shot of one of the golden orfe through the ice free surface as shown in the photos. The waterfall is kept running 24/7 all year round so there is always a part of the pond surface ice free, although this year only a tiny fraction.
But the fish are very hardy, about 16 years old, but i have had four with a spinal thing, which spreads, probably even more as they have spawned for the last few years.
I did one year get two which survived to about one and a half inches then disapeared,
whether they were eaten or they just died i don't know. If anyone needs advice on building & running a pond feel free to ask, i used to have a website with a pond-life section which was very popular but as i hosted it on geocities it went down when they stopped free hosting.
As i mentioned in the previous post we have foxes in our grounds, well one night last summer one of the fish was on the patio dead, & i knew the net covering the pond had frayed at one end, so as i have 24/7 video recording i saw a cat so we thought we had the culprit. but when i found time to run the tape on i found one of the foxes walking round the pond. I just wish it had hooked one of the "Bent" fish out instead of one of the good ones.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Snow trails

With all the snow we have had in the last few weeks, it's been very interesting seeing all the different tracks in the snow of birds & animals.
we have a foxes den in our grounds & i thought they had moved on as we hadn't seen or heard them for a while, & the entrance to the den had not been used. But all is well as there has been fresh tracks every day leading back to near the original den, so they must have opened up a new entrance. The foot prints were in a near straight line but where the snow was deeper it was a continuous channel as the bushy tail had joined the foot prints up.
We also have a blackbird, a thrush, a robin & magpies drinking at the frozen pond, which has been frozen since christmas, apart from the waterfallwhich i leave running all year round just to keep a tiny bit of ice free surface for the gasses to escape.

Fox on the prowl

Fox on the prowl
This was taken on a sunny january morning at 10am in Gateshead, where earlier the same day, a fox with another either a vixen or a young one, snarled at someone near our front entrance,

Sunrise

Sunrise
the calm before another storm

1957 Wolseley 6/90

1957 Wolseley 6/90
Came by this photo of one of my favourite cars of all time, the Wolseley 6/90 the other day which takes me back to when i worked at Rolls Royce at Barnoldswick, the Wellfield factory in about 1966. I had a Wolseley 15/60 farina model, but the engine blew up, & this guy who had a small backstreet garage across from the factory put a 1500cc engine out of an A55 in, but it just wouldn't pull so i popped across to see him. As i was looking around he asked me if i fancied this car, a grey 6/90 with a straight 6 2639.4cc engine. He wanted £38 for it so i bought it. The photo is from the original handbook from the car, pity i haven't got the car to go with it! It was an absolute cracker to drive, with a tiny gear leaver at the r/h side as the front seat was a large bench seat right across, an overdrive lever and handbrake coming from under the dash. The body shell was very thick, you couldn't dent the wing, they were solid, really well made. When i was down London doing a bit of recording, i picked up a black 6/90 with an Austin healy 3ltre engine in it but the diff didn't match, so it sounded beautiful but it did not have the power.

Blackpool tower

Blackpool tower
The picture shows the view from the top of the tower looking down through the new glass floor, in August before the comedy patio thing which is brilliant, was finished. The illuminations are good in my oppinion, we had a trip through the lights on the coach, a Chris Cooper coach trip, highly recomended.