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Windy

Posted on 11/11/2018 by Admin under blog
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It’s been a windy week on and off but I still managed to put my drone up. In fact I put both up (not at the same time) and find that the Yuneec can take a stronger wind than the DJI which you can see moving. I only went up 200 feet but it was enough to get what I wanted. The pictures with the Yuneec are sharper than the DJI I think. The controls are still a bit confusing but I’ll get there. My current problem is finding how to upload my flight data onto the computer. I did download an app, but then it needed a download too in order to make it work! I will get there in the end…I must. Today’s image shows an image taken with the Yuneec looking towards Fraserburgh and the coast about a mile away.

I’ve been busy on the woodturning front as sales have picked up, though not so much in the UK as Europe and USA. I don’t mind where the products go, it’s a good feeling to know other people appreciate your craft. In the past, when doing craft shows, I have had someone saying that the oak coffee table I made could be better if her husband built it out of pallets! Obviously she didn’t buy it, but in cases like that you would prefer they kept their opinions to themselves, and no, I don’t think a solid oak table can be compared to a pallet.

Weather permitting, I will be out and about again next week, the only problem is the early sunset at this time of year. You can tell it’s a UK government (in London) when

the daylight saving rule which came about in wartime to help with working in fields etc, and still happens today. What they don’t appreciate is we get less sun up here in this area of Scotland during the winter months anyway, but now get less. Even when I pick the wife up at work at 4 pm it’s already getting dark, soon it will be just after 3pm, and we will get roughly 6 hours of daylight.It’s even worse for those who live further north than I do. I just don’t see the point in changing the clocks twice a year anymore, it’s outdated and redundant.

It’s just a short rant this week, I really struggle with finding a topic to talk about (other than religion and politics). I would love to hear your comments. Come on, don’t be shy. I will leave you with a thought for the week from Elbert Hubbard. “Don’t take life too seriously…you will never get out of it alive!”

That time of year…again.

Posted on 11/04/2018 by Admin under blog
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Would you believe there are only 7 weeks and 2 days until Christmas?  Bet that annoyed the hell out of some people! I am in much the same frame of mind when it comes to this time of year. I swear it begins earlier and earlier every year. We hadn’t even had Halloween and there were Xmas ads on TV. Expecting the Easter bunny at the beginning of next month.  I appreciate that the retailers need to be ahead in their planning but its getting ridiculous.  I bet, if you wanted to go and buy a pair of sunglasses tomorrow, you’d have a hard time finding any anywhere apart from an opticians!  People still need ordinary food, not party food (which is also overpriced anyway in my opinion).

As you can appreciate I am having a good week.  Even though I haven’t been out with the drone this week, we did have a day out with the grandchildren yesterday. Mainly because the wife wanted to try out the new Aldi in Peterhead. It’s pretty much the same as Lidl but different ‘special offers’. Not particularly impressed and will continue to use my local Lidl and Home Bargains. At least it got us out for the day, I’m going stir crazy being stuck in the house all week (crazier than I am normally), but it’s not the weather for flying and there’s only so many times you can take photos of the same fishing vessels. It’s like ‘Groundhog Day’, it keeps going in an eternal loop! No wonder I forget which day it is.

I have decided to part with my beloved Mercedes, once I get it into a decent condition, not that it needs much. I have the spare parts but not the body capable of doing the work. It’s a shame as I like that car, but I am too knackered to tinker about with it now. One of the reasons I bought it was I was able to tinker and repair it myself (jack of all trades – master of none) but the cars nowadays are all electronic so you need a degree to figure out what is wrong and remedy it. This is one thing where I think technology has gone in the wrong direction, everyone relies on computers too much. What would they do if all the computers stopped working? “Oh no, I can’t put anything on facebook/twitter/WhatsApp” etc, which makes it the end of the world for some people.  Don’t get me wrong, technology can be a good thing, but it also has it’s pitfalls. Maybe it’s just because I’m ‘old school’ or just plain old, but I think things were a lot simpler in the old days before the advent of the internet, home computers and mobile phones that do more than just facilitate phone calls.

Yes, another week ahead and don’t know what I will be doing yet. We are supposed to be getting some warm weather (hahaha) so I might get out with the camera. I don’t want to go too far though as my cataracts aren’t getting any better soon. I really don’t think I will get my op this side of the New Year, even though it’s an outpatient appointment. Talking of health, the wife went to Aberdeen last week to see her surgeon for her post op, and it’s good news all round. The scar is healing nicely, blood levels are good, and there was no cancer detected in her thyroid, which is all good.

Thank you, once again for reading my rambles. If you have any suggestions (clean ones mind) then let me know, inspiration is hard to find, but then so are my glasses and keys sometimes!

Catch you next week and enjoy this weeks offerings.

 

 

In My Day…

Posted on 10/28/2018 by Admin under blog
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Where can I begin? It only seems like yesterday when I was writing this blog. The wife went back to work and zoom…the week has flown in. A flipping cold week it’s been too, endless rain showers, overcast skies and a howling Northerly wind so lazy it doesn’t go round you but through you. We haven’t had the forecasted snow though, not in this corner anyway. A good job too. Whenever the authorities put out a weather warning everyone swoops on the supermarket shelves like there is no tomorrow. How on Earth are they going to eat 10 loaves in 2 days? It is cold enough however for the long johns to come out of hibernation and the thicker vests. My old bones don’t hold the heat as much as they used to. Roll on summer! I did manage to get out once with the drone. I did think it was too windy but once I reached my pals new build the wind had all but disappeared.  

I got my flu jab yesterday so should be protected from the worst of winter (I’m not one for getting a cold very often, never mind flu). I laugh at those people who say they need the day off work cos they have the flu. If you had the flu you wouldn’t even be able to use the phone and would be completely off your feet for a week. Too many snowflakes in my opinion. When I was younger (a long time ago), you couldn’t just take a day off when you felt like it, you’d get the sack. Nowadays you can’t be sacked straight away unless it’s gross misconduct or after your final warning.  Generations younger than mine are becoming lazy and complacent as far as I’m concerned, but it is only my opinion. I think they should bring back compulsory conscription for all for at least 3 years. Put some backbone into a lot of the population.

Another uncertain week next week. Hoping to get out with the drone for more practise, it’s taking a bit of getting used to. There are modes on the Yuneec whereby the drone can follow you or circle around you which seems strange. I would love to get out and about to different places to do some aerial shots but I don’t think the weather is going to be in my favour.  I’ve been doing a bit more woodturning too. It’s a very relaxing and satisfying hobby though can be expensive with the price of some exotic woods. I would never have considered myself as artistic, but am quite surprised at what I manage to achieve.

I have come to the end of my spiel for this week so I will leave you here. Enjoy your week and I will be back next Sunday.

 

I See The Moon And The Moon Sees Me…

Posted on 10/21/2018 by Admin under blog
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There is nothing quite so calming as a big orange moon shining down from the heavens. It is another wonder of nature. I have often pondered if the same view of the moon is seen by everyone on earth no matter where they are. What I mean is, on my moon pics there is a little circle just above the base of the moon, so do others see the same thing? A lot is said about the moon and how it influences people. Being October it’s supposed to be a time when witches travel abroad on their old faithful broomstick with their black cat sitting on their lap. Now I think we can agree that broomsticks cannot fly so where this belief came from apart from the bottom of a spirit bottle (the drinking kind of spirit that is). Why else would someone say they saw the witches riding aloft when the moon was full? A cover up for their drunken behaviour perhaps? Too scared to admit to the wife why you have been out too late or got into bother? Just blame a witch and why not, everyone thought witches were real back in the day. After all, they were burned at the stake or drowned. Apparently they used a ducking stool to which the female was tied and then dunked in a stream or river, if she came up alive she was a witch and was put to death, and if she drowned with the ducking then she was innocent, but of course by that time she was dead anyway so the outcome was the same. Personally I believe any of those accusers had a grudge to bear against another and so proclaimed they were a witch, and the “justice” of the time would put them on trial, and almost always decided in the complainant’s favour. Mad though it seems, there are still people in the world who think along the same lines yet and use it as an excuse to persecute those who do them wrong.

Returning to modern day (though sometimes it seems a little backward), life goes on in much the same way. I haven’t been out flying this week, though there is a possibility that I may manage to get out and about next week as the wife is back to work tomorrow. I won’t go too far as my eyesight is not yet sorted (to be honest, I don’t think it will be anytime before this Christmas either), so somewhere local is the most likely. The colours of Autumn are really coming into their glory just now and mother nature, as always, has put on a fantastic show. With winter just round the corner (and snow forecast by the weather people), I will need to look out the long johns and thick bodywarmer to keep out the sharp, biting Scottish wind. I have a furry Russian style hat that keeps my head toasty too, so I will have to look it out as well. No point in suffering if there is no need.

Going back to the moon, people say the world goes a bit mad at a full moon (think of all those werewolf movies!). My daughter is a midwife and she says that whenever there is a full moon, the labour ward is manic with the number of babies being born. Maybe the moon does have an influence after all.

Take care and come catch this idiotic drivel next week. Bye for now.

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn…

Posted on 10/14/2018 by Admin under blog
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Hello again. A good week indeed, the wife had a successful operation for removal of her thyroid and she is back home being molly coddled by the rest of the family (makes a change to be honest). There have been no side effects (yet anyway) and everything looks good. After nearly 4 years of the problem she is glad it is now by with and can get back to normal.

I have spent most of the week woodturning, I’ve really got back into the hang of it. It’s a bit like riding a bike, you never forget how, and after falling off a couple of times, you get it right back.  I have over the years made many things on my lathe, pens, bowls, keyrings, even spurtles (for stirring one’s porridge). I’ve always loved wood, it’s tactile, has a lovely smell, can look really beautiful and best of all, it shows mother nature’s wonder. No two pieces of wood are alike and there are literally hundreds of species to choose from. You can see from this week’s image the kind of things I make, and the wife sells them on her etsy page (little Scottish things).

I asked my daughter what she though her mum would say if I suggested renewing our marriage vows (we’ve been together for 41 years), and she said that mum wouldn’t agree because she hates being in the limelight. I’m happy to say she was wrong… so we are now looking into how we go about it. Nothing big, just family and a meal out together somewhere. Given that her work colleagues gave us 6 months together maximum when we first met, we’ve done pretty well I think. We’ve plenty of time to organise things as we are looking at doing the rerun in Autumn next year so watch this space for the fun.

Next week is unknown as of yet. The wife has another week off work to recover so I will again be enjoying her company (I could get used to this). I may get out with the drone, I may not. I will wait and see how things go. The days are getting shorter now and the clocks change again before long so I need to keep aware when deciding what to do first. One thing I do know is I will be on facebook a lot less (not that I am on it loads anyway), there is more to life than computers. If anyone wants me they can message or phone me.

I will leave you on a high note this week and hope you enjoy your week too, whatever you decide to do. Catch you next week.

 

 

Success…Almost

Posted on 10/07/2018 by Admin under blog
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Yes!! I finally got to fly my new Yuneec Typhoon H drone. Quite an experience let me tell you. This drone does so much more than the DJI. It can circle you with the flick of a switch at an exact distance, you push a switch to the right and it will go right no matter which direction the drone is facing. You need to lift up the landing legs once you are airborne and drop them before you come into land (I will admit I did forget and she ended up in the grass), and best of all? She is easy to spot in the sky! It will take a while to perfect but I really enjoyed it. Now all I need are calm days with no rain (might be expecting a bit much there), though the Yuneec is supposed to be able to take a bit stronger a wind, but I’m not that confident with it yet.

I am going to be a bit lonely this week when the wife goes into hospital, can’t remember the last time we weren’t together overnight. I will have my grandchildren for some of the time, but their mum is taking leave from work to help. Hopefully it won’t be too long until the wife is home again. I may spend most of my time up the stairs in my “man cave”, but it’s nice to have someone I can go and talk to when I want (she also helps a lot on the computer side).  I have had a good week all in all. My health is good, I got back into my woodturning, and everything seems right with the world. Being a pessimist (so the wife tells me) I don’t expect it to stay that way for long as it doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart.

Obviously, this next week I will be enjoying the wife’s company and looking after her. I just hope I do it properly, she’s never usually so ill that I have to be a nurse. Don’t think the uniform would suit me anyway, I don’t have the legs for it!  Other than that I have no specific plans for the week, maybe a bit of flying, maybe a bit of woodturning. Today I am trying to get to grips with Windows Movie Maker and Davinci to edit my videos, a bit confusing but I will get there. I tend to shy away from anything that might be confusing, a lot of my confidence went with my last stroke as the brain doesn’t function properly when trying to do the simplest of things. I never say never but it’s usually a maybe. It hurts so much to fail, and I will admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

I will love you and leave you for the week, and I look forward to spouting more drivel next week. Bye for now

Autumnal Musings

Posted on 09/30/2018 by Admin under blog
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Well that’s the end of September already, not long until the end of the year again. Already there is a change in the weather and earlyish nights. I can understand those people who suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD for short). It can get pretty despressing. Not that I am, mind you.

I have received my new drone, the Yuneec Pro, though unfortunately haven’t been able to fly her yet. I don’t want to dive in until I can handle it properly so it will probably be a case of some low level flying til my confidence builds. It does a lot more than the DJI Phantom that’s for sure, just reading the instructions is complicated!  The image today shows the two side by side and the typhoon (on the left)  looks so much bigger. I am considering selling my first drone, the DJI Phantom 3 as it’s not likely to be used again. Will have to be careful though as there is a crack one the landing leg which would need repaired before it can fly so will have to sell it as spares or repairs. I can’t legally sell it as a working drone because of the crack despite everything else being ok.  

I went for my optician appointment on Wednesday and found out I have cataracts, one worse than the other, so now I will have to have hospital treatment too as well as the wife. As the saying goes “Old age doesn’t come itself”. That is so true. I seem to be falling apart at the seams! I wonder if they have developed a full body transplant yet? Never mind, I’m not one to let it get me down if I can, just get it sorted and carry on, no point in revelling in it, there are a lot of people in the world who are worse off than me. The only thing is that following treatment, the leaflet says I would probably need a different optical prescription which means new glasses and they don’t come cheap either.

This week? Not sure, weather dependant. Hoping to maybe get out tomorrow with the wife (she has a day off) and try out the new drone. It just needs to be dry and less windy but whether it will be is another matter. The skies (or as I like to call them “my studio”) are lovely just now what with big cumulus and dark rain clouds in the same sky which can make for a pretty dramatic image. Either way, I need to get out more with both drone and camera.

I will leave you this week with a thought. A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it annoys enough people to make it worthwhile.

It’s raining, it’s pouring…

Posted on 09/23/2018 by Admin under blog
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It’s been a windy week what with storm Ali on the go, hurricanes in America, monsoons in Asia, and Theresa May on Brexit, though that was hot air! We have been extremely lucky in this corner of Scotland. Yes, we had wind and rain but nothing out of the ordinary really for here. I have seen it worse. When you think about it we are lucky compared to some countries who have storms on a regular basis that do so much more destruction. Whether or not they are getting worse due to global warming I wouldn’t like to say. I believe nature goes in cycles and every now and again something changes so I think we can expect extremely hot summers and freezing cold winters for the next couple of hundred years before it changes once again. When I was growing up it didn’t matter what the weather was, you still had to muck out and feed the beasts on the farm. I even had to walk a couple of miles to school in the snow. You just got on with it, that or starve. People are extremely lucky nowadays, they can just pop to the shops and stock up on food in case they can’t get out of the house for a couple of days. I honestly think the world has gone soft what with companies saying “Don’t come in to work, there’s an inch of rain!” It’s quite laughable really. Everyone goes into a panic. Look at Scandinavia and Canada for example, they get that kind of weather every year and it doesn’t stop them from doing their jobs. One thing I will say though (and I do it every year) is that after the longest day of the year, the nights fair draw in. It’s dark at 7 pm now and still drivers

won’t use their sidelights or headlights, it’s not like they are an optional extra. It’s the same with indicators, nobody seems to use them so you need a crystal ball on your dashboard just to figure out which way they are going!

I still haven’t received my new drone yet and have resorted to sending an email to what I though was a British and reliable company. How wrong I was. They took my money at the beginning of the month and then admitted they didn’t have the drones in stock. Actually the drones are not even supposed to be in this country until this coming Tuesday! I have politely asked for my money to be returned (I should ask for the interest they gained with it being in their bank account too), so that I can buy from the company I should have gone to originally who I know are trustworthy as I have bought gear from them before (Drones Direct by the way).

Not sure what the next week holds yet, very weather and grandchildren dependant as usual. Hopefully I will get at least one flight in if the wind dies to a suitable level. It may seem calm on the ground, but believe me when I tell you that a hundred feet up it’s a different story. I have improved the visibility of my drone (I hope) with a new skin which is black so hopefully it will be easier to spot. I also have an opticians appointment which might help too. I am finding that wearing glasses when driving beneficial too (must be an age thing!)

This week’s image is the fishing vessel BF151, Daystar, coming into Fraserburgh harbour in choppy weather. You can find a bigger version in my photo gallery.

A Mixed Bag

Posted on 09/16/2018 by Admin under blog
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What a funny old week it’s been. I enjoy watching Countryfile on a Sunday evening, usually followed by Poldark but as it’s not on yet, I switch channels to watch Dragons Den. Last week there was a guy, Mark Boyt, looking for investment in his company called Drone Safe Register ( https://dronesaferegister.org.uk ). The idea is that drone pilots, both professional CAA approved and hobbyists pay a small sum to be entered onto a database so that any potential customer anywhere in the country can find a drone operator to carry out their needs, be it home aerial inspection of buildings, doing demonstrations, or looking for lost people for example (though obviously a hobbyist cannot charge for their services). I quite liked the idea so on Monday I contacted him and joined up. He said he would phone me back the following day but he hasn’t yet, but imagine, his pitch was on national TV and he secured a dragon (Peter Jones), so obviously his phone was red hot on Monday. I know he’ll get back to me at some point but it shows the power of television and I sincerely hope that he makes a success out of it. Whether it will get me any work or not is a different matter but that remains to be seen.

I’m still waiting for my new drone to arrive, apparently the company are waiting for new ones to arrive from Germany, hope it won’t take much longer, I’m really looking forward to getting out and about with it. I have ordered skins for my current drone, ie. so they are easier to see in the sky.

With the weather changing so drastically (seems like ages since summer), I am looking forward to seeing the changes Mother Nature makes in her landscapes, autumnal colours and overcast skies. I don’t think enough people bother to really look up into the sky. You can be amazed at the way different clouds form and change whilst you are looking at them, and with a little editorial tweak, they can be outstanding. This week’s image is a perfect example.

I have also, this week, gone back to doing some woodturning. It took a bit to get back into it as I hadn’t used my lathe in so long, but after 10 or 20 minutes, it was like I’d never been away from it (to be honest it was the first woodturning I have done this year). They may only be smallish keyrings (with a built in whistle) but they are truly unique as no two pieces of wood are the same. The wife has put them on her etsy page if you want a look ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LittleScottishThings ). I love the feel, smell and texture of wood, another example of Mother Natures work, and there are so many varieties from around the world in colours varying from pale cream to purple and pure black.

Well, think that’s it for this week but will leave you with a thought. If we cut down all the trees in the world, where are all the animals and insects going to live? And would they actually survive? We need to plant new trees for every one cut down or the result will be loss of habitat, wildlife and eventually ourselves.

 

Gobbledegook

Posted on 09/09/2018 by Admin under blog
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Hello. Another week another dollar. I wonder why we use so many Americanisms nowadays, what’s wrong with the English language? When I went to school I was taught to read and write in the Queen’s English (despite being in Scotland) and this is the language I use. Spelling tests were a nightmare mind you what with so many words sounding the same as another but are spelt differently.

Fair enough I didn’t pass any O’levels as they were then, but I can still talk proper! The local dialect here is Doric, and you would think that coming from the deep countryside (well Fyvie anyway) that I would be able to understand it all. I can with some words but Doric can be quite difficult to read if the person writing it doesn’t know how to spell it in the first place. We have people locally who try to write in Doric and spell it in the way they say it but it’s just gobbledegook to me. By the way the sentence “It’s a braw bricht moonlit nicht the nicht” is never said by ANY Scotsman or woman, it’s a myth that foreigners started, along with kilt wearers wearing nothing under their kilt…it’s TOO cold for that. As I was saying before being side tracked – we now use too many Americanisms, even my granddaughter calls her doll’s nappies “diapers”. I blame the internet mostly particularly YouTube. Most of the stuff on there is American (the ones my granddaughters watch anyway) so it’s not surprising that it influences word choices. I think the English language deserves respect. It is so diverse and expressionistic and is mostly the second language learned around the world. Yes, there are different dialects around the UK but they are 99% understandable. I find it annoying when even phoning some English companies when they say “I can’t understand you”, I may be a country chiel (young man) but my accent is not that strong, even my wife(who is English by the way) can understand me perfectly well.

On to other things…I have ordered a new drone, a Yuneec Typhoon H Professional and it will hopefully be here within the next two weeks. Apparently they had a set amount available and my order was after the very last one! Typical, but it’s paid and I will get the next one in, I just need to be patient. I will give you the verdict once I have had a chance to try it. One of the reasons for going for that model is that it should be easier to see when it’s up in the air. At the moment with the DJI I can’t see where it is once it’s 100 feet in the air (yes, I know I need better glasses!) I got quite a good deal on it so will stick with the supplier I chose, they seem decent enough.

No plans for next week yet, the wife’s working and we have the grandchildren for a couple of nights, but next weekend we should be child free so will maybe go out somewhere ourselves for a change (it’s been a while since I had a cappuccino). This week’s image is the boat of the guy who’s rowing around Britain (it was on the news). The boat’s not that big so it’s quite an achievement. I caught him in Fraserburgh harbour. That’s all for this week (you must think I am an extremely boring person) so catch you next weekend.

 

All images © Copyright protected Eric Watt Photography   07969 800835
Professional Photographer Fraserburgh, Scotland, GB