Thursday 31 December 2009

Originally intended for facebook

To those who are in the group "save Top Gear" I would say that as a TG fan and a telly person that although it's a great thing, sooner or later they will run out of ideas and the whole thing will die a slow death. Already they are beginning to struggle to be fresh and entertaining. It will end one day - don't think that this is nasty BBC taking away what you guys like, it's more the producers running out of steam - This is why Dr Who took a year off with only 4 specials this year. In other words a campaign to save a TV programme, wether public owned or not, is futile I'm afraid.

Monday 7 December 2009

Wonder why it did that...

Not for the first time, Livestream baffles me somewhat. The player on the front page wasn't working earlier, yet it works now. How odd. I haven't done anything to it to make it work or not work.

Stopped off in a radio studio earlier and managed to avoid getting on the air myself, but it's something that I may be doing more of in the near future, particularly with the addition of a couple of cameras to the studio

I've actually been in Cardiff today in a production office logging rushes, after 45hours of working in a supermarket, it's a relief to be back doing a proper job, albeit for no money! I feel as if I've got two jobs at the moment, One I like but doesn't pay me, the other I hate but it does pay me... the conundrum is that I can't get rid of the one I hate. I know I haven't actually told you where my unpaid work is yet: All in good time though.

A fantastic Christmas present would be something a little bit more permanent though.

So, sorry for the confusion earlier. Carry on!

Temporary (I hope) problem.

It seems that the livestream player on the frontpage of the website is not working. I'm not sure why this, but I'll be trying to fix the problem tonight, sorry if you're trying to watch it - In the meantime, all the youtube videos seem to be working - Enjoy!

Will also do a proper post later on today.

Saturday 28 November 2009

Transmissions will resume

One of the many difficulties of writing a blog about working in the Telly industry (or attempting to) is that there's a lot that I can't tell you about until it's released. I can't really tell you about the work experience placement I'm on at the moment, and I probably can't tell you that it's with a large Cardiff based production company. Or that I've been logging cards for the last two weeks.


I certainly can't tell you that my part time job in Sainsbury's is driving everyone mad because of a refit at the store, but I think I probably can get away with telling you that the shop is shut this week. Not that that makes any difference to working there. Apparently though, I can't tell you about the brand new ******* or even the new ******** because if I do, this post will probably be censored.

But I can tell you that the work's very hard, it's very pressurised, and that now my knee has packed up completely, so when dressed in a leather jacket, according to mum I walk and look rather like Herr Flick of the Gestapo.

Don't ask.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

My life has gone crazy.

Argh! What happened? Someone look at me and think (rightly) that I wasn't busy? I've had an offer of employment from Sainsburys (accepted despite it being night work), a phone call today asking would I like some work experience next week at a ... um ... well established Cardiff production house (I won't tell you which one though!), an invitation to visit Hubbub again, an appointment with the bank (what on earth do they want now?)

Setting that up, then also add a remembrance Sunday parade to sort out radios for, attempt to do something on the subject of air cadet motorsport, find myself making 3D models of aircraft hangers on a whim (maybe it'll come in useful? I still want one of those hangers!) and try and keep my Grandfather mobile.

And I still find time to get to see a bit of Ice Hockey (first game in 3 years!). Devils were on top form last Sunday, although Belfast had the audacity to turn up 2 hours late then take the first goal!

Also, I've been thinking of experimenting with 3D... suggestions for subjects please.

Anyway, life is now crazy. Help!

Tuesday 3 November 2009

New projects, New Directions?

About time for an update. Even though once again I find myself heading for work in Sainsbury's over christmas I'm still trying to get into the television business. It's just that I may have to find new and interesting ways of doing it.

So, Having been to a roadshow with the BBC's commissioning editor speaking, I am now working on 2 new documentary style programmes and updating R.S.T-UK with a new look and title. That's the idea anyway, hopefully someone will like them!

It occurs to me that I've never actually put any services that I can offer on this site. Prehaps it's time that I did!

Incidentally for any Motorsport website editors or broadcasters reading this, I have worked out how much it costs to offer a video news reporting service from all the rounds of the WRC to include interviews from mid day service, the end of day press conference, coverage of the ceremonial starts and finish, and anything else I can point a camera at.

We can dream, can't we?

Thursday 22 October 2009

Rally GB Preview - Part 3

So to this weekend's event. 3 days of top class rallying on some of the best stages in the country. Although this year's event is earlier than it has been for the last couple of years (no doubt some will complain that it's not bitterly cold and icy like it should be), there will still be lots of action to enjoy over the course of the event

This year, the main service park relocates for the first time to Cardiff. It could well be the last time the rally visits the city after the sponsorship problems that plagued the event earlier in the year. Thank you Rhodri Morgan. Anyway, major changes this year are a new shakedown stage in Margam Park replacing Penllegar forest near Swansea, and no superspecial this year for the first time since the event moved to Cardiff. Some classic stages are missing, most notably the competitive version of Margam, loosing the scene of Petter Solberg's victory celebrations in 2003, and Carlos Sainz's fustration of 1997

The most challenging day is the first. Friday's stages are based in Mid Wales, and feature some of the longest in the competition. The challenging Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Myherin stages have been features of Rally GB for decades, and warrant a remote service indoors at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. The day opens with a long road section – 84 miles worth – and that's just to get to the re-fuel and rendezvous point before the first stage! From there it's a 32 mile drive to the first stage – 20 miles worth of Hafren Forest. It's almost certainly going to be damp, muddy and with some narrow roads between the unforgiving pine trees of the forest, the drivers will need all the concentration they can get. They won't get a rest on the roads of Sweet Lamb, but at least they should be more familiar with the area. It's a popular testing spot for the teams, but it's still demanding – there are some big rocks and drops, especially around the quarry section, and some big names have come to grief here in the past. Myherin is very fast and very narrow, and at 18 miles, is no picnic! The crews tackle all 3 tests in the afternoon after service, then return to Cardiff for the evening's podium ceremony (the fastest time of the day is awarded), before the mechanics can get to work on the evening's 45 minute service session.

Saturday is no less of a challenge. After a day in mid Wales, it's all about the beautiful Rhondda Valley today, starting up in the Brecon Beacons. Opening with the longest stage of the day, Rhondda – which is a fast and twisty test full of traps for the unwary – the teams move on to two other classic stages, Crychan and Halfway, which are both exposed tests conducted at close to top speed! The crews will be driving back to Cardiff for servicing today – a 42mile drive. Once again the tests are tackled twice and the evening is rounded off with the podium again.

Sunday is the shortest day, with only 2 stages. Port Talbot is the first half of the former Margam Stage, and is a quick downhill stage with plenty of sharp, slippery corners to catch out the drivers. This is followed by Rheola, featuring Walter's Arena half way around it's length. This artificial arena built in a former opencast mine features two huge jumps and goes around a lake giving the spectators plenty of time to see the cars and drivers in action. It's only a small part of the stage though, and the rest of the stage features stunning views as the cars wind their way down the side of a mountain towards the town of Neath.

Last year, Wheelnuts took at look at Walter's arena from private entry, Dave Matthew's Group N Subaru Impreza, The video is on the main site.

Then after the second running, it's back to Cardiff to crown the new champion... whoever it'll be.

The Ones to watch

It's all about Hirvonen in his Ford Focus, and Loeb in his Citroen. With only a point between the two drivers, whoever finishes first out of the pair will lift the championship – Hirvonen's first, and Loeb's 6th in succession. Technically the conditions and surface should favour Hirvonen, but Loeb seems to be good on any surface and in any condition!
Out to spoil the party is Petter Solberg in his new Citroen C4. Similar to, but not as advanced as Loeb's, the new car is being run with the assistance of Citroen's junior team, for whom he's been nominated to score points. He knows the roads well, as does his co-driver, Phil Mills, and has won the event 3 times in the past (although once by default). Petter Solberg is determined to show the world he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport, and could well be seen in a works seat next year.
Other drivers hoping for a good luck are Matthew Wilson, the spoilt brat son of Ford boss Malcolm Wilson driving for the Stobart Satellite team looking for a good result on his home event. Henning Solberg is trying to upstage his brother, and the Ford and Citroen number two drivers will almost certainly be locked in their own private battle – or called upon to delay either Hirvonen or Loeb, if the need arises – although the manufacturer's title has already been decided (Citroen took it in Spain)

Cruel and unusual obstacles

Well, they don't get more unusual than the lake in Walter's Arena, complete with waiting frogmen to fish out the drivers! but the biggest obstacles are the trees, and occasionally particularly big rocks hidden in the gravel and dragged out by preceding cars. The narrow stages can also be cancelled by big accidents that block them fairly easily. The other likely problem is the weather. This week, the rain has been heavy, and is currently light. If it's wet, it'll be very wet, if it's dry we're in for a extremely fast event – followed by a huge accident.

The Natives

Spectators on Rally GB's of recent history seem to enjoy a good moan about how they're not allowed to stand in the middle of the stage to get photos, and are restricted to designated spectator areas. These areas were brought in on the insistence of the FIA, and the organisers made sure that the rules were followed (to a point, it's still possible to spectate outside of them provided you stay safe). Typically, pretty much no where else on the WRC calendar took them seriously! There are also quite a few rose tinted spectacled visitors and others who will gladly tell you that the event was better when it took a week to go around the country. They're best ignored really, and take great pleasure from trying to ruin the event for everyone else.
Other than that, if you value your eardrums, avoid anyone with a Norweigan Flag.

Essential Spectator Advice

Earplugs. And warm clothes. It's freezing in those forests at this time of year!

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Rally GB - Preview Part 2

Yesterday's post was all about the first part of the season, now lets look at the second half up to this weekend's event

Loeb's run of good luck was about to come to an end. He's always had a super reliable car, and his co-driver, Daniel Elena rarely makes mistake. His talent is unrivalled. Yet on the smooth gravel roads of Sardinia, in Italy, he collected penalties for lateness, made mistakes, got a puncture and then was given a 2 minute penalty when Elena took his seatbelts off to early to fix it. Still, he could have done what Henning solberg did, and crash on the 11th Stage instead, but using the Superally rule, he returned and finished 8th. 7th was Mads Østberg, 6th was Wilson, 5th was Novikov who had actually managed to finish a rally for a change, Loeb finished 4th after recovering from his problems and penalties, 3rd was Petter Solberg, looking happier than ever, 2nd was Mikko Hirvonen, and with a huge cheer, 1st was Jari-Matti Latvala

Maybe he would still drive for Ford in the future after all.

Loeb's season went from bad to worse in Greece, with a very rare DNF for the Frenchman. He was kept company by the only other former world champion in the pack, Petter Solberg's Xsara didn't like the rough roads of Greece. And who could blame it? It's almost as bad as Cyprus!

In 8th, was a driver no one expected at all, The largely unknown Lambros Athanassoulas was another production championship driver, and only competing because it was his home event. 7th was Nutter Østberg, In 6th, Khalid Al Qassimi got greedy and wanted more than just one point this time, thank you very much, and Conrad Rautenbach actually finished in the points. He finished 5th. 4th was Villagra – when he turns up he's pretty good – Latvala continued to appease the wrath of Malcolm Wilson by finishing 3rd, Ogier lived up to his past form in 2nd having finally gotten used to the C4, and for the first time in the season, Hirvonen took a win!

Into Uncharted territory for the next round, the dry gravel roads of Poland. No WRC event has gone here before, but it's sure that they'll go back again after the success of this year. Loeb had a torrid time again, and could only manage 7th, only managing to outscore Rautenbach who had finished 8th. 6th was a Polish rally champion and mayor (!) who had turned out to compete on his home event, and had the name of... and I hope I get this right, Krzysztof Holowczyc. Don't ask me how you pronounce that. 5th was Matthew Wilson, 4th was Petter Solberg who was back on form after the battering he had in Greece. His Brother Henning was 3rd, Dani Sordo was the top Citroen, and Hirvonen won, again.

To the 1000 Lakes of Finland. It's hugely fast, very smooth gravel, and populated by lunatic Finns. So who do you expect to do well. Finns of course!

8th place went to a Briton, Wilson. 7th was a Finn called Jari Ketomaa, 6th was Ogier, 5th was a Finn called Matti Rantanen, 4th was Dani Sordo, 3rd was a nervous Finn called Jari-Matti Latvala, 2nd was Sebastien Loeb, and 1st was a Finn called Mikko Hirvonen. Interesting pattern. Unfortunately for the two Norweigans, the event didn't go very well at all with Henning finishing 30th and Petter failing to finish at all. Another Finn called Kimi Raikkonen turned up. Apparently he's some sort of racing driver, who drives for Fiat in some international single seater racing championship or other. He was driving a S2000 Fiat Punto, and did a typical racing-driver-gone-rallying performance. That is, he went stunningly quickly, then had a huge accident. He was OK afterwards though, and is still driving those single seaters, but apparently he wants to make a step up into the WRC full time in the future. And good luck to him.

After this, Petter lost patience with his Xsara and bought a newer C4, but missed Rally Australia whilst he was testing his new car. Talk of a manufacturer drive started to follow the popular Norweigan in his absence. By now, Hirvonen had got the lead on the championship, and had turned into a real contender.

Turning upside down has strange effects on some people. It returned Rautenbach to his natural state of being upside down and he came in 17th. It had a stranger effect on the previously resurgent Khalid Al Qassimi, who finished 20th. Villagra got the point for 8th instead, Henning took 7th, Wilson got 6th, Latvala celebrated 2 rallies on the trot without ruining another car in 5th, Ogier returned to form with a 4th place, and Sordo came in 3rd. Then there was a fight, and Sebastien Loeb won – with Hirvonen second. 17 seconds covered the first 3 cars, which after 3 days and hundreds of miles is pretty impressive.

Back to Europe for the Tarmac rally in Spain. Don't ever bet against the Citroen drivers being bad here, they're exceptionally good. Parking his new silver Citroen C4 in the service park was Petter Solberg. And he got to work with it straight away, the rumours kept following him though. Evengy Novikov had also left the Citroen Junior team after one crash too many in Finland.

8th place, beating Henning Solberg, was Villagra, proving that he's at least consistent, Wilson was also pretty consistent with his 7th place, 6th was Latvala, 5th Ogier, 4th was Petter Solberg who was clearly delighted with his new car, 3rd was Hirvonen, 2nd was Sordo and 1st again was Loeb.

That result has set up an awesome showdown this weekend in Wales. With one point separating the top two drivers, it's bound to be close, who will win? Come back tomorrow for part 3!

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Rally GB - Preview Part 1

I write these for Wheelnuts, and now for USF1... Enjoy

WRC … Showdown in the Valleys : Part 1

Okay, I know this is a F1 Blog, but you guys like motorsport, this is motorsport, hey, lets see if you like it or not!

Regulars to Wheelnuts will remember my WRC Previews. If you're new, read it anyway. If you're new to the WRC, why not ask a question in the comment box down there.

The WRC is about to finish it's season, and it's going right down to the wire in the UK with a winner takes all fight between the master, Sebastien Loeb and the young flying Finn, Mikko Hirvonen. Hirvonen leads Loeb by only one point, so Loeb only needs to beat him by 2 points or more to take the championship, Hirvonen must finish ahead of Loeb at all costs! If the scores are tied (i.e. if Loeb finishes 8th and Hirvonen fails to finish) Loeb wins on count back.

I've split this into two parts. This first two parts is going to be the story of the season, then part three is the event preview.

Here we go then, 0 car clear, Stage is live!

The story so far...

The rallies

For the first time in my memory, the WRC kicked off away from Monte Carlo, switching to the relatively new ground of Ireland. The change was prompted by a rotation system, but more about that later.

The teams lined up with new comers in their ranks, all in the M2 category for customer teams. Once again, reigning champion Sebastien Loeb would drive the Citroen C4, with Spanish driver Dani Sordo. Their only manufacturer team rivals were the Fords, since Subaru had left at the end of last season. Mikko Hirvonen and Jari Matti-Latvala drove the Blue Oval's cars. Interestingly, both manufactuers had favoured drivers with different surface specialities – Citroen's drivers prefer Tarmac, whilst Ford's pairing prefer loose surfaces.

In M2, Stobart returned with Matthew Wilson, Henning Solberg and Urmo Aava – In Ireland Aava and Solberg were to score points. Citroen took the wraps off their new junior team with ex Subaru driver Chris Atkinson, Russian Evengy Novikov, the hapless Conrad Rautenbach and Impressive JWRC champion Sebastien Ogier on their books. All 4 ran in Ireland, but Atkinson and Rautenbach were scoring points.

It was not the best of weather on the tarmac roads of north Ireland, and Atkinson's inexperience with the powerful Citroen showed when he slid off the road and took out a telegraph pole on the first day. Rautenbach also faltered as did Ogier, whilst Latvala had a disasterous event and finished 14th. The points scorers on the event were Khalid Al Qassimi driving the 3rd Ford works entry (by virtue of being a sponsor!) who scored his first WRC point in 2 years of trying by finishing 8th. Matthew Wilson came in 7th showing that stobart probably should have nominated him for points instead of the inexperienced Aava, Ogier had managed to recover to finish 6th but was clearly uncomfortable in the powerful C4 after dominating the JWRC in the much less powerful C2. 5th was Atikinson who had done a great job to recover from his accident, and scored useful points for the Citroen Juniors, whilst in 4th was Henning Solberg. Hirvonen had a torrid time on his least favoured surface and came in 3rd, leaving the top two spots to the Citroens. With Loeb taking yet another win.

As we'd all expected anyway.

The circus moved on to the frozen north land of Norway. The only snow rally on the calendar replacing Sweden on the rotation plan. You can positively rely upon the Scandinavian drivers to put on a good show with their mastery of the ice, and they didn't disappoint. But, they didn't win either. Maybe it was the wider, less grippy snow tyres (still complete with 450 tungsten tipped studs), Maybe it was their cars, Maybe they made too much use of the snow banks? Who knows?

Back for his home event with his winning charm, smile, and insanity, was old favourite Petter Solberg, who had bought an old Citroen and was looking forward to putting on a show (which he did, winning the superspecial and indulging in some out of the car antics again), and another pair of Norweigans returned with Subaru Imprezas with partial support from Prodrive in Banbury, The aptly named Mads Østberg took the leading car of the newly formed Adapta team. He just missed out on the points. Ogier also didn't like the ice and finished 10th, and neither citroen Junior driver finished – Novikov ended his rally in a ditch, and Rautenbach wasn't much better.

8th for Stobart was Aava, 7th was Wilson (who had not been nominated for points in favour of the other two drivers), 6th was the Resurgant Petter Solberg, 5th was Dani Sordo, who really dislikes snow, 4th was Henning Solberg, who loves it, 3rd was Jari-Matti Latvala, and 2nd was Hirvonen. To everyone's surprise, the winner was...

Sebastien Loeb. Again.

Journeying south, to the heat of Cyprus. The notorious car breaker was back again this year. Cypriot gravel is similar to Grecian gravel and falls into the category of “extrmely rough”. Some of the stones in that stuff are as big as bricks! There's huge jumps, it's very dusty, and there are big drops waiting to swallow the unwary. No pressure then.

Khalid Al Qassimi decided that he'd like some more points, and came in 8th to gain another one to add to his collection. Already this was turning out to be the arabian's best year. 7th was Munchi's driver Federico Villagra. Ah, Munchi's! Forgot about them. The Argentina are back with Villagra and Henning Solberg. The heat and dust was too much for Henning as he went off, and finished 18th ultimately. 6th place went to Conrad Rautenbach, who had done something right for a change, and Matthew Wilson brought home 5th place for Stobart. 4th was the usually tarmac perfering Dani Sordo. Then the results got interesting. 3Rd, in only his 2nd event in the Xsara was Petter Solberg. His talent apparently undiminished from several years driving uncompetitive Subarus. There was a large party in his service area later on. 2nd was Hirvonen.

And Sebastien Loeb won.

Moving on to Portugal, another classic event that had returned this year. It's hot, it's dusty, but smoother than Cyprus. There are still huge drops though – one of them disposed of Jari-Matti Latvala, who slid his Ford into a barrier, somersaulted over it, and rolled down a cliff! He and Mikko Antilla were ok, but the car is quite possibly what you just drank your beer out of. Malcolm Wilson, the team boss was not happy about this latest accident, and questions asked about Latvalas future career.

Al Qassimi was making a habit of picking up single points in his Ford with another 8th placed finish, Villagra finished 7th again, Mad Østberg went better in Portugal than he did in his native Norway with 6th, Henning Solberg took home 5th place after his disappointment in Cyprus, 4th went to his Brother who was still learning how to strangle the best out of his upgraded Xsara, Sordo took an unexpected 3rd place, Mikko Hirvonen took a totally expected 2nd and the 1st place went to the driver you've probably expected all along.

Yes, Loeb. Who else!?

Across the big pond, to Argentina. This is a high altitude, high speed event, with ludicrously enthusiastic spectators, and long distances.

8th place went to someone totally unexpected. Nasser Al-Attiyah. He wasn't driving a WRC car, not even a S2000 – he had a Group N car, and had kept out of trouble to get him to 8th place – a feat helped by 3 retirements from the WRC runners. Petter Solberg retired with technical problems, and Rautenbach and Hirvonen both failed to finish. The rest of the top 8 were all Team point scorers, Ogier came in 7th, Latvala was relieved to finish for once in 6th, 5th went to Wilson, Villagra did very well at his home event in 4th, but Henning Solberg went one better and finished 3rd. 2nd was Sordo, and if you really have to ask who was 1st then you haven't been paying attention.

Well pay more attention then. Loeb of course!

Tomorrow : Season so far, part 2

Cars, Cameras, and plans

I said I'd write more about that camera, Well. it's a hefty brute of a thing. I was using it on a short film called "Message" which will hopefully be on the festival circuit later in the year. It's great to get experience with new kit now and again in the hope that when the revolution comes and I actually get a job, or at least a project that I'm being paid for, I'll know what I'm doing. I think it may well be a little bit too heavy for me though, after 10 minutes or so my back and shoulders ached a lot. I think I need to work out!

In the pipeline for me, are several programme ideas to develop, actually get some kit for the cadets, and a few other things.

Ah, the cadets. Muggins here suggests that they might like to try Autotesting (as seen on RST!) The commanding officer thinks that this is a great idea. Puts it forward to the wing (a kind of squadron of squadrons), They liked it too! So this time next year we should be just about to hold a big youth motorsport event somewhere which should be fun. And I can always film it and see if anyone's interested in broadcasting I suppose.

It's a pity that at the moment, I'm not feeling well, and neither are any of my family. It's distracting me from my job hunt, and the weather has turned cold and decidedly wet. In short, It's all very depressing. My car has also heard of news of an impending new arrival, and has decided to revolt against me. A rattling noise I assumed to be a loose silencer turned out to be a broken silencer, then an oil check revealed that most of the oil had gone missing. Here's a tip cash concious motorists. Never, ever, ever ever, Miss a service. If you do it yourself, great, but do it! I wonder what it's going to do next.

Anyway, it's Rally GB time again here in lovely Wet South Wales, so what follows is a preview of the event. I'm not much of a journalist, but hopefully in the future some more media assignments will turn up. Watch this space.

I'm saying that a lot lately.

Saturday 10 October 2009

This week...

... I have been mostly playing with this.

It's a HD Panasonic camera (with a selection of lenses), and it's by far the largest camera I've worked with yet. I love the chance to get my hands on something new, and given enough fiddling time can usually get it going well enough to get some pretty good results. In case you're wondering, it's mounted on a dolly, which is great for tracking shots because you don't have to carry the thing (it's heavy!)

Today I've been wrestling that camera around Newport on a bus trying not to drop it. It is phenominally expensive!

I'll explain more later... Now is the time for sleeping.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Why give up now?

Last night, I got very depressed. This happens.

For some daft reason I've got lots of work on the go, and not being paid for any of it! I got chatting to a camera man last night [at a radio concert ??] and he basically confirmed that yes, there's plenty of companies doing things out there... and no, they're not taking on.

Add to that applying for a placement that I knew that I could do, but being turned down for not having the right degree. I've never even heard of a BA in Interactive Digital Media, so good luck to that company if they're trying to get someone with one of those to do high definition web based videos for them : Something I've been doing for ages.

Anyway, got back from the concert, which was fantastic, as usual and well worth a listen when it comes onto BBC Radio 3, and sulked for a bit. Wondered what my next move was... considered giving up on television and video altogether. Watched a few silly videos on youtube (Alex Budovsky's animations are great if you're in need of a giggle, look them up), then realised that I needed to prepare a video for the Cadets tonight. So fired up Final Cut, and found the autotesting video that was part of RST. Set to work, and by the end of it all (01:30 this morning) wondered why I ever considered giving up something that I do enjoy, paid or not, and today I'm working on some new treatments to send off. Hopefully one of them will turn up trumps. Onwards!
Quick question for any Mac Users reading this... Has your browser started acting funny? I think the latest version of Flash is causing some problems with it, as whenever I visit a site using flash (or try to upload something), it crashes on me. I thought it was just a safari problem, but firefox is also doing the same thing. Is it just me?

Sunday 4 October 2009


A message to Red Bull. Don't advertise a live stream of an event in the UK if you have no intention of broadcasting it here. I was really looking forward to watching it today, as a British Pilot (Paul Bonhomme, who flew the mustang at Goodwood) was in a position to win it. Turn on the live stream that you organised, and nothing except a message saying : "In respect to our broadcast partners the stream will not be available in Spain, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malta and Australia." - a Message that I had not previously notice during the run up to the event.

What Broadcast partners? I haven't seen the air race on any UK station all year. It used to have a terrible programme on Channel 4 (well, I say terrible, but in fact very good for a commercial station). And that wasn't live. If you want a decent programme first get the BBC interested then M&W productions will be happy to produce live coverage for you for broadcast in the UK, at a competitive price too.

You were building up the live stream on Youtube, on your own website, on the pilots websites, and you go and stick the knife in the back by suddenly announcing the lack of UK coverage hours or so before.

If you don't care about the UK, I would suggest you don't bother coming back.

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Unemployed... and busy?!

I'm amazed. I have no permanent job, and yet I find myself very busy all of a sudden. Next week I start work filming a masters Student's film in Newport (which will mean I chalk up yet another camera type onto the kit list), There's cadet projects, Graphics for Glamorgan Student Societies and a motorsport blog, a race meeting to marshal, Wales Rally GB, and the small matter of getting a job. And none of that brings me any money!

At least no one can accuse me of being lazy...

oh yes, and if you look down on the right, you can see that I'm experimenting with Twitter, I have so far gained 6 Followers. I did note that some Twits(?) have a tendency of advertising, so they got blocked very quickly... the current 6 I haven't sorted through yet... there would appear to be a F1 Magazine, the BBC News Magazine (!!), a racing driver who was at Goodwood (Hello to you, if you're reading this, hope you enjoyed the event!) and a couple of others.

Saturday 26 September 2009

Also available in print

Something that I've been doing with the air cadets lately is doing media relations work. Recently I sent out a press release after a successful event for the squadron's swimming team. Here's the result!

I think I'll keep an e-scrapbook!

Wednesday 23 September 2009

(Spitfire IX + P51D Mustang) + Motorcycles = ?

Well folks, I'm back from Goodwood. Thanks to Martin and Chris on Post 6F for a great meeting with the flags.

None of us had done 6F before, and we were amazed to find it at the end of one of the aerodrome's runways. We were then surprised by an aeroplane coming in to land about 20 feet above our heads!

Then to the track action. The organisers had decided it would be nice to start with a great parade of mods, rockers and police vehicles. so out come the mods on their scooters, the rockers on their motorcycles, and the police in a range of immaculate classic cars, vans and motorcycles.

Unfortunately for the motorcyclists, and I'll include the scooters in that, the first act of the day was going to be an air display by two aircraft in formation - a Spitfire and a Mustang. These two wonderful aircraft come out, perch on the end of the runway, turn their tails towards the track, and at the moment the parade came around, ran the wonderful Rolls Royce Merlin engines up...

... sorry about the quality by the way, didn't have my usual camera to hand, only my mobile phone, but you should be able to see the mods on their scooter being blown all over the place by the planes!

After enjoying the first lot of practising, I took some time off to look around the circuit. In my orange hi viz kit, I felt more conspicuous than usual... it was like steeping off a flying saucer! The majority of visitors had dressed like something out of the 1960s, and with the old style advertising, cars [post 1966 vehicles are banned from the site and can be forcibly removed!] and racing, it felt like stepping back in time. Which is of course, the whole point. Sir Stirling Moss had turned 80 on Thursday, and was around the track surrounded by autograph hunters. His parade on Sunday involved lots of waved flags [in celebration, since it wasn't an actual race], a 8 gun salute from the Royal Horse Artillery, a greeting from Buzz Aldrin who had landed earlier in the day to judge the aviation concourse, the entire crowd singing happy birthday in an attempt to drown out Lord March's sister's singing, and a rendition of "Rule Britannia" in a style that I'd never heard before. And I don't particularly want to hear it again, thank you very much. I'd rather listen to the engines attached to the Vulcan, which came over and drowned everybody out, including Lord March's sister!

Sir Stirling himself was every bit the British Hero, and dismissed the question of whether he might slow down a little with the answer "Well I'm only 80!"

Next year, I'll be back. The Festival of Speed is already a fixture, and the revival is sure to match it. I think I'll don a period costume though.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Information gained.

I said something ages ago about the nearby Valleywood studios...

... Well, Not sure what it is yet, but there's a lot of activity going on up there now. Prehaps someone's moved in and are producing something good...? Anyone got any information?

And with that, I'm off for a week. I'm going to Goodwood for the fantastic Revival meeting. See you when I get back

Solving a mystery

This may surprise you, but I've always liked aircraft as much as I've liked cars. I'm also quite fond of boats as well [why do you think I have a kayak?] This is one of the factors that influenced my decision to become involved with the air cadets. Anyway, since I am also now the radio officer with my local squadron, I thought it would be rather nice if I could find some radio call signs from civil aircraft in the area, show the kids real radio use in action, that sort of thing.

What I found, was the South Wales Aviation Group's website logging all the air traffic in the area. Fantastic! Just what I was looking for. Then I spotted a posting about a new helicopter flight simulator in Cardiff...
I have received an email and some pictures from Duncan McDonald at Veritair concerning their simulator initially assumed to be G-USTA ..It appears this is partly correct however on examination of the pictures below it appears to be 2 frames merged together ..the silver and black bits are definately from G-USTAquestion is can anyone identify the rest of the machine please.

Interesting indeed, and it turns out to be the return of a television star of the late 80s. No, not Duncan McDonald - G-USTA. Which is a helicopter. That was enough to spark the interest into researching where the thing had come from in the first place.

Remember "Treasure Hunt" by Chatsworth? The one with Anneka Rice running all over the place jumping out of helicopters? Well Chatsworth went on to produce a sequel, "Interceptor"

You can find out more about the programme on the fansite, which also has details about the aircraft used in this similarly aviation heavy format, this time using a big Augusta 109 haring around the place at low level, flown by re
luctant TV star, Michael "Mikey" Malric Smith - who also featured in "Treasure Hunt" and "The Flying Gardner". The aircraft itself was owned by Castle Air Charters, based in Cornwall and a prolific supplier of aircraft for use in film and TV, both as stars and also as camera ships. Indeed one of their aircraft was recently spotted over Cardiff filming something, and another one features on one of the BBC one idents. The Helicopter used in Interceptor was a menacing black machine with a yellow stripe down the side, registered appropriately as G-MEAN.

"Interceptor" didn't enjoy the long life of it's predecessor [or it's successor "The Crystal Maze"] and the helicopter was soon declared surplus to requirements by Castle air charter. The yellow stripe became Silver, and in recognition of the manufacturer, Augusta, it was re-registered G-USTA. Then it was sold.

Then the new owners crashed it... and Castle bought the wreck back to use as spares... Well they're expensive things, Helicopters, shame to waste them!

And so it came to pass that in 2006, the producers of BBC's "Casualty" film a storyline involving an "air ambulance", which was another member of Castle's fleet, G-BVCJ - the aircraft used in "The Flying Gardner". The script called for that aircraft to crash... so what do you do? Wreck hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of aircraft, or find a wrecked airframe to substitute for it? Not hard is it? So G-USTA received yet another re-paint, on one side only to double for it's sister, why use expensive paint on something if the camera won't see it? After filming there's not much point in re-painting it back again, so it sits around in a curious hybrid paint style waiting for something to happen.

Then Veritair look for a suitable A109 to become it's flight simulator... well what's this? a stripped out airframe just ready for such a purpose! they buy it, but the paint work [and the fact that half of it looks rather more like an American air ambulance] confuse them. They ask SWAG if they can identify the other helicopter that has been mixed with G-USTA... I find the post, ask around on the Interceptor fansite... and find out what's happened.

So there's a mystery solved. And an old TV star thus finds new employment.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Back online!

Hurrah! The website is fixed now with the proper address... Welcome to all the visitors who couldn't get on, and I'm sorry that you had to wait so long!

Monday 14 September 2009

With any luck...

... and a following wind, the site should be back up and available at the usual address very shortly. Let this tale be a lesson to all domain owners. If it's useful and you've paid for it to be in use... Then DON'T CANCEL IT UNTILL IT EXPIRES.

I have now spent another £11.50 on getting this problem fixed when I could have just kept it at £4 for 2 years.

To say I'm a little bit annoyed is an understatement. Never mind though.

Youtubians... you'll note that How to be a racing driver is now up on the tube. Watch out for some new material, coming soon. Oh yes.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Still alive

Yes, I'm still here. No the domain name isn't fixed yet, and for that reason it's highly unlikely that there's anyone reading this anyway, but here goes anyway!

In case you've been missing me, I've just finished the Graduate Academy course. That involved 4 weeks of work experience with Hubbub-Farsight in Cardiff. It's a great little company to be involved with and I found out lots of useful stuff, and hopefully I'll be working with them a bit more in the near future.

Another group that I'll be working with a bit more is the Air Training Corps - or the Air Cadets if you prefer. This group of young people are looking for a bit of media exposure... and I'm not doing much at the moment, so put one and one together and what do you get? an opportunity. Just waiting on the nessasary forms to be processed and I can take a bit of a bigger role. I don't think you'll be seeing much ATC stuff on the site at the moment though, but I'll put a link up. Whilst not doing media stuff, I'm working on a Motorsport project, and also music as well... all fun.

Other than that, I'm back into job hunting mode. If you're a member of the industry reading this, then watch your post box, as it's likely to recieve something from me soon. I'll also be updating the main site when it returns with the latest projects, although there's no new video just yet.

And if you want Music, then why not try my good friend Ulrich - he's got a new website too :

Friday 17 July 2009

Domain name problems...

Seems that sorting out the domain name is going to take much longer than I'd hoped. It'll be sorted soon [I hope!] then things will be back to normal.

And no, I didn't get the letter I had hoped for. No trip to Abu Dahbi for me!

Thursday 16 July 2009

Bye Bye Lampeter.

Well, that's it for Lampeter. It's a lovely little town, although, having said that, there's not really alot here it seems. I haven't had too much time to get out and about mind.

I'm typing this in my halls room on the hill overlooking the campus. It's pretty basic, but never mind that. This is my first experience of living on campus - previously I've lived at home - and I've really enjoyed it.

I've also found out a few things about myself, that'll be useful, and have now got 3 assignments to get done during my 3 weeks at a production house in Sunny Cardiff [you'll have to guess which one]

Things are, in other words, looking up.

But first, time to get home. I wonder if there's a letter from BARC inviting me to somewhere nice and hot?

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Temporary Glitch

Right, number one, I'm in Lampter at the moment on the Go Wales Graduate Academy, and it's going well - re learning all my business studies from ages ago!

The problem is that not only has my main domain name apparently now succumbed to the cancellation, but neither does the other url I have for it work!

I won't be able to sort much out from here, so I'm afraid that if you're reading this, I'm sorry but getting at the main site is going to be rather tricky for a bit.

Unless you've got here via the main site, in which case, this could be complete rubbish!

Update : Site is still accessable via this link :

Will be negotiating a new domain name very soon.

Wednesday 1 July 2009


I'm away from... well now, until the 19th of July. I may have internet access but the best way of reaching me will be via mobile phone.

See you soon!

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Project Management Wales 2009

The video me and Ulrich shot for the Project Management Wales Conference 2009 is now online on the University of Glamorgan Commercial Services website. I'll be putting a copy of it up online here too as soon as I can. This may be some time!


If you've got the main site bookmarked as, can I suggest that you change it to instead. I have chosen not to renew my domain name with the current supplier and will be trying to sort out the situation soon as possible, but in the meantime it won't be renewed at all.

Secondly, I've sorted out mobile phone wars. They saw my point of view, and now I'm on Pay as you go again. which is great. Because now I can get rid of it at any point I like. Phew!

Thirdly, I will be unavailable between the 3rd of July and the 17th of July. This is due to a) being in Goodwood for Lord March's fantastic festival of speed over the weekend, and then b) being in Lampeter for a 2 week management course.

Unless everything's changed... again.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Warning to reality TV show contestants

... and it's a warning that everyone in broadcasting is aware of by now : Don't forget that your audience could be antyone and everyone. Including government officials:

A Leicestershire 73-year-old who wowed audiences by breakdancing on Britain's Got Talent has had his benefit stopped.

Fred Bowers said the allowance he received for a leg injury has been suspended while the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigates.

the moral of the story is that if you're doing something that you shouldn't in front of a diverse audience, don't be surprised if someone, somewhere has some kind of objection.

Monday 15 June 2009

What an interesting weekend!

If you do have to go all the way to London [150 miles away from home], then you may as well make a weekend of it. Turned out to be a weekend of amazing co-incidences.

For a start, I arrive at the location of my job interview [that was the entire point of the trip], and whilst waiting a rather familiar figure comes out from his interview...

Only Boris Johnson himself!

In case you're wondering, the interview went rather well. Don't want to reveal everything here of course.

Saturday turned out to be the trooping of the colour, something that I hadn't seen before and it seemed a good chance to join in the festivities. We got a good spot in the Green Park, enjoyed the music, got a glimpse of a live Broadcast for BBC News, and turned out that we'd put ourselves right on the flight path of the Fly past! Doesn't get much better than that.

Meantime, now I'm back home, I've got the Supply Chain Wales conference to edit... watch this space

Monday 8 June 2009

Busy times ahead

This post is almost an apology for some extended inaction over the coming weeks... but I've got a lot to do!

Firstly, having filmed the Project Management Wales conference for UGCS earlier in the year, I'm back at the Celtic Manor on Wednesday to film Supply Chain Wales. Hopefully you will be able to see the result on the UGCS website once it's finished.

The day after supply chain Wales it's off to London for a job interview on Friday, can't actually say who it's with though. Then a couple of days out in London as a small holiday, then back home to do the edit on the supply chain Wales conference, couple of weeks off, then off to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed, followed by a course in Lampeter for a couple of weeks...

So I may be going a little quiet, but I will be back. Just like Arnie

Oh yeah, whilst I remember - what was 4-10 motorsport [and is now Paul Gardner Race Tech] had a bit of a torrid time at Anglesey on the weekend with the car being destroyed in a nasty accident. Paul got out ok, but for some reason I'm glad that my camera was not fitted to the car at the time!

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Mobile Phone Wars, part the second.

With apologies to Asp for nicking his idea of [noun] wars.

A few weeks back I mentioned the vultures out after my mobile phone, as the contract is due up. Well. I've pretty much made up my mind with what to do with it, but I need to know an exact date for the contract to end with my current, very pink, phone company who shall remain nameless. But very pink.

So I asked them via a webform...

[From .CO.UK]
message:How can I find out when my contract is due to end? I would like to know the date when I can cancel the direct debits and make new arrangements.

Many thanks

I got a reply which read...

Hi  Kevin,

Thanks for you recent email, I  have checked  your details and can see that we can offer you some excellent offers.

I am working monday to friday 11am till 7.30pm so if you want to email back  a convenient time to call you to discuss further.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Ivan Iqueo'six
Pinky Mobile

Where exactly did I mention I was interested in any of their offers? Which I'm not. I want a phone with skype on and Pinky mobile don't sell one. There isn't a date on the contract, but if I'm right, then it runs out either this Friday, or next month, which means I'm either about to be cut off, or I've got another month to put up with this bunch of clowns.


Monday 11 May 2009

I want... Information.

Driving between Treforest and Bridgend gave me a good glimpse of the new "Valleywood" - or Dragon International film and TV studios, near Pencoed. A whole 5 or so miles away. Drive past the site today and you'll see 4 TV studios all there, with their shiny offices attached, apparently all fitted out [but not necessarily kitted out] and just waiting for someone to move in.

Which by the looks of things, no one has.

So... why not? I can't find a website for the studios, I can't find a phone number, and I sure as heck can't find any information as to who actually owns the studios, who is running them, or if they are going to be let out to any production companies any time soon.

You can probably understand my fustration. Here's 4 brand new facilities and no one is using them - when by now there could be at least 4 potential employers practically on my doorstep!

Does anyone actually know who owns the place? Has there been problems financially? When is something going to happen!?

Similarly, every time I go down to Llandow I see two great big aircraft hangers, apparently sitting dormant. It occurs to me that with a bit of work you could have a studio/exhibition facility, half an hours drive from Cardiff... Think of what you could do with them.

Welsh international Motor and Motorsport show anyone? One hall full of the latest road cars and bikes, the other full of race, rally, and competition machines, the circuit buzzing to the tune of demonstrations... and the rest of the week the hangers become studio space for films and TV shows. I could personally do RST in there, and move outside onto the track for the track test segment.

There's huge potential around here, and it's not being realised. No wonder I can't find a job... no one is taking the chances that are clearly on offer!

Anyone got a spare £2m? I want to buy two aircraft hangers (!) 

Wednesday 6 May 2009


Right now, I'm just a bit on the wrong side of stressed. I have a documentary to finish [it is finished bar putting Ulrich's wonderful music to it] write several essays, and then the small business of actually finding a job. At least one which gives me money, anyway.

It is therefore not a good time to be a telesales marketer selling mobile phone contract. There are about 8 companies out there all of whom are trying to sell me another new mobile contract as mine is running out soon. Like I said - Vultures. Circling my contract waiting for it to die.

If you're one of them, take a hint. Don't bother ringing me because I simply won't answer you. If I do want to deal with your company then I will phone you - not the other way around. For the record I'm well aware of my contract's limited life expectancy, and I've already chosen it's replacement. Now does anyone know how soon I can get rid of the one I have now.

Also it'll have Skype on it [guess the network then], which will make life much cheaper!

I hate phones. I really do.

By the way, apologies in advance if you're not a mobile phone company and you are trying to call me. I'm afraid that if I don't recognise your number I'm more likely to deny the call - if this happens wait, and leave a message...

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Yes, I'm still alive.

I know I've been quiet recently, but here's why.

Firstly I've been hard at work filming and editing the Project Management Wales Conference for UGCS. I won't be putting the results on the site though, so you'll have to keep an eye on the above link for more info. There will be more projects like that coming up.

Secondly, I've been out and about a bit with racing. Celebrating one's birthday with the traditional BARC meeting at Pembrey. Great fun it was too. There won't be any new motorsport videos for a while yet though.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I've been working on "Finding David", which is slowly driving me up the wall.

The good news is that tomorrow I get my hands on a brand new Sony Z5 camera for the weekend - Can't wait to try it out!

In other news, Mogulus refuses to upload RST-UK again. And this is after I've built a special website for the program. It'll have to wait now untill I've wrapped on Finding David though.

Oh and the small matter of this year's showreel to sort out.

busy busy busy

Sunday 29 March 2009

This is a bad sign

When I do have to get on my bike and cycle to the station in Bridgend, I do find that I come across some interesting things. In this case [due to brake failure on the car] I come across this useful piece of advice at the end of a cycle path. Cycle Path Closed? How about - Cycle path would be closed if it was ever built and opened?

Just thought you'd like that.

Friday 20 March 2009

Ahh... drat!

If you've already watched RST, then you'll know that the Autotest film is missing it's voice over. To counter this, I re-processed it and got it ready to put up onto a new dedicated RST channel on Mogulus. Trouble is that I did it in high quality, and the result is that I have a 4 gigabyte file instead of a 600 megabyte file... and the former won't fit.

In short, watch this space, and also look out for a dedicated website coming soon. 

Also, someone pointed out that if you're not a blogspot member, you couldn't post a comment here on the blog. I'm sorry if that's stopped you before now, I have now set it so that anyone can comment and give their opinions.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Race Sport Track now on-line

Latest video to hit the web is now online - you can watch it via the Mogulus player on the front page. Be warned though, it's a biggy at just over 20 minutes long. It also marks the first studio based video on this site.

I'd be lying if I said everything went smoothly. Trying to operate the studio with only 4 people and a presenter was hard, and the end result is still a little rough around the edges, but with a bit of work [and more people/time/money] I think something great can be achieved with it. Big thanks to Ulrich, who has composed the music in double quick time, Tim for turning up and generally keeping everyone stay focused, Dave for becoming a floor manager in a hurry, and Matthew for making his presenting debut with what I admit is not the easiest script!

Now, anyone want to buy a 4 part pilot motorsport magazine series?

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Testing a new concept

Mogulus is a new system for me - it's a live streaming set up, effectively gives you your own TV channel on the net.

So I uploaded my showreel and a few other videos to it to see if I can get them to load quicker... I'd appreciate your feed back on it too.

So either visit or with any luck, use the player below.

Monday 2 March 2009


Having filmed all day at Llandow Yesterday, it came as something of a nasty surprise when I got to the interviews which I'd recorded - having set the shot up nicely, got the exposures right, Ulrich had perfected the sound, and the subject spoke brilliantly and gave great answers to our question, with lots of enthusiasm for the car we were talking about.

Which one? I'm not telling you yet!

Anyway, the nasty surprise. Dropouts. Lots of them, getting steadily worse. Starting at about 40 minutes in. The problem was with the recording, due to dirt on the heads, we think, and is totally unrecoverable. I can't even understand the interview to transcribe it. It's a crying shame.

And the cause of this? Wierdly it's the brand of tape that I use. I have been using TDK tapes in the Z1s, and only since then have I had problems. Strangely enough the little JVC palmcorder runs the TDKs with no problems at all. It's all down to the lubrication the tape manufactuers use, or more accurately, the mixing of different lubricants from different manufactuers resulting in a sticky gunk all over the record heads. Apparently Uni have been aware of this for about a year - not that anyone thought to make a notice to us about it - and with a certain electronics supplier selling 10 packs of TDK on offer recently, the problem is now more frequent than before.

In the meantime, I now have to find a way of getting a 6 minute feature from what I've got left.

p.s. If anyone knows anyone who can lend me a motorcycle/motor racing driver's crash helmet for a couple of days to do a film shoot, please send them my way. It's not essential but it would be nice! Thanks in advance.

Update : I went to see my lecturer in Uni, and about half an hour after I told him of the problem, there was a notice up on Blackboard [a system my uni uses] warning other people of the problem! Amazing how quickly things get done if you talk to the right person isn't it?

Friday 27 February 2009

Down by Murphy's law.

It's not often that a day's events get to me, but today has well and truely taken the proverbial biscuit.

First, I forgot my memory key - I realised it was missing just as I got to Culverhouse cross outside Cardiff. This would not normally be a problem, but it had the news title sequence for the day's live broadcast on it

Hurried phone calls and 2 train trips later and I've got it back again. and arrive back in uni to be told that I need not have bothered making the trip - and indeed Ulrich's talents in composing the music were in vain. Someone else had already made a title sting. Marvellous!

I'll put the one which I made up online so you can see it. it's only 15 seconds long, but I like it!

The one highlight of the day was running the small insert studio for a live news feed. This sounds simple, but all the VT inserts were being played in from another studio in a different part of the building - and worse, I couldn't see or hear them! It took a lot of communication and lots of saying "Cue" to make sure the presenter got his lines in on time. That went really well.

Unfortunately the communication flew away for the last section - I had no idea where on the script we were because I couldn't hear or see the program, no one told me anything - untill about 10 seconds before I had to do it. The resulting effect was that the presenter was thrown into the "newsroom" which suddenly came alive, and then he found his voice! For a first attempt, not bad, but a lot of work needs doing.

I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday 23 February 2009


Okay, I have discovered very quickly that running a studio takes more than 2 people. In fact it takes closer to 8. Minimum.

This is a bit of a problem when you've got a plan to make a TV show in a studio, and, err 2 people.

Whilst I have to use current students to actually do the technical bits, which whittles down the options somewhat, the choice of presenter is a bit freer. So If you're in the Cardiff area, don't mind doing work for absolutely nothing but experience, and you want to be, or are, a TV presenter, preferably with an interest in British Motorsport, please get in touch!

I can't give too many details about the program away. Well more accurately I won't give too many details away. It's mine, and I'd like to keep it that way, so I'll use my favourite phrase.

Watch this space.

Friday 13 February 2009

Transmission Break

For anyone who tried to log on earlier this week, and found the main site down, then I'm very sorry to hear about the problems. I've tracked the problem down to Plus Net who had some server difficulties on Sunday and Monday, so the blackout was probably caused by one of them. Do not adjust your brain, normal service has now been resumed. I hope.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

The results of the Time Lapse Experiment.

I think with hindsight, The concept of timelapse is sound, but could do with a bit more work - for a start making sure the computer doesn't shut off [hence why there's a big of a jump in time]. Rather more alarming, the car moves after it's been parked. I didn't move it, so why did it move... somewhat unnerving.

I had thought about getting the dogcam out for a snowy drive, but all the snow has gone now, so I can't.

Tuesday was the most snow we've had for some time, certainly. you've probably seen it on the news, and if you're one of my European based friends, had a good laugh at how pathetic we Brits are when it comes to snow. It was probably the daftest thing I've ever done, but I chose to go into uni for my weekly Studio session. Well one of them anyway. I do enjoy these sessions. Studio work up till now has definately been lacking from my life - and I seem to be settling into two distinct roles. Sound mixing and floor managing [haven't done vision mixing yet though].

We'd got the set and lighting planned, the script was being written, and then Andy our lecturer walks in and explains it's snowing quite heavily, so if any of us had to go any great distance, it might be an idea to go now.

I call home, and yes, it's snowing quite heavily. Best to head back then.

30 minutes after I left, Uni was closed, so I missed nothing. about 5 minutes before I arrived back [surviving a slightly slippery moment on a nearby roundabout] It stopped snowing completely, and about 10 minutes afterwards me and Dad went for a lovely walk in the sunshine. I even had my sunglasses out!

They do say there'll be more snow on Thursday. I'm not missing Friday's studio session for anything! Last week we had a mock Police news conference. Which went from our technical view, very well indeed. Well other than one of hte 2 radio boom microphones dying on us, and the talkback system failing. The Journos also enjoyed it. finding holes in the police students stories, picking at them, hammering wedges into them, then going for the kill. I don't have any video to show you, but suffice to say my music technology degree is working wonders. People listen to me when I say what needs to happen on the sound. Joy.

Oh yes, and I'm still blanking out those number plates.

Monday 2 February 2009

Crikey! Snow!

What with it being snowing and all that, ['s funny, it's just stopped] I'm trying out something a bit new. Time Lapse. I've got a software called Gawker, and I'm trying to get it to take a photo every 5 minutes so I can strng them together afterwards. I wonder what will happen...?

In case you're wondering, I'm still editing all those number plates from last week! And I've had a press conference in the TV studio at Uni, which went well. I also appear to have found that sound mixing and floor managing are roles that seem to suit me. Wonder why.

The results of the time lapse will follow.

Wednesday 28 January 2009


5000 views for one of my videos! Hurrah! Curiously though it's not the one I was expecting...

click here to see it

Tuesday 27 January 2009


Sunday was a fun day's filming. As part of a series for Wheelnuts on the lesser known motorsports, I spent the day at Llandow filming the Bridgend Automobile Club's Autotest event. The filming itself went very well indeed. and after lots of editing [most of which completed by Sunday evening] I recorded and added the voice over to it on Monday, and it should be up later on Today. Probably in the early hours of Wednesday. 

A big thanks to Dean, Tom, Chris and Tony for helping out with participating in the filming by the way!

A new skill I managed to pick up in the edit is that of being able to blank out number plates, or indeed anything. It's somewhat time consuming, but the effect looks good, and is certainly not that bad for a first go.

Until the video arrives then, here's a pair of screenshots. You'll get the good stuff soon, honest!

Monday 19 January 2009


Well. Two new videos are now online - keeping me up untill 6am in the process. The Ducks - which you can view Here are also watchable in HD format. Which is nice. Sadly the sound on the other video was removed by Youtube because of a copyright problem, so I shall have to find a replacement for it.

I'll update the "New Videos" page soon to reflect the change in videos on there.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Blue Monday? hah!

Amazing what little gems you can find on the internet isn't it? BBC News are reporting that tomorrow is the most depressing day of the year.

That figures, I feel very depressed already!

So, a group of Optimists [yes, a group] are determined to do something about it:

The Optimists' Society say they want to reclaim the "most depressing day of the year" as International Optimism Day. This year "Blue Monday" - a date in January regarded as the most depressing day of the year - falls on 19 January. The Society will send cheer packages to celebrities such as Jeremy Paxman, and will host a free comedy show in London.
And good on them for doing so. Besides if anyone can find a way of cheering up Paxman, then they are on to a winner and why didn't they do it years ago.

To keep you happy. Monday will have 2 new videos. The first is a bit of fun with the Dogcam and my regular Cardiff to Bridgend commute, and a nice bit of Deep Purple. The other is something to prove I can film something other than cars, and something I hope you can all relax to - a nice bit of bird watching at a local nature reserve with some relaxing music from Vanessa Mae. Underage Coots are not allowed to watch it though. They'll be on the New Videos Player with any luck sometime tomorrow. [Monday]

Friday 16 January 2009

Site update

17 views already! I wonder how many of them were me?

Couple of problems which I've noticed. Some of the links for some reason don't work on the Documentary page and the Acreddited media page ... well all of them don't work in fact. That will be sorted with the next update, along with a RSS Feed from this blog on the home page, and a few other new things. Like a proper links page.

I get the feeling things are going well on the website front

Thursday 15 January 2009

Interesting, but worrying news.

I found this story on the BBC News page today.... and it doesn't make for nice reading when you are, like me, trying to get into the media and live in Wales.

Mr Davies [MP for Blaenau Gwent] said: "We have seen a haemorrhaging of media jobs at ITV Wales, at Trinity Mirror, with Northcliffe papers, in commercial radio.

"Wales is becoming a media wasteland in which only the publicly subsidised BBC and S4C seem secure. This is very, very worrying for democracy.

It's interesting that the article also says that BBC Wales is in a program of job cuts, especially when I have a job application form for a job at the BBC in Wales on my desk in front of me! Still, I get the feeling that it's going to get even harder to get a job in an industry where it was already hard to get a job. Interesting times indeed.

Friday 9 January 2009

Time for Something New

Changes are afoot, dear friends. For a start, there's a shiny new blog - available at - unless you're reading this there... in which case Hello! you've found it.

Secondly, there's a new site in the works. More videos, and a brand new layout, and a brand new home. I hope it will be a big improvement. I don't intend to get rid of my freewebs site just yet though, so you can keep looking at it.

In other words, watch this space.