Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

We just wanted to take a moment to wish all of our family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

Despite cool, windy and very rainy weather today, we are comfortable in our warm and dry rolling home.  The two Beagles are hibernating in their living room beds, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is providing background music and entertainment and we are looking forward to joining friends for an evening meal at the RedFish Restaurant in Port Orford.

We are certainly thankful for all of the good friends we have made during our travels and all the fine people we have met through our travel journal and new blog.  My dear wife and I are always grateful for the opportunities offered by the RV travel lifestyle that we have chosen.

Have a great day everyone...and please stay safe!!

Added at 6 PM;

Our menu at the RedFish Restaurant this evening:

Thanksgiving Menu
Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup with Allspice Crème Fraiche
Mixed Greens, Candied Walnuts, Craisins, Veggie Chips, Cranberry Vinaigrette
Oven-roasted Turkey with Natural Gravy
Chorizo Dressing
Whipped Potatoes
Corn with Truffle Butter
Housemade Cranberry Sauce and Turkey Gravy
(your choice of one)
Pecan Tart
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Apple Crisp Tart


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yep...still here

Some of our friends have been wondering if we are still here.  In a word...YEP!
We have been doing very little worth writing about but have most certainly kept ourselves busy.  Quilting has consumed most of Juanita's time away from the usual household duties and photography, reading and walking the hounds has taken most of my time aside from dumping holding tanks and other rolling home maintenance.

Several storms have passed by during the weeks between blog entries.  The most notable of those hit the area yesterday.  Since this one was not nearly as strong as the damaging storm a couple of weeks ago, I was able to make some video from the end of the dock.  This area was under water during the last big wind and rain storm.

Peak wind in Port Orford yesterday was only about 50 MPH with nearly 4" of rain on the gauge as of this morning.  We are staying high and dry and the dogs are just fine after a quick fight with towels.

Juanita has wanted to visit Port Orford's RedFish restaurant for several years now, but her efforts in that regard have been thwarted by yours truly.  Well, I couldn't get away with that forever and she got her chance last Sunday morning.

The view from here is hard to beat!

Obviously, my dear wife was happy at the RedFish

The RedFish is the premiere eating establishment in Port Orford and, in my opinion, the accolades are well earned.  The food is excellent, the service is hard to beat and the view is extraordinary.  We will join several folks from the park at the RedFish for a Thanksgiving evening meal.

During the big damaging storm a couple of weeks ago, it became evident that the amateur radio repeater in town needed power back up.  The power to the communications system was out for just over six hours at the peak of the storm.  Although emergency service from local hams wasn't needed during this event, we decided to add battery backup to the equipment shed.  We should have enough power from the added battery bank to last at least a week if necessary.  We will add solar just as soon as we get enough cash in the local radio club coffers.

                                                                                   Battery back up for repeater.

I have flown my DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter only briefly between recent storms but hope for more during the next couple of days.  It seems that main street media outlets have gone to war with devices like mine in recent weeks and it is difficult to get through a day without reports of idiots flying "drones" near airports, crowded stadiums or apartment house windows.

The FAA has already established regulations for operating radio control aircraft in public spaces.  The vast majority of pilots of these aircraft operate responsibly.  You never read about them.  I'm not sure what has caused the recent media interest in such craft but find that interest disturbing at best.

These wonderful flying devices have already provided assistance in emergency situations, assisted real estate brokers by showcasing their properties, have been used for land surveys and have provided thousands of spectacular aerial videos and still photographs shown on YouTube and Vimeo.  It would be a real shame if a few morons ruin this resource for all the folks that operate these flying machines properly.

I haven't felt compelled to join the hundreds of salmon fishermen "combat" fishing on the nearby Sixes and Elk Rivers.  Hopefully, fishing pressure will abate somewhat in upcoming weeks and allow me a space along the bank of one or both of these rivers.  I really want to put one or two nice salmon away in the freezer for future meals.

I will check back in with you all again soon.................................


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Testing the new camera stabilizing system

After a series of rain and wind storms, weekend weather improved considerably and allowed me a little flight time with my DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter.  It gave me a good opportunity to put the new Rotorpixel gimbal to the test at nearby Agate Beach.

Initial videos with the stock camera system included a good deal of roll and pitch movements that required considerable post processing.  Stabilizing the video with various programs created other issues that made them difficult to enjoy in my opinion.

Because of these problems I ordered a 2-axis gimbal from Rotorpixel in Canada.  I installed the new unit a couple of weeks ago, but only got in a very short test flight before the weather fell apart.  I was eager to give it a good test this past weekend.

The flights at Agate Beach gave me plenty of space to put the Phantom through various maneuvers to determine if the roll and pitch movements had been removed.  Success!

I had to make several adjustments between flights that removed a slight vibration from the camera.  These adjustments were easily made and cleared up the problem as far as I can tell.  I noticed some yaw movement in the video clips that can probably be avoided with more practice on the controls. Rotorpixel has a add-on kit for the third (yaw) axis available in the near future.  I will review my need for that addition when it's available.

Rain has returned to the south Oregon coast putting my flying machine back in the hanger.  I am hoping for more good weather between storms and want to take the Phantom to interesting places for flight videos and still photography.

In the meantime, recent rains have caused some flow in local small rivers and Chinook have begun their long awaited Fall run.  I will check out a few nearby hotspots on the Elk and Sixes Rivers soon. My dear wife would appreciate a couple more salmon in the freezer for winter meals.  So would I.

I'll check back in with a fishing and flying report soon.........................