Friday, June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ben's shot at the limelight...

Finally found a good reason to get cleaned up around here.  Just confirmed today that I was willing to participate in a re-visit for Ben Fogle's New Lives In The Wild.  They filmed out here 5 years ago and my episode was the first one they shot.  The series has been a hit for Channel 5 and they are on their 5th season of episodes now.  They contacted me last year about the possibility of another visit and we just confirmed the dirty details today.  They will be here along with Ben Fogle for a one day shoot the last week of July.  For those who saw the episode, you probably noticed that baby Ben was totally left out of the story although they featured the beheading of his dead mother - unfortunate since I named my Ben after Ben Fogle.  At my insistence, they are going to include old footage of baby Ben along with new footage of Big Ben when they come back for this episode.  They also want to talk about my YouTube channel.  If I can coax Ben into appearing in a video for my channel, then I will really score.  Win-Win-Win.  103,105,75,0,B

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

just as I suspected...

He has been caught on camera two nights now...also making his way into the greenhouse.  I have a plan for his demise.  Manny shall be avenged.  94,102,70,0,B

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Finally got everything squared away with Google Adsense and my first payment was deposited into my checking account...$1,147.17.  Up until May, I had only accumulated $44.34 in ad revenue and was still months away from seeing any benefit since monetizing my YouTube channel at the beginning of the year.  I wasn't expecting any money til about October.   They don't pay out until you reach the $100 threshold, but "the bucket" put me over in style with 6,892,562 views for my channel from Jan 1 to June 1.  Unfortunately, 2,043,633 of those views came from shares that did not count toward monetization, resulting in $511 in lost revenue.  In order to be counted, the video must be viewed from a YouTube link where the ads will play and a good number of those shares came from sites that do not present the video correctly (there really isn't anything I can do about that and even un-monetized views help spread the word).  Also, ad revenue is much smaller outside of developed countries.   Another interesting tidbit I have learned is that one can only expect about 10% of subscribers to actually keep coming back for more.  At $0.25 per 1,000 views (this is a general estimate and a number of factors influence this including watch time, ad impressions and click-throughs), I won't see any more payments that big unless I score another viral hit, but at least my channel got a nice jump-start on growth.  And as my channel grows, so will the amount of revenue sharing per views because advertisers pay more if you consistently reach a large audience.  Next payment for who has been watching in June won't be until the 18th of July and is only projected to be about $50.  89,94,72,0,B

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

no yoke...

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

oh the irony...

Kind of ironic that I just posted a video of the state of my water supply while Study Butte / Terlingua is under a water emergency due to problems with the municipal water system.  Did a supply run to Alpine yesterday which included picking up over 28 gallons of bottled water for a neighbor who has no catchment in place.  Also looks like my kitchen has relapsed into its' natural state of chaos.  Stay tuned for an upcoming time lapse video on my channel of the transformation back to order.  89,91,73, .01",W

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

first suspect...

The game cam caught a suspect last night.  He was brought in for questioning and released.  Chupa failed to identify him in a lineup.  97,104,77,0,B  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

tweaking my sensitivity...

Thanks to plenty of YouTube videos, I have tweaked the control sensitivity of the controller joysticks and camera gimbal movements for smoother operation of the Mavic Pro and its' camera.  The only issue I have now is that my little Samsung tablet doesn't really have enough processor speed to handle the load of data sent from the aircraft.  The screen is really hard to see in direct sunlight (there are sun shades available but they only help a little) and video sent back from the aircraft keeps breaking up and the app crashes if I try to go into the intelligent flight modes.  DJI is about to release a new super bright dedicated tablet specifically for their drones but it is a bit on the pricey side - although it has two (not just one) microSD card slots and an HDMI output port.  An Apple iPad mini 4 seems to work very well but does not have a microSD card slot for extra memory.  On the android end, the best option was the nvidia shield tablet K1 made for gamers as it had plenty of processing power to handle the load.  The problem is - that model has been discontinued and it seems they have nothing new in the pipeline for the foreseeable future.  I still have a ways to go mastering simple maneuvers before I start trying to get fancy so I will live with what I have until I make a decision on an upgrade.  And don't bother with suggestions in the comments - I am well aware of all the options available although I only listed a few above.  Keep in mind that I have done an extraordinary amount of research on this.  It's not that I don't appreciate a helping hand from time to time, but it get's frustrating because most often the suggestions I get have little to do with my real world applications.   That being said - if you personally own and fly a DJI Mavic Pro and have found a tablet that works perfectly, feel free to chime in.  If you do not own a drone but have done a google search for "best tablet for Mavic Pro" - please don't bother sharing.  Been there, done that.  97,99,72,0,B

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Is is always a bad sign when you go to a chicken coop and see feathers everywhere.  Something managed to get into the pen two nights ago and killed Manny.  Chupa was in his own personal pen and was unharmed.  (I have been keeping them separated since they started fighting a couple of weeks ago.)  Strange thing is, Chupa was just as vulnerable in his pen as Manny was.  I reinforced the main pen and Chupa made it through last night unscathed.  I couldn't find my game cam so I just got a new one today.  Perhaps I will find what evil is lurking out there tonight.  93,96,74,0,B 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

think before you speak...

Matthew 12: 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Just had the hottest day so far this year.  Good news is we had a nice overnight low and along with really low humidity, Pepino was able to keep up extraordinarily well.  Just cranked on the AC at 7:30 PM for a little extra end of the day cool down.  On days like this it is good to have an indoor project like working out details for future videos.  105,107,68,0,B

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

first flight...

Since I got it a week ago, I decided it was finally time to launch the drone this morning .  Did 5 short flights in "beginner mode" just to get a hang of the controls. So far so good.  Did a firmware update when I came back inside which took about a half hour.  The app tells you when a new update is available (requiring an internet connection) and DJI can actually update not only the aircraft, but also the batteries, controller, and android app as needed. Tune in tomorrow night for the video.  99,102,77,0,B      

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

little rascal...

So I am cooling off in bed last night watching a video on my tablet computer with Pepino blowing right on me when I notice an itch on my right shoulder...and find a small welt.  A little while later it happens again...and I knew immediately what was going on.  Quickly found a conenose beetle lurking just under my pillow.  Had he waited til I went to sleep and not been so impatient to feed on me, he could have nailed me several more times overnight.  A Bic lighter ended his feeding frenzy.  From my cowboy poem I uploaded 8 years ago...

The worst critter I found
since I came to this town
the conenose beetle that you never see.
He bites you at night
then poops on the bite
adding insult to injury.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

too hot...

Kind of ironic that I just uploaded the final installment of the Pepino how to and we have a week of weather that it just can't handle.  (A poignant reminder to those who might try to build one that Pepino has its' limits.)  Although it is quite effective keeping the hut cool for sleeping once the sun and the temperature goes down - when we get a string of 100+ degree days in a row, I have to run my AC for a couple of hours in the late afternoon to stay comfortable.  This is the time of year that we weed out 50% of the new arrivals that think they can live out here.  99,103,73,0,B

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What is your purpose?

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

savoring the moment...

You know if the box has a lithium ion battery must be something good.  99,103,63,0,B

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Decided on a quick supply run to Alpine for some final Pepino parts.  Didn't get out til about 2PM since I was waiting for my drone delivery (a few more parts of my order are due to arrive tomorrow so I won't be opening the boxes til the weekend...for an unboxing video of course).  Came really close to getting swamped out.  There wasn't supposed to be any rain today but something changed and the gloom on the horizon made me a little nervous on the trip back home.  Rain was pouring pretty hard south of my road but didn't hit TFL until just as I turned into my driveway.  By the time I unloaded four bales of alfalfa and three bags of feed, the downpour ended.  81,91,68, .15",B

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I finally gave in to temptation...

I have been resisting buying a drone for over a year...until today. My thought has always been - how much drone footage can you actually shoot before the novelty wears off? Decided if I can come up with 50 drone videos to shoot for my YouTube channel - I would buy one. I came up with 75. So I am cashing in on some of the money "the bucket" video has made and ordered a DJI Mavic Pro along with a number of a la carte accessories (at a better deal than any package price I could find).  91,92,75,0,B

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Saturday, June 3, 2017

a shower...

Had a storm sneak up on TFL this afternoon.  Came from NW to SE - usually they go SW to NE.  Had a pretty steady rain for a little over an hour.  Normally Ben goes in the barn when it rains but he stood outside the whole time watching some of his burro buddies get wet.
72,87,65, .70",B

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

in production...

Finished the next installment of the Pepino project for YouTube.  Had to do some creative rigging to get the shot.  84,90,66,0,B