Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Boosted again...

Fired up the just received Wavelink AC 600 Wi-Fi repeater and getting full signal again 250 meters away at Mailbox Road.  My entrance camera is back in business.  As of today, these are still a great deal on Amazon while they are offering 39% off plus a $15 coupon.  87,91,67,0,B

Monday, June 5, 2023

Own a piece of TFL

I am slicing off 20 acres of prime TFL land for sale for $38,000.  I had this road and building site roughed in a year and a half ago - but decided to sell it off and let someone else build their dream getaway.  I am offering $1000 instant cash back after closing if you contact me first before contacting my realtor.  84,89,66,0,B

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Help, Lord...

 Psalms 12:1 Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 3 The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Friday, June 2, 2023


I see a new Arduino controlled talking head coming soon...

Thursday, June 1, 2023

a friend...


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

death and taxes

Very productive day today in Alpine.  Went by the Brewster County Appraisal District office for an in-person protest and they substantially lowered the assessments for all of my tracts.  92,97,70,0,B

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

another storm related issue...

My Wifi booster seems to have been adversely affected by one of the recent electrical storms.  It no longer "boosts" like it used to.  Did a little digging online and found an identical replacement for twenty bucks cheaper than the now defective one that I bought a year ago.  90,98,60,0,B

Monday, May 29, 2023


replaced a 2 year old swamp cooler pad
resurrected a 25 year old furby

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Job 5:8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: 9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: 10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: 11 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. 12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. 13 He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. 14 They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noonday as in the night. 15 But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. 16 So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. 17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:  

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Holy Roof!

Well...the polycarbonate "window" in the greenhouse roof survived for 12 years and 4 months before sustaining any damage. Over the years there have been about 8 pea sized hail events that lasted about 5 minutes and one nickel sized hail event that lasted about one minute. The storms usually came out of the north. This time it came from the south and was golf ball size and lasted about 15 minutes - and now lots of holes. I noticed that not a whole lot of water gets in from all these little holes, so I don't have to be in a big rush to fix it. Just had to tarp a few things off and move a few things out from under major drips. I plan on replacing all of the polycarbonate with metal and eliminate "the window" by this fall. It has been many years since this building officially functioned as a greenhouse anyway. Guess I will start calling it the workshop instead of the greenhouse from now on. 78,86,66, .19",B

Friday, May 26, 2023


Last night's storm only lasted about 30 minutes but ended up with nearly an inch of rain. That much rain that fast is pretty devastating to my road. Planning on a drone road check tomorrow. Also got some golf ball size hail that didn't damage any solar panels but took quite a toll on the greenhouse polycarbonate roof section. 86,90,65,0,B

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Double Feature

Audio from Mike North's YouTube JawDuino video.
Got the line level audio working well with the "talking" skull.  
Still working on getting it to tell the time
85,89,67, .80,G,Hail

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

sort of working

Can get both programs to work independently, 
but can't seem to get them to work together...yet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Monday, May 22, 2023


Just got a new component to use for this.  It is part of the build for my next clock project.  I will have to combine two different Arduino programs to make it happen.  The idea is that the raven skull I posted about will move as audio from a "talking clock" Arduino program announces the time - so it looks as if the raven is telling the time.  Talking clock parts arrive Wednesday.  83,93,64,T,B 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

fat of lambs

Psalms 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous. 18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.  

Saturday, May 20, 2023

first fledge coming soon...

Hard to believe this thrasher hatched just 12 days ago. Will be ready to leave the nest in less than a week. He (or she) is significantly bigger than the 2-day younger sibling because of getting feeding preference. 68,75,63,0,B

Friday, May 19, 2023

It was bound to happen...

Well, the 2023 Notice of Appraised Value letters have arrived in south Brewster County.  I fully expect they would eventually be catching up with the land rush that occurred since the pandemic which caused land prices to go up over 10 times what they used to be.  The problem is they are going way overboard with the appraisals and just about every landowner out here (including myself) is going to file a protest with the district because of increases across the board of around 800%.  In the real world, appraised value is typically much lower than the fair market value and Brewster County appears to be valuing nearly all tracks of land out here at or above even the most high-priced land which has highway and grid access.   Another anomaly is the example in the above photo.  They have placed the value of two 20-acre tracts attached south of TFL at $90,000 each (an 800% increase) while the fair market value is closer to $35,000 each.  What is particularly odd about that is my TFL 40-acre tract has been valued at $80,000 while the 40 acres just to the south is being valued at $180,000.  76,88,62,0,B

Thursday, May 18, 2023



Wednesday, May 17, 2023

test stand

Jaw hinged and skull mounted for testing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023



Monday, May 15, 2023


Only 2 out of the 3 eggs hatched successfully. The new babies are 7 and 5 days old. Seems that thrashers give food priority to the first hatched. 63,82,60, .53",B

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Saturday, May 13, 2023

38 wires


Friday, May 12, 2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Wednesday, May 10, 2023


118 got resurfaced from just north of the ranch road down to the National Park entrance.  Been 5 years since the last time.  92,98,60,0,B

Tuesday, May 9, 2023


Fairly simple circuit sculpture I call "Where and When". Couldn't get all of this to run using one microcontroller so the GPS and OLED display are running off an ESP32 Mini (bottom board) and the buzzer, servo, and blinking LED are running off an ESP8266 Wemos D1 Mini. It takes a couple of minutes for the GPS to get a lock and then a bit more before the info is displayed so I set up a delay on the blinking, beeping, and servo motion. The GPS is accurate to within about 2 meters and the time is listed as UTC (coordinated universal time - which is 5 hours ahead of daylight saving time in my central time zone. 89,99,57,0,B

Monday, May 8, 2023


Amazing how fragile a hatchling is...  83,101,59,0,B

Sunday, May 7, 2023

written for our learning...

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Desert Toad

Taking advantage of a little water dumped out by my porch.  90.97,53,0,C

Friday, May 5, 2023

From China with love...

AliExpress is really stepping up their game.  These clock kits made a pretty quick trip from the other side of the world.  89,96,56,0,C

Thursday, May 4, 2023

board yet?

These are all the Arduino compatible microcontroller boards (with their relative sizes) that I have tried so far except for the smallest one - the Seeed Xiao.  It is due to arrive next Wednesday.   With a little trial and error, I was finally able to get the GPS working with the ESP32 Mini this morning.  I am hoping I will be able to finalize the GPS project using the tiny Xiao.  83,91,66,0,B

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Glass Bed

Time for a 3D printer upgrade...

Monday, May 1, 2023

Satellite Imagery 1985 - 2022

Recently noticed that Google Earth has the latest update for satellite imagery out here so I thought it would be interesting to show how things have changed since 1985.  The first image was just a blur zoomed in the same as all the other images.  87,97,60,0,B

Sunday, April 30, 2023


Matthew 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Code Cleaning

Cleaned up the code and cut the number of lines almost in half.  
Ordered the mini version of the ESP32 to try with the project.  79,85,42,0,B

Friday, April 28, 2023


Got the code figured out to change how the info is formatted using an ESP32 microcontroller and OLED display - but I couldn't for the life of me get the GPS to work with the smaller ESP8266 Wemos D1 mini.  67,89,49,0,W

Thursday, April 27, 2023


Someone had a bad day...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Arduino GPS

Took all day to get this working.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to change the format of the time and date display.  81,88,47,0,B

Monday, April 24, 2023

Second Egg


Sunday, April 23, 2023


1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

First Egg


Friday, April 21, 2023

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Starship Flight Test

Cleared the pad but before stage separation 
it experienced a "RUD" at 3:59.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

16 hours of printing...

Pleasantly surprised that the mechanism actually works.  Spent a couple hours redesigning a portion of the cam shaft to change how the digit 7 is displayed.  Servos arriving tomorrow to I can try running this with a microcontroller.  86,92,57,0,B

Monday, April 17, 2023

Mechanical 7 segment display...

3D printer hard at work on this one...

Sunday, April 16, 2023


Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!  

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Second Anniversary

Two years sober and tobacco free...

Friday, April 14, 2023

Simple clock - finished.

Successfully converted the code for this clock project to run on a Wemos D1 mini instead of an Arduino Uno so it would work with the scale of my project. Also seems kind of a waste to use the Uno for such a simple project as it is 4 times the size of the Wemos and has twice the number of input and output pins. Designed and 3D printed a base for the parts and as an afterthought - a grid to cover the MAX7219 Dot Matrix 32x8 LED Display Module (to give it more character). Got the small glass dome here. Leave a comment if you are interested in building this and need specifics... 81,87,71,0,B

Thursday, April 13, 2023

nest building

I have a feeling the eggs are coming soon.  The thrashers seem to have finished all the "framing carpentry" and are concentrating on the "finish carpentry".  The outer part of the next is mostly thorny twigs and now they are spending all their time padding the bowl in the center with grass.  80,90,53,0,B

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

"Simple" Clock with LED Matrix

Turned out this one wasn't quite so simple (as usual).  Took me 3 hours to adjust the code to get it to work.  I used an Arduino Uno microcontroller and a DS3231 RTC module.   The RTC (real time clock) module has an onboard button battery so it remembers the correct time while turned off.  Tomorrow I try to run it with a the much smaller Wemos D1 mini microcontroller... 81,87,52,0,B

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Monday, April 10, 2023

A seasoned traveller...

This order from Amazon certainly made the rounds getting here.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

God waits patiently on everyone...

 Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. 4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023



Friday, April 7, 2023

Really had a beast of a time getting these two scrolling displays working. It's pretty frustrating at times because so many of the Arduino project tutorials on YouTube leave out precise details that newbies like me really need. More often than not, I load the code for one of these projects and get nothing but errors when I try to compile it. Special thanks to these two channels for getting me across the finish line: HackMakeMod & Chris Riley 61,67,52,0,W

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Tiny Circuits

Blinking eye pocket watch test. Using a Tiny Video Player Kit from Tiny Circuits playing a looped video of an eye that blinks once per second. 81,84,70,0,B

Monday, April 3, 2023

spinning clocks

Special thanks to these three channels for the tutorials and code. Volos Projects:    • TTGO T-Display ( ...   How To Electronics:    • IOT Based Analog/...   Creative Inventor:    • Arduino Oled Disp...  

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Don't be fooled...

 Thessalonians 2:3 Don't be fooled by what they say.  For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed - the one who brings destruction.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Big News!

Been thinking a lot over the past year how I need a change.  
Just closed on the sale of The Field Lab 
and I am moving to Vancouver Island, BC in June.

Friday, March 31, 2023

On second thought...

Buoyed by my recent programming success, I changed my mind about the new computer.  Reset the Lenovo to erase all my personal data and I'm returning it for a full refund (gotta love returns on Amazon).  Got out the old problem computer and spent 3 hours figuring out how to do a fresh install of Windows 10...and it runs like new again.  75,82,55,0,B  

Thursday, March 30, 2023


Took all day to program this ESP32 microcontroller with an onboard 135x240 resolution LCD screen.  It gets the correct date, time, and local weather conditions from the internet when it goes online briefly at startup.   Not sure how I feel about the illusion of gratification from completing this project.  Ideally, it should have taken less than an hour - so the real accomplishment was sticking with it and not the project itself.  This is what inspired it.  

In other news:  My Facebook account was magically restored this morning after being informed a week ago that it could not be.  (Wondering if the 10 emails I sent to Facebook had anything to do with that).  Having been "weened" from checking it several times a day, I've decided that I will keep it active but not actively use it anymore.  Now it is just a place to store the 1000's of photos I have posted over the past 10+ years.  78,83,52,0,B

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New "all in one" with Windows 11

My old (5 years) "all in one" was giving me a lot of problems.
Replaced with this...

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tempted to try these...



Monday, March 27, 2023

New camera angle...

Moved the camera that was under a shipping container 
since the bunnies don't go down there anymore.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

gotta have faith...

Hebrews 6:11 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

from the plant...

a handsome tomato indeed...

Friday, March 24, 2023