GRAYnomad Nature Photography :: The GRAYnomad Chronicles :: #069



Despite the fact that I have it on DVD I have yet to see the movie "Bucket List", mostly because I haven't been that interested I guess, I mean it's about old people wanting to do stuff before they die right?

Well blow me down if the other day — while thinking about the things I want to do — I thought to myself "I should make a bucket list". Does that mean I'm "old people"? I hope not but the truth is that I have moved from the "not likely to die in a pink fit" demographic to the "well it's possible, a lot of others have" demographic and that's a sobering thought.

So what would be on my bucket list should I make one? Well in the "to do" section things like build a container house, make my walking tracks around the block, write some photography books, build some electronic gadgets and a few other things I can't think of right now.

While the "to see" section would have places like the Galapagos, the Pantanal, Kenya, Antarctica, South Georgia, Norway, the UK, the USA, Gin Gin. The trouble is, Chris doesn't want to go to any of those places (with the possible exception of Gin Gin) so what's a bloke to do?

I've no idea.


Till next time then, and remember,

Don't Dream it, Be it!

Mon 24 Dec 2012

We drive down to Glasshouse Mountains to house sit for Peter and Marie. They and the entire family are going up to Frazer Island for the Christmas-New Year break so we'll look after the silverware while they are away.

Wed 9 Jan 2013

Guess who's got a job? Well me of course but it's not a real job, more a verbal contract to design some electronics modules for a company in Brazil. The money isn't great but then again it's money that I wouldn't have otherwise so that's OK.

For those that don't know their South American geography the Pantanal (one of the world's most spectacular wildlife viewing areas) just happens to be in Brazil and also just happens to be not that far from the company I'm doing the work for...hmmm I can feel the need to oversee the installation of these modules.

Thu 17 Jan 2013

While driving past the Harvey Norman shop in Morayfield I see a sign out front stating that they are having a sale on Lazy Boy recliners.

We've sat on these (they used to be called Jason recliners) for decades and did buy two new ones just a couple of years ago in Perth. But Chris has never been really happy with her's and has constantly complained that she didn't get the one she wanted because I didn't want to drive the truck into the car park of the Harvey Norman at Garden City in Brisbane before we took off back to the west.

That's bollocks of course, but every time she is uncomfortable in her current chair I get bad-eyed, so when I see the sign I pull in.

Ten minutes later we're the proud owners of a new Lazy Boy Charleston.

It won't be delivered for a couple of weeks but hopefully that will be the end of the bad-eyeing.

The Charleston is the same frame as our current chairs but it has different padding and is therefore more comfortable, at least in Chris' eyes. The reason for the difference between the Charleston and our current chairs? They are both made by Lazy Boy but the Charleston is only sold by Harvey Norman whereas we bought our current ones directly from the Lazy Boy shop, I guess there is a contractual arrangement that forbids Lazy Boy from selling exactly the same chairs as those supplied to Harvey Norman.

We like them because they are smaller than most recliners (important in a motorhome) and they have open sides (important in the heat).

We also have swivel bases on ours, something that's very usefully in the confined space of a motorhome. The new one doesn't have a swivel base (an extra $300) but I should be able to remove it from Chris' old chair and put it on the new one.

Fri 18 Jan 2013

Based on the presumed income from the job, and in the spirit of spending money I don't yet have, I've bought a new camera, well OK it's second hand but it's new to me and does appear to be in very good condition. It's being sent from Hawaii to Gin Gin so I won't see it for a while, I hope it's as good as described, that's always a risk when purchasing from eBay. Heck I just hope it arrives, who knows if he even sent it.

The buying process was mildly interesting, I first saw the item two days ago when it was stalled at $640. I was reluctant to run the idea passed Chris at first but then as you've just read she went and bought a new Lazy Boy recliner so I struck while the iron was hot. After all if she's just bought a chair I should be able to buy a camera right?

So I get the nod and put in a $650 bid that is instantly trumped by the auto-bidding. I put in $660 and that sticks, maybe the other bidder(s) had a $650 limit.

Ten minutes later I am gazumped again. Oh well it wasn't meant to be.

This morning I decide to watch the item, not buy just watch. With about an hour to go I weaken and bid $680. The auto-bid gazumps me again. Ok that's it, I'm not going any higher...alright one more, is it worth $700 to me? The answer is yes, so I drop $700 on it, gazumped again.

That's really it this time, no way I'm going over $700, I'll just watch the final minutes tick by on the automatically-refreshed display.

1 minute — I wonder if the other bidder was thinking the same and put in $700 as well. If so his bid would have won because it was in first and another few bucks might do it.

30 seconds — Ooo that's a nice-looking camera, and you don't see them very often because people seldom get rid of them.

20 seconds — If I go back to Kenya I'll need another fast wildlife body.

10 seconds — And really it's not that much for such a great camera.

5 seconds — Bugger it, I type "710" and click the bid button.

"Congratulations graynomad, you are the successful bidder for item #..."

Looks like I was right about the other bidder's limit.

It's exactly the same model as one of my other bodies, an EOS 1D Mk2 N. When I bought my first one it cost $5400 and that was cheap because it had just been superceded by the Mk3. This "new" one is only about $700, it really doesn't make sense to buy new cameras these days I think, with depreciation like that you are better of waiting to be the second owner.

Now of course I'm worried that it will arrive and be as advertised.

Sat 19 Jan 2013

Drive down to Steve and Madeleine's in Brisbane. They are the quintessential consumers and it's always good to see the latest gadgets when I go there. I note this time though that they appear to be reigning in the spending a little bit.

They are the same age as us and I'm sure they could easily retire IF they didn't spend so much, and it's not like they love their jobs. They have a fantastic house in a good area, nice (but not extravagant) cars, home cinema (that I was well happy to use) and all the goodies a modern western couple expect, I'd like that as well in many ways, but I far prefer the freedom I have without it.

Sat 2 Feb 2013

Chris' Lazy Boy recliner is ready to be picked up, so we borrow Peter's ute and drive down to the Harvey Norman store.

For a while now I've been thinking that I should have a second computer, firstly I want to migrate to Windows 7 but I'm not prepared to trash what I have (Vista) and be off the air for God-knows how long while I get everything re-installed. And some things may not work in which case I'm in big trouble.

Also, with this contract I'm working on if my lone computer goes belly up I can't do the work or meet the deadlines. Having a second computer running as a hot standby would largely mitigate this potential drama.

So I've convinced myself (and even Chris) that a second computer is a reasonable purchase, not that we're ready to do so just yet but seeing as we're heading into Harvey Norman I may as well have a look eh? Especially as machines running Windows 7 are being phased out in favour of Windows 8 and there's no way I want W8.

So before we go to the loading bay to collect the chair we head for the computing section. You can get a reasonable laptop for less that $1000 these days and that's what I look at. They aren't that flash but remember this is a backup computer, if it's a bit slow I can live with that for however long it takes to get my main computer fixed should it come to that.

I do find a nice small unit with a 13" screen and a solid-state drive, and it would be good if we ever do do some overseas traveling. But when Chris states that the screen is too small because she likes to have three windows open side by side I start to wonder just which one of us is looking for a new computer.

That question is quickly answered when she spots a high-range all-in-one HP computer and decides that's what she wants. These models don't have a separate box, all the computer stuff is inside the screen so they are very neat and there are no wires except the power cord.

It has a larger screen (21" vs 15") and more pixels than her current machine therefore we can mount it further away so all she has on her lap is the almost weightless keyboard. At nearly $1400 it's a bit more than we had in mind (quite apart from the fact that we are just supposed to be looking today) but not by much.

So we'll take one, there are two in stock the salesman says and he heads off to get one of them.

There's a problem (of course), the "two" includes the display unit (which we don't want) and one out the back that has been put aside for somebody else. Now we can have the new unit because the somebody else hasn't turned up in over a week to pay for it, but it's been upgraded to 16MB of RAM.


Now what about extended warrantee? With our history of wearing computers out we always get this and it's normally pretty cheap but in this case it's a full replacement warrantee not return to base so it's a lot more that we're used to.

Do we really need it? We've used the extended warrantee to varying degrees with every computer we've owned, the only original part left on my last HP is the casing, and my current Toshiba just had the screen, keyboard and one hard disk replaced. Yes we need extended warrantee.

That brings us to $1899 all up.


So we came into town just to pick up a chair, then decided to have a "look at" some cheap laptops, and finally buy nearly two grand's worth of desktop computer.

As we leave the shop Chris asks "How did that happen?"

We have to get back home where it's more difficult to spend money.

Fri 8 Feb 2013

I've finished the schematic design and PCB layout of the first module I'm designing for the Brazilian company.

A 3D render of the circuit board.

It's actually two PCBs that are joined by a 26-way ribbon cable. The rather odd shape is due to the fact that they will be mounted in special DIN rail enclosures.

They have USB, microSD storage, Ethernet, and even a GSM phone module. Most of the design was straight forward but I've had to learn a lot about micro strips, differential pairs and RF trace layout so it's been a bit of a slog.

Hopefully it will work for them.

It's Chinese new year so we can't get the boards made yet, so I guess it's on to designing the next modules.

Sun 10 Feb 2013

We've been here for weeks now, it really is time to move on but P&M are away again for a few days so once again we're house sitting. When they come back we will return to Gin Gin, our birds and animals must be missing us, or at least our handouts.

Wed 27 Feb 2013

Finally back on our land, and it's really good to be here. The grass has grown a lot so we'll be getting the brush cutters out soon but meanwhile it's still pretty wet and I'm happy to just sit here and listen to the rain on the roof.

I've also been looking for a good (and cheap) 3D CAD package with little success, I am playing with SketchUp 8 and it's not bad. I don't think it's good enough for what I have in mind but it is OK so by way of a training exercise I've decided to do a set of plans for Wothahellizat Mk2.

I'm always being asked if I'll do a set of drawings and to be honest to do a real set of engineering drawings is way too difficult and really there's no point.

But it won't be that hard to knock up something fairly good that people can use as a guide or just for fun.

I've only just started but here's an example

Screen grab of the Wot2 3D plans.

The idea is to have a full set of 3D plans that you can rotate etc. You can also take measurements but use them as a guide only.

To do this you need to download SketchUp 8 from the Trimble website. Get the free version at the bottom of the page.

Then grab the design file from here


It's very early days so don't expect too much but let me know if you find it useful and/or what details you would like to have included.

Tue 26 Feb 2013

I've decided to get onto making one of my planned tracks around the block. So I pick up my trusty machete and head off to the bottom of one of our gullies via the drive way.

When I get there I point my nose up hill and try to walk along the creek.

I say "try" because the scrub and lantana are so think that I cannot walk at all, hence the machete.

I don't have much of a plan except that I'd like this part of the track to basically follow the creek to the end of the gully where it will meet up with the area we call "The Saddle".

Wed 6 Mar 2013

It's been a week now and today I finally reach the head of the gully. The terrain has varied from relatively open to totally impassable. Some days I get 50 meters cleared and others I'm lucky to do 10.

Today I break through to the final slope that leads to the saddle, it's quite open but way too steep to walk up so I have to make a decision.

I hadn't planned to do any actual track making yet, just clear the way so we can at least walk around without having to force our way through the scrub. And I suppose I've done that, with what I've cleared in the last week and what I did a few months ago I now have a cleared way about one kilometer in length that we can walk around.

However a lot of it is very steep and in many places you have to walk across the slope so you are constantly on the side of your feet. It's still a bit more like an expedition than an enjoyable walk, so I guess it's time to get the tools out and start making it a proper walking track.

Tomorrow I'll start with the steep bank at the head of the gully.

Thu 7 Mar 2013

I've got the mattock and spade out and have made a start, today I've done about 20 meters of track that contours along the top the gully.

Sun 10 Mar 2013

I've finished the track at the head of the gully. The distance in a straight line from the top to the bottom is probably no more than ten meters, but it's so steep that I've had to cut about 100 meters of good walking track into the side of the hill as I zig zag down in an effort make the gradient gentle.

Truth is I could have done it a bit shorter but the idea of these tracks is to be the most interesting route, not the shortest. So I tend to meander along an existing animal pad then go around a tree or a nice rock.

So that's done, I'll now work my way down the gully just converting the more ankle-twisting sections into track. When I get to the bottom I'll come back up the other half in a loop that returns me to the top of the gully.

At that point the track will be in a state that you can walk around comfortably but there will still be a lot of sections that are a bit uneven under foot.

Then I'll fill in the blanks and finally I'll have a 1-kilometer loop that will make a very enjoyable walk.

Then I can start on the other tracks.

Eventually I reckon I can have a network of walking tracks 2, 3 or even 4 kilometers in length with seating and even simple shelters in some of the more scenic areas. With the recent wet weather some parts of the gully are as good as any national park and it will be nice to sit there in the rain.

Also when you sit quietly all the wildlife comes out from hiding. Just while resting in the last week I've seen two bird species I've not seen here before. And yesterday a swamp wallaby walked right past me as I sat not moving a muscle.

Tue 12 Mar 2013

"Happy anniversary dear" says Chris.

"'s not a year since I bought the iPad is it?"

"No wedding anniversary, it's been 33 years today"

"Oh...funny it seems longer"

Later when I regain consciousness I make a mental note to keep my mouth shut until I...well just to keep it shut really.

Sat 6 Apr 2013

Some time ago I signed up with a site called FanBox because a cousin of mine suggested it was a good way for us to keep in touch.

Frankly it looked like a load of old bullocks but I though well what the heck I'll give it a try.

Not once have my cousin and I communicated through the site and in fact I can't even find her there. But I keep getting emails telling me that I've earned a lot of money for nothing and today I finally got pissed off with the thing so I wrote a polite email requesting more information.

Subject: What the heck is this crap?

What the heck is this Fanbox?

It keeps telling me that I’ve earned over $200 and I haven’t done a thing, that has to be a crock, you don’t get $326 for nothing in this world. Now I’m being pestered to pay money to “protect” my earnings. WTF?

I constantly get emails telling me to update my profile but the link always just goes to the front page. Today I get an email with this in the body.

To keep you safe, recently we launched free account protection. Our records indicate the following status for your account (your earnings: $236.05):

1. Security question Status: Incomplete Complete now

2. Validate your identity Status: Incomplete Complete now

3. Mobile phone Status: Incomplete Complete now

ALL the "Complete now" links go to the same place, ie the front page. If you are going to provide links have them go somewhere useful.

So I go to the front page and click on Profile then Edit profile. I can find nowhere to enter the above information.

And my “wall” or whatever it’s called has a 1000 entries from people I don’t know and quite possibly couldn’t care less about.

And now I find I have a “success coach”, I retired at 45, I don’t need a success coach for anything let alone a social media site. That terminology is straight out of a Tony Robbins bullshit seminar.

Sorry guys but I just don’t get this site and I have no time for BS.



OK I could have been more polite I suppose...but then why should I? Anybody that tells me I've made $236 funny money then wants me to pay real money to "protect" it deserves a gob full.

Sat 26 Jul 2013

Yes it's been a while, mostly because we just haven't been doing anything interesting, but that is about to change I think.

We currently have some friends staying with us here on the block. They have a nice DIY camper based on the Active Camper's Optima. I've always liked the design of the Optima and have been thinking of building a small camper for some time, so after seeing how spacious their camper was I started looking for a chassis on the web.

Sun 27 Jul 2013

Our friends leave today so I get straight back on the web looking for a vehicle.

Within a few hours I found what looks like a good 75-series Landcruiser, even better it's for sale in Bundaberg. I ring the number and find that it's on consignment in a yard in town. Great, that means we can view it during the day.

Mon 28 Jul 2013

We drive into town, take the Cruiser for a drive, haggle a bit, and buy it. That's about 24 hours from deciding to build another camper to buying a vehicle, let nobody say we do things on the spur of the moment.

The new Cruiser. A pic from the ad.


Thu 7 Nov 2013

One thing I love about our land is the wildlife, it ain't Kakadu but there are dozens of animals that drop by regularly. Whether it's my magnetic personality or the food we provide is yet to be determined, but I'll take what I can get.

Our regular visitors include...

Notch - A big male wallaby. He is very bold and even when I go out to fill the food bowls he barely moves, just keeps an eye on me and occasionally we do a little dance to keep me outside his 2-metre comfort zone. He's called Notch because he has pieces missing from his ears, I assume from fighting.

Boxer - Another big male wallaby. Same story as Notch and called Boxer because he always takes that classic pumped-up kangaroo stance as though he's trying to impress on me how big and strong he is. It so dogone cute I could just hug him.

White tip & white tail - Two female wallabies, one with a joey that is just starting to peer from the pouch.

Plus maybe 10 other wallabies we have not named because we can't tell them apart.

Numnuts & Nonuts - At first we just had one and as I thought he was a numbat in the dark of the first night he appeared I called him Numnuts (he's actually a bandicoot). Numnuts has no tail, presumably a near miss with a predator. But then I saw a second one and on the assumption that there are a couple I called her Nonuts. Then one night we had 5 of them visit and I gave up.

Ratty - Probably also a bandicoot but a lot smaller and browner. He's not a rat but the name seems appropriate. He may actually be a roufous bettong.

Paul & Pauline - Two ring-tailed possums who have found the stash of birdseed I keep under the truck body. Pauline appeared a couple of weeks ago with little Piwi clinging to her back, so now we have three possums and I'm pretty sure there's a fourth. If I try to remove the container of seed while Paul is eating he grabs my hand and pulls it back. And little Piwi likes a scratch behind the ears.

 Paul, on a rare daytime outing.

GoPro - A smallish (about 1.2m) goanna, he doesn't partake of our offerings but swaggers through the middle of everything every week or so like he owns the place.

Then there's the birds...

The barmy army - A gang of about 10 white-winged choughs (pron. chuffs) that come past four or five times a day to squabble over the food and water. Their numbers dropped for a while and we though maybe there had been some attrition but it appears the reverse is true because just yesterday the whole crowd arrived with three young ones in tow. The youngster just sat on their arses and expected to be fed. What is it with kids these days.

Magpies - Varies between just a couple to a dozen or more, probably according to various family commitments. They have young at present as well and their warbling can go on for hours. Magpies, currawongs and butcher birds have a repertoire of the most amazingly beautiful sounds.

Lorikeets - We used to have nearly 20 on a regular basis, then it dropped to just 2, but now we're up at around 10. These guys pretty much take over the place, even when there are just two of them, they will leave a bowl with plenty of food and chase much larger birds from another bowl just for fun.

The Crows - Two crows (or maybe Australian Ravens) that used to take flight even if they saw us move inside the truck. They are much bolder now and only fly away if I go outside and then they don't go far.

Currawong - He's been around for ages but only recently become bold enough to hang around the truck.

Mr & Mrs King - Two king parrots who drop in at least twice a day. Sometimes there's a third one as well, a female who gets what-for from Mrs King (probably got her eyes on Mr King) and just yesterday a second male turned up with them.

Whistle-thump - I can't identify him but he is fixated on the various vehicle side mirrors, presumably he sees a male rival in his reflection. He spends all day looking in the mirrors, uttering one of his many beautiful calls, then pecking the glass. Hence the name. The other thing he does is crap everywhere, all three vehicles are covered in bird shit under their respective mirrors, both sides. I've hung (and even tied) towels over the mirrors but it seems to make no difference and in fact half the time he unties them.

Doves - Usually about 10 doves accompanied by 2-4 pigeons. They almost never eat from the bowls seeming to prefer the seed that's on the ground.

Mt T - Mr T is a scrub turkey, he wanders through 2-3 times a day and stays a while. Lately we've had another one drop in as well so I guess we have T1 and T2.

(These are the regulars, but for a more full list of birds we see over time see here)

Now we don't have them all here at once of course, and the bandicoots and possums are nocturnal, but it's not uncommon to have 10-20 animals or birds of various types hanging around and there's never a minute of the day without at least one visitor.

Some of the wallabies like to rest under the container and the truck so I have to be careful when walking around so as not to disturb them.

On a few occasions I've gone outside at night and sat on the ground surrounded by wallabies and bandicoots, many within touching distance. I feel like Dr Dolittle.

Occasionally a wallaby will approach and smell my toes, and Numnuts sat on my foot once, I guess it was warmer than the paving stones. It's such a privilege to be accepted by these animals.

Mon 11 Nov 2013

By most people's standards we have almost no possessions, and that's just the way I like it. But we still have too much junk, so today, in an attempt to clear the decks a little, I take a load of books down to the Gin Gin Lifeline op-shop.

"I've got a few books, would you like them?"

"Yes please, just put them down over there"

"Umm, I mean quite a few, that's not enough floor space, maybe you should have a look"

We walk outside and I open the tailgate.

 Books in the ute. The free books are 2 and 3 deep, behind them are cardboard boxes and plastic bags full of books as well.

"Oooh myyy Loord"

Wed 13 Nov 2013

I'm trying to get a couple of plants to grow in the soil around the rock pool. We gave up with purchased plants because the wallabies ate them all and much as I like plants I like wallabies more so I was prepared to have a barren rock garden. But then I hit on the idea of transplanting some local grasses that obviously survive around here because they are...well they're local.

I've done two test plants and so far so good, the wallabies don't eat them but they do need watering so every day I get the watering can out and give them a dose. Today however after a short spurt the water reduces to a trickle, the spout is obviously clogged with leaves.

But when I remove the sprinkler rose and peer down the spout to investigate my gaze is returned by a large green tree frog. He's somewhat bunched up onto the narrow end of the spout by the water pressure.

Now how to get him out?

I could poke him with a stick but that would hurt the little fellow, I know, I'll use the same technique I use to clear the grey water hose.

I take a deep breath, place my mouth over the spout and blow.

Pher-splash. Froggy obstruction cleared.

I pick the dazed amphibian out of the watering can and place him near a bowl of water under the container.


Date  ::   08 Mar 2013
Name  ::   Nancy Rautmann
Location  ::   Gun Lake, Michigan USA
Comment  ::   Hi Rob, It's taken me about a week now & I've read back through chronicle 63. It's been a very enjoyable read! Your philosophy, humor, photo's & just reading how your mind a word, wow! lol You guys are living the dream!
I LOVED the pics from when you went hiking through the gorges. The photo's from Kermits pond (pardon me for getting the name wrong) are absolutely gorgeous! Look's like you guys had the time of ur lives.
I read EACH & every entry from when you build WOT2. Probably didn't understand half of it, but it was intereseting nonetheless! haha
Anyhow...thank you for inspiring me to find my happiness in a much simplier life. Living in the moment, has a whole new meaning.
What is your next adventure? Does Chris involve herself in blogging? any hobbies for her?

Kindest Regards,
Date  ::   11 Mar 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Nancy,
I'm glad you've enjoyed reading my stuff, I don't write as much as I used to but am still trying to give people something to read.

If you're interested in living simple Google "tiny homes", you'll find a lot of examples of people cutting back to live in 100-200 sq feet or thereabouts. We live in about 150 and have done for years. It helps to have appropriate hobbies though

As for what's next, I don't know at this point. We're happy here on our land and TBH I'm in no hurry to go anywhere. We are thinking about building a camper slid-on for the trailer so we can go away without the truck.

Also friends of ours are going to the US in a few weeks, they plan to buy an RV and they may store it for use in future years. If they do that we may use it as well so we could wind up in the 'States.

Another also is that I'm very keen to go back to the UK and Kenya.

Bottom line, who knows

Chris has only ever had one hobby and that's reading. But of late that has morphed into collecting eBooks, that takes up all of her time to the point where she hasn't read a book in months.

Date  ::   19 Mar 2013
Name  ::   Nancy Rautmann
Location  ::   Gun Lake, Michigan
Comment  ::   So tonight, we're watching Jeopardy...the category was "Compound Words"...the answer something like "Heading out on foot in Australia for a undetermined length of time". Of course I respond..."What is bushwalking". Only to have a smartie pants, "Cook", from Podunk, Arkansas reply... "What is a walkabout"...and Alex quickly replies..YES! I immediately wanted to object!!! lol Having read up to Chronicle #60, you've NEVER once refered to your trips as "walkabout's"! lol
Speaking of Chronicle #60..... how's the syphilis treatment going? hahahaha
Tell Chris I haven't touched my kindle in weeks. Keeping up w/you two is all the entertainment I need!
Date  ::   24 Mar 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Yes walkabout is the correct term but seldom used these days I think and AFAIK never for a bushwalk. It's more of a "gone bush back someday maybe" sort of thing.

The treatment is going swimmingly, good thing it's on the national health, it's been a few years now
Date  ::   30 Mar 2013
Name  ::   Len the aussie
Location  ::   Brisbane
Comment  ::   Rob those bush walks will rival the national stuff for sure and maybe you then set up a fee to walk the walk .. You guide the prospects around while you show them how to use their SLR and then a little demo of how to do a quick image fix via the web and DVD and opps you have spending money ... Then Mate you can write off the new computer and office chair and paying Chris as the assistant .... NO TAX ...... yes joking .... durh!
Date  ::   31 Mar 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Yes wouldn't it be nice to get paid for walking around in the bush taking photos? Alas I think it will never happen, good thing I don't need the money
Date  ::   10 Apr 2013
Name  ::   Helenbeee
Location  ::   Melbourne
Comment  ::   Hi Rob!
I found you via the Tiny House Map. I have been reading your chronicles and thoroughly enjoying the story of your journey. Was wondering how the container part of your set up on the block was going.

Look forward to future posts

Date  ::   11 Apr 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Helen,

Glad you have enjoyed reading.

We haven't done all that much yet with the containers, one is well set up for our tools, I've started fitting out half the other one as an office/workshop, the the remaining half is still full of junk, much of which can be thrown out I'm sure.

I have however started designing a container house using 3 20-footers, whether or not we ever build it remains to be seen but it's something I'd like to do.

Date  ::   11 Apr 2013
Name  ::   Kevin K.
Location  ::   on the Big Island of Hawaii
Comment  ::   Aloha Rob.
Mate, a life coach I've always wanted one of those. And with $260.00 or so I could buy almost 10 flats of Kona beer, of course my life coach would say, nooooo, buy stocks, workout, eat greens !!
Piss off I say, your fired.
All the best from the Big Is.
Date  ::   11 Apr 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Kev,
You're back in the sunshine then? We've had nothing but rain for months, I may have to come over there. Have you decided to go to the Galapagos via Hawaii
Date  ::   12 Apr 2013
Name  ::   Kevin K
Location  ::   Hawaii
Comment  ::   Heh Rob, Ecuador isn't until October, I've just flown down here for some recoup time after the usual long dark Canuck winter.
I'll keep you posted on the Galapagos trip as I get closer.
Date  ::   09 Jun 2013
Name  ::   Nancy Rautmann
Location  ::   Shelbyville, Michigan
Comment  ::   Yooohoooooo Rob! Whatcha doin? Where abouts are ya now?
Date  ::   10 Jun 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Nancy, we're just hanging out on our land, nothing interesting to report.
Date  ::   18 Aug 2013
Name  ::   Stu Sellar
Location  ::   Adelaide
Comment  ::   Hi Rob,
Ihave just been talking with Mark Rule on Skype and he told me about your site and your work. Good to see you are till following your passion. He also said there were some shots of us in 1978 in the US but I couldn't find them. Would be good to catch up some time . All the best Stu Sellar . PS I just found the picture on the balcony of the flat in London. magic. Have you got any more ? From our time in the states too ? My email is sellar@ and mobile is 0401123063 .
Date  ::   17 Oct 2013
Name  ::   Sheridan
Location  ::   Bright
Comment  ::   And then?
Date  ::   18 Oct 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   And then nothing really Working on the design, you can get more info here

I will be starting a build blog here soon though.
Date  ::   24 Oct 2013
Name  ::   Sheridan
Location  ::   Bright
Comment  ::   Very good. Carry on!
Date  ::   03 Dec 2013
Name  ::   cees
Location  ::   Netherlands
Comment  ::   Hi Rob, hope you doing ok.
Well the travel bug that you infected us with done its job.
We just bought a 30 foot american RV we just are in process of shiping it to europe and have fun with it, it a really a house on wheels with everything on it excepr for solar panels but they will come in time.
How you doing these days, any nice arduino or pcb work?
Also we looking for a good water filter when when we are underway.
Any good tips for when driving a heavy RV in time things to watch out for, and does and not to do.
Date  ::   04 Dec 2013
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Good on you Cees, finally joining the grey nomads.

Yes I've been doing a lot of electronics design work, too much really as I hardly ever go outside. Done about 15 PCB designs in the last few months.

I have no particular tips re driving a HV, just the obvious like never poke your nose down a narrow track unless you're sure you can get through or turn around, and always look up

30 feet will be a challenge in those old European towns.
Date  ::   04 Dec 2013
Name  ::   cees
Location  ::   Netherlands
Comment  ::   Good to hear your busy rob, well 30 feet yex it a challenge i do my best though.
Hence even got a hydralich jacks to stabilze when we camping.
And i even manage to get a Usa license plate on my name, so i can drive with those plate on my own name.
Do have to worry too much then on tax office and such that can make our live not so pleasent.
I tought my selve would it not be a great idea if you start a youtube channel i guess you gone have a lot of intererest and you could share you advantures
Good idea?
Date  ::   01 Jan 2014
Name  ::   cees
Location  ::   Dronten
Comment  ::   Well wish all of you lots of health for coming years and may all you dreams come through
Date  ::   02 Jan 2014
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Thanks Cees, same to you, I hope that nice motorhome works out for you.
Date  ::   13 Jan 2014
Name  ::   gofer ( ex ships captain / engineer )
Location  ::   u.k.
Comment  ::   hi rob.
been following your exploits for quite a few years now. what you do on land i've done on boats. there's one outstanding topic you have to tell all us poor
travelling males about!!! how to make home brew on the road !!!
what about telling us how to do it from start to finish. ??? given the price of beer nowadays, i think this would be a very popular topic !!
keep the faith mate.
Date  ::   16 Jan 2014
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Gofer,

Home brew is easy (here on Oz anyway), I just use the Coopers kit ingredience (but not their sugar, normal white sugar is half the price), pour them into the barrel, mix with water, add yeast, wait 5 days, bottle, wait 10 days (but often 7-8 if I'm running low), drink.

That's all there is to it, I don't measure temps, times or anything. Usually it's a case of "when did we make that batch?, must be ready for bottling by now".

The only catch is that you have to sit still for a few days until it's bottled, but that's just because the barrel is not in a very secure place, in Wot Mk1 we would drive if we wanted because the barrel was securely fastened.

Total cost about $15 for 32 750ml bottles.

That's it, not really worth an article.
Date  ::   18 Feb 2014
Name  ::   corey
Location  ::   selkirk ontario canada
Comment  ::   hey rob thanks for sending me the link to your site from expedition portal.
it took my a few long hours of reading to get to this point ..i just love all the great pictures ..the areas that you have found just blow me away ..the goanna that come past your block do you have to keep away from them ,are they poisonous?
thanks again corey (piratexpress1369a)
Date  ::   19 Feb 2014
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi Corey, good to see you made it here.

AFAIK goannas are not poisonous as such, but like any carnivore that doesn't clean it's teeth their mouth is full of bacteria. So a bite can be an issue quite apart from any mechanical damage inflicted.

I've always been happy to approach them though, even the big ones (~2M in length) you find up north, truth is they normally run a mile on sight of a human.

In fact you are more likely to get scratched by them as they climb up you thinking you are a tree. This can happen if they get spooked and you are the nearest vertical object

Date  ::   19 Mar 2014
Name  ::   Jesper Hansen
Location  ::   Portugal
Comment  ::   Hi Rob, your stories is the drug. Come on - I need a fix... ASAP... ;)
Date  ::   21 Mar 2014
Name  ::   Charlie
Location  ::   New Mexico, USA
Comment  ::   I just spent several hours a day for the past two weeks reading from chronicle no. 1 to no.69 including the build series - WOW - what a life the two of you have! Anyway, in chronicle no. 63 you say that you have a 'standard domestic fridge but it's been converted to DC'. I did a web search but can't find any info on that setup, can you elaborate! Now I have to complain, sorry, I went to the link and you have to be a member to view the picture links. I'm not a member and have no desire to be one. Can you either duplicate the entries here on for us, or put the actual picture in the build thread on
Date  ::   21 Mar 2014
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Sorry Jesper, I know it's been a long time between drinks. Truth is I don't think we've done much but also I confess to a lack of motivation on one hand and being very busy with my electronics on the other.

I'm starting on #70 now, hopefully will have something in a few days.

Charlie, I just had someone do the job so don't know a huge amount about it, but basically they remove the compressor from the fridge and disconnect the condenser then replace them with a Danfoss (new name now but I can't remember what they are called) unit that is a lot more efficient.

As for the new camper, that's on hold but I will post some pics and info here soon.
Date  ::   06 Aug 2014
Name  ::   cees
Location  ::   dronten
Comment  ::   Hi Rob
Here a update on our RV and narrow roads, we did a trip through europe and passen the highest mountain in europe the mont blanc , and in italy we did some very narrow mountain passes and hardly could pass each other with a truck coming down a mountain but we passed it after all.
Was good thing to do alltough it need some good driver skills.
But in evry country everyone looked at the RV at 30 feet long they not use to it in europe we had 38 degrees celsius and where very happpy with our ac unit on top of the rv.
Also the generator that is build in is a blessing with those kind of temp
How live going on your side these days

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