Archive for the 'My vids' Category

Observing Report 17th-18th November 2017 (Leonid meteors session 2)

Posted by on November 20th 2017 in My vids, Observing Reports, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
Tags: ,

Over 650 pics... plenty of clouds and more than a few planes, but only two Leonid meteors.
I'll post separate pics of them later, but for now here's a time-lapse of 45-second frames compiled to play at 2fps.
Leonid meteors at UTC 03:05:12 and at UTC 05:00:15
It's best viewed in full-screen after it has finished buffering.

Canon 1000D, 10-18mm zoom @ 10mm, F5.6, ISO 800, captured with APT v 3.33 (
Post-processing with PS CS3, Irfanview, K3CCDTools3 and VDub.


Observing Report 16th-17th November 2017 (Leonid meteors session 1)

Posted by on November 19th 2017 in My vids, Observing Reports, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
Tags: ,

Over 650 pics... more than a few planes, but few meteors.
I'll post separate pics of them later, but for now here's a time-lapse of 60-second frames compiled to play at 2fps.
One Leonid at 02:33:24 and one sporadic at 06:26:04
It's best viewed in full-screen after it has finished buffering.

Canon 1000D, 10-18mm zoom @ 10mm, F5.6, ISO 800, captured with APT v 3.33 (
Post-processing with PS CS3, Irfanview, K3CCDTools3 and VDub.


Sayonara Salix babylonica

Posted by on February 2nd 2017 in In the garden, My vids, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)

It was a sad day when we had to have the old willow taken out.

We would have liked to have kept it but it was becoming unruly and dangerous, the remains of the middle trunk which we'd had reduced during pollarding back in 2009 had rotted all the way down to ground level and were no longer binding the other three trunks, so the whole tree had to go with dignity instead of being trashed by a storm.

It was much older than anyone thought - before felling it, all opinions were that it was just a bit older than the house, so about 60 years old. When the trunks had been taken down I went to see the stump before they ground it out, even at 2ft high it was 4ft across. I tried to count the growth-rings but lost count at about 80, we now think it was into its 9th or maybe even its 10th decade.

We've saved a few wands to plant elsewhere in the garden, so it stands a chance of regenerating from those, but when the ground has settled we'll be planting a large native Birch in its place.

And the wood wasn't all wasted - we've propped up a couple of huge chunks of cut trunk and have hung bird-feeders on them, and we've used a couple of cut rounds to make a hefty Flintstones-style bird-table. Pics soon!

Anyway, here's a rough & ready time-lapse of its last few hours:

Willow from BG! on Vimeo.

North Wales 2013 – Monday – Zip it, Shrimpy!

So, what do you arrange for a thrill-seeking girl's 18th-birthday treat? That's an easy one... you dress her up in red overalls, stick her in a harness and chuck her off the side of a mountain :mrgreen:

The venue for the day was Zip World near Bethesda. Here's the web-page blurb:

"Zip World has the longest zip line in Europe and is NOW OPEN at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda – “The Nearest Thing to Flying”!!

The Zip World site contains two specially constructed and spectacular zip lines, the first will take you down to the bottom of the quarry where you will pick up your specialised vehicle for a magnificent quarry tour, before zip lining back for a mile to the start.

You will be reaching speeds of up to 100 mph and you will be travelling 500ft above the mountain lake so be ready for a ride of a lifetime!"

Me and Chris took the quarry tour and stayed away from anything dangerous, Anna did the tour and the Little Zipper, Ella got the full works. I'll let the pics and captions tell the story. Don't forget to max the volume when playing the movie.


Folk on the Little Zipper


Little Zipper end-zone




Suited and booted


Waiting for the safety lecture


Concentrating hard on not looking nervous


Up at the Little Zipper end-zone we could see the Big Zipper launch area


Zooming in on the Big Zipper launch area


The RAF provided a fly-by


Ella and Anna wired-up at the Little Zipper launch-pad


On the move


Approaching the fastest bit


Ella approaching the bungee-brake


Anna hitting the bungee-brake


Just hanging around


Happy Ella


Happy Anna


So alike and yet so different

Ella looking apprehensive up at the Big Zipper launch area


Still trying to keep it together


The launch pad. The end-zone is the light patch on the spoil-mound the other side of the quarry.


Penrhyn Quarry from the Big Zipper launch area


Busy at the top - a Beeb crew were there filming Davina Wave of CBBC's DNN fame


Anna playing it cool.
Every time I see this pic it reminds me of this.


Click here to see the video in fullscreen HD on Vimeo


After the truck-ride back down to meet Ella the omnivores in our party filled up with excellent cholesterol-burgers from the van down at the site office. Sadly, the party's veggie had to go without.

Verdict: Top day out. Highly recommended. Great burger-van.

It isn’t a bird, it isn’t a plane…

Posted by on May 27th 2013 in Astrostuff, My vids

I caught this thing on video while out shooting the Moon with my telescope this morning.

This clip is a 10fps cut from a 1-minute video, originally 60fps.
No post-processing apart from the addition of frame times and numbers in VirtualDub.

Telescope: 6" f/9 RC Astrograph - 152mm Aperture / 1370mm Focal Length.
Camera: DMK 21AU04.AS (Sony ICX098BL CCD chip 640 x 480 pixels @ 5.6 µm x 5.6 µm).
Calculated FOV: 6.7 x 9.0 arcmin.
FOV centre: Alt: 17 deg, Az: 178 deg, RA: 18h, Dec: -21 deg

I'm trying to work out if it's a satellite, a rock or just space-junk.

If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Maths Test

Posted by on May 21st 2013 in Just for fun, My vids, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)

Good with numbers? Try this for size:

Given that the video's angular field of view was 18' x 14' and that the original frame-rate was 60fps, estimate the speed of the photo-bombing bird and its distance from the camera.

Assume that the flight was parallel to the plane of the camera's sensor and that the bird's speed was constant during the fly-past.

You'll need to suss the size of the bird yourself, and that depends on what species of bird you reckon it was. The best-guesses (according to incoming emails) include Falcon, Gull and Pigeon.

Show your calculations.


Bird photo-bombing Sunday's sunspot shoot.

Observing Report 1st-2nd April 2013 (Another pop at Pan-STARRS)

Posted by on April 4th 2013 in Astrostuff, My vids, Observing Reports, Pics

Same Comet, same conditions, same tree, same faff, different night:

Comet Pan-STARRS (C/2011 L4).
Subs: 25 light @ 30s, darks, bias frames, ISO1600.
1000D on the 6" R-C, unguided

The main difference is that this time there's a time-lapse movie. I created it from 100 frames, each representing 30 seconds of exposure and 5 seconds of "gap", so that's nigh on an hour crammed into this 10-second clip:

No peace for the wicked

Posted by on March 17th 2013 in My vids, Rambling on...

So there I was, sitting in a car-park in town after dropping-off one daughter to meet the other for some united retail therapy. While waiting for them to return I was enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet until this little fecker decided to shatter the peace and take umbrage at me and my car. It didn't hassle anybody else and I've no idea what I'd done to upset it but it was barking like mad while chucking nutshells and bits of stick at me and the car. It wouldn't shut up or leave me alone until I'd recorded its noisy antics on the phone and then played it back at max volume:



I'll have the little sod next time - I'll take my catty and some ball-bearings and then we'll see who's the boss. He'll go well in a game casserole  🙂 

Radiotext fail

Posted by on October 17th 2012 in My vids

I can do without this sort of confusion in the morning:




A class act

Posted by on October 11th 2012 in My vids

Band Night at the local high school* is always a great occasion, the talents of the pupils really do get let loose on the audience.

There's always a good mix of genres - some jazz, some thrash-metal, some pop-classics (usually played by the staff) - but IMO this performance was head and shoulders above the others:



Just in case you're wondering, it's a rip from the DVD that I bought from the school.

Four times I've asked the copyright-holder for permission to post it, and four times I've had no reply.

Hopefully the maxim "Qui tacet consentire" still holds in these matters.

* years 7-9, ages 11-14

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...