Monday, December 23, 2013

Welcome Zachary Michael Hahn

22nd December 2013.  Baptism of our ninth grandchild, Zachary Michael Hahn.  Born 12th October 2013.

Welcome to the Clan

Building the Tray - Part 3

Having outlined the outer dimensions of the tray, it was time to work out the compartments required to store our gear.  Another 40 odd metres of square section later and the tray is beginning to take shape.

The next step is to get a sheet 2400 x 1200 x 3mm folded to fit in the floor under the hitch.  This will join the rear section to the front subframe and provide a little rigidity to the tray.   I will also get two pieces 1200 x 460 x 1.6mm  rolled to half circles with a 400mm radius to form the inner wheel arches.

As it is Christmas and most of the businesses around here are closed till early January, I will have to wait till I can get this done ready for Part 4.

Now to sleep on what I have done and work out the best way to cover the shell.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Building the Tray - Part 2

As I am still working full time at present, I only get the weekends to work on our project which is not such a bad thing as I get the week to go over what I have done and plan the next steps.

This weekend I finished the drilling of the fishplates for the Hitch (photo in previous post).  While it may not sound difficult, drilling 16mm or 5/8 holes in 10mm plate and then lining up and drilling corresponding holes in the chassis was quite a feat given that I only had a power drill with a 13mm bit and a rat tale file.

Next I decided to build the exterior shape of the body work using 25mm square section 1.6mm thick.  I used 36 metres of steel to do this - you wonder where it goes.

Back to the steel merchants to purchase more square section ready for Part 3.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Work Has Begun

Huge day today, shortened the chassis by a meter and cut the 100 x 50 x 4mm 'C' section for the subframe. This subframe is going to be the base of the box that is going to hold the gear that should make our travel a lot more comfortable. Size is 1600 long by 2000 wide and 1870 high and will be divided into  compartments.

I ordered the accordion rubber gasket from America this week. This will be inserted in place of the rear window of the cab and the top compartment of the box. This will be the home for Pepper.

In order to comply with our ADR's, I had to cut and fit two lengths of 100 x 75 x 10mm angle fishplates to the chassis rails. Each fishplate had to be drilled to accommodate 6 x 16mm hightensile bolts with nylock lock nuts.  The angle was 20mm above the chassis rails and again drilled to suit the 'Highjacker' slider hitch.

Next week I need to get the 1200 x 2400 x 3mm steel plate which will form the tray, folded up.  I also need to have two lengths of 1200 x 460 x 1.6mm steel rolled to create the rear wheel arches.

More to come and photos to follow.

Friday, November 8, 2013


We picked up our new rig on Friday 8th November and are beginning to get excited about our future travels around this beautiful Country of ours.

After much research, we ended up purchasing a 2010 Iveco 50c18 Cab-chassis which had only done 207Klm.   We think that we got it for a good price and that someone is looking after us.

The next step is to build the rear tray that will carry all of our gear and the kitchen sink.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Major Repairs to a Minor Manufacturing Mishap on our Playmore - Part1.

We had only had our new home for about eighteen months before we noticed some water stains on the floor in the rear corner adjoining the slide out.  Upon inspection, it appeared to be coming in around the slide out seal......If only we had known more.

At the end of the rainy season we noticed that the stain (which was largely hidden behind one of the recliner chairs) had grown and that the inner lining of the wall was beginning to rot.  Big problem so we rang the Company who we had purchased from and you guesses it - they didn't want to know about it.  Two excuses were given.  

1. That Business was closed down and this is a new Business so we are not liable. and 
2. Besides, It's out of Warranty now.    

Not impressed but what do you do?

Next step was to obtain a Quote on the repair so Eileen got on the phone to organise a Caravan Repairer to come out and give us a Quote.  A very nice young gentleman came out and after quite a bit of looking around came up with a guesstimate of $10,500.   After we picked ourselves up of the floor, we made a cup of coffee and had a big sob and a chat.

The long and short of it all came down to the fact that we just couldn't afford that kind of money so I would have to attempt the repairs myself.  As I knew it was going to be a two man job, I called on my B.I.L Brian who I knew was handy with most tools.

First job was out with the rear window and remove the back wall so that we could see the full extent of the damage and work out the steps required to fix same.  

This is what we found........


More rot ..........

and more bl!*^# rot .........

The whole corner was rotten

Now that we had removed all of the rotten wood and paneling we could begin to see and appreciate the full extent of the damage, and more importantly, what had caused it.

When the van was manufactured in America, the workers had forgotten to install one of the chassis sub-rails that support the weight of the slide out.  It was the one at the rear corner of the van and when the slide out was fully extended the floor stud could not take the weight and so it effectively pulled the wall down and separated it from the roof stud and let the water in.   Wood rot did the rest.

In order to install the required sub-rail we had to remove the slide out so that we could jack up the wall to the correct height before welding in the rail.

Looking rather sad without the slide out

Slide out resting on some pallets.

The rotten rot had gotten in to the floor joists and floor panel as well so we had to replace them first.

New floor joists inserted.
Next step was to strengthen the very weak (read design fault) corner section of wall. To do this I decided to insert a 40mm square section steel stud floor to ceiling.

Floor section resting on sub-rail fitted to chassis.
This was the real weak spot.

Attached to the roof truss and slide out header beam.

Next step was to work out what we were going to do with the construction of the rear wall.  After several hours of surfing the net due to the fact that the interior paneling was not available in Australia, I decided to go with a fiberglass composite panel 50mm thick which I had made locally.

The back wall waiting for Brian and I to insert the tail light and
 indicator light wiring in conduits inserted during manufacture.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I have a little GPS
I've had it all my life
It’s better than the normal ones
My GPS is my wife

It gives me full instructions
Especially how to drive
"It's sixty miles an hour", it says
"You're doing sixty-five"

It tells me when to stop and start
And when to use the brake
And tells me that it's never ever
Safe to overtake

It tells me when a light is red
And when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively
Just when to intervene

It lists the vehicles just in front
And all those to the rear
And taking this into account
It specifies my gear.

I'm sure no other driver
Has so helpful a device
For when we leave and lock the car
It still giving me advice
It fills me up with counselling
Each journey's pretty fraught
So why don't I exchange it
And get a quieter sort?

Ah well, you see, it cleans the house,
Makes sure I'm properly fed,
It washes my shirts and underwear
And - keeps me warm in bed!

Despite all these advantages
And my tendency to scoff,
I do wish that once in a while
I could turn the damned thing off

I showed this little ditty to my Wife and asked her if it reminded her of anyone
she knew...... she just laughed

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bonsai Progression

26 - 7 - 2009

After doing a little tidying up of my Bonsai this morning I took a few photos and uploaded them to my files.

In the process I started looking back at earlier photos from the beginning of the styling.  I think that while we have a way to go yet, this one has come a long way.

I had had this tree for a while but had not done a lot with it apart from deciding on a Semi-Cascade style and potting it as such.


I often find that as I look at my trees as time passes I see better designs in them and have to make adjustments in the styling.

Here it is with some wiring and bending branches into better alignment.

The tree needs to be re-potted soon and I think that a slightly bigger pot is required.

1 - 1 - 2012

My idea is to encourage the upper part (apex) of the tree to grow more and catch up to the lower branches thus forming a more rounded canopy.

Here is the same tree re-potted in a slightly larger pot three years later.

Note the increased branching although I am not exactly happy with the upper growth as yet.

29 - 1 - 2013

I am not sure what happened in the interim three years as far a photos go, I can't seem to find them on file.

I re-potted in a supposed Bonsai potting mix that I purchased from Masters but I have to say that my trees have not done well in it at all and I won't be using it again.

This photo is 12 months after the previous one and as you can see the branch growth is poor.

22 - 7 - 2-13

In full leaf and with a slight change to the potted angle, I am progressing in the direction that I want.

Leaf reduction is happening and as I increase the sub branching I will be able to reduce them even further.

This is not the final pot that this tree will live in, I am still looking for one that will suit.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nine Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime

Interesting to note and very true too.  Whether these changes are good or bad depends,

in part, on how we adapt to them.  But, ready or not, here they come ......

1.  The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office.  They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term.  Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive.  Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2.  The Cheque
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheque by 2018.  It costs the financial system billions of pounds a year to process cheques.  Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque.  This plays right into the death of the post office.  If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.  Sweden is almost there NOW !

3.  The Newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper.  They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition.  That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man.  As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it.  The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance.  They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4.  The Book
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5.  The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore.  Most people keep it simply because they've always had it.  But you are paying double charges for that extra service.  All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.

6.  Music
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story.  The music industry is dying a slow death.  Not just because of illegal downloading.  It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it.  Greed and corruption is the problem.  The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing.  Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with.  Older established artists.  This is also true on the live concert circuit.  To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

7.  Television
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically.  Not just because of the economy.  People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers.  And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV.  Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator.  Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  I say good riddance to most of it.  It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery.  Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8.  The "Things" That You Own
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future.  They may simply reside in "the cloud."  Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents.  Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be.  But all of that is changing.  Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services."  That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system.  So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet.  If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud.  If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud.  And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.  In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device.  That's the good news.  But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?"  Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?  It makes you want to run to the cupboard and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9.  Privacy
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.  That's gone.  It's been gone for a long time anyway.  There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone.  But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View.  If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.  "They" will try to get you to buy something else.  Again and again.

Addendum:  One thing we will have left that can't be changed will be "Memories" . . . We're making those now. - But when we are all dead these memories will disappear as well.


For those who are old enough to remember - enjoy.
For the rest - it's a history lesson.

Its surprising how time and memory have taken their toll.
Have things really changed this much in our time?


Pasta had not been invented.
Curry was a surname.
A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.
A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.

Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Only Heinz made beans.
Fish didn't have fingers in those days.
Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
None of us had ever heard of yogurt.
Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
Indian restaurants were only found in India.
Cooking outside was called camping.
Seaweed was not a recognised food.
"Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.
Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
Prunes were medicinal.
Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed.
Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.
The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties was elbows!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Feeling nostalgic...

I was going through some of my older posts this morning when I re-read this poem.... it bought back a lot of memories from my childhood and thought it deserved a post of its own.   Can you remember when....?

I Remember

I remember the cheese of my childhood
and the bread that was cut with a knife.
The children all helped with the housework
and the man went to work not the wife.

The cheese never needed an ice chest
the bread it was crusty and hot.
The children always seemed happy
and the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the billy
with that lovely cream on the top.
The dinners straight from the oven
and not from the fridge in the shop.

The children were a lot more contented
they didn't need money for kicks.
Games with their mates in the paddock
and sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner
where a pennyworth of lollies were sold.
Do you think i'm a bit too nostalgic
or is it i'm just getting old.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I love my bath.....  Now I smell nice, Daddy will give me lots of cuddles.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I received this message the other day and it made me think......

Technology helps the world advance. As humans it's in our nature to investigate, innovate and solve problems.

This curiosity means we make things, create things and develop new technologies.

You can look back thousands of years for basic examples of technology pushing civilization forward. 

Most people don't understand the rapid change technology has on their life...or the speed at which change occurs.
For example, the following are the five 'Great Ages' of human progress and their approximate duration:
  • Stone Age — 3.4 million years
  • Bronze Age — 2,500 years
  • Iron Age — 500 years
  • Industrial Revolution — 80 years
  • Information Revolution — 20 years

The computer industry calls this trend 'Moore's Law'. It dictates that computer processing power doubles every 18 months.

The computer industry calls this trend 'Moore's Law'. It dictates that computer processing power doubles every 18 months.

You'll notice the length of each 'age' diminishes as technology improves.

Now…..  Think about this!

200 times stronger than steel...150,000 times thinner than a human hair...more flexible than a sheet of paper revolutionary than — and soon REPLACE — plastic, Kevlar and the silicon chip

You may have heard about graphene.

Put simply, it's a sheet of carbon atoms 150,000 times thinner than a human hair.

 In fact, it's such a breakthrough that the first two scientists to successfully produce single-atom-thick crystals of graphene were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

If you haven't, it's a newly discovered, very special refined form of graphite.

It's a one-atom-thick sheet of densely packed carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. 

Under a powerful microscope, it looks like chicken wire.

But what's so special about it?


For starters, it's 200 times stronger than structural steel...

It's so strong you could suspend an elephant from a single strand of graphene...and the strand would not break.

It's extremely lightweight too...

Soon, everything from bicycles and boats to aeroplanes and cars could be made out of graphene composites.

And when they are, their energy efficiency and durability could skyrocket.

But that's just the beginning of what this new 'smart material' can do...

Not only is it the strongest material researchers have ever tested — it's also one of the best conductors man has ever found.

IBM has already created a graphene-based processor capable of executing 100 billion cycles per second.

Researchers believe that in the future, a graphene credit card could store as much information as today's computers.

And when they are, their energy efficiency and durability could skyrocket.

In just two years, over 200 companies from a wide array of industries have researched the magical potential of graphene...

And for good reason...

  • Scientists in the US and China are already using tiny graphene-based probes to target and identify tumors in live mice. They hope similar graphene-based particles could shuttle cancer drugs to tumors...or even kill tumor cells directly!
  • Engineers at Northwest University, Seattle, found that specially crafted graphene electrodes could allow a lithium-ion battery — like those found in your smartphone or Toyota Prius — to charge 10 times faster and hold 10 times more power.
  • And in 2011, chemists at Rice University, Houston, created graphene-based thin films — unlocking the secret to incredibly flexible, super-durable touch screens and solar cells that can wrap around just about anything...
Fuel-efficiency would shoot through the roof.
People would live longer, healthier lives.

Cars and aeroplanes would be lighter, faster and safer than ever before.

And electronics of every type would be launched into an era of unprecedented growth and evolution.

This is just a taste of the cutting-edge innovations coming in the Molecular Age...

...innovations that will reshape the future in the months and years ahead...and it's starting now.

new-age technologies that will alter our lives on a scale not seen for 100 years
All this technological change and innovation will transform the world...
  • 'Nano batteries' will charge your mobile in seconds...and even power whole cities...
  • 'Smartphones' will carry the computing power of IBM's Watson Supercomputer...
  • A new era of computing mobility — none of the solid rectangular things we carry now but flexible, wearable devices...
  • Handheld 'breathalysers' will diagnose disease in seconds...
  • Bionic limbs with human fluidity and dexterity, but the strength of Superman!
  • Spacecraft with the capacity to take us beyond our solar system into places and worlds never explored...

Samsung have already said its flexible displays should enter full-scale production later this year — and it expects to have a dozen more graphene-based products on the market within the next five.

IBM, Nokia and Apple are hot on their heels too.

I'm telling you...

Touch screens...processor chips...casings...and batteries in everything from PCs and HD TVs to tablets, mobile phones and hybrids could be all made with graphene.

It could change entire industries...economies...and our lives. 


HD TVs as thin as wallpaper...

Smart phones so skinny and flexible you can roll them up and put them behind your ear...and so durable you can beat them with a hammer!

It's mind-blowing. 

Imagine how our world — and your life — would change if the batteries that run your iPhone...your Kindle...and your laptop held 10 TIMES more power and charged 10 TIMES faster than they do now...

If you could eliminate breast cancer or prostate tumors with a simple injection...or by swallowing a graphene-charged pill... 

If your house were strong enough to withstand a bush fire — and your windows processed enough solar energy to heat your home in winter and cool it in the summer...

If the car you drove were six times lighter and 20 times stronger...

The effects would be staggering!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Hi Followers, it's been a long time since I posted here, been in the hum drum of work so haven't really had a lot to talk about.

Making your RV a home is a lot of fun and requires a fair bit of research to get things just the way you like them.   I have made several modifications to our van in order to make life easier for set up and increase our comfort in general.

To say that I am hooked on Fifth-wheels would be an understatement and during our buying process we found some pretty cool rigs around the world (read America).   As you would expect, money is no object for some, and the sizes of some of these outfits are unbelievable.  Not much use for Ozzie roads or most Van Parks for that matter.

Here are a few that caught my attention and a bit of history to boot.

And for the Two-wheeling lovers out there.... this one caught my attention.