Jimmy Buffett – My Top 3 Songs

Jimmy Buffett is a legend when it comes to true music of the 1970’s…. I am going to share my top 3!

  1. Margaritaville:
    Jimmy had a way of making story songs from what he saw in life – this was one of those songs!
  2. Come Monday:
    Come Monday has always been a favourite of mine – it resonates with me as Monday is one of my favourite days…. NOT!
  3. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes:
    Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes is one song I love as it sums up my life!

This is my top 3 – are you a JB fan? What songs do you like???

How I got into aviation – a long, long story

I was inspired to share my story on how I got into aviation (predominately helicopters) from this story from a friend in the States, Maria Langer: An Eclectic Mind: Flying With The Mustache Kid

I was over visiting family at their then house in Tallawang, a municipality between Gulgong and Dunedoo in New South Wales, Australia. The Mudgee Small Farm Field Days (Mudgee Small Farm Field Days) were on at the end of the week I was there. We all piled into the car on the Friday morning and headed over early on Friday. We arrived at the site and got to take a look around – we checked out all the different things and met back at a relative’s site for her kennel club (Cudgegong and District Kennel Club) for lunch. While I was having lunch, I watched the helicopters taking off – I finished eating and my aunty must have seen me watching them as she asked me if I wanted to have a go…. I said I did so we went over and found out how much they were. I was A$10 short so I went back and borrowed it off my other aunty – this time, my uncle accompanied me. I went over, paid and signed the paperwork. As company policy, they required a minimum of two people so I waited (and boy, was I packing it! Anxiety does that to you!!)…. someone did end up coming over and it turns out it was another person from Dubbo – talk about small bloody world! We went up and did our flight – I can remember the first four words I said after coming back down: “That was bloody awesome!”. We all laughed and that was that – that first flight was all it took to get me hooked!

Fast forward to 2010 and my first flight in a Robinson R44 Raven II (like the one in Maria’s blog)…. I was at a vintage truck show in Dubbo and noticed a helicopter sitting at the back of our harness racing track infield. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first so I walked over and recognised it as a R44. I asked the pilot who was there how much the flights were – they were A$50 – so I started to walk away. Craig Murphy, the pilot, consulted with Andrew Pearce, who was on helper duty that day, and Andrew called me back and asked if I wanted to go up as Craig hadn’t had the helicopter running that morning. I said yes so paid and signed in – Craig got me seated in the left front seat then came around and got into the right seat and fired the R44 up. He then did all his pre-takeoff checks and we got airborne – what an experience that was! We went for a fly up through the housing area behind the showground then I noticed my work over in the distance so I asked if we could go over and check it out – he said he would but we would more than likely have traffic (yes, we did end up having a Bombardier Q300 fly ahead of us so we held back for it to go past) to contend with. We ended up flying over the plant and I grabbed a quick couple of pics for reference then we made our way back to the showground following the Macquarie River and downtown Dubbo.

2013 saw me reacquaint myself with the JetRanger through an amazing business over in Coffs Harbour called Precision Helicopters. I had an amazing opportunity to fly over the country music capital of Australia, Tamworth, in their amazing 206B-3 JetRanger III…. what an experience that was sitting “shotgun” with the forward door off. This particular JetRanger has a multitude of roles apart from doing scenic flights – one of it’s most important roles is as a “Firebird”, wearing Firebird number 276 for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service during the Australian fire season (first weekend of October to the first weekend of April – our fire season coincides with Daylight Savings). I also did flights with Precision Helicopters at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2014 and this year. 2014 also saw me do a Trial Introductory Flight with Precision Helicopters over at Coffs Harbour…. what a hoot!

What does the remainder of 2016 bring for me helicopters wise??? Not too sure – so stay tuned for another story from this year!

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III – the JetRanger III was the first helicopter I had ever flown in….. the smell of burnt Aviation Turbine Fuel (AvTur) is one thing I will always remember!
This is one rear end I can never get sick of seeing – a Bell JetRanger III’s ass is so sexy


Embraer ERJ-135LR – early impressions

Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JZG
Jetgo Australia Embraer ERJ-135LR VH-JZG

The Embraer ERJ-135LR regional jet is one very unique bird! It’s the only RJ able to land at and take off from Dubbo City Regional Airport in Dubbo, NSW, Australia. It’s a smaller RJ with a 36 seat seating capacity but fits into the confines of the Bombardier Q300/400 and Saab 340 turboprops – I can’t wait to fly on this big bird in August!

Disclaimer: My early impressions of the ERJ-135LR are only what I am seeing – use this info at your discretion! A more in-depth review will come after I get back…..

Classic TV Ads – Shell Rimula X Diesel Engine Oil

I am into classic television ads – tonight, I want to kick off this series of blog entries with a series of ads for Shell Rimula X Diesel Engine Oil! Sit back, relax and enjoy this trip down memory lane…..

Shell Rimula X ad from 1986:

The later ads were broken down into an ad for transport and an ad for farming! Here are these ads:

Shell Rimula X – Transport:

Shell Rimula X – Farming:

These ads all aired in Australia – the main ad I ever saw from the later series was the farming ad!

Upcoming Project – special feature on Joe’s Blog!

MAN TGX 26.540 XLX 6×4 – 1:14 scale R/C prime mover from Tamiya

This Tamiya MAN TGX 26.540 6×4 XLX 1:14 scale R/C truck is an upcoming project thanks to a wonderful friend of mine in Hawaii. He has built the 18.540 version (4×2 that he plans to convert to a 6×2 later) and this was surplus to his needs so he’s kindly offered it to me – I have dutifully accepted his offer and will be receiving it in a couple of weeks! I have a little bit of planning to do beforehand – I need to do a photo shoot of the 1:1 MAN F2000 26.506 which I plan on using to base my build of this around (as a tow truck registered prime mover) – I will also be videoing the build at various points during my time building it. Stay tuned to this blog for more as the build progresses and to see the finished product…