360° Video – will it work?

As we are totally new to this 360° photo and video lark it’s time to do a test. Of course we already know that we can get the photographs to work directly on our blog but unsure if the video will as I suspect you may actually have to view it directly in YouTube but let’s see!

The video below was taken when we took went out for a walk with Martin and Sarah from Narrowboat Pride of Nuffield along with their 3 greyhounds. If the video looks bizarre or you can’t move around the scene then it will need to be viewed in YouTube, if it all looks OK then you can use your fingers or mouse to move around the scene.

UPDATE: It works for me on the Mac but not directly on mobile, you have to actually click it to watch directly in YouTube for it to work on iOS, no idea about Android users but presume the same – this is only a low resolution version due to me saving data but in future I will upload full 4K ones from the pubs free wifi

If it looks weird and you can’t move around simply click the video and it will launch in the YouTube app – you will then be able to experience 360° video in all it’s glory!

A Different View

Sunset over Gayton Marina

It’s been a while since I posted to the blog site, in honesty so much has happened over the past couple of months I kind of forgot about it, or maybe I should say I put it on the back burner for a while. First off we had to have open heart engine surgery as poor old Hannah the Narrowboat suffered a broken injection pipe and the fuel was leaking into the sump – that was not the end of it though as we also needed new valves and a whole host of other stuff so basically we had a complete top end rebuild. Whilst Hannah was at the boat doctors my wife Lee decided to come out in sympathy and have a bit of surgery herself. No, not the cosmetic type, she had her Gall Bladder out along with the fixing of an umbilical hernia! Once she was fit enough to move around a little we decided what better place to relax and recover than to get ourselves back aboard Hannah the Narrowboat, which is where we have now been for the last couple of weeks.

We had planned a three week cruise down the Grand Union Canal to Tring for Chillfest (a music festival) before the spanner was put in the works but I for one was not going to let that worry me, so long as I am aboard Hannah The Narrowboat I am happy enough. As soon as we arrived at the marina and could see the boat a smile appeared on my face. I’m home.

I was also looking forward to playing with my toys I got for my 50th birthday (I know it’s really hard to believe that I am so ancient!). I was lucky enough to get a GoPro Karma package which includes the GoPro Hero 5 action camera, a stabilisation device and a drone. On top of that I got an iPad Pro 12.9″ so now I have a completely mobile video package to make even more terrible films! I can also do some proper work on it too which is how I sold it to my mum and my wife!

It was not long before I persuaded the better half that I am quite capable of handling Hannah The Narrowboat on my own and that we should venture out onto the cut so I could have a little play with my new toys – I was desperate to get the drone onto the air! Just for the record, or perhaps more aimed at the people who seem to unjustifiably dislike drones and think that anyone that’s flies them is a rapscallion with no responsibility I actually took out 3rd party liability insurance which covers me up to £5m and joined a government approved scheme for responsible drone flying. We only had to travel about 1.5 miles to the spot I thought would be best for my maiden flight, a big open field right next to the canal. You can see my first attempt at flying below. I really hope I don’t get whinged at too much as it would be fantastic to get some good footage of the canal system (and our own travels) from above – a completely different perspective.

After the inaugural flight we moved on up towards Heyford Fields for a couple of days before heading back to Gayton Marina as Lee had invited a couple of her clients for a day out aboard Hannah the Narrowboat. I have to say it was wonderful to spend a couple of days with my good lady out on the cut after what has seemed an eternity! I shot some more video, took lots of photos (inbetween proper work as I don’t really get a holiday being a self employed graphic designer) and generally took in the views whilst the good lady convalesced (slept lol).

We headed back to Gayton Marina in time for her visitors and she seemed to be well on the road to recovery but is was not to last despite my warning but we will get to that later. Jack and Cheryl arrived on the Saturday morning and after the usual pleasantries I cast off and headed back out onto the Grand Union Canal for a repeat of our last journey. It’s a nice little run from Gayton Marina to Heyford Fields Marina which takes us around an hour and three quarters at a gentle pace. The weather was a little inclement and it was not too long before I was wet – the girls were all inside up front viewing the scenery from the cratch. The ladies serviced me well with a hat and some cider so I was more than happy to continue chugging along!

As standard once we arrived at Heyford and had moored up the Lotus Grill came out and a BBQ was initiated and again, as standard we cooked more meat than we could possibly eat!. Obviously the ale/cider/lager/wine flowed before a little chill out and a head back to the marina.

We certainly slept after that day out on the cut!

The following few days were a bit of a setback for my good lady. Sadly a family member on her side had recently died and she wanted to go down to London for the funeral. I was not so sure she was up for it but could totally understand why she wanted to attend. I pleaded with her to take it very slowly and after dropping her off with her sister in Ampthill I was confident they would all look after her as she was still pretty delicate even though she would not admit it. She got through the day OK but the following day she slept in until after 2pm. It had really worn her out and to be honest I think it has put her recovery back at least a week.

That’s about all for this post and I promise it won’t be so long before the next post (I am working on it already).

Rain Showers at Gayton Marina

Excited and Nervous

Hannah the Narrowboat

At present we probably spend half our time aboard Hannah the Narrowboat and half our time in a brick box – I prefer the boat! I don’t really like our house anymore, well actually I don’t like where that house is located – Luton. So with that in mind it is getting close to the time where we want to move so one way or another we are going to have to clear out 24 years of junk we have collected that is sitting on the loft, garage and shed. We do not own our brick box and have no desire to own a brick box at all so after a proper chat with the better half we have come to a decision and it’s really quite exciting! In March 2018 we plan to be aboard Hannah the Narrowboat full time which will save us a fortune on rent which can then be ploughed into renovating the boat. We’ll try it for a year or so and if we decide we really do want another brick box then we can rent one nearer the boat in Northamptonshire.

Ducks on the Canal

So here we are then, a year to sort ourselves out, sell all the stuff we have not used or even seen for years and plan our new life aboard the boat. It’s all very exciting but also a tad nerve racking as there is so much to sort out. Some people think we are mad but I think of it like this, when I am sitting in the brick box watching a large screen TV from a distance of 10ft it is not different to watching a 24″ TV from 3ft – I am still doing the same thing! We will of course need to think carefully about storage solutions and that type of thing but in essence we don’t need 45 t-shirts, 8 pairs of jeans and 6 pairs of shoes!

I kind of think we are half way there already as the boat has many of the gadgets I need already as I have already installed them all. We have solar, we have 240v, we have a fridge, we have a microwave, we have bluetooth audio throughout and  much more – all we really need is some way of washing our clothes and some way of storing my studio gear (which I will cut down the the bare essentials). Technology has already allowed me to have a full room of recording equipment shrunk down into a Macbook Pro!

So, that’s where we are for better or for worse we are going to dip our toes into living aboard our beloved narrowboat full time – wish us luck, we may need it!