Monday, September 18, 2023

" Somethin EXTRA"

Where Are We Today

“The Ridge”

Priceville, Ontario

“Somethin EXTRA “is a model airplane kit that was produced by Sig Manufacturing back at least in the 1980’s or earlier. It is still available today but as an ARF (almost ready to fly) kit.

Somethin Extra

Last winter, while in Arizona, I came across one of the original kits and bought it. The original kit was designed for a .046 glow fuel engine where today’s kit is an electric version.

Maiden Flight

When I got home this spring, I built the kit that I bought, but did the conversion to electric. I have enjoyed the process of doing the conversion to electric, the build and covering it. The plane has a 51 inch wing span, which I outfitted it with an E-flite Power 52 Outrunner (EFLM 4052A) electric motor with an 80 Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC Brushless ESC.  I am using 4S- 4000 & 4500 LiPo batteries.

Its maiden flight was a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t be more pleased with the flight and little trim needed for level hands off flying. This winter will be a fun time flying in Quartzsite Arizona.

Thanks for stopping by and taking an interest. Your comments are always welcome and read.



Sunday, August 6, 2023

Lost Plane

Where Are We Today

“The Ridge”

Priceville, Ontario

Last Sunday, July 30th while flying at our club field, I lost my J3 Cub model airplane. I have had this plane for about 20 years, it has a 6ft. wing span and was powered by a Saito Golden Knight FA 82 four stroke engine.

Take off of the fatal flight

Not sure what or why, but lost control and it went straight down. My very first thought is that it was in the bean field across the road, but I was not 100 percent sure as I was quite away from our flying site. Others thought that it had gone down in the corn field on our side of the road.

Three of us set off down the road and entered the corn field where they thought approximately it should be. We also scanned across the top of the corn, hoping that it might be sticking up but no such luck. The corn currently is 8 ft. tall or higher, we decided to come back the next day with my drone and fly over the corn field in hopes of spotting it. We also had a quick look across the bean field, just in case.

Returning Monday, we had no luck with the drone, which meant it had gone down through the stocks. We also started walking the rows of corn in hopes of finding it that way. After a couple of hours, we had to stop and head back home as company was arriving.

On Friday, Ken and I headed back to the field with the drone to search in a different area, still no luck.

Search Area

On Saturday, August 6th.  I returned to the field and along with 4 other club members we started a search by walking, 5 rows part, down the rows of corn from the end closest to the flying field to where we thought the farthest it could be. Some discouraged and one with allergies after some time gave up and headed back to the field. I was determined to find it, if only for the fact that I didn’t want it going through a piece of farm machinery and causing damage.

Thought walking 5 rows apart was to much, so I went back to the start and every two rows from the north end of the field, south to where we thought it should be. After covering 20 rows, I had to leave, only to return Sunday August 6th  to continue the search.

Returning Sunday, I picked up where I left off, walking the rows. I missed my cut off point and ended up walking all the way to the south end of the field. I continued to do this until I was even with the flight line of the flying field, this was as far in that it could be. Just to be thorough, I went back to the first 20 rows that I did the day before and finished walking the rows all the way to the south end. Nothing!!

Cub crash site

I am really discouraged by now but thought I would walk across the road and walk the edge of the bean field just in case.  About half way back, there in the long grass between the ditch and the bean field was my plane. It had come straight down breaking apart with the motor half buried in the ground.

Had to pry motor out of the ground

I picked up the pieces and carried it back to the field, where I took all the servos, receiver, and battery out of it and disassembled the rest. Bringing it home where I will dispose of the wreckage, clean the motor and safe the useable parts for another plane.


Sad that it is beyond repair but very happy that it is found and will not go through any farm machinery.

Thanks for stopping by, comments are always welcome and read. Until the next time, take care.


Thursday, August 3, 2023

Secret Project Reveal

Where Are We Today

“The Ridge”

Priceville, Ontario

Pat has been mentioning, in her blog, a project that I have been working on. She did not want to write about it, as it is mine to explain.


Old/Original Gate. Notice the private property and The Ridge signs.

For about three or four years, I have wanted to replace the heavy iron gate at the entrance to “The Ridge” for something new and lighter in weight. Inspired from our southwest adventures, I came up with a design and plan of how to build and execute its installation.

This is late spring when Duncan cut the posts off at ground level.

First off was the removal of the old gate, which was not an easy task, as it is very heavy. With the help of our good friend Duncan, he and I managed to cut the gate from its hinges and lay it off to the side of the lane. Next, we tried to pull one of the posts out of the ground, by putting a chain around it and pulling with the truck, all it did was bend the post. I should mention that the posts are 4-inch diameter steel pipe with a ¼ inch wall. In the end, we took a grinder and cut the posts off just below the ground surface. Oh, by the way this all started on Mother’s Day weekend.

Duncan really wanted to help with this project, so he was hoping that I would wait and have everything ready to go when they returned for our campout week at the end of July.

So now it is up to me to get prepared for that to happen. First off, was to get rid of the sections of the gate and posts. I borrowed a big trailer into which Pat and I loaded the gate and posts along with a few other pieces of metal and took to the scrap yard where it was weighed. The 600 lb. load net us $60.00.

Posts lined up in what would be their upright position so I could drill the holes thru in a straight line to accept the threaded rod and pipe.

Next, the purchase of the posts and the framing material for the gate. The post design has always stayed the same, but the gate design has changed a couple of times since we first started the project. Initial purchase consisted of

4 – 6x6x8 ft.   2 – 6x6x16 ft. 4 – 4x6x16 ft. 4 – 2x6x8 ft. 2 – 2x4x8 ft. and 1 – 4x4x8 ft. pressure treated lumber.

Step one was to set up two 6 x 6’s, one on top of the other, then put in two 6 x 6 spacers. One at the very bottom and one four feet up, then 3/8 holes were drilled through and threaded rod put in to hold the spacers in place and tight together. This was repeated with a second pair.

Next a 16 ft. 6 x 6 was placed in between each of the above, with the end of the 16 ft 6 x 6 resting on the top end of the highest spacer. Ratchet straps were then wrapped around all 3 - 6 x 6’s and tightened to hold in place. I then drilled two 1-3/8 hole through all three.

The three holes dug, with the 45 gallon barrows filled with cement that held the old posts pulled out
At this time, I needed to get the holes dug for the posts. I had a local gravel pit owner come with his backhoe to dig the new post holes. We discovered why we could not pull the old posts out; they were cemented in 45-gallon drums. The backhoe was able to pull them out of the ground and finished digging my new post holes. Pat and I then put two half drums in the bottom of two holes, slip the new posts down into them and then proceeded to mix and pour cement into them. After the cement set, we proceeded to fill the holes. There is a third hole that was getting a smaller post, it was set next.

Posts in the ground, lined up and mixing the cement to pour into the holes.

You will notice that we rolled the barrel back into the hole to fill it back up.

We waited for our friends Duncan and Patty to return for the campout week at the end of July, he was wanting to help me complete this project. They arrived a few days early, so he and I set to work. First the two sixteen ft. 6 x 6’s posts were taken and the bottom end placed in between each of the posts now in the ground. An 18 inch long x 1 inch diameter pipe nipple was put through the bottom hole of each post and pipe caps threaded on to hold in place. We then attached what would be the top to the other end of these two posts.

Top left pic is the top that goes across from one post to the other. Middle top, ropes attached to the top of each post ready for the pull. Top right is the truck starting to pull the posts up after Duncan and I lifted them so far. Bottom left and right posts are up and secured. Bottom Middle no explanation needed.

From the top of each post, a 50 ft. length of a 1- inch diameter rope was attached and laid up the lane way, tied together at the other end. My 20 ft. towing strap was hooked to the rope and the other end of the strap was hooked to the 5th wheel hitch in the back of the truck.

With the help of our wives, my Pat driving the truck and Duncan’s wife Patty putting in braces where we indicated, Duncan and I started to lift the posts. When we got to the point of not being able to lift any higher, I had attached an 8ft. 2 x 4 to each post, which allowed us to lift higher. At this time, I motioned Pat to slowly drive the truck forward raising the posts to an upright position, as they slipped between the 6 x 6 posts, Pat stopped pulling and the second 18-inch pipe was put in the top hole with the pipe caps put on and tightened.

Duncan and I went and got fence boards for the next phase of the project. First, we made the frame of a two-piece gate and installed them on the posts. Next, we attached the fence boards in the pattern that we wanted. After that the fence portion on each side of the gate was built.

Building the gate frame, Patty  posing, taking the ropes down, Duncan leveling the dirt over the holes and the finished gate.

I am very happy with the outcome of this project and so is Pat. Also, very grateful, of the help from Duncan and Patty, I could not have done without their help.

The old sign posts pulled out will be replaced with new signs on the gate. Duncan and Patty were the first to leave under our new gate.

Ken and Kim were the first to arrive under the new gate.

That’s a wrap for this post, hope it as been worth the wait and I haven’t bored you with a lot of details. Thanks for stopping by, until the next time, take care.


Good night from "The Ridge"


Monday, June 19, 2023

Long Over-Due

Where Are We Today
The Ridge
Priceville, Ontario

This post is long over-due. At the end of every winter,  I like to make a record of the miles traveled.

This winter from the time we left Ridge until the time we returned to the Ridge, we put 12951.0km./8047.4mi. on the truck.

This pic shows a total km. of 2951.0, That is actually 12951.0km, as this odometer resets after it reaches 9999.9 kms.
We used 738.25 gal. of fuel, averaging 10.9 mpg. Or 2794.0 liters of fuel, averaging 21.6 l/100km. These numbers are taken from the truck’s onboard computer.

The total mileage/kilometers on the truck at this point is 168081.3 km/104438.9mi.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Gas and Diesel Don't Mix

Where Are We Today
Huachuca City/Sierra Vista

Did you hear about the guy that put gas in his diesel truck, what a …. …, oh wait, that was me. No excuses, except that I had one gigantic old age brain fart.

On our first day of our trip heading home, we had driven from Quartzsite to Huachuca City. Got set up at Quail Ridge RV Park and headed into Sierra Vista to get fuel, as we had less than 2 gallons to empty, and do some shopping.

I pulled into the Valero station on the front side, driving across the end of the pumps looking for diesel, black handles, more black handles and oh, there is a yellow handle. (Diesel pumps in Ontario are yellow or green) I pull up and proceed to fill the tank with what I realized when it was almost full, was gas.

Now I’m in panic mode, what to do. I know enough to not start the truck. There is a Ford dealer right next door, so over I go to get some help. This is Saturday afternoon; the service department is closed. Five sales guys come over and push me to the dealer ship. To put the truck in neutral, I quickly turn the key to accessory and off, the same to put it back in park. Wait until Monday when service is open and we’ll get you looked after.

I am there bright and early Monday morning to see when and what is needed to be done. Two mechanics off on training, so won’t be today, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Cost could be $900.00 to flush out the system or $14,000.00 if it got into the injectors.

After talking to family and friends, we went back to put the pressure on to just drain and flush the system, put in new fuel filters and we will be on our way.

They finally agreed to do that. While taking the fuel line off the tank they said that the connectors on the ends were cracked, so needed to order a new line, which didn’t get here until this morning. At 10:30 we got the call that it was done. Deb, from “Celebrating the Dance” gave us a ride to the dealer.

When paying the bill, the service advisor explained what they did and because it wasn’t the standard procedure by Ford, that there was no warranty on the work that they did. I said I understood and even had to sign where they had stated that on the invoice.

We have our truck and it’s running fine. There is more to this story but don’t want to bore you to death. I do want to say that if it wasn’t for one of the sales guys from Saturday that helped to push the truck, it would still be sitting there.

I can tell you that I beat myself up pretty good and we made ourselves sick thinking of the worst-case scenario, along with a couple of sleepless nights. As our B-I-L said, a year from now it will be just a memory and another story to tell. With the help of good friends, Tom and Deb, Deb and Riley, we were shuttled back and forth and at each Happy Hour, gave us laughter to forget our troubles. We thank them more than we can say. 

That’s it for now, sorry no pictures, until the next time, take care.

Saturday, March 11, 2023


Where Are We Today
Quartzsite Arizona

What did I pass? The Transport Canada Pilot Certificate for (RPAS) Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) .

My Certificate
Why do I need this? In 2019 Transport Canada came out with new regulations for drones, (RPAS), whether they are quadcopter, helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, weighting more than 250 g and up to and including 25 kg.

The test for the Basic Certificate is 35 multiple choice answer questions that you get 90 minutes to do it in. It is done on-line at a cost of $10.00. you need a 65% grade to pass. If you fail, you have to wait 24 hours before you can take it again and you can take it as many times as it takes to get a passing grade. Most of these questions have nothing to do with RPA flying and more to do with flying full-scale aircraft.

Another Nice Landing
There is an advanced test that allows for more freedom to where you can fly, it is 50 questions, 60 minutes to do it and you must take a flight review with a certified reviewer.

As a member of MAAC, Model Aeronautics Association of Canada, I was exempted from those regulations if I was flying from an approved MAAC flying field. Due to an error in site approval of some fields, which MAAC was trying to correct, Transport Canada took away our exemption and suspended all out door flying until we obtained our pilot certificate. All sites have to be reapproved before we can fly at them.

There are restrictions that come with the Basic Pilot Certificate. To name a few, fly no higher than 400 feet above ground level, fly 100 feet away from spectators, no closer than 3 nautical miles from an airport and 1 nautical mile from a heliport. Also, every RPA has to be registered with Transport Canada, it will be assigned a registration number which must be affixed to that aircraft and every aircraft that you own, cost of $5.00 per.

I don’t disagree with some regulations, but their tests need to be more in line with the type of flying we are involved in.

 I do not mind telling you that after looking at all the study material, AIM  and the CAR, I was very nervous at whether this old dog was going to be able to pass this test, even taking it multiple times if necessary. I surprised myself and gave a huge sigh of relief when I passed it on the first attempt with a 74% grade.

Quartzsite Desert flyers Field
Hoping now that our field back home gets re-opened by the time I get back. I will now start registering my airplanes and set up the mandatory log books that I need for each airplane and transmitter.

We are three weeks away from leaving the park and starting our trek home. This past Wednesday, I conducted our last Quartzsite Desert Flyers meeting for this season, the next meeting will be in November.

Thanks for following along. I know this post may be boring to some, but interesting to others. Until the next time, take care.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Engine Woes and QDF Air Show

Where Are We Today

Quartzsite, Arizona

In the two months since my last post, life has gone on as I am sure you have read in Pat’s everyday posts, “Chillin with Patsy”. HERE 

I continue to enjoy  my hobby of RC model airplane flying, although it is not the flying I had hoped for. If you remember in my last post, I mentioned losing two airplanes, replacing one ( which I am still flying) and having sent a 4 cycle glow fuel Saito engine in for repair do to a noise it was making.

This is the plane I bought after crashing two. It is a Leader 480

The engine was returned to me within 3 weeks of sending it away after they replaced the front and rear bearings, a piston ring and front drive collet. They said that the valves and tappets were checked and it was bench tested for any noise.

I reinstalled it in my J3 Cub and headed for the field with anticipation of flying it for the rest of the winter. After a quart of fuel and adjusting the low speed needle to try and get it to idle, I resorted to resetting the low-speed needle to factory settings and starting all over following their instructions, to no avail, I had had enough.

The Cub flying back in Sept. 2020

The motor came out and it was sent back asking them to fix it and make sure it would idle before sending it back. They have had it since the 20th of January and it still isn’t fixed, waiting on parts with no ETA when they will arrive. Oh, I have no idea what parts they’re waiting for, communication doesn’t seem to be a strong suit.

This past weekend was our annual Air Show/ Fun Fly, with a night fly on Friday night, the air show on Saturday and swap meet on Sunday. We had great weather for it and a good time by all. I should mention that I had brought with me some items to sell at the swap meet, but a Sig “Somethin Extra” Kit was spotted at our club house a couple of weeks before the swap meet, so a trade was made. I had one of these years ago as a glow fuel powered model, this one, I plan on doing electric.

These three belong to a fellow Canadian from Alberta

This one from another Canadian from B.C.

The only one at the show

Nice electric T-28 with a sound card in it to make it sound real.

I have started a Quartzsite Desert Flyers FB page which you can find and see photos of the weekend there.

It has been a different winter this year, with temperatures 10 -15 degrees F. below average. It has been windier then normal and we have had more rain this year then in all the years put together since we have been coming down starting in 2016. This is not a complaint, just an observation, still better than at home.

There you have it, my side of life here in the desert of Quartzsite Arizona. We are 37 days away from starting our trek home, hoping to be back at “The Ridge” around April 18th. Thanks for stopping by, comments are always welcome. Until the next time, take care and enjoy life.