Friday, December 8, 2023

Hobby Related

Where Are We Today

Park Place RV Park

Quartzsite Arizona

Time sure flies by when you are enjoying life, and that’s the way it has been for us since arriving here about six weeks ago. If you are reading Pat's Blog, you will have day to day updates of our life here.

Before I get into the main subject of this post, the solar upgrade that I did is working well and I am pleased with the outcome. There is one addition to what I did and that is, I ordered one more battery, that arrived today. In the next couple of days, it will be added to the other three batteries.

Hobby is the topic of this post, that being, flying RC airplanes. Two of the planes that I came with, have crashed, part of the hobby, if you fly often enough, you will crash airplanes. One was a complete write off and the other is repairable, which I will do soon.

This my Somethin Extra that crashed but I will fix it.
Before I left here last spring, I had set aside a Piper Cub, 72 inch wing span and done in Army green colour scheme, at Jim’s place, where we hold our meetings. It is being temperamental in the engine department, so it hasn’t flown yet.

This is the Piper Cub that I had set aside last spring before I left for home.
What I didn’t expect, was the other Piper Cub that he had for sale when I got here this fall.  This one has a 91 inch wing span and is done in the traditional yellow Piper Cub colour.  With a 91 OS Four Stroke engine, it flies very well.

The 91 inch wing span piper Cub
After losing my night flyer last year, I wanted to replace it so I could once again fly at night down here. After lots of deliberation, I settled on the E-Flite Night Timber, that comes with lights installed. Last night was our first night of night flying here at the Quartzsite Desert Flyers field, where I flew it at night for the first time. It flies well and I am surprised and pleased with how well it lights up.

Sorry it is blurry, not quite dark yet.

Daytime picture.

Explanation, Jim that I mentioned above, is one of the founding members of the club down here. He and his wife own property here, on which he built what would look like a driving shed. In there, on one end, his wife has a quilting room, on the other end is an open area where we hold our meetings and there is a work room where we can go and fix/build airplanes. There is also a mezzanine where you can find many airplanes and anything needed to fix/ build them.

Along with flying model airplanes, Jim also buys up planes and hobby related equipment to resell. He does it to keep busy, part of a hobby to him. His resale prices are very fair.

I would also like to state that Jim, at the age of 91, is retired air force veteran, having been active for more than 30 years. Jim was the boom operator on many kinds of fuel tankers.  A gentleman and good friend.

Well that’s it for this post, thanks for stopping by, until the next time.





Saturday, November 18, 2023

Solar Equipment Replacement

Where Are We Today

Park Place RV Park

Quartzsite Arizona

On our way here, we discovered that our converter/ battery charger for our trailer had quit working and our batteries were not holding a charge. Now there was no surprise with the batteries as they are seven years old. I should have replaced them this past summer, but I did not. The converter on the other hand was a surprise.

Old Converter/battery charger

Upon our arrival here in the park, I did some trouble shooting on the converter. There were no blown breakers, there was power to it and the three fuses on the converter were fine.

Old AGM batteries

As I said, the five AGM batteries are done. The decision with what to replace them with was next, do I go with AGM or Lithium. I never thought that I would go with lithium, but that’s what I decided to do. This also meant that our current, 2 – 30-amp charge controllers would have to be replaced as they did not charge lithium batteries.

Parts mounted, then removed to make it easier to fasten the plywood.

Amazon is a great place to shop, you can find anything in your budget range that you can think of. A purchase of 3 Power Queen low temperature cut-off 100-amp lithium batteries, two Power Queen MPPT 30-amp charge controllers and a 20-amp lithium battery charger was made. Also, on a trip to Yuma the other day, a piece of ½ inch X 24”x 24” plywood was bought.

Plywood and parts mounted in the storage compartment.

The new charge controllers are bigger than the old ones and would not fit in the same place. I decided to mount them next to the batteries and the inverter in the storage compartment.

Junction boxes on the roof. Three 160 watt panels per box per controller

Remove old controllers


I disconnected the solar panels in the junction box up on the roof of the trailer, removed the old charge controllers and then the batteries, all except one. Hooked up a battery charger to it to keep the 12-volt side of the trailer running.

Next, I laid out the parts on the plywood, marked all the holes drilled for screws and then mounted the plywood. Once mounted, the charge controllers and a new receptacle for the battery charge was mounted.

Up and running

I was able to use all the same wiring by splicing together where the old controllers were and cutting and inserting at the new controllers. Next the install of the three new batteries, wired in parallel and make the connection to the solar panels up on the roof.

Try to keep as neat as possible. There are two Bluetooth boxes,
 you can see one at the bottom corner, I downloaded the app so I can see what the controllers are reading on my phone.

All are working great, over the next few days, we will see how the batteries perform and how long we can run on them before having to connect to power. I also need to secure the batteries in place and some kind of cover to protect the posts from accidental shorting.

Twenty amp battery charger.

Before I close, I need to thank my Brother-in-Law, John for suggestions and advise on the equipment and our good friend Ken for clearing up some confusion on power input, thanks guys, much appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.



Wednesday, November 1, 2023


Where Are We Today

Park Place RV Park

Quartzsite Az.

Today was the last drive to our winter destination for the winter.  A huge 94-mile drive from Pilot Knob to Park Place, where we will be until March 31st, 2024. Spent the rest of the day getting set up and ready to go flying in the morning.

For a more detailed account of our day, check out Pat’s blog HERE


Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.

Our Route Today

Saturday, October 28, 2023


Where Are We Today

Shoot Out Arena RV Park

Tombstone Arizona

Leaving Bottomless Lake State Park this morning at 7:40 am in a drizzly rain, we headed out on US 380 towards Roswell NM. I topped up our tank in Roswell before carrying on. Within a few miles we were in clear blue skies for the rest of the day.

Next, we took US 70 thru the Mescalero Reservation, this is a beautiful drive thru forest and mountains reaching close to 7900 ft. in elevation. There is a section of this highway that you would swear you are going downhill, but actually you are climbing.  


As promised, Al, here’s a Big “ HELLO SOUTHWEST, WE MISS YOU” from “ The Bayfield Bunch”

Continuing on US 70/54, then US 70 past the White Sands National Park to Las Cruces NM, where we got on Interstate 10 west. We stayed on that all the way to Benson AZ then turned south on US 80, bring us to Tombstone.

We are parked in a $10 a night boondocking RV park. Tomorrow will be a no driving day as we walk the streets of Tombstone, you never know we just might run into Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp.

Pat may not get hers written tonight so check it out  here    in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.



Friday, October 27, 2023

Shorter Drive Today

Where Are We Today

Site D

Bottomless Lake State Park

I promise you I didn’t do another 500-mile day, only 388 miles. Read Pat’s blog Here   to see the written route that we took today.

Site D Bottomless Lake State Park

To “Don in Okla.” we stopped in at Hutch’s about 9:10 a.m. to say hi, asked the girl behind the counter if there was a Don here, she said she didn’t know of a Don. Sorry we missed you.

Certainly different scenery today and some roads that I won’t travel again, but all in all a nice day.

Thanks for stopping in, until the next.


6th Day out, From Liberal Ks to Bottomless Lake State Park Roswell Nm

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Jell-O Jiggled

Where Are We Today

Walmart Parking Lot

Liberal Kansas

Before I start, I have to warn Lorne, from” A Place Called Away”, the Jello jiggled, so you better sit down.

When we started out this morning, at 7:15, I had every intension of going as far as a Walmart in Wichita Ks. Realizing that we would be there around 1:30 p.m., we decided to push on. So, we headed to this Walmart in Liberal Ks.

After 530 miles, that’s far enough and we wanted to stay in Kansas so we can add that sticker to our map.

Todays route had us on I-70 to the 435 By-pass around Kansas City, I-35 to U.S.50 to Kansas State Rd 61 to U.S. Rd 400 to U.S. 54 ending up on Tucker Rd in Liberal Ks.

At this point, I have not picked a destination, so check back in tomorrow. For the rest of our day, read Pat’s blog Here

Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.


Our 530 mile day

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Back on the Road

Where Are We TodaySam’s Club Parking Lot

Columbia Mo.

We left Showalter RV in Nappanee In. this morning at 8 a.m., tanks dumped and full of fuel.

It has been a good day of driving putting on 500 miles. Some of those miles on roads we have never travelled on.

Almost to Columbia Mo.

 I can say that the roads were in good condition, with few rough spots and not a lot of construction.

For more of our days travel, visit Pat’s blog Pat's

Thanks for stopping in, until the next time.

Our route today

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Slide Fixed

Where Are We Today

Showalter RV

Nappanee In.

This morning at 8:30, there was a knock at the door, they were here to fix our slide. Two and a half hours later it was all back together and operating perfectly.

Inside pulley, the cable is not sitting properly in the pulley

The problem was the cable not riding in the pulley properly and causing it to bind. The pulley system mounting plate was on an angle, thus causing the cable to not ride probably in the pulley.

Can you see the angle that system is on?

To fix this, an aluminum plate was fastened to the wall where the box frame is located and then the pulley system mounted to that. The cables were readjusted and aligned.

Here is the aluminum plate attached to the wall with the pulley system mounted to it.

It was noticed that the other side of the slide was just starting to do the same thing, so a metal plate was put on that side also.

Plate being put on the other side.

So, we are good to go. We decided to spend one more night here and get an early start in the morning.

We are very grateful that the good folks here were able to look after us so quickly.

Thanks for stopping by, until the next time.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Slide Update

Where Are We Today
Showalter RV
Nappanee, In.

Here is an update to our situation with our bedroom slide. But first let me thank everyone for their suggestions on getting this fixed.

From one follower we tried Indiana Interstate Enterprises, in LaGrange In. as it was the closest. They had all their service bays full with one person waiting. When I asked when they would have an opening, I was told that they are booked thru until January. They did however give us the name and phone number of the manufacturer of the cable system in Elkhart In.

That was our next phone call, Norco Cable Systems (BAL), where the person on the phone gave all kinds of suggestions which were all ready tried or impossible to do. I thank them and moved on.

By the way, all these calls are being done as we head towards the area.

The third call was to another follower’s suggestion, that being Showalter RV, in Nappanee IN, where we are currently sitting. They said that when one of these situations presents itself, they call, get this, BAL Norco mobile tech to come and do the repair right here in their lot. It will probably not be until Wednesday, but may happen tomorrow. So here we sit, plugged in and we have water hook up just like at CanAm.

All Set UP

Our route today, from Marion to Nappanee In.

I have contacted CanAm and spoke with our service rep, Peggy. Once fixed, we are to send the invoice to them and we will be reimbursed. They do look after us.

Thanks for checking in, until the next time.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Not Such a Good First Day

Where Are We Today

Walmart Parking Lot

Marion Indiana

We left CanAm RV at 7:45 a.m. this morning and crossed the border at Sarnia/Port Huron just before 9:00 a.m. We headed east and then south on I-69 arriving here around 2:45. When we went to open the bedroom slide, it would only go out about 6 inches and then stop. After trying what ever I could think of, I have left it in and we will have to deal with it in the morning.

 There is a service center at DRV Mobilesuites where it was made, 2 hours north of us, so they will be called first thing in the morning to see what the chances are of getting in there to get it fixed. If the wait is to long, a call will be made to CanAm, letting them we are on the way back to them to get it fixed.

That’s all I’m going to say about it for now. Read Pat’s posts to keep informed.

Thanks for checking in, until the next time.

First Day Travels


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"