Life at the end of the road

July 31, 2012

The new camera :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:33 pm

Probably won’t actually be able to post this until after midnight anyway due to being ‘throttled’ by my ISP, and to be quite honest I’m sick of it. OK it’s only actually happened twice in the four years I’ve been with them and always right at the end of the month but it makes my connection virtually useless. Normally I don’t get anywhere near my limit, the first time it happened coinciding with the arrival of the Dude’s i thingy, no surprise there then. It was almost the end of the month so I phoned them up and pleaded with them, not a chance 😦 They do actually email you at 80% which gives you time to ‘restrict’ your usage but on this occasion it happened to quickly as there were three of them at it all night on the internet with an ipod each 😦

So after Patrick’s suggestion I’ve made some enquiries with another satellite provider who I’ve heard good reports of elsewhere. To be honest Avanti’s service has always been abysmal, poor speeds and the use of ‘compression’ on photographs being two of the issues, 9 till 5 Monday till Friday helplines and failure to reload pages being another. I don’t now how they did it but to reduce traffic they wouldn’t update pages, my blog being an example. The only way I could get certain sites to update their pages was to restart my browser and run the ‘C cleaner’ 😦

I stuck with them because A, there was no realistically priced alternative and B, they kept promising to launch a new satellite. Eventually, almost two years late due to ‘schedule slippage’ 🙂 🙂 no doubt a term to keep those at ‘the customer interface’ happy 🙂 Eventually on November 26th 2010 was launched and by May 2011 I had a very useable service at last. Apart from dropping out now and then in bad weather and the odd glitch it’s been OK and they’ve extended and improved the helpline. However 8GB usage,  4meg download and 633kbps upload are use to neither ‘man nor beast’ these days with all the rubbish and adverts on even the most basic web pages.

I only emailed Tooway an hour ago and already received this promising reply.

Hi Paul
Thanks for your enquiry.
The Tooway system uses a 77cm diameter dish that is linked via a cable to the modem. The system has been designed to be self-installed; a built in bleeper sounds when line of site has been found. We include a handy installation guide with the hardware. We can provide an installation kit which includes a suitable coaxial cable and a wall-mounting bracket for £49.99.
If you wish to connect more than one computer or operate wirelessly you will require a wireless router. We can offer a tried-and-tested Cisco router for £59.99.
Airtime and hardware prices are as follows:-
Tooway 2 – 2Mb download and 1Mb upload speeds with a 2GB four-weekly data allowance for £17.99 per month. One-off connection fee of £29.99. The hardware cost is £199.99.
Tooway 8 – 8Mb download and 2Mb upload speeds with a 16GB four-weekly data allowance for £24.99 per month. One-off connection fee of £29.99. The hardware cost is £149.99.
Tooway 12 – 12Mb download and 4Mb upload speeds with a 16GB four-weekly data allowance for £39.99 per month. One-off connection fee of £29.99. The hardware cost is £99.99.
Tooway 18 – 18Mb download and 6Mb upload speeds with a 26GB four-weekly data allowance for £54.99 per month. One-off connection fee of £29.99. HARDWARE IS FREE.
Tooway 18 Max – 18Mb download and 6Mb upload speeds with a 50GB four-weekly data allowance for £99.99 per month. HARDWARE AND CONNECTION ARE FREE.
If you can, please take a look at the volume calculator within the Solutions section of our website. This may give you a better idea of what you would need.
We can arrange an installation of the system for £99.99. This would include a standard bracket to attach the dish to your property and a suitable cable.
The minimum contract period is twelve months. We can offer a 5% discount on the subscription charges if they are paid yearly.
If possible, can you look at the link below, enter your post code and drag the green dot to your exact location. This will show the direction of our satellite and will give you an idea if you will have a direct line of sight to the satellite without obstruction.

A far better and quicker response than I ever got from Avanti.


Golly gosh, 22:30 and I’ve not even got ‘in my stride’ perhaps this will go out tonight 🙂

Well it was a pure peach of a day today, right from the start and with an early finish ahead of me I took the ‘wee dug’ down to work with me. She, as always being desperate to come but hating every minute of it once we actually get there.

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I was early so had time to stop once or twice without holding up the traffic 🙂

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This being the sycamore at Lot Eachann (Hector’s croft) at the bottom of Glam Brae, the start of the footpath to Inver.

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And no prizes for the name of this regular feature 🙂

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Quite a busy day at work followed, with two visits by Eyre Plant’s ‘batching truck’

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and hoards of foot passengers taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

The mystery parcel that my compatriot turned up with after his visit to the Post Office turned out to be a new camera from my mum 🙂 A Panasonic DMC FZ48, the replacement for the 38 that was stolen last week. It’s very similar to the 38 but with a major improvement in the zoom from 18x to 24x, easier to use menus and better buttons plus a roller arrangement for scrolling. The lens cap is also an improvement on the 38 insomuch as it no longer hits the lens on ‘start up’.

With only an hour to go until lunch I put the battery on charge to try it out.

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Full Zoom, I am most impressed 🙂

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Again, full zoom on the mini ‘gin palace’ Suilven anchored in Churchton bay.

After taking my first pictures it was up to our new caravan to start the preparations for moving it, fitting the draw bar and blowing up the tyres

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whilst the ‘wee dug’ looked on.

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It is obviously very tiring work sitting in the Land Rover all day 🙂

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Now this picture did impress me, taken at full zoom from the wheelhouse of the Loch Striven, which is hardly the most stable platform even on a calm day.

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Same again, Dun Caan at 24x from Sconser 🙂

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On the move and on my way home via the village shop before 17:00 🙂

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Today’s cruise ship anchored in Portree bay being the a 30,000t ship registered in Malta.

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A little further along the road we came across the remains of an underbody cover off a car and some missing tarmac from where the car had hit the road. Luckily, this time, there was not a puddle of oil 🙂

So that was my day at work, I arrived home before 18:00 and went to bed for an hour, getting up around 19:30 to put one of the girlies to bed. Not something that I’ve been doing but they’re away tomorrow and I’ll miss them 🙂 So even though she wasn’t actually due a story, having stayed up late, I read her an old favourite of my son’s from when he was her age.


The duck in the truck, the frog in  the bog, the sheep in the jeep and the goat in the boat all get covered in mud, she loved it 🙂


  1. Paul I wait in anticipation for the Caravan to arrive at Arnish and yes the photo’s taken with the new camera do look good over the internet. Hope your weather stays good.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — July 31, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    • When’s the big move day for the caravan? Could you get it on video? Could be a Youtube sensation… if you can get it uploaded, of course!

      Comment by ecobodger — August 1, 2012 @ 5:10 am

      • One I am sure many of us will be glad to watch as well!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 1, 2012 @ 7:33 am

      • ..and at worst you could earn yourself £250 and we could all watch it on “You’ve Been Framed!”

        Comment by ecobodger — August 1, 2012 @ 8:35 am

      • That would be worth watching either way! lol

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 5, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      • Could be tomorrow EB but videos with the new camera are out 😦 my laptop isn’t capable of reading or playing AVCHD I can use a different format but ‘Windows Moviemaker’ doesn’t support it and Avidemux won’t play it properly. Still there’s always the Fuji which I used for the hen.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 1, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

      • Hen video works for me!

        Comment by ecobodger — August 2, 2012 @ 5:35 am

    • Hi Walter, the big day is not far away, perhaps tomorrow, we’ll see what I feel like at 5:00 in the morning, don’t want to hold up any traffic 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 1, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

      • May the winds be with you.

        Comment by Polite Scouser — August 1, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  2. Pictures on the new camera are brill Paul, Sure is a better camera than mine! Might just have to write to Santa early this year! (-;

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 1, 2012 @ 7:34 am

  3. Thanks Paul’s Mum for the new camera, great photos.
    Frances G

    Comment by Frances G — August 1, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  4. I also looked at tooway broadband. The prices have come down cosiderably in eighteen months. But for the mo the 3g dongle package i have here works fo me.. The new camera is a belter… Keep an eye on this one tho…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 1, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    • Hi Steve,
      I’ve a 3network 3G dongle that works really well at work but no phone reception at all here, though there is 2G at the new house. However the day that we get 3G I’ll ditch the satellite.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 1, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  5. Hi Paul

    The zoom pics are seriously good. The last time I tried to get a close-up from the ferry of Dun Caan, let alone from Sconser, the result was a grey blur. I look forward to more!



    Comment by Sue — August 1, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    • Hi Sue, yup, I’d recommend it to anyone, hope its as tough as the last one.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 1, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  6. Would have launched my own low-orbit satellite dealing with that 🙂 Very impressed with the new camera.Shame the old one did not have a self destruct system 🙂

    Comment by Andy — August 1, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  7. Thank goodness you’ve got a new camera – Mum’s are great aren’t they – I was thought that we might have to have a whip-round to make sure that we don’t have to go without your stunning and interesting photos – mind you with your new training coming up we might have to – unless you can train up the wife ! I’ve had the FZ100 for over a year – same zoom and it’s super – only problem is gloomy conditions when things get a bit grainy. Make sure you don’t leave it lying around – they’ll really want that one ! Sue, perranuthnoe nr Penzance

    Comment by Sue Mason — August 1, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    • I’m almost glad I had it stolen Sue, it’s so much better than what was a fantastic camera anyway.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 2, 2012 @ 4:58 am

  8. Hi Paul, glad tooway was worth a look for you. Do shop around for deals – there are multiple resellers and the deals do vary a bit. I got a summer deal that doubled the bandwidth allocation and had an unusual throttling limit, so it’s worth comparing the differences… Best of luck! Patrick

    Comment by Patrick — August 2, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    • Cheers Patrick, I have a Tooway dish and modem on the way thanks to a fellow ‘hydro’ enthusiast and blog reader, cheers H

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 4, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

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