Not Sure When I’ll Stop

I’ve been playing around with a few things in X-Plane. I’ve tried direct flight routes using the in-flight computer along with saving flights and then recording the replays from “interesting” angles. My round the world trip started at RAF Valley, I’ll try and find a date if I can. Originally I was going to fly the coastline of Great Britain or maybe even the UK but I ended up turning right at Jersey and have been heading around the coast of Europe and then Africa. I’m currently in Namibia but struggling to find airstrips along the coast so I’m inland for a little while.

I’m trying to tweet each journey with a screenshot just for posterity. My hashtag isn’t unique and so when I try to look back I’m going to get photographs of lots of people who are going around the world for real. I guess one aim of this is to see other places and see what the world looks like. Even if this is virtual at the moment maybe one day I’ll find somewhere cool to live when I retire!

Here’s a video of me landing somewhere. I recorded the flight and then managed to replay it while moving the camera around [not a great landing]:

This next video is me flying from Ruacana to Ondangwa in Namibia. I think I start the flight halfway through and then go through different views so you can see the sort of thing I look at while flying [another not great landing]:

Going Live

I’ve been playing around recently with live streaming on YouTube. Why? Not sure, I think it’s because I can. Also, each thing I do will get saved and added to my video collection. I have no idea if this is sensible or not but it seems fun at the moment.

My current plan is to fly down the west coast of Africa and then head up the eastern side. I’m hoping to get distracted by some mountain ranges and fun stuff. My general plan is to find an airport around 100 miles away, bomb up to 30,000 or so and then fly there. I’ve decided to skip Cape Verde, because islands are mostly boring. I figured that out while heading around the Canaries.

There’s not a lot that happens as I don’t commentate as I’m doing this. I’ve got the microphone off as I don’t want any house noises coming over the video. You can follow me on this map, but you’ll have to make sure you click on the link when I am flying or it’ll be boring, which even when I’m flying will be the case.

World Tour 2021

I’ve decided to fly somewhere in X-Plane. I’m not sure where I’m going to end up but so far I have travelled from RAF Valley to Mauritania [the worst country you’ve never heard of]. I’m doing short hops heading around the coast. The route has, so far, been roughly:

  • RAF Valley
  • Bristol
  • RNAS Culdrose
  • Southampton
  • Jersey
  • Somewhere in Brittany
  • Bordeaux or so
  • St Sebastian
  • Santander
  • Portugal somewhere
  • Lisbon
  • Faro
  • Gibralter
  • Morocco somewhere
  • Canaries – various
  • Mauritania somewhere.

For a laugh I have streamed some of these. I had streamed to Twitch but that doesn’t save your videos AFAIK and so I’m now streaming this stuff to YouTube. These videos are really NOT interesting. I’m not talking over them. I’m just recording the screens and considering that I get to FL300 and then go straight there isn’t a lot to see. I’m also using this as a way of learning more about flying aircraft. I think I’ve got the basics sorted. I can take off, manoeuvre, land etc but I want to learn a little more about a/c systems and so on.

I’m hoping the scenery will get a little better as I head further south through Africa. I think I’ll sneak out to Cape Verde on the next hop. I’ll also try to remember to fill the plane with fuel and use reheat most of the way. I’m curious to see just how fast I can get it going.

I’m using a multi-screen set up for these trips. The devices are as follows:

  • Main PC screen – X-Plane standard cockpit or outside views.
  • Second PC screen – X-Plane Garmin device and VR Tablet add-on.
  • Android Tablet – browser with details from X-Plane and ability to turn switches etc via the touchscreen.
  • iPhone – running X-Plane Control so I can see approach angles and flight information.

So, when it looks as though I’m not really looking at the main PC screen I’m not. I’m probably doing plenty of other stuff on other screens or just letting the thing fly. I don’t think I have breakages turned on so nothing should go that wrong as I’m flying. Mind you, I’ve had a couple of occasions where the aircraft has ejected me for some reason and I’m not sure why – I suspect it was over-g at low level. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing Table Mountain when I get there.

Not Often I Actually Manage This

While avoiding all the terrible news at the moment I have been spending some time gaming because, let’s face it, other worlds are better than this one at the moment. I’m starting to look for ancient debris in Minecraft [seems like a job for me, just keep doing the same stuff] and I’m considering my YouTube series on aircraft in X-Plane and how to improve that. I’m not sure I remember what day I last drove the car. It might have been Monday, who knows? The heating in my house is going to fail and I booked a technician but I have to wait three weeks for that person to turn up, so it could get interesting over the next while. I have heating at the moment but keeping it going requires fiddling a couple of times each day.

Mr O and I have been looking for places to do follow-the-leader low flying. Our first attempt was through the Mach Loop and it’s slightly annoying that it seems that could be the best place in the world to do that. I had a go at Star Wars Canyon in the USA and it isn’t that long and was actually quite boring from a – you can fly anywhere in the world – point of view. So I’ve been looking at the Chilean fjords. They look more remarkable than the Norwegian fjords and I wonder if Slartibartfast had any role in designing them. So, along with my search to find somewhere to retire I am also looking for decent valleys and LFAs, Low Flying Areas. Currently I’m tempted with New Caledonia and Tierra Del Fuego. One is warm and tropical and the other is most definitely not. These are dreams really as I doubt very much that I could afford or qualify to move to those places and then end up being a burden on their healthcare systems. It’s nice to dream though.

In these times we have to take enjoyment from the smaller things and do our best to keep sane. It’s not going to be easy and the fall-out from this pandemic is going to affect people for many years to come. Hopefully we will have a government willing to cough up the money to ensure the best of all. They seem quite cash-happy at the moment but I suspect that’s because of business losing money rather than an overall caring for people thing. Let’s wait and see.

43 x 47

New year new glasses or however the saying goes. Not a lot to say but I did think I should write something before playing some games. Let’s summarise what’s happening at the moment:

Weather – shit
Human rights – likely to be trampled
Pandemic – still really bad
Roaming charges – likely to return
Horrible people – still in charge
Scientific illiteracy – still high
Uncle Frank – still a racist

So, going well in the new year then. I think I might start another miniseries on YouTube this time flying different types of aircraft in X-Plane. I just need to find a nice place to fly a few circuits. I expect each video to be around five minutes long. I need to have a practice at some.

I don’t do resolutions but I am going to try and play a more varied selection of computer [or console] games this year. I have many games and I enjoy buying them but I rarely get through them. I have some suspicions about why this is and I will probably write about that some day. But, much like buying books, getting new games is exciting and I like owning things. I’ve solved the books buying issue by buying a Kindle and making sure that I read more things more often. I’m doing well at the moment. It helps not having loads of channels on the television because there aren’t that many things I want to watch. There will be even less once the NFL season finishes in about a month.

Anyway, we have to keep our hopes up that at some point this government will accidentally do something good and actually help people. At the moment they seem to be a bunch of art history students trying to understand that gravity exists. Which is probably what they are:

Boris Johnson – Classics Oxford, Eton
Rishi Sunak – PPE Oxford, Winchester College
Dominic Raab – Law Oxford, Dr Challanor’s Grammar [state school]
Priti Patel – Economics Keele, Westfield Technical College [state school]
Michael Gove – English Oxford, Robert Gordon’s College
Robert Buckland – Law Durham, St Michael’s School
Ben Wallace – Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Millfield
Matt Hancock – PPE Oxford, Kings School
Alok Sharma – Applied Physics and Electronics Salford, Presentation College
Elizabeth Truss – PPE Oxford, Roundhay School [state school]
Therese Coffey – Chemistry Oxford, St Mary’s College
Gavin Williamson – Social Science Bradford, Raincliffe School [state school]
George Eustice – Truro Cathedral School
Robert Jenrick – History Cambridge, Wolverhampton Grammar School
Grant Shapps – Business HND Manchester Polytechnic, Watford Grammar School [state school]
Brandon Lewis – Law Buckingham, Forest School
Alister Jack – Glenalmond College
Simon Hart – Radley College
Natalie Evans – Social and Political Sciences Cambridge, Henrietta Barnett School [state school]
Oliver Dowden – Law Cambridge, Parmiter’s School [state school]
Amanda Milling – Economics and statistics UCL, Moreton Hall School

Could Be A New Thing

After the launch of my YouTube series Minecraft Megaship 3000, I have been pondering other things. I quite enjoyed the challenge of creating those videos and maybe I should do more? I might try streaming on Twitch and I think it will be flight simulation based. I’m just trying to work out what I could do. I might even stream some Minecraft. Who knows?

There are two videos currently live. Another six will be released with episode three today at 1500. The last video covers a tour with a ray tracing resource pack, it’s worth watching all the others for. Happy Noodlemass.

It’s Still A Win

Here’s a win. Me racing my Porsche around Brands Hatch. Started in 5th and ended in first. I was pretty happy. This also means I don’t have the child rapist cabal that is the catholic church as my last communication.

Race Face

Gran Turismo Sport recently updated and added the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium to the roster of tracks. I’m looking forward to some of the originals coming back such as:

  • High Speed Ring
  • Grand Valley Speedway
  • Autumn Ring
  • Trial Mountain
  • Deep Forest Raceway

All of these circuits were great fun and hopefully they’ll appear. I’d even play them in low-definition just to have the opportunity to race those corners again.

I was shaky at Spa at first, but I’m getting the hang of the circuit and I think I’ll keep improving bit by bit. I’ve played a few time trials using my favourite cars and then I uploaded the saved video to my YouTube channel.

The following is in my shiny Porsche.

Here are the times I’ve got for Spa so far along with my “branded” cars.

Nissan GT-R
Nissan GT-R
Porsche Cayman GT4
Porsche Cayman GT4

I’ve been to Spa twice. My first time was in October 2003 about a month after I bought my third motorbike, called Steph. There were/are rules about naming of motorcycles which may or may not have been explained in these communications. Here’s a photograph of Steph loaded up in full touring gear on the Eurotunnel train heading under the channel.

Steph on the Eurotunnel train
Steph on the Eurotunnel train

And here’s photographic proof of her at Spa.

Steph at Spa
Steph at Spa

BB Not 8

Here’s a replay of a recent online race I took part in on Gran Tursimo. I qualified third and then managed to win.

It was a good race although nothing too strenuous. It’s best to qualify as high as possible because there’s normally a massive shunt-scene at the first corner if you are lower down. My general method for online racing is to try and steer clear of other cars and take a wider line in corners if there are cars around me. There have been many times that I have been driving well and then some wanker punts me off! He gets a slow down penalty of 4 seconds and I end up at the back of the field. I hate that!

Racing The Ring

In a follow up to this communication I’ve spent some time getting to know the Nurburgring and I’m getting there. These two videos show the same lap just from different perspectives. There’s the TV view and then the front spoiler view. The front spoiler view is the main one that I race with.