Friday, 20 December 2013


With the recent high winds its been hard work on the bike the last week or so, but today was perfect with light winds and mild temp, so it was down to john muir country park with the pugsley and another hour or so ride around the sandy single track, the scenery at john muir park and belhaven beach on the right day is absolutely stunning and this area is my all time favorite place to ride my pug, before i got this bike the beach was off limits and i did a lot of trail centers such as glentress and also quite a bit of road cycling, i'm now putting the cash aside for another surly bike thats even fatter, at the moment i have four bikes a bianchi road bike which hardly ever sees the light of day, a surly disc trucker, a rock lobster xc bike which i use for my daily commute to work and of course my pug, the pug is my fav bike to ride and is by far the most used out of all the bikes i own, sometimes at belhaven beach the sand can be very soft especially after big tides and even cycling the pugsley can be really hard work, hence the reason for fat bike number two, the above video was shot with the go pro the music is by public image ltd, the song the order of death.

Monday, 16 December 2013


Monday morning was a little windy with the occasional shower, but with the wind coming from a south westerly direction, i knew the woods and dunes at john muir country park would offer me a little protection for my morning ride on the pugsley, so i crossed the beil burn and cycled along belhaven beach into the wind until i reached the tyne estuary, then i turned on the go pro and headed along the sandy single track as fast as i could, this area is known as spikey island, during high tide on big springs around 5.5 meters the whole area can be surrounded by water which has caught out many a dog walker, for a small area there is a lot of winding little sandy trails which are great fun to blast around with the fat bike, also there wasn't another soul about today so i had the area to my self, the video is recorded in HD the artist-DJ Shadow, the track-stem long stem.

Monday, 9 December 2013


Thanks to losing my charging kit for my panasonic compact camera, i only had my go pro to document my cycle on the coast today, still i haven't used it for a couple of months and to be honest i have been enjoying my beach riding without feeling the need to make video or take pictures, although making a film is quite an enjoyable experience so for the first time in months i thought i would do just that, and had a couple of hours ride today along the scart rocks and out to saint margrates point and along to belhaven, the weather was perfect for a beach ride with light winds and calm seas, i even bumped into a young seal playing in the small surf at belhaven beach, unfortunately my camera didn't pick this up very well so i decided to remove it from the video, however i have had the idea for a while now of getting in the water with these beautiful animals and getting some video of them in the wild as they are abundant on our coast, should manage it in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

Saturday, 28 September 2013


Time was something i didn't have in abundance on friday morning as my younger sister was getting married at two o clock at the Rocks hotel in Dunbar, however i surfaced early and managed to squeeze in an hours beach ride around john muir country park and Belhaven beach, it was a glorious morning a little overcast but not a breath of wind.
 I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the weather, There was a small surf running and this lone sup rider was catching a few waves on to the beach.
As was this guy on his longboard.
I continued my ride to the tyne estuary, and as you can see the sand here is very soft indeed, see how the tires of the pugsley float compared to my footprint, quite amazing really.

I pushed on through the soft sand and stopped for the occasional photo and enjoyed the still morning not a sound apart from the surf on the beach and the birds song, i hope to get out on the pugsley during the weekend as my week off work is almost over.
Once off the beach i sought out the single track that cuts through the woods and peddled as fast as i could to work up a little sweat ducking to miss branches and swerving to avoid tree stumps, the little paths that cut through these woods are great fun if a little short and at this time of the morning not another soul about.
Once i caught my breath i stopped for a quick picture of the pine trees and then it was home to sort out wedding clothes for my sisters big day.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Autumn in East lothian is probably my favorite time of the year, the cooler temperatures make cycling a little more comfortable, the autumn swells are more frequent and combined with the shorter daylight hours it means that its dark to quickly for the Edinburgh and glasgow surfers to get waves after work,
which is fine by me as i have spent many an Autumn evening surfing Belhaven bay in glassy 3-4 ft perfection with just the local wildlife to keep me company,
Tuesday late afternoon i decided on a quick hour or so ride on the pugsley so i  cycled down to Belhaven and out across the beach, where i bumped into this young gannet above. and managed to maneuver myself into position and get a decent picture before he squawked loudly in disapproval and paddled off into the surf.
I continued along the soft sand until i eventually run out of beach stopping for the occasional photo. and decided to head along the john muir way to east linton

The river tyne
Hard to spot, but a nice sea trout waiting for the cover of darkness to head up the river to spawn.

 Preston mill
Prestonkirk manse

I continued my cycle to the village of East linton and stopped to take in the views of the linn rocks.
I have not fished this far up the river this year, and as the sea trrout and brown trout season will shortly be coming to a close i promised myself i would come back with my fly rod,
An enjoyable ride on the bike but now it was time to head for home.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


The wind tonight was really strong from the west but i decided to head out on the pugsly and catch the last hour and a half of daylight.
I cycled out towards john muir country park and around spikey island and was relieved to turn around at the point and head along the sandy sweep of belhaven bay with the wind finally at my back, you can just make out the WW2 anti glider poles sticking out of the sand, these have recently been exposed thanks to the recent large tides and swell that we had last week.

During WW2 the british fear of an airborne assault stemmed from the coup de main attack of german glider borne troops capturing the Belgian fort of eden Emael, with east lothian having some large hard sandy beaches such as Aberlady bay with east fortune airfield near by which was used extensively in WW2, Burntisland and also Belhaven bay would if not for the anti glider poles  made excellent landing grounds.
As i continued my cycle along the beach with the strong wind at my back i noticed a large number of gannets feeding out in the bay, i tried my best to capture this event but my small compact camera was not up to the task, The biggest single gannet colony in the world is the bass rock which is home to an estimate 150,000 gannets during the summer months, the gannets spend most of the year on the bass rock until the end of october then fly south some as far as the west coast of africa.

With the wind gaining in strength and the sun slowly slipping below the horizon it was i decided time to head for home to wash down the pugsly, a quick ride tonight but very enjoyable indeed.
 Belhaven bay at dusk.

Monday, 3 June 2013


Yesterday we went along to yellow craig beach for the skinny dip in aid of the marie curie cancer charity with the ILB as safety cover, on the way back home the wind dropped and the sun came out so i decided to get the quadcopter out and film the inshore lifeboat crew recover and square away the boat while i filmed them from the air, however when i tried to get the phantom airborne i got all sorts of error               lights flashing from the led display, and the quads propellers refused to kick over, so with some investigation on the DJI website i quickly discovered that i had to upgrade to the latest firmware, which  thankfully was a breeze to download and install, once that was done i had to recal the imu's, today i took it out for a test flight over the promenade,enjoy the film.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Just recently i have rekindled my interest in fly fishing, something i have not done for over three years, so i purchased a permit from the pet shop in dunbar for the river tyne, looked out my fly rod and I've spent at least three hours every day this week fishing, the first day i must admit i was a little rusty and it took most of the first session to get my casting sorted out.
Tuesday morning i awoke early to bright sunshine so i loaded the surly LHT with my fly fishing gear and had a very pleasant cycle along the old A1 to the river, once there i studied the water and due to the warm weather there where a number of fish rising and plenty of fly activity on the water, the area where i wanted to fish was tight so i opted to use the tenkara rod, i tried to match the hatch as best i could with the patterns that i had in my fly box and tied on a small olive spider and aimed the line under a low hanging tree branch where there was a number of fish rising, for the first fifteen minutes the small trout ignored my fly so a change to a small wet greenwall glory, i again cast the line under the tree branch and started a slow retrieve of the line and bang fish on, although small these little brown trout put up a surprisingly good fight when fished with light gear, i fished on into the afternoon landing around eight brown trout all catch and release.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


A weeks holiday and although into spring the weather has been quite poor, snow, sleet, rain & high winds for the last six days, not to mention i have been laid up with a stomach  bug that has been doing the rounds and as a result surfing and cycling hasn't been an option, none the less today was sunny and dry albeit there was a rather stiff cold north east wind, despite this i headed out to the old A1 on the outskirts of Dunbar to practice with my Quad copter, the stiff breeze and the fact that i kept the quad in the ATT mode meant that the video is a little shaky, but I'm getting a little more competent each time i get out but still need a little more practice before i start making videos of surfers, which is why i bought the phantom in the first place, still practice makes perfect so they say.

Below is another phantom video i made a few weeks ago when the weather was much more accommodating, this is a flight over the remains of the old battery on lamer island at Dunbar harbor, and out over the forth.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Tuesday i had a day off work so it was up at 06:30 put a load of washing in the machine
and then get the rest of the house work out of the way, which left the rest of the day to myself, and as the weather was fair with next to no wind i grabbed the chance to get some more practice in with flying the DJI phantom, for this flight i kept the aircraft in gps mode and just performed some simple maneuvers as i only have two flights under my belt, i switched the phantom on and waited for the  flight iums to warm up which took about five minutes, once the led light turned to green i started the motors and hovered around head hight and took my hands away from the controls the phantom hovered at the same hight and maintained it's position thanks to the gps system getting a good sat reception, once i was satisfied that everything was working correctly i reduced the throttle and brought the phantom down to land and switched on the go pro camera, by this time i only had about 7 minutes of flight time left, as the lithium polymer battery only give about 14 minutes of flight time.
The DJI phantom has a return to home function, should the signal from the transmitter be lost the aircraft will return to the take off position and land on it's own, a good way to test this function is to turn off the transmitter in mid flight and as long as the sat-alight signal is good it will come home and land, however i've not had the confidence to try this yet just incase it goes pete tong.

Friday, 8 February 2013


So after setting up my Quadcopter the DJI phantom, now it was time to bite the bullet and fly it, so i cycled along to deer park and began calibrating the compass on the phantom, with this done without any problems i began the sequence to start the motors in the recommend GPS mode for the first flight the props kicked into life so i applied more throttle and all of a sudden i was airborne, i kept the phantom hovering about head high and started of slowly with a few easy maneuvers ahh this is to easy so i reduced the throttle and came down to land, easy i thought, lets try her in the att mode that the pros use, well it was a different story all together.......gave her more throttle and away she went, unfortunately not as easy to control the phantom in this mode of flight and was lucky not to turn the maiden flight into a expensive disaster, as i found out it was very easy to lose control once the wind comes into the play and i almost lost her to some tree's, with my heart in my mouth i eventually brought my new toy down to land albeit on an uneven surface and the props got a little tangled in some weeds, however no damage was done and i live to fight another day, but i'll be living that day in GPS mode until i'm a more accomplished pilot.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


This week has been wild, with high winds rain sleet and light snow showers, today was still very windy but dry and bright, so i grabbed the chance to make a beach biking film with the go pro and try out more settings, its also my 40th birthday tomorrow(feb 7th) and I've been looking at alternative ways to film things and decided a while back to save some cash and buy a quad copter for some aerial film making with the go pro, well with the money saved up it was happy birthday to me, the quad copter arrived yesterday and i spent the whole day setting it up, but due to the weather as yet haven't had time to test it, however friday looks like a good day for a maiden flight with lighter winds and sunny conditions, fingers crossed

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


While off work last week i ventured out with the go pro hero 3 and tried my hand at  a little timelapse film, i visited the old castle ruins which overlook dunbar harbor that offer decent views out over the forth, as I'm still learning about the settings on this camera the outcome wasn't as good as i had hopped, the poor light and poorer positioning of the camera resulting in a poor first attempt at time-lapse.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

For quite sometime now i have wanted a gopro camera but was waiting for the hero 3 cameras to come out, well this week i finally got my hands on a hero 3 silver edition and made this little test video while messing around in the snow, with lots of different settings to try it may be sometime before i get the best out of the camera.