Thursday, 14 October 2010
Over the last few weeks at sites I have met people I know and they ask "When are you gonna update your blog, I like it, I read it all" and that does surprise me because with only a few hundred followers I just guessed no-one was bothering to read it, if anyone from Eblogger is reading this, can I get a view counter on here please!
Someone even asked recently if I tweet, if I ever start using Twitter and Tweet you have my permission to slap me, do I look like Paris Hilton? Don't answer that.
Can you imagine if I did use Twitter it would be something like this.
Made a Coffee..
Let Cat Out…
Editing a video
Let Cat in..
Let Cat Out
Ignoring cat at Door..
Let Cat in
Opened Bottle of wine..
Let cat out
Finfished di wvine
Founded su m beerz
drunnnnnk zi bbeeerrrrzzzzz
Not exactly a thrill a minute rock n roll lifestyle, so there will be to tweets from me.
So we managed to buy a new house WOO HOO, we got it for £22,000 ($35,000) less than the original asking price, I had a great old house before with the best neighbours in a good quiet area, the mortgage was almost finished on that and I sold it for more than double the amount I paid for it so buying a bigger house was not as much of an expense for me as you may imagine. Now here I am in a big house with four toilets which causes me some confusion, more so after I have had a bottle of wine, I have to sit and think where am I going for a pea.
I usually head for the toilet which is nearest and which happens to be the domain of my two and a half year old daughter, its kind of strange when your in there standing staring at a big "Peppa Pig" poster surrounded by big "Fifi & The Flowertots" stickers while trying to make sure your aim is true, if you know what I mean.
The benefit of the new house is that I can have a room to set up all my video and computer gear and there is a lot of it. One big mistake I made with this house is the internet.. At my old house which was almost 40 years old, I had broadband, my usual speed there was about 10mb I could have had up to 100mb if I wanted it but 10 was fine.
My new house which is almost five years old has a max speed of 2mb this is a speed that I had at my old house over ten years ago. The company who are my ISP phoned when we moved in and said "we will give you 20 mb internet speed and if you don't need it we can drop it down to ten and save you money" It was after the first week of constantly being cut off from our supposed broadband with youtube uploads taking about four times longer than usual that I smelled a rat, I ran a British Telecom internet speed test which told me my average was 2mb with an area max of 3mb, that is ridiculous in this day and age.
I called them up and the operator says to me "Oh your quite far away from the exchange" Oh really" says I, so I went upstairs to my sons bedroom, looked out of his window, past the horse in the farm yard which is just in front of my house, then its a football pitch and just past that is the phone exchange, I could walk to it in about five minutes max and I told him so.
"OH" says the operator, yeah fuckin OH thought I, needless to say that after being told a pile of crap he admitted there was nothing they could do other than put in a whole new telephone exchange which British Telecom are starting to do. So how does this affect me, uploading ten or more minute HD videos is out of the question, what took two hours to upload before can now take eight hours and thats even if it manages to upload because my internet tends to get cut off a few times a day, line faults Im told by the ISP.
This also means that I cannot for the moment start the Ustream live broadcasts that I had intended to do when I moved house for which I had already bought microphones etc.
So when viewers moan about videos not being very long any more you can tell them why if you want.
Anyway back to Airsoft, for years my friends have been at me to go down south and try out sites such as Catterick which is ran by Stirling Airsoft or The Mall in Reading which is ran by First & Only Airsoft . Catterick is out for me, lots of my friends go there, so well over a year ago I emailed asking if I could film there and was told no because they have their own film crew, fair enough but free publicity is good publicity.
So Im going to the Mall in Feb or March with a bus load of players from Section8 and I will give you exact dates for that once I have it just incase any of you can make it on the same day.
But in a few weeks I will be down at another site owned by "First & Only" its their Anzio site which is in Staffordshire, Airsoft International magazine in conjunction with Airsoft World are running a big game there called "The AI500" I should be down there on Friday 5th November and I will be returning home on the afternoon of the 7th so there should be plenty of time for readers or video viewers to say hello, you can show off your guns n gear and I will be taking loads of pictures for my FaceBook page. The hotel I am staying in has Wifi so I will put up pictures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A lot of the people you see in my videos will be there, names I can think of include SlothKingSteve, JAi, Kenny & Jarrod our resident Australian, I will let you know more names ASAP.
All those guys will be more than happy to talk to you, they are all staying at a hotel in Stoke, Im staying in Leek where the site is located and no doubt the guys will be having a drink to two of an evening, where as I will be uploading pictures to Facebook and maybe some video each day. If I had stayed in Stoke with the other guys then I know for sure that I would have ended up out all evening and been unable to drive to the site the next morning.
You might have read on FaceBook that I got a new Canon 550D camera, its nice, very nice, but its already broken, not due to Airsoft, I think. I was driving home when I heard this odd noise like a little spring being released and when I got home the lens release button was missing from the camera, I cannot find it anywhere, hopefully I can get it fixed under warranty.
Im already looking at another camera, a camcorder this time its a sony NEX-VG10E its just been released in the UK, if any of you have one LMK what you think of it.
OK gotta go, I will update next week, I promise.
Friday, 9 July 2010
So I am homeless, well not totally, I put my house up for sale three days before we went on holiday never expecting any viewers, but the estate agent called the morning we were due to leave saying she had a viewer, so we left her the house keys and the following Monday we got a call to say the viewer had made an offer above the asking price which we accepted without hesitation. Now you might say it's silly to accept the first offer but we are in a recession and at least where I live it is a buyers market right now and to get an offer over the asking price so fast is very rare just now.
We have located one house that we want to buy, the price of which has dropped by £25,000 ($37,000) in the last year, yes its been for sale that long, but I know of a few other houses in our town that have been for sale for three years, there is nothing wrong with the houses other than they are way over priced and even though the one I want has dropped so much I have already told the sellers estate agent that if they do not drop another £10,000 off the sale price then I will walk away from the sale, he did not rule out my demand and said that "Yes there is room for negotiation on the sale price" Now this may seem cheeky of me to make such a demand but I know exactly what the seller paid for the house, they are still making a profit, I also know that they have bought land on which they plan to build a house but they need to sell their house before they can start the build, I also know that they have had very few viewers and no offers on the house during the year they have had it for sale and so the odds are stacked in my favour that I will get the house I want at the price I want to pay.
The house we hope to buy is big enough to offer me a decent sized room as an office, so I will be able to set up microphones and lighting to do Ustream broadcasts and have all my video and computer gear to hand instead of stored away.
Am I famous? My son who is eight told a few people on holiday "My dad's famous on YouTube" Fame to most older people is being on TV or radio, not the internet. I really get very little publicity for the videos on YouTube, while other YouTube video makers with many thousands less subscribers and millions less views than me have film crews from all over the world beating a path to their door, am I jealous? You bet I am. Well, not so much jealous but a little annoyed because my relatives don't look at my videos, but they do sometimes see things on TV or newspapers about other YouTubers and they ask "if you're so famous on YouTube how come you're not on TV and these people are?" My guess is that there is no face to market and the videos are not exactly PC with people pretending to be Nazis etc in my videos, to those of us who play Airsoft we are just having fun but to TV producers they must see possible complaints from the politically correct brigade and so they avoid me like the plague.
The last press I got was almost two years ago when in the space of two days four national newspapers ran short reports on the amount of views and subscribers I was getting, most reports were about a quarter page which was OK and that was followed by a little bit in Airsoft International who I am sad to say just copied the text from the newspapers and never bothered to contact me, I was more disappointed with AI than anything else as I still buy that magazine every month even though a lot of players slate it on internet forums.
In the last month though I have had contact from four magazines and one newspaper asking for interviews, the magazines are based in the USA, South America and Ireland, the newspaper was in the USA, the odd thing is that all emailed asking for interviews to which I agreed with no conditions, but none took it further which is kinda odd, one though was a Paintball magazine which the reporter told me was the longest running and most popular in the USA though I cannot remember the name of it, but after I agreed to the interview I did point out to the guy that I was not exactly the most popular person among Paintballers and in fact I have blocked thousands of them from making comments on my videos, I do have thousands of subscribers who are or were paintballers and I appreciate their support but it seems the vast majority hate me which does not worry me in the slightest.
Airsoft gun maker G&G emailed me on 7th July asking for some exclusive video for a forthcoming DVD release so I will see what I can dig out for them, thankfully I have kept almost every bit of video I have ever recorded so have a very big archive of unreleased footage and a lot of it is brilliant stuff but I just never got around to using it, so if they use whatever I send them I will give you a link to the DVD release when they put it out. Over the last year or so I have thought about releasing my own DVD but as I know little about distribution and marketing I have decided not to bother, YouTube videos can be seen in HD for free so I see no point in releasing a DVD which may involve a lot of my time and effort for a few pounds or perhaps even no profit.
I read a recent video industry report on a top selling UK DVD which made no profit at all and in fact the people who made the video ended up losing thousands of pounds from its release, Im not sure if the producers of the DVD spent so much making the thing or if the company was just badly ran but I decided to avoid this.
Talking of HD my latest video was supposed to be in the 1080p format, to be honest I don't really see a lot of difference between 1080p and all the 720p videos I have recently made, maybe I need my eyes tested. All the videos for about the last 18 months have been filmed in 1080p NTSC format but I never knew how to render them as 1080p after editing until the other day when a subscriber sent me a message via YouTube telling me how to do it and it was easy. After the video is edited together using iMovie 09 I just export it (save it) using Quicktime, the file is saved on one of my external hard drives then that file is uploaded to YouTube. A ten minute 720p video usually takes about 45 minutes to render ready for upload and that upload can take almost five hours, but it took over three hours to render a 1080p video and could take twelve hours to upload, is it all worth it you may ask and I am not really sure that it is.
I noticed that three of the US based YouTube video makers I subscribe to have recently released videos which viewers had to pay to view and the backlash from that was exactly as I expected, one US YouTube chat show I look at wanted just 99 cents to download a three hour show, they ended up having to put up a video saying they were sorry about charging and tried to explain the reasons behind the cost etc but even that video got so many bad comments they had to stop all viewers from leaving any comments and removed all the ones that had been already been made.
This pay per view feature will be rolled out to some UK and European YouTube partners in time and I can assure you that I will not be going down that route, the great thing about YouTube and other video host sites is that you can see videos for FREE and that's what made them popular, I am not knocking anyone who decides to make PPV videos as I do realise that they all have to make cash in order to continue, but they make good amounts of cash from the adverts you see at the bottom of the videos and the pre rolls which are TV type adverts you may see before a video starts, earnings from these adverts are nice without being greedy and you the viewer still see the videos at no cost.
I had a lot of messages via YouTube plus a few from the blog and Facebook asking me about the soccer World Cup, in my world it's a non event, I have zero interest in soccer and I have never had any interest in it.
Usually when I tell people this they ask what team I supported when I liked it or say that I should have an interest because it's the World cup, WHY? I usually ask them what part of "No interest ever" did they not understand. Part of my hate for the game may stem from school where we were all forced to play, when I was about eight I was told by Mr Chalmers the school coach "you're going to play for the school team" to which my reply was "Are you fucking joking" I got three of the belt for that one, the belt incase you do not know was a heavy leather belt which was slapped hard onto your hands, it was worth it though as I never did play for the school team.
Talking of FaceBook, about seven weeks after I started the fan page it has over four thousand followers, I am very embarrassed about starting a fan page for myself but my old YouTube mentor pushed for me to start one over a year ago and I just did not bother, I have a private FaceBook account for friends I actually know and family but seldom use it and until recently I did not even know how to set up a fan page, but after the guy who did have one in my YouTube name closed the account I started another and I guess its been successful, at least now fans of my videos can really see where I will be filming, what I will be doing etc.
Starting my own fan page made me take a closer look at the fan pages I was following on FaceBook, I then realised that most of the fan pages I was subscribed to on FaceBook are not actually operated by the people they claim to be, in fact out of ten I was following only two were operated by the real people, the rest were operated by fans who while never really claiming to be a famous person did not make it clear to followers that they are not and have nothing to do with the person who's page they run. The real ones incase your interested are ran by people I know a little so I did not even have to check if they were the real think or not, one for example is ran by a guy called Billy Rankin, I worked for the same company as him for a few years and Billy is now a DJ on my favourite radio station 96.3 Rock Radio which is based in Glasgow. I listen to Billys show every morning and probably annoy him by texting in most days, but he is good enough to read out most of my texts, as well as being a DJ Billy was the guitarist in among others Nazareth, The Scorpions and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band as well as having a top 20 solo hit in the USA many years ago.
Do me a favour, drop him a message via Facebook and tell him that I am more famous than him on the internet now, though I will be forever jealous of the fact that he met the late and very great Mr Stevie Ray Vaughan.
John AKA Scoutthedoggie
Monday, 7 June 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Your gonna need to get a Ustream login to use the chat room, don't worry its free and fast to set up. I will tell you at least a week in advance the exact broadcast date and time, I will try and state the start time for different time zones.
At the moment I am thinking of a start time of about 1pm on a Saturday afternoon for US viewers so that European viewers can also tune in at a decent time which would be about 5 or 6 pm over here, I think.
The channel chat room will probably be moderated by Doug Rockwell if he is available, Doug already does the CrazyNCmans show, my broadcasts will not be like Franks at all and I am not looking to do a regular show in the same way, I just thought I would give you guys and girls the chance to see who I am and you can ask whatever you want, though I will be ignoring all the questions such as "which gun is best" "what gun should I buy" etc I am not a gun tech or a retailer. But I am a video nut and have been for almost 30 years, in fact and I did rather well in the music video world, from my archive I have supplied recordings for TV shows, documentaries and DVD releases, the last thing I worked on before I gave it up was the AC/DC DVD Boxed set "Plug me in" for which I supplied the footage from Melbourne 1976 and my name is in the booklet that comes with the set, I also told the producer where to locate the best versions of a few other items in the set, in return I got paid, got a freebie deluxe copy and got a stack of remastered video that never made it to the boxed set such as the full Tokyo show etc, they had enough material to make it a ten disk boxed set with ease and I hoped for a second volume but so far nothing.
Now here is something I never told anyone that connects POW Airsoft to AC/DC, when POW Airsoft was due to open for the very first time I promised the site owner Ernie that I would be there to video it and promote the site via YouTube. But on the Tuesday before POW opened I got a phone call from the director of the AC/DC set, he told me they were working on the final mix at the weekend in London and asked if I could bring down the Melbourne master tape from my archive for use in the set, all expenses paid and I got to sit in the studio watching them finish off the DVD and two members of AC/DC would probably be there since it was the final mix, he did not say which two. I had to decide there and then, let down a friend or possibly get to meet a few music heroes and I do love AC/DC.. So I attended the first day of POW, never met AC/DC, a motorcycle courier picked up the tape a few hours after the phone call and Ernie never knew anything about it because I never told him or anyone until now.
Talking of Rock n Roll, I'm off to see KISS on Sunday at the SECC Glasgow, I never was a big KISS fan but all my friends were into them years ago, its my son Dylan's first gig he's not got a clue what he is in for as all my music videos are in storage so I cannot even show him a few classic performances other than via YouTube and everything on there is pretty well garbage.
There will be a new video on each channel for Friday night 7Th May. I look forward to speaking to you in the next week or two.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
So there were eighty players on site, which I did not expect because the weather here was terrible, it was raining as I left the house to go and pouring down after a few minutes drive, by the time I was halfway there I really thought about turning back as there seemed to be no way I was gonna take a camera out in this weather, but I kept going.
When I got to the site I found a dry spot to hid my gear, grabbed a coffee which is provided free for players and spent an hour catching up with people that I had not seen since the last Fort game day, then the games kicked off, the first hour of so of play was spent in the rain and just as a few players started to mumble about heading home the sun came out and it turned into a pretty good day.
I caught some decent action on the HD camera for you and I gave my helmet cameras to video regular JAi, JAi is moving to Canada in May and he has already found a site to play at there via the Canadian Airsoft forums.
I spoke to Airsoft World owner Steve at The Fort and he was telling me that they are teaming up with Airsoft International magazine to host a very big UK Airsoft event called the AI500, as far as I know its to be held way down in the south of England in early September and I promised Steve that I would be there to capture some video of the event for them, I guess it would also be good PR for me to get out and meet some of my viewers.
So once the full details are announced in AI magazine I will re post them on here and via a YouTube video then you can figure out if you wanna go and if you do make it be sure and come over to say hello which means I will remember you and you may well make it into one of my videos.
It seems like its becoming a trend that I put two videos up on a Friday, one on each channel, if I can manage to keep doing this I will, however time is not always on my side.
This week I had more spare time to do a little editing, unlike the previous week which was spent following my two year old daughter around the house as she tried to respray as many areas as possible with at least a few mouthfuls from her near constant projectile vomiting, oh the joys of being a proud parent.
Last Sunday at POW my camera took a stack of hard direct hits, most to the side of the lens and body you can hear some of them on the latest video on the main channel, I had a hard time getting the video off this camera, it took five trys and two computer reboots before I got it all off the memory cards, so before it dies on me I took a look around for a new camera, a few Canon Cameras are on the top of my wish list, first up is a DSLR much the same as I already have but at a little higher price, its the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the UK retail price for that not including a lens is $2600, then there is the latest Canon XF300 HD Camcorder which is about $17000 I have a feeling it will be the 5D I will be getting unless Canon wanna sponsor me, which I doubt as I don't even have any Airsoft sponsors.
I must admit that Tachyon do sponsor me for the headcams and they have been fantastic help, not only with sending the cameras but with technical support, a great American company.
Did you know that Scotty for Star Trek is gonna be born just a few miles from my town in 2222 and there is a plaque in the town (Linlithgow) celebrating his birth, strange but true, I don't expect to be around for the birth and no I am not a Trekkie, I just noticed the plaque when I was in the town the other day.
Monday, 19 April 2010
I spoke to POW regular JAi just yesterday at POW and one thing we spoke about was Facebook, he told me that he had to close his own Facebook page because he had allowed so many people to be come friends without really having any idea who they were that it became a big problem and I don't want my own account go the same way.
Using my YouTube Name..People have taken up the name Scoutthedoggie on many things such as Xbox Live etc and its not me, someone also recently bought the .com domain which forced me to buy up others such as.CO.UK .Org .Eu .Org.CO.UK etc I will never use them, I think, but if I did not buy them then no doubt someonelse would and perhaps use it.
I got two videos uploaded on Friday 16th, one on each channel as promised, the one which went onto my Scoutthedoggie2002 account was a rush job, both my kids have been very sick this week, my son was ill from 12th until 14th and my two year old daughter since the 14th and is still very ill, both could not even hold down water, my daughter went into hospital on Saturday after bringing up a little blood, she was not kept in and though still ill is getting a little better. Why am I telling you this, well just incase people don't like this weeks videos you can now understand that it was a miracle that I even made any videos with a serious lack of time.
I was at POW on Sunday the 18th and played for most of the day, I set up a cycling helmet with two of my 2010 Tachyon XC headcams, which sit on either side of the helmet just above by eye line, the recorded view is fine and though I was in some action, I seemed to miss most of it so did not get a great deal of usable footage.
POW is a massive site and with 70+ players on site the action was spread all over the place, always seemed to be hearing fighting from somewhere in the distance, however on what turned out to be the last game of the day I got the HD camera out and got some very good video for you.
I took my AGM MP40 and my new Cyma Kalashnikov AKS 74U which Landwarrior Airsoft sent me, I use low caps with the MP40, six of them in fact and since I am used to not using lots of BBs I took just one Hi Cap for the Kalashnikov, I used less than 500 BBs throughout the full day.
I will try and locate some mid caps for the AK as the rattle from a hi cap is not that great for sneaking around in the forests, the Cyma is a rock solid little gun, most of its made of metal and wood, a few of my friends have these and I always liked them, there is a version with blowback but I decided to take the none blowback version instead and it worked a treat with better range than the RealSword Type97 that I bought a few months back which cost more than twice the price of the Cyma.
Tokyo Marui have a lot of nice new guns out with blowback and recoil but I feel they are over priced, if you live outside of the UK then you can pick these guns up for decent prices but here in the UK they can cost a fair bit more, for example here in the UK a Tokyo Marui AK102 with blowback and recoil costs $636 inc shipping from a well known retailer, but if I was in the USA the same gun inc shipping costs $495 or less.
I got the latest edition of Airsoft International magazine last week and Im still picking it up to reread day after day, its a good looking magazine and I always find sections that interest me but TBH I'm fed up reading the "So you wanna be" section where they give readers info on styles of uniform to wear which in this issue is how to get the "Ghost" from "Modern Warfare 2" look, every month its like a rehash of previous kit used, I now just skip that section altogether, with so many new guns appearing on the market there is plenty of room in the magazine for more reviews and less padding out, they could also do with using two pages for readers letters,
some months they have just one letter on that page, they must be getting at least a ten or so decent letters from readers every month that could be printed.
Im off to The Fort this coming Sunday for their first game in fourteen months, it should be a good day, I heard they are hoping for at least one hundred players to be on site, I would imagine that its gonna be about that figure, it will be nice to play in some natural woodland instead of plantation forest.
Well gotta go edit some video for you guys and girls, well 9% of views are from girls, if you see me at The Fort on Sunday
be sure and say hello.