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.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
The first warm up game had already kicked off by the time I parked and got the camera gear sorted out, most sites do short warm up games which run for around twenty minutes or so, then its onto the main games which can be anything from sixty to ninety minutes. My plan was to stay until they took a break for lunch which is usually about 1pm, but as it was a beautiful day and the games were running very well they played until about 15.30 and planned to play on until about 19.00 So I ended up staying until they broke for lunch which is why there was no video posted on Sunday as I had promised on the blog. But you got two videos on Monday, one on each channel in case you never noticed.
Talking of cameras the main camera I use is a Canon SX1is, it looks like an SLR stills camera but as with so many cameras these days it also records video, 1080 HD in this case, most cameras like this record with Mono sound or as its sometimes called Monaural the Canon is one of the very few that has Stereo mics and that's why I use it, it cost me at time of release about 500 UK pounds though I think you can pick them up for 380 or less now, I just read that is now discontinued, hopefully there is a replacement because I will be buying another this year.
Before I got the SX1is I used another Canon camera the Powershot S3is which again has stereo sound and looks like an SLR it does not do HD video but the video quality is very good, you can pick these up on Ebay for around 100 pounds with a stack of extras.
I also carry a little JVC mini DV camcorder as a back up just in case the canon dies on me, its a GR-DX107EK got that from Ebay for I think 50 UK pounds boxed in mint condition, most people buy camcorders and seldom use them so if you are buying on a budget just buy a decent second had camera from Ebay.
I don't normally do this but my pal Ricky who you saw in one of my recent videos from Section8 is in hospital for a week, so get well soon mate and I will catch you at S8 soon!
Did you know that Airsoft is illegal in Holland? The Dutch Airsoft Interest Association there asked me to plug a link to a petition which is trying to make the Dutch government legalise Airsoft, anyone can sign it so if you can spare a moment to give them your support
click here and sign the petition.
Talking of support last year I was asked by film Director David P Baker to shoot some behind the scenes video on the set of his latest project an action movie which is a fully independent movie production, I went along and ended up in the movie, just a bit part, but it looks good on my C.V should I want to try more acting work, which I might well do in the future. The movie can now be bought as a download and if you click on this link to MISSIONX you can watch a trailer for it and buy a very low cost download, this was the first movie ever filmed in Glasgow city center where the police allowed the use of real machine guns, of course they were firing blanks but they were still fun to use, my ears are still ringing from the noise.
When David told me about the movie he was going to make and for how much I doubted it was even possible, but his enthusiasm and energy has no bounds, he made the movie as he said he would and for that I have to give him my backing via this blog, I hope you will take the time to look at his trailer and help him out.
David also made a movie called Pasty Faces and acted in both as well, David got no backing from anywhere to make this movie other than from friends and family even though here in Scotland we had an outfit called Scottish Screen who were supposed to back movie and video production in Scotland with financial aid and I have to be honest that if your a movie maker here and you didn't dance to their tune then you got nothing at all from them, not even any advice, zero. Scottish Screen boasted that it invests around £7m in the development and promotion of Scotland's screen industries each year which was usually arty doom and gloom crap, if you want to make anything else you had no chance of help from them.
Scottish screen have a YouTube Channel, it has.. three Subscribers and its award winning videos have a total of three hundred and twenty five views in twelve months, that is pathetic, Can you tell that I dont like Scottish Screen? They are having a name change in June 2010 and will from then on be known as "Creative Scotland" I have little doubt that the same people will be employed at "Creative Scotland" as were at "Scottish Screen"
OK back to YouTube, hopefully this weekend I will have two new videos up, again there will be one on each channel, both should have no edits and both will follow single players who then tell you which guns they use at the end, I just did this style for a change since people are always asking what guns the players are using, it also saves me a lot of time on editing, but a few hours work does still go into each video sorting out titles, on screen info etc.
Last week a viewer sent me a PM via YouTube pointing me in the direction of a few "Tribute" videos, some viewers have been downloading my videos editing them and adding music, I think this one is my favourite the music is not something I would have chosen but it does work well with the footage, leave the guy some comments please I'm sure he would appreciate it.
OK am off to work on some action videos for you lot.
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Its been a busy week, Saturday I took my son to Megazone laser tag in Falkirk which was brilliant fun, we have played here a good few times even though there is a new and much bigger laser tag arena in Falkirk but my son hated it, so we returned to Megazone which is way better.
On Sunday the 4th I made it to POW but only for about two hours half of which was spent talking to people, I had to leave early do go to a birthday party so I did not catch a great deal of video, but I did manage to put one video together from the second game of the day and I guess another will make it onto my Alternative channel for the weekend.
Yesterday (7th April) I was up at the Apple Store in Glasgow where I had booked to do an iMovie + iDVD instore Workshop, I knew most of what was shown for iMovie but very little about iDVD there were five other people on the course and for me it was good to meet other people with an interest in these programs, even though we were sat around a desk in the middle of the packed store I was so focused on the workshop that I seldom noticed that there were often ten or twenty people just standing watching us going through this course.
if you have a Mac and have never done these free courses then I do advise you try them out.
This Sunday (11th April) I will be at Section8 which is located not that far from Glasgow, I will probably only stay until lunch time then get back here and try and get a video on for you guys on the same day its been filmed.
Thanks to all the readers who left comments regarding the Echo1 guns and to the ones who sent me messages via YouTube about them, it seems that most who own them do seem to think that they are straight forward re branded Chinese guns, which is a shame because when I first read about Echo1 somewhere the article said the guns were "all American made" this seemed like a good business idea to me, an American made gun, with a very good spec at mid range pricing which I guess most patriotic people would buy, so its a bit of a disappointment to now realise that they were not all I had imagined.
A lot of people have asked what camera I am using, so do you really wanna know what camera I am using?
A few people have asked how big the sites we play at are, I think POW have the run of 60 or 70 acres of forest which is set in the middle of a 1000 acre forest, Section8 is using pretty much the same amount of land in a similar type of forest, NCIS uses about ten acres of natural woodland, The Fort has around 40 acres of natural woods and last but not least is The Hill which is set in ten acres or less of natural woodland and they use every inch of that site.
There are other sites in Scotland that I could film at but these are the ones I am always at.
Friday, 2 April 2010
Now this may be easy to pick up in the USA but over here in Europe they are almost impossible to locate.
I seem to remember seeing a big advert from Echo1 in Airsoft International Magazine looking for European retailers to become Echo1 dealerships but I guess they had no takers because I sat this morning and Googled for about thirty minutes looking for a Euro dealer with no results, before that I went to the Echo1 website and tried the store locator but it just goes blank once I type in my address details so that was no help.
I then went to my favourite retailers in Hongkong who have pretty much everything but again nobody stocked anything from Echo1, so instead I bought the "Band Of Brothers" Blu Ray boxed set, it may not shoot BBs but it certainly made me smile at a bargain 17.50 inc postage from Play.com
There's a two part video interview over at the Airsoft Gi YouTube site with Hendrix from Echo1, as I type the first part is already up with the second soon to come.. I hope. Im looking forward to seeing the second part because at the very end of the first part Hendrix from is asked about the re branding that Echo1 have long been rumoured to do and I really want to see what his answer is, but from the first part of the interview it does seem that he has already said they do some thing along the lines of re branding because its mentioned about them getting guns from manufacturers checking them over for things that could be improved and then telling the manufacturers what they want improved which is fine but I do think that many people will still see this as re branding.
Maybe if I can locate an Echo1 one gun I will have to have a rethink, do any of you guys have Echo1 guns? How do they compare to other guns of the exact same model but from another maker? Maybe if I can pick up a few Echo1 guns I will do a review on here, I would like to hope they are as good as claimed.
So did you hear me speaking on camera at the end of the latest video at my alternative channel, I thought it was perhaps time to start talking and be seen on camera, my old YouTube mentor asked me to do this a few times but I never did as I feel a total fool talking to a camera, I told my current YouTube Mentor that I would start to up my visual profile on my videos and she told me in short that if I did appear on screen then the video would be pretty well certain to get featured, that means YouTube promote the video on their main page, now that terrifies me LOL as I am not sure I want that level of interest.
I caught CrazyNCmans live show again last Saturday, its a good show, he's a good presenter, I really could not do a four hour live show as he does, since the clocks have changed here in the UK it now starts at midnight here where as it had a start time of 1am UK time before which I struggle to stay awake until, its not that late for many people but when you have a two year old and an eight year old as I do you will find it difficult to stay up late at night.
I was Section8 filming last Sunday, it was a really good day with a great turn out of players on site even though another site close by was running a free day, in case you don't know all sites here in the UK charge anything from 15 to 35 pounds per player to play, this covers site insurance, land rental, running costs etc, any site running free days is simply trying to pull new players to their site, but even with this free day going on Section8 still pulled in about sixty paying players and a new video from that day will be on my main channel tonight.
Well gotta go, my kids are almost up and I'm making breakfast.
John AKA Scoutthedoggie
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Due to the way its edited this is one video where people will say "He must have other cameramen with him" So what happened as it does so often is that two kids tried to attack a base, they came through the forest into a clearing next to an old farm track where they spoke to a guy who was shooting at the base, then they both ran into the clearing crossed the track and got up to a wall where they started shooting at the base. Now for reasons known only to them they did this exact thing three times, each time they got hit they just fell back to a respawn point and returned to do it over again until they gave up after the third attempt. Each time they returned I was standing or hiding at a different position which once edited together gives the impression that there are two or three cameramen when there really was just me.
One thing I like about Airsoft is the people you meet and today was very interesting for me, there is a guy called Ricky that you will see in the video on Tuesday, he is a really nice guy and the first time I saw him play Airsoft I knew he was ex something so I had to ask and it turned out he served in a Rhodesian unit called P.A.T.U that's the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit and he fought in the Rhodesian Bush War which ran from July 1964 until 1979. He brought along a load of photographs for me to see from his time in that unit with all the guns they used including a few I have never ever heard of, but he also pointed out his friends with him in the pictures and after each one came the same comment "He's dead" all were Killed in Action. So perhaps when the video with him goes on YouTube and some silly viewer says "Who does the old guy think he is" or other similar remarks you will be able to set the record straight.
My pal Ervan over in Oregon USA who is also a YouTube Partner doing beautiful steam locomotive videos sent me a link to a stats site for YouTube you just type in your YouTube name and it tells you all kinds of stuff about your channel if you CLICK HERE you can see the stats for me, where you will see I am ranked at 372 in the top 500 Global YouTubers which is something I really never knew until yesterday.
Ok gotta go, I will write again on Tuesday I promise, if you have any questions ask and I will try and answer them all on Tuesday.John
Sunday, 14 March 2010
At last I managed to stay up and get on CrazyNCmans live show at Airsoft Player TV, it was 1AM UK time when the show started, my two young kids were sound asleep long before the show started and I did not wish to wake them by talking to Frank on the show via Skype so I just logged into the chat that runs at the same time as the show. The second I made a comment in the chat room it went crazy and because it got so busy I was limited to one comment every sixty seconds so it was just impossible to answer all the comments and questions from people or get any conversation going with Frank, so he read out some of my comments which I appreciated, but its Franks show and me being in the chat room made viewers focus on me and not him which I realised so I asked viewers to please stop asking me things and to watch Franks show, I was there to see the show more than answer questions.
Anyway I watched the show until about 02.30am and then logged out, I enjoyed it, I will watch again, I certainly could not do a live show like that for an hour never mind four hours as he does.
I told you ages ago that I keep a daily note of the stats from my channel such as the view count, subs etc, well the twenty four hour period from 8am Saturday 13th until 8am Sunday 14th was my busiest in the last six months, 246 subscribers and seventy six thousand video views, I don't know why but it was.
Did you know that YouTube publish charts for just about everything IE Most subscribed UK, Most Watched UK Most subscribed Global, Most Watched Global there are so many charts I gave up looking at them, when I did look at them over and over again I would come away after thirty minutes with my brain turning to mush. But a viewer noticed some stats that I had not seen, in a few days I will over take two UK Partners for having more subscribers, two mega big ones first is "HDCYT" who made the "Charlie Bit My finger" video and have over Two Hundred and Ten Million views of their videos, the next one I will over take is "Parlophone Records" which is the All Time Most Viewed European YouTube channel with Three Hundred and Forty Million views of their videos, so for me to over take them is staggering.
Well I gotta go fix a friends gun, thanks for watching and reading.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
I kinda got a video started and I found stacks of video I can use from last Sunday, but I just could not work out the timeline in my head, writers can get away with claiming they have "Writers block" so I'm claiming video editors block "Ive lost my Mojo" as Austin Powers would say.
Don't worry I will have a flash of inspiration at about 3am when the idea of how the video is going to run will cause me a lack of sleep until I get up.
Last week one of my friends gave me a magazine called "Loaded" If your not from the UK then you may never have heard of this publication, its whats known here as a "Lads Mag" To my mind its soft porn with another name, its not something I ever buy so when my pal noticed a feature in it he passed the magazine onto me, so if you need an excuse to buy this kind of thing you now have it as there is a feature inside about Airsoft.
The article rates low on the journalistic chart, its the usual junk about how these BB guns could get you shot by the police etc, but it might get some of your non airsofting pals interested I guess.
Did you guys know that there are other Airsoft magazines? Of course you must know of Airsoft International, I have mentioned it before and the last issue of it is seen in the pictures here, but there are a few more that I know of and if you know any more then drop me the details please.
Of the other mags, there is "Take Aim" which is based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, its got nine issues out and the last one I know of was in late 2009, we are now into March 2010 and there appears to be no new issue so far.
Then there is "Airsoft Soldier" based in Finland but printed in English, its a great looking mag, with three issues and a forth is claimed to be coming out soon, but there seems to be about six months between editions, so don't take out a subscription on this one, if I get a release date for the next one I will let you know.
The new edition of Airsoft international should be in my paws a few days from now I hope and I will let you know if its any good, though there is always something interesting in it.
Monday, 8 March 2010
It was done by Ikara Design who are based in the UK, the previous background etc was all done by a subscriber to my videos and it was fine but a few weeks ago Youtube told me in advance that some techical changes may have an effect on two of my banners both of which vanished, that's the big banner at the top of the main channel and the little one in each video pages that said "Subscribe" Im not a graphics person at all, so I remembered some work I had seen on a website, I found out the who the maker was and dropped them an email, thankfully they were onto the job right away and I had a selection of work ready inside two days.
The contact email if you need any work done is firstname.lastname@example.org but I should say that this was not the work of an Airsoft fan doing it at home, it is a small business.
Instead of junking the old artwork I used some of it for my alternative channel since I plan to add a lot of videos to it especially a lot of unedited action videos as long as it looks good, Im not just gonna fill the channel up with junk.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Andy had a few of the stores new gun arrivals with him so I asked for a look and you can see these on the latest blog video.
After tinkering with my Type97 yesterday its now firing at 400fps using a Systema M120 spring and .20g BBs, this is too high for POW and most if not all UK sites for an AEG, so I will put a different spring in it this week and take the FPS down to about 350, I hope.
Video wise I got about eighty minutes of 1080 HD action and twenty minutes of DV tape footage, I gave the Tachyon Headcam to my pal Kenny and I think he used it for about thirty minutes, so hopefully out of all that lot I should be able to make at least one decent video for you.
One reader of this blog "WinduWarrior" sent me a question via YouTube
Q. "I meant to ask you before, when you started were you the only one doing these kinda vids or was it just pot luck that you were the one who got noticed.?"
A. There were a lot of others doing Airsoft videos, reviews more than anything, I wanted to see some action and the ones that I kept finding on YouTube usually had crappy punk music dubbed over them, which I hated as it did not reflect Airsoft as I was playing it. Dont get me wrong I like rock music and I have seen stacks of bands inc Sex Pistols, Ramones, Damned, U2, Bowie etc by chance I also met many of the bands I loved, but thats another story for another day.
Anyway as I made the videos with no music I guess many like minded people just enjoyed what they saw and word spread at a good steady pace.
Not all my views and subs are down to "Pot Luck" there are a number of things that I did to get me more noticed than others, I did a lot of research and my YouTube mentors gave me a few pointers over the last two years,I cant really say what I did or was told because then everyone would do the same.
One thing my first mentor really pushed for me to do was to start a blog, but I just was not interested until I looked at a couple just a few months back and thought OK I will give it a go and here I am.
Any other questions guys just ask and I will try to answer as best I can.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Maybe one day I could take one of my old Betamax Sony F1 portable systems on site, I have two of these, both in good working order even though they are twenty eight years old, if you don't know what they are then take a look at this link, one problem with the F1 though is that I might get shot at a lot more than usual as people see a figure crashing through the woods with a camera the size of a bazooka.
I never got the PC version of Battlefield 2 in time to be on CrazyNCmans server last night, but this morning the postman delivered the Xbox360 version and my son loves it, he is playing now as I type. When I do make it onto CrazyNCmans server to play the game I will not be using scoutthedoggie as a name, no doubt some kid has already taken it anyway as they have already done on Xbox live, Facebook and much more, talking of which I was on Facebook this morning, I dont use it that much, I ran a check for "Scoutthedoggie" and found two fan pages for me with over 500 followers, I have nothing at all to do with these sites, the person running the biggest one with 470+ subscribers does not claim to be me, but then he is also not telling people that I have nothing to do with the page.
"Wisey" made a comment on my blog asking if my blog videos were going to be on my sons YouTube channel all the time and the answer is yes, there are two on there now my son simply does not use his channel anymore, so I have taken it over for now and Im just going to post the behind the scenes videos and short outtakes videos onto there, maybe even the odd review, I think I will just keep the main channel following the same format of action videos and everything else on the alternative channel.
"LeOPapa" Thanks for the info on the Type 97, the gun now has a longer 6.03 tight bore barrel in it which Nick fitted at NCIS last Sunday, this afternoon I put a new Systema spring in the gun and I removed the fuse box, but I forgot to fit the new System hop rubber so I will do that in the next few days, if its still shooting bad tomorrow at POW then its got to be down to the hop rubber..I hope.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Hopefully it will be a good at POW this coming Sunday, site owner Ernie sent me a txt the other day to tell me that he will have one of the first new SRC MP40s on site thanks to Airsoft World, so I will catch some video of that new gun for you, its supposed to be way better than the AGM MP40, I hope that's right.
People have been sending me messages for the last few weeks saying that I have to do something special for the 200th, no pressure...I think I will just make a video with me banging my head on my computer desk in frustration as I dont have a clue what to do.
Do you guys follow CrazyNCman on Youtube? I guess you must, Franks a good guy, I have watched his videos almost since he started, but have never caught his live show since it does not start until about 1AM UK time by which I am always sound asleep, but one day I will view it live. Anyway on his latest video he talks about playing Battlefield 2 on the PC this Friday, since I am not a gamer I did not have this, he said it could be bought real cheap and he was right, I got two copies via Amazon.com for twenty pounds inc shipping, I got the Xbox 360 and PC versions, my son loves these kind of games so I should get a crash course in playing this from him on Friday and if I can keep my eyes open I will be on the PC playing live via Franks server late into the night.
Oh yeah did you guys know that Youtube are gonna change the format of peoples channel pages yet again, the last time they did this most Partners I know where not at all happy with the changes, hopefully this time they sort the mistakes they made last time. I heard about these changes about six weeks back but just never looked to see what they were doing, but my mentor at Youtube emailed me today with a link to a blog where they detail the changes and here is the link for you to take a look at.
Well gotta go
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
In Feb 2008 I got an email from Youtube asking me if I wanted to become a Partner, one of the first in the UK, I ignored them at first as I did not have a clue what they were talking about and to be honest I thought it was some kind of spam or junk mail.
After a few more emails from them I Googled "YouTube Partner" read as many results as I could and thought I'd give it a try, I got accepted at the start of March 2008 which is when I started keeping totals of certain things upon the advice of Partners in America.
So I guess your wondering was it worth it, yes it was, because I think I would have given up making Airsoft videos by now had it not been for making partnership.
The Partner program paid for my cameras, laptops, hard drives etc.
My GF would not have been happy about me spending so much on equipment, but since YT was now paying for it she was not that bothered and put up with my interest as I was no longer cleaning out my bank account or maxing credit cards
So on the 3rd March 2008 I started keeping these totals.
21.55 3rd March 2008
Video Views: 523,687
Channel Views: 21,802
Two years later the totals are as follows
07.13am 3rd March 2010
Video Views: 29,827,649
Channel Views: 2,660,353
With the channel and subscriber totals Youtube displays the correct total on my channel page, but with the total video views the figure on my channel page is always about 250,000 short each day, I dont know why.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
My first Blog video
I will add another from NCIS tomorrow showing the marshals setting up the pyro etc, any time I am at other sites I will do similar videos showing some bits of the site etc.
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Saturday, 20 February 2010
I was supposed to test the 97 at NCIS Airsoft in Edinburgh last Sunday but due to a wiring fault that I noticed on Saturday night I never made it to NCIS. After I found the fault I just stopped charging gun batteries etc and gave up, I opened a bottle of wine and chilled out, then my pal Kenny phoned to say he would take me up on the offer of a lift to NCIS which I had made to him a few days before. I explained that I was fed up with gun problems and now not going to any airsoft site, I later felt bad for letting Kenny down, so if your reading this Kenny, I'm Sorry pal!
You see Kenny in a lot of my videos most recently in at the start of the night vision video from POW, he also has a Real Sword Type97 but he has the B version, its very nice and a rare sight at any Airsoft sites here.
BTW NCIS is a really nice little site, it probably the smallest site I film at, but its well ran by Madjock and Frenchy, well planned games with plenty of action and some beautiful woodland, if your ever in the Edinburgh area then its well worth a visit, they have their own forum where game dates etc are posted in advance at, you will require a login to see all the forum topics or to make any comments.
So its POW tomorrow, the weather forecast is for heavy snow which is hard to believe as its been cold here but crystal clear blue skys all day today, so nice in fact I cleaned and washed two cars mine and my girlfriends.
Here's a few pictures of the Type97, the first pic also has the helmet with the camera on it which is set to give you viewers an eye level view of what I see.
Friday, 19 February 2010
Q. "How you go about shooting your videos--do you run around all over the place or just follow your mates into action? Do you have a steadicam rig? How much do you think about framing and how the end result will look, or is that all taken care of in editing?"
A. I don't have a steadicam rig, I only recently looked at getting one but decided against it for now,but I might get one in the near future, a lot of the time I am flat down on the ground with the camera pointing up and I could not get as low as that with the steady-cam and that's why I have never bought one so far.I do think about the framing a lot when filming, I am always looking at whats going on in the background of the frame, trying to get the people behind the main shot into the frame or watching for fingers of sunlight beaming like lasers through the woods, all kinds of things, I am never just focused on the main person in the frame.
Q. "Who owns the Minigun and for goodness sake WHY?"
A. That would be Rab, he probably has every big Airsoft gun I can think of, all the expensive versions of M60s, 249s, Miniguns you name it, he must have spent thousands on Airsoft guns. I dont see him so much now as his favourite site "The Fort" which is owned and ran by local retailer "Airsoft World" its closed just now, but hopefully it should reopen in spring. I think Rab sometimes goes to a CQB site which I will not mention but I have filmed at,but they saw fit to ban me from their forums when questions about safety were mentioned by another player, the questions were removed their forum by a moderator and I simply asked why they were removed which got me a ban from their forums and so I am taking that as a ban from their site, silly people.I have to say that many players warned me not to get involved with CQB here, I thought they were all exaggerating, but they were right.
Q. "Do non-Airsoft-players ('civilians') think you are all weird?
A. I would imagine many think we are weird, but I really do not care what anyone thinks, as I often say to my non Airsofting friends who try to make a remarks about Airsoft players being odd I point out that I and all the other people on our sites actually do something which involves going out, getting good exercise and meeting lots people who will soon become friends. Where as they my so called "normal" friends who mostly like Football (Soccer) sit alone on the couch in their lounge where they shout and talk to their TV usually while getting very drunk and munching big bags of potato chips, after the football is finished they ramble on for days, weeks even years as if they were actually playing in the games when in fact they more often than not sat alone, drunk talking to an inanimate object...So who's the weird ones? And talking of weird the closest village to the POW site is called High Bonnybridge, where over 600 UFOs sightings were reported in recent years and where the local councillor (Talking of weirdos) is said to have the biggest collection of human hair in the world. If that is whats considered "Normal" then I would rather be weird.
Q. Do they know what you all get up to in the woods?
A. Well I guess they have an idea, POW is sited in a private forest, but there is a public right of way through the forest which is used my horse riders and walkers, its interesting to see the faces of people going through for the first time in a peaceful woodland only to stumble upon 80-100 people standing in the forest with a lot of them wearing SS uniforms, US WWII marines etc and many armed to the teeth
Q. How much awareness of Airsoft IS there in the general public?
A. Not a great deal, most think its paintball, I seldom bother to correct anyone who says "oh you play Paintball"
Q. Have the numbers of participants at Bonny bridge increased much?
A. Yes the numbers at POW are fantastic, I think POW has over five hundred members now, players bring friends and we get a real domino effect so player numbers go up all the time, I don't think I have ever met anyone who came here, played and did not like it.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Regards the comments I spoke about last time and the fact that I try and reply to as many as I can, I should point out that even though I say on my channel page that I get about 200 messages every day this is totally incorrect, as of last Friday (12Th Feb) I started keeping a note of the total messages I get from YouTube every 24 hours on the first day I got 796, day two 816, day three 689, day four 912 and its like that every single day of the year.
Most YouTubers get messages like "Oh your cute" "are you single" etc nothing special that requires no real reply, but the questions I get are usually technical which require a fair bit of time to reply to and it would be totally impossible for me to reply to every single question, even if I were to hire a person to sit here eight hours a day replying to questions for me they would still never manage to reply to them all. When I do reply I then get more questions from the person, usually a few because they think that since I answered one question from them I am now gonna reply to five, ten or more, its crazy.
I really do appreciate that people watch my videos but often I bang my head on my desk in despair with the sheer volume of mail most of which could be answered if the people just went to Google and typed in their question.
When I first got into making Airsoft videos I used to watch videos from a guy called Flanker Tanker, about a year back he totally gave up though illness and I can understand why as he too complained about the massive amount of messages he was getting, so if you ever sent me a question via YouTube then never got a reply please don't moan about it, just sit for a minute and think about it.... Could you ever cope with this amount of mail, plus make videos, deal with your young kids and work full time?