Expect the Unexpected In Northern Australia

If you are thinking of exploring Australia then I hope you have several spare months to enjoy its beautiful landscapes and beaches.  Although it is often the unexpected things that can open your eyes to its many dangers too.

Narrow roads, huge machinery, and road trains is a real experience if you normally live in the big cities.  Expect the unexpected on Roads in the North of Australia

In the Northern part of Australia, you will be amazed at the rugged and often desolate countryside.  On some roads, you could often travel 200 k’s and not see another vehicle. Therefore, you need to be prepared and take plenty of water and extra food and fuel.

Deep Ravines and Gorges

Keep an eye open for our beautiful Wedge-tail Eagles.  These may be hovering close to the road or even feeding of the road-kill on the road.  Although, if you are lucky you may see a group of them high up in the trees.  Make sure you have your camera ready when traveling through this beautiful country.3 wedge tailed eagles

Here is part of another family of big birds. Although they had five chicks they were too quick for me to capture them all with my camera.  These birds can also do a lot of damage to your vehicle, just like our Kangaroos if you hit them on the roads.  So drive with caution at all times and return home safely.

Another family of big emus

Ideas of Copper-foil Projects to Make

For years, my husband has dabbled with making different glass projects. He has so much glass stored around our place that I am sure he will never ever use it all but as long as it keeps him happy.

We spent three days earlier this week going through his little shed, just washing it all so he could see what was in there.  Then packed it all back into little shelves and the smaller bits were put into small containers. He has so many different colors and they all look beautiful.  Plus I reckon he would have enough old louvres to re-do an old house.DSC_7275

The above Palace Gardens is one of my favorite ones.  At the moment, he has all his little miniature machinery inside it.  At one stage when we were breeding birds we had our baby quails running around inside when it was used as a terrarium.

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This is another one that started out as a terrarium, although we found that damp soil created another problem. It caused corrosion so we turned it into a pot puri holder which smells beautiful.

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Candlelight which looks great in our kitchen window when lit at night.

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Love the bird on the door of this one.

My husband made a couple of these from free patterns that people put on the net. Or designs that he sees then adds his own ideas with different shapes.

Frugal Caravanning – Save Money by Making Your Own RV Stabilizer Pads

How many times have you pulled up in your caravan and found one of the stabilizers pads broken or missing altogether? It is so frustrating. The worst thing is you cannot buy one, you have to buy a complete set of four each time. Why do the manufacturers make things that do not last long and always need replacing?

We have bought and replaced our pads several times. Then, we sell the caravan and buy another one, then find we have to buy new stabilizer pads again.

Sand Blasted Plastic Feet Pads

 

Caravan Plastic sand Blasted foot

 The above picture shows the front worn away from sand-blasting on road

Why do they make these out of plastic? I know it makes them lighter, and we have to watch the extra weight when packing our caravan.

To prevent this from happening, why not make your own from steel and leave a couple of extra tins of baked beans home.  It will save you money.

How to Make Your Own Stabilizer Pads

Broken cradle on Plastic foot

The above image shows the broken hanger which attaches to the leg

If you have a handy husband like mine, then you too can make your own stronger pads.

Yes, it takes a lot of work and patience doing the welding and grinding. The result is well worth the effort.  Especially if have retired,because you will find yourself with time on your hands. Therefore, this will keep you active, doing something instead of sitting around watching TV, reading books or worrying over things that you can not change. Remember, it is important as a senior to keep yourself active.

How to Make Steel Pads

To be honest, he used an old bit of steel with two sides already turned up at the edge. Then, cut two more pieces to make the other sides and welded them on. He then made the two U-shape pieces to hold the bolts and welded them in place.

First rough build

The above image shows the first rough build before grinding and cleaning.

 

He wrapped insulation tape around the bolt to prevent it from rattling. There is nothing more irritating than little rattles when traveling in a vehicle. It drives you mad.

He then ground and painted with anti-rust paint.  Once it is dry, spray with the color of your choice, we used silver paint.

Test fitting before finishing off

 Testing to make sure it fits right, before the last finish and paint

Now all you have to do is bolt the foot on to the leg and you will never have to replace that worn stabilizer pad again.  Although, you will still have to make three more the same.

TIP: This may not sound nice, although this is a frugal article right? So if you decide to sell your caravan or RV then take these steel pads off and put the plastic ones back on. Now when you buy your new van or mobile home just fit your steel ones on to it, and save money.

Conclusion: If you cannot weld or make these yourself, why not ask a friend to make them for you. In return make something for them. If this option is not available, try a small welding shop. It will cost you less in the end and save you time and money by not having to keep replacing them.

 

My Husband’s Lead light and Copper foil Clocks

Over the years he has made quite a few different things as a hobby. Always looking to find and try different types of things. Lead lighting and copper foil work is a great hobby although it is not cheap as the glass and tools can be expensive.

If you would like to create these sort of things then I would say go for it, although it is best to start with simple straight line cutting, then try cutting out different shapes and curves.

Another thing is matching the colors in the different kinds to best suit your object. This is not always easy as there is so many different types of glass to choose from.

This is a collection of his clocks

Australian Kangaroo Clock

Calling this one his Australian Kangaroo Clock.This one involves a lot of curve cutting and grinding to form the shapes. This is his most recent copper foil clocks.

Sailing ship Clock

This was his first bigger attempts at making anything with lead which he decided to add the clock after.

copper foil glass clock

Map of Australia and Tasmania Copper foil Clock

Australian Made leadlighting clock

Different Version of Australian Copper foil Clock  Map

Square clock

Easier Straight Lines used for this Copper foil Clock

It is amazing the different things you can make with either lead or copper foil. Or you can combine the two by using lead for the frame and copper foil with the center pieces.

Whatever you decide let me know how you got on.  Will post another one of other things he has made next time.  There are so many different types of hobbies that you can try doing in your own home. If you do not give it a go you will never know what you can do.

 

Free Wi-Fi -Travelling in the Pilbara in Australia

The worst thing about travelling throughout Australia is the lack of network communication in many areas. Telstra says they have 97% coverage- although I believe that refers to metropolitan areas not way out in the bush.  Optus also has a similar coverage.  Even Dodo has a bit of coverage although many places it does not matter who you are with – there is no coverage at all.

The problem is not having a lack of coverage to talk to friends on Facebook or similar, it is because you or a family member may have an emergency.  While away I had this problem, one of my relations needed a critical operation and they could not contact me.

I was so surprised and pleased while travelling through the Pilbara to find free Wi-Fi coverage at a free campsite. That Shire has used there head and initiative setting up coverage at many free camping sites.  If they can do it, why can’t the other networks and Shires do their bit.

This is the area that you have Wi-Fi coverage

The Orange dot on map shows areas for Wi-Fi coverage
Yellow dots show the locality
The Shire has set up shaded picnic tables for the travelers with the Wi-Fi antenna fitted on the roof.  The best part is that you do not have to sit right close to it either.  The worst thing for us was that we did not realize that we had free Wi-Fi until the second last stop on our trip.  Although it still allowed me to update my computer.  So it was great.
Lovely shaded picnic table with Wi-Fi antenna on top
Lovely shaded picnic table with Wi-Fi antenna on top
I understand that many towns supply free Wi-Fi at their libraries or similar places.  My problem is the Australian Outback without network coverage for emergencies.  If you have found similar places that offer free Wi-Fi please let me know in the comments below.
Beautiful Sunset at on way to Port Hedland
This is one of our beautiful sunsets that we saw while on our way up to Port Hedland

Reducing Our Road Toll – Yet TV Advertisers Promote Bad Driving

Every week we see where people are killed on our roads, often caused by speed, drink drivers or inattention to what is happening on our roads.

I am continually frustrated having to watch irresponsible adverts on our Television every day.  The Youi Insurance adverts that show people jigging around behind the wheel of their car singing and looking everywhere but at the road.  This shows no regard for any responsibility of drivers while driving a motor car,

Then there is the other advert where a truck drops a large pipe and the ute drives through the centre of it and then tows it and catches up with the semi-driver to tell him he has dropped something.  I know it’s done to show the power of the vehicle, but what sort of example is it setting for our younger generation.

It shows that it is okay to act stupid while behind the wheel of any vehicle.

Youi is supposed to represent an insurance company.  If that is the example they set then I would never insure with them.

What is your thoughts regarding this type of advertising?