The Field Lab

Syndicate content
Life off the grid in the SW Texas desert. An experiment in sustainable living. NUMBERS AT THE END OF EACH BLOG POST: temp at 8PM,high temp,low temp,rainfall,wind conditions(CalmBreezyWindyGusty). Live streaming video at YouTube Channel John Wells
Updated: 1 day 1 hour ago

oh the irony...

Sat, 2017/06/24 - 5:02pm
Kind of ironic that I just posted a video of the state of my water supply while Study Butte / Terlingua is under a water emergency due to problems with the municipal water system.  Did a supply run to Alpine yesterday which included picking up over 28 gallons of bottled water for a neighbor who has no catchment in place.  Also looks like my kitchen has relapsed into its' natural state of chaos.  Stay tuned for an upcoming time lapse video on my channel of the transformation back to order.  89,91,73, .01",W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/06/23 - 3:00pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

first suspect...

Thu, 2017/06/22 - 5:49pm
The game cam caught a suspect last night.  He was brought in for questioning and released.  Chupa failed to identify him in a lineup.  97,104,77,0,B  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

tweaking my sensitivity...

Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:30pm
Thanks to plenty of YouTube videos, I have tweaked the control sensitivity of the controller joysticks and camera gimbal movements for smoother operation of the Mavic Pro and its' camera.  The only issue I have now is that my little Samsung tablet doesn't really have enough processor speed to handle the load of data sent from the aircraft.  The screen is really hard to see in direct sunlight (there are sun shades available but they only help a little) and video sent back from the aircraft keeps breaking up and the app crashes if I try to go into the intelligent flight modes.  DJI is about to release a new super bright dedicated tablet specifically for their drones but it is a bit on the pricey side - although it has two (not just one) microSD card slots and an HDMI output port.  An Apple iPad mini 4 seems to work very well but does not have a microSD card slot for extra memory.  On the android end, the best option was the nvidia shield tablet K1 made for gamers as it had plenty of processing power to handle the load.  The problem is - that model has been discontinued and it seems they have nothing new in the pipeline for the foreseeable future.  I still have a ways to go mastering simple maneuvers before I start trying to get fancy so I will live with what I have until I make a decision on an upgrade.  And don't bother with suggestions in the comments - I am well aware of all the options available although I only listed a few above.  Keep in mind that I have done an extraordinary amount of research on this.  It's not that I don't appreciate a helping hand from time to time, but it get's frustrating because most often the suggestions I get have little to do with my real world applications.   That being said - if you personally own and fly a DJI Mavic Pro and have found a tablet that works perfectly, feel free to chime in.  If you do not own a drone but have done a google search for "best tablet for Mavic Pro" - please don't bother sharing.  Been there, done that.  97,99,72,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


Tue, 2017/06/20 - 5:05pm
Is is always a bad sign when you go to a chicken coop and see feathers everywhere.  Something managed to get into the pen two nights ago and killed Manny.  Chupa was in his own personal pen and was unharmed.  (I have been keeping them separated since they started fighting a couple of weeks ago.)  Strange thing is, Chupa was just as vulnerable in his pen as Manny was.  I reinforced the main pen and Chupa made it through last night unscathed.  I couldn't find my game cam so I just got a new one today.  Perhaps I will find what evil is lurking out there tonight.  93,96,74,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/06/19 - 9:32am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

think before you speak...

Sun, 2017/06/18 - 2:25pm
Matthew 12: 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


Sat, 2017/06/17 - 5:50pm
Just had the hottest day so far this year.  Good news is we had a nice overnight low and along with really low humidity, Pepino was able to keep up extraordinarily well.  Just cranked on the AC at 7:30 PM for a little extra end of the day cool down.  On days like this it is good to have an indoor project like working out details for future videos.  105,107,68,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/06/16 - 3:05pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

first flight...

Thu, 2017/06/15 - 4:36pm
Since I got it a week ago, I decided it was finally time to launch the drone this morning .  Did 5 short flights in "beginner mode" just to get a hang of the controls. So far so good.  Did a firmware update when I came back inside which took about a half hour.  The app tells you when a new update is available (requiring an internet connection) and DJI can actually update not only the aircraft, but also the batteries, controller, and android app as needed. Tune in tomorrow night for the video.  99,102,77,0,B      
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

little rascal...

Wed, 2017/06/14 - 4:43pm
So I am cooling off in bed last night watching a video on my tablet computer with Pepino blowing right on me when I notice an itch on my right shoulder...and find a small welt.  A little while later it happens again...and I knew immediately what was going on.  Quickly found a conenose beetle lurking just under my pillow.  Had he waited til I went to sleep and not been so impatient to feed on me, he could have nailed me several more times overnight.  A Bic lighter ended his feeding frenzy.  From my cowboy poem I uploaded 8 years ago...

The worst critter I found
since I came to this town
the conenose beetle that you never see.
He bites you at night
then poops on the bite
adding insult to injury.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

too hot...

Tue, 2017/06/13 - 4:33pm
Kind of ironic that I just uploaded the final installment of the Pepino how to and we have a week of weather that it just can't handle.  (A poignant reminder to those who might try to build one that Pepino has its' limits.)  Although it is quite effective keeping the hut cool for sleeping once the sun and the temperature goes down - when we get a string of 100+ degree days in a row, I have to run my AC for a couple of hours in the late afternoon to stay comfortable.  This is the time of year that we weed out 50% of the new arrivals that think they can live out here.  99,103,73,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/06/12 - 11:17am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

What is your purpose?

Sun, 2017/06/11 - 2:50pm
Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

savoring the moment...

Sat, 2017/06/10 - 4:36pm
You know if the box has a lithium ion battery must be something good.  99,103,63,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/06/09 - 2:38pm

80,96,65, .08",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


Thu, 2017/06/08 - 4:07pm
Decided on a quick supply run to Alpine for some final Pepino parts.  Didn't get out til about 2PM since I was waiting for my drone delivery (a few more parts of my order are due to arrive tomorrow so I won't be opening the boxes til the weekend...for an unboxing video of course).  Came really close to getting swamped out.  There wasn't supposed to be any rain today but something changed and the gloom on the horizon made me a little nervous on the trip back home.  Rain was pouring pretty hard south of my road but didn't hit TFL until just as I turned into my driveway.  By the time I unloaded four bales of alfalfa and three bags of feed, the downpour ended.  81,91,68, .15",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Big Jack

Wed, 2017/06/07 - 4:56pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

I finally gave in to temptation...

Tue, 2017/06/06 - 4:31pm
I have been resisting buying a drone for over a year...until today. My thought has always been - how much drone footage can you actually shoot before the novelty wears off? Decided if I can come up with 50 drone videos to shoot for my YouTube channel - I would buy one. I came up with 75. So I am cashing in on some of the money "the bucket" video has made and ordered a DJI Mavic Pro along with a number of a la carte accessories (at a better deal than any package price I could find).  91,92,75,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/06/05 - 10:03am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs