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Going out of my mine...

  • By Greg Mckenzie
  • 19 Mar, 2017

A morning in the dark places of the earth..

After a night of torrential non-stop rain the morning did not look like it was going to improve!…so with that in mind we decided to go underground – Dinas Silica Mine!

After a small trek up the side of a mountain, being passed on the way by two chaps carrying diving gear, a walk across the grassy plateau and then down the slippery steps to the entrance of this now disused silica mine…

Negotiating the tricky entry point we kitted up in our finest LED Lenser gear and headed into the gloom!…it was very humid and the moisture content in the air was just crazy!’s been raining for days! This place is huge!

We quickly found the water and took some pics..the reflections in the crystal clear pools were amazing, the colours have not been done justice.

The divers were heading back to base camp for more gear! They dive in these pools to a depth of 25m plus! The pics they showed me were awesome!

Urban Films

By Greg Mckenzie 07 Nov, 2017

Well whose bright idea was this!

Oh was mine…holidaying in Wales when one week before Storm Ophelia had left a path of damage across most of the area…so we decided to travel at the beginning of Storm Brian.

It rained, relentlessly, for several days. This made for some very interesting driving around the area we were staying in. Many of the roads were water logged, to the point where they were just rivers.

The mountain passes were shrouded in low hanging cloud and therefore the views, well…they were non-existent!

Still the challenge was on to find as many places away from the crowds and given we’d decided to visit a part of Wales hosting Welsh Rally we managed it…saw very few people the whole week.

First time in this part of Snowdonia and I’m sure that we will return to explore more.

Having access to a wide selection of OS Maps was awesome as we certainly found a few trails off the beaten track, pardon the pun.

I don’t give out locations anymore as we’d rather selfishly like to keep these hidden spots to ourselves. They are easy enough to find…just go look.

One Life Live It

By Greg Mckenzie 28 Sep, 2017

Recently travelled to Statford-upon-Avon for the Adventure and Overland show and to meet up with some of the guys from Overland Bound UK division!

Having been bitten by the bug earlier in the year to rekindle this “camping” lark at an event hosted by Tuff Trek expedition equipment this was more a fact finding mission to see what people use on their adventures.

Clearly…as you’ll see from the pictures some people take this over landing lark to another level! Just check out the 8x8 vehicle! Now that’s travelling…albeit somewhat slowly.

It was information overload trying to get to grips with what people were using, how they were using and what they were adapting to suit their particular needs. People were helpful, friendly and most of all wanting to share their unique perspective on overland travel.

Rather than people just “selling” you something for the sake of a sale information was forthcoming on how you might adapt your purchase. Here’s looking at you Neil from Fourby !

Did I come away with a few ideas…well YES!

With winter fast approaching here in the UK I have a few months to get myself (and the family) equipped for some more adventures in 2018 and beyond….!

It was good to meet up with some members from Overland Bound – we’re growing in numbers compared to the US …but we do live on a small island!

The ability to camp on site for the weekend was an added bonus! The smell of several wooden camp fires going and freshly cooked bacon…lovely!

Now in its sixth year (we have the venue for at least 10 years), the show has already developed way beyond basic travel. It is now best described as a ‘lifestyle show’ featuring everything from adventure tours in the UK to all forms of foreign travel – treks, overland tours, tailored fly-drive holidays and safaris to distant overseas destinations utilising bikes, motorcycles, 4x4s, motor homes, campers & expedition trucks.

By Greg Mckenzie 05 Sep, 2017

We’ve travelled to this part of Wales many times…but only ever for the day…this time we were here for a week and just scratched the surface of places and things to see and do.

Was slightly worried when we heard that the reservoirs had been dropped by a staggering 10 or so feet as repairs were being carried out to one of the dams…but needn’t have worried there was still plenty of water left!’s Wales after all!

The Elan Valley Reservoirs  are a chain of man-made lakes created from damming  the Elan  and Claerwen   rivers  within the Elan Valley  in Mid Wales . The reservoirs, which were built by the Birmingham Corporation Water Department , provide clean drinking water for Birmingham  in the West Midlands  of England . The five lakes are known as the Claerwen , Craig-goch, Pen-y-garreg, Garreg-ddu, and Caban-coch.

Driving around The Elan Valley is also an experience. The roads were never designed for 21st century travel and there are many hairy moments when you meet a farmer and his tractor coming round a bend. It all makes for a more exhilarating time!

The views anywhere around the reservoirs are always spot on, whether rain or shine. Reflections in the water, the very green clumps of forest that border the water’s edge and spread up the mountains. There are waterfalls galore…some small trickles…others raging torrents.

I mean, there is water everywhere!

If you are in this part of Wales then it is worth spending time here. Although don’t go when there is a Bank Holiday….you’ll spend more time in the car than out of it…congestion on a grand scale!

By Greg Mckenzie 04 Sep, 2017

The Traxxas TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler is an all-new Traxxas design that instantly obsoletes the status quo with greatly expanded features, versatility, and capability. In other words, we built it the Traxxas way, rugged, powerful, and ready for fun!
Check out the features and images below to get the latest scoop on this incredible machine.

Ultimate Traxxas Ground Clearance
The TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler is equipped right out of the box with Traxxas game-changing portal axle set.
Portal axles lift the truck at the wheels for huge center pumpkin ground clearance. In order to achieve the same clearance with straight axles (and not get stuck), your tires would have to be over an inch taller than the TRX-4's tires. Straddling boulders with ease, the TRX-4 chassis definitely takes the path less travelled and simply leaves all the others behind.

Torque Twist Eliminated
The portal axles use gear reduction right at the wheels that dramatically reduces undesirable torque twist. Total axle gear reduction is over twice non-portal designs. The Titan 550 motor torque is translated into straight, powerful, forward motion, rather than wasted energy twisting your rig right off the rocks

Improved Geometry
Portal axle geometry raises the axle link mounts and center driveshaft, greatly reducing critical driveshaft and suspension link angles. This means less strain on the driveshafts, and the higher suspension links provide greater clearance with less scraping and dragging across the rocks. The steering drag link and tie rod are also raised up and out of harm's way.

Rigid Steel Frame
A heavy-duty formed-steel ladder frame with molded cross members creates an extremely rigid backbone that lets the suspension do the work it was designed to do. You’ll feel the difference on trails where the elimination of chassis flex allows for precise wheel placement when navigating technical terrain.

Traxxas Remote Locking Differentials
Traxxas gives you the versatility to lock and unlock the front and rear differentials to suit your driving needs directly from your transmitter. Leave the differentials unlocked for relaxed driving on the trail with smooth, tight turning and better handling at high speeds. When the trail gets technical, lock the front and rear differentials, or just the front, for superior grip over extreme terrain. Our patented design has been proven rugged and capable in the Traxxas Summit. New sleeved micro cables control the differential action for scale appearance, without limiting the huge suspension articulation.

45° Steering Angle
Traditional crawlers sacrifice turning radius for traction. The TRX-4’s remote locking differentials disengage to take full advantage of its superior 45 degree steering angle. Once you clear the obstacle, re-engage the differentials for ultimate traction.

Hi/Low Range Transmission
When the going gets tough, use your transmitter to shift into low range for incredible 4-wheel drive pulling torque. Shift into high range for blasting down the trail. The plush suspension design absorbs rough terrain with ease and delivers outstanding scale appearance. Unmatched versatility makes the TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler adaptable to just about any situation or driving style.

Metal Gear Digital Traxxas Servo
A new full-metal gear digital servo gives you the durability and steering authority you need to confidently and reliably power through tough situations.

Traxxas was the first to bring you fully waterproof RC vehicles years ago with our innovative designs. The TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler is fully waterproof for how you like to really play, not “splash resistant.” There is a big difference. Traxxas’ patented innovation gives you the freedom to tackle creeks, snow, and mud without worrying about water in your electronics.

Traxxas Scale Detail
The TRX-4 Trail and Scale is being shown with the legendary Land Rover Defender body, complete with exciting scale details for an authentic 4-wheelin’ experience. We’ve included a functional spare wheel and tire, an off-road jack, and spare fuel canisters. Secure your trail gear in the included roof basket. There’s even a snorkel for taking the waterproof TRX-4 through creek crossings. The rugged bumpers provide clearance and protection and are equipped with recovery D-rings. The front bumper is designed to be compatible with many popular off-road accessories.

Inner Fenders
The scale details did not stop with the body. We went underneath to install detailed inner fenders that integrate with the scale look of the floor pans and shock towers, keeping rocks, mud, and twigs out of the chassis. The inner fenders are also equipped with pockets to install our optional LED rock light kit (sold separately) to light up the night trail, casting light right where it’s needed. The rock lights make changing a “flat tire” on the trail a breeze! ;-) Integrated rock sliders help protect the body from damage.

Cruise Control
The Traxxas TQi radio system is equipped with cruise control for long-distance treks. Set your speed using the transmitter and then use the multi-function knob to fine-tune it faster or slower to precisely match the pace of your caravan of trail explorers. Cruise control makes it easy and comfortable for the TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler to be your companion for hours of driving fun and exploration

Traxxas 3S Power System
The new XL-5 HV electronic speed control brings 3S LiPo capability for stronger, more efficient running. New speed control profiles have been added for smooth and precise control. A new Trail profile facilitates smooth driving for most of your adventures, while a new Crawl profile introduces hill hold and instant reverse for extremely technical courses. Either will help you navigate obstacles with ease, right from the start. Long run times, up to 2 hours, are possible with a Traxxas 3S 5000mAh iD LiPo battery pack!

Traxxas Canyon Trail 1.9 Tires
The 1.9 Canyon Trail tires and tuned foam inserts are super-soft and grippy to deliver superior bite on rocky surfaces with convincing scale realism. The 12mm steel hex drive makes the TRX-4 chassis compatible with popular 1.9 wheel and tire combinations.

Traxxas Tough
Leave the tools in the bag! The Traxxas TRX-4 chassis is built to handle the rigors of remote locations and all-day driving fun. The foundation begins with a pair of 1.5mm thick steel frame rails. Large diameter steel links and heavy-duty, extra-wide rod ends keep the suspension firmly mounted. Hardened steel CV-style half-shaft joints are ultra reliable, while the brushless-ready steel portal axle and transfer case gears are smooth and quiet. Traxxas’ composite materials have been refined over three decades for the ultimate in strength and durability.

Traxxas Aluminum GTS Shocks
All new oil-filled coil-over GTS shocks were created exclusively for the TRX-4 chassis. These silver-anodized aluminum units deliver silky-smooth damping performance and feature threaded shock bodies for easy ride height adjustments. The convincing scale realism looks great and they perform even better with an O-ring cap seal and dual X-ring shaft seals.

Extreme Traxxas Capability
Steep approach angles front and rear allow the TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler to tackle big obstacles head on. The front motor design biases weight forward for superior climbing ability compared to other designs.

By Greg Mckenzie 04 Sep, 2017
We found ourselves staying in a remote farm house on the side of a mountain...probably a hill to the locals..just the drive up to it was bad enough and is what probably set the tone for the rest of our stay in The Elan Valley . Phones don't work out here so there was little chance the Sat Nav was going to!

So...had to resort to a good old fashioned OS map of the area and what an awakening this was. For someone that relies heavily on technology getting back to a basic sort was a real breath of fresh air. After studying maps of the area we found some truly amazing tracks and routes to explore. 

So amazing in fact that we were the only ones out here in the wilds of the truly spectacular Elan Valley. We're glad that so many people flock to the tourist left us with a unique perspective on the wilds of the Welsh mountains.

This is an area that needs exploring ! And i do mean EXPLORE ! 

With camera and drone we captured some memorable images and from the comfort of our remote farmhouse witnessed some jaw dropping sun rises and views.

We'll be heading back soon to explore this beautiful part of Wales. Took hundreds of pictures...a taster is included here but more can be seen at A house on the hill - Summer in Wales 2017 on Facebook.

By Greg Mckenzie 19 Mar, 2017

After a night of torrential non-stop rain the morning did not look like it was going to improve!…so with that in mind we decided to go underground – Dinas Silica Mine!

After a small trek up the side of a mountain, being passed on the way by two chaps carrying diving gear, a walk across the grassy plateau and then down the slippery steps to the entrance of this now disused silica mine…

Negotiating the tricky entry point we kitted up in our finest LED Lenser gear and headed into the gloom!…it was very humid and the moisture content in the air was just crazy!’s been raining for days! This place is huge!

We quickly found the water and took some pics..the reflections in the crystal clear pools were amazing, the colours have not been done justice.

The divers were heading back to base camp for more gear! They dive in these pools to a depth of 25m plus! The pics they showed me were awesome!

By Greg Mckenzie 26 Nov, 2016

Property professionals are starting to grasp the benefits of using UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) drones to film or photograph property whether that be for sale or to let. Certainly, with large countryside residences it is sometimes difficult to grasp how large an estate or garden is. With commercial premises, retail parks and leisure outlets where the operation of drones is less restricted than in congested urban locations, drones are an ideal tool to film and photograph with.

There are many reasons and benefits of using this type of equipment including:

  • Drones can be placed or flown anywhere *
  • Drones can film – as opposed to just providing aerial stills. A “movie” especially when set to music can be a highly emotive tool for showing the beauty of any property and its grounds.
  • A drone provides great perspective and a sense of space – very important when marketing a country estate for example with plenty of land or to show a distant view.

Both Estate and Letting Agents, land managers and other property professionals need to use the best tools possible to show their property. With the popularity of sites like Rightmove and Zoopla making your property stand out from the crowd is essential. With the ever-increasing use of mobile devices with broadband, Free Wifi spots and mobile connections, video is the best form of media to engage the user.

In the first instance please contact us for a no obligation quote for your needs.


*Where permission has been granted and that it does not conflict with the rules and permissions outlined by the CAA

By Greg Mckenzie 03 Oct, 2016
I can provide architectural photographs for clients who are selling their own properties, for premier estate agents who need   better images than they could get with a compact or phone camera.

Architects and construction companies to record projects that they are currently working on, or for completed projects to use in marketing/advertising material.  

Agricultural land surveys from the air using latest drone technology.

Insurance and mortgage companies to document insurance or financial claims

We can provide aerial photography for all situations.

Sometimes it’s hard to see what you really want to see. Especially if that something is several feet above ground! You need aerial photography!
Using the latest drones, we are able to capture HD video footage and stills at high resolution for a number of subject matter. This can be very cost effective, quick and hassle free.

We provide architectural visualisation, asset surveys, construction progress, mapping and footage or images for the following industries;

  • Utilities
  • Process
  • Events
  • Buildings
  • Agriculture
  • Archaeological sites
  • Film and TV
  • Insurance Companies
  • Estate Agents

In the first instance call us for a quote, you’ll find that gathering information using this method is usually a lot cheaper than traditional survey techniques.
By Greg Mckenzie 03 Oct, 2016
We can provide a number of services to the construction and property industry to document your building for insurance purposes, security issues, planning and other matters relating to your property.

Both visual and written details are provided along with any video that you may require.

If you have a building at risk we can provide a complete portfolio of photographs on planned repeat visits to enable you in providing data to the relevant bodies for the protection of your building.

We carry out aerial surveys for security firms to identify points of access to sites and help in the prevention of damage or trespass.

Please contact us in the first instance for an informal chat - always in confidence.
By Greg Mckenzie 03 Oct, 2016

Because more and more people are searching for properties online before they even step into an estate/letting agents office, great photographs are increasingly becoming essential in marketing a house. 

A good photograph of a property will catch the eye of house-hunters instantly, whereas poorly lit, wonky pictures are off-putting and relegate a property to the ‘to look at later’ list.

To make your property or service stand out, you need it professionally photographed.  Whether it be a small apartment or a large luxury home, individual components or grand building projects, a beautiful B&B or a penthouse suite - if it isn't shown off to everyone at its best it'll be lost with all the others.

With big online property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket allowing easy access to viewing thousands of properties, it has never been more important to get your property beautifully and professionally photographed.

We can offer estate agents, letting agents or even individuals wishing to sell their homes a number of packages – just get in touch and see what we can do for you!

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