Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Friday, 26 August 2011

That Lucozade TV advert is 'Buck Rogers' by The James Cleaver Quintet.

If you know my other websites then you will know I used to run one of the most popular UK TV advert websites ten years ago, before such things as online videos took off. Im still a fan of some adverts, these days they are very polished productions. One TV advert which caught my eye recently which I like a lot is a Lucozade one where this band are playing music while rolling down a very steep hill. A great idea and a nice track too.

Here is a screen grab of the band as they come down Albion Hill and take the corner down Grove Hill. Below the screen grab is the same location as captured by Google Streetview. As you can see looks like they painted the yellow Lucozade sign on that house, or perhaps they did it with C.G.I.?

Here is the video - Lucozade TV Advert 2011 - Feeder's 'Buck Rogers' by The James Cleaver Quintet.
See if you can spot the parts of the road as the band rolls down the hills.

The video starts on Albion Hill about HERE where Maud E Licious starts to play his guitar.

Once you have watched the video you may like to watch the making of the video.

Filming location for the Lucozade TV advert.
I have found the location that this great music video was filmed, its on Albion Hill and Grove Hill in Brighton, UK. Here here a link to the Google Streetview of this bend in the road.

I always enjoy finding the locations of where films and videos were shot, You get a real "eureka moment" when you are able to see the very same place that something was filmed. A few weeks ago I found the building used as MI5 in the TV Series Spooks. There are a few books you can get on finding famous filming locations :

If you own a smatphone (iPhone,HTC etc) then tap HERE and it will launch your mapping application so you can find the exact location where this music video starts.
The end of the video is on the roof of the building HERE.

I hope you found this of interest. If you have never seen my UK TV Adverts page before then have a look at it now. Its been featured in Web User magazine, Internet Video magazine and even in the MSN Entertainment Top 30 TV and Movie Sites !


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Steve Coogan to star in new SKY1 family comedy drama "Starlings", filmed in Matlock, Derbyshire.

Steve Coogan is currently filming a new "family comedy drama" called Starlings in Matlock, Derbyshire.
This new series will start on SKY 1 on May 13th 2012.
The first series of Starlings is now released on DVD :

Baby Cow Productions’ founders Henry Normal and Steve Coogan will serve as Executive Producers, Baby Cow’s Alison MacPhail (The Mighty Boosh) will produce the series, while Matt King (Peep Show) and Steve Edge (Star Stories) will write and star.

Brendan Coyle and Lesley Sharp will play the mother and father of the Starling family, who have a crammed home following the return of their granddad.

The characters will include a 16-year-old football-crazy tomboy daughter, a reptile enthusiast son and beautiful daughter Bell, who gives birth in episode one.

Other characters invading the house will be Bell's ex-boyfriend Reuben, granddad's long-lost son Uncle Loz and nephew Fergie, who has just been made homeless by his long-suffering partner

Look out for this new show next year and you should recognise the filming locations.

Hopefully this will really help boost tourism in Matlock.

September 2012
Some scenes for the second series of Starlings was filmed in Westfield Derby shopping Centre.
Among the stars being filmed in the food court were Brendan Coyle and Lesley Sharp.

Look out for a film called Alpha Papa in summer 2013 staring Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge  !


Friday, 19 August 2011

Review of WiFi on East Midlands Trains, Derby to London.

I recently travelled First Class from Derby to London on an East Midlands Train service.
By the way First Class does not cost a lot more than standard class if you book in advance and are flexible with your travel times, see my blog post on getting the cheapest first class train tickets.

Wi-Fi is available in all Carriages on East Midlands Trains services to and from St Pancras station.
In the 1st class Carriages the wifi service is FREE.

In Standard class you have to pay for wifi and its costs...

Per journey £4.00
Daily £7.50
Monthly £40.00
Annually £425

East Midlands Trains wifi service was launched in September 2010 but this was the first time I had been able to try it out.

If you have ever tried to use the Internet on your smartphone while on a moving train before then you will know that its not very reliable at all.
The GSM network is mainly geared up to cover highly populated areas. Train tracks, Particularly in the Derbyshire area tend to go through deep cuttings and tunnels so you tend to completely loose coverage or it will drop to Edge or GPRS for long periods of time.
If your a regular user of the Internet when using a 3G signal I'm sure you know how annoying it is when it drops down to a GPRS connection. Its like going onto a dial-up connection!

Using wifi on the train is certainly a lot better than trying to use your GSM connection for data.

The hardware that gives you wifi on the EMT service is provided by Nomad. It uses an R3500 router which aggregates multiple 3G networks from multiple GSM providers. You could tell this as my O2 signal kept going to No Service (see screen grab) but I was still able to surf the net so it must have been getting data from Everything Everywhere or Vodafone.
What this means it that it has several 3G SIMs on several operators (o2, Everything Everywhere, Vodafone) and it combines the data streams from all of these sources so it appears as one fast connection, this also allows for loss of signals from different operators as the train moves.
Passenger WiFi is available on East Midlands Trains entire 27 Meridian fleet and all 11 of their MKIII HSTs.

How to use the wifi on a 1st class EMT service.
On an iPhone you can see that if you scan for wifi it shows up as "EastMidlandsTrain_WiFi" (See screen grab of WifiTrak).

I don't think it allowed me to connect to it from here even though its open, I tried several times but it would not allow connection.
However if you goto your web browser and connect to the wifi from there it will automatically redirect your page to a landing page that asks you to enter your name, email etc, once you click submit you are now able to use the free wifi. In standard class you get a different webpage:

Can you use iPlayer via the wifi on EMT service?
The answer is no!
I tried several times to watch Torchwood using the BBC iPlayer (iPhone) using the wifi but unfortunately the best I could get was about 5 seconds of footage before it stopped and rebuffered. I tried several times during the 1 Hour 33 Min journey. Because it requires a nice stream of data to play video it clearly did not
like the fact that the speed was up and down. Youtube was a bit better but kept downgrading its quality down to 240p for the same reason.

What download/upload speeds do you get?
See my screen grab of the Speedtest.net (OOkla) application. This shows the download and upload speeds as well as ping test six times.
I ran the speedtest a few times during the journey to London as you can see the download speed was not very good, generally quite low, It increased as the train got down south.
Upload speed was a lot better, not sure why that is. It almost snapped the digital needle off when it tested the upload speed as you can see 16Mb/s at 2:13pm !

Notice in the screen grab that I have No Service on my o2 sim but the speedtest shows over 2Mb download speed.
The main problem with the wifi service was that the speed was very Sporadic. Handy to have for free in 1st class but thats about it.

Is it worth paying for?
In first class you get wifi for free so I was not too bothered about the erratic service but if I was paying £425 a year for it I don't think I would be too happy! I guess it depends what you need wifi for, its certainly handy to have access and better than if you had a laptop with a 3G dongle.

Another thing I noticed, previously on trains when you use the Mapping application on the iPhone it shows your current location moving in real time along
the railway line but if you are using the wifi provided in the train then it does not move from where you set off, I guess this is because
the iPhone can no longer use triangulation from the GSM antennas and it can't get a GPS lock.

Note : If you have a First Class Advance Ticket then you also get free wifi and entry into the First Class lounges These are located at St Pancras, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and East Midlands Parkway. The exception to this rule is 4pm-8pm at St Pancras where you have to pay a £5 surcharge.
The First Class lounges are open Monday to Friday and have free Tea/Coffee, newspapers and snacks (and the free wifi of course).

Hope you found this of interest.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Pot Fest - Beer and Cider festival at The Flower Pot, Derby 26th-29th August 2011.

There is a Beer and Cider festival starting a week on Friday (The Bank Holiday weekend) at The Flower Pot pub in Derby. It runs from Friday 26th August until Monday 29th August 2011.

There will be Live music, an Ale Garden with 40 Real Ales and Ciders to try. This is to celebrate 40 years of CAMRA.

Here is a flyer for The Flower Pot Beer Festival 2011 :

Their flyer lists two websites but it would appear that neither of them work or have ever worked. They do have a Facebook page but you have to join to see anything. I think I have provided as much info as you could need here anyway. The only reason I'm aware of it taking place is because of a flyer I got from The Derby Beer Festival in July, there does not seem to be any info on the internet about it. There IS now !

The Flower Pot is located on King Street (A6) very near the new Jurys Inn Hotel. You can see The flower pot in this Google Streetview. I did a post on The Flower Pot last year when I saw Midge Ure perform there.

If you have a smartphone then you can use my drop pin below to find your way to the pub using the mapping application.
Smartphone mapping drop pin. <-- Tap this link on your smartphone to get accurate directions.

On Sunday 28th live music will be provided by Lil' Jim's Big Squeeze. The five-piece band were one of the acts to play to thousands of real ale lovers at the Assembly Rooms festival, which took place in July.

They will launch their debut single Cheatin' and Creepin'
Lil' Jim's Big Squeeze website.

Hope you found this of interest.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Video - Great British Beer Festival 2011 at Earls Court, entertainment by The Bad Shepherds.

Last weekend we visited the Great British Beer Festival in London, this took place at Earls Court.
The strangest thing was going all the way down to London from Derby and the very first flyer that was handed out to me was one for The National Brewery Centre at Burton on Trent !

Here is a short video I took of the live entertainment on Friday night, it was provided by The Bad Shepherds who consist of :
Adrian Edmondson, Troy Donockley And Andy Dinan
For more information and a list of tour dates when you can see them in your area see their website:

As it happens they are performing at Derby in November
The gigs page is here:

YES Adrian Edmondson is the guy that played Vyvyan in the 80s TV show The Young Ones.

The cover song performed here is Rise by Public Image Ltd (originally released Jan 1986).
My video at the GBBF 2011 :

Were you there? Perhaps you may see yourself at the start of my video.
The Cider in the glass at the end of my video was Tutts Clump a Perry Cider.
Glass Hire at this event was £3 a glass
The GBBF had over 1000 Real Ales and Ciders and ran from 2nd to the 6th August 2011.

The nearest underground tube station to this place is Earls Court underground, the exit to this station brings you right to the entrance to the venue!
If your stopping in London near Kings Cross then its a very simple journey on the Piccadilly Line with no changes.
For more info on The Great British Beer Festival see their website :
The 2012 Great British Beer Festival event is taking place at Olympia in London.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

The filming location used for Thames House in the BBC TV series Spooks.

I have just returned from a visit to London and while there I tracked down the location that is used for Thames House (MI5 base) in the BBC TV series Spooks. If you have never seen Spooks then I recommend it, its yet another great production by Kudos. They are the production company that made Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes Hustle and The Fixer amongst others.

The building they used as Thames House is actually a Freemasons' Hall located on Great Queen Street in London. It felt very strange seeing this building in real life after seeing it so much on the TV show.

Here is my photograph of the building and below it I have taken a screen grab from the DVD of Spooks so you can see its the very same building.

Filming location for Spooks TV series.

There have been 9 series of this great show so far and [Spooks] is set to return soon.
Series 10 of Spooks starts on September 18th 2011.

If you want to catch up with series 1 to 9 before series 10 starts then you can get them all on DVD now.
You will have to watch 80 episodes though so you best get watching today !
This will be the very last ever series of Spooks so I hope its a good one.

If your a fan of this TV series then you may already know about this location but if not I hope you found it of interest.

Mapping location :
Google Streetview of this building.

If you own a smart phone then you can use my drop pin to navigate to this location using your mapping application. Simply click the link below while viewing this blog on your phone :

Drop Pin for Spooks Thames House building.


Friday, 5 August 2011

New Driving video - Derby Streets by car. Pear Tree to Costco on Pride Park.

Here is the latest video in my series of "Derby Streets by Car". I started doing these videos back in 2007 and they seem quite popular. See my first Derby Streets by car video. Filmed before such things as HD video on YouTube.
Yes I know you can use Google Streetview to see streets but thats out of date (Derby streets captured by them 3 years ago!). Also its not quite the same as seeing the places as though you were driving yourself.
Perhaps you used to live in Derby and wondered what the place looks like today well now you can see!

This video was recorded on Sunday 31st July 2011, Its recorded at 1080p HD so if you have a very fast broadband connection and a fast PC then you can view it at 720 or 1080 at full screen mode.

The drive starts on St Thomas Road in the Pear Tree area of Derby and ends at Costco which is on Pride Park.
Some points of interest (may be !)
0:02 -That yellow shop used to be Terry J Aquatics.

0:05 - The Pear Tree Inn pub on the left.
0:11 - Lister House Surgery on left.
0:22 - Former Sherwood foresters pub on right (now a Sikh temple)
0:28 - Silly Sids on left
0:43 - The Oasthouse pub, a Whitbread Table Table restaurant.
0:57 - Pear Tree Railway Station on left.
1:04 - On the right here is a large B&Q and a recently expanded Sainsburys.
2:20 - Spider Bridge Island, Also The Mitre Pub ahead
2:26 - Allenton Market, Soon to be a large Tescos!
3:11 - New Ascot Drive fire Station being built on left.
3:16 - B & M store on left
3:27 - Birds Bakery on left
3:44 - Arriva Derby bus depot on right
3:51 - Former B&Q being demolished (after many years!)
4:29 - Ahead is Pride Park Stadium, Home of Derby County (The Rams)
5:24 - Entering Costco Car park.
In costco I got two large Jacket Potatoes with two fillings for £2.50, How can they do it for that price !

The Driving video - Pear Tree to Costco Derby:

In the video you will notice I have indicated each road name as we drive around, this should help you get an idea of where things are. If not then you can also use my detail driving route map below :
Of couse its not the most straight forward route to get from A to B but I was trying to capture some roads that I have not recorded before.

Here is the driving route for this video:

View YouTube Driving route - Pear Tree to Costco on Pride Park in a larger map

The Music I've used in this video :
Night Lights by Astrum used under creative commons license
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The track - Night lights Astrum :

Hope you find my video of interest.