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.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Sheffield winter garden, A video tour around this beautiful place in May 2012.

I have visted this amazing building many times in the last three years and it really is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Its right next to the Novotel and Mercure hotels in sheffield.
I have tried to capture the feeling of the place in my video tour of the building.

Here is my video of this great building :

or click this link - Video tour of Sheffield Winter Garden in May 2012.

Best viewed fullscreen at 1080p or 720p
Sheffield winter garden is located in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.

Its home to more than 2,000 plants from all around the world, even though it looks like a greenhouse the temperatue is quite pleasant.
On the day I filmed (27th May) it was 27c outside but it was nice and coolish in here.

Sheffield winter garden opening Times :
Monday to Saturday 8am to 11 pm
Sundays 8 am to 8 pm
Admission is free !

Points of interest:
0:08 View of the winter garden from the Peace Gardens end entrance.
0:17 Commemorative stone showing when the winter garden was opened on 2nd May 2003 by The Queen.
1:00 A information panel telling you about the colourful plants at 1:02
1:20 Water feature #1
1:33 Water feature #2
2:14 View of the blue sky and bright sun
2:43 The bird of paradise flower

I hope you enjoyed my tour around this amazing place.

The last time I visited they were filming post game World Snooker interviews in here :

Thanks Andy

Monday, 28 May 2012

Video - The 2012 Sheffield Half Marathon, Sunday 27th May 2012.

While in Sheffield over the weekend the Sheffield Half Marathon took place on the Sunday morning, here is my video of some of the runners. Well done to all who took part in this, it was absolutely roasting hot. Too hot to even watch it let alone be a runner.

5792 runners took part in this Half Marathon. I did not film every runner!
My video of the Sheffield Half Marathon 2012:

or click - Video of the Sheffield Half Marathon 2012

John Franklin was the first man across the finish lane of Sheffield's Half Marathon today with a time of 1:10:31
Steve Davis, who was running for the Paul Hunter Foundation, made it across the finish line in 2 hours 42 minutes.

Were YOU the mankini man (No 5645) ! or Mickey Mouse?, if so leave a comment

I captured these runners about 10.40am on Sunday 27th May 2012.
The first set of runners is on Pinstone Street (in front of Sheffield town hall)
The second lot of runners are on Barker's Pool (in front of Sheffield City Hall) and the final set of runners were on Division Street.

The Sheffield Half Marathon incorporates the Yorkshire Half Marathon Championships and the South Yorkshire Half Marathon Championships.
The Sheffield Half Marathon starts and finishes in the Don Valley Stadium, the Sheffield Half Marathon leads runners though and around Sheffield's city centre.

Hope you like my little video.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Video of the Lewis Mighty balloon release. My tribute film to this brave little boy from Mackworth, Derby.

Here is my tribute to Lewis Mighty :

This is my Tribute film to memory of Lewis Mighty the brave little boy from Mackworth, Derby. I hope I have done a good job of making this film.
Feel free to link/embed this video on Facebook,Twitter etc.

It features the balloon release in memory of Lewis Mighty which took place in Mackworth Derby on Friday 18th May 2012 at 4:30.
I have used photographs and video combined together.

I took quite a long time selecting the right music for this video.

Music Credits
Shine by Snowflake
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)

Here are the lyrics to the song I selected for my video :


Laugh until you cry, you’re strong
You carry more inside
And as you grow you know
You’ll never be denied any dream
With everything you try you show

You shine so bright

Like a clear star on a winter’s night

Laugh until you fly beyond these walls

You can never think too high
So go on

And shine so bright

Like a clear star on a winter’s night
Shine like art ‘cause in your heart
Is where you start strong

You’re more beautiful than ever

Your kindness heals what’s severed
And all that you endeavor is yours
Yea, that’s for sure

Shine so bright

Like a full moon on a summer night
Shine like true art
‘Cause in your heart is where you start

More beautiful than ever

Your shine goes on forever 

 Lewis's funeral will take place at St Francis Church, Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth, on May 29, at 2pm. Everyone is welcome and is asked to wear bright colours.
To donate to the E38 appeal go to Just Giving.com/lewismightyE38 or text your donation to 70070 with the message TLMF50 plus your donation. For example, TLMF50 £5.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Video - The Nasty Spider that was on the ceiling waiting to drop onto you.

This Spider was walking on the ceiling right above the telephone in the livingroom waiting to drop down your neck when you least expect it.  I've never seen a spider like this before, it had really long legs about 3" long when extended out and a very odd looking body.  This is in Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom.

Here is my video of the Nasty spider from Derby:

or click the link here Video of the nasty spider from Derby.

Even though I don't like Spiders in the house I did rescue it humanely using the old jam jar and postcard method. I had to use a large Pasta jar though as it was too big for the Jam jar and did not want to break its legs.

Have YOU ever seen a spider like this before?
Im glad I saw it in time rather than it dropping onto me while on the phone, imagine how horrid that would be !
Those long thin legs thrashing about on your skin !


Friday, 18 May 2012

New to Derby and want to know what day which wheelie bins are collected? or where you can recycle your rubbish?

If you are new to Derby then you may want to know on what days which coloured wheelie bins and bags are collected.

Here is a very useful website that tells you what day to put which bins out.
You need to enter your post code and house number and it will tell you :

Derby City Council - When are my bins emptied?

It will even give you a link to a pdf calendar that you can print out!

In Derby City we have the following recycling bags and bins :
Red bag - Clothes
Blue bag - Papers
Orange bag - Cardboard

Blue bin - Plastic and glass
Brown bin - Garden and kitchen waste
Black bin - everything else.

Collections always start at 6.30am and go on until 4:00pm

Want to know in detail what you can put in which bag and bin the here are some leaflets :
Derby City council Bins and bags.


Also where can you recycle your rubbish in Derby?
As you may know last year Derby City council got rid of all of the recycling points around the city. The reason they did that was because everyone now has recycling bin collections.
But sometimes they miss your bin or perhaps you have extra rubbish or may be you were on holiday when you were due to put your bin out.

If they have missed your bin then you can fill in this form : Missed my bin.

A FULL bin collection service will still run in Derby during the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday on Tuesday 5th June. Residents whose usual collection day is Tuesday should put their bins and recycling bags out before 6.30am as normal.

I have looked all over Derby for somewhere that still does recycling and managed to find one for you.
Tescos at Mickleover STILL do recycling!
Here are two photographs showing the recycling area as per May 2012.

Tesco Mickleover - Carboard and paper recycling area (May 2012)

Tesco Mickleover - Shoes,Clothes, books, Music and bottles recycling area (May 2012)
Map Location:
Google Streetview showing the recycling point at Tescos Mickleover, Derby, UK.

This Tescos is a 24 Hour store so you can recycle your stuff at any time of day or night!

Hope this is of use to someone.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

New BBC Series : A year in the life of Chatsworth House.

Last night on BBC1 was a new series that may be of interest to you as it featured Chatsworth House.
This is a three-part documentary series detailing life of the new aristocracy over Chatsworth's entire 2011 season.
For the first time ever, the palace of the peaks, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, has opened its doors to the cameras for a whole year. It is a unique opportunity to take an in-depth glimpse of life upstairs and downstairs in the 21st century.

The first programme joins the 12th duke and duchess as the house is being prepared to open to the public.
It is the busiest time of year for the house staff and everyone has a role to play - even the duke and duchess, as they join the annual litter pick around the estate.

2011 sees the six month probation period of the youngest and very first female head guide, Heather Redmond. Will she win over the 60-strong guide team, some of whom have worked at Chatsworth since before she was born, and get the job for keeps?

Chatsworth's award-winning farm shop is presided over by manager Andre Birkett. Man and boy he has worked for the family, starting in the kitchens of the house. He is now responsible for 120 staff and an annual turnover of over five million pounds. But there are always new challenges for Andre, and it is a first for him as he has to deal with a pair of discarded underpants in the cistern of the farm shop toilets.

As winter turns to spring it is lambing season on the estate's 62 farms, and farm manager Ian Turner, who has 32 years service under his belt, takes us on a tour of the farm, where we get to see first-hand a sheep adopting a rejected lamb.

For four and a half centuries Chatsworth has been owned by one family, and for one year we have been there to bring you an exclusive insight into the real-life Downton Abbey.

Watch the show again on the BBC iPlayer here :
Chatsworth  Episode 1. - Available to watch until 9:59PM Mon, 4 Jun 2012.
Chatsworth Episode 2 will air on Monday 21st May 2012.
Chatsworth Episode 3 will air on Monday 28th May 2012.

These episodes of Chatsworth House are only available to view online for a few weeks so make sure you watch them in time !
If you left it too late then I dare say they will be on Uknova or Thebox.


Other web links relating to Chatsworth:
My photographs of Chatsworth House and Gardens.

My video of Time-lapse clouds at Chatsworth house.

My video of a car journey from Chatsworth House to Derby.

Other Derbyshire Villages.


My 360 degree interactive panoramic photographs (broadband needed) :

The Cascade at Chatsworth.
The Orangery at Chatsworth.
The Pond at Chatsworth.

See these 360s and many others on Andy Savage's 360 degree panoramic photograph Map.

Hope you found this of interest.

Get tools at a bargain price at I.C. Discounts, Cash and Carry Warehouse Derby.

Have you ever been to the Cash and Carry Warehouse I.C. Discounts Derby?
If your after a bargain especially on tools then its worth having a look around this shop.

As an example of how good I.C. Discounts is for tools, I managed to get this Blackspur 33-piece security screwdriver bit set for just £1.75 The Same item is £5.48 from Amazon or £19.47 from Farnell Electronics!

33-piece security screwdriver bit set from I.C. Discounts, Derby.

This is one of those places that you go in to have a look around and come out with loads of stuff!

This area of Derby is known as St Luke's/Stockbrook, I.C. Discounts can found on Upper Boundary Road which is just off Uttoxeter New Road (A516).
Sometimes parking is a bit tight outside so best to park on Arundel Street which is just around the corner from I.C. Discounts.
You have to be over 16 to shop here. They have baskets and trolleys but as the aisles are quite narrow its best not to use one!
Some of the sweets are near to their best before dates which is why they are cheap, these are clearly labelled as such.

Address :
I.C. Discounts
87 Upper Boundary Road, Derby.
DE22 3NU
Phone Derby 385195

(located to the right of Firs Youth Centre)
The building was built in 1910 as the Cosmopolitan Public Hall (for public meetings, dances, roller skating)
and converted to The Cosmo cinema in 1923 then a bingo hall and cinema again, It became I.C. Discounts in the late 1980's.

Map Location
Click here for a Smartphone Drop Pin <-- Tap this link on your iPhone.
When you tap the link above, it will launch your mapping application and place a "push pin" onto the map with the exact location of I.C. Discounts. You can then use this marker to get driving, walking or bus directions from your current location.
For example on an iPhone you tap the Directions button at the bottom and this will pre-fill in the start and end locations so just tap the Route button at the bottom and it will show you either the driving route or the walking route.

Google Streetview of I.C. Discounts.

What do they sell?
This is one of those unique shops that you have to go and see for yourself, they sell all
sorts of stuff and at an absolute Bargain price.
The shopfloor is split into four aisles, stacked high with products to the ceiling.
(Don't expect clean wide aisles, this place is a bit claustrophobic.)

In aisle one you have Tools, Cleaning stuff, Toiletries, Luggage, bags, Car products, Electricals
In aisle two you have Kids toys, Stationary
In aisle three you have Clothing, bedding and Duvets, gardening stuff
In aisle four you have tinned food, crisps, biscuits, Sweets, Kitchen ware, Ornaments, Giftware.
Next to the tills are more items such as blank CDs, Headphones, Batteries, keyrings.
Far end of all aisles is more food, cups, mugs.

Technical details on the 33-piece security screwdriver bit set I got from this shop :
The bits in this handy 33-piece security screwdriver bit set are made of hardened chrome vanadium steel for
durability and professional use. The bits are designed for use with specialist tamper-proof fixings such as one-way screws. Housed in a rubber case, the tamperproof bits include hex, tri-wing, spanner, Torx, plus a magnetised extension bar/bit holder for fast, easy bit changes without loosening the chuck on your drill/driver.hexagonal shank for insertion into any drill, hand driver, cordless drill, screwdriver or power tool.

The set also includes a magnetised extension bar that holds the bits for fast changes and longer reach.

The set contains:
- Tamper-proof Torx: T8, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T35, T40
- Tamper-proof Hex imperial: 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64", 5/32"
- Tamper-proof Hex metric: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm
- Tri-Wing 1, 2, 3, 4;
- Spanner (U shape): 4, 6, 8, 10
- Torq 6, 8, 10;
- Magnetised 55mm extension bar;
- Compact 2pc rubber case with lid.

Hope you found this shop review of use.
If you have never been to I.C. Discounts and visit because of this review, leave a comment on what you thought of the shop and what you bought.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Car boot sale at Babington Hospital, Belper on Sunday 20th May 2012.

There will be a car boot sale at Babington Hospital in Belper on Sunday 20th May 2012.
Sellers allowed in from 7.30am, £5 per car.
Buyers from 8.30am. free entry.

Babington Hospital Car Boot on a bad day!
Here is a photograph I took at the last Babington Hospital carboot (18th March 2012), as you can see there was just one car. I'm guessing this was due to very heavy rain over the previous day and into that morning.
This hospital has a large Tarmaced car park so it ideal for a Car Boot Sale, No soggy mud to cope with here!

This car boor sale is organised by the Friends of Babington Hospital.
Phone 07976 827942

This car boot does not take place very often, its on one Sunday in March, May, July and September only.
Look out for the large bright yellow sign on the A6 heading out of Belper to Derby.

The is another car boot here on Sunday 16th September 2012.

This car boot is about 8 miles north of Derby.

Map Location
Click here for a Smartphone Drop Pin <-- Tap this link on your iPhone.
When you tap the link above, it will launch your mapping application and place a "push pin" onto the map with the exact location of the entrance to Babington Hospital Carboot. You can then use this marker to get driving, walking or bus directions from your current location.
For example on an iPhone you tap the Directions button at the bottom and this will pre-fill in the start and end locations so just tap the Route button at the bottom and it will show you either the driving route or the walking route.

Google Streetview of Babington Hospital Car Boot Sale.


Video of my 1977 Silver Jubilee Crown Coin, 360° Object photography using stop motion capture.

Seeing as the Queens Diamond Jubilee is here soon I thought I would have a go at doing some 360° Object photography to celebrate. I have never tried 360° Object photography before. I used stop motion capture to collect the frame sequence.

the video of my 1977 Crown Coin.

View me in full screen mode at 720p or 1080p.

I recently found this coin that I was given as a child in Primary School back in 1977 to celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee. I think all the children in my class at school were given these as a gifts at the time. Can't imagine that happening today can you!

Coin Specifications :
Metal: Cupro-Nickel
Diameter: 38.61mm
Weight: 28.28g

You'd think this coin would be worth quite a lot but I see there are lots on ebay for £1-£2, oh well.

If you would like to learn more about the Queens Silver Jubilee then see :

The complete 360 rotation of the coin is made from 294 photographs.
I used my Canon Ixus 430 in Macro mode and triggered it using PSRemote in time-lapse mode.
Each photograph is 2272x1704 pixels, I have cropped them down to 16:9 aspect ratio and 1080p resolution for Youtube video format.

To rotate the coin I put a tiny bit of glue on the edge of the coin and stuck it onto a spindle that allowed me to rotate it a tiny amount from underneath.
As you may notice I got a bit bored after 180 degrees of turning it a tiny amount each time so the 2nd side of the coin moves a bit quicker.

Its not too bad for a first attempt, what do you think?
The main problem seems to be focus which starts having trouble when the edge of the coin is close to the lens.
I'm happy with the stability of the shots, nothing has moved from frame 1 to frame 294.
Exposure is pretty good as is the detail picked out by the lens.
There is a lot to think about when doing 360° Object photography such as reflections and lighting.


My YouTube Videos : http://www.youtube.com/user/comedyhunter/videos

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sony Vegas 10 Pro - Black Screen rendering problem, Solution to bug.

This post is for users of Sony Vegas pro 10.
I have found this problem a few times when using Sony Vegas Pro 10 and thought I would share how to fix the issue. The problem seen is when you render a completed project the video is black apart from your overlayed text. Yet if you click the play button to preview your project in Sony Vegas it plays your video clips ok. Not sure if this problem has been fixed in Sony Vegas Pro 11 (PC)

How to fix the black video render problem

Here is a screen grab of me fixing the problem. This is Sony Vegas Pro version 10.0c 64bit running on Windows 7. I have right clicked on the video clip and from the popup menu I have selected Switches then gone across to the sub menu and ticked "Disable Resample". This will fix the blank render issue.

How to fix the black screen render bug in Sony Vegas 10.
You will need to tick "Disable Resample" on ALL offending video clips.
If there are lots of video clips to disable then simply click the first one then hold the shift key down and click on the last clip on the same track and this will select all of the video clips. You can then right-click one any and select "Disable Resample" to perform this action on all video clips in one go.

Sony Vegas is now on version 11

I have discovered that this blank screen problem only seems to happen when you alter the frame rate of a video clip. For example if you have imported a clip which is 10 seconds long recorded at 25fps and you then hold the control key down while moving the right hand handle of the clip to the left, thus increasing the playback speed of the clip.
Its very annoying as it only shows on the render and not in the preview player window.

If you found my fix of use please comment.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

John Parrott & Steve Davis in Sheffield Winter gardens for world snooker 2012.

On a recent trip to Sheffield we forgot that the World Snooker was on at the Crucible and also the after play discussions were taking place in the Winter Gardens.

I managed to get a nice photograph of John Parrott & Steve Davis while there were being interviewed as you can see here.
My photographs.
John Parrott & Steve Davis in Sheffield Winter gardens for world snooker 2012.

The Crucible, Sheffield during World Snooker 2012.
The Crucible, Sheffield during world snooker 2012.

We have been to Sheffield quite a few times in the last few year but guess managed to just miss the World Snooker being on at the same time.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

My review of the SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player. It plays anything and everything for less than £30 !

The SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player review
This is my review of :
Cyclone Micro 2+ Full HD HDMI 1080p MultiMedia Player Currently this is only £25.45 from Amazon !

Photograph of my HDMI Media Player and remote control. At the back of the device is the power lead and a HDMI cable to my TV. In the front is my Kingston 16Gb Flash Drive. I can highly recommend the Kingston DataTraveler 101 Gen 2 16GB USB Drive as it only costs £8.16 from Amazon.

My SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player

What is a Media Player?
This is a very small complete media player that connects to your TV via the HDMI connection or the AV connector. You copy the files you want to view (videos, music, photographs) onto a USB memory stick and you can then view them on your TV. It comes with a nice little remote control.
It will play just about anything. Its perfect if you have lots of AVI or MP4 files that are in DivX format as you can simply copy them onto the USB Flash stick and it will play them without having to convert them.

I have been using the previous model (Micro 2) for a couple of years and its always worked well but did not support .mp4 video files, this new model DOES play mp4 files !
also the previous model did not handle corrupted files, it would suddenly stop and move onto the next video, this new model seems to cope ok. I have tried it with the very same problem video file and it played it perfectly.

There are a few different models of media player available from Amazon :

Screen shots of the menu system of the "SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player"

This is the first screen that you see when you switch the media player on with the remote control.
SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player startup screen

In the Setup menu you can select what HDMI mode you want to use.
SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player HDMI Settings screen

To use the media player you need to select the "USB Device" option here
SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player selectinf USB drive

This is the next screen it will show you. If you also had a memory card (SDHC/MMC) inserted then I guess
at this point you will see that listed along with drive f:
SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player

When you select drive f it will take a few seconds while it reads all the files and lists them
like this :
SumVision Cyclone Micro 2+ HD Media Player file selection screen

To play a video file simply press the OK or play button on the remote control.
You have all the usual controls that you would expect on a playing device.
Also if you press the Display button while playing a video then it shows you details such as current position, time remaining, Video Resolution, Audio Codec type.

There are a few different models of media player available:

If you buy the model I have reviewed here then you may also be interested in my post on how to download 1080p videos from YouTube for playing on this media player.

The player does NOT come with the HDMI lead but DOES come with the A/V lead. HDMI leads come in different lengths and quality. Its worth paying a bit more for a gold one.

It supports these video formats (codecs) : MKV, VOB, AVI, MPG, MPEG, MP4, M4V, MOV, HDMOV, RM, RMVB, AVC, PMP, .264, H.263, MKV, RM/RMVB (8/9/10), MPEG 1/2/4 and Xvid.
And these audio formats : MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, APE, AAC, AC3, RMVB.

I have been using this media player for a few months now and can't fault it. Very reliable and plays anything you throw at it. Get one  now !

Update : August 2013
Why not get a larger capacity USB Stick. Kingston 32GB for just £14:63 :


P.S. The previous model of media player allowed you to delete videos with the remote control but this one does not seem to allow that, do you know if you can?