Mamod steam engine

Got the old Mamod minor 1 engine running, kids love it (and me).

It smells somewhat like a real steam engine. 

It entertained the kids until it ran out of steam (pun intended), then they went back on their ipads.

Mamod is a British toy manufacturer specialising in manufacturing live steammodels. The company was founded in 1937 in Birmingham in the UK by Geoffrey Malins. The name is a portmanteau of ‘Ma’ lins ‘Mod’ els’. Malins started off making steam engines which were sold under the Hobbies brand name but he soon started selling them under the Mamod brand name. The first models produced were of stationary steam engines. Much later the company also began creating models of road rollers, traction engines, steam wagons and other steam road vehicles. These models were aimed at the toy market, so were simple to operate and ran at low boiler pressures for safety but were not accurate scale models.

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Plex Monitoring Tool – Plexpy / Tautulli Guide

Plex Monitoring Tool – Plexpy / Tautulli installation guide

PlexPy or now called Tautulli since a major upgrade is a must have monitoring tool if you have a Plex Media Server.

It makes the Plex experience so much better by being able to monitor who is watching and when. You can even set up notifications via email or an android app.

To install on Ubuntu 15 / 16 follow the below steps.

Install Git

Open terminal and enter the below
sudo apt-get install git-core

cd /opt (install in this folder)
git clone
cd Tautulli
python (to start the program)

Tautulli will be loaded in your browser or listening on http://localhost:8181

You may need to fix permissions if you have any errors

Allow all users to run: sudo chmod -R 777 Tautulli
Allow only a certain user to run: sudo chown -R tautulli:tautulli Tautulli

To start on startup you will a startup daemon as follows.
In a terminal type
sudo touch /etc/systemd/system/tautulli.service
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/tautulli.service

Then paste the below and then save.
[Unit] Description=Tautilli / plexpy

[Service] Type=simple
ExecStart=/usr/bin/python /opt/plexpy/


Then enable and start the service as follows
sudo systemctl enable tautulli.service
sudo systemctl start tautulli.service
To update at any point go to /opt/Tautilli and type “git pull” in the terminal.

If you you get an error after upgrading from PlexPy to Tautuilli you will simply need to refer the daemon startup script to rather than

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Bala Town

Holidays in Bala North Wales

Bala is an excellent destination in North Wales for a holiday / short weekend break. The views are incredible thanks to the surrounding mountains and its famous lake known as Llyn Tegid (Tegid Lake). There are plenty of things to do for all the family. Bala is a market town in a community where the Welsh Language is thriving. There are plenty of cafe’s, pubs and restaurants for the family.

Here is a list of some local attractions.

Why not comment below

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Husqvarna TE630

Taking the te630 out on the trails  you notice that you don’t feel as tired in comparison to a day out on the DRZ400. This is thanks to it’s suspension absorbing all that rough terrain. All though a tad heavy you can still keep up with the rest and go anywhere. The 600cc engine puts a smile on you face when you open that throttle.

The Husqvarna TE630 is a Enduro / offroad bike sold from year 2010. Its dry weight is 115.0 kg. The engine is single cylinder four stroke. Husqvarna TE 630 front suspension uses 45mm Marzocchi with an adjustable rebound damping. The rear suspension is equiped with achs Multi Adjustable Shock with Soft Damp Linkage . Stock tire sizes are 90/90-21 on the front, and 140/80-18 on the rear. As for stopping power, the Husqvarna TE 630 braking system includes Single disc size at the front and Single disc size  at the rear.

It has mikuni EFI and the diagnostic uses ibeat software installed only on windows xp or windows 7 32bit.

Although husqvarna don’t make this bike anymore, SWM have since taken over the factory and employs the same staff to  produce SWM RS650r and other bikes which are exactly the same bikes as the Husqvarna pre KTM.

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Plex Media Server

Plex is an excellent media server. It can organise  media on your server or computer and stream to any device with the plex app installed within your house. Not only this you can stream on the move or anywhere in the world and share with other users.

The best part for me its ability to record / organise terrestrial  aired TV or Movies with Netflix style covers and menus.  It will record an entire TV series and even remove any commercials.

I have mine instead on a dedicated ubuntu server. Check out the below link for information guide

more to follow….

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Williams Homes LTD

Williams Homes is a family business based in Bala, Gwynedd. Their background is in traditional building methods, however following their continued expansion they have now opened a joinery workshop which produces timber frame houses, doors and windows in their purpose built factory unit. All their joinery and frames are produced by time served traditional joiners. All their panel designs are independently tested and supplied with a NHBC hb353b certificate. All their joinery products can be finished in a choice of Teknos paint and stain finishes. Teknos is a sophisticated painting system, which allows the timber to move without cracking the paint. Their complete supply and fit service helps to reduce the amount of errors which are associated with house building.

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Greenlaning / Adventure motorcycling

Greenlaning (as called in the UK) – what is it all about?

Green Laning is probably best described as the practice of utilising the country’s network of largely unsurfaced, infrequently used public byways for recreational purposes with “off-road” vehicles. The byways are known as “Green” due to their infrequent use giving rise to the development of thriving vegetation along their tracks.
Types of Public Byways

Under the Countryside and Public Rights of Way Act 2000, no legal standing is given to the term “Green Lane”; instead there are currently 4 categories of Public Rights of Way in the UK. Not all are suitable of use by motorised vehicles and motorised vehicles are not permitted to use all types of byway.

The 4 rights of way are:

Footpath: Pedestrian use only
Bridleway: Pedestrians, horse traffic and cyclists
Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT of just ‘Byway’): Open to all types of traffic but normally unsurfaced and therefore only passable by 4×4 vehicle, ‘off-road’ bikes, pedestrians, horses and cyclists.
Restricted Byway (RB): Allows horses, pedestrians and vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles i.e. horse drawn carriages.

Each of these types of Rights of Way are shown on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps of England and Wales but not of Scotland. They are easily distinguished by their unique symbols on the map key; for example:

Footpath: ……………

Bridleway: ———–

Byway Open to All Traffic: +++++++

A full list of OS map symbols can be found on the OS website along with a host of tips to making the most of your map reading ability.
Who can use “Green Lanes”?

As these routes are publicly owned and maintained by their local Highways Authority they are open to use by the general public. Any local bylaws in place for the areas the routes are in, or for the routes themselves, must be adhered to – and often take precedence over the right of way itself. Laws regarding the use of vehicles on the road also apply to these routes despite being known as “off-road”; therefore driving licenses, MOT’s and insurance must be in place and valid for the vehicles being used and their drivers.
Rights of way on “Green Lanes”

Although there appears to be no legal rights of one user over another it is generally accepted that motorised vehicles should give way to cyclists, horses and pedestrians. “Green Lanes” should be considered “Shared Use” routes so common decency should apply. A fair and sensible approach should be taken by all users to ensure there enjoyment by all those wishing to use them.

However, there are many long-standing disputes between user groups over who should be allowed access to these routes. Walkers groups such as The Ramblers Association campaign for the removal of vehicle rights on BOAT’s. 4×4 drivers are represented by Green Lane Association (GLASS) and trail riders by the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), both of whom fight to keep their rights to use these routes on the basis that they are roads, regardless of their surface type. Cyclists and horse riders also fear for their rights to use these byways.
How can I find ‘Green Lanes’ near me?

If you are interested in finding your nearest “Green Lanes” there are a number of ways to go about it. Buy a copy of an OS map covering the area you want to visit. Check the keys for the symbols that suit the type of Right of Way you require for your intended mode of transport and look for these routes on the map. It should be noted that not all rights of way are necessarily accessible by road at either end so take care to plan your entire journey properly. Also, maps of different scales may use differing symbols to identify the same routes. It is also advisable to visit the start/finish of your chosen routes to find out if there are any bylaws in place; for instance, you may find that a BOAT exists in an area you wish to visit by motorcycle, but there is a bylaw in place prohibiting the use of motorcycles on this particular route. Similarly, some routes may cross “Open Access Land” (private land that is made available to the public by agreement between the land owner and the government) where vehicle access maybe limited by a daily quota or by permit only which may need to be applied for prior to your visit.

Many “Green Lanes” are relatively short, some only a few hundred meters, where as others may by a miles or so long but levels of difficulty will vary. Rather than set out for one specific lane it is usually more fulfilling and satisfying to plan a route that engages a number of lanes throughout the journey that are linked by brief ‘on-road’ stints.

Alternatively you can join a local “Green Laning” group and interact with their members and find maps detailing the locations of such routes on their websites. You can also find maps online with a simple web search. Sites such as are a useful guide but are exactly that, a guide, and should be used as a tool to look for routes and not as a guarantee of right of way. It is always best to research and plan your journey before you leave. It is also good to keep a record of the routes you find for future use and to build a directory to share with others.
The Rights of way Act 1964

The Rights of way Act 1964 called for all Local Authorities to categorise their byways by 2006 but progress has been very slow and not all routes appear on Because of this some areas have much greater access to “Green Lanes”.maps as they have no official status as any of the groups of byway. Areas in the north of England appear lacking when searching for suitable routes while areas such as Hampshire, Wiltshire and parts of Kent and Norfolk are almost spoilt for choice.

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A simple approach to creating a secure site HTTPS

Creating a secure site in Ubuntu / apache seems like a daunting task, so I thought there must me an easier way – and there is by installing Letsencrypt on the server.

Installing Letsencrypt (aka cerbot)

Step 1 – add the repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot

Then update

sudo apt-get update

and install

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apach

Step 2 – Creating the Certificate for a domain

sudo certbot --apache -d

or for multiple simply

sudo certbot --apache -d -d

the terminal will then present you with a step by step guide. The certificates can be viewed here /etc/letsencrypt/live

You can verify your site using the following link (replacing the example with your own)

You should now able to conect to you site using HTTPS

Step 3 -Auto Renew

You will need to auto renew the certificate every 90 days by simply running the following command. You can then set up a cron job to do this automatically.

sudo certbot renew 

More information here

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Eisteddfod yr Urdd

The Urdd National Eisteddfod (Welsh: Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Urdd Gobaith Cymru or Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yr Urdd) is an annual Welsh-language youth festival of literature, music and performing arts organised by Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Arguably Europe’s largest youth festival,[1] it is usually held during the last week of May, coinciding with schools’ half term holiday. Locations alternate between north and south Wales.[1] The Eisteddfod consists of competitive singing, recitation, art, composition, dance and instrumental events for contestants aged between 7 and 24 years. Regional qualifying heats are held in advance around Wales, as occurs for the National Eisteddfod.

Results 2018

Canlyniadau 2018

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Sink the Bismarck!

Sink the Bismarck! is a 1960 black-and-whiteCinemaScope British war film based on the book The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck by C. S. Forester. It stars Kenneth More and Dana Wynter and was directed by Lewis Gilbert.[4]To date, it is the only film made that deals directly with the operations, chase and sinking of the battleship Bismarck by the Royal Navyduring the Second World War.[5] Although war films were common in the 1960s, Sink the Bismarck! was seen as something of an anomaly, with much of its time devoted to the “unsung back-room planners as much as on the combatants themselves.”[6] Its historical accuracy, in particular, met with much praise despite a number of inconsistencies.[7]

I recently watched this film and I thoroughly enjoyed it. All though it’s and old movie the effects feels like you are there on deck on some occasions.

I discussed this film with a WW11 historian and he has an autograph of pilot who sank the ship. His name was John Moffat and unfortunately he is no longer with us.

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