Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicholas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

31 Dec 2013

Happy New Year

Well here we are at the end of another year. This one has been much better for me and another year I have not seen the inside of a hospital ward! Hopefully this year will carry on the way it will start and things will continue to improve and I can spend more time doing the things I enjoy and less time working.
So, a Happy New Year to you all and I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts

30 Dec 2013

A Bit of a road trip

This weekend has seen us on a 600 mile road trip. We hired a little Chevrolet Spark as we only have a little 'run-around'
We started off going to Beaconsfield to visit my family. this is the town where I was born and spent my childhood in fact until I got married and moved to Slough. It is rather different now mainly due to large amount of gated houses, some costing several million pounds. However, the roads resemble what you would expect in some third world countries. You have to wonder where all the council tax money goes. Anyway it was a very pleasant day spending time with my parents, sister and her family.
Next, it was off to Govilon where my in-laws live. The last few years have been difficult as my Mother in Law suffers from Alzheimers. However, she has moved to an excellent ,friendly care home and they are both looking very well. It was great to see them and spend some time in this beautiful part of the country.
After this it was off to Stratford upon Avon. This is where our two God sons and Fiona's cousin lives. It is also of course the birth place of William Shakespeare it is also the place where my Wife spent much of her childhood and is yet another place that has changed over the years. Again it was great to spend time with family we don't see very often.
Given the weather we have had over the last week we were fairly lucky to avoid any serious weather conditions.
I am now a little tired having spent a lot of time on Motorways which is something I do not do very often.
I did have the APRS tracker running during the weekend and you can see the track here.

25 Dec 2013

Loads of memories

One of the items I bought Fiona for Christmas was a negative scanner. We have thousands of photos and Fiona has always wanted to get them on the PC. We picked one box at random and the memories were amazing! Photo's of work, family events and radio events I thought I had no record of. I will be posting them on Facebook as many are of friends and family.



We have been lucky here with the storm down mainly to our low elevation. However, on my dog walking today the results of the storm was evident, with fences down and the occasional roof tile missing. I have spoken to friends at higher elevation and people in Bath and the situation in places has been and is very serious. The tweet below shows just how deep the depression that produced the storm was.

Test Feed

Checking Facebook and Twitter forwarding.

23 Dec 2013

Weather Station update

The weather station suffered a total loss of it's external sensors last week when the mountings holding it on the fence broke. I fortunately I  had some spares and it is now back on line again. Where we are located is fairly low down and that is reflected in the current wind speed records. I have also been struggling with data loss between the laptop and the base unit. I have now traced that to a fault in the USB extension lead. There is still the problem with signal loss with the outside transmitter. This seems to be a combination of interference, low battery level and distance between the base and external transmitter. With the current storm still battery us I hope the new fixings will be man enough to ensure the station is still active in the morning.

16 Nov 2013

Beers from my youth

Our local Lidl store had an offer on Brakspear Beer. This brought back some very happy memories of the early 1980's and visiting the local pubs around Amersham in Buckinghamshire. The reason for this area that although I lived in Beaconsfield, I went to school at Raans School and my first job was at Hivac,(which became General lamps and gave me my way into cable TV) a manufacture of valves and neon lamps So the question is, which beers could I remember and which pubs are still open.

Morrels. This like a lot is no longer brewed by the original company

Brakspear Beer Still brewed by the same company.

The Blue Ball  
These two were the main pubs our little group drank in. Havn't been back for over 30 years and amazed they are still pubs. Perhaps a visit next time I visit Slough.

The Bell

There were obviously many. many pubs and beers we drank but the above stand out.  I am amazed, given the number of Pubs closing that so many of my 'old haunts' are still open. If I remember any more I will update this page.

8 Nov 2013


As I noted on Facebook, I had a near miss with a fag end thrown from the car I was following on the way home last night. Had I not had my visor down this could have easily blinded me or left me with serious burns. In the various comments were a couple which I have taken note of and are on the subject of forgiving. As Jesus said 'forgive those who sin against you'. So I have continued to pray about this and will try and forgive this person.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "

3 Nov 2013

Caught in a Spiritual Battle?

The last few weeks I have found life a bit of a struggle. No major thing but lots of little things that just get you down. In the midst of this I have also realised I have been forgetting to trust theLord I have also not been to Church, making excuses etc for not going. Anyway today I went along to Welton and it was like a revelation. There were three total immersion baptisms. But it was the testimonies and the 'sermon' that had me 'hearing' the Lord  for the first time in a long while. These testimonies were not  the usual ones that I sometimes get a little fed up as they seem to be from people who have been 'bad' people and who have been converted from a life of crime etc. These could have been my life story, these people have lives like me and had similar problems and concerns in their lives and had now taken the step of accepting the Lord fully in to their lives. The worship also spoke to me with some of my top 10 'feel good' songs. So I came out not having a 'miraculous' moment but just a sense that the lord will always be at my side and although I have problems and moments in my day when I can see no way out the Lord will guide me and steady me and see me to the other side, still in one piece.

These are some of the Bible verses that were used in the service.

Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Philippians 4:19 (NIV)



13 Sep 2013

Felix the cat. R.I.P.

Just returned from the vets having done one of the hardest things a pet owner has to do. Felix our, at least 19 year old cat has been put to sleep. Over the last couple of days I thought he was getting clumsy but on further examination turns out his sight had gone. Fiona and I made the decision that should this day arrive we would not let him linger on and let him go with some dignity. However, still an extremely upsetting thing to do. The vet said there was no real treatment and that it would be the kindest thing to do. He had a great life and we had some great fun with him I believe he is in a happy place now still trying the catch mice and birds and I also believe we will see him again. So mate it has been a great at least 19 years so rest easy.

7 Sep 2013

Law Enforcement

I am in the main a law abiding citizen.I do admit to at times riding at a little over the limit however always when conditions 'permit' However, I am becoming slightly concerned at the number of people I see obviously breaking some 'serious' laws. I refer to mobile phone use, seatbelts speeding in built up areas. If I, and others, see these on a regular bases why does it seem so hard to bring these people to justice. Could not a PCSO be positioned at a road junction and simply photograph these people? Maybe I am seeing the situation from a too simplistic angle, or maybe more than one person needs to witness the offence. I have reported incidents about dangerous driving but always told it has to be seen by someone else. This, is I assume to protect their 'human rights'. Happy days.

11 Aug 2013

Home and thank you

Home after an amazing, but tiring two weeks at New Wine. I think it has been one of the best I have ever been too. I have been honoured to serve as a team leader and to have the opportunity to meet some amazing people who have surprised and inspired me. I saw some future leaders among them.
So, thank you to all those that were members of the stewarding team. Things didn't always go to plan and you were sometimes left on a duty a little longer than you expected or left sitting around apparently doing nothing. I appreciate your could humour despite being tired and without you I hate to think what would have happened. I hope you have gained something from your time on the team and will grow in your faith. I am sorry I didn't have the opportunity for proper good byes but with Facebook and other mediums I hope to keep in touch with you. God bless and I hope to see many of you next year.

9 Aug 2013

Satan, you will not win

So, New Wine is coming to an end. Once again I feel humbled and honoured  to be a team leader. I can not thank my team members enough for the help and service they have given over the last two weeks. The last two weeks have seen many amazing things happen. It has also shown that Satan is still very active in the world and hates things like New Wine. We have however, been blessed with the gift of laughter/humour these last weeks. We have found even when we have been wadding in 'dirty' water and filling sand bags at 2300 and putting out fires been able to laugh and joke yet still get the job done in a professional way.
So, we all have to be on the look out for Satan and his cunning. But with prayer and trust in God he will not win the battle.

8 Aug 2013

Busy Day

Another busy day with a fair share of 'missing' children and other incidents.There is a set procedure to cater for missing people, which involves shutting all the gates to prevent any one leaving and a description being broadcast  to all radios and a search made of likely places they may be. Most of these people are found quickly and usually in their own, or a friends tent completely unaware they are 'missing'. However, some go the wrong way somewhere and are genuinely lost and are safely reunited with their family.
We also had a serious incident involving a fire in a caravan. This fortunately was brought under control due to the prompt attendance of the stewarding team. We did however call the local fire brigade who attended and after checking with a thermal camera confirmed the fire was out. The caravan was a right off. We also had reports of a fire in a tent which turned out to be a citronella bucket which someone had inside their tent. 

What a lovely morning

Sitting outside the Hungry  venue listening to the worship and just having some 'me' time. It also gives me some time to reflect on the past 2 weeks as we prepare to return to the real world. We have thankfully few incidents and even those have, in the great scheme of things have been fairly minor. We have had the usual spiritual attacks from Satan, who must be very frighted by a event like this. We have overcome these attacks with prayer and a wiliness that the power of God will win through. I also have found him trying to attack me with financial fear and times of anxiety. We did have one heart stopping moment last night when a 'priority' call was made from control about a possible gas explosion on site. Hearing the call and other traffic from other radio users I and others really did feal the worse and we did rather exceed the 5 mph speed limit. In the end it turns out that the 'explosion' was caused by a lorry air bag failing. having had one fail on a bus I know how loud these are. It did, once again show how well the team can go from relaxed mode to major incident mode in a professional way. Today my team are on Ice packs and gates till midnight so hopefully they are all chilling like me.

No Pictures

Had a tidy up of my google+ photos yesterday. However, I did not realise that these were all the photos that are displayed on the blog. I tried putting the folder back but the links have changed. The result is that you will see a blank where the photo was. I have put a couple back but in the mean time I apologise for the bare look. This is a case of 'it it ain't broke don't fix it'

2 Aug 2013

Last day LSE

Well last day of the first week of New Wine. Yesterday was a fairly busy day with gates and mobile to run. Had a couple of situations which showed the importance of all delegates wearing there badges. This has always been a little bit of an issue with some delegates saying that as this is a Christian site we should be trusting. However, the real world still exists and of course not all delegates are Christian and some have been brought here in the hope they will come to faith so we need the site to be safe and secure. Had one interesting situation at one of the gates. The light failed and the three lads were left in the dark only with torches. However, this gave them the opportunity to see the stars. We could see the milky way, stars to the horizon and even a couple of satellites. As they lived in the city this was the first time they had ever seen the sky like this. The comment though that stuck in my mind was 'how can you look at this and say there is no God?'

31 Jul 2013

Day 4

Lates last night hence the missing day. Yesterday was the day off so apart from gates and the coach to Street and relatively quiet day. Today a very early start 0645 to ensure gates open at 0700. Bit of a rush as have to ensure team members get some breakfast. Solution was to send 5 people out until about 0815 and then do a change round and then back to about 3 hour duties. Did have a couple of 'emergencies.' One turned out to be a mistaken fire. The other was no,t but thanks to prompt action by a delegate and rapid attendance from the Stewarding team only minor damage was caused.

29 Jul 2013

New Wine Day 2

A little wet and thundery day. For those that know the site can turn into a swamp very quickly, however today we were lucky and with a help of a few sandbags most delegates seem to remain dry. My teams main duty today was to man seminars. This requires us to ensure the delegates arrive and depart safely and get what they require from the seminar. The main speaker in the Arena tonight was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. His talk was interesting and well attended even requiring an overflow venue. To me he seems a well informed, 'worldly wise' man.

28 Jul 2013

New Wine day 1

So day one over. Took a while to get up to speed with regard to my team and the site, which has changed slightly. Today we were on late shifts and covered gates, mobile and freezer packs. This is know as the 'Steward breaker' as it is a full on duty where we exchange delegates freezer pack for, hopefully, frozen ones. Apart from that and a little rain it was a fairly straight forward day.

16 Jul 2013

New Wine

Well it does not seem like a year that I was at New Wine. Last year was not the best. in fact I can't really remember much. Looking back I now see what my doctor said when I was discharged 'you do not realise how ill you are yet to be' He was spot on. Anyway that was last year. At present I feel much more like 'me' than I have in about a year, so really looking forward to it. I have been asked to be a team leader which I have accepted. I have also come to realise over the last year the real power of prayer and in reading and studying the Bible. I have seen a real difference in the way things have been going so New Wine will be an opportunity to give something back. I will also this year try and keep the blog updated and try and add some photo's.


As you know I have a 'love hate'  (mostly hate) relationship with cyclists. I find them in the main completely unaware/ uninterested in other traffic, the results of their actions and have a 'I am entitled to use the road' mentality. This may sound stereotypical but I can only speak as I find and see and the scary thing for me is that a lot of these people have little regard for their own lives. I had a run in with group in Bath who told me after they came straight across a give way sign that had I killed them I may have got points on my licence. But as I, and one of my passengers who wanted to get of the bus and kill them said 'but you would have been dead!' and this seems to be the problem they have no understanding that even if they are in the right, if things go wrong and they end in contact with a vehicle they will at best be seriously injured and at worst dead.
Anyway, back to the case in point. In Bristol there are a lot of cycle paths designed to keep cyclists safe. As I was leaving Temple Meads I had a cyclist doing his stuff in front. I did think why does he not go up the cycle path? Anyway he waited for the light to change and then struggled up in front completely ignoring the safe cycle path to his left. I then had to indicate and stop all the traffic behind to get past him and continue on there was a symphony of car and bus horns behind me as everyone else struggled to get by. I arrived at a set of lights and this chap appeared at the window, why were (and everyone else) so close, why did you toot.
I replied why not use the safe cycle path. what I got back amazed me. I am entitled to use the road, It is only a suggestion I use the 'safe' path you should all give us space etc etc. When he finished I asked 'but is it not safer??' he replied I am entitled to use the road. When I got to the end of the journey several passengers commented on him one even left her number should I want to complain. So the question is why are these people so uninterested in their own safety? Even when steps are taken, that they demand, to protect them they choose to ignore them.

7 Jul 2013

Updating to Met office

For those that may be interested I am now sending weather data to the Met Office WOW (weather observation website) site. This for anyone to send data, pictures or comments on anything weather related.
You can find my site using the link below. Also worth a look around if you have a interest in the weather.


5 Jul 2013

How to catch a bus

This week has had it's fair share of 'bus virgins'. One gent was over 50 and had lost his licence and this was the first time he had used a bus . So I though I would put together the Chris  foolproof guide to using a bus.

  1. Planning. Always try and check BEFORE you get to the bus stop. Most companies have their timetables on line or over the phone or you could even check at the bus stop before you travel. This simple step will avoid the 'I've been waiting nearly an hour for you' because you arrived at the stop 5mins after an hourly service.
  2. Signal. As the time comes that your bus should arrive. Get ready, stop looking at you electronic device etc and have all your bags to hand. As the bus approaches check the destination on the front and put you hand straight out to signal to the driver you want that bus. Always ensure the driver has seen you before putting you hand down.
  3. Money. Bus travel costs money so have it ready. Most fairs are between £2 - £7 so a supply of £1, 50p, 20p 10p will ensure you have some chance of having the correct money. If you only have notes don't slap it on the counter and announce 'single to town' Apologise for the note and most drivers will take it with a smile.
  4. On the bus. Once you have your ticket find a seat and settle down as quickly as you can. The driver will wait until you have seated so if they are late he and your fellow passengers will not take too kindly if you mess about. If you do have trouble with movement please tell the driver so they know there may be a delay.
  5. Arriving. If you do not know exactly where you need to get off, ask the driver. That way you can ensure you do not miss your stop. If you do know ring the bell in plenty of time and wait for the bus to stop before making your way off the bus thanking the driver as you leave.
There my simple guide to bus use. Hope it helps.

30 Jun 2013

Weather Station Update

Had the weather station running for a while and everything seems to be working OK.  One thing I have now done is to find a hosting company which means you can now view my station live. You can also view statistics over the last year.

The site can be found at http://www.qsl.net/g4kvi/

20 Jun 2013

Weather Station

Thanks to my birthday I now have my weather station back up and working.
I have a Nevada WH-3080 Solar this is an upgrade on my previous station. I have located the station on my fence in the garden. This is a fairly low location but clear from most directions, it also means I can check it regular to prevent another 'spider invasion'.
As before there are a number of ways you can view the data.

On this blog the data is at the bottom.

On Weather Underground.


I also transmit data on APRS

I transmit data most of the time, however there is a break during the night when I switch the router off.

11 Jun 2013

50, where did that come from?

Well, tomorrow,12th June, marks one of those landmark moments in one's life. My 50th Birthday. Where on earth did that spring from! I think like everyone else in the world I feel little different from when I was maybe 21. However, what you feel and what your your body is able to do are slightly different!!
I do feel very privileged to have been born when I was. I am able to exploit all the technology around me but still appreciate what it was like without a mobile phone, the Internet, and having to wait at least four hours for your photographs to be developed and printed. I have been very fortunate with my health and apart from the last few years and a couple of dodgy knees, type 2 diabetes I am pretty healthy, but am not sure  what  I would have been like had I been 50 in 1963. Still I won't dwell on the bad things, the last 50 years have been fun, exciting, scary and everything in between. I wouldn't change anything. Everything that has happened to me, both good and bad has made me the person that sits and writes this blog. In 1963 I would have had to type it, get it published and produced in a paper of newsletter. Wow, what would my Grandparents think of all this? So thank you to every one that has helped me along the way to reach this momentous milestone. One sad thing is looking back through my logbook and photos at all those people no longer here. However, here's to another 50 and all the people and am going to meet and maybe help.
Happy Birthday to me!

22 May 2013

A little more active

As you know I am have been a Radio Amateur for many years (33) but over the last few years my activity levels have declined a lot. However, over the last couple of years I have realised just what a great hobby it is! My level of interest has shot up and I now have a fairly good shack with FT8900 for 10 Tru 70 FM a TH-D700 for APRS and a TS50 for HF. I also have an Ft480R for 2m SSB which is now 30 years old but still works OK. I also have CB radio which I use as an aid to spot openings on 10. I have very simple dipole aerials which work very well and cost very little. So I now plan to spend time here in the shack working both locals on V/UHF and some dx on HF. Hopefully this will also have the effect of diverting my mind away from some of the scary thoughts it has been supplying recently.

31 Mar 2013

Trusting God?

The last couple of years have been hard for me and at times I have found my faith being challenged,  also recently I have found myself behaving in ways that, as a Christian I have been quite ashamed about. However, over the last few months I have been trying with the help of You Version to read and gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. Also as I have been using the bus to get to and from work I have spent a lot of time listening to UCB. Through these I have begun to feel God speaking to me. I have felt more relaxed and less worried about things. Problems have not gone away but I have been able to hand them to God and begin to except that these are all part of his plan for my life. One of the things I been thinking about for some time is the Church I attend. I have been at St Nicholas ever since we came to Midsomer Norton, but lately I have found it increasingly difficult to motivate myself to go. Our local schools hosts Welton Baptist Church on Sunday morning and for some time I have been thinking of attending but I have to say I have been fearful of going to another Church. Anyway with Easter today I felt it was the right time to go and have a look. I don't know what I was expecting but I felt like I really fitted in. I am not saying I don't fit in at my present Church but today while sitting and listening and worshipping I felt excited and really felt Gods presence. So, I will have to see how things go, I don't want to fall into 'the grass is always greener' trap. I will have to see how things progress.

17 Mar 2013

At a crossroads?

For those that know me, or have read this blog will know the last couple of years have had their ups and downs. The last year has been especially hard as I found myself, at times in a deep depression. Looking back this may have been my reluctance to appreciate just how fragile life is and how quickly things can change. Over the last year I have often had an overwhelming desire to just run away, I have no idea where to or why or what I would do. So, I was very surprised to wake up one morning with a complete sense of peace and a feeling that I was at a crossroads. However, I have no idea where the roads lead and what reason I would have to take them. My Christian belief tells me to listen to God. I read the bible every day and this also seems to be giving me the feeling I am at a life changing point in my life. Over the last couple of days things have happened that would suggest the plan (God's) is to stay here but previous experience has shown me life can take some pretty spectacular turns. Don't worry despite my feelings I don't plan to run off just yet. After all what would happen to the cat, the dog and my wife Fiona. I just thought I would share these thoughts with you as there may be some of you in the same situation and it may help me to write these thoughts down. So lets see where this week takes me?

10 Feb 2013

Why blame the Fox?

Saw this piece on the news about a Fox attacking a child. Apparently there have been other 'attacks' Sounds very scary for all involved but a couple of things do surprise me. The animal got in through an OPEN back door awaiting repair! Who else could have got in? The fox just walked in found the baby in the cot jumped up. I say it  shows just how bright animals are and how completely irresponsible most humans are. Animals in cities are only there because we as humans are stupid and leave them food (rubbish bags etc) We have rats and mice, they are mainly after the chicken food, the Foxes we have come out of the woods for 'easy pickings' in peoples rubbish and those Chicken owners who don't lock them at night. There is no need to cull them just make sure they have no food, nature will do the rest. I do think 'sly as a Fox' really sums this incident up.

28 Jan 2013

999 and 112

Seen a lot of posts on Facebook regarding the use of 999 and 112 when calling for emergency assistance. Thought I would publish some information regarding these.

999 or 112 can be used to summon assistance from the three main emergency services, the police, fire brigade and ambulance, or more specialist services such as the coast guard and, in relevant areas, mountain and cave rescue. Calls to 112 or 999 are free. Calls to the European Union and GSM standard emergency number 112 are automatically routed to 999 operators.

First introduced in the London area on 30 June 1937, the UK's 999 number is the world's oldest emergency call service. The system was introduced following a fire on 10 November 1935 in a house on Wimpole Street in which five women were killed. A neighbour had tried to telephone the fire brigade and was so outraged at being held in a queue by the Welbeck telephone exchange that he wrote a letter to the editor of The Times,which prompted a government inquiry.

The initial scheme covered a 12 mile radius around Oxford Circus and the public were advised only to use it in ongoing emergency if "for instance, the man in the flat next to yours is murdering his wife or you have seen a heavily masked cat burglar peering round the stack pipe of the local bank building." The first arrest – for burglary – took place a week later and the scheme was extended to major cities after World War II and then to the whole UK in 1976.

The 9-9-9 format was chosen based on the 'button A' and 'button B' design of pre-payment coin-operated public payphones in wide use (first introduced in 1925) which could be easily modified to allow free use of the 9 digit on the rotary dial in addition to the 0 digit (then used to call the operator), without allowing free use of numbers involving other digits; other combinations of free call 9 and 0 were later used for more purposes, including multiples of 9 (to access exchanges before STD came into use) as a fail-safe for attempted emergency calls, e.g. 9 or 99, reaching at least an operator.

As it happens, the choice of 999 was fortunate for accessibility reasons, compared with e.g. lower numbers: in the dark or in dense smoke, 999 could be dialled by placing a finger one hole away from the dial stop (see the articles on Rotary dial and GPO telephones) and rotating the dial to the full extent three times. This enables all users including the visually impaired to easily dial the emergency number. It is also the case that it is relatively easy for 111, and other low-number sequences, to be dialled accidentally, including when transmission wires making momentary contact produce a pulse similar to dialling (e.g. when overhead cables touch in high winds).

Alternative three-digit numbers for non-emergency calls have also been introduced in recent years. 101 is used for non-urgent calls. Meanwhile, trials of 111 as a number to access health services in the UK for urgent but not life-threatening cases began in 2010.

The introduction of push-button (land line, cordless and mobile) telephones has produced a problem for UK emergency services, due to the ease of same-digit sequences being accidentally keyed, e.g., by objects in the same pocket as a telephone (termed 'pocket dialling') or by children playing with a telephone. This problem is less of a concern with emergency numbers that use two different digits, such as 112 and 911 although on landlines 112 suffers much of the same risk of false generation as the 111 code which was considered and ignored when the original choice of 999 was made.

The pan-European 112 code was introduced in the UK in April 1995 with little publicity. It connects to existing 999 circuits. The GSM standard mandates that the user of a GSM phone can dial 112 without unlocking the keypad, a feature that can save time in emergencies but that also causes some accidental calls. All mobile telephones will make emergency calls with the keypad locked. Originally a valid SIM card was not required to make a 999/112 emergency call in the UK. However, as a result of high numbers of untraceable hoax calls being made, this feature is now blocked by all UK networks. Most UK mobile telephone handsets will dial 999/112 without a SIM inserted (or with a locked/invalid SIM), but the call will not be connected. Following the blocking of SIM-less calls, in 2009 the UK networks introduced emergency call roaming. This allows a user with a valid SIM of a UK network to make emergency calls on any network for which they have coverage.

In the UK all 999 or 112 calls go through to emergency operators of either British Telecom (BT), Cable & Wireless (C&W), Kingston Communications or Global Crossing (RailNet). This depends on which phone network the caller is using. These operators ask the caller which emergency service is required and then connects the caller to the control room of the service requested in the callers geographic region. Virtually all
the emergency service control rooms have access to translators if the caller does not speak English.

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.

19 Jan 2013

Morse Code

As you know, Amateur Radio has been my hobby for over thirty years. It is one of the most varied hobby there is. Until recently my interest has been mainly VHF/UHF voice and APRS. 
I have been fortunate to now be in possession of a Kenwood TS-50 this has rekindled my interest in HF (short wave). On HF one of the modes used is Morse Code. This is one of the most effective ways to communicate especially over difficult radio paths. It has over the last few years been dropped by most professional radio users and the requirement of Morse to obtain a full Amateur Radio licence has also been dropped. I obtained my full 'ticket' when you had to learn Morse at 12 words per minute. However, I have never had a contact on Morse and think I would struggle a bit to obtain any speed. There is now a an increase in using Morse. I came across this very interesting web site. Not sure if it will inspire me to start using the key, we shall see. http://www.themorsecrusade.g5fz.co.uk/

Air Ambulance

As you know I had the misfortune to be a customer of one of local Air Ambulances. I was too ill to fly with them but the care they brought may well have saved my life, or at the very least enabled me to be writing this today. The charity, yes the Air Ambulance is NOT run by the NHS it is run by donations! is looking to upgrade the current one to a more modern purpose built aircraft. So have a look at the link and see if you can help. As I discovered YOU NEVER know when you may be watching one land when it comes for you.


My weather data