Posts Tagged ‘western star’


September 22, 2016

img_2707Just a quick pic I took several trips ago at Yarrie mine site. I was waiting at dawn at the main gate to the site and snapped a few picks like this one.

DJI Phantom 4

July 28, 2016

Well, it’s been a while ( a long long while ) but I dug out my login and decided to put up another post. The holiday with the rooftop tent on the Hilux is long over and I’ve been hard at work keeping the miners in the north-west of the state supplied with food, beer and toilet paper. In fact, I’m due to leave again tonight on another run with three trailers stuffed full of goodies.

Recently I picked up a quadcopter, or DJI Phantom 4 drone. Neat bit of gear and I’ve only really begun to scratch the surface when it comes to learning it capabilities and uses.


DJI Phantom 4

I started out taking a few aerial stills. Yeah, all very basic stuff – familiarising myself with the quad and camera. It really is easy to fly. I have two other quadcopters, one I built myself, and this thing is like the luxury car version of them.

Took some video too. This is pretty rough stuff but I’m just feeling it out.

When I bought it I had the idea that it would be great for taking aerial photos, or surveys, of properties or areas of interest. I didn’t realise at the time how easy this would be. I found several apps that will run on my iPhone and iPad ( the Phantom uses iOS or Android devices to control it during flight ) which automate the whole process of flying a grid and taking photos. At the moment I’m using Map Pilot for planning and flying the “missions” and Maps Made Easy for processing the images into something useable.

This photo is a series of 71 images stitched into one. I’m going to re-fly the grid and get a little more coverage on all of the boundaries – especially the bottom, top left and top right.


Here is a neat representation of the heights of objects on the ground.


This is the really cool part – this link will take you to an interactive page where you can zoom right down and see much finer detail than the two photos above. Do it! This page is what it’s all about.


Quick Clip – Homeward Bound

December 1, 2013

Just a quick clip I threw together after finishing unloading in the Gt Sandy Desert at Telfer gold mine and the Nifty copper mine. Trailers all hooked up and heading back to Perth, albeit a little covered in dirt.


August 6, 2013

Home. Tired. Raining. Might have a headache, my head really can’t decide. So I poured a glass of red wine to help it along. Even the wine doesn’t seem to be as good as I remember – a Oyster (something pretentious) Pinot Noir. Too late to get my money back now I suppose.

Left last Monday with a triple roadtrain for Tom Price and got there on time even though it leaves me pretty tired and technically with enough sleep but in reality wishing for more.

The new truck seems to be going well with a few small problems but nothing major. Well, the gauges and dash lights do come on eventually after I hit the right bump in the road. But mechanically there hasn’t been any problems. Even the coffee maker is working flawlessly, thank Christ!

After the Tom Price run I had 2hrs in Perth and didn’t even bother going home – just refuelled, showered and hooked up the Telfer/Nifty trailers and headed back north again. I had prepared for this on Monday by buying food and packing clothes for eight days living in the truck. Nothing worse than running out of clean shirts or having to buy the junk they pass off as food in the piss poor excuses for roadhouses in the Pilbara.

The Telfer/Nifty food run was straight forward and uneventful. Telfer mine was having a scheduled maintenance shutdown and had extra staff in camp so their food order was bigger than the previous few weeks, which meant Perth couldn’t jam any Port Hedland freight in the trailers for me to unload on the way up. Always a pain in the arse that, under enough pressure to get to Telfer in time without having to spend more time unloading (with only myself driving the forklift and operating the pallet jack – jumping in and out of the trailer with each pallet) half to two thirds of a trailer of snot before I get there.

Between Telfer and Nifty camps some poor barstard had had a trailer burn to the ground, probably a wheel bearing collapsed and caused the fire. They were recovering the burnt out wreck as I went past. On the way back out of Nifty one of Jamiesons quad side tipper roadtrains was stopped on the top of a hill with the bonnet up so I did the right thing and stopped to see if I could help. Same model truck as my new girl but done a few more kilometres – looked like electrical problem but he seemed to have it in hand and the next truck coming along had a satellite phone so I left him to it.

Passed a mob of camel on the way back towards Marble Bar. Never really trust them, they always seem a bit skittish and never seem to know which way to run.

Back into the “well appointed” BP fuel bowsers at Wedgefield, Port Hedland. Only a short wait to get on the pumps then around the corner to the slightly dilapidated  shower facilities at the Toll Express yard were I bumped into Allan Scari – a top bloke with a heart of gold I’ve known for years. Would have been nice to sit down and have a beer with Allan and the rest of the fellas but I really had to keep moving.

The next day was a bit of a loss. I should have made it back to Perth that night and home by 7-8pm but I reckon I must have caught a small dose of some bug – didn’t feel full on crook but I was definitely off my tucker and struggling to make a good mile. I ended up calling it a night about 2hrs from Perth.

The next morning at 4:30am I was up and feeling better and running down the last stretch into town. From the Kewdale yard it was back to Forrestdale to drop off the truck and home with 8 days worth of dirty clothes to run through the washing machine.

Waiting for me at home was a little device called a Leap Motion (go have a look at the link) and that has been keeping me amused for the last few hours. Starting to get the hang of using it to drive Google Earth on my MacBook Pro. Can’t wait to see the new apps the developers manage to make for it. Early days yet but think of the movie “Minority Report” and using your hands to control and manipulate computer displays without touching anything and you’ll have the idea. Very cool shit.

Okay, I’m thinking the washing machine needs another load so I’m outa here.

Cheers, Mike. 

Video – The Telfer Road

October 13, 2012

Just finished editing some video I shot with my GoPro HeroHD2 camera on a recent run to Telfer up near Marble Bar in the Pilbara.

Here’s another quick clip I filmed on my iPhone 4S on the Nifty road, a few hours further east.

Go here to see the rest of my video’s on YouTube.

Cheers, Mike.

Holidays-The Aftermath.

August 1, 2011

You know that sound that signals the return of reality? That really loud, discordant,crashing,unearthly sound of the alarm clock telling you to get up and get behind the wheel right now or you’re going to be late and you probably won’t be able to make up time for the rest of the week? Well, that happened to me last Monday and pretty much all I’ve done for the last week is eat/sleep/drive.

Welcome home. Welcome back from holidays. Welcome to work. Welcome to my reality. Now go away and let me mope around and complain about the unfairness of it all.

Ok, I’m not that heartbroken about it. It was a good break and if it had lasted longer I would have had to plan more stuff to do so I didn’t start climbing the walls or ring all my friends to find out what I was missing out on (although I did call twice to check up on my truck).

I will admit my first week back at work was a little rougher than ideal. A few issues with trailer light wiring, a faulty speed sensor (causing the cruise control to not work), a flat trailer tyre and the loss of power to the bunks interior lights. The trailer tyre is no big drama – considering that I have 62 tyres , not counting the 6 spares, and I haven’t had to change any on the side of the road for the last 6 months. I think I’m ahead of the game there. The bunk lights have proven to be more then just a blown fuse though, and I haven’t had the time to start tracking the problem down with the circuit tester. I’m not due home for 3 more days so I have to either make time to fix it or do without – it’s not a critical fault so my deliveries come first. The show must go on!

Cheers, Mike.

Nicholas Downs

June 9, 2010

Here’s a few pics I took this week on a supply run out to a place called Nicholas Downs. It’s a mine operated by PMI on the Balfour Downs cattle station north east of Newman.

Balfour Downs Map

Leaving Balfour Downs

Talawana Track

Talawana Track, goes east to....well, it goes east.

I shot some video on the way out there and will put up another post with more detail and possibly some of that video – when I’ve had time to put it all together.

Mammoet”s New Star

May 9, 2010

These pictures were snapped with my iPhone at AV Trucks in Guildford, Perth, Western Australia. To the best of my knowledge, this is the story : The truck had just been driven from Brisbane to Perth for delivery to Mammoet’s. It has been specially built to do one job, after which the truck will no longer be required. The job is to move something large and heavy from Port Hedland to Yandi minesite in the Pilbara. The “something” will be carried on a platform and propelled by a “pusher” and a “puller” truck (front and back) and travel at 45km/h.

Pilbara Sunrise

April 19, 2010

Just had to share this snapshot with you. I took it yesterday at dawn, as I was turning off the Great Northern Highway onto the Yandicoogina access road – about one and a half hours north of Newman, Western Australia.

While this photo was taken with my iPhone, I managed to swap lenses on my Nikon and grab a few images before the moment passed. I will pick out the best shots and post them to my Flickr page ( link is in the right Gand column ).

Dusting Off The Cobwebs

February 25, 2010

Thought I’d better show some TLC towards my blog. It’s not that I’d forgotten about it – it’s just that I haven’t been able to find the time! So, to break the dry spell, I thought I would chuck a quick picture or two up here.
Swapping Trailers

First pic is me in the process of dropping one empty trailer before hooking onto my remaining two loaded trailers prior to unloading them at the Packsaddle Camp, Area C minesite.

Second pic was taken in the main street of Meekatharra, Western Australia. I was heading north on a hot afternoon and saw the Pub in the distance and almost chucked it in for the day 😉