Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Chance & The Lucky Aces are back - Forks & Knives Preview

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Retroboat

I don't really get much time for writing these days, however I have set up a small blog for reviewing retro games. The reviews are short and sweet

Monday, 30 March 2015

Chance & The Lucky Aces - Reformed

After a four year Hiatus, My band Chance & the Lucky Aces have reformed and at the weekend  we were in the recording studio. Below is snippet on what you lucky people have got to look forward too on our upcoming EP. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Cylon Build Part #1

Been a long while since I have posted anything on this blog.

However, I am in the process of building a Battlestar Galactic Cylon helmet.

I am keeping an update of the progress over here

Friday, 8 March 2013

Platform 58/ RSJS Studios

Very quick post, I was asked to contribute and article to Platform 58 Zine which came out this week. You can find it around page 82 and there are some great photos in there from where I make cufflinks 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Project Icarus Part 2

Image from

This is probably the last update this side of the year, but some progress to report.

Firstly, I have had a lot of interest in this, so much so that I am now building two versions. One the original planned Icarus. The second a two player version which you can plug into a television,with the intention of selling them.

For the purposes of this blog, they will be referred to as Icarus I and Icarus II.

For an indication of what the two player version will look like. Take a look at

Whilst I think that is a cracking bit of design, I want to create something that takes you back to a pier by the seaside circa 1989 , but with a powerful bit of umpf under the bonnet.  This is probably going to be a project that is measured in months not weeks.

So going back to Icarus I

Good news, the monitor turned up - bad news no PSU- doubt that will arrive before xmas.
Good news,  I finally got MAME running on Ubuntu. I did this by first removing Ubuntu, following these steps

Then installed MAME by using the following

Bad news, painfully slow and using the controller kept taking us to the ubuntu desktop

Good news, found something that did work and that is puppy arcade pictured at the top by Scott Jarvis.
I got this to install fairly hassle free, but it does not recognise my wifi driver -cant be arsed to look into why and don't care.

Good new, it works and at a very reasonable speed. I can now move the project over to my workbench. Here is Double Dragon (classic game - remember the whip?) running

I also had a quick fire up of  the sega genesis emulator with Puppy arcade and the controller (after configuring) worked perfect with that too.  Nb. as this drove me nuts first time (ALT + ENTER Exit full screen)

Finally what will make the enclosure of Icarus I arrived this week, a lot of prep to do on it, but I now have dimensions to work to. Just need to get my head around hydraulics first....

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Project Icarus - Part 1

Project Icarus

I have had an idea for a MAME cabinet which I am keeping stum at the moment as I don't want to spoil the surprise. All I will say is, I make cufflinks out of bullets - expect anything

First thing was to order some arcade controls. I got them from arcade world on ebay along with an IPAC2 controller. For the first build I am more concerned about getting from a to b and finding out what is going to be involved, so it probably wasn't the most economical purchase. I was a little bit disappointed that no wiring instructions came with the controls, considering the cost.

To get my head around it, I put the controls into a small lever arch folder from WH Smiths.

Next I went off on bit of misadventure and a waste of a saturday night; I am planning for MK1 to use a raspberry pi as i need something that is small. MKII will use a mini itx and I thought I would refresh myself on Linux

I managed to get a copy of ubuntu onto an old asus eee-pc and installed MAME and that was as far as I got.  After several sudo this and sudo that. I gave up. I mean seriously guys ? how complicated can you make something !!

So, I installed MAME on my mac which i not ideal as I wanted the eee-pc so I could work on the project from my workbench.  I am not usually a fan of youtube tutorials, but I did find this one to be very helpful

With MAME installed , and a few roms downloaded from I was ready to get my head around the wiring

Firstly, I would highly recommend using different colour wiring, unlike what I have done. Secondly, It is actually very straight forward. A couple of things I couldn't get my head around at first was whether the grounding ran through all the buttons and joystick, or they were two separate loops. Its one loop. Also, It wasn't immediately obvious what was the NC and NO on my switches.  This is where the lever arch file came in most handy as I was able to swap things around very easily and quickly.

Here is a short video showing the controls working on TMNT, bit hard one handed but you get the idea

Next steps, is to find the key component for my enclosure and work out how I am going to fit everything in.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 - BULLSHITING MERCHANTS

Years ago, I used to have a domain hosted with a company called supanames and in all fairness it was a pretty decent hosting company.

It was taken over by 123reg who are complete assholes.

I say this, as every once in a while they take money from my account "For domain renewal" even though I no longer have a domain hosted with them. Every time they take money from me, I go through a whole charade of asking for confirmation that the domain has been cancelled, and everytime they assure me it has.  It started in 2009 and has been continuing since.

In 2010 money was taken twice from my account. Once in August and then again in December. Through a long series of phone calls. I got the money back from August, but when they took it again at December, I fired off a rant tweet on twitter @123Reg. A women called Anisha Lal got in contact refunded my money and she confirmed with me that the account was cancelled. But she is full of shit

As in 2011. Again money was taken from my account. this time I was refused a refund as they said they had no confirmation that my account had been cancelled or a record of conversation above. So I asked their support to provide me with written confirmation that my account had been cancelled, and that I would not be screwed by them again. Turns out Camille Simpson is full of shit too

I am receiving domain renewal emails for said domain and no doubt they will be taking money from my account again - and the wankers have my name wrong for further insult.

I have tried logging into their most un user friendly domain panel, but I get the following

But I am betting that they will take money on the 13th of December. It is only a small amount £9.99 but this is money they are taking without my permission, and for a service I no longer use.

I have tried

* Phoning
* Over twitter
* Via their support
* Via their domain panel.

I do not think I am now being unreasonable by calling them a bunch of Bullshitting rip off bastards.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Dear Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

Regarding the issue of the misuse of Foreign Office resources by British tourists, I have personally overseen an enquiry into the matter and write to inform you of the findings.

I was under the impression that British tourists all fell from the same apple cart, but through the course of this enquiry several distinct groups have been identified as below, along with my recommendations.

The first of these groups is made up of mainly females in the early fifties to late sixties, whom when they arrive in a foreign land will bemoan the fact that the sun is too hot, complaining to anyone within ear shot. This is normally followed by their first experience of the beach, bemoaning that the sand is not level. We have categorised them as Afraid of Sun and Sand, or ASS for short.

I recommend that the Foreign Office be authorised to immediately fly in a special tent fitted with a level laminated floor, to be kept at a constant temperature of 14C with a cardigan provided and a television showing endless loops of Coronation Street and Eastenders. The ASS will be kept there until their return flight home, thus saving holiday makers at the bar from their moans.

The second group, and a cause of many calls to our embassies are the ones who find the toilets in their guest country not up to their satisfaction. I have categorised these as Tourist in Toilet Situation or TITS for short.

I recommend that the Foreign Office be authorised to immediately fly in a special tent fitted with an A standard british W.C. along with copies of the Sun and Daily Mail Newspapers. If the comedian Jimmy Carr learns to hide his taxes properly, I suggest he records an infomercial to be played in the tent, showing how such situations can be turned into amusing anecdotes.

The third group is mainly harmless, but is another drain of our switchboards is the Brit Understanding the Menu Situation or BUMS for short.

I recommend that the Foreign Office be authorised to immediately fly in by helicopter  a special tent with a Little Chef on hand to cook Egg, Chips and Ham for the distressed, whilst in the background a television plays reruns of episodes of Fawlty Towers.

The fourth group are not so much in themselves a trouble to our resources, but more with whom they come into contact - mainly angry hoteliers and restaurateurs. They are the ones who believe that as they are on holiday, their parental duties are also on holiday and allow their offspring to run riot.  We have labeled this as Completely Out of Control Kids Situation or COCKS for short.

I recommend that the foreign office be authorised to fly in a special tent where the offending parent will be forced into a clown costume and drugged like in that film you and watched over at Cleggs’ last week - the one with Gerald Butler in , where he is about to chop up the bad guy.

Once the offender has been drugged, as many COCKs as we can find can then be put into the tent, until the offender is reduced to a babbling wreck. A video from Jeremy Paxman could then be played, for God knows he is very good at pointing out when we don’t know what we are doing.

The next is a plague that has diseased us British for years, and that is the tourist who refuses to even pick up even the most basic of phrases in a language and insists that they can be made to be understood by raising their voice and making large circular motion with their hands. Brit Afraid of Learning Language Situation or BALLS For short.

Well, obviously the solution is within education but let’s not open that can of worms while we are in power. Instead I recommend the Foreign Office be authorised to fly out another special tent by helicopter. In the tent, a tracksuit will be provided and a video will play featuring Richard O’Brien (can we get him back on the tele? Perhaps offering him a knighthood or something?) informing them that they have three minutes to master the words “Please” and “Thankyou” in their hosts’ languages and the chance to win a crystal. If they fail, they will be locked in the tent until their flight home.

Another disease of the British is the tourist who feels it is their right and duty to shout at the top of their voice , how superior the British are (If only they could see how we run things here!)  and point out how inferior their hosts and host country are normally accompanied by four letter blurts. Tourist With Arrogant Tourette Situation or TWATS For short.

I recommend the Foreign office be authorised to immediately fly in a special tent fitted with a television playing a video by Stephen Fry informing them that the Daily Mail and Metro newspapers are not peer reviewed journals and his show QI is for entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for a proper education. He could then calm  the subject by telling an amusing story of some of our failures - not our recent ones I might add, more along the lines of Charge of the Light Brigade sort of thing (which reminds me, when is Boris’s next Risk night?)

To support the deployment of said helicopters, I suggest funds be put aside to set up one global dedicated support line with the number 444 + 4444 to be known as Brit In Trouble Calling Home In Need or BITCHIN For short.

BITCHIN should be sufficiently financed to deal with as many ASSes, BUMs, TITS, COCKs, BALLS and TWATS that are thrown their way.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt.Hon William Hague

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Downton Abbey Cufflinks

Following on from the Colt 45 Cufflinks, next off the production line so to speak are Downton Abbey Cufflink made from 19th Century/20th Century Livery buttons

From the dealer I bought the buttons from, I was able to find out the following

A bit of history about them. They are 19th / early 20th century Silver plated Livery buttons. Talking to the dealer I bought the buttons off, they came from Weston House in Otley, which is home to the Dawson family.

The Dawson family being famous for William Dawson, inventor of the Wharfedale printing press, effectively the modern printing press

Also in the second world war, on the estate some of the land was given over to a POW camp which housed German Prisoners.

On the upstairs downstairs aspect, it appears Susan Mary Dawson was into the occult, her grave in Weston Churchyard is marked with bronze age cup and ring stones - I kid thee not. 

Currently got five pairs which I am selling by blind auction. I have yet to get my website for this venture up, (will be but I do have a Facebook page up here  on details about how to bid. 


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