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29 August 2012

Daniel Hulbert's DIY Travel Ukulele

I've talked about my burning desire to make a travel ukulele. I even shared with you some concept art on an idea I was mulling over a couple of weeks ago. Well, it just so happens that good friend and fellow blogger Daniel Hulbert is sharing instructions on how to make his inspirational DIY Travel Ukulele. When he's not running marathons and storming open mic competitions, he's one talented ukulele-making machine!



Go check out the full post on my "other" blog Electric Ukulele Land and download a PDF of the plans FOR FREE! It could just be the smartest thing you do today!

Thank you Daniel and keep on inspiring uke-builders everywhere!

27 August 2012

How to play the 5-string Banjo (1961)

The correct position to hold the banjo

It's a poorly kept secret that we don't just love Ukulele's on the Ukulele Blog. Oh no! We love lots of other things too. I've neglected a post on banjos for far too long. Earlier this week I was out hunting through charity shops and I happened across a copy of Pete Seeger's fantastic book: How to play the 5-string Banjo. This is the 3rd Edition with an update inside the cover from July 1990 where Pete is basically saying that he's unlikely to do any further revisions. That's a real shame. I've looked, but it seems that the 3rd edition is it. Given that Pete's 93 at the time of me writing this post, it's perhaps no surprise.

I've done nothing more than flick through this book, but every time I've done so, I've learnt something new and fantastic! I'm really enjoying the read and you never know it might just inspire me to dust off my vintage Windsor Whirle. In the hope that I can inspire you too, here are a few snippets from the book. I'm always a bit wary of giving too much away in this type of review, but this really is just a sample of the wonder that you can find within this book. I urge you go drop everything and go buy a copy right now. This is a little piece of music history that everyone should own!

26 August 2012

A Taste of Warwick

That's it folks! The holiday is all but over. We're back home safe and sound after a stop-over in Warwick. I have a mixture of pictures for you.. I'm really pleases with this batch. Before you start... yes... I have doctored some of them... But which ones?

Warwick Castle is owned by the Tussauds Group. They bought it in 1978.
I was pleased to find a number of waxworks inside, but none pleased me more than
that of the Queen. But... something was missing...

24 August 2012

At The Mountains of Madness (1931)

H P Lovecraft is a name that crops up quite a lot in Horror literary circles. I like a little bit of horror, but up until very recently, I’d never sampled Lovecraft. This oversight has now been rectified.

5 is the magic number

23 August 2012

A Taste of the Hidden Valley

Today I took the family to the Hidden Valley. Despite its name, it was actually quite easy to find. Hidden valley is a sort of adventure trail; You have to wander around searching for clues, and at the end you get to do a Crystal Maze type set of tests. We failed on the final test! Damn!

I have photos for you and looking back, they're all nature shots. This could be my last set from this holiday if the weather forecast is to be believed.

Alien Spore

UKESY - Graffiti Artist

One man's vandalism is another man's Art. Whilst traveling to Cornwall last weekend I took a much needed pit stop in Bristol. I've been once before, about fifteen or so years ago. One of the first things that struck me this time around was the number of 'artsy' people wandering about, and the sheer volume of graffiti adorning every spare centimeter of wall space. I can't say that it was all to my taste, but I can say that it tweaked my interests. Having finally made it to my holiday destination, I've been keeping an eye out for Cornovii graffiti. One underground artist has definitely caught my eye. I don't know anything about him other than his moniker: UKESY. I'm still searching, but below is what I've found so far...

Launceston, 19 Aug 2012

22 August 2012

A Taste of Tintagel

Today's destination was the mystical seaside village of Tintagel. The sun was shining and spirits were high! We did the walk across to the "island" and pottered about the fudge shops. As you will no doubt have come to expect, I took an SD card's worth of pictures to share with you. Here are some of the more obtuse ones...

J-Uke giving it some Batman

21 August 2012

A Taste of the Eden Project

Today was the long-awaited trip to the Eden Project. The family were underwhelmed. It was a real battle to fire the kids up. "But it's just some greenhouses with plants". Can't argue with that. Actually, I was a bit underwhelmed by the experience myself; It was way too busy for my liking. As is customary for this little holiday, I furnish you with some photos from the day...

The Eden Project Biodomes

The Beast of Bude

WARNING: Some of the pictures in this post are horrible. Stop reading now... dead things!

Artist's Impression of the Beast of Bude

20 August 2012

A Taste of Bude

More holiday snaps for you! This time from the sunny little hamlet of Bude. My instructions were clear... J-Uke wanted crazy golf and then E-Uke wanted to head for the beach. Mission accomplished!

J-Uke contemplates a hole

19 August 2012

A Taste of Launceston

Hot on the heels of yesterday's post I've only gone and got some more!

This was actually no mean feat considering the weather. This time the snaps are from Launceston and surrounds. A bit of a mixed bag...

Except for access

18 August 2012

A Taste of Bristol

I promised you some pictures of my week away. Here are some taken en route at and near to Bristol.

The weather's not been that good and they're telling me that it's going to get worse!

Follow the yellow-brick road...

16 August 2012

The King Uke Custom Travelele

Earlier this week I got ensnared in a discussion about a project to build a travel ukulele. Perhaps 'ensnared' is a bit strong; To be fair, I may well have initiated the conversation. It's an idea that's been swishing about my brain for a while. I'm pretty certain to give it a go at some point, but I'm only interested in making something that is unique with my own special King Uke stamp. So I've come up with some concept art that I'm going to share with you.

The Mark III King Uke Travelele

13 August 2012

How to tune an electric ukulele

I thought I might have at least one more post in this electric ukulele build and indeed I was right! This time I'm going to talk about tweaking everything to make it sound sweet!

The Kingcaster taking a much-earned rest...

12 August 2012

A Taste of Lincolnshire

I'm still enjoying a little bit of photography on my phone. This weekend I bundled up the family for a night's camping in deepest darkest Lincolnshire and a great time was had by all. I almost ran out of power on my phone, but not before capturing a few snaps to share with you. If you're enjoying this swathe of pictures, just you wait until next week when I head down to Cornwall!

J-Uke tries out a Rooney mask for size
Even at the rock-bottom price of 29p, we left it...

9 August 2012

Robot Yoko Ono

I invented a new game the other day which involved the creation of an ever evolving picture. I posted a picture on Google+ and people commented offering improvements that could be made. I then made those changes and guess what... more comments! You can guess what happened next. Last time it resulted in the launching of my custom ukulele design company.

Mark I: Darth Vader facial tattoo.

It's happened again!

7 August 2012

Dead & Breakfast (2004)

“It’s like a bad horror movie... only worse!”

I’ve just finished watching “the U.S. answer to Shaun of the Dead”. Pah!

Please put a stake through my head!
Dead and Breakfast, Anchor Bay 2004

I’m conscious that I haven’t watched any films for a while, and after tonight’s little misadventure, I’m wishing that I’d kept it that way! I’m sorry, but I just didn’t get tonight’s film at all.

I don’t even want to review it... but I know I must...

5 August 2012

A Taste of the back garden - Part 2

The rain held off long enough for the kids to tempt me into another impromptu photo shoot.

I think I like these pictures a bit better. I've added some from the kids too. Are you starting to spot their styles?

Big flower

A Taste of the back garden

I got some nice comments following last weekend's photo shoot. Thanks for those. Inspired by this, I thought I'd take a few more, only I was scuppered somewhat in as much as I haven't been able to make it out of my back garden this weekend, save one quick trip to the pool with my kids. Still, I did try to get some photos together for you. There are more of the nature-type shots and a couple of my favoured abstract ones too. All these snaps were taken on my phone...

Flowers

3 August 2012

The Andromeda Strain (1969)

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with outbreak-type stories; Who can fail to love tales of disease and pestilence ravishing the human race? I guess in some ways, it may have helped to fuel my unhealthy obsession with zombies... or at least the infected variety.

Peter Jackson helps to unravel the mysteries of the Andromeda Strain