Archive for the ‘Live Tracking’ Category
A small get together of balloons was planned at Thornbury golf club over the weekend of the 6th and 7th April, about 20 balloons had been invited along to attend. I was down to be pilot for trainee pilot Chris Gingell in the old David Hathaway Transport balloon. We had attended a meal put on at the club on the Friday evening, where it was decided that the morning was going to be too windy and the briefing was cancelled – meant that we got a nice lie in! We did go back up in the morning for a lovely cooked breakfast, but not until about 9:30am!
There were to be some competitions over the weekend to keep everyone entertained between flying slots, and a putting challenge was put on around lunch time. 6 holes, each harder than the last one with slopes and all sorts (no windmills in site on this course!), we had to work our way around each and try to get them in the holes in the least amount of putts!
After this we decided to go into Thornbury town centre, not exactly a buzzing place, but it did have a betting shop, and as it was Grand National day, it would have been rude not to have placed a bet (or 6!). Unfortunately I didn’t win a single thing! Our later meal was brought forward an hour as the plan was to move launch sites and fly back towards the golf club. We went up to a farmer’s field in Wotton Under Edge and started to set up our balloon.
A few balloons took off but it was rather gusty on the surface, and evidence of thermals were still around as well. We decided to wait around a bit, a few people attempted to inflate but gave up due to the wind, and we followed suit, deciding that it would be better to get back to the golf club in one piece. A nice early night as we were up early for a briefing at 5:30am.
Perfect conditions arrived for the morning flight on Sunday, and we had use of the fairways on holes 9, 10, and 18, so we all started to
lay out our balloons. The wind was in the direction to eventually take us across the river Severn and over to Wales, but we decided that we would make the decision to cross or not once we were in the air. There was going to be a cross put out for us to drop a marker as close as possible to the centre, although we didn’t know where!
As soon as we took off we realised that it was right in the middle of the driving range! Not far, and it didn’t take Chris any flying skill to get us over the top of the cross. However,I’ve not thrown a marker for a competition before, so was looking forward to seeing how I was going to do. Unfortunately I didn’t take into account for the wind, and waited until we were right above the cross before throwing it. If I had done it a few seconds before the cross then I would have done better!
The wind wasn’t that strong so we decided that we were going to stay this side of the river. After around 30 minutes of flying we were getting close to the river, so we decided to look for a landing site. The wind on the surface was actually going almost back in the opposite direction! We found a great grass field, right next to a road. A great 40 minute flight. Soon after our retrieve were with us and it was back to the golf club for some well earned breakfast.
More golfing competitions were planned and this time it was on the driving range. Unfortunately it wasn’t a competition of hitting it as far as you could, but one of skill trying to get to the 50 metre marker. I made it through to the 2nd round, but unfortunately then got knocked out! The final lunch with prize giving was next, and I was delighted to find out that my rubbish marker throwing skills managed to get me 3rd place! Although I know there was no flying to a target skill, I was really pleased with myself to get 3rd!
All in all it was a great weekend and well planned activities to keep everyone entertained during the day. There is talk of it happening again next year and we will be more than happy to attend once again. Thank you to everyone that planned this event, and to everyone that went along and took part in the fun and games, we all had a great time.
With less than 1 week to go, we are now ready for the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, which starts on Thursday 9th August.
All of the passes were delivered last week and I have been busy sorting through them and making sure that all of our very hard working crew have exactly what they need. We have some nice new BWS/The Galleries polo shirts that all of our team will be wearing when flying the BWS balloon, and of course we will be sporting the Phil’s Balloons polo shirts when we fly G-BOOB. If you see any of us, come and say hello!
For those that would like to know, we will be flying G-BOOB on Saturday and Sunday morning and BWS all other slots. We will also be tethering the BWS balloon throughout the day at the fiesta and also glowing BWS on Thursday evening, so you should see plenty of us around this year!
For the first time ever, we will be doing LIVE tracking on every single flight at the fiesta! This is a first for us to do it at the fiesta and I believe the first time ever any sort of live tracking has been done at the fiesta. Please bear with us if there are any technical difficulties!
The press launch for the fiesta is due to take place on Monday 6th August at Greville Smythe Park in Ashton Gate. We will be there with the BWS balloon and we will be doing LIVE tracking from this launch too! We will be flying people from the press, so look out for us in the papers and in the local news!
We have borrowed something very nice and shiny for the weekend, which you will see us in over the fiesta weekend, more news on this including photos will be posted up on our Facebook page, Twitter and of course on this blog section!
We are looking for LOADS of photos of us, so please – when you see us, take a photo and send it to us through email – email@example.com. The best one will win a little prize, so get your cameras at the ready!
All of our very hard working crew are ready, the pilot is ready, and the balloons are ready. Now we just need some nice weather over the weekend!
I will be trying to update this blog section as often as I can from the fiesta site with updates of what we have been up to.
I have now managed to get Live Tracking working on the website!
I took to the skies at 4pm on Thursday 14th October 2010 with the aim to test out the live tracking. Itwas all a bit rushed and I did post it on Facebook that the testing was going to take place.
I had a text halfway through the flight to say that it was working successfully! Great news. There will soon be a page to show the live tracking map, this will show a Google Map and will update every 4 minutes or so with a dot to show exactly where we are, when we are exactly at that point! How cool!
I will also have a page to show all the old tracks, this will be a Google Map track and also a track over an Ordnace Survey Map as well.
The Facebook page can be found by clicking HERE and this is where I will be updating to say that we will be going flying and to watch the tracking page. The tracking page will be updated as well to say that it will be live within the next couple of hours or so. Hopefully I will be doing this on all of the flights in the future!
Below you can see what the Live Tracking actually looks like, very simple. This is our flight from the 14th and it’s the saved track after the flight. You are able to click on each yellow dot to see how high we were, what direction we were travelling in and how fast we were going too!