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LaMar's Blog

Happenings and adventures of the day

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Recent Solarcabin videos you may have missed

Recent Solarcabin videos you may have missed:

 I have produced over a dozen new videos this year so far and I know not all of you have time to watch when they come out so here is a list so you can catch up on any you missed and if you are like me and like to binge watch when you have the time. Thanks for your support, folks!


Off Grid Wind Turbine Installation: Should You Get A Wind Turbine?

This is a review of the Air X 400 Watt Wind Turbine I installed 8 years ago at my off grid cabin, Still working and still producing power. https://youtu.be/2zkPfZVoEEc


Tomatoes As Big As Melons!

We have been in a major drought but the extra heat and sunlight has my maters doing better than most years. I also show you this new variety of Roma that has fruit as big as a melon. https://youtu.be/HLc3HhRGkPE


Metakoo cybertrack 100: Features, mods and accessories

In this video I discuss the speed limitations and features of the Metakoo cybertrack 100. I went straight to the Metakoo company to get your questions answered. https://youtu.be/NXN4DLVAFBk


Solar Cabin Drought, Wlldfires, Mobile Solar Project and Off Grid Water

In this video I discuss the drought and wildfires in the Western US and my latest mobile solar project and water at my cabin. I show off my place and talk about how it has changed over the years. https://youtu.be/813ljl-cm00


Off Grid Swimming Pool: Intex Pool At My Off Grid Cabin

This is how I use my Intex pool off grid to stay cool and entertain friends and family. pool filter pump will run off a 100 watt panel, 100AH battery and 300 watt inverter. https://youtu.be/jGgMM9OcVcg


Hessaire Evaporative Cooler for Off Grid Use Review

This is my review of the Hessaire evaporative (swamp) cooler as I use it at my off grid cabin. It works very well for my needs and runs fine off a small off grid system.

Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler –1300 CFM, Cools 500 Square Feet: https://amzn.to/3ycCZ1q

https://youtu.be/-bdARqAAS0Q


Ford F150 EV Lightning: Off Grid Power Feature Review

This is my review of the new Ford F150 EV Lightning off grid power feature as described on their website and in other reviews. I believe this truck is a game changer and will be very useful to off gridders and as an emergency power source for grid homes and has all the great features that has made Ford the best selling vehicle in the US for the last 40 years. https://youtu.be/J_rKXMaHh9w


Stay Cool: Off Grid and Emergency Air Conditioning Systems

In this video I explain how my off grid cabin is set up with passive cooling and the types of AC units I use that will work for an off grid or emergency AC system. https://youtu.be/umjXExg0lcM


Ampere Time LIFPO4 200AH Off Grid Battery 3 Month Review

This is my review of the Ampere Time LIFPO4 200AH battery I have now used for 3 months at my of grid cabin. This is an excellent battery for off grid use at a reasonable price of around $800: https://amzn.to/2TMgvW3

https://youtu.be/hbazi0VXmPo


When The Grid Goes Down: 400 Watt Solar Emergency Back Up Systems Explained

In this video I explain my 400 watt system for off grid or emergency power for your homes and I show you the equipment I use and recommend. Don't get caught in a black out without an emergency power system!

https://youtu.be/SwHpMRuT_lA


Build Your Own Off Grid Cabins Full Plans

This is an overview of several of the cabins that have been built from my plans. Plans are $5 and full color step-by-step for novice builders. http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

https://youtu.be/GwitM_iDMLY


Off Grid Communication Systems and Safety

In this video I explain the different off grid communications systems I use and what is available and some new systems. https://youtu.be/E1TS4O_ldt0


Off Grid and Homestead Businesses You Can Start

This is an over view of 50+ small businesses for off gridders and homesteaders. http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

Businesses discussed:

1- Selling farm produce, meat and eggs

2- Selling livestock and pets (not pet mills)

3- Selling live plants and trees

4- Selling hay and other crops

5- Service work: Handyman, equipment operator, septic service, snow removal, chimney sweep, pest control, mechanic, welder

6- Recovery work: Salvage, antiquing, yard clean up

7- Wood cutting, hauling and tree trimming

8- Artistic: wood crafting, metal crafting, decorative fencing and yard art

9- writing books/ebooks, making videos, travel logs

10- Pet walking/sitting, pet grooming, Personal driver, personal shopper, elderly assistance

https://youtu.be/5unBTSGqEoM

I got big 'maters!

 These are the super Roma maters and they are ripe enough for picking now. They have a great smell to them unlike store bought hot house tomatoes that have no smell and no taste.


The worlds largest sauce tomato!

Its SuperSauce! The new tomato superhero. A whole lot bigger, a whole lot better, a Roma with aroma. Weighing in at 2 lb., a whopping 5.5" tall x 5" wide, SuperSauce produces gallons of luscious sauce from a single plant harvest - one tomato fills an entire sauce jar. Very few people in the gardening world consider a paste tomato for anything other than making paste or sauce. SuperSauce also makes a superlative salad tomato; its perfect for a meaty and tasty hamburger slice too. Indeterminate, disease-free plants yield a summer-long supply of the exquisitely flavored marinara, tomato gravy or meat sauce plus plenty for salads and slicing. SuperSauce takes 7-12 days to germinate.

https://www.burpee.com/tomato-supersauce-hybrid-prod003154.html

What would you do if you had no house payments and no utility bills?


That was the question I asked myself when I first went off grid. I wanted to reduce my living expenses to practically zero so I could live debt free and not have to work for someone else and the money I did make would go a lot farther.


So I built my little 14x14 cabin for $2000 using recycled windows and doors and rough saw lumber and did all the work myself. I scrounged and recycled materials and furnishings and I set the cabin up just like a self contained RV. I recycled the water tank and pump, stove, lights, cabinets, propane tanks and lines, and anything I could salvage from the camper i had been living in.


My first power system was just a 45 watt harbor freight solar kit and an old truck battery and just enough to run the water pump sparingly, a few incandescent lights and a dc TV and radio for a few hours of entertainment. Today my system is still small and just 400 watts but I have better batteries and panels.


I started a small local pest control business and grew that over time to over 250 regular customers a year and that money paid off my child support 3 years early and helped my son with his expenses. I ran that business for over 10 years and then sold it to a young guy.


Saved most of that income for my retirement because i knew my health would not allow me to keep working forever and I was able to retire at 49 with enough saved to live comfortably because I had no real living expenses.


I started writing off grid books and designing off grid cabins and making videos of my projects to help other people and that has allowed me to use my teaching skills and be creative and brought in enough to pay for the projects around my own homestead over the years and paid for my internet and phone that are my only monthly bills. Over 19 million views on youtube and over 20 ebooks and cabin plans published.


Over time I have remodeled the cabin interior with some nice finishing materials and replaced old shelves with cabinets but for the most part the cabin is still the same and most of the RV equipment I salvaged is still in use.


Traveled quite a bit but I like being near my cabin and I do mostly day trips with Tazzy these days. My son is married and my grandson is going on 5 years old.


I have a jeep, 2 trucks, motorcycle, mini-bike, Ebike, 2 campers, metal detector and other toys but my real entertainment is hiking with Tazaroo and being in nature and working on small projects on my homestead.


So would I do anything different and do I have any regrets about going off grid?


I can honestly say I am happy with how it worked out and I have no regrets and that lifestyle has allowed me to pursue and accomplish everything I wanted to do in life.


So, What would you do if you had no house payments and no utility bills?



The Treehugger!

I hug and talk to my trees and plants! OK, I know this will seem a little weird and out there nutsy but for the last few years I have been hugging and talking to my trees and other plants on my homestead. I walk around my homestead a few times each year and just stop to hug a tree or hold a plant and tell them I appreciate them.


I don't expect they hear me but electrical waves go much deeper than words and maybe they 'feel' what I am saying and if not... it still makes me feel connected to every living thing on my homestead and we have a symbiosis. Not one of us could survive without the plants and trees that give us so much.


That may make me seem weird to some people but it has definitely helped my attitude towards the many helpful plants on my homestead!

When old school and new tech collide!

 I have always been a bit ahead of the general pop on new technology and I was programming computers starting clear back in 1980 with a Vic 20. I had one of the first personal modems for text only and a brick phone. I have published Independent games and AI programs that are popular.


Now I have a watch that will make calls, play radio, tell me my BP, heart rate and O2, monitor my sleep, take pics and a bunch of other stuff.


I have an MP3 player the size of a pack of matches that will hold more songs, vids and ebooks than my computer and has wireless earbuds because... wires.


My bicycle has a motor and I plug it in so I don't have to peddle.


All of my gadgets are charged from my off grid solar power system and I have at least 10 USB cords because none of the damn gadgets use the same plugs, lol!


While I enjoy these gadgets none of them are really necessary and my simple pleasures still come from grabbing my old guitar and sitting on my porch to strum a tune and taking long hikes with Tazzy and enjoying nature and wildlife.

Off Grid Wind Turbine Installation: Should You Get A Wind Turbine?

This is a review of the Air X 400 Watt Wind Turbine I installed 8 years ago at my off grid cabin, Still working and still producing power. The book/ebook in the video is available here: http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com


ECO-WORTHY 1200 Watts 24 Volt Solar Wind Turbine Generator Kit: 400 Watt Wind Turbine+ 4pcs 195W Mono Solar Panels+ 1pc Solar Wind Hybrid Controller+ 2pcs 100AH Battery


5.0 out of 5 stars $1,509.99 https://amzn.to/3zlpAEG

Ebiking with my adventure dog Tazaroo!

Taz loves to ride in the trailer behind my ebike or motorcycle and then we stop and camp or just go hiking. She is a 6 year old Australian cattle dog mixed with a stubborn old mule.


I live off grid in the boonies so Taz is my adventure partner, watch dog and best friend.


I am working on a series of vids of Taz and I on adventures and will post them here soon.


Got the Metakoo Cybertrack 100 Mt bike today!


I got it put together in about 30 minutes and took it for a first ride up to the dunes with Tazzy in the trailer. Very impressed with the bike and it is well made with Shimano 21 speed and Bafang 350 watt motor. It will easily do 20MPH even on an uphill and with the trailer on.


This bike has both throttle like a motorcycle or pedal assist and I like that pedal assist and can put it in 5th gear and cruises at right around 15mph while hardly breaking a sweat. The throttle is nice to take off fast or get across an intersection or when you are off road and hit a little incline and need a boost.


This is not a fat tire bike or made for rock hopping and it is pretty slippy in the sand but does well on hard pack and gravel. Has a front shock that is pretty decent for trail. Mostly for commuting and light trail riding. I am 5'8" and 170 pounds and almost 60 years old and it is just right for me.


I rode Mt bike all through college but because of knee and back injuries I had to give that up and figured I would never ride again but with this EV peddle bike I can get out and ride and not feel like I am destroying my joints and I can take Tazzy along for some bike and hike adventures again.


The trailer is from Aosom and is a few years old. It is solid built and handles that 60 pound dog, my tent and camping gear, food, water and hiking gear for local camping just fine.

I live off grid in a cabin in the boonies and this ebike will charge up just fine off my small 400 watt off grid power system. It has enough range to get me to town and back and is light enough to just ride without the battery boost if needed.


The bike charged fine off my small solar power system and has a fast charger and recharges fully in 3 hours. I have not tested it for range yet but it says 30 on throttle and up to 50 on peddle assist. I have a couple of towns about 10 miles from my cabin so I will be testing that range.


I will be doing vids of our rides and adventures and I did a vid of the unboxing and putting the bike together today and will have that up soon. They have a $100 coupon right now so if you are looking for an ebike. I am letting you know now because once I start making vids the product usually sells out or they raise the price.


I put my accessories on the bike. A gel seat for my broken tailbone, Center carrier for my phone and tools, rear luggage rack for a new bag I have and I mounted my go pro camera to the bike so I can record while I ride. Of course Taz thought I was going for another ride so I took her for a nice leisurely 7 mile ride around my area on the blacktop.


This bike never dropped below 17mph the whole way in peddle assist and I was in high gear. Barely any strain to peddle at all and my knees don't hurt and I didn't get winded and that is with a 60 pound dog riding in that trailer.


Anyway, I am very pleased so far and looking forward to some good bikepacking adventures with Tazzy.


Bike is here: https://amzn.to/3hQOFBs

Heard a pheasant this morning!

 When I was a kid/teen growing up here there were pheasants and rabbits all over these parts. The pheasants were transplanted and thrived in the area because we didn't have coons or a lot of predators animals in this area and this became a prime hunting area. I spent much of my youth wandering the fields hunting pheasants and rabbits.

Then some idiot got the idea to release raccoon kits and they quickly spread and decimated the wild birds and then moved to chickens. We also had a severe drought and that reduced the population. Now you rarely see a wild pheasant so it was nice to have one come through my place calling for some females.

The rabbit population has also dwindled and when I was young we had cottontail, jack and snowshoe rabbits all over. Snow shoe are huge and I haven't seen one of those here since I moved back. Not nearly as many cottontails or jacks here either.

One thing I think that changed the population is when the county went from ditch and flood irrigation to pipes and sprinklers. The ditch banks were prime habitat for small critters and when those dried up they didn't have access to as much food or water.

Anyway, thought I would share that and I am listening to that rooster pheasant right now calling for a mate... he sounds lonely.

Solar Cabin Drought, Wlldfires, Mobile Solar Project and Off Grid Water

In this video I discuss the drought and wildfires in the Western US and my latest mobile solar project and water at my cabin. I show off my place and talk about how it has changed over the years.

First 'maters of the season!

 These are some smaller ones that started to turn and I will finish them off in a brown paper bag. 


These are beef masters and they get bigger maters and good for sandwiches and slicing. I also have some huge Roma's for salsa and salads. 


I worried with the drought I might not get anything to produce but the maters in my mom's old tubs are doing well.

How do you like the new website format?

After over 15 years with the same company webs sold out to Vistaprint and my website was moved to this new server. It has taken me awhile to figure out how to use the designer and some features are no longer available like the guestbook but I am working on that. It does have a nice cart feature for buying ebooks and it looks a lot better on phone.


Anyway, let me know what you think and if there are any features you would like to see added. I am working on a guestbook and newsletter feature.


Oh and I also went fishing with the dogs. -LaMar

Red Sky In Morning

Red sky in morning- sailors take warning. Red sky at night- sailors delight. That is an old sailors saying to indicate a storm is brewing and a red sky means more moisture in the air. We have a wild fire in the area and the smoke and haze made the sun a bright red this morning. Not likely going to get a storm though and we could sure use the rain. 


Even my Russian olive trees look all dried up.


We have been experiencing a major heat wave and drought all across the Western US and clear in to Canada. My area in the high desert at the foot of the Rocky Mountains has been hit very hard with drought and now wild fires are here.


I am lucky to have my own water well as the people on city water have been told they can't water their lawns or use any extra water.

Thank you for visiting!

About Us:

 

Simple Solar Homesteading is a Not-For-Profit social and cultural service organization dedicated to producing affordable off-grid housing designs and projects so that everyone everywhere can have a safe and sustainable home.

 

Your donations will help us to design these projects, build the models and to promote these projects to all countries. Please share our vision on your facebook, Twitter and other social networks and help us end homelessness and poverty once and for all!

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