Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cruise the Rio Grande River.....Saturday Nov.27,2009

Mike Rhodes, owner of the RV Park here, purchased a nice Pontoon boat so we could take Cruises on the Rio Grande River. Yesterday 8 of us reserved it for a nice little 3 hr Morning Cruise. It was a gorgeous day, the weather was perfect. At 8:30 we arrived at the boat docks and met Captain Bob and his wife Karen and boarded for the cruise.

Below are a few pictures of the trip. Take a look across the river into the Mexico side of the Border.

From Rio Grande River Cruise 2009-11-28

Above is the Boat Dock, click on the link at the bottom of the picture to view the entire Album. We all had a great time and enjoyed our little cruise down the river.

Our little Project is slowly moving along, which is par for the course down here in South Texas. Nobody gets in a hurry around here.  We did get the corner posts set in concrete Friday. They will set-up over the weekend and hopefully Monday or Tuesday, we can get it finished up. But like I said, if it doesn't happen, I won't be a bit surprised. Here in "Tex-ico" it's always Manana and that doesn't mean Tomorrow. It means "someday".

Meanwhile, today we are expecting our good friends and neighbors from Custer, SD, Larry and Geri Gustafson. They are stopping by for a few days to visit the Valley. We found them a place to park right next to us. They are the owners and operators of the Broken Arrow Campground just south of us near Custer, SD in the Black Hills. It will be great to see them and spend some time together when they are not so BUSY! Oh by the way, I just happened to notice, it's 19 deg in Custer this morning. Burrrrrrr,That's cold! It's 70 deg here.  We continue to give thanks for the wonderful life we have.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published every Sunbday and Wedensday..

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What ??? Another Project........

Well, there isn't much interesting going on around here to Blog about, so we had to do another "Project". Thanks to all of those that tried to guess what it was. I received dozens of emails and some of you were extremely close.

We needed a place to conceal our trash can. Good friends David and Sue McCarron set the presidence and requested permission to put a concealment fence behind their Coach House to hide their garbage can, etc. They waited and waited.  No response.  So they built it anyhow! Good for you David and Sue.  Now finally after the fact, it has been approved. The idea has grown like "Wild Fire".  Now everyone is building one....including us.

This is the back of our Coach House and where we will put the concealment fence. Since we were going to extend the patio by 4 ft, we decided to go all the way! Most everyone so far has only gone to the end of the Coach House but we decided while we are at it, we might as well go the entire 50 ft on ours. The above mark is where the bricks will entend to. The fence will only go to the end of the Coach House, where we will put a gate.

First, all of the underground lawn watering lines had to be removed and redirected. Then the Sod had to be removed. Our water pipes and inspection box were too low, so they had to be removed, the pipes cut off and shortened so we could raise it up even with the pavers.

Rocks were placed under the inspection box so it would drain better and it was raised to the proper level.

Then a quick trip to.....Where else???    Home Depot !!!

We got them to load the paver blocks and sand on the truck with a fork lift.  That was easy, but "WE" had to unload them ourselves.  UGH!  It took 200 of the 12X12 concrete pavers. The pallet with the paver blocks and the leveling sand weighed over 4000 lbs.  It was HEAVY!  Good thing I had a BIG truck... it didn't even flinch.

Shortly after we got them home, they were unloaded.  Whew!!!  That's a lot of 23 lbs each.. Suddenly it started to rain.  Then it POURED!!!!  Wow, we got that done just in time!! Soon the above area was FULL of water!  Hopefully, by the end of the week the job will be completed and the pavers will all be down.  But don't be surprised if they aren't, with Thanksgiving, the rain and all.  Anyhow, that kept us pretty busy for the last few days.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by,,,,,,,Happy Thanksgiving to you all from Ms Pat and I.    God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Harley Davidson Grand Re-Opening, McAllen, Texas

From Harley Davidson Grand Opening RGV Texas 2009-11-21
Yesterday, the Harley Davidson Dealership in McAllen, Texas had a Grand Re-Opening. Actually it was a new owner taking over this dealership and the Satellite Harley Dealership in San Benito, TX. Since we have been hanging out at these dealerships quite a bit lately, I'm on their emailing list for any excitement that is going on in the area. This was a big celebration and actually started on Friday with a big blow out dance and party Friday night. It didn't start until 8 pm and since we have done most of our "partying" well before that time, we passed on that. Saturday was the actual Opening Ceremony with a "Ribbon Cutting" and a Harley Davidson Fashion Show.

Ms Pat thought she might enjoy the fashion show and I wanted to see all the new 2010 Bikes on display, so we decided to ride the 10 miles and take in some of the festivities. There were quite a few people around and we got to meet the new owner and his son. Strangely enough, he comes from South Dakota. Having that in common, we had a nice enjoyable chat with him and even sat with him at the Fashion Show. He seems to be a nice fellow and not too far from my age...(an old guy!)  Pat saw some real nice shirts, blouses and jackets that took her eye. The little kids dressed in Harley clothes were very cute. Course the young ladies weren't bad either...;-) 

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure not looking for a new Harley.   Our lovely Heritage Softail is mighty enjoyable and exactly the Bike I want.  However, I still like to look at "whats new". After all, mine has nearly 8500 miles on it now. Pat and I have put nearly 1500 miles on it since's not even broken in yet.

After the Fashion show, there was a Police escorted ride to the other store in San Benito for the same Ceremony at that store. San Benito is about 40 miles East on Hwy 83. Since we were just there week before last, we decided we wouldn't make the ride.  However, over 100 other bikes did.

If you click on the link below the picture above, it will take you to the Web Album of the pictures I took of the activities. You will note that in the picture of the Policeman that he is riding a Kawasaki.  I had a long chat with him about that and he informed me that the City Fathers of McAllen bought 5 Kow's as a trial about a year ago. They were of course "Cheaper".  They also have several Harleys. 

The officer said that they have Harleys ordered to replace the Kow's, because the Kow's won't stand up like the Harleys do. He said it's mainly the clutches.  They are hard on clutches because they do a lot of slow riding. The Harley clutches are well known for their durability.  Nothing against Kawasaki's in any way shape or form. They are a great Bike. In fact, my son Pat is an avid Kow rider and he has been all through the formal Motorcycle mechanics training. He loves them!   But he did tell me jokingly one time "Oh Dad, one day I'll own a Harley too,,,when I'm "OLD"!

After listening to the Bad "Los Lonely Boys" play for a while, we headed on home as we had to meet the DirecTV guy that was coming out to check the LNB on our 5 LNB "Slimline" HDTV dish.  Something keeps cutting off our signal. After much investigating and testing, including moving my tripod about 5 ft and having a tree cut down, I found out that if I just tap on the LNB's, it comes right back on.  So after we explained all of this to Marcos, the DirecTV guy, he did some testing and installed a new LNB yesterday about 2 pm.  It worked all afternoon and up until 10pm last night fine. Maybe that was it.  Hope so...those intermittent things are aggravating.

I had to have Satellite TV to watch Nebraska Football last nignt on ESPN.  I enjoyed that...especially since they WON!!!   Congratulations Cornhuskers and congratulations are also in order for the FSU Seminoles of Tallahassee.  They won a CLOSE one. It wasn't on TV in this area, but I sure wish I had seen it.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by and thank you GOD for allowing us to have everything we have.

We are about to start a NEW project.  So stay'll hear all about it.   Care to guess what it will be?


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ms Megabyte2 in a Harley sack,,,,,say what?

Sunday we rode the Harley over to Donna, TX about 40 miles West and attended a small Flea Market. Then we proceeded back East to Alamo, where the Bibleville RV Church is that we had heard about. We were just going to check it out, but happened to be there at the exact time the services were starting. We decided at the last minute to walk our leathers, T-shirts and all.  We weren't sure how we would be received but what the heck, we were looking for a place to worship. God had invited us and we didn't figure they would throw us out.  It was a large Service, well over 100 people, all older folks just like us. The sermon was great and we were welcomed with open arms. Glad we stopped.

From Bibleville we headed North for a few miles on rural rural as they get around here. It seems you're right at the edge of town because it is so heavily populated around here. Then we turned West and circled around and came south into McAllen. Just happened to be going by the Harley Dealership,,,what a coincidence. I wanted to look at some parts, so we stopped.

Pat found a neat shirt she liked, it was even "on sale". She is wearing her little girls "Harley Hat" that she found last week at the San Benito Harley shop. Plus, I found the parts I was looking for. Then we headed on home. Another great day for Bike riding and we lucked out and got to attend Church....traveled about 88 miles.

This is Ms Megabyte2 just about a year ago shortly after I met her. She loved to lie on the back of my truck. Here she is looking into my eyes saying "I want to be your kitty and live with you".  Can't you see why I fell in love with her? She has such a sweet, convincing, innocent look.  I couldn't resist but I still had to convince Ms Pat. That was not going to be an easy task but we shall give it a try.  It wasn't long until Ms Pat couldn't resist either.  Come on're in!!!

Pat accidently dropped the sack her Harley T-Shirt came in on the floor. Mega2 immediately became fascinated with the sack. It was a stronger, clearer, crisper sack than most of the Walmart sacks we usually have. She enjoyed playing with it.  After a while she became quiet and I looked around and found her completely inside the sack...resting!!! She even let me grab my camera and get a picture.  She liked that sack!!! We had a good laugh.

This little Kitty brings us more enjoyment than anything in this world...

"I love the good ole U.S.A !"......ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thank you so much Scooter for sending us this little "Angel Kitty".

It is a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by.....


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Installation of Deliberant CPE 2 - 2.4 GHz High Powered WiFi Radio System.......

Yesterday afternoon I got up on top of the roof and took this picture looking West towards the Clubhouse. You can see how a lot of the RV spots are filled up. Just a week or so ago most of these were empty.   It will fill up even more by the first of the year.  Hundreds of other RV parks are the same way.....all filling up. The local businesses are loving it, too.  There are "WELCOME WINTER TEXANS" signs up all over the Valley.

Recently, I've been playing around with a little project and I have about finished it up. I am installing a WiFi Radio system that will enhance my reception of WiFi anywhere we are when we are traveling and I can use it to broadcast a "hot spot" of my own WiFi for guests when they visit us in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mainly, I got it for my own reception.  Many WiFi signals are so weak in campgrounds that the signal keeps dropping out; thus dropping us from the Internet.  That aggavates the heck out of me, so this should help. Plus I had FUN building it...

This is the Marine mast with the Omni 2.4, 12 db gain antenna mounted on top. The mast is easily folded over so it is laying down when traveling or not in use. The mast and antenna are a total of 8 ft high.  I put the mount at a close proximity of the ladder handrail because of the strength of the roof in that area. It is extremely stable and strong. The white block you see just a few feet ahead of the mast is a hand made PVC hold down for the antenna when it is folded down...

Above is a picture of the "Marine Mount".  It is made of nylon and is unbelievably strong. My friend Mark Bruss has a mast like this that he has been using for a couple years and I've seen it withstand some very heavy winds.  The neat thing is the manner in which it folds down so easily....just flip up the lever on the right and fold it down.  That's all there is to it.

Above is the "Radio".

I mounted the Deliberant 2.4 GHz High powered CPE 2 "Radio" right behind my King Dome. The Radio is connected to the Antenna by Coax, which was pre-made and came with the Antenna. I am thankful of that because I learned from previous experience installing "N" connectors on the coax for my Ham radio  antennas was TOUGH.  But it has been several years since I have been using them with 9913 semi hard line coax and they have no doubt improved them.  The unit is connected to our Cradlepoint MBR 1000 Router with smaller, easy to handle, CAT5 connector wire. Now it's ready for the "Smoke" test. I  will rely on my friend Mark Bruss for that and want to thank him very much for his help and guidance with this project.

This little project was about the extent of anything outside of the normal stuff this week.. We did ship out a couple PressurePro Systems and received a large stock order from the Company. It takes me quite a while to check and inventory the order along with boxing everything up and packaging it for shipment. Sure enough, we were short 6 of the small Rubber Duck antennas. Ms Pat called and reported the shortage and it was agreed they would ship them immediately.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Meanwhile we are planning on leaving in a few minutes on our 5TH Motorcycle ride in the Valley.  Where are we going? Oh, we have a couple options.  When we head out the gate we will make a quick decision and let you know where we end up.  It's getting mighty hard to find a different place to go, but we will just GO!!!! Might even end up at a Harley dealer...who knows!

God Bless you all....


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last Sunday's Bike the RGV. Nov.8,2009

View Bike ride to Harlingen, TX Nov 8, 2009 in a larger map

This was our 4th Sunday morning bike ride since we came here to the Rio Grande Valley in the deep south of Texas. Last Sunday we went North, then West. This Sunday we went North to Puerto Rico, then East to Raymondville and proceeded South on US Hwy 77 to Harlingen.  There we stopped at a large Texas Welcome Center at the junction of US 77 and US 83.

This is the most beautiful Welcome Center I have ever seen!  It was SUPERB. No wonder Texas doesn't have any money to spend on their State Parks.... they spend it all on Welcome Centers.  This one was out of the ordinary. Maps and brochures of points of interest in not only this area, but also every other area in Texas. The Patio area has a Garden that was like a well manicured top-rated hotel. A very pleasant stop.

From the Welcome Center in Harlingen, we proceeded Southeast for a short distance to San Benito, the home of the Road Runners Harley Davidson shop. It is right along Hwy 83, so we decided to stop. It seems if you ride a Harley, it is just custom to stop at all the Harley Shops that you are close to, look around, talk to people and see what's going on. Right Stu and Donna?  We found out that this is the home of the quite active chapter of the "Road Runners" H.O.G. group. (that's Harley Owners Group)
This Dealership is not a large one, as it is actualy a branch of the RGV Harley Davidson in McAllen. Ms Pat found a nice Harley Cap she liked and I found a Harley drinking glass that I just had to have.   Now I can drink in STYLE !  OH, it is so good to be back in the Harley corner.  I love it!  That Suzuki was just not ME.  Now I feel American....not that their aren't some other brands of nice bikes, but Harleys are just "AMERICAN" all the way.

It was threatening rain, in fact, it had been sprinkling off and on since we hit Raymondville, so we headed south on Hwy 509 after asking some of the locals for directions.  We got back down on US 281 and headed for home. We planned on checking out "Bibleville", a Bible study and Church RV Park in Alamo, Tx on the way home but it was getting late and it started sprinkling rain.  Plus, we were getting beyond our ride limit so we decided to call it a day with 180 miles chalked up. That was our LONGEST ride so far.  Wow!  Remember when 50 miles was our limit? It was another great ride.

Not a lot is happening around the home front here ar Retama Village, everybody is just kinda doing their own thing. Lots of Winter Texans are showing up here and in all the other RV parks down here in the Valley. They just seem to keep rolling in up until Jan 1st, hang around until March and then start heading out to other destinations.

I'm working on installing a new WISPs Wi-Fi radio system in the Teton. It's a fun project and will enhance our Wi-Fi reception when traveling and I can use it as a Hot Spot at our place in Custer so visiting friends can use it. So now, ya gotta come see us in the Beautiful Black Hills next summer.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by..


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday.. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bike trip Nov 1st to Los Ebanos, TX

Last Sunday morning was our 3rd Sunday Bike ride exploring the area. We traveled about 130 miles total. The weather was beautiful again and below is a map of the trip:

View Harley Ride to La Gloria, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos Ferry, Nov 1st, 2009 in a larger map

When we left our RV home in Retama Village in Mission, TX, we rode straight North on Texas Farm Road #651 to McCook, then up to Hwy 1017 and over to La Gloria. These are all very small towns with very few people. The picture below was our first stop at the junction in La Gloria at an old Service Station.

It was around 9:00am and we were about 40 miles into our trip....nice time for a short break and walk around. As you can see, at this time of the day on Sunday morning, there is very little traffic....a wonderful time for a ride in the country. This was again very, flat and wide open country. Not much to see but lots of fresh air and it's nice to get away from the "Concrete Jungle" around Mission.  From La Gloria we headed South on State Road 755 to Rio Grande City where we stopped and filled the Harley with gas. From there we headed east on busy highway 83 towards home.

On our way home, we had one more stop we wanted to make. We had heard about the "hand drawn" Ferry that crosses the Rio Grande River at Los Ebanos, TX.   Los Ebanos is about 16 miles West of Mission on Hwy 83 and 2-3 miles South, right on the Texas-Mexico border.  We wanted to see this famous Ferry Crossing....the only one left in existence.  A lot of Winter Texans take their bicycles down, load them on the Ferry and ride them around the little town of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.

It was starting to warm up and the sun was beating down, so we found a nice shade tree to park under and proceeded down to the Ferry.  This is a legitimate border crossing and there is a customs booth.  Walking down to the edge of the Rio Grande River border cost a mere 50 cents per person.  We didn't want to cross.... just walk down and watch the "muscle powered" Ferry   It was busy going back and forth across the river carrying 3 vehicles and several walking passengers.

The Ferry was loading from the U.S. side as we approached.  Soon the vehicles and a few pedestrains were loaded and headed across....

It dropped those off, picked up a load on the Mexican side and here they come back.  I would say the river is no more than 90-100 yards wide here.  They say it is about 15 ft deep in the middle.
(click on all pictures to enlarge)

Here is a picture of the MUSCLE powering the Ferry....

The owners then drive their vehicles off the Ferry and the passengers walk off and up to this little customs immigration check point. We didn't have to stop since we didn't cross. They were watching us very close tho!

This is a neat little attraction tucked way off the beaten path and would be hard to find if it were not for the "Historical Marker" signs on the winding streets of Los Ebanos.   Someday we will come back and take the Ferry over into Mexico and walk or ride our bicycles around the little border town.  I understand there is a good restaurant there, but I can't go the language barrier.  Oh, if I could only speak Spanish,,,,,I wish!!!

As we got ready to head on back home, I got a kick out of this Bumper Sticker I saw in the parking lot...LOL

We rode the last leg of our 3rd Sunday morning ride. This was the best ride so far.  Now today we're  planning another ride if the weather is good and it looks like it is.  Tune in next week to see if we made it and where we went. We've been, East, then West and last week North, where next? South is all that is left,,,,,,,NO WAY!!!! HOSEA!! (Jose).....?.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Remember to tell your kids you love them, they may not be around forever......

God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published Every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pat's Happy (Surprise) Birthday!!!!

Monday, as you know, was Ms Pat's Birthday. I won't tell you her age, but I'll give you her birth date...Nov. 2, 19**. Now if that makes it through my proof reader, I'll be surprised. I guess you know who proof reads this for me.......Lets see if it makes it!!!!

Monday afternoon at 4:00pm sharp, out of the clear blue, Dale Bruss came to our house and announced "Happy Hour will be at our place tonight". It's usually here at our place.  "Ah, Errrr, OK?" Ms Pat replied as she headed next door to our Daily "Happy Hour". Much to her surprise, this is what she saw:

A Surprise Champagne and Fruit Birthday Party.....Our friends were all there and waiting! What a SURPRISE, Ms Pat and I were Both completely surprised. Everyone sang Happy Birthday and made a toast to the Birthday Lady!!!

Pat's Great Friend Dale Bruss had arranged and set this entire deal up. Above is Dale and Ms Pat standing behind the Champagne and beautiful Fruit Bouquet........

This was a gorgeous "Edible Fruit Bouquet" and it was delicious!!! Grapes, Strawberries, all types of Melons, plus the Flowers were Pineapple. I've never seen anything like it.  Pat does not eat anything sweet or any type of desserts and she loves Champagne, so this "Hit The Spot"!!! What a wonderful gesture!  Dale you're a true friend and a sweetheart....Indeed!!!  The bowl contains "German" cookies furnished by Doug & Jutta Franks.

There you go JERRY,,,a picture of FOOD!!!!

More and more of our friends are pulling into Retama Village almost everyday. Rollie and Gina Thurston pulled in last night with their Big Black Volvo 770 and Excel 5TH wheel. Welcome guys!! To the rest of you, we are waiting!!!!  Travel Safe.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!

God Bless you all.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Did You Remember??? Time Change......

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back an HOUR before they went to bed last night. If not, you're one hour early this morning wherever you are, EXCEPT Arizona. I don't know if there are other states that don't change time or not, but I do know Arizona doesn't. Personally, I don't care one way or another, but if I did have my rathers, I wouldn't have it change. About all it does for us old folks is keep us confused. I don't know about most but this "Old Folk" is confused enough without having to change my time. It's bad enough when we are traveling and crossing all those different zones. But who cares what time it is,,,right??? I say it's "Happy Hour" somewhere!!!

We had some excitement in the Park Friday afternoon. Pat and I were returning from mailing out a PressurePro System and as we drove by our friends Greg and Bonnie's place, we noticed Bonnie was lying on her back in the grass and Greg was standing over her. I waved and Greg waved back...but right away I thought, "wait a minute"...somethings not right here. Bonnie's not getting up. I stopped, backed up and Ms Pat ran over to where Bonnie was lying. She had FALLEN off the ladder while cleaning their 5TH wheel. She couldn't move her left leg and was in extreme pain when she tried to move. Greg had already called 911 and the ambulance soon arrived. We helped load Bonnie into the Emergency Vehicle on a Back Board. The move about killed her.  That kind of pain usually means a broken bone.

Sure enough, she has a fractured left "femur" just below the hip. She's in the hospital and is in traction.  It will be Monday before she can have surgery.  We're not sure what the surgery will entail but it sounds like she has a good Orthopedic Surgeon taking care of her.   I please ask everyone to put Bonnie on your prayer list and pray for her to make a speedy recovery and that the Surgery goes well. Bonnie and Greg, you are both in our thoughts and prayers. Like we told you, if there is anything we can do to help in any way, please let us know.

I think we will take another Bike ride on the Harley this morning as soon as it gets daylight. Not sure where we will go....maybe North. That's about the only way we haven't been......we sure can't go too much further South.  :-)  Oh, what I wouldn't give for some nice hills and pretty forests to ride in.  That's not gonna happen, not around here, that's for sure.  But we are thankful we are healthy and are able to ride wherever we are.

I did get my camera back from Nikon. They sure took care of that fast and I'm glad to have it back.  Now if I can just get busy and find something interesting enough to take a picture of.  I'm not a good reporter.  I always think about taking a picture after the fact...duh!

It sure cooled off here the last couple of days.  Yesterday it was 48 deg when we got up....this morning it's 51. Now that's warmer than we had it all summer in the Hills, but we almost FROZE to death yesterday. We had on jackets, gloves, the whole works.  After almost 100 deg then it drops to 48...well, that's a shock to the ole' system. Our 4 mile walk yesterday morning was FAST, as we were walking extra briskly. We did it in just 60 minutes on the dot! We were movin'!

For some unknown reason, the Blogger editor menu in the bar up top has no way to publish pictures today. I don't know what happened to it, it's just GONE!!  Sorry, but no pictures this week. Maybe they will get it fixed soon.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna look at the map and find a place to ride this morning.

Congratulations to both the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Florida State Seminoles for winning their football games yesterday. We couldn't find either of them on TV, so we didn't get to watch.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you had more Treats than Tricks on Halloween! Remember when everyone used to have to set their OUTHOUSES back up after Halloween? I doubt many of you go back that far?? But some of us do!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Edit***PS. I forgot to tell you,,,,,Tomorrow (Nov 2) is Ms Pat's BIRTHDAY, Give her a shout!!! (shhhhhhh) hope she don't read this.....:-)


Loving life down here in Mission, TX.

This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..