Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Mapping out the Derby Canal route - 360 degree photographs, Drone flights all on an Interactive accurate map.

 Mapping out the original Derby Canal route – Current project

I started this project on 13th April.

Back in 2011 I created a custom Google map of the entire route of the Derby Canal network, I added links to bridges, lock etc and this was very popular but in 2020 I accidentally deleted my Derby canal map. Custom Google maps live in your Google Drive, but I didn’t know that and had emptied the drive out and it was more than 30 days since I had realised this so the option to recover the map from the trash was not possible.

I had a few people contact me to say that links to my map were not working so I decided to recreate the map again, It took 6 hours to get the basic structure in place. This new map is a lot better than my original, better organised, and even more accurate.

Technology has improved so much since 2011, I thought it would be good to go even further with this project, I am a specialist Google Street View contributor, Street View Trusted Photographer and Level 7 Google Local Guide, Keen photographer and Drone flyer so started doing a number of things.

Most of the former Derby Canal route is not on Google Street View, a lot of this is now cycle paths and I thought it would really help if I used my 360 degree camera to survey the entire route for Google Street View, this would mean that people could virtually walk along the old canal route. This would help promote the work that the Canal society have done on the route with regard to restoration and also help visualise where it ran.

Google Street View shows up as a continuous blue line overlaid on Google Maps, it allows you to walk along a route by clicking on the white arrows in 3M jumps, you can also use the cursor keys to do this.

I have been able to accurately mark out the route by using a great website that overlays old maps on Google Maps with a sliding fader so you can work out the precise route the Derby canal took. I used two computers next to each other with two large screen and marked out the custom route on one while moving the other map and fading between the old and new maps so I could transfer my location data onto the other computer.


I started surveying the Derby Canal on 16th April, the section between Borrowash and Spondon. Then I thought it would be handy to also use my drone to fly the route to make an informative video. It’s a lot clearer from up in the air to see the route of the Derby canal and where it used to flow.

One of my Derby Canal series videos :

So what started out as just recreating my map has now ballooned into a very large project that will take a few months to complete but it’s a great project to work on, helping promote the restoration of the Derby Canal.

As of 25th April I have surveyed the entire route for Google Street View from Sandiacre lock all the way to Station Road, Spondon. That’s 6 Miles worth so far. There is just a small section between Ullickers bridge and Rovings Drive that needs to be redone as its not showing with a blue line yet (most likely poor GPS data due to trees).

As well as Google Street View I have captured lots single 360 degree photographs in certain places, these are known as Google Photo Spheres and show up on Google maps as a single blue dot. 

And then I realised I could create high resolution 360 Google Photo Spheres using my drone, I use my drone to take 26 photographs in a sphere and stich them together to make a high-resolution photograph 399 foot in the air above the canal, these really help show off the route of the Derby Canal.

One of my amazing 400 foot high 360 degree views over the canal :

My intention is to carry on with my mapping project until I have completed the entire Derby Canal route including the Little Eaton branch. Obviously, there are large parts in the Centre of Derby that I won’t be able to survey as they are built over. And things have been demolished such as Long Bridge over the river Derwent.

So if your interested in discovering where exactly the Derby Canal used to run then check out my interactive Derby Canal map. I have marked every single lock, bridge etc. I have a large and ever-growing collection of 360 degree photographs along the route allowing you to look in all directions.

To keep up to date with my Derby Canal mapping project, follow me on Twitter and Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

My Derby Canal mapping links :

My accurate interactive Derby Canal Map of the original route

My YouTube playlist of Derby Canal videos, Flights and Then and nows.



Tuesday 15 September 2020

Derby Arboretum "A viewpoint" by Andy Savage. Britain's first public park

To celebrate the 180th birthday of Derby Arboretum (park) I have made this little video. For me the this amazing park is all about the trees so I have tried to film some of the trees up close and personal. I have used a mixture of filming techniques to create this, hopefully you will like it.

I have used a 360 degree camera on an extremely long selfie stick allowing me to get shots from 5 Metres up in the air. If you enjoyed my film then please like and leave a comment. Music Credits : Breathe by Roary Equipment used : Insta360 One X, 3M Carbon Fibre Extension pole. Software used : Insta360 Studio 2020, Sony Vegas Pro 17 Thanks Andy
https://twitter.com/AndySavage1969 #DerbyArbo2020

Friday 12 June 2020

Home Disco lighting system using lasers, DJ lights and smoke machine for a small cost.

Are you missing going clubbing at the weekend? Did you know its easy to recreate some of that weekend feeling by getting DJ lighting and smoke machine, these items can be purchased quite cheaply. In this video I had a go at creating a good lighting system as cheap as possible.

or use this link to go to my video about my home disco lighting.

 I have provided links to the products so YOU can create the same thing in your home.
The video shows you how the different lights look in different amounts of smoke.

You can see that the lights are set out in my Kitchen with footage of before I set the smoke machine off so you can see the difference that makes to the look. Near the end of the video I have demonstrated how each of the lights look when set to sound-activated mode. I have projected them onto my white ceiling.

Here are the direct links to the items you can see in my video, all of these are from Amazon :
The GVOO Laser light was best one by far with some amazing patterns created by the red and green lasers and also the RGB LED in the unit and at only £26.99 a bargain.

Smoke Machine.
ADJHeavy Density Fog Juice,5L for the above. 
Disco Lights, Gvoo Sound Activated Party Light LED Stage Projector 6 Colours 24 Patterns.
LED Disco DJ Party Lights Sound Activated Colorful Rotating Lighting Effect.
OMERIL Sound Activated Disco Ball Lights.
GEELIGHT DMX512 RGB LED DJ Party Light Sound Actived Color Stage Lighting.

The game changer was the introduction of the Smoke machine, that only cost £45 from Amazon. The fogging liquid this uses is a water based liquid rather than Glycol so doesn’t leave an oily residue so its fine to run in your home. It only takes a couple of busts of smoke to fill an average living room. Remember this is not a large nightclub environment so doesn’t need as much.

In my video I have only used a total of 6 lights and yet I’m sure you will agree it looks amazing.
I have used 3 Laser lights. These are sound-activated or can be set to auto-run. The remote controls allow you to adjust the patterns, speed and choose red or green or red and green lasers.

One of the Laser lights has an additional bright RGB LED in it which adds to the effects.

One of the lights had DMX control but also has auto mode so you don’t need to buy a DMX controller.

One point worth mentioning is don’t use the smoke machine in a room which has smoke alarms on the ceiling as they will get set off ! You could alternatively put a plastic bag over them or take them down but you must remember to reinstate them after!

If you have followed my guide and bought some of these lights from Amazon and created your own system post your video in the comments.

Andy (aka Comedyhunter)