Free Camping Areas Near Singleton NSW.


Slept very well and headed out after breakfast to do a day of photography for Caravan Park Photos.

My first stop was a rest area north of Singleton near the New England Highway. I then proceeded on to Jerrys Plains and photographed the Recreation Reserve. This was a nice area but the only downside was that there is a lot of traffic on the highway.

As I left Jerrys Plains heading for Warkworth I had to pull off the side of the road to allow a huge piece of mining equipment pass. It was one of the largest wide loads I’ve ever seen in my life.

I photographed the Jim Johnson Reserve at Warkworth which was again downgraded because of the traffic noise.

My next stop was to Bulga on the Putty Road where I photographed the camping area opposite the Tavern and also the Bulga Recreation Reserve which was the pick of all the sites I did today.

On my way back to Singleton I called in to Broke and photographed McNamara Park which is a large camping area with many spots and would probably be a very good place to stay.

I had a pie and hashbrowns for lunch when I returned to the caravan and a nap afterwards.

I went to Big W and purchased a set of flannelette sheets for $25 which was surprisingly good value. Later in the afternoon I called into Aldi and got 12 cartons of full cream milk.

At 4 PM I walked down to the Singleton Railway Station and stayed there until a large coal train went by. The trains pass by quite frequently and at high speed. It was a very nice enjoyable walk.

Watched an excellent documentary at night called Keeping Australia Alive which is about our marvellous health system. Did some work online and some reading before retiring at midnight.

Reducing Motor Cycle Accidents and Fatalities in Thailand

Article prepared and written by David Power.

You can grasp the extent of the problem at Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF) Thailand.

Anything you can do to publicize the problem especially the impact that 100% wearing of helmets would have on reducing deaths and brain injuries, would be great.

The Thai stats would be totally unacceptable in Australia, but Thai’s just live with it. They buy their kids new motorcycles, let them ride on the road with little training and at an age when their peripheral vision has not yet fully developed. It is the same as giving a primary school kid a loaded gun and letting them play with it.

All schools in Thailand need to be encouraged to adopt some sort of motorcycle safety program as the parents seem oblivious to the problem. I think it has something to do with the Buddhist philosophy on fate – “meant to happen”. But if you are not there – it can’t happen.

Why Thai Students Should Study Thai History

I received the following analysis of the crisis in Thailand from a friend of mine who regularly travels through south-east Asia:

“It seems that the Thai’s do not learn from the mistakes made in history because they are not required to study it. What they really need is history to be made a compulsory subject in all schools and also a central marriage registry so that a man cannot have many wives and families in different provinces. This will stop the corruption that exists on both sides of politics. Salaries and incomes are based on an individual only having one family. However, due to poverty, there are many women who are prepared to be the second wife. Corruption money is then needed to support the other families and the ones doing it are those who make the decisions including politicians, police and soldiers. They need a strong leader who can re-organise their society from the ground up.

The government of Thailand is in crisis at the moment. The opposition party has lost the last 9 elections. They have not won an election for 21 years. They were installed by the last military coup until the people told the army what to do with the army’s choice of government by electing Yingluck with an overwhelming majority. The opposition has effectively taken their bat and ball and gone home refusing to play anymore. The country is safe so long as you avoid the hotspots where the protesters are making trouble. If the pro-government crowds ever assemble the crowds will be twice as big. Yingluck has been doing a good job under the circumstances. If the Thais respect democracy they should wait and vote her out at the next election. If you start forming mobs to try and overturn an elected government that was elected by an overwhelming majority, you set the precedent for your own demise :- “Live by the sword – die by the sword.””

Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok Thailand

Do this after replacing the rocker gasket in a 1991 Mazda Astina

After you change the rocker gasket (valve cover gasket) in the Mazda Astina it is important to degrease and high pressure wash the engine. If you fail to do this and the engine remains oily then it not pass inspection for registration. The photo below shows the engine after it has been degreased and high pressure washed.


Arab Sheik to Buy Coffs Harbour Jetty

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O'Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.

Banana Republic aghast!

The infamous Coffs Harbour Jetty may fall info foreign hands following an announcement today by the El Presidente day of the Banana Republic in Coffs Harbour.

In a hurriedly convened press conference the President shocked reporters with the news that negotiations are well advanced with a wealthy Arab Sheik who has indicated a keen interest in this historical piece of real estate.

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien from a Persian Gulf Emirate has been in Coffs Harbour this week personally supervising negotiations.

Sheik O’Brien told reporters that the Jetty would provide an ideal shipping terminal for the export of life sheep, chickens, rabbits, kangaroos, politicians and women.

“The Australian Government has been obstinate and uncooperative,” he said, “I bargained for more than four months to buy Circular Quay and got nowhere. I just went round and round in circles”.

Confidential information leaked to the press through a crack in the Jetty piers reveals something of the intrigue that has flavoured these unusual negotiations.

The Jetty was put on the market by the Banana Republic Navy for the sum of $250,000. Sheik O’Brien has driven a hard bargain and sort deductions for rust in the cranes ($85,000), pier rot ($62,500), lack of a suitable railway station to go with the train lines ($47,500) and the removal of two dead fishermen from the jetty shed ($54,999.90). The Navy finally excepted of the price of ten cents as reasonable.

The sale of the Jetty will be by private treaty. A suggestion that it should be auctioned was rejected as it was feared that the fall of the hammer would reduce the Jetty to splinters.

Sheik O’Brien has made no secret of the fact that he considers the Jetty a available piece of real estate. “The oil reserves in the old cranes have enormous value,” he said, “In an energy-starved world every drop counts. Australians take a very casual view of oil. They wipe millions of dollars off their dipsticks each year.”

Outspoken on oil.

The Sheik was outspoken on the subject of oil. “We need to explore new untapped resources,” he asserted. “People should plant olive groves throughout Republic to produce olive oil. Furniture castors should be melted down to create castor oil. The philosophy of ‘I’m oil all right mate’ was very laissez-faire”.

Asked if he played any major changes the Sheik she said that he had great visions of what the Jetty could become and these are shown in the sketch below.

Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)
Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)

Research has shown that very few Sheiks own Jetty’s. This fact alone will exalt Sheik O’Brien in the eyes of his pier group.

Australian authorities have show little interest in the rumoured purchase. Rumours have been circulating the BHP are interested in acquiring the iron oxide in the Jetty cranes for smelting purposes.

One of the key factors emerging from the deal is that the Sheik will inherit a 200 kilometre fishing zone around the Jetty this will also include fishing rights in swimming pools and creeks throughout the republic as far west as Thora.

If the Sheik successfully acquires the Jetty that he will enlist his harem to check the piers for banana rot.

Sheik to expand his harem.

The Sheik plans to bring ten of his harem with him to Coffs Harbour. We will set up a desert tent on the Jetty from which he plans to recruit local women as wives. Unsuccessful candidates will be dropped over the side into the sea.

The President would not be drawn into detailed discussions but was quick to rebut the argument that the Jetty had any sentimental value for the people of Coffs Harbour. He merely described it as “an interesting piece of real estate with an ocean view”.

The above article was published in the satirical newspaper “Revolutionary Times – the Newspaper of the Banana Republic” on Thursday 12th June 1980. The Banana Republic was the most successful tourism promotion ever devised by Coffs Harbour and it conceived by Paul McKeon who was Tourism Director in the early 1980’s. The part of the Sheik was played by Keith O’Brien.

Revolutionary Times - The Newspaper of the Banana Republic.  Article published on 12th June 1980.
Revolutionary Times – The Newspaper of the Banana Republic. Article published on 12th June 1980.