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Old 05-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #621
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Y'know, when I'm with my son, all the worries melt away to nothing. Such a great feeling to be a proud dad. Copterboy Jnr...first solo flight

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Old 05-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #622
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:27 PM   #623
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CB2 is a good looking kid! That's what it's all about, Denis. Enjoy every moment.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:44 PM   #624
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very cool Denis , keep the good work jr.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #625
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Cool, he looks just the part there Denis. I expect he'll soon be giving you a run for your money.

Cheers

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Old 05-13-2013, 09:06 PM   #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copterboy View Post
...Work is slow to pick up, and my van is currently off the road.

After having a break to sort my house and heli's out, my bank account is empty, as is my workload until beggining of July. The monthly bills are mounting up again, and I need to get some more maintenance work done on the van, not to mention renewing insurance, MOT and Road Tax this month

So this week, if I can't get an emergency loan I will probably sell the van and cancel the only job I have booked. Otherwise, I will keep going until the job is finished at beggining of August and then start looking for a normal job with more regular hours again. One thing I never realised becoming a tradesman, is that you often find yourself juggling about 4 quotes at once, and on average you only win one of the jobs. I find I can spend all my evenings working on quotes, only to find you win the smallest job and the big jobs go elsewhere. So I do not earn enough to make a comfortable living.
Read this a couple of days ago, but was too harried to sit down and answer properly, and this isn't a light issue. Such are the pitfalls of being self-employed, Denis, no way around them Especially when you lose focus for a moment, what I feel happened with your house rebuild project, it's very easy to lose the workload. Sometimes even when you stay focus the workload thins out. And yes, you need to quote a few jobs to get one. But no, the big jobs don't always land elsewhere, they're statistically less frequent, that's all, but you should land them every once in a while. They're what makes self-employment hassle and effort worth it and allow you sometimes to make an annual wage in one quarter. When you don't get them ever, you have a perception problem, people think you don't have capacity to do them so they don't seriously consider you for the big jobs, it happens to all of us all the time, just on different levels. This perception doesn't need to relate to your technical capability, it could be simply related to their perception of you being a small outfit having a limited processing capacity. If that's the case, you need to start working on this. The simplest way is to associate yourself with someone in the same field as yours that you trust and simply subcontract part of the job. The more complex, but probably inevitable route if you are serious about growing is to higher a helper first, then another, then train one of them enough to be able to do a complete job, you catch my drift? Took me 5 years to train 2 engineers to my liking and get my customers to trust them enough to accept me sending one of them on the jobs formerly done by myself personally. Now I'm at another bump: some customers think I would provide a better service if I could do complete turnkey projects with less involvement of their personnel, but that would mean I would need at least 2 electricians to wire electrical cabinets both at home and in the field. Decisions, decisions, and each wrong one will cost you a very depleted bank account...

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As my boy is getting older, I want to spend more time with him. I feel the only way to gurantee that is by changing jobs. So if I am not forced to do it this week. Then I will be working towards it around August. Shame, as I really enjoy the variety and creativity of the work, it's just not paying enough.
Not that incompatible wish even if you want to grow staying self employed. You won't get more time with your son if you get a steady job, it will only be more regular. If you can work out a situation when you can spent more time with your boy flexibly when you're in between the jobs, you'll actually be able to spend more time with him staying self employed. I don't do this with my kids, because they live too far and schedules are rigid, but I do it with my wife; I easily spend 6-8 weeks each year with Mrs. P. on romantic gateways, many of them spur-of-the-moment week-long things.

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Y'know, when I'm with my son, all the worries melt away to nothing. Such a great feeling to be a proud dad. Copterboy Jnr...first solo flight


Looking good, Dad, but would you just frigging stop smoking in front of the poor kid?
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:06 AM   #627
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Jerry, thanks. I don't take that as critisism, I see it as good advice.

Funny, as I sit here and start writing this, I have the TV on in the background with the news on. Just heard a report about how the construction industry has struggled in the 1st quarter of this year, the cold weather being the main contributing factor I don't think the cold weather was the issue for me, but it did hold up my home project a bit. I worked through it in 4 layers of clothes when I had to!

It is more specific to my circumstances, and life history of the last 10/20 yrs. Plus the fact that at large % of people in the UK domestic market are unrealistic about how long good work takes, and tiling is not considered as important as say a fully qualified gas safe plumber or electrician. Even though I'm handling goods that often cost as much as a certified trademan would charge. Plus the expectancy of a good finish. Hard to do competitively, when sub floors and walls are always out, and the customers are unrealistic about the preparation required to level things out before fixing commences. Some people spend so much on tiles, they want to pay as little as possible for the fixing. Tiling is one of the last slices of the cake on a building project. I was once told if you want to make good money in construction, you need to be higher up the pecking order, to get a bigger slice of the cake. Starting to beleive that was true.

I said I would give this 5yrs to see how it goes, and I'm now into yr 4 to 5, and learnt alot about being a tiler. I would definately still be self employed, if it means I can change to less physical work. Engineering, IT, Electronics for example. Dryer, warmer and more indoor based work. There are other trades that are less phsically demending, but these career paths would probably need further study or training. Having dry skin from mixing cement based products, getting wet in the cold when cutting tiles, mixing adhesive and grout, getting cuts from sharp tiles means rough hands. Wet feet and long hours with safety boots on, also take's it's toll on your foot hygene. Potential put off's for any future Mrs.CB

I am in a pickle, but I am thinking long term upto retirement. The physical demands of this job are taking their toll on me too. Some of it due to battering myself in my late teens and twenties when skateboarding and snowboarding. I think my body will be shot with back and knee problems if I carry on till I'm 50. God knows how I'll get on in another 10/15 yrs upto retirment age. As much as I enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, I just feel now that this is the wrong kind of work for me, not neccessarily that self employment is wrong for me.

As for the boy, I don't smoke infront of him. That is the kind of behaviour I know goes on from his mother. This period of being skint is the kick up the backside I needed to try giving up again, so I am working on that and going out on my mountain bike again, trying to get a little healthier. The relationship with the ex never settled down, and she is still as obstructive and defiant as she was 3 yrs ago when we first separated. I've just had to learn to ignore her critisisms and blocking request for access. So I now just want to concentrate on building a better future for my son and myself, even if it means forcing her to co-operate through the courts.

I managed to get some funding to sort the van out, but that is going to take about a week at least. I'm waiting for my mechanic this time, think I've been ripped off every time I needed work doing on it the past 2 yrs. Mostly because my mechanic has been so busy, I had work on and couldn't wait for him. At least I know I won't get ripped off by this guy, although I know it does need at least 3 jobs doing, plus the annual service, MOT and road tax, still a hefty bill
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:51 AM   #628
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Denis, I feel for you, my friend. I'm probably the very last person you should take advise from, so I'll just give a few words of wisdom.

As you get older, life doesn't get easier, only harder.
You find yourself working more just to keep up with the basic bills. Seems you can never get ahead.
Your body starts to fail you. Every damn year it's something new. Old injury's come back to haunt you.
Stress really starts to take it's toll. This then starts a cascading effect on both your mental and physical health.

It all sounds bad, and it is. However, that's why God gave us children. It really becomes a driving force. Watching them explore their world, learning new things, all with an open mind, teaching them all they need to know.
It's really the glue that holds everything together.

You got a beautiful son, take your joy in that. Spend as much time with him as you can give him.

The job thing is always a bitch. One thing for sure, you will never become rich working for somebody else.
The trick is in getting all the education you can. The more you have, the more you can command for a wage.
Take some courses and set some goals, both short term and long term.

Only thing I know for sure is that the next time around I want to be born a trust-fund baby.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:01 AM   #629
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Again, appreciate you sharing your thoughts Tom. I can only add you guys should not worry for me, suppose I am just going open source on some career advice. I trust you guys and know there is alot of knowledge and wisdom here. I am thinking more towards further learning in the long term, its just the short term that is still a little uncertain.

The only thing grinding my gears at the moment is I can't go fly Didn't really plan on much this week as the weather forecast wasn't looking to promising. But it is actually a bit warmer than predicted, and showers fewer and further inbetween. Hoping to get out at some point and get the 450 confirmed as airworthy again. Should find time for the 600 in the next day or two also.

Have taken to sorting some tools out, tidying the van up and doing a bit more DIY! Clearing out the decks - tidy house = tidy mind. Decided to get them spares up on ebay. Not for my debts though. Hoping the sales will fund a BX FBL unit and DFC head for the 450
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #630
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Can't give you any career advise Denis, other than to say, don't waste your time with general IT, one of the possibilities you mentioned. It is a dying and unecessary skill, if one can even call it a skill these days.

IT wages are some 25% down over the past 5 or 6 years, in general, and revenue per head is down about 20% over the same time, which I suppose accounts for the wages. Starting from a position of effectively being responsible for everything IT related for our client I am now simply a PC delivery boy, man, old man. In our organisation all first line support is outsourced to Poland. 2nd line to France or India, and we are left at third line, effectively dealing with physical defects, which are fixed as under warranty repairs by the manufacturer, leaving us with nothing to do.

Worse, servers and PCs are soon to be a thing of the past anyway, as applications and data are fast heading into the cloud, and managed in huge data farms. With PCs changing to small solid state devices, of many types, but for example all of the many flavours of devices like the ipad, etc. I watch the changes happening on a daily basis. Unless you can get into IT management, or governance, or suddenly become a very high tech guy, who is specifying these systems at a very high level, then there is no place for a typical IT bod.

Every month we lose another server, and another support possibility. I am a dying breed, and am doomed, for which I am eternally grateful. Soon, less than 5 yrs, I will be redundant, and for me it cannot come soon enough, but someone thinking of setting out on this path might get a shock as to the terms and conditions they are likely to be offerred.

Cloud orchestration is the growth area, and amounts to being able to offer consultancy as to how a company might effectively migrate their existing systems into the cloud. If you think you could do something like that, then you will have a role for a few more years, 5 at least I should think. Difficult to get into at that level though, I would think, and there are many specialist companies out there already offering this service, including my employer.

Maybe you know of an area of IT that you could go into but personally I can't even be bothered looking.

As for the weather, well you could have fooled me. The whole weekend was appauling. Cold, windy, and on occasion wet. Didn't fancy oging out with anything other than a full blown 3D 450, of which I now have none. Think I might buy another one.

Cheers

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Old 05-15-2013, 05:17 AM   #631
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Interesting read Sutty. Seems that even IT is not what it used to be. But if I do go that way even for the short term, I can take your advice with me. I guess the industry is not so much in decline, but how and where the work is done is whats changing. Have seen it happening in other sectors of UK industry over the past 10 yrs, outsourcing and redundancies being common place (I used to work in payroll). Saw it happening to the names on the payroll first, then it happened to myself and other colleagues. Call centres and the database servers moving to India etc. Coupled with the immigration issue, it does not surprise me that our country has suffered an economical recession and uncertainty the past few years. Simply too many people sucking on the welfare state, whilst some of the work that raises the taxes to fund it is being given away to developing countries! Not helped by the fact it seemed more than half the country was living on the limit of their borrowing capacity, which kicked it all off with the credit crunch.

I hope now this is becoming more apparent and more of an issue to the lower and middle classes (hence the recent UKIP gains in elections), that the UK economy will settle down again and confidence will return eventually. But it leaves me wondering if there will be many skilled jobs left to do in this land?

So for me, I've got 27 yrs till retirement, sod all of a pension, a child and no savings. I will probably inherit a retirement fund, but I appreciate nothing in life is guranteed. At least I have the airport nearby, which is ok for agency employment working airside, but usually some shift work involved. Plenty of driving jobs, which have more fixed hours. Don't think I would do baggage handling because of concerns over my back, and again shift work. Once I get into some regular work again, I will start planning some further study and get back to more of a career job upto retirement. Hopefully, that will build up my own pension fund a little incase current retirement plans do not go as expected.

So for now, I need to try and keep this going until my next booking in about 4 weeks time. Still waiting for it to be confirmed and get the deposit, so I could still have that job pulled from under me. If that happens, I will probably jump ship sooner, instead of trying to prolong it and getting into more debt. I have just quoted for a couple of bathroom jobs, that may fall into place after this next job in 4 weeks time. However, if nothing happens then I will pull the plug and sell the van. At least if I get it road worthy, it will be worth about 1k extra.

Anyway, the rain has definately hit the south side of manchester now Sutty. Started when I first read your reply yesterday, and it's not stopped since We were lucky over here the last few days, just missed a thunderstorm by a mile or 2 on Monday, and Sunday the rain didn't start until much later in the day than predicted! Keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #632
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So, after another hour or so scratching my head, I think I might have cracked it.

Something dawned on me after watching Bob's vid earlier. He talked about the holes on top of the blades grips for inserting lube...eureka possibly!! His bearings etc were already pre-assembled when he opened the pack, so it didn't cover the heating of the grips etc. So after he puts the head and grips together, he then goes and puts a few drops of light machine oil inside. I've never done this. I thought the correct thing to do was pack the middle thrust bearing out with grease?

So I put a few drops in, not re-adjusted the feathering shaft screws yet, and now I can turn the grips with my fingers, where-as pre-lubrication I had to use my wrist to exert a greater force to get them moving. Really hoping it's something that simple!!

Feeling confident it will make a difference and maybe I won't need the other guys help now, so I will go upto the club on my own tomorrow and put another tank through it at least.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #633
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Another tank put through it, and it's still not working.

After the drops of oil, I did a qiuck test flight in the garden. It seemed marginally better, so I thought, ok I'll go to the club and try it. So I go down on my own, and get setup, started and spooling up. I get flying but it soon becomes apparent the problem is not resolved. I would hit full throttle/positive pitch and the heli would still be hovering, then all of a sudden shoot up again. Plus it felt like the cyclic was sticking, whilst I was changing pitch. So that meant the flybar is not loose enough, and there is interaction with pitch also affecting cyclic

So I concluded the oil on the thrust bearings alone didn't do the trick, there is more to it than that. I found another way it doesn't work.

I also decided to put a few drops of oil on the 2 pins from the bottom of the rotor head, incase the washout base was binding against them. Also a couple of drops on the washout base/shaft and swashplate/shaft, just to try and ensure everything slides up and down as freely as possible.

Really struggled to bring it down at one point, and hit the tail on landing, but luckily I managed to get away without any damage. So I checked over the head and links again, and realised I forgot to re-size the links and some of them are really bad around the flybar and pitch control Surely this must be it!! Didn't take any spare balls to scratch up so I couldn't do that fix at the field.

Plus checking the links again, I found the push/pull lever for the tail servo pitch control had come loose, and I had no threadlock to secure it. Was tempted to film how bad it was with chestcam, and hold the TX up in front of the lens, but my camera battery was dead, I was not happy about the loose link, and I still had stiff balls. Decided things were not meant to be today, and packed up and came home again.

I am on the verge of pulling this kasama head off, but even after another failed attempt, I feel I am on the verge of solving this little mystery.

I will take my time to re-assemble the head one more time, re-size the links and give it one more try. Then if there is no success next time, it will be time to upgrade to the align head
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:03 PM   #634
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Denis, I'm wondering if it might be the feathering shaft itself is a little short?
No clue what to tell you.

'Stiff balls', I hate when that happens!
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:59 AM   #635
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Sorry to hear your work situation is going smoothly for you Denis, life really can be a bitch.
I've been working for myself with my brother since I left Uni. Luckily we had no bills to pay as we were living with the parents. This was a huge help for us to get started as we got away with paying ourselves only 250-500 pm for a few years as to not drain the company.
However we are now both engaged, moved out and bought a house and got more expensive cars so we needed a pay rise and things become more stressfull!

For the last 2-3 years now I have been working with only the odd weekend off, and going j to work at 8-9am and getting home after midnight. The turnaround time that people want for custom built projects is just insane! The stress is ridiculas, a number of times I've worked 3 days and nights all through with no more than an hours nap to make sure a project is completed and working ontime.
It takes it's toll, and I have genuinely thought about just leaving it and getting another job so I can just do something regular with a consistently good wage. Then I start to think about it and look into it more, do I really want to do the same thing every single day for the rest of my working life? Sit at a desk doing Cad design, or stand programming a CNC mill all day? He'll no - I want diversity and the choice to do something different every day. One day I can be CAD designing, then I can be fabricating some fancy looking art piece, to sitting in the sun with TV presenters waiting for a film crew to turn up, and the most enjoyable is sitting down scratching my head for hours on end thinking how the F**K can we make this almost impossible project work!

I looked into jobs in F1, aerospace, CNCprogramming and realised that for anywhere that's going to give me the lifestyle I want then the long hours, the stress and everything else is still going to be there, but your just doing all that work for someone else, and you'll get annoyed that the companies making money and you don't get the pay rise to match, your boss is a knob head and you can't go on holiday more than once a year! Even worse, at the end of it all you have nothing to show unless you've saved hard!

I figured these early years of a company, atleast the first 10 are going to be a major struggle, huge stress and not the best of wages, but in the end when the bigger money starts coming in then not only am I making more money, but my company value is shooting up too. That's where my retirement fund is!
The stress will never go away, it can be made lighter by having staff take some of those areas off your hands, but when your hard earned cash, or even reputation is involved there will always be stress, you just need a way to try and work through it.

My line of work is probably even worse than yours for quoting. I'd say 1 in 10 big jobs fall through, maybe more than that. And for us it's not because they got it cheaper elsewhere as no one else can do a lot of the things we can. People are un realistic in what they want and how much it's going to cost, and how quick they can have it!
They often think that designing and creating something for a fancy PR campaign or TV show that has never been done before is simple and can be ready next week. They might show us a video of something similar been done before and so think its easy. They don't realise that's a university been working on it for 10 years and it still barely works! When you explain the development costs alone they all jump ship! It's so frustrating for us as in our line of work it takes such a huge amount of research and time to even develop a quote as things are so different, and that can be a week gone on 1 job that never came through (happened a few times). When the company costs is over 5k a month just to turn over that's a lot of money lost.
One of the reasons we lost one of our largest quoted jobs (over 150k) was because the company researched us and found out how small we were and lost confidence. That was such a kick in the teeth and I know that it's a stumbling block that HAS to be turned around to start bringing in jobs of that size. In the end I realise its all about perception! We now make ourselves sound and look like a multi million company where it's needed, from having a fancy number plate (ROBOT) on the Van's and nice logo's on it, to making sure we have the biggest possible stand we can at Gadget Show Live every year (larger than Panasonic, Samsing and Game put together!).
When going for meetings I don't invite clients back to our place, we travel to London to see them the next day whilst things are still fresh in their minds. And above all we bend over backwards to make sure we can do work in such ridiculas timescales.

I'm passionate about what I do, and even though it gets you close to breaking point I feel it's sooo worth pushing for. If you can do the same and push through the hard times, bending over backwards to be able to start new jobs at the flick of a switch then I'm sure you will be one successful.
One thing I do a lot is to look at our companies approach to clients by looking through their eyes. If I had 2 guys come to quote for my bathroom tiling, one in a stereotype white van, the usual builders outfit covered in plaster etc, and one comes in a squeaky clean can, logo's , maybe images etc, and comes in tidy clothes, something tells me I would always be more confident in the latter person. They might quote way more, but that initial impression tends to make my mind up anyway. I'm not saying that's your problem, but its really worth looking at things from their perspective.

I hope things improve
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:13 PM   #636
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Funny to find this thread re-opened with talk about careers etc. however, It did tweak my interest, as I am just reviving my heli flying after a 6 month spell.

I hope things improve Denis, as I can relate because I was self-employed for 13 years, but got out once too much competition in IT service and sales. I had a good run for the most part. I have been working in IT (past 10 years ) as Hosting Manager for a large state -government body here, and as Sutty says, it is again looking like i need to find a new career, as most in-house data-centres are moving to the cloud. I am due to retire in about 5 years, so, maybe I can hang on and stay employed by assisting with the migrations.. then I might try consulting !!

I went up to the Coffs Harbour HeliFest 2013 last week for a flying visit for one day .. and it was just a great day.. lots of flying to watch etc. I did not take any heli's up !1
I did buy a new set of nice bright green KDBB FBL blades for my FBL 600 , so I guess i'm really going to have to get back into heli flying now... no more excuses.
I have just about flown and crashed every type and size of plank in the last 6 months.. so its time go get back on the heli horse !!

I'll start to post again as soon as I have any progress to report.. !!
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:31 AM   #637
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Good to hear from you Chris. Thanks for your input, and to Grant even more so. Gives me a good idea of whats going on in the UK aswell as globally.

Same with me at the moment. Not had anything to report other than my van got a flat tyre. The spare had no tread plus the sidewalls are cracked, so is dangerous to drive on and also needs replacing. So I'm just facing another 120 bill, with only 1 days work this week, which won't pay the bills and will only be enough for food Plus the big job I'm due to start on the 10th has been delayed by 2 weeks, so now I got to try and fill that gap with only 2 weeks notice!! Think me my mum, dad and Jack are going away for a few days next week, so just looking forward to that.

I appreciate what Grant is saying about being self employed having it's advantages. I'm not saying I won't remain self-employed, I think I have just realised that being in the building game at this level is not for me.

My reasons being :-
Medical/Hygene
Cement burns on hands, plus numerous small cuts from sharp edges, makes for rough hands, red peeling skin. We are advised to wear gloves to protect against it, but I find gloves more of a hinderance. Can't grip stuff properly or do detailed work, plus the cement tainted water still splashes and will get on your hands anyway.

Smelly feet from wearing boots all day, working in the wet and cold. Honestly, after 12-13hrs graft - they stink!! I do try to air them when I have a break, but it makes little difference being out of the house and on the road for that many hours.

Wearing a hat to sheild from the cold. Captures moisture from my head sweating, and I have an existing problem with my ears. The trapped moisture from wearing a hat seems to contain the moisture in my ear canal. The combination of moisture and dust/dirt accumulating, seems to cause an almost constant ear infection. The infectious green discharge stinks, which is a concern for me and also another turn off for the ladies.

I lost an old friend (44) earlier this year who was in the building game from school. He had emphseema (sorry about the spelling), doctors told him it was probably caused from working in dusty environments on building site's. I just found out this week that Avant Girls dad, 54 (who has also been in building game 20+yrs) has just been diagnosed with it also. He been told he has 12 months to live, however, my other friend was told the same and actually lasted 3 yrs from diagnosis. So I have another reason wanting to get out - I just don't want to be in a job where there is a high risk I could catch a fatal diesease. Want to be around for as long as possible for my son, which is why I'm determined to quit the ciggies also.

Then there is the financial and lifestyle reasons I've already mentioned. Being a dad, wanting more regular hours, a weekly or montly salary, holiday pay and maybe even some sickness pay or pension thingy's.

I obviously backed the wrong horse when it came to starting a family. It's seems to me in most cases that successful self-employed people always have good support or understanding from their family or partner. This was another mistake I made. I was told I would get the support I needed to be self employed to put the hours in, when I was with Jacks mum. Almost as soon as I found out my ex was pregnant, she went back on the promises she made when we agreed to start a family and thus my life has been a bit of rollercoaster ever since. Suppose I'm just really feeling the need to get on with things so I can give my son what he needs, as he gets older.

So, for now I have decided that once this next big job is out of the way (about 6 weeks from now), I will finish up any other bookings I get and start applying for alternative employment.

Not having the van on the road again, means I can't go to the club, so I not even had the motivation to look over the 600 again. I will come back to it soon, but for now I'm just focusing on trying to find work and get some new tyre's!! Then I can start to think about the hobby again.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:44 AM   #638
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yes mate, I feel for you....
You know that no matter what you have your health and your family.. so what .. helicopters are a great hobby... but at the end of the day.. you are young.. you can always come back to it later in life... if it is too hard now.. give it a miss for a 6 months.. re-organise your life and come back to your passion later...
I am pushing 60 now.. and I only started a few years ago... amd just had a 6 months break from my passion..
I reckon I will still be flying something till the day I die but I would never let hobbies surpass my family ...
give it a rest for a while till things are better... we will all be here to see you re-invent yourself soon.. !! that what mates are for buddy !!


Hope to hear from you in the future mate !!

keep it upright ?
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