GoPro has a new Hero 5

This camera has accessories that fly. Literally. 

GoPro HERO5 Black
GoPro Camera

I have a history with GoPro. It has been a love love relationship. GoPro fills the niche of a rock solid action camera that can fit anywhere. I have used GoPro's to video waterparks, paintball, podcasts, concerts, sermons, time lapse, the sunrise, Jiu Jitsu, and a host of other events.  GoPro's have proven durable, compact, waterproof, and flexible.

This GoPro Hero 5 has surpassed them all. My favorite feature is the image stabilization. When I move this little camera around it uses the stabilization to smooth out the movement. For those of you that mount the camera to something mobile like a bike or an ATV, will find this function very useful. 

GoPro has taken this camera to the next level by making it the staple of the newly released gimbal and Karma Drone. Yes this thing can fly and fly well. The gimbal and drone are deserving of their own write up so I will be brief. The gimbal can be used in hand or brilliantly integrated into the drone. Any way you look at it GoPro has really out done itself. 

If you are still looking for a reason to get one consider the price point because at $399 this little camera is a real hero.  

Spare the Rod Shimano FXC 2 Piece

I literally work on the water and I see Redfish, Gar, Flounder, Stingray, Black Tip Sharks, and Trout every day. This 2 piece rod gives me a chance to reel them in while I'm waiting for my next orders. 

If you're an outdoors enthusiast like me you enjoy having the chance to sit out in nature. I work on the coast anchoring large crude oil tanker ships, and barges everyday. As I'm out on the water I am constantly fighting the urge to fish. Of course I can't fish during a job or on work property, but I also can't drive all the way back home to gear up and make it back in time. Because of this I pack this break down rod and an Abu Garcia reel with 15lb monofilament tucked away in my trunk. It is perfect for the down time I have in between orders and I've reeled in a couple of large drums with it as well. The Black Drum in this picture was over 40 inches and my shoe size is 13. 

Power It Up Behringer iNuke 1000

Behringer has made my life easier. This little power house amp is lightweight and loud. 


I have bought two of these now. I only recommend things that I use and this power amp is something that I'm currently cranking. I bought one for my Ampeg Full Stack Bass cab. The low end that this delivers is boomy and bumping. All the rich and smooth sound you could want. I'm also running the iNuke NU3000 through our church JBL house speakers and I can't even turn it up a quarter of the way before some of the older ears start to complain. I also have an older model Behringer Power amp that is 2400 watts and it is just too heavy to lug around. These newer model iNuke series are about 70% lighter and seem to run cooler as well. I'm very satisfied with the sound and volume that they produce and would recommend it to the weekend warrior that is shouldering the weight of his gear on a regular basis. 

Mix It Up

Behringer knows how to make em. This XENYX 1002B is a perfect fit.

As I have mentioned before I have an iTunes Podcast that I host called The Ministry Podcast. My previous Mackie 16 channel mixer finally kicked the bucket after years of abuse. I didn't need a concert rig for my podcast because I generally use 6 channels or less so I ordered the Behringer XENYX 1002B. It really is perfect for what I need. There are 10 channels total available with 4 of those channels being hybrid between XLR inputs or 1/4" instrument inputs. There are 2 auxiliary ports for a monitor channel and an FX processor. The best part is that it can be powered by 9 volt batteries. All of my gear can now be completely mobile and I don't have to worry about finding a power source for recording. Plus if the power ever fails then I can still be recording without a hitch. I have used many Behringer products over the years and have found a happy medium between price and features. This mixer is working great for me and I look forward to putting it through its paces. Let's see if it can handle the kind of abuse that mobile podcasting can dish out. For $99 this thing packs a punch.

Podcasting on iTunes

There are about a million different podcasts on iTunes, and my podcast is among them.

There are a host of tools that I use for The Ministry Podcast, but chief among them is my digital audio recorder. You shouldn't have a podcast without decent audio and the Zoom H4n gives delivers quality audio and pro features at a great price point. The condenser microphone that it has works great on its own and I use this feature to record audio when I'm in a hurry. My podcast set up includes multiple microphones going into a mixer and outputting into the two XLR jacks on the H4n. These jacks are equipped to accept both XLR or 1/4 inch instrument cables which is a great feature. I have used both and the audio quality is excellent from either input. You can hook up two microphones without a mixer directly to the H4n and I have done this on multiple occasions, but I would recommend using a mixer to give more headroom with the gain control. Overall the ZOOM H4n is a quality product and for $159 cannot be beat.

Broken Strings

For months I was in a constant battle with my guitar strings breaking, but I think I found the perfect balance.

I used to only use Extra Light Acoustic guitar strings because they would allow me to play longer with less fatigue. Then I ran into the problem of breaking them on a weekly basis. I thought no problem I will move to Medium strings and no longer have to worry about breaking strings. When I moved to the medium strings my Dunlop Medium Light picks kept breaking so I moved up to Dunlop Medium picks. Then the trouble began again. I started breaking strings on a weekly basis. Back to the drawing board I went and moved back down to Martin Light strings as a half measure. I noticed that I was still breaking strings, but it was now only occuring every 2 or 3 weeks. Then I moved back to my Dunlop Medium Light picks and found the perfect balance. My strings will last about a month at a time now and by then I want to buy new ones to brighten the sound and increase the tonal projection. They are still at the right price point for me and I am happier buying new strings about once a month vs buying the Elixirs that cost twice as much for a comparable tone. If I bought Elixirs I would still break them at about a month and have to replace them on my primary and secondary guitar, It is not out of the realm of my price point, but it's just a bit more cost than benefit for me. Plus if I had Elixirs on my two guitars and two packs as back ups it's more cash out of pocket for me than I care for. Even though I make a salary as a musician I still have other bills to pay that I would rather spend on. In the end the Martin Phosphorus Bronze Light Acoustic Guitar strings are the perfect balance between cost, playability, tone, and longevity that I need.

On the other hand when it comes to electric guitar I go with Dadarrio .9's 

These strings have done me well over the years. The Super Light's provide a canvas for hours of use with little fatigue on your fingers. As electric strings go they have always been well priced and I enjoy the tone and feel they were made for. I have used them to lead Sunday Morning church services and Friday night Metal concerts. They have held up to the strain that I have put them through and I will probably use them as long as they are made. 

Trufuel for Old Schools

If you have ever used a 2 stroke tool for yard work pay attention. You need TruFuel.

Make no mistake this little bottle will be worth the cost twice over. If you have ever mixed gas and oil for a weed eater or leaf blower you know how hard it can be to crank one up. I have never had an easier time of starting up my 2 stroke engines than with Trufuel. My foreman told me to give it a try and I haven't used anything else since. My chainsaw starts up on the first or second pull no matter how long it has been sitting. My Foreman told me that he can let his weedeater sit all winter and when spring rolls around it will still start on second pull. This price tag is for a pack of 6 bottles and it's easer to order it from Amazon than drive down the road to pick it up. If you are tired of wearing out your back trying to get these small engines to turn over this is the solution.