April 2020

Not happy with my cartoon, I decided to do version two - I hope you think it's a better version?
Let me explain the joke:-
Back in the day when I fist got my Amateur Radio License (ticket) by doing the City & Guilds Amateur Radio Exam
(Think it was 1974)
We used Transceivers to transmit & receive speech to one another via radio (vhf, uhf, hf)
Usually modified ex commercial gear, as well as quite costly dedicated equipment, mobile, hand-help, & desktop gear.

Nowadays it's a completely different story!
Apart from these types of gear, there now is internet chat software for radio hams to enable worldwide conversations
by using computers instead!
But not just this. It is now the norm to connect your radio rig remotely to your computer, which then connects to a network
consisting of thousands of computers all over the world.
So I could be sitting in my armchair, talking to someone in Japan using a little low power hand-held!
It's all very clever, but not really my idea of real Amateur Radio - hence the cartoon :-)


It's only in the last two days, that my legs are easing up a bit, I even did some pruning in my front garden at last!
I have started playing Amateur Radio again, and am hooking up with hams that I haven't spoken to since the 80's !
They even remember my name & call sign !!!
It's quite enjoyable, especially during this bloody lockdown, to be able to chat with people, as you must know how lonely
things can get, especially if you are a widower!

Staffordshire May Day - Angels

Here is a sneak preview of my offering to the Angels day event!
Quite a nice Sunday today on No Marathon day!
It's the fist day today that my legs aren't causing me too much pain, I even thought about mowing my back lawn (field)
But common sense has prevailed, and I decided to do this blog instead! (Slacker)

I have been watching Leland Sklar videos on YouTube just recently, he like most musos is doing lockdown sessions,
where he talks about his work with people like Phil Collins, James Taylor etc. and then usually plays some fantastic bass playing!
For me it's a joy to watch him play. He is a genius on the 4 string & 5 string bass guitars!

Talking of music, I decided to do a video for the NHS May Day Mass Sing-along
I doubt they will use my effort, but it was something to do during lockdown! (that's my excuse)

I completed the Radio Ham cartoon, but not very happy with it!
I blame my illness & being a bit rusty with the pencil
May redo it when I feel inclined - I'd be interested to see if none radio hams get the joke?



Remix of Lockdown Blues

Lockdown Blues Remix  video link

I wasn't happy with the audio level on Lockdown Blues after I had published it on YouTube and especially the bum chord at the end!
It was a nightmare getting through the video take without cocking it up too much, & I didn't want to have to do it all again, because of red button syndrome,
I knew I would still mess up something!
So I decided to do a remix! I'm glad I did, because I found the error with the audio level in Windows Live Movie Maker where you can set the
Video/Music audio level, it was set midway & should have been full on for audio, as I had muted the video audio!
Also at the end I faded it out to hide my bad !!!!
I'm still not happy with some of the phrasing in the verses, but hey I've put the lyrics here below, so not too much of a problem! (I hope)

After watching Gary Barlow's recent Crooning Sessions with people like Sir Cliff & Lulu, I 'm now thinking,  that it may be a good plan to do something similar?
Anyone interested?
I'm sure I have some video software that can do this?

Amateur Radio & more Lockdown blues
As I write this I'm listening to Hubnet where radio hams chat with one another from all over the world
It's been a lovely day, but I've been a slacker and had a bit of a kip after my Tesco run today, where I had to wait in a very long cue for my bare essentials
(The famous Grouse)
Had a great chat with Peter G7RPG last night via his node but cheating using my mobile phone & not using a radio transceiver!
He's a very nice chap, & has helped me set up my radioless hotspot device which consists of a brand new Raspberry Pi & one of his modified USB sound fobs!

Lockdown Blues
Well I did it at last & managed to do a video recording as well as an audio recording on my Tascam  portable digital recorder, both recordings done at the same time
and then I added an additional guitar track as a blues solo in the middle of the song!
I usually suffer with red button syndrome, and get very stressed with  nerves etc.
I sort of managed it all the way through, but not happy with some of my phrasing, "sod it" I thought to myself, and managed to complete it!

The main problem being was that I was a bit rusty with my guitar playing, and also setting up the recording devices, so it wasn't a straight forward job, but it had to be done!
Last night I also went outside with my Bongos, to join everyone who was clapping for the NHS ! Some one shouted to me I think it was something like "Nice one Jay"
but I may be wrong about that !?

Next week I may take my snare drum outside & do a bit of Queens "We will rock you"

Anyway, back to the song, below is the Link for my YouTube upload!
I hope you enjoy it
73 de Jay G8NAI
Lockdown Blues initial video link

Rehearsing the tune

After having to move some recording equipment due to the large mixer (ALTO LIVE 1202) not doing what I needed ( monitor a drum track while recording )
I have just set up my tascam recorder (TASCAM DP-008 EX) to do this. (see Ironing board pic)
I've just been running through the song as I need to get it right if I also do a video at the same time (rather than mime haha)
Being a bit rusty on the old guitar playing slows things down a tad!
I don't know whether to just have guitar & vocals, or add a piano & may be a drum track?
What do you think?? Let me know on Facebook
At the same time as doing all this I have been hoovering up & cleaning my guitar & microphone stands (very dusty )

I notice that Neil Buxton has done a "Lockdown Blues" Harp rendition
You just can't be original can you haha !
So I must get my finger out & finish this masterpiece off, but don't really want to rush it. (perfection rules)
I'm enjoying loads of music on Facebook from people like Chris Walters etc. & FB groups like Keeping it Live! The Sound of a Town & Potteries Lockdown
Also some famous musos on YouTube are doing similar things from their homes (We're all in the same boat)

It would be remiss of me also not to mention Dave Day (I'm a big fan)
What a talented guy (makes yer sick) I love his videos on YouTube
Stay Safe everyone x

The Lyrics:-
Lockdown Blues (updated)
James Lazzari - April 2020

Lockdown blues, lockdown blues
Self isolation with these lockdown blues

Danger danger danger, if I go outside
No closer than 2 metres, when people pass me by
Essential journeys are allowed to get my bread
Yeah I'll be courageous, so I can get me fed

I wash my hands, 20 seconds does the trick
Best be safe than sorry, don't want to end up sick
I pay attention to what they say to me
Chris Whitty is "the man", advice is given free

Chorus - Instra - Chorus

Have some friendly neighbours been looking after me
They get me pills & stuff, without where would I be?
Let's hope this virus gets the message, goes away
So we return to normal and live another day

Exercise is something I normally would avoid
I'm happy on my sofa, quite happy being bored
I get up daily to turn the TV on
That's enough for me, I'd call a job well done

Chorus - lockdown blues rep.....

Re-connecting Mixer, ( ALTO ) recorder, (Tascam) microphones & piano etc. for the recording of "Lockdown Blues" 04-04-20      
New temp studio space 05-04-20      

Lockdown Blues

James Lazzari  Lyrics & Music





During Self Isolation due to the dreaded Coronavirus I decided to write a song about it, basically to keep myself occupied & hopefully amused etc.
I have written four verses & the chorus, but now have to record the song, which may be on piano or guitar or even both!

Recently I have been changing things around with my recording equipment, so now I have to plug everything in again to enable me to record the song!
This is quite a dubious task in itself, as it does involve a lot of wires, which need to be re-connected hopefully in the correct places!

I also want to do a video with the intention of uploading it to YouTube, so it's quite a major task for this old fart!

I'll post more on Facebook on my progress (God Willing ) but you could bookmark my blog which also will be updated! (if you are interested!)

Today I've only just finished the lyrics and need to sing along to them to make sure they fit the tune etc.
But hope to post them here when I'm happy with them!

More information on this song coming soon/stay tuned



Amateur Radio

I've also got back into Ham Radio after a long absence. But I have been scanning the bands (including aviation & other transmissions of interest)
Now I'm back on Amateur Radio digitally (mainly using my computers rather than my radio equipment) and enjoying new company mainly on Hubnet

It's especially great to be able to chat to fellow radio hams during these times of self isolation /loneliness
On Hubnet there is a daily Net  9am -10am  where we chat about the Lockdown and  take it in turns to convey our thoughts and our activities.
Stations are not just limited to the UK, It's a worldwide net where you can hear Japan stations connect etc.