Steve Mills - Hobbies (updated Oct 2016)

I have re-sequenced this page in order to reflect more accurately my current hobbies.

Photography (both video and stills)

Cheryl and I both enjoy photography. We don't print very many, now that we're all digital, but we do like to upload them, and to burn DVDs with them on. Consequently, there are many slide shows on this site, and some videos and you can find them here.

I revitalised my interest in photography when I bought my Sony a6000 camera plus various items of equipment to go with it. I also changed my compact camera for a Sony Cybershot HX60 which is highly portable and produces excellent results. I use Photoshop Elements 15 for processing the pictures and have become quite good at it though I wouldn't yet class myself as an expert. I do find that I can turn many a dull picture into something eye catching and I'm thinking of offering a service to resurrect old photos that have been damaged, or to remove/add people into photographs etc.

Music

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I run my own singing group - Songs4U

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I like playing music. Mostly I play a synthesiser/keyboard (often with computer support for special affects).

Currently I am using a Yamaha Tyros 4 which Cheryl bought as a special present for my 60th birthday. It has unbelievable sounds, a whole arsenal of built-in accompaniments, full internet access and a huge range of features.

I also play other instruments including electric guitar, 12-string guitar, harmonica and accordion. I used to play flute and violin with a youth orchestra but I don't own either of those instruments now and couldn't really play them today.

Computers

Computers have been my career and also my hobby and I use them for just about most things but not usually games. I use them extensively in my music and my photography (both producing Bluray and DVD videos and also digital stills). I also have a comprehensive weather system comprising a wireless weather station with an array of sensors linked to a PC server which keeps my web site up to date with real time weather information. I was (for my own entertainment and pleasure) working on Android Apps and wearable computing technology (that used to be my Meta Watch but today it's the Samsung Gear original). I'm planning to upgrade my smart watch for the new Samsung Gear S3 which runs on Tizen instead of Android. So I'm not doing any personal software development at the moment.

Cycling

I like to get out on my e-bike whenever I can. Often I go with a friend on local runs both for the exercise and for photo opportunities. It's a folding bike so it's easy to put it in the boot and take it to somewhere as an alternative kick-off point. Now that Cheryl also has a folding e-bike we are both looking forward to going on daytime trips together.

Motorcycling (but no more sadly)

Motorcycling sadly dwindled as a hobby. My brother no longer rides his bike and my friends have moved away and I don't really enjoy riding on my own. I won't join a club because they tend to go too far for me - a 30 mile run is about all my back can cope with these days. So my bike has spent most of its time locked up and does only about 20 miles a year. So finally this year (2016) I have sold it and decided to give up motorcycling for good.

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My Bikes - I have owned several bikes over the years and enjoy getting out on the road but only in fine weather.

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Xmas Toy Run 1997

Flying (but no more sadly)

Flying was my all-consuming hobby - used up all of my time and spare cash...

Cheryl bought me a one hour trial flying lesson for my 50th birthday. I waited for suitable weather and used it in Jun-2001 and was immediately hooked. I started having lessons and passed my test on 4-Oct-02. I bought a share in a Piper Warrior and attained IMC and night ratings. See my Flying page for more details and pictures. Update: in 2011 I decided to give up flying, despite it being a "life's dream" and in July 2012 I finally sold my share in the Piper Warrior G-FLAV. It's been a great ride - wouldn't have missed it for anything - but I've left the door open - I can always go and hire a plane complete with an instructor where I won't need either a current medical or a current licence.

 

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