"The future ain't what it used to be."

The TTI Homestead

We made it! Arkansas is gorgeous and a lot of things I didn't know how much I'd appreciate until I was here. Trees, water, countryside, clam happy people. Cell connection here is very thin at the moment and we’ve been working hard to get things going, but have plenty of photos and videos and stuff from the trip and our arrival. I'll do my best to start getting some of that up here, but it might be a bit before I'm 100% again. Fiber is due in a few weeks but they're backlogged, so it might be longer. Once that's going, everything will be back to full operation.

I took a video this morning and have spent since about 8AM Central waiting for that sucker to upload over a bar or two of LTE, but it finally went and here it is:

Arkansas is lovely. Very happy.

Still waiting on proper internet and that will be a few weeks at the least, but I’m setting putting up a cell booster so we can limp along. At the moment the antenna is zip tied ten feet up in a tree, but I've got a few 10 foot pieces of pipe, a bucket and some cement. I'll make a better mount with that and cut down a few trees, maybe that'll get me zipping along a bit faster than I have now.

We left Saturday morning about 5:30 AM Pacific. Made it all the way to Salt Lake City, UT that day then stayed overnight and left again about the same time the next morning. We booked it through Wyoming and into the western panhandle of Nebraska just after the timezone boundary to get us on Central. Drove south (left 2AM) through Kansas City (cleanest city I've ever seen) and through the rest of Missouri down into Arkansas, and we got here about 3PM Central on Monday morning.

The land is 16.31 acres about a quarter mile drive off the AR-9 highway. Heavily wooded, house is in good shape but definitely a little bit of a fixer upper. Nothing terrible, just dirty and needs some TLC in a few places. Found a nice big wasp's nest between our front patio and the exterior wall, got those suckers today with a little Long Shot.

We will build something new eventually, but the house that's here is in plenty good shape and will last a long time if we keep it up. We'll own everything outright in 7 years and can decide what to do then, but for now it's working the land and getting things going.

We went to Home Depot for the second time yesterday, it's about a 45 minute drive and saw about six turtles trying to cross the road along the way. Strange.

We had purchased a 40 volt Ryobi chainsaw the day before, but had to go back. Found out you need to pay for the tool AND the charger AND the battery to be able to run it for an hour at a time on 16 acres. Rookie move, so we went back and got a 2-stroke instead. I got to play with my new toy for a couple hours and then got the bar stuck practicing on some already felled trees. Had to spend an hour hacking through 8 inches of hardened white oak with an axe to free it up. Fun times but I got it freed eventually.

Today I'm looking at felling a few trees in the path of the booster antenna to see how that improves my signal (although it's working pretty well at the moment), then getting the 20 foot mast put together and set in the bucket of cement. I'll have to anchor that to the house somehow, and then lie it down if a storm comes through. I'll take pictures and see how well those upload over this connection.

We cooked hotdogs over the fire last night and I didn't burn my finger this time.

Whew! A busy weekend. For the most part, nothing exciting has happened since the last update. Trimming back some weeds and chopping down a couple trees to try and help with the cell booster. We're cleaning the house up and just trying to figure our new lifestyle out. We've got a 200-gallon propane tank out back that we had inspected. It's empty at the moment, but it checked out. Propane powers the cooking stove and the house heat (but we'll probably try and use the fireplace where possible).

We've got an instant pot and a microwave, so we can deal without propane until Wednesday or so when they come fill it up. The only thing we really have on-grid is electricity; everything else is self-contained. Well water, propane (which we could get by without for periods of time) and septic.

Last night we made foil pouch stew on the fire, which was outstanding. Steak, potatoes, onions, and peppers with a little Lawry's. Astro, our border collie, was highly appreciative of that too.

Today I got tired of fighting with the cell booster zip tied to the tree, so I used two containers of Steel-Stik to epoxy a couple of ten-foot poles together with a coupler, and then stood them up in a bucket of cement. It turned out okay, but the whole process was sort of a cluster. I couldn't secure anything to the fascia (steel or something behind it), so I ended up standing there for an hour holding the pole in place until the concrete set in the bucket. I hopped up on the roof and attached the antenna to the new pole, then it was a lot of up-and-down-in-and-out (that's what she said) to adjust the antenna and check the signal in the house. We eventually got something better and workable, but it's still not great, so we've ordered some satellite internet (Viasat) to tide us over until fiber gets here. Satellite installation should be here by September 6 at the latest, so we'll keep limping until then.

I've got some photos of all that to post soon, but it's time for dinner and I'm hungrier than a hostage.

Chickens coming soon!

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  1. All homestead animals will be given time travel oriented names

  2. Back to the Future names for the goats (expecting to start with three)
  3. Doctor Who companion names for the hens (expecting to start with ten)

[*]I will get a blue beater truck to haul project stuff around and will stencil the TTI logo onto the side

[*]I will build a homemade forge and melt down cans and whatnot for time capsule parts

3D printer is here, but it's sort of useless without a good internet connection. I will start picking that back up once Viasat is here and then get to streaming a whole load of stuff when we get fiber.

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We should be getting satellite internet TODAY to tide us over til fiber gets their shit together. Cell boosters are great but they're still cell boosters.

In other news, I got eaten alive by chiggers. Note to self, don't try and clear brush wearing tennis shoes.

Alright, slowly getting everything back on track.

  • Dining set delivered. Couches delivered.
  • 70 inch TV and a new Xbox for Cosmo delivered
  • Desk delivered and workspace set up
  • Chigger bites fading
  • Cell booster and satellite still sucking but usable
  • Planning garden area out front and clearing brush
  • Planning chicken runs and goat paddocks
  • Having people who know WTF they're doing come out and remove some trees a bit too close to the house

I've been doing some thinking about what I can do with TTI that'll mesh with the new setup we're building, and I'll start moving a few things around here and there over time. I'm digging "the way forward is the way back" as a tagline, and have some ideas for Twitch streams once our connection is a bit more robust.

Lots to do.

Someone from the fiber company showed up today! I was outside cutting back some weeds and all the sudden there's some dude in a yellow vest pulling up to my house. You've seen my property so it's hard to be there by accident, but it was a welcome surprise.

He was there to do a pre-construction survey and see what was required. Took some measurements, looked at the conduit and where some other things were. He said we're probably looking at 30 days out, but perhaps a bit longer. They'll have to put something up the way because of the distance from our drop to where it comes out on the highway (or something).

So, something finally happened. I'm excited to get streaming again.

Okay, fresh update. Most of the last 3 weeks has been getting used to what we're doing and how we want to do it. Got some land cleared and our thoughts organized on where we want to put things, so he's a walkaround of the homestead as it is now.

Next big thing is chickens, which we're building a run for this weekend or so. Hopefully by the time we get the birds we'll have the ability to put them up on a stream :)