Saturday, May 19, 2012

Free, at last

Jamie (our boss at Gate Guarding) called Thursday morning an told me we would be relieved at about 11:30 or so. So Linda got to sleep in until about 10am. We were all hooked up and sitting in the truck with the air conditioner running full blast when our reliefs showed up right on time.

By the time we got off of the site and they got on and we briefed them on their duties it was pushing 12:30 and we left and drove about 85 miles to the northeast side of San Antonio and got two nights at a campground. We rested up, took showers, and went out to Red Robin for an early dinner/late lunch and went back home.

Friday about 1 pm we went over to our niece Ally and her fiance Paige's house to visit. Ally gets off at noon on Fridays and we spent time visiting with her. Than we drove into San Antonio to the river walk and wandered around, stopping at the Hard Rock Cafe for some souvenirs. We met Paige about 5:30 at an upscale Mexican restaurant for a great meal and than moved on to our trailer for more visiting and to show Paige the rv lifestyle. He had no idea about  the size of our trailer and wondered why we did not park in their driveway.....our truck barely fit!!!

Today (Saturday) we drove a little over 360 miles to Mt. Pleasant, TX where we are spending the night and will move on to Tunica tomorrow after another 360 miles. That's a day early, but the driving has been easy with a tail wind most of the day (that's very rare for us).

We will spend two nights in Tunica now since we are getting in early and leave there on Tuesday morning with a two day trip to Rockford, IL to camp with the kids and some friends (about 5 couples) from our old camping club. We were hoping for cooler weather, but it looks like it will be in the high 80's for Memorial day weekend.

Have a great day

love to all of ya
 Jim and Linda

Friday, May 11, 2012

Another close call

Yesterday it rained almost all day in varying intensity's. Including hail, severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings. severe wind warnings, flash flood warnings.....By early afternoon it came down by the bucket including hail about half the size of a marble down to pea size.

I had tripped the breaker on the generator and pulled the electric plug out of the trailer. The dish was down. All electrical things I could find were unplugged. Not taking any chances this

Somewhere around 4pm the company man sent a man down in a truck to tell us to follow him back up to the "safe house" at the rig as there was a tornado. By the time we had gather up the dogs and the safe w missed seeing what building he went into so we sat there in the truck. We found out later they were all in  the crews changing room which is an all metal trailer with no windows.

Later reports from truckers and people on the rig were that a tornado did touch down about a mile from us. Between us and Karnes City which is about 7 miles away as the crow flys. We could not see anything because of the rain. Finally the safety man came out and said it was all clear and we went back to the rig about 4:30 and put the slides back out, turned on the breaker and put the power cord back in but did not plug in all of the electrical stuff or put up the dish until later.

We sat and read very apprehensively the rest of the evening as radar off of the computer was showing strong storms still coming at us.I finally went to bed about 10pm and Linda woke me up about midnight to plug the stuff back in so she could put up the dish and turn on the tv.

She had a very quiet night and morning and when I relieved her at 6am it is pretty foggy. They are predicting more rain today. And flash flood warnings have been going on since yesterday afternoon.
Have a great day
remember we love ya
Jim and Linda
6 days and counting
p.s.  Just saw on the weather channel that there were 7 tornados touching down from the Mexico border and our area during the big storm yesterday (7:03am this morning)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Invasion, cow trees and other stuff

It finally cooled off after the rain yesterday. Some reports of about 3 inches total. Next few days will be in the low 80's.
After it got light this morning, I was out checking in a trucker and saw these flying insects moving all over the place. I asked the driver and he told me that they were flying queen ants and they are looking for a new place to live. He suggested squishing them. Which I did, by the hundreds....those I could not reach because they were under the trailer I sprayed with wasp and hornet killer. Do not need giant ants in the thanks!
Remember you can click on pictures to make them larger.....

They are huge, about 5/8 of an inch long...the last one is without the wings.

Across the highway is another ranch and they graze cattle. I saw the trees but did not pay much attention until one day the cows were out in this area. They eat the leaves and branches off of the trees up as high as they can reach. Never saw this before.

They TD'ed (reached the end) (do not know what TD stands for, may be total depth, or touchdown?)the well last night at 18.362 feet. They still have 3-4 days work before they can skid the rig over about 25 feet to start the next well.
  This is also crew change day. They started coming in yesterday and the old crew left last night and this morning. They work two weeks on, two weeks off and get paid for four weeks plus any overtime. They are on site the whole time, except to go off and eat or drink. The Marathon bosses all live in mobile homes that have an office and living quarters. They are quite nice.

Yesterday they came thru and unloaded the pipe for the pipeline. They had to put down the tires on our road to keep the loader's tracks from tearing up the road. The pipe is about 6 inches in diameter and looks to be about 40 foot long. Do not know when they will be in our area to weld it together.

We are down to 8 days on site. Do not know if they will send in a relief crew for us or we will just leave. Lots of folks, like us, are leaving for the summer as it is too miserable down here in the summer.

Have a great day
love to ya
Jim and Linda

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pulling casing

Yesterday afternoon they shut down drilling. Rumors from vehicles coming out are that the drill bit is worn out and needs to be replaced. Up in the "dog house"(control room )where the "tool pusher" (the man who runs the rig) works there are a number of monitoring screens and they know about how fast they should be drilling. When it drops below a certain point they know that there is a problem.
They started pulling pipe late yesterday and finished up sometime during the night and started back down. They pulled approximately 12000 feet of pipe out. You can see the pipe on the right side of the rig. It comes out in three sections which are about 90 foot total.
                                        This first one is when they were  starting to pull out

the last 3 were taken this morning after that had started going back in.

Sometime last night the wind shifted from the south to the north-northeast and the thunder and lighning came in. Linda put the dish down right away. When I got up and ready to work I went outside and it looked like the lightning and thunder was way tooo I turned off the power and unpluged the power cord from the generator...
Right now, at 8am it is 68 degrees and very windy, but with the wind from the northeast....a real blessing....but it is supposed to get up to 95 today.
Since we gave you the sunrise yesterday I will finishwith the sunset and moon rise last night.

Have a great day, and remember.....we love ya
Jim and Linda

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Relief is coming

According to the weather channel the temps will drop to the high 80's on Tuesday. Blessed relief!!
Yesterday was 101 (yes you read that right 101) degrees. The AC is barely keeping things livable. Of course, since we have to open the door and go out and sign people in and out we loose cool air.

Yesterday I was pretty busy. 55 customers from about 7am to noon. It would help to sit out, but our rig faces east so we get all of the morning sun, and the wind prevents me from putting the awning out. I tried yesterday as the wind did let up (for about 2 minutes) but had to put the awning  back down.

I had 11 truckloads of casing(drill pipe) yesterday. I counted one load and it had 42 sections that are approximately 45 foot long. To save you the math, that is 1980 feet. Not every truck had 42 pieces, some had maybe 30. That's still a lot of casing.

When we started gate guarding some of the service guys said that it would be wise to by a surge protector as the generators sometimes lose a belt which causes the voltage to spike. Which can damage every electrical thing in your rig. We bought one, as did Jim and Bobbie. They lost a belt, and did not have any damage. Kind of expensive to buy at $400 but well worth it.

A couple of days ago our service man Mark came over to change the generator oil, filter and diesel fuel filter. He shut off the breakers and did his thing. After restarting the generator and letting it settle in, he turned the breakers on and our surge protector started making strange noises. I called Pete at Techno RV where we bought it and he in turn called Progressive Dynamics who made the device, telling them that I needed a replacement right away and authorization to return the one we have.
Long story short, I got the new device yesterday and will return the original.

This mornings sunrise. The excavator in the foreground has a vacuum pipe loader attachment on it. They will be unloading pipe for the pipe line to connect the rigs.

Have a wonderful weekend

ya' gotta know we love ya'

Jim and Linda

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Weeks

A couple of days ago we had visitors. Some of the local cows came by, but did not stay very long. The one came by its self and was curious, smelling our lights and the sign, and giving me the evil eye as I was taking the pictures. Some calf's with them.

Yesterday was a bad day at the rig. The mud pump/motor that is at the end of the pipe with the drill bits broke down and they had to pull out a few thousand feet of pipe and make repairs. This took all day and into the evening before they started putting the pipe back down.

Today marks the beginning of our last two weeks. We are both getting tired, and body's are sore. Mostly from going up and down the steps. If the damned wind would stop blowing we could sit out, that is until it gets so hot that you can not sit out......can't win. This morning the wind is down, so maybe I will put out the awning for a while. Temperatures for the last several days, and for the next 7 days are/have been in the low to mid 90's during the day and low 70's at night. Humidity runs around 90-95 percent.
Have a great day, and know that we love ya.....
Jim and Linda