Tag Archives: sony

Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: New Friends!

 

As I was preparing to leave for the Belvoir Winery T.A.P.S. event last weekend, I was a bit anxious, mainly because I was going alone and without any members of my team or family. I’m not hugely social in public situations, particularly if I don’t know anyone. What kind of people would be there? Experienced paranormal investigators? Wannabe investigators? Syfy fans? Giant nerds? How much equipment do I bring for the overnight investigation? Will I be embarrassed by pulling out some of this equipment?  Well this paranormal event had the usual “characters” (You know what I’m talking about, right?), but for the most part what I found were people who were there just to have fun… and, of course, many of them were excited to meet the para-celebs, just as I was. I arrived on that first day pretty early. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there, and I wanted to be able to take plenty of photos. The first person that I began a conversation with was a friendly woman named Laurie. We talked quite a bit while she waited for her friends to arrive. It turns out we had a bit in common. Then later I met Andi. She had come to the previous T.A.P.S. event last fall and so I asked her quite a few questions. She and I both had a camera around our necks and later found each other roaming the grounds for great shots. 

 

The Laurie Group!

As I was touring the grounds, I met another friendly face who made me feel right at home. Her name was Jaime, and she later introduced me to her whole crew, including Ian, Jeanette, Sharon, Karen, and Kim (and other names that I’m unfortunately forgetting). She invited me to sit with their gang later in the day for dinner. I did just that. Out of a few hundred people at this event, Sharon pulled some magic and was able to get our table called for dinner first! It was catered by Hy-Vee and was wonderful (and the twice baked potatoes were to die for). While gabbing with these new friends in the buffet line, I broke the salad tongs with my amazing strength. It was in this buffet line that I learned we had a cool little connection. Most of these folks were either from or lived in Laurie, Missouri, a tiny town around the Lake of the Ozarks–the same town where my parents recently purchased a lake lot. I even blogged about the mysterious Cup Tree in Laurie just last year. How cool is that?! We had a lot of laughs and I enjoyed their company! It was like fate brought us together–paranerds for an evening.

The next evening they divided us up into groups for the investigation. Fortunately, Sharon and Kim were in my group. I’ll save those experiences for another post.

 

More to Come

By the way, if any of you recall me freaking out recently on the Big Séance Facebook page, all is not lost. My aging Sony NightShot camcorders managed to make it through the Belvoir investigation, including moments with Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, and Britt Griffith (Britt even used my spirit box!!!). However, I was bummed and angry when both of these camcorders died in the same evening, leaving all of those wonderful moments stuck on the tapes. Fortunately, a friend of mine converts tapes to DVD (tape2dvd.org, facebook.com/stpeterstape2dvd) and so I look forward to being able to show you some cool footage soon! Also, I plan on sharing some of my thoughts and notes from Britt’s paranormal technology lecture.

 

Other recent Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home posts:  

The Photos (Big Séance)

The Photos (Big Séance)

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)

 


Sony NightShot: A Call for Advice from Paranormal Investigators…

MOSS uses Sony DCR-TRV280 Handycam Camcorders with NightShot

MOSS uses Sony DCR-TRV280 Handycam Camcorders with NightShot

I’m going to break away from my typical post this evening, because I’m hoping I can get some advice from techie and/or paranormal investigators out there… or maybe even a super soccer mom who has mastered modern videography. When I formed Missouri Spirit Seekers in 2010, I scrounged up whatever equipment I could afford. I even spent a few tax refunds on some of the more expensive equipment. For the size of my group and the number of investigations we are involved in, the equipment that we have tends to be just right for us. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE a thermal imaging camera or a few of those fascinating rem-pods that are gaining popularity now. But really… my major concern currently is being stuck in the 1990s with our Sony NightShot camcorders. (Click HERE for an almost current look at our equipment.) 

For years, paranormal investigators everywhere have used Sony’s line of NightShot IR (infra-red) technology. Obviously there are TV production quality night vision cameras out there, but not affordable for most groups. Several years ago Sony phased out NightShot, Super NightShot, NightShot Plus, etc. I always heard rumors as to why they did this, but I’m not sure if they were true. But after doing research, I found that the Sony DCR-TRV280 with NightShot was a pretty reliable and common camera available on Amazon and Ebay, etc. I bought two of them used (for probably way too much money) and one of them immediately malfunctioned several times and so we use it strictly as a charger. I have since ordered another one and so we have two that have been working fairly well for us. I like not having to learn how to use 14 different generations of cameras, so it’s important for us to use the same kind. They come with some problems, though. They are incredibly noisy. One of them has a consistent click about every 10 seconds. Also, in this day and age, working with tapes is an outdated inconvenience. Some investigators would tell me that it is irresponsible, but I re-use my 8mm cassette tapes. Not only are they nearly impossible to find anymore, but they’re expensive, and we go through 4 or 5 tapes in one investigation. It’s just not realistic right now to use them once and have that be it. 

But after nervously buying used camcorders online and not knowing how well they’re going to work, I’ve been concerned with what the common paranormal investigator was going to use for night vision in the future. These cameras aren’t going to last forever. Not only that, but I had to have someone help me to make some considerable accommodations to my computer to be able to upload the video.  I’ll soon need a new computer. Will that computer have the capability to support these old cameras? 

The newest non-night vision Sony camcorder that I own. Sony HDR-CX150

The newest non-night vision Sony camcorder that I own. Sony HDR-CX150

This last fall I went on a paranormal tour hosted by a local paranormal team (as I rolled my eyes), and the group members passed out a handful of newer Sony camcorders (nearly identical to the Sony HDR-CX150 Handycam Camcorder that I own) for tour goers to walk around with. Each camcorder had two smaller IR attachments, and in the dark these cameras had amazing IR technology. In my experience, IR attachments on camcorders that are not equipped with IR technology are worthless. So were these IR camcorders or just amazing attachments? I was not smart enough to take a picture of this camcorder and the attachments, or to sound like a nerd while asking the group leader about their cameras. 

I will be completely honest and say that I haven’t really researched this situation in a year or so. It overwhelms me and I’m not a techie person at all. I do great with technology when I get used to it and learn to work with it. But… I don’t know what I’m looking for. 

So here’s where I need help. What is out there now currently? What are you using? What do I need? What attachments and accessories are required? Someone help transport MOSS to the year 2013! 🙂 

 

Peace Out!

 

 


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