Category Archives: Drive

On-Board Car Diagnostics with Pete Sipple

For Monday’s “expert” slot, I spoke with our resident tech guru, Pete Sipple, about the OBD-II which looks like an oversized SCART plug for the back of your tellybox, or is it a memory stick?

It actually plugs into a socket under your dashboard – all modern cars have this common port for mechanics to “plug in” to and is now being offered by The AA as a product entitled Car Genie.

OBD-II GadgetOn-Board Diagnostics is a vehicle diagnostic device that can be used by owners to “read” various values and data from the car and display it on a smartphone/tablet over Wi-Fi.

Listen to my chat with Pete about the handy little gizmo…

Pete Sipple is a gadget podcaster with FrequencyCast, and is a fountain of knowledge for all things “tech”!

A Week on Drive by Charlie

Each week, I offer some best/worst clips of the show and also link to this week’s studio guests.

On Monday, we had gadget+tech guru, Pete Sipple, in to talk about “Smart” Gadgets, including the Amazon Echo – click here to listen to that.

Tuesday’s guest was Dr Pragyan Sahu from Revive Hair and Skin Clinic, one of our new advertisers to the station – hear that interview on this page.

Full marks to Naomi Hefford for putting together a collection of my random musings to get me back for last week’s #PhoenixFilth – you can listen that on her blog page here.

Of course, I had to point out that she dropped some more double-entendres during her show and it seems that she’s getting worse: Filthy mare!

Here’s some more assorted tat from the week…

Nice smelling hands from the soap in the khazi!

That Superorganism tune is a bit of a grower…

A new Saumsung phone is on its way – and the leaked pictures of it came from… Samsung!

Our survey said!  Were you ever asked a Family Fortunes survey question?

There’s a wedding fair taking place at the Brentwood Centre this weekend – It’s going to cause some disruption to the parking, but how just how much compared to the recent Carp show?

How much do we spend as a nation on fried chicken?

It’s better with the Stannard accent!

My thoughts on Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys

Friday means movies – and you can hear our resident film critic, Mark Searby, give his thoughts on 4 offerings on this page.

But here’s a little snippet of our chat about meeting celebs…

We’re back Monday afternoon at 3pm with a look at a gadget for your car to monitor its status via your phone/tablet, a chat about local Code-Clubs and Maker resources plus plus the latest travel, local event news and some jolly good tunes.

Film Review with Mark Searby

Friday’s mean films with Mark Searby who gives us his thoughts on cinema and Blu-ray offerings…

I, Tonya – Margot Robbie stars as figure-skater, Tonya Harding, who found notoriety in 1994 due to her rivalry with Nancy Kerrigan.

Birth of the Dragon – A look at the early years of Bruce Lee, but you might just want to see Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), instead!

Goodbye Christopher Robin – Domhnall Gleeson stars as A.A. Milne and looks at his inspiration for writing Winnie-the-Pooh.  Milne is a shell-shocked veteran of WW2 and this affects his bonding with his Son, Christopher Robin Milne….  Mark also liked that Margot Robbie was in this one, too!

The Snowman – Sorry, nothing to do with the 80s Raymond Briggs animation, but a crime thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a detective with the Oslo police. Charlotte Gainsbourg shines in this, and there’s a quick-as-a-flash performance from Val Kilmer, as well.

If you’re interested in being in the running to win some Al Pacino “swag”, follow Mark on Twitter as he has a retweet competition running at the moment.

Smart Gadgets with Pete Sipple

I was joined in the studio by local gadget guru, Pete Sipple and he brought 2 very useful devices with him: One to help automate your life, solve your child’s homework woes as well as order a pizza and tell you a joke – plus a simple device to make your television “smart”.

We first looked at Amazon’s Echo, featuring the Alexa voice – quite addictive!

The second item was the Fire TV stick, also an Amazon product – this enables your TV to go “smart” by giving it internet connectivity, so allows you to watch YouTube on your main screen and simply plugs into a spare HDMI port.

Pete Sipple Gadgets

If you missed our previous chat with Pete, he talked about internet safety for you and the family including how to regulate your child’s internet access.  You can hear that on this page.

Dr Pragyan Sahu, Revive Hair and Skin Clinic

Today’s guest was Dr Pragyan Sahu from Revive Hair and Skin Clinic, one of our new advertisers to the station and our discussion included a look at the range of services offered as well as the process involved – including the free consultation.

We also spoke about what to look for when choosing a clinic – actually meeting the surgeon who performs the procedure and how word-of-mouth can be a good way to decide.

Dr Pragyan Sahu Revive Hair and Skin Clinic

Website : Revive Hair and Skin Clinic

They are located just off Wilson’s Corner at 38 Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM15 8AX.

Mark Searby Film Review 16th Feb 2018

Fridays mean movies here at Phoenix FM and our resident critic, Mark Searby, gave us his verdict on these:

Black Panther – it’s another Marvel release and actually a project originally mooted by Wesley Snipes back in 1992, but after years of development hell, it’s finally been made and is out this week.

The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) and Michael Shannon in this fantasy-meets-romance offering. Set in the 1960s during the Cold War, it follows a mute woman who falls in love with a humanoid-amphibian creature.

Loving Vincent looks at the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh with live actors “painted over” to produce a stunningly animated piece of work. An interesting mix of stars include: Jerome Flynn, Chris O’Dowd, John Sessions and Saoirse Ronan.

My Little Pony: The Movie means it must be half-term and it’s difficult to be harsh on a children’s film unless the question is: “Why did they wait 30 years to make this?”.

A Week on Drive by Charlie

The new Drive show is now a month old – That’s longer than some of my relationships…

On Monday, we had gadget+tech guru, Pete Sipple, in to talk about being safe online and how to avoid falling for fake/spam e-mails as well as being on your guard when online shopping and handing over your personal details.  We also spoke about introducing your children to the internet: With supervision, ISP tools (to prevent adult sites from being accessed) plus a hardware WiFi solution.  Click the interview page here to listen-again.

Tuesday saw me popping into town to visit the Chicken and Frog bookshop where Natasha Radford kindly spoke with me about the store, its activities and gave us 3 book suggestions to keep the youngers happy this half-term. You can find that interview on this page here.

…and here’s the best/worst of the week:

A Scott Ross Boogie!

There are cushions on the bonkett!

How to make a fellow presenter cry – Play her a clip of her show!

Nectar Points – just what is the “point”?

Adverts, Banners and annoying videos that follow you when scrolling down a page!

I found the pitch-shifter on the CD players – Hilarity ensued…

Our studio air-freshener smells like a tart’s window-box…

So I blocked Trump on Twitter!

Charlie Puth – Some questions best left to the imagination…

Flying cars and really bad parking…

Is it Valentine’s Day?

Friday was, of course, film reviews with Mark Searby and you can hear those on this page!

We’re back Monday afternoon at 3pm for more fun and games plus the latest travel, local event news and some jolly good tunes.

Half-Term Books from Chicken and Frog Bookshop

Today we featured the Chicken and Frog Bookshop as it’s half-term and that means the possibility of the youngsters needing something to read – so I paid a visit to Natasha and got to see (and hear) just what they do in the shop (besides sell books!)…

Chicken and Frog Bookshop 3

If you don’t know how the shop got its name, that’s my first question!  We also spoke about how an independent store manages with a couple of larger “high street” stores just down the road, plus how busy they are this half-term and are already looking at activities for Easter.

Half-Term Book Picks
I asked Natasha to pick 3 books for different age-ranges to keep them quiet during this week’s holiday:

  • I Love You, Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
  • Isadora Moon “Goes to the Fair” – a fairy vampire (yes, really!) by Harriet Muncaster
  • The Eye of the North by Sinead O Hart with “sea monsters, terrible baddies and a fantastic journey”.

Chicken and Frog Half Term Book Choices

Also coming later this year is the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival which starts on 22nd July and is happening at various places around Brentwood.

My thanks to Natasha (and Jim!) for giving me a tour of their lovely shop in Ongar Road – it’s just off Wilson’s Corner next to the pedestrian crossing. They’re also on Facebook where you can see what activities they’ve been up to and get in touch to take part in forthcoming ones.

How to be Safe and Secure Online with Pete Sipple

Today’s guest was local gadget and tech guru, Pete Sipple, who came in to talk about being safe online when shopping, clicking links in e-mails and, more importantly, how to manage+moderate your children’s internet experience.

General Internet Safety

In the first segment, Pete talks about general safe browsing, looking for the padlock symbol when buying online, dealing with strange e-mails and a how to avoid having your computer infected with malware.

Managing the Kid’s Internet Activities

We then moved on to looking after the youngster’s online activities: Controlling and monitoring their access to websites, which tools can help (your broadband provider may already provide this free) as well as a WiFi hardware solution that regulates (eg: allow or deny) your child’s access but still gives the adults the ability to use social media and other content.

Pete Sipple Gadgets

Pete produces the “tech radio show” podcast FrequencyCast which looks at technology, gadgets and general media. Everything from 4G, backing-up your computer files, Freeview, GPS, RaspberryPi and even a rather amusing gizmo called the Wand Remote!

In future weeks, we’ll be looking at the Amazon “Echo” where it tells us a knock-knock joke, a plug-in gadget for your car that offers a range of diagnostics (now being offered by the AA), and how to turn your non-smart TV into a smart one!

A Week on Drive by Charlie

Another week gone, so why not listen to the best (and worst) of Drive with these lovingly compiled clips?

There’s actual sport on my prep sheet!

Does the song Wonderman sound a bit like an old TV theme?

The story of how Sting, aka: Gordon Sumner, got his nickname…

A sleep study and the dreaded leg-jerk that makes you wake up as you’re trying to fall asleep!

This is Schedule Attack!  I use a new bit of music to run through the rest of the day’s programmes…

Facebook fights and watching a heated exchange with some popcorn…

Religious knockings – How my morning was disturbed by some very insistent women!

That awful Rees-Mogg MP, doesn’t he remind you of something?

There was no Musical Meanderings this week, so I offered to cover the show…

On Friday, Mark Searby was in to review films – you can hear this on its separate page here, but here’s a couple of highlights for you:

Talking about Deckard from Blade Runner

Is that Kiefer Sutherland?  Is that Flatliners?