The Great Bus Business Opportunity

What is the story?

For the past six months we have successfully rented out our school bus tiny home conversion on Airbnb. This is a fully equipped school bus RV conversion that can comfortably accommodate 1 – 4 people.

It was all going well. Until the city of Huntington Beach threatened us with fines if we continue to operate. So for this reason, we have stopped operating at this location.

We are now looking for a new home for El Dorado. This is an opportunity for someone who owns a cool spot that would like to monetize it. Does that sound like you, or someone in your network?

Keep reading…

Airbnb Success Story

Profitability

We successfully took in 86 bookings from January to July 2018. The total revenue for this time was $15,058. Operating expenses were very low, I’d guess around $200-$250 per month for consumables, software and propane.

Community

We’ve received a lot of really nice compliments on the bus.

“This little place is awesome! We were looking for a little place for a weekend getaway near the beach but off the beaten path, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our pick! The owners have made the place super unique with lots of little personal touches. The place is close to everything and a very easy come and go concept. Enough space for us and all of our things. Such a unique idea, and we are already planning a return trip! 5 stars, we highly recommend this place!!” – Anamarie (an Airbnb guest)

We had a total of 61 five star reviews. Here is another one:

“The skoolie was one of the most eclectic AirBNBs I’ve ever stayed in. It had amazing amenities. Shower, heated floor, washer and dryer, kitchen, and a surprising amount of space. I wish I could have stayed longer than one night! If I’m back in the area, I would definitely stay again and would recommend anyone to stay!!” – Julia (an Airbnb guest)

What we are Looking for Now

We are now looking for a beautiful place for the bus to live where it can continue to serve as a great vacation rental.

What the Bus Has to Offer

Welcome to our unique custom built Skoolie. We used epoxy industrial paint for the exterior because of it’s durability and longevity. It turned out great.

Here is the entry way.

A view from the front cabin, to the front entrance.

The sofa is made up of a 6″ high-density 2 x layered memory foam mattress, and the backside of the sofa is a 3″ memory foam. The sofa is super spacious and comfy to sit and sleep on!

This beautiful spacious living area is made up of a lounge and dining room, plus can be converted into a second bedroom.

Their are thermal insulated blackout curtains throughout the entire bus. You can close them for full privacy at night, and open them for natural sunlight during the day.

Linen and blankets for the forward cabin beds can be found stored inside this double ottoman.

The forward cabin has a collection of modular furniture which can be moved around. These 3 large ottomans, along with the sofa, create ample seating for the dining/lounge room, and can also be pushed up to the sofa to create a full size bed.

This is a custom made 3/4″ pine dining table. The table can easily be flipped down and stored away for more space. This is especially useful when making the sofa bed.

The dining table is a place where you can dine, work and entertain. If you have some spare time have a game of Babies vs Bears!

We used birch wood to wrap the ceiling of the bus. We used recessed LED lights which are solar powered to light the interior of the bus.

The kitchen countertop is made from reclaimed Philippine mahogany. They were originally pallets, used to ship plants. After breaking them down and running them through a table saw and a planer, the wood turned out to be stunning! Here’s a video of the final epoxy jobThe kitchen was designed with efficiency and comfortability in mind. Their’s plenty of counter top space for preparing and creating delicious meals on the bus.

This Ramblewood (LPG/Propane Gas) high efficiency 2 burner gas cooktop is super efficient and perfect for all your cooking needs. Cooking on the bus is a breeze. We have everything you may need to cook a delicious meal so we hope you cook to your hearts desire! 

Washing up is a breeze with this deep stainless steel sink and pull down sprayer kitchen faucet. WARNING: The 6 gallon hot water heater ensures that the running water gets very hot, very fast, so please take care!

The kitchen is stocked with pots and non-stick fry pans for all your cooking needs. And plenty of storage room for dry food.

All the herbs and spices you need to make a world class meal.

Cooking oils to ensure your Master Chef game is strong!

We offer tea and coffee.

You will find bowls, mugs, glasses, cutlery, utensils, plus plates, large preparing/serving bowls, strainer, toaster oven, a 3 speed hand blender and food storage containers for all your b’ouse needs.

This Norcold 6.3 cubic ft 2 Door Refrigerator is the best 2-Way AC/LP RV refrigerator on the market today. It is set at the perfect temperature, plus it’s super spacious and can hold enough food for four people for a week.

Plenty of room for storing delicious food and beverages. We hope you enjoy this full sized refrigerator as much as we do! It also runs on solar power, but it needs help from either propane or grid electricity on cloudy days.

The top device here is a solar controller. The solar controller fluctuates the amount of power which is sent from the solar panels to the battery bank. Their is also an inverter, 35,000 BTU furnace thermostat, fantastic vent fan and bathroom floor heating controller. Everything is set on a thermostat so all you need to do is sit back and relax. When cooking, you can use the ceiling fan for extra ventilation.

Our Mohawk rugs will help keep your feet warm on a cool night. Light oak vinyl plank flooring also spans the entire interior of the bus, besides the mosaic tiled bathroom.

This is a hipster-inspired image of the neat lights we have on the bus.

You will find soap, shampoo and conditioner in the shower. The entire bathroom floor also has a 15 square foot, 120v electric radiant in-floor heating cable system. This heating system has a thermostat with floor sensor and will help create incomparable levels of comfort.

The bus has a fully functioning toilet and shower. This Thetford aqua magic style II RV toilet has a lightweight china bowl with full-size customizable residential seat. It has a water-saving hand sprayer for a hand rinse wash down. A single-pedal flush offers convenience with a powerful flush and a 100% bowl coverage. There are many toilets like this, but this one will be all yours. The bathroom also has a 70 CFM (cubic feet per minute) exhaust ventilation fan you can use anytime you are occupying the bathroom.

This is a detailed image of the mosaic that V worked on for 1 month and a total of approximately 166 hours!!! It’s beautiful, but the pictures don’t do it justice. It’s a work of art!

This is a turtle mosaic. It’s part of the magic of the bathroom.

Adjust your water temperature with ease with this Moen faucet in your own bus mosaic shower. WARNING: The 6 gallon hot water heater ensures that the running water gets very hot, very fast. So please take care!

This is an example of the shower’s light show. The bathroom is lit up with a waterproof LED light strip, and a color changing LED shower head. It’s amazing. Warning: If you’re over 6′ tall, it’ll be a little short on head room. For those under 6′, it’s the perfect height. Regardless of your height, we hope you enjoy this amazing and unique space!

The countertop above the washer/dryer can be used as a charging station and/or a standing desk area. There is also a USB stereo system with handheld remote for nonstop entertainment on the bus. Just plug your iPhone in and play some sweet tunes!

The bus comes with a barometer. It’s fun to watch it change with the time. And this is a cool close up image of the bus’s woodwork in the evening.

In between the kitchen and bedroom you will find a vented combo washer/dryer in the bus for your comfort and convenience. You can put your dirty laundry in here, set the washing and drying cycles, and in a few hours, your laundry is fully washed and dried. It’s pretty amazing. Works best with small loads. This definitely does not run on solar power. The bus needs grid power for this baby to function.

In the bedroom you will find a low lying desk area, plus an open closet with ample hanging space. There are also 2 large drawers, plus open drawers for storing away all of your personal belongings. For full privacy there is also a curtain to divide the main bedroom from the rest of the bus.

In the rear cabin is the main bedroom, it has an exceptionally comfortable and sturdy bed with a Lucid 10 inch Queen size plush gel memory foam antimicrobial mattress. It is firm, yet plush. We hope you have a very deep, wonderful sleep during your stay. You’ll also find custom made redwood crates under the bed for extra storage.

The main bedroom is very comfortable and spacious. And when you close all of the curtains you’ll have full privacy from neighbors.

This is the rear cabin view from the main bedroom.

This is the back door. You can use this locking device on the right to lock the back door. It’s more secure than the U.S. mint.

This is the back side view of El Dorado. This is what it looks like when it’s all plugged in and operational.

Requirements to add the Skoolie to your property

  • Septic/sewer tank
  • Electrical connection (traditional 110v outlet is fine)
  • Water supply (normal garden hose is fine)
  • Zoning is dependent on location, city, county, state etc. If it’s a good fit, we will work with you or the property owner to ensure we meet all legal requirements

What would be ideal for our new Skoolie spot

  • A great view
  • A quiet space
  • An existing cleaning and booking team
  • A non-freezing climate

Please share this with your friends, or anyone you think would be a good fit for team El Dorado.

If you’re interested in the creation of El Dorado, feel free to watch the maker series of the school bus tiny home conversion adventure here on our YouTube channel.

El Dorado Skoolie Facebook page.

Doc Holiday Soundboard – Vanilla JavaScript and the Skeleton Framework

This evening I completed my Free Code Camp Front-End Library certification wrapping up the projects with a Doc Holiday Soundboard.

Doc Holiday Soundboard

The project was built using vanilla JavaScript and a mobile responsive CSS library called Skeleton.

Though these projects request that we use complex software like React and Redux, I couldn’t bring myself to do that for this project. This project was too simple to run those huge front-end libraries.

If you’re interested in learning more about the project and the process I went through to build it, you can find all version history on GitHub.

Thank You

Thank you to DHG for the Skeleton framework.

Caravan Palace

I’ve been a big fan of electro swing for a while now. Caravan Palace is a great example of these fun, fresh beats. This song is called Jolie Coquine.

If you find it hard to hear the lyrics, don’t worry. You’re in good company. By that I mean that I don’t understand a word of this song either.

Here’s a copy of what are suggested to be the lyrics.

Jolie Coquine – Lyrics

How to do
Where to go
What to do without you

What to think
How to dream
If I don’t sleep with you

What to do
Where to go
How to do without you

You’re my Pole Star

How to do
Where to go
What to do without you

What to think
How to dream
If I don’t sleep with you

What to do
Where to go
How to do without you

You’re my Pole Star
Pole Star

How to do
Where to go
What to do without you

What to think
How to dream
If I don’t sleep with you

What to do
Where to go
How to do without you

You’re my Pole Star

JavaScript ES6 Spread Operator

This is in response to a FreeCodeCamp curriculum session which teaches spread operators.

I found FCC’s explanation of spread operators (click here) to be a very complex description of a simple concept.

Thank you to Brandon Morrelli’s article which provided a clear description of how spread operators can be used to make it easy to work with arrays.

How the Spread Operator Works

Here is the simple way of understanding how a spread operator works:

var arr1 = ['three', 'four'];

var arr2 = ['one', 'two', ...arr1, 'five', 'six'];

console.log(arr2);
// logs [ 'one', 'two', 'three', 'four', 'five', 'six' ]

Essentially the spread operator allows us to inject arrays into spots where we want only the elements, not the array container.

Here is an example of what happens when we don’t have a spread operator:

var arr1 = ['three', 'four'];

var arr2 = ['one', 'two', arr1, 'five', 'six'];

console.log(arr2);
// logs [ 'one', 'two', [ 'three', 'four' ], 'five', 'six' ]

In the example above, we have a nested array which could be problematic depending on the architecture of your application.

Essentially, this makes it so we can evaluate arrays in place.

ES6: Use the Spread Operator to Evaluate Arrays In-Place

This is the answer that passes the tests in the current version of Free Code Camp:

const arr1 = ['JAN', 'FEB', 'MAR', 'APR', 'MAY'];
let arr2;
(function() {
  "use strict";
  arr2 = [...arr1];
})();
console.log(arr2);

 

A Walk Around Cordoba, Spain – 2018

Cordoba is the birthplace of Seneca the Younger. I learned this in a moment of stupidity. I was standing near the statue taking this photo and I heard a tour guide address his clients.

“I was born in that building over there. This statue is of a Roman poet named Seneca, who was born here in Cordoba” he explained.

“That’s ridiculous,” I thought.  “Seneca must have been born in Rome… right? Wait, actually I don’t know the answer to that at all.” After my foolish internal monologue I realized that yes, Seneca was born in Cordoba.

Cordoba was larger than Paris back then. Cordoba is an interesting place…

Here is an image of V levitating in the street.

The skies above Cordoba are stunning.

This is a corner of the Puerta del Puente in Cordoba.

This is an image of the Roman Bridge of Cordoba. It crosses the Guadalquivir river which smells bad periodically.

 

Here is the top of the Triunfo de San Rafael with the sky and some clouds in the background.

How many horses do you count here? Later, this organization carried away a married couple and their kids.

Botica is a shop in Cordoba. What a cool hand-painted tile sign.

Active Workation Croatia 2018 – Working and Floating the Adriatic Sea

What is the Active Workation?

The Active Workation is an opportunity to spend a week with people who have either retired, have internet businesses or are seeking to learn about internet businesses while doing something fun. Also, some people came along just because it sounds like a lot of fun. For this Active Workation, our ‘something fun’ was a weeklong boat trip to various islands in Croatia.

They call it sailing, but there wasn’t much sailing happening. The boats all motor around these days. It’s a bit loud, but much more efficient that way.

We do have opportunities to do work either online or by making art which might help us in some way in the future.

For people live V and I, it’s an opportunity to discuss our next projects and teach anyone who wants to learn about the business stuff that makes it so we can choose to do business trips like these.

Note: this is a work in progress post. I'll update over the next few weeks, but it will be complete by the end of June. At that point, this paragraph will dissappear.

Some of the Videos

“Why make these little videos, Ian?”  I’ll explain that in greater depth below…

Here is a collection of small instagram-like videos I made using the GoPro Hero 6 during our Croatian Workation in May 2018.

Mikey is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student from Detroit. He also likes diving. Though I made a few of these videos of him, this is the shortest one that I could add to the blog without using a third party application like YouTube or something owned by Mark Zuckerburg.

Zia is a from England and works in finance. She was initially afraid to get on a boat, but now she loves boats, and swimming. Good work Zia.

Simon is a German/Korean finance/project management professional living in Zurich, Switzerland. He is also fond of swimming.

Sean helps keeps yachts operating effectively between Europe and Dubai. She is originally from Australia and is fond of swimming.

Sam is good at gymnastics and dancing.

Rik is from Holland and is good at many things. He made a video of the croatian workation that you can watch by clicking here.

Here’s another video of Rik.

Lauren is learning about what she wants to do next. This trip was a way for her to get ready for what to do next.

Louise was with us for Nomad Cruise 6. She lives in the Dominician Republic and is good at paddle boarding.

What is this collection?

This is an experiment on publishing videos on my own site. You see, almost everyone uses services like Google, Facebook or Wistia to publish videos. The problem with that is that when we use these services we depend upon those platforms for the rest of time. Therefore if those platforms lose our data or highjack it, we don’t really have much we can do in retribution. I mean, we gave up all our power from the beginning. It’s nice that they offer the service to host our media for free, but I feel it’s important to remember that they are offering their free services not because they are the kindest organizations in the world, but because they use the media to make more money than it would cost them to create and host it themselves.

Socially, this was an experiment in giving with 0 anticipation of anything in return. These videos are helpful for other people to share on those previously mentioned platforms. Some of them have received a a few thousand views and the vanity metrics probably make people feel happy about their trip.

Technically, it was a great way to practice filming with the GoPro Hero 6. I learned a lot about depth and how to dive with the subject while on this trip.

Is That It?

No. I have a few more videos I would like for Patrick, Marcella and other guests of the event. Those will have to wait as I have exploring to do.

I do plan to update this blog as I have more time and access to the internet. Thank you for reading.

If you have anything to add or would like to request a movie, please let me know in the comments below.

Paris – The Luxembourg Garden

V wakes up in Paris.

The age that Jesus died.

That beautiful building with a cloud behind it.

This photo is ugly, but I want to build this one day so I included it here. This would make for an excellent wood, metal, rope and fabric project. The project would be titled as follows: make a beautiful boat which sails it’s self.

Tate in front of a statue by the medici family.

A greek actor. Playing with negative space.

Wrought iron (?) fence around the Jardin de Luxembourg. I always speak Spanish when in foreign countries. Even when the country I’m in doesn’t speak Spanish.  Therefore I often say it all wrong.

Software Ideas – Computer Programs I Wish Existed

These are ideas I came up with for software projects. I would love to see these programs exist.

If you build a business off any of these ideas. I’d love to know so I can provide support in any way possible. These ideas are free to steal and pass off as your own.

If you do build one of these tools, let me know and I will be happy to mark it as solved and link to your project. Thank you in advance for solving my problems.

Updated May 28th 2018

Software Ideas for WordPress Plugins

Patreon like Plugin for Popular Blogs

A WordPress plugin which accepts donations from users. It displays on the sidebar with a message that read, “This site lives on user donations, it currently has the funds to stay alive for . Thank you to for their donation on . Your support keeps this site alive for others. Because of supporters like you, this site can continue to be developed by the team.

Podcast RSS Feed Generator Tool

A WordPress plugin which actually makes hosting and building a podcast RSS feed easy. Blubrry and Libsyn and others do a good job, but I believe it could be made much cleaner. If you’re interested in working on this project, I may start working on it shortly. Please get in contact with me. I believe this options has a good business behind it as it has built in hosting costs which many current clients are happily paying.

Software Ideas for Mobile

Cultural Learning Augmented Reality Game

A augmented reality game where you get points by passing quizzes, solving riddles and sketching art from the locations one visits around the world. Similar to Ingress, but instead of glyph hacking or just hacking portals, you do more learning intensive projects chosen based on their capacity to teach about history, architecture, art, poetry and other cultural aspects of the places where the individual lives.

Software Ideas for the Web

Facebook Infinite scroll share number finder

A friend of mine builds big Facebook pages and monetizes them. He is often seeking the most shared post on another page so that he can mimic the attributes of that image or video. When doing this, he is constantly scrolling down the page, waiting for infinite scroll and using his memory to find the most shared post. A better tool would be an application which downloaded the data and displayed the posts on his page based on which received the most reach, engagement or likes.

Let’s Take Action on This – LTAoT

A web app that generates a webpage that follows a cadence which is generated by a user for them to send to a friend/family/business associate. The friend opens a link sent by the user which links to a message the user wrote, then it plays a video/podcast, then it provides a final message.

Example Process:

  • The user wants to send a podcast to their spouse about investing habits. They want to provide a message before they listen and then a message after.
  • User writes in the following message
  • “Hey Spouse, I listened to this finance podcast and I think we should take action on this lady’s philosophy when thinking about investing. Here is what she had to say which I thought was compelling.
  • Audio/Video plays (Probably something motivational or something describing an important lesson they want to share for this example, a finance podcast about the value of low cost index funds).
  • Upon completion another message pops up generated by user
  • “You know how he was talking about having a long term savings account of VTI index funds, I’d like us to set a goal around that and stick to it. What do you think?”

Sales Page Plugin for WordPress Sales Page Jacking Switchout

My friend likes to identify sales pages that are working and change those pages to work exactly the same way for him, but with his own white labeled product.

His process:

1. Find a page that is working
2. Copy the source code and paste it into the WordPress plugin
3. Automatically clean the code of tracking information from old page
4. Allow friend to identify links and media that he wants to change and then provide a user friendly way of changing out old images with white label specific content.
5. Publish the page to WordPress with it’s own stand alone content on a simple to share URL

Boom. Then you could use WordPress to jack successful sales pages.

This idea is worth a lot to my friend. He could be the only customer and we could charge a lot for it.

Clickfunnels + Shopify

Automate the collection of emails and handle the orders via shopify fulfillment

collect emails through ClickFunnels but then Shopify handles fulfillment

HandyHouseSits.com

A place for house-sitters who are good at fixing places up.

You put your house up for a house sit in which someone comes and stays in your home, but you add an inexpensive house solution (something like fixing a door or maintaining a pool). The house sitter comes and fixes a thing while maintaining the animals etc, but the house sitters can expect to come back to a home that is better condition than when they left.

Solves the trusted house-sitter issue with having too many house-sitters and not enough housesits.

APP for ScallyCats type event

Augmented Reality that makes programming a ScallyCat type competition easy.

The person setting up the ScallyCat/Pub Crawl can set instructions based on
GPS location and then the instance is created so others can attempt to
complete the tasks/experiences.

Future Features Include:
– Leader Boards for those Partaking in the Competition
– Warning alerts when you’re getting passed
– Collecting random points at various spots along the way

Marketplace for People to Get Likes and Views on YouTube

Get points for watching YouTube videos. Use your points to get views and likes on your video.

Allow users of the service to join a marketplace for attention.

Users can earn credit for likes and watching other users’s videos. Those credits can be spent on driving likes and views to specific videos they are interested in promoting.

* Creating a bot that can sit and watch movies is a weird potential
* People setting up playlists and allowing them to run through
is another activity to contemplate.
* Chrome plugin that people activate to keep their points growing
* This is a marketplace type software.