Some of the frequently asked questions I receive as the creator of Travels By Narrowboat (TBN) on Amazon Prime, Vimeo On Demand and YouTube.
Q. What’s your real name ?
A. Kevin Shelley.
Q. How old are you ?
A. At the time of writing this, I’m 51. This may change as each year goes by though.
Q. Are you married or single ?
A. Current status is single, though I have been married twice.
Q. When will the next episode/season be released on Amazon Prime/Vimeo On Demand ?
A. Vimeo On Demand is currently the most up to date platform for Travels By Narrowboat (5 seasons). This content is now being re-released on Amazon Prime, at a rate of approximately one episode every 7 days. This time period is set by Amazon and is entirely beyond my control or influence. Literally everything I upload to the Amazon portal, is checked and approved by Amazon’s team of content reviewers, before publishing. When Amazon Prime is up to date, Season 6 will be released onto both Amazon & Vimeo – followed later in the year (or early next year) by Season 7.
Q. How much did Amazon Prime pay you to appear on the platform ?
A. In a nutshell, zero, zip, diddly squat.
Q. How much do you earn from your videos on Amazon, Vimeo & YouTube ?
A. How much do you earn from your job ?
Q. I really enjoy your videos/series. How can I contribute financially ?
A. I’m always delighted to hear how much viewers enjoy my work. However, due to several reasons, I am no longer able to accept financial contributions.
Q. Will you be travelling/filming along the (canal/river name) ?
A. As of this moment, I’m on the Lancaster Canal – which will be the subject of Season 7. I’m also extremely busy re-releasing all of my back catalogue onto Amazon Prime. This process will continue probably until September ’19. After this I will then be spending 4 or 5 months producing and uploading Season’s 6 & 7. Until then, I will be staying on the Lancaster Canal. It took a huge effort to get over here across the Ribble Link (my YouTube episode) and the canal is beautiful. Until all this work is complete, I won’t be planning where I’m going next.
Q. Are you loaded/wealthy ?
A. No, not at all. When I bought Aslan, I had savings (not a huge sum). From the start, it has been my hope that I may be able to eke out a minimalistic but sustainable living from the videos, and/or writing. The income I require to achieve this is ‘extremely’ small indeed, compared to that required for a life in bricks and mortar.
Q. Why don’t you get a job ?
A. There’s two reasons. Firstly, producing Travels By Narrowboat ‘is’ my job. In the 2 years plus that I’ve been travelling and filming, I have devoted my every waking (also sometimes sleeping) moment to filming, editing and producing episodes of TBN. Secondly, it would be impossible to hold down a ‘normal’ job, whilst travelling around the country.
Q. How much did Aslan cost to buy ?
A. Quite a regular question, which often generates a fare amount of resentment from the questioner if I refuse to answer. I wouldn’t ask how much you paid for your house? However in the interest of being as open as reasonably possible, I will say she cost me between £25,000 and £40,000 pounds sterling to purchase ($34,000 – $54,000 dollars).
Q. How did the name ‘Country House Gent’ come about ?
A. Before buying Aslan and moving onto the canals, I owned a house in the countryside. I was looking to name a YouTube channel and as I lived in a house in the country and I considered myself a bit of a gent, the name seemed to fit rather well.
Q. Can I visit or have a tour of your boat or meet up for a pint/lunch/dinner etc ?
A. Whilst I enjoy meeting and spending time chatting with viewers of the series and my YouTube channel, these are always chance encounters on the towpath, or in a canal side pub. It can however be a bit unnerving when random (and often extremely excited) strangers turn up, knocking on the boat and wanting to go for a pint, meal, or a tour and/or trip up the canal on Aslan. Remember that Aslan is not only my canal transport and the co-star of TBN, she’s also my private home. Would you be happy if a stranger turned up at your door for a chat, or asked for a look around your apartment or house?
Q. Why don’t you get a haircut ?
A. Go away.
Q. You posted a video on YouTube saying you were leaving, but now you’re back. Are you a liar/idiot/traitor/stupid ?
A. A year after starting TBN, I moved my existing 3 seasons to Vimeo On Demand. The reasons for this I explained firstly in the video “I’m leaving YouTube”. Then more recently I went into further detail in this video “The Real Reason I Left YouTube”. In reality, I never left YouTube, only TBN did.
Q. You claim you were beaten unconscious on New Year’s Eve. Didn’t you in fact just get drunk and fall over ?
A. No way. Not at all. I walked out of a canal side pub after having 2 pints of real ale. Shortly after, I was attacked by an unknown number of assailants. The police said they would treat it as ‘attempted murder’. The culprits were never caught. I explain all of this in excruciating detail in the video “The Real Reason I Left YouTube”.
Q. What equipment do you use to produce your series ?
A. Another very regular question and for this I produced a video on YouTube detailing all the equipment I use. I also detail the most important bits below: –
Canon Legria HF-G26 professional grade video camera.
Until about 4 months ago, I used a Panasonic HC-VX870 consumer grade camcorder, which after filming 6 seasons, stopped working properly.
The main microphone I use for filming 98% of TBN is a Rode Stereo Video Mic. A superb piece of kit and I love the results it gives.
Also for shots to camera, I use an Audio Technica ATR-3350 lapel microphone. As of writing, this costs £25 on Amazon and is a surprisingly good quality and competent piece of kit.
I occasionally use a tripod for pieces to camera. This is called a Vanguard, which was very cheap and purchased about 25 years ago from Argos.
I carry this equipment (except the tripod), as well as other sundry items, in a Lowepro Tahoe 150 camera backpack. As of writing, this costs about £40, also from Amazon.
For editing, uploading and social media posts, I use an HP Laptop. Not sure of the model but it is a straightforward laptop. Spec’ is a quad-core Intel processor, with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 15.5″ screen. I store all my files on the laptop and keep 2 backups on WD My Passport Ultra 2 TB USB hard drives. Currently these cost around £55 on Amazon. I never store anything at all in ‘the cloud’.
The editing package I use is Cyberlink’s Powerdirector 15 (since superseded by 17). It is a powerful and good value for money editor, which does everything I require.
Q. What does it cost to live and travel the canals on a narrowboat ?
I went into this in some detail in my video “A Narrowboat Christmas Special”, on YouTube. The costings segment starts at 37:35.
Q. Why are narrowboats called narrowboats ?
A. Are you serious?