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charliecheckers
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There is a retired airport shuttle bus for sale near my house that I pass by every day and wonder to myself "whatever happened with Howie's Bus? Any updates to share Howie?
Sam Sandler
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He is doing just fine and already getting biz from the bus.
the graphics came out great and has been in a few parades with the bus

oh and the cut out for the live rabbit for all to see has gone over very well.

he is seeing the benefits from it already although it did cost a bit more then I think he originally planned but it is going pretty good for him.

I am sure howie will chime in and tell you more of what he is doing.

sam
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Donald Dunphy
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He's posted a few photos on this thread.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Howie Diddot
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Charlie, thanks for the interest in the bus.

I was surprised to see the thread when I came on today, I was waiting to finish the bus completely before starting a new thread and updating the Café members, but since you were kind enough to show an interest I will start now.

Yes it is a very good decision to buy it and fix it up as a magic bus.

I have been in parades, fairs and expos since it has been kind of finished and I have enjoyed much recognition and success with it.

Sam was correct it was more costly than expected. The engine and transmission, cooling system came in on budget; it was the extras that I have spent on the toys that have caused the cost overrun.

This is the bus now; many more graphics have to be applied, some over the windows and my photo on the back of the bus still have to be applied

here are some photos

Image


Set up in a fair

Image


Backdrop- windbreak for an outdoor show

Image


The front of the bus can be seen in the rear view mirror of the car in front of me

Image


The cage from the back showing the 12 Volt fan and the compartment holding the ice to cool the rabbit

Image


The custom rabbit cage in the window

Image


Kids looking at the rabbit in the window.

Image



The farmer in the window looking out

Image


People watching the farmer’s routine

Image


People looking at the rabbit in a restaurant; the photo was taken without them knowing it

Image


A kid at an fair wearing my “I KNOW HOWIE DIDIT sticker

Image



More to come soon
charliecheckers
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Howie - very cool. I am very jealous. A few questions - if you don't mind. Does the ice/fan set up for the rabbits work well? What plan do you have for winter months to provide heat for them (if necessary)? How is it for loading/unloading compared to your initial expectations? How do you go about getting invited to participate in parades? Do you allow the birthday child the opportunity to tour your bus? How does the transportation of your rabbits in the bus compare to your previous method (from the stand point of convenience and rabbit comfort)? Thanks for sharing the updates.
Dynamike
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It looks like Howie Didit again. Smile

Howdie, I got a question for you. First of all everyone knows the graphics make great advertisement. It will get you more phone calls. But what other way will the bus make a great marketing tool? If you get a phone a phone call and tell the prospect, "I will arrive in a bus." I do not think that will help much. But if there are things the kids can do on the bus (art activities, magic workshop, games, etc., or if the kids will get a 15 minute ride on the bus after your magic show, it will help with marketing. Do you have any marketing plans for using the bus beside the graphics?
TomBoleware
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Howie I had confidence in you all along, but
I think it actually turned out better than expected.

It looks great. Well done.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Howie Diddot
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Charlie, I will answer any questions you or anyone may have; after all it is magicians helping magicians and it is a fun project;

The cage; I started with a normal wire cage, but when the bus is parked and the air conditioning is off, the rabbit has no protection from the heat stored up in the bus, so I had the cage made with holes on the top and the fan blowing cool air from the ice box into the cage. The cool air goes down to the rabbit forcing the warm air up out of the holes on top of the cage.

Not shown in the photo is a rechargeable battery that recharges from the lighter plug in the bus; I can disconnect the plug and move the cage anywhere keeping the fan powered up and cooling the rabbit

As for the winter cold; I don’t know how cold the bus will get during the day; the rabbit has fur, so I am anticipating he will be fine; I will tackle that problem if it is a problem in the winter.

NO CHILDREN are allowed on the bus, I would anticipate that parents would be against a child entering a stranger’s vehicle, so I don’t want to go there.

All the entertainment is located outside the bus, the rabbit and the farmer and chicken, I purchased a TV and DVD that I am having installed in a window with a speaker outside the bus, at first it will have clips of my shows for the parents to view, but I may also play children’s videos as well.

Posted: Aug 19, 2012 10:03pm
Mike as I mentioned to Charlie NO CHILDREN are allowed on the bus, the marketing will be the parades expos and fairs, performing shows in front of the bus, transporting people for worthy causes delivering whatever will fit into the bus for non-profits and anything that will benefit the community.

The biggest plus is not having to load, or unload my vehicle for a show, I wake up in the morning, start my bus and drive to my show; when I get home I rest; at some time during the week, I go to the bus and refill my props that require it and clean it up a bit; also having most of my props on the bus is terrific, if I decide I want to perform a trick because of a reason I discover when I arrive, I just go to my bus and get it.

The farmer and chicken show thrills the children when they arrive at the party and they love watching them; in a few weeks when I arrive at the home, the TV will be playing popular children's videos.

The rabbit is not in the cage when I arrive so it is the big surprise ending of the show.

Posted: Aug 19, 2012 10:08pm
Tom,

Thanks for the confidence you had in me,

I am happy to hear you feel it has turned out better than you expected.
TheGreatNancini
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I think it is a HUGE success!

It is Howie's dream turned into reality, making it a wonderful adventure.

While it may not be everyones cup of tea, I for one would get one for Shiz Diz in a heartbeat if time and money allowed.

Great Job Howie and I do hope you will find it to be a very profitable venture!

~Nanci
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danfreed
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Very cool Howie, very cool...But now I'll have to outdo you...I'm going to get a magic helicopter and do my show while flying very low.
kimmo
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Great job Howie. I'll confess I had my doubts, but happy to admit I was wrong on this one. Best of luck with it!
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billappleton
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Awesome Howie!
Cheshire Cat
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Excellent and well done. If your climate works with this then that's all that matters. Here in Britain actual full sized double decker buses get turned into party venues, but they are usually soft play areas. I've never heard of one being used for magic shows. I would imagine that parking logistics both at home and parties must be quite a nightmare with these huge vehicles, plus the cost of fuel in the UK now. We used £20 worth of petrol on 3 parties the past couple of days. I make that $29.81.

T.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2012-08-20 00:01, danfreed wrote:
Very cool Howie, very cool...But now I'll have to outdo you...I'm going to get a magic helicopter and do my show while flying very low.

LOL
Sam Sandler
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Howie as you and I have been talking over the time getting it done I am very proud of what you have created. good job my friend.

now you need to get a special horn. you can get a Dixie horn like that of the general Lee on dukes of hazzards so when you arrive you can hit your horn and bam you got coolness.

take care bud
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2012-08-20 00:01, danfreed wrote:
Very cool Howie, very cool...But now I'll have to outdo you...I'm going to get a magic helicopter and do my show while flying very low.

Don't forget to post photos of the progress; now that you are building a magic helicopter, I have to buy and create a Howie Didit Magic airplane.
Quote:
On 2012-08-20 00:04, kimmo wrote:
Great job Howie. I'll confess I had my doubts, but happy to admit I was wrong on this one. Best of luck with it!

Thanks Kimmo, your post means a lot to me.
Quote:
On 2012-08-20 00:34, billappleton wrote:
Awesome Howie!

Thanks for the post Bill, I'm glad you like the results.
Quote:
On 2012-08-20 01:58, Cheshire Cat wrote:
Excellent and well done. If your climate works with this then that's all that matters. Here in Britain actual full sized double decker buses get turned into party venues, but they are usually soft play areas. I've never heard of one being used for magic shows. I would imagine that parking logistics both at home and parties must be quite a nightmare with these huge vehicles, plus the cost of fuel in the UK now. We used £20 worth of petrol on 3 parties the past couple of days. I make that $29.81.

T.

Thanks for the post; you have asked good questions.

When I first thought of getting a Magic Bus, I was in the city of San Francisco and knew the parking and driving up and down the hills made it an impossible project; since moving my office out of the city, I re kindled the project and here’s the results.

The parking is not that horrible, I can fit the bus in blocking the driveway, or park in the driveway extending out a few feet. I have not encountered a home that has made it impossible to park, but if I did, I would unload at the home, all the tricks are in two cases with small lock on them to keep the kids out and park away from the house.

Fuel is costly; about $140.00 to fill the tank = 89.00 GPB and I spend between $250.00 to $300.00 = 159.00 to 191.00 GPB a month to drive around and go to shows.

I fold the costs into transportation and advertising as it is positive advertising. I am being constantly told by people that they have seen my bus as I am parked or driving around.

Posted: Aug 20, 2012 11:42am
Sam, I am way ahead of you…LOL the bus has a uga horn and a music PA system, just like the ice cream trucks.

As I drive around, if I see parents with small children, I tap the uga horn and always get a wave back

I alternate driving with the music, or the farmer, 50% of the time I wear a funny hats while driving around.

I park at shopping centers and leave the music playing with the volume set just loud enough for people to hear it within about 25 feet so the stores are not disturbed by the sound; if I am far enough away, I will leave the farmer and chicken playing. Most of the time the rabbit is in the bus cage

If I am at a home before a show with no disturbance problem, I leave the farmer and chicken playing; it is louder, but a great way to greet the guests.

This is more than a bus to drive; it is a complete advertising program with entertainment.
Quote:
On 2012-08-19 23:52, TheGreatNancini wrote:
I think it is a HUGE success!

It is Howie's dream turned into reality, making it a wonderful adventure.

While it may not be everyones cup of tea, I for one would get one for Shiz Diz in a heartbeat if time and money allowed.

Great Job Howie and I do hope you will find it to be a very profitable venture!

~Nanci

Nanci, Thanks for the compliment;

I think if you made The Great Nancini Shiz Diz Magic Bus you would have trouble fitting all that to the outside, it may extend off the back…LOL
billappleton
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Quick idea Howie, maybe possible maybe not. What if the side of the bus had a big door like a Toy Hauler RV? You could pull in to an outdoor performance area and lower the door for an instant raised stage with all your equipment ready to go inside. The doors on the Toy Hauler RVs look like a drawbridge. When lowered they become a ramp for motorcycles and so forth inside. But sometimes they just put jacks on the ground outside and then the door becomes like a deck area.
Howie Diddot
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Bill;

I thought of an outdoor stage setting like you suggest; if I install a drawbridge on the rear, it really takes away from the look of the bus.

I have three options of having a stage, and I am investigating all three.

The first option is a slide out stage from the underside of the bus; I talked to a fabricator about it and he seems to think it will lower my center, in case I hit something on the road and the grease from the underside will make the top of the stage too messy.

The second option is a stage on the rear of the bus that has a square trailer hitch post that will slide into a receiver mounted on the bus.

The last option is an independent riser stage that has legs and will be taken out of the bus and placed on the side elevating me up to a higher position from where I perform now on the ground

Cutting out the side of the bus to install a stage is not legal because it would change the structure the bus and the state will not permit changes like that; even though I am not transporting passengers, DMV say it is possible for me to do it and as long as I have seats in the bus other than the driver’s seat, I am still under the regulations of the Highway Patrol as a bus and must pass CHP inspections every six months.

The upside of that is that the CHP recognizes my bus as the “HOWIE DIDIT MAGIC BUS” and I am officially a Magic Bus.
billappleton
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Still super cool without a stage. But this time of year you can often perform outside here in CA, so keep thinking about the stage!
Cheshire Cat
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I myself visualise a slowly elevating platform raising you through the roof, where you can emerge, arms spread out like Pope John Paul II behind a glass screen to the music of Ethel Merman singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses". At the same time a multi light show displays through the windows.

Tony
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