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The Transcend DrivePro 200 Dash Camera

Time to invest in a dash cam for PaceBeast and after reading the review below from we went for the DrivePro 200.

The DrivePro 200, also known as TS16GDP200, is a reliable, easy-to-use dash cam that was released in late 2013 by the renowned Taiwanese memory card manufacturer, Transcend. They include a free 16GB SD card with the device.
At a bit rate of 15 Mbps, this camera records excellent day time video, and night video quality is also good. It is becoming increasingly popular due to its high reliability, its Wi-Fi capability and because it is relatively easy to use.
This camera is one of the very few to offer Wi-Fi support. At 160 degrees, its angle of view is larger than most other dash cam’s. It comes with a 2.4” screen for comfortable video playback, or you can configure it from your tablet/smart phone via the Wi-Fi function.
Many buyers will be happy to know that configuring the DrivePro 200 is a breeze, even for the technically challenged. After connecting it your car’s cigarette lighter for power, it will come on by itself, prompt you for the time and date (on first time setup) and then start recording automatically whenever your car’s ignition is on.
It comes with a G-sensor so your video files will be saved if a sudden breaking maneuver or impact is detected. It also has a large emergency button that you can use to the same effect for any footage that you would like to keep for whatever reason.
You can choose whether you wish to record video clips 1, 3, or 5 minutes in length. We prefer 1 minute clips because they are more manageable. Recording is seamless, there are no gaps between the video files.
The Wi-Fi function is useful for changing the camera’s settings, and you can also use it to update the device’s firmware should this become necessary. You can even use it to view your video footage, but bear in mind that these are large video files, so transferring them wirelessly will be relatively slow. Plucking your SD card into a computer is the easier option, or just use the camera’s internal screen.
The Transcend DrivePro 200 is not one of the smallest dashboard cameras, but it isn’t terribly large, either. There is a narrow silver ring around the lens that reduces its stealth somewhat. We would have preferred an all black casing.
All the regular dash cam features are there, such as auto on/off, loop recording, impact detection (G-sensor) and date/time stamp on video. A word of caution though: Several users have reported an issue with the camera not being able to keep the date/time settings for more than a couple of days when it is not in use. This is apparently due to the camera using a relatively low power capacitor instead of an internal battery. However, there are also many users who do not seem to be having this issue at all.
The camera’s build quality is solid, and even taking into account the date/time issue, customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Furthermore, Transcend’s after sales support have been reported to be very helpful and respond quickly when needed.

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PaceBeast Earns his GT Badge


We have had our MINI Cooper SD Paceman (PaceBeast) for just over a year now and what a year that has been for PaceBeast. In that time he has done no less than 5 European Road Trips. Rightly then this is a right of passage and he has really earned his GT Grand Tourer badge.

His first trip was to Le Mans for the 2014 Le Mans Classic where he performed faultlessly even in a monumentally evil thunderstorm one day as we returned from Le Mans to our hotel in Bagnoles.

Towards the end of July he was back in France this time for a longer trip to the South of France. 700 miles of motorway from Calais  to St Tropez proved that he really is a comfortable motorway cruiser – a true GT. He also demonstrated a taste for the finer things in life as he per used the local vineyards in the South of France


His next foray abroad was  to Paris in October of 2014 for the Motorshow where we got to admire the beautiful MINI Superleggera. Again he served well, handling the Paris traffic with aplomb, the semi command driving position proving quite a benefit.


After Paris he did a short European trip to Bruges at the end of November for the Christmas markets where again he served us well with his ample luggage space which came in useful for our Christmas shopping.


In  2015 our first European adventure was Venice in February  but no accolades for PaceBeast there as we flew for that one. May however, saw a big drive to the South of France and as with the last trip to the south he did sterling service.


So there you go a worthy wearer of the GT badge.  

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PaceBeast Gets Daytime Running Lights


Fresh back from another successful European Trip to The South Of France and back we treated him to some new daytime running lights to give him a bit of presence on the road.

In honour of the number of European trips he has now completed we have awarded him Grand Tourer status and have therefore ordered him a GT badge. Another update then when his badge arrives.


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PaceBeast Gets New Shoes


When we bought PaceBeast we knew from the word go how we wanted it to look. basically our first MINI known as CooperBeast was clothed red and white with white alloys and white A-panels and we wanted to replicate him.

20140405-175956.jpgI think we are close now and it is in the detail that we have achieved this. We deliberately omitted tinted windows and  intentionally kept the alloys at 18 inch rather than go 19 or 20 inch on rubber band tyres. This will jar to the eyes of the modernists who want the wheel to  fill the arch and the vehicle to look slammed but remember that first it is a functioning and very useable four wheel drive and secondly, we are chasing a retro look and to do that we needed to keep the fatter tyres. A bonus for us is that it is a very comfortable cruiser – by far the most refined MINI we have ever owned. The alloys by the way our Team Dynamics Monza Type Rs and were supplied by who were fantastic to deal with delivering the alloys in record time. A JCW steering wheel is the only outstanding mod we have planned. Hope you like it.




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Car Events 2014 – Mega MINI Meet Lytham June


We had stayed overnight at my Mum’s  in Buckley to be nearer to this event as it was a long way from home. We had gone to this last year and enjoyed the venue although the weather had not been too kind to us, and we were promised a fine day this time.

So an early start, although not quite as early as we had intended as my phone had run out of juice, the alarm had not gone off and we were still sleepy from our sunrise adventure the day before. But we were away by 7.30 and arrived at Lytham Hall at about 9.00am. We parked up on the Total Mini stand and soon met up with RVW and Storm who we hadn’t seen for ages. A brew and a bacon bap was in order so we made our way to the little café at the back of the Hall, and took time to catch up.

We were greeted by some Star Wars characters as we came out and and i was really impressed with the uniforms. The helmets had a built in voice changer which sounded really cool. I asked but Peanut said no to me getting an outfit. We then took some time to prowl around the trade stalls. Me and Mrs P were both drawn to The Speed Factory stand where there were some white alloys for sale at a very reasonable price. We wanted our new Paceman to have white wheels from new but they are no longer an option, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to fix this. Sadly he had none in the size we needed, so we shall have to search harder.

As we walked down the driveway of the Hall and admired the cars, we realised an old friend from our European MINI jaunts was coming towards us in his new coupé. It was Spaci from Switzerland who was visiting friends in Birmingham and thought he would drive up for the day and It was a lovely surprise to see him after such a long time. Storm, RVW, Spaci, Peanut and myself Beastmaster – all legends in the MINI community and we knew so few of the other people at the event!

After lunch we browsed a bit more and got chatting to some Paceman owners and the afternoon became very warm and sunny, so we had an ice cream and then a rest in our new padded chairs. A few more photos, this time Peanut’s thoughts turned to more artistic creations, although some of us took the whole thing more seriously than others, as you can see below!


We had a long journey home and so we bid farewell to Lytham Hall, said goodbye to the legends and with our MINI love satiated for the time being, set off on our way home, just noticing in the nick of time that we were about to drive off leaving our new chairs on the grass behind us! To have lost them only a day after buying them would have been a sad end to a lovely day. This is a lovely venue for a MINI Meet and we really hope it establishes itself as a regular feature on the MINI calendar.


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MINI Paceman SD – PaceBeast Has Arrived


We collected our MINI Paceman SD from the dealer on Friday after a longish wait, whilst it was built. Both of us are really pleased with him, as he gives a different dimension to our cars. The Opel GT and the MINI Coupé are fast sports cars. The MINI Clubman S that this replaces was a fairly fast car but  in truth a poor relation to the Coupé. Similar in many ways but just not as quick. The Paceman is not tryng to be quick like the Coupé, but does what it does very well. It is a very comfortable 4 wheel drive 4 seater with an excellent semi command driving position and fantastic handling and performance for a car of this type. The above picture  shows the realistic offroading it will do, but it is great at this, while the rear wheel Opel soon skids away like a good un on the same terrain. Plus it is so low slung that we just don’t entertain it really.

It’s odd, but not only have we instantly fallen in love with this car, but it makes driving the other two even better somehow. Ok so the Paceman is a diesel and yes the engine can sound a bit harsh here and there, but it sounds kind of tough. Strong and reliable and as such it suits the bulk of this MINI. So there you have it PaceBeast, we love him.



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MINI Paceman Updated ala the Recent Countryman Facelift

Facelifted Paceman

So hot on the tails of us here at Beastie Folly ordering a new MINI Paceman SD, MINI announce a slight facelift for the model. It would have been nice to have the facelifted model but life is a fast train and we can’t let the grass grow under our feet. If we waited we would not have a Paceman for our Le Mans trip!

It was inevitable really that after announcing a mid life cycle facelift for the  updated Countryman in New York, the facelifted MINI Paceman has been revealed in Beijing.

Updates are minor, with MINI’s main object being to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Exterior changes consist of  a black surround on the headlights and rear lamp cluster, but it is sti;ll possible to choose a chrome finish as a no-cost option if preferred. Two new exterior colours and light alloy wheels are also now available. Inside, the only changes are new anthracite-coloured dials ala Paceman works and redesigned interior chrome rings.

Engine wise, all petrol and diesel Paceman models now meet EU VI exhaust emission standards. The Paceman S is now beefier, hitting 190bhp up from 184bhp in the outgoing model. Contrasting with the power increase, CO2 emissions are actually down from 143g/km to 139g/km. Emissions across the range have been cut to 137, 111 and 119g/km for the Cooper, Cooper D and SD respectively.

Finally to boost efficiency further, MINI has tweaked the underside of the car to improve the air flow and has complemented this by adding low-rolling resistance tyres across the range.

Facelifted Paceman

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MINI Paceman SD – Coming to The Beastie Stable

Doing The Deed

Our MINI Cooper S Clubman fondly named ClubBeast has done well over 5 years of sterling service for us and has clocked up over 68000 miles in the process. We have enjoyed many fantastic adventures with him including several European tours, including an epic Pyrenees adventure in 2009, the last French Weekender in Normandy in 2009, The Le Mans Classic in 2012, and the Paris Motor Show again in 2012. He began to take a back seat by the end of 2012 with the arrival of SilverBeast our JCW MINI Coupé who replaced CooperBeast who went to Peanut’s daughter, The Elf. Continue reading