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My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Adventures with Celebrating Queen, the US based Queen Tribute Band, continues this September and October. There are two more concerts in the coming 5 weeks and I am looking forward to meeting up with the Celebrating Queen band to fulfil these dates. The following are the Celebrating Queen tour dates in the next few weeks, detailing where the Celebrating Queen band are going to be performing.

Headlining the Murphy Maize Days Festival near Dallas, Texas on Saturday 24th September

The first event is a nice date headlinging the 13th annual Murphy Maize Days Festival. This is sort of a Carnival … or Cornival, sort of a harvest festival which is being held in Murphy Texas. The area of Murphy is within the greater Dallas metro area and is located between Plano and Wylie. If you are reading this and you are in the area, then please join us as this Maize Days Festival is a totally FREE festival, open to all.  If you are going to be attending the Murphy Maize Days festival near Dallas, then please leave a comment below and I hope to see you there.

If you are coming then I have some important location details. It is being held in Murphy Central which is at 550 N. Murphy Road Murphy, TX 75094. You can join the festivities from 12 midday to 9:45pm. Our Queen Tribute band, goes on stage around 8pm so don’t miss 90 minutes of the very best Queen hits ! There will also be other live music all day, great food from local restaurants and caterers, drinks, a variety of Dallas based market vendors, a wonderful kids zone, and much more! Also, after our performance there will be a fireworks display.

If you are interested, then I would urge you to visit the official Maize Days Festival website for more information. The website has information on how to get there, parking, vendors and much more – visit for full details.

Headlining the Miami-Dade Parks’ “Love-In” at Greynolds Park, Miami, Florida, 16th October

I’m only back in Waterford for 15 days and I will be flying off again, this time heading to the sunny shores of Miami, Florida to perform at the Greynolds Park “Love-in”. This music festival has a lot of music history associated with it (or atleast the venue does) and according to my research The Grateful Dead apparently played in this park at a similar music festival on April 14th, 1968. The Greynolds Park Love-in music festival is a real excuse to step back in time to the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s. It is a whole day of great food, fun attractions, delicious food and of course great music with the many live concerts on the day … and that of course includes ourselves with Celebrating Queen. I’m thrilled to be headlining at the Love-In this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever had 2 headlinging events in the same year. The closest thing I ever had to this was playing on of the smaller stages at Glastonbury 2015.

If you are attending the Love-in at Greynolds Park Miami, or the Murphy Maize Days Festival above please leave a comment below. Perhaps I might see you at one my Next Performances with Celebrating Queen.

If you want to find out more about Celebrating Queen please visit You can also Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media if you want to keep up to date with the latest news from the band.My Adventures with Celebrating Queen will continue in 2023 but I’m not sure what concerts are on the books as yet but I will keep you posted.

Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media
iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate

iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate

Everyone likes to look their best but sometimes that extra chocolate bar or those movie munchies catch up on us. The extra pounds can be a lot harder to shift than they were to put on. When I noticed that I was a few kg heavier than I wanted to be I said I would do something about it but I knew my diet was good to start with.

About 3 years ago I was around 1.5 stone (or 20 pounds) heavier than I wanted to be. That’s when I started using a diet app called MyPlate to help monitor elements of my diet. I have to admit I only used it intermittently, for a few months at a time but I saw results in about a month.

How this Weight Loss App Works

The app asks you to enter in everything in your diet – anything consumed that day. It computes the calories in your diet and deducts any exercise you do. The phone will detect any walking when the phone is on your person or you can add exercises later from a very well defined list. It then tells you, based on your diet goals, how your calorie intake is doing. Your goal can be simple to maintain your weight or to lose a certain number of kg per month.

You can see the breakdown of your sugar, carbs, protein and water intake. Remembering that increased sugar in your diet (e.g. soft drinks, sweets and cakes) will make your body store more fat, the sugar intake is the tricky one to maintain. This app can help with this.

Some initial setup is required, entering gender, current weight, height and the mentioned weight goals. After that, just start entering your daily food and drink intake. There is a huge database of foods already there or you can enter your own food. Obviously, some honesty is required in order to use the app but if you use it well you will see results.

I think part of the reason it works is that you start thinking, ‘Do I really want this?’. It makes you accountable for the things that you eat and makes you think about your diet. Plus, you can enjoy the treats but then you need to work them off. So if you go 60 calories over your limit, a fast-paced 20 minute should burn that right off.


MyPlate Diet App Screenshots

You can see the screens below on how it tracks calories, fat, sugar, carbs and weight. Overall I ended up losing the 20lbs I needed to lose and wasn’t miserable doing it (I still have a sweet tooth). It’s a very good app and if you have good will power it can help you lose weight and keep you accountable for what you eat.

MyPlate Calorie Tracker on the App Store

MyPlate is the fastest and easiest way to diet, lose weight and improve your health! Join millions who have lost weight with LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker — the most user-friendly way to track your food, diet and exercise on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. MyPlate makes tracking calories and getting the proper nutrition easy.

2016 , My Year in Review

2016 , My Year in Review

2016 will probably be remembered as a year full of untimely celebrity deaths, terrorist incidents and countries voting against the establishment. It was the year of Brexit and Trump. 2016 was also the year we said goodbye to Bowie, George Michael, Leonard Cohen and many more.  This is just a look back at my year and a look forward to 2017.

Rock of Ages – April 2016

January to March was fairly uneventful; I finished a Digital Marketing diploma in February which passed the time during the winter months. With a quite winter behind me, in April all that changed. I got a phone call one Thursday morning asking if I would play keyboards for the stage-show of Rock of Ages. Normally I would jump at this, but the only issue was that it started in 3 days. I had to learn 268 pages of the sheet music during this time. Dress rehearsal would be in 3 days and the show started in 5 days.

Shane McDonald in Rock of Ages at Garter Lane Waterford

Cast of Rock of Ages at Garter Lane Waterford, April 2016 – I’m on keyboards in the background!

In the end I did it, learned the music and did 4 days in Garter Lane in Waterford. It was one of the most enjoyable things I had done. The thrill of playing 2 hours of songs like Don’t Stop Believin’, The Final countdown, Sister Christian and Here I Go Again live on stage was a dream come true. (At some point I would love to be asked to play keys for the Queen show We Will Rock You, since I already know the music it would be a great one to do).

After the 4 performances I really missed the thrill of being on stage. Hopefully there might be more opportunities like this in the future.

Glastonbury – June  2016

We booked Glastonbury in October 2015 and was not expecting the weather to be as bad as it was. In the days leading up to it videos of floods on the site showed torrents of water over 2 feet deep in places. I was not looking forward to it. As it turned out it was not as bad as I expected. It was very muddy and very wet  which meant rain gear was required quite a lot. It also meant lying down on the grass to watch bands, as we did in 2013 and 2015 , was not an option.

A very muddy Glastonbury 2016

A very muddy Glastonbury 2016

I was not playing at the 2016 festival, but I did find a few abandoned pianos to enjoy. At one point a large crowd gathered and sung Bohemian Rhapsody which was very enjoyable. The highlight of the festival was Coldplay on the Sunday evening – I have never seen such a crowd at Glastonbury.

Coldplay at Glastonbury 2016 - Michael Eavis joins on stage for this one

Coldplay at Glastonbury 2016 – Michael Eavis joins on stage for this one – Summer 2016

In May 2016 I started work in moving content from to The .org site had not been updated in a while and was for the main part not mobile friendly. With Google penalising non mobile friendly sites SEO efforts, this was one aim. Also I felt the dot i.e. address reflected an Irish site better than the dot org I registered in 2001.

Since the transition in May, the site has had about 120,000 page views, which is not bad. However it is far short of the 12million page views the site got at its peak in 2008. 1.2 million of those age views came in April 2008 when an April Fools Joke went viral, resulting in my hosting company at the time closing down the site. (I’m not going to mention the company but they are US Based and I have been with Blacknight since)

Since then I have also moved My Queen site to the i.e. domain and in 2017 I will just do some final tweaks to the site architecture so that it is future proofed.

Winter 2016

Since the summer the few months have flown, and really I have just been spending a lot of time organising my photos and looking at doing more photography in 2017. I will be posting my shots on my photoblog at and I hope to have the first few blog posts online by early Jan.

Hope you have a very Happy 2017


Shane’s Queen Site gets a major revamp and site move

Shane’s Queen Site gets a major revamp and site move

After a few month’s redevelopment, Shane’s Queen Site is now resident on having moved from the old address.

My Queen website started life on tinet one of the pre-eircom web hosting solutions dating back to 1998. At that time it was a 2 page site and very basic. Over the next 6 years, it grew and I eventually hosted it on my server with the Queen subdomain. By 2008, the queen site was getting about 500 hits per day and was growing. I even got the attention of one of the Queen roadies, Peter Since, who asked me to review his book. I had a very enjoyable few weeks emailing Peter about his experiences with Freddie and Queen.

Since 2011 the site had not been as regularly updated as I would have wished. Also with the advent of the Google mobile friendly SEO penalties, the traffic on the site was decreasing. So earlier this year I made the decision to review the content on and move everything to a distinctly Irish .ie domain. First, the blog and main site (which you are currently reading) and next the Queen site which migrated fully last Saturday evening at 11pm.

What’s on Shane’s Queen Site?

The Queen website started life as a home for the chords and tab which I transcribed by hand. I found that many of the books you bought were incorrect or used very general chords – listing an F where an Fsus4 was the actual chord etc. Since then the site has included discographies, books and book reviews, information about the band, polls, and a few other areas of interest to any Queen fan. I intend to update a few sections before the end of the year and I may add a few new sections in 2017 including a ‘Learn to Play Queen’ section where I will upload videos of how to play certain Queen songs….

If you want to take a look, the address is 

Enjoy !

Shane's Queen Site

10 Things about me

10 Things about me

I follow many other bloggers especially Irish Bloggers. I came across this great post on the blog at and at the footer of that post was some questions for others to do, so here you are, 10 things about me.

These are my answers to those exact questions.

10 things about me

1. What’s your party trick?

I can play any Queen song on the piano, in the same style as on the record … you name it, I will play it. My dream would be to play keyboards in a Queen Tribute Band but I still fulfil my dream by being the keyboardist in the Classic Rock Covers band “Custom 160” based in the south/south-east of Ireland.

On a more light-hearted note, I can also have full and understandable conversations in a full-on Donald Duck voice. I even did it to Donald Duck at Disney and got a great reaction.


2. Cats or Dogs?

Sorry, I can’t do this, I love both cats and dogs equally. However, after recently trying to rescue 2 kittens who scratched and bit me quite badly, I am leaning a bit more towards dogs.


3. What is your most embarrassing moment?

Trying Karaoke with a song which I knew was too high …. it was far too high to reach. Thankfully in the days before camera phones.


4. If you could meet one person living or dead who would it be?

As a life long Queen fan, for the living person I would love to meet Brian May, and dead would have to be the amazing frontman, Freddie Mercury.


5. How long can you hold your breath for? (yes, you have to time yourself)

1:23:77 – 1 minute 23 seconds .77 – I knew I was over a minute but that surprised me.


6. Why do you blog?

I have had a website since 1998 and in that time blogging sort of passed me out until about 2010 when I started small scale. I just love having my own personal space on the web. When I find something I like / dislike or have an opinion on I feel I can then say it on my own site with the understanding that this is my opinion based on my experiences. I love seeing people visit the site and over the past year, I have had over 100,000 visitors to the website this year.


7. What’s your favourite TV programme?

At the moment The Big Bang Theory but will watch re-runs of Fraiser, Friends and Star Trek the Next Generation any time.


8. How many brothers & sisters do you have and are they older or younger? 

2 younger sisters, no brothers.


9. Do you live in a city or in the countryside?

I live in Waterford City, I don’t think I would live in the countryside … unless it was in New Zealand ( I could do that !)


10. What was the last thing you bought other than food?

Quite ordinary really… Diesel and a Daily Millions ticket (which I did not win on).



Feel free to answer these in the comments below.


Shane McDonald - 10 things about me

Launch of a New Website Design for

Launch of a New Website Design for

Over 17 years after my first website was launched on tinet (or Telecom Internet) which later became and which I then moved to, I have started to port the site over to the new domain of which I feel is a timely move. I chose the .ie domain as I felt .com and .org did not describe the fact that I was Irish. I am implementing a New Website Design at the same time.

New Website Design for

I am currently redesigning the site and trying to firstly make it mobile friendly, as my original site for was all coded by hand between 2001 and 2011 during a time when mobile was not an issue. As soon as mobile started to have an impact, I added some mobile-friendly code but I felt it wasn’t enough and here we are today with up and running and almost finished.

There is still a bit to do in redirecting the old site using .htaccess files and some PHP redirects, plus I still have to redirect the Queen site to this domain (that’s work for another day)

I hope to add more to the site in the coming weeks and hopefully, the New Website Design will be 100% finished and moved by the end of May or early June. 2019 Update

This blog post was uploaded in May 2016 and since then I have moved the Queen Site and also updated the PHP settings. I have also removed some blog posts which were not converting. It’s best to remove content which might be damaging the SEO effectiveness of the site. In late 2018 I also added an SSL certificate to as I felt it was important and made the site look a bit more professional.

So far in 2019, the first 4 months has resulted in 80,000 visitors and I’m projecting to his 230,000 visitors by the end of the year (at least). That traffic volume is up 50% on 2018 which itself was up just under 50% on the previous year. Onwards and upwards, more to come on the site very soon.