This is the fourth Elvis Festival for Carl Jones who has been travelling around the country in his motor home for the last eight years.
His only regret?
He didn’t come sooner.
Carl said he grew up with Elvis and is a big fan.
“I knew about the Parkes Elvis Festival, and after coming for the first time in 2011, I don’t know why I didn’t make the effort to come sooner,” he said.
Originally from Kurri Kurri in the lower Hunter region, when Carl retired from his profession as a roofing contractor, he and his wife Wendy planned to sell up and start travelling.
But tragically Wendy died of a heart attack before they could get organised and all plans were off.
Carl stayed around for a while, then eventually decided he would live his and Wendy’s dream and head off on a permanent holiday.
He is totally independent in his motor home, complete with car trailer that doubles as a fully fitted mechanical workshop.
He even has a lathe in there!
And recently he has modified it to carry his Gyrocopter!
He hasn’t flown it for a while, but plans to get back in the sky soon.
“I used to fly it a lot, but when I retired and had all this money, I didn’t want to accidentally kill myself before I had a chance to spend it, so I put it away for a while,” Carl said.
He has been everywhere, except for the West Coast and Tasmania which he plans to do when he can.
“It is going to cost me $1,000 each way to take my rig over on the boat to Tassie,” Carl said.
“Ideally I would like to meet someone who would like to travel around for a while, and who could share the cost.”
Carl (68) said travelling is a great lifestyle.
“You can do it on a pension, but you can’t do it quickly.
“It costs me $300 to fill the van up and that will take me 1,000km, but it might take me two months.
“There are lots of beautiful places to stay that are free, so I just hang around till the funds build back up, then move on again.”
All of Carl’s family live in the lower Hunter area.
He has four children, one daughter, and three sons who have given him 14 grandkids.
Carl suffers from Glaucoma which has no effect on his sight now, but will eventually, he said.
When he can no longer pass the eye exam for his drivers licence, he plans to settle in a caravan park - but that’s a long way off.
For now, he is here to enjoy the Parkes Elvis Festival and the many friends he has made while staying at the Showground over the past four years.