View Full Version : Ideas for 60th Birthday present

22 Degree Halo
7th Aug 2010, 19:16
My old man is 60 in a few weeks. He doesn't want the full family bash.

150 quid (or less :} ) - what I can get him for that. Something unusual, cool, different...

Ideas appreciated.

7th Aug 2010, 19:26
Balloon ride.
Parachute jump.
Silver toothpick.
Monocle. (Much more useful than you would ever think. Prescription is no problem.)
Obsession bby Calvin Klein.
Jaguars obsessed with Calvin Klein scent | Environment | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/11/jaguars-calvin-klein-obsession-scent)

Calvin Klein's Obsession for Cats - Wildlife Conservation Society (http://www.wcs.org/new-and-noteworthy/calvein-klein-obsession-for-cats.aspx)

Pugilistic Animus
7th Aug 2010, 19:32
Six highly experienced hoes:}:}:}

Pugilistic Animus
7th Aug 2010, 19:44
That shall serve to distract me;)


7th Aug 2010, 20:00
Try a Tiger Moth (http://www.experiencemad.co.uk/details/buy/details.php?code=4124)

Ancient Observer
7th Aug 2010, 20:08
If you spend less than you can afford, do think of a reduced price subscription to a magazine.
They are a rip off in the shops, but much cheaper to subscribe to. What does he enjoy? What car/what Hi-fi/BBC gardenning etc etc.

7th Aug 2010, 20:10
Sure, try the Tiger Moth. Stay away from the balloon. Statistics show that 99.78653% of people who take balloon rides are elderly men (women have more brains) who were seen by their loving offspring to observe a passing balloon, and heard to say: "That looks like an interesting experience!"

Loving offspring then put the elderly men on the spot with the gift of a balloon ride. The ride is the closest experience imaginable to Hell. I could go on in detail, but why bother?

Please believe me, the Tiger Moth is better. So is a nice pair of socks.

tony draper
7th Aug 2010, 20:16
I got a new Guitar Amp for my sixtieth.:E

7th Aug 2010, 20:17
my kids gave me a certificate for a wellness treatment.... massage, champaign, the works! Ninety minutes of being pampered.... something you could get addicted to. :=

Loose rivets
7th Aug 2010, 20:50
Wine, wine, wine and more wine. :p

And time...kids in the modern world don't seem to have time. Just time to sit and talk.

Having said that, I've to clear away my tools from the dining table as one of my lot is bringing his lot round. He's very strange. Only his wife will be joining me in a drink.

Talking of tools. I love tools. Always room for another fine old chisel or a smoothing plane over 40 years old. No modern c:mad:p!!! Get or sell anything on Craigslist here. Doesn't seem to have taken off in the UK however.

Old things for old people that remember quality.

B Fraser
7th Aug 2010, 21:22
The ride is the closest experience imaginable to Hell.

I took my dad up for a treat and he asked me not to go too high as he didn't like heights. I stopped the climb at 7500 feet :E

He loved it :ok:

7th Aug 2010, 21:24
How about something like this:

Thruxton Motorsport Centre (http://www.thruxtonracing.co.uk/experiences/trackdays.html)

7th Aug 2010, 21:25
Any self-respecting (mature) shed-owner will already have the tools that he needs (though you could ask him if there is anything that he wants).

My daughter took me on a boat trip to the Farne Islands.
My son took me to an Aerobatic Competition and Touring Car Race weekend at Silverstone.

Another possibility is a hamper of selected 'treats' - something that can be dipped into throughout the year. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as you can afford.

Wholi has it! Hire a special car for him to drive for the day (not necessarily on a circuit - you can hire sports cars to drive on the road).

If he is a speed-freak then book him a track session with a Caterham Seven (or let him loose on the highway with it).

Caterham Cars - Designed for racing, built for living (http://www.caterham.co.uk/assets/html/hire.html)

There's also the Mercedes 'Experience' at Brooklands and Land Rover off-road sessions (as well as tank driving).

If you want to do the car hire 'on the cheap' approach a local dealer and enquire about and extended test drive - you might get use of a demonstrator for a weekend . . . (If you don't ask you don't get. Tell them that he has always wanted one of their cars and will be getting his pension lump sum . . . )


22 Degree Halo
7th Aug 2010, 21:42
Well, he stays in Central Scotland.

Microlight? Anywhere do that?

Thanks for replies :ok:

Edit: Maybe this (http://www.microlightscotland.com/onehour.shtml)?

7th Aug 2010, 21:46
Yes, East Fortune - I did that for my daughter for her 30th birthday.
She thoroughly enjoyed it!
East of Scotland Microlights (http://www.eosm.co.uk/home.asp)

East of Scotland Microlights (http://www.eosm.co.uk/airexperience.asp)

For 'track cars' there's Knockhill.
Official Knockhill driving experiences, Motorsport gift ideas and driving experience courses in Scotland (http://www.knockhill.com/index2.php)

PM Say again s l o w l y (http://www.pprune.org/members/14270-say-again-s-l-o-w-l-y) - catch his address from:-

He's your man for aviation in your Pa's neck of the woods! (Stirling-ish).

I'm sure he'll be able to advise you (and maybe arrange something).

7th Aug 2010, 23:41
How about a family tree? means a lot as you get older.

A A Gruntpuddock
7th Aug 2010, 23:44
Bought my dad a walking stick as part of his birthday. Meant as a joke and he was a bit miffed but he used it all the time afterwards. Had to get a regular supply of rubber feet for it as he kept wearing them out. Sometimes. something practical can be welcome.

8th Aug 2010, 00:02
For my 60th I got a letter from my employer thanking me for my service and advising me that my Employment Pass had now expired!:{

Had a few good piss ups before we left though!:)

One present I got was a beautifully hand crafted Waterman fountain pen made from Pewter and showing many scenes typical of the Far East etc. Came in a beautiful wooden box and writes extremely well, great for Christmas cards! Some older folks still like a fountain pen.

8th Aug 2010, 01:02
The best present would be to refrain from "the old man' and "elderly" comments!!

8th Aug 2010, 01:48
I took my dad up for a treat

How often since then has Dad been a repeat montgolfierist?

22 Degree, you asked for advice on one specific. Here you have it. The rest is up to you. Good luck! The height and cold apart, remember that in a large wicker basket there are no three-point landings.

But that's Okay! The drag across a field under seven other bodies, if you are lucky and it is a field, is all part of the fun.

8th Aug 2010, 02:37
How much in U.S. funds?

Loose rivets
8th Aug 2010, 04:40
At 60 I was like a kid. My kids were always frightened in case I embarrassed them with my juvenile antics. So, a good present would be something to prepare the recipient for the changes that are to follow in the next n-years.

Philisan - no, that fortifies the over 40s.

Hire a young tottie actress to fall for the 60 year old. Works wonders that.

Sensible things? Mmm...back to suggestion one. Wine, wine, wine.

8th Aug 2010, 09:51
Loose Rivets
Combine the young tottie actress with wine, wine, wine and you have the makings for a memorable birthday. Definitely a winner.

8th Aug 2010, 10:03
The balloon ride sounds wonderful.

My boss and his wife took their son for such a ride for the son's birthday. They crashed. My boss was in hospital for a couple of months, his wife for less as her broken neck healed faster. The son wasn't seriously damaged.

It was a wonderful birthday present.

8th Aug 2010, 10:09
Balooning is the unsafest form of aviation, I was told, (By the holder of the first ever issued UK ATPL (Baloons)!).

8th Aug 2010, 17:52
If he's a whisk(e)y drinker, you could try a selection of bottles of decent malt (or similar) whose ages add up to 60.

Did that for my Bruv's 50th - something like an 18, a 20, and a 12.

Or if he's a port man; a 1950 vintage port would cost double your budget - for one bottle!, but you could do something similar - a 30 a 20 and a 10.

Edited to add:

Google's your friend - I won't post a link (cos it's advertising) but the port idea is available commercially as a gift set!

8th Aug 2010, 18:58
All right then, we're all agreed? You'll disregard the suggestion about the balloon ride?

8th Aug 2010, 20:57
I know you said he didn't want the full family thing, but last year we organised a similar bash for a cousin.
His wife persuaded him to have a weekend away in the Lakes, we went on in advance and chose an area with outstanding views for miles around but was still accessible mostly by car and then a short walk.
She persuaded him to take said walk to the spot where, unknown to him, we'd organised a full picnic - hampers, gastonomic delights and plenty of vino, nothing was left out.

It was just adults - no ankle biters below the age of 18 and it did take quite a bit of organisation, somewhat reliant upon the weather but we did take a couple of huge family tents just in case.
As it was, the sun shone just as requested, it was a huge success and he loved it.

8th Aug 2010, 21:12
If hes a Brit how about new teeth?


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8th Aug 2010, 22:06
How about a fancy Grandfather Clock that goes backwards?

Can't understand people buying old folks clocks. Do you really want to remind them that their time is running out? Why not just by an hour glass with "close to death" written on it...

Loose rivets
9th Aug 2010, 00:57
What's this Old Folks thing!!!!!!!!??????????

The bloke's only 60.

9th Aug 2010, 01:25
I'm 50, there I've revealed it. My life is not just half over but two thirds over. What do I want? Mainly that I live to be sixty and see my sons hit 13 years old and 11 years old respectively.

I threatened my wife that I would beat her again if she celebrated my fiftieth. So she didn't. The same will apply to my sixtieth only my I will be just that more feeble. She was unimpressed though.

Celebrate the life he has led, is my suggestion. Personally I no longer have ambitions, only for my sons and only those are for them to be happy.

9th Aug 2010, 03:58
Personally I no longer have ambitions

Corsair, I would not comment but since you tell us this, then by implication at least you expect comment. We have a fellow locally who retired at your age + 15 as a successful administrator. He did contract work for a year or two after that. Then he reflected that he had always wanted to be a lawyer but his early circumstances had made that impossible. Now he had all the time at his disposal.

He enrolled in law school, took 1st year, 2nd and 3rd, then graduated; articles then for a year before starting the 6 months Bar Admission Course. Called to the Bar and started practise. Ran for election as Bencher. Just failed the first time but was elected the second.

So here am I, a lot older than you and they tell me I am retired. I do not advertise my services, but people find their way to me, cases that no one wants, no money in it; But should this chap really be in jail? Is that old dear justly/legally denied a widow's pension?

I have some German but it's not great. Still there is much I want to read in German so I took an entry test for the Goethe Institut course. That is now under way. In all this taradiddle about Afghanistan, pause to look at the Truth available for the last 150 years in Das Trauerspiel von Afghanistan by Fontane. Good in translation, great in German. Worth the effort.

Then the Americans in Afghanistan should read Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. All that the Brits and Americans and we here need know of this is right there on page 1, from Caesar Augustus. The Atlantic, Mediterranean, Rhine and Danube, and the Levant are still there.

Thanks to the miracle of the internet I can now locate and for a few dollars buy all the books that used to be unobtainable. All I can ask of Carlyle is delivered to the door. I have "The Warlords" written by a Brit in 1915 all about the rotten Boche and what that bad actor General von Bernhardi wrote. Now I can buy and read "Germany and the Next War" and see what the good general did actually write. Aha! Not really what that Brit said he wrote. Now isn't that interesting! And so it goes.

Used to be I'd see a footnote reference to Lord Keynes' "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" from 1920, and there it had to end. Now I can (and do) buy the book itself and see why he walked out in disgust from the British delegation at Versailles. And then they wonder why there was a War in 1939.

So to Bloch's book written 1900 that forecast exactly the trench war horror that would come in 1914, and Bloch not a general at all but a Polish Jewish banker/bureaucrat turned presbyterian. Where were von Schlieffen his Prussians and the Kitchener and the Imperial General Staff in all this? Out playing at horses.

Apart from all that I am constantly harassed by the man draper who so often writes here. He can make TV sets work and fix computers, and take things apart and put them together again................ and I can't. The last time I soldered anything was sixty years ago, and not very well even then; BUT the local technical college has courses on a hundred things I want to do, and all I have to do is arrive and enrol.

That is after I become a tad better on the alto sax, of course. They all said a fifty year old man (that's where you are and I was) starting at the sax would never be any good, and that was no doubt true. Still I am no longer a mere beginner but have advanced fairly to claim the skills of a rotten sax player. I do not inflict it on you, of course, not yet, but I do believe I am a pretty good rotten sax player, and that is something, you know. Besides, how well could Charlie Parker fly a mighty Tiger Moth in weather fair and foul?

I have more ambitions than I can list but the problem is the calendar. They tell me it will run out on me soon.

Say it ain't so.

9th Aug 2010, 08:26
When my mechanically-minded friend hit 75, I got him a day on a steam train, shovelling coal and then driving the thing. At 80, he spent an afternoon at one of the country's oldest boilermakers who repairs stuff for steam engines. In other years, he's had an external combustion engine (now that's a lot of fun, and it clears the yard of anything burnable), a day with explosives, a day with hawks, owls and eagles; and a day compacting cars.

His favorite was the day with the birdies, but I think he's enjoyed everything else. None of it other than the steam train cost much money at all.

Your 60-year-old man is still well shy of retirement age, and may not appreciate a gift that suggests you think he's past his prime.

Re Davaar's problems with the calendar, I guess the thing is to still be running when you hit the finishing line.

B Fraser
9th Aug 2010, 08:31
Balooning is the unsafest form of aviation, I was told, (By the holder of the first ever issued UK ATPL (Baloons)!).

I'm surprised that your colleague had not heard of paragliding, hangliding, winch launching etc. when making that comment. Ballooning is as safe as you care to make it and I would be happy for any of my family to participate. I have no doubt that in terms of fatalities per mile flown, it lags behind other forms of commercial aviation however stats can be made to present whatever picture you choose. The most hazardous phases of a balloon flight are IMHO, the drive to and from the launch site.


Au contraire, there are such things as "three point landings" if the conditions and the pilot's appreciation of the wind shadow behind a woodland permit. My first ever unassisted landing was a peach and my instructor commented that it wasn't bad for a first time. Our passenger's face was a picture. To be fair, I'll add that I have ploughed a few furrows too however it's all part of the fun. If the passengers follow the instructions of the pilot the the risk is very small. It can be quite fun depending who ends up on top of who.

To answer your question, I have only flown my dad once which is in no small part due to our living in different countries. Would he want to fly again ? Certainly, however he wants a trip in a Yak-52 first (as do I but that's another tale for another day).

9th Aug 2010, 08:43
I'm surprised that your colleague had not heard of paragliding, hangliding, winch launching etc. when making that comment. Ballooning is as safe as you care to make it and I would be happy for any of my family to participate. I have no doubt that in terms of fatalities per mile flown, it lags behind other forms of commercial aviation however stats can be made to present whatever picture you choose. The most hazardous phases of a balloon flight are IMHO, the drive to and from the launch site.

As a happily retired paraglider pilot with over a decade in the log book, I chuckle whenever I see these kinds of assertions. You will find that per participant hour, horse riding or motorcycling is far more likely to end in an uncomfortable chat with a consultant Orthopaedic surgeon than paragliding or hang gliding for that matter. One should never confuse possible with actual outcomes nor throw in a dash of reasonable human fear for good measure.

Of course one of the main differences between a paraglider and a balloon is when it all turns to worms in a glider, you will at least have the controls in your increasingly sweaty palms, conferring the small opportunity to make the ground go away, whereas in a balloon, you better hope the guy with his hand on the burner handle at least has the wherewithall to actually turn the bugger - that and hope for a favourable breeze from our provident lord god.

Rather be Gardening
9th Aug 2010, 09:05
A lemon tree in a nice pot, some special gin, and some tonic water.




Noah Zark.
9th Aug 2010, 09:17
For my wife's fiftieth, got her on a day's outing driving double-decker bus, FV432 (?) tracked tank jobbie, large army lorry, & an Alvis Stalwart.
She had a brilliant time!
I gave myself a little treatlet of driving a Chieftain tank, and was too tall to get in the driving position :{ :{ :{, and so sat in the Commander's position in the top of the turret whilst the man drove the tank all over the place. Still good fun, but I'd rather have been driving!

B Fraser
9th Aug 2010, 09:32
Sadly not an assertion Parapunter but from first hand experience on two occasions where blokes have had trips in a helicopter. I've had one trip to casualty after twisting a knee while trying to land long and avoid a nettle patch on Liddington Hill. I've also had a terrific amount of fun and you learn a lot about how thermals actually work when climbing at 900ft / min over Coombe.

I've yet to see a balloon envelope collapse or stall but that's some compensation for not being able to do wingovers. Seeing the mouth close on a 300,000 cubic foot envelope in turbulence over the Brecon Beacons was a sobering moment but that was an extreme endurance competition flight with 2 crew, 1500kg of propane and lots of safety gear "borrowed" from Aunty Betty Airlines.

A commercial jolly is a great present for anyone who is fit enough to climb a flight of stairs.

9th Aug 2010, 09:48
Ah the Gibbett - see you in Cowes! At least one could do that when I started, before the CAA went & shut all the airspace...

I have nothing at all against balooning, save for the only way is up or down, but I don't like these statistical samples of one plus a few mates who had to have a ride in a nee naw, they always fade out on the reality of the thing.

I do acknowledge the risk involved & I retired when I had a child - the luxury of pleasing oneself is denied when that particular responsibility arrives, however I was bored of it after so many years& was lookiong for an excuse to leave. So I did!

9th Aug 2010, 09:58
Lots of aviation stuff earlier so I'll ignore that.

Given his age he was probably a train spotter when young so, depending on interest, wither a trip on a steam train (preserved or mainline; with or without a meal - loads of options to suit all pockets) or one of the 'driver experiences' - spend a day on the footplate learning a bit about driving (most preserved railways run that sort of thing these days).

Or a trip on a boat for the day (sail orpowered) if he has nautical interests.

9th Aug 2010, 10:05
Personal experience dictates that one doesn't give a stuff about adventure presents. Once into second childhood, one gets as much adventure and danger as one feels like getting into by one's self, be it trekking in primary rainforest in wildest Borneo or ridge soaring over the Dunstable Downs.

It was my 63rd recently and the bestest present of all was a pack of M & S socks in proper 1960's garish colours. Such socks have not been seen since Mary Quant became "Establishment". Jon Snow's ties have nothing on these wonderful socks. Nevertheless I'll wear them proudly (though with extra length trousers, perhaps) because they were the personal choice of my current favourite little boy.

"Grandad is getting older and older!" Only three years old and already so wise... ;)

9th Aug 2010, 10:20
Of matters Birthday, Happy Birthday today to all of the below...9th August.....

jschatzker (76), tecargile, nevilthedevil (64), N.HEALD (48), DICK DASTERDLY (45), Fliegenmong (38), sleemanj (33), lear31pilot (32), manucordier (30), MrToad (30), johnobr (27), ste07 (26), barrett1987 (23)

Yes that's right, tis mine also....regrettably I had a funeral to attend, but also realised the kindness of some close work friends.......had a lovely Blueberry cheesecake for work celebrations, and stetched it over the w/end with my loving family....all in all pretty good....'cept that 40 looms ominously on the horizon :eek:

9th Aug 2010, 10:22
Well, a long time ago for my 50th, my wife bought me two vouchers for Silverstone. The first was for the single seater experience in Formula Fords. Very professionally run and was just what I needed to convince myself that I could handle one!

The second was for the off-road experience in diesel Discoveries. Again, I learnt so much that has subsequently been of use in my own 4 x 4 usage with the balloon and trailer all over Europe for many years.

After this, I hung around for a bit and observed the road track people being whizzed around for 4 laps by an instructor. Decided that a fast Ford saloon was too ornerary and picked the Caterham Super 7 instead. Wise choice, as this allowed me to completely revise my opinion of my racing prowess as mentioned in para 1.........downards! How do the tyres stay on the rims in those things while squirming through the S's at full chat?

Anyway, that's was my personal take on "experiences". I'd say for a reasonably out-going personality almost anything "new" would be welcome and there's so much out there. One of my own great experiences was to fire the Hunslett 4-6-0 tender locomotive hauling the "Viceroy Special" train on Sri Lanka State Railways during a ballooning tour a few years ago, including being allowed to to a double running token exchange up country. That footplate crew were something special, don't think you could have done that in many other places on Earth! Some experiences just come your way and these are often the most memorable.

Let us all know what you come up with!


9th Aug 2010, 10:36
Driving a steam engine. Now that's a bit more like it! :ok:

But it seems that it costs about 250 for a three hour session. :sad:

9th Aug 2010, 10:49
Newspaper from date of birth? Google historic newspapers.

9th Aug 2010, 11:29
Balloon ride, if the landing's ok you get the champers, if its crap you get a free high-speed ride through red lights and a shot of morphine. Win-win innit?

9th Aug 2010, 14:28
............. and even if the fabric sometimes catches fire (as it did here the other week) it is exaggeration to suggest that this inevitably sets off the propane tanks. Go for it! That's what I say.

By the way, that bit about the horses is true, though if that's what turns the Old Boy's crank, why not rent Trigger and bone up on a chanson from Gene? But stay away from jumping and polo on the first date. It's a long way down.

11th Aug 2010, 21:59
Consider gliding in a sailplane (i.e. not hang-gliding, not paragliding). Yesterday my club was planning to have a 90yo gliding for their birthday tread - don't know whether it happened or whether the weather prevented it.

What's it like? See the current Walls TV advert; yes, the granny is a real glider pilot. Watch YouTube - ‪Gliding - Segelflug‬‎ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYTK0vVUrUM)

Don't buy one of the "boxed present vouchers" you see in WH Smith or supermarkets. Instead contact your nearest club via http://www.gliding.co.uk/findaclub/ukmap.htm

11th Aug 2010, 22:35
I'd always recommend contacting the 'supplier' of whatever experience rather than buying from any of the sellers of gift vouchers for multiple events - they are mere agents and add their fees to the actual cost (if any) of the activity.
I agree that most gliding clubs will probably offer experience rides for free, whether as a taster for someone who wants to start flying or even for a special occasion for a one-off. Gliding clubs tend to be for amateurs rather than professionals (and wind is free . . . ;-)

12th Aug 2010, 07:25
The British Gliding Association sells vouchers, redeemable at gliding clubs, that are cheaper than the clubs' own offerings. Having said that, go for the aerobatic experience, or wait for a windy day and get them to take you ridge soaring - high speed low-level and very stimulating.

London Gliding Club (http://www.londonglidingclub.co.uk/videos-ridgeswithtrev.xml)

12th Aug 2010, 08:09
SWMBO got me a ballon ride for my 60th, wonderful experience (but it was across the Serengeti). We got my bezzer a gliding lesson for his, also great, and I got a Tiger Moth ride last year and a racing car drive the year before. All are good treats but I would avoid the balloon and gliding options as they are very weather dependent. My bezzer was several months before he found the time, availability of the a/c and the weather all coinciding, and a mate who got a ballon ride for his 50th gave up after several months trying to book it and swapped it for a white-water rafting day. Kind of takes the gilt off it a bit.

Deffo agree with G-CPTN about going direct for a better deal.


13th Aug 2010, 11:54
For a chap (or chapess) who likes a crackin' good read about trains & planes, get him or her a download of 'An Honest Murder' (by Hector Pascal) from steemrok (http://www.steemrok.com)

13th Aug 2010, 12:06
Mrs BS has her 60th coming up soon and No.3 daughter has purchased her Hight Tea at a well-known posh London Hostelry. The good thing about this is that I get to escort her. The bad thing is escorting her round Oxford Street afterwards, as duty bag carrier... :hmm:

13th Aug 2010, 13:53
MrsP was going to take me to Verona for opera posh seats, all kilted up, but as my 60th is some months before the opera season, we're now looking at Milan for the early ballet season at La Scala on my birthday weekend.

Having been to Milan before, I guess I'd better start saving now. :eek: