From Gotham to isolated, code & debt-free West Texas estate

  • Опубликовано: 17 ноя 2014
  • Seven years ago John Wells sold his heavily-mortgaged home in upstate New York and bought 40 acres in West Texas for $8000. The area (Brewster County) is so isolated there are no codes or zoning restrictions so Wells built his own tiny home (in 9 days with $1600) relying on his set-building experience.
    Not wanting to rely on outside labor, Wells has continued to build his own services: a solar shower, a basic composting toilet, a bike-powered washing machine, an Airstream guest house, and a huge greenhouse which also houses 4 shipping containers he hopes to convert to housing/office space.
    Wells named his homestead (now 40 acres, he bought a second 20 acres for $500) the Field Lab (short for “Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory”) and he likes to experiment with off-grid solutions: one of his latest is a more-powerful solar oven.
    Original story:
  • Хобби и стильХобби и стиль

Комментарии • 2 571

  • Caryn Maher
    Caryn Maher 22 часа назад

    Wondeful! inspired! Love it! so much ingenuity!

  • me nkat
    me nkat День назад +1

    Mental disorder.....retard alert....retard alert = I

  • uncklebuck1
    uncklebuck1 День назад

    gr8 vid!!

  • Ryan Fisher
    Ryan Fisher День назад

    If there is no one to smell you, do you really stink?....

  • Fred Kost
    Fred Kost День назад

    Code and debt free but you can't escape the tax man. No codes in Uvalde County, Texas and a lot easier living.

  • LaRoucheisRight
    LaRoucheisRight День назад

    No building restrictions in Ocean View Hawaii. one acre $5,000

  • Wade Guidry
    Wade Guidry 2 дня назад

    YOU ARE THE MAN! Awesome ingenuity and skill. I love the desert, but unfortunately my wife grew up in the desert so I she's not really fond of it, so I guess we'll be stuck in the swamps of Louisiana forever.

  • Patriots4Trump #MAGA
    Patriots4Trump #MAGA 2 дня назад

    Build a stone wall shower. If the wind blows it down, you’ve got bigger problems.

  • Patriots4Trump #MAGA
    Patriots4Trump #MAGA 2 дня назад

    You are one smart man. Smarter than the crooks on Wall Street

  • Patriots4Trump #MAGA
    Patriots4Trump #MAGA 2 дня назад

    Just don’t get a rattlesnake bite out there.

  • Michael Watkins
    Michael Watkins 2 дня назад

    More rattlesnakes than people I am guessing 8)

  • raginald7 Mars
    raginald7 Mars 2 дня назад

    It is about Stress in our Social War Zone. The Stress in the Wild is natural, acceptable, learnable, doable. The stress in a toxic Society is deadly. We confuse Intoxication with happiness...

  • Jamal Yusuf Ali Bey
    Jamal Yusuf Ali Bey 2 дня назад

    Incredible. Thus has always been the lifestyle I've wanted. Freedom in practice, no winning and no excuses. In fact this is how self entitled welfare state minded individuals should be made to live, if their going to make a career out of sucking up hard working tax payers money!

  • ginger cox
    ginger cox 2 дня назад

    What about winter?

  • Jerry Pelletier
    Jerry Pelletier 3 дня назад

    Hot and humid right into the Atlantic ocean....we get our wind from the west....The west gets their wind from the Pacific....Big difference!

  • my cus
    my cus 4 дня назад

    Does it get cold there?
    Do you have floods? You know like it's flooding down in Texas?

  • Randy Hale
    Randy Hale 5 дней назад


  • dutch1999
    dutch1999 6 дней назад

    Interesting video but he's off on the land size. A quarter mile square would be 160 acres.

  • FreemonSandlewould
    FreemonSandlewould 6 дней назад

    Terlingua texas --- look up the price they want for land there. The banksters love this guy. 10000 an acre? I think not. If he were genuine about this it would be 200 an acre given it is a waste land. I suspect this is a money making venture.

  • Jonathan Gibilisco
    Jonathan Gibilisco 6 дней назад

    OMG this is crazy a metal siding cabin in the middle of the desert?? WTF was he thinking? I would have bought a bunch of cow dung and made adobe, way better insulation

  • Jill Sorbera
    Jill Sorbera 6 дней назад

    lol “If there’s no one to smell u, do u really stink?” AWESOME!!!

  • Cindy Monval
    Cindy Monval 6 дней назад

    Would love to do this. Can South Africans do this and buy land there.

  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson 7 дней назад

    I really liked this guy. I agree it's very dangerous to be in that kind of climate. I wish he would write a book on how to do what has accomplished. To me building an earth shelter would solve the problems with heat. The first thing would do out there is research what is the temperature at 2', 4', 6', 8', 10' foot below the surface. How far down does the surface temperature penetrate. Parabolic solar collectors to distill water for purification.

  • America TheBeautiful
    America TheBeautiful 7 дней назад

    Any update on this ???

  • Nunov Yrbznes
    Nunov Yrbznes 7 дней назад +1

    This man is a modern-day Henry Thoreau, very much in the old American grain of independence and self-sufficiency. His intellectual pals are Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Aldo Leopold, Henry Beston et al. For my part, I would always be afraid of those West Texas storms that could pick my little domicile up and set it down in the next county! The fact that he doesn't go crazy from lack of company also says a lot about him.

    • raginald7 Mars
      raginald7 Mars 2 дня назад

      Company and Social Toxicity makes you sick and become like a Drug addict dependend on the toxic environment...

  • Gold grinder
    Gold grinder 8 дней назад

    I'm sweating just looking where he lives. I live in the country (Belgium) where it rains most often in the world and I really like it

  • Sue Burgess
    Sue Burgess 8 дней назад

    I guarantee you he is living in that RV in the background.

  • AdventureSportFlashlights
    AdventureSportFlashlights 8 дней назад

    Love that evaporative cooler!

  • AdventureSportFlashlights
    AdventureSportFlashlights 8 дней назад

    Way to live within your means man. Congrats on dumping debt too!

  • Rich Broz
    Rich Broz 8 дней назад +1

    If you laid large diameter PVC pipe underground (where the temp is constant) and a fan to push/pull the air, you'd have a constant source of cool air in the summer and warm(er) air in the winter.

  • Yard Sale Dale
    Yard Sale Dale 8 дней назад

    Beware of floods and fucking hipsters.

  • tallthinkev
    tallthinkev 8 дней назад

    Nice enough if you like this kind of thing, yet how far to the pub?

  • F.G. Kaye
    F.G. Kaye 8 дней назад

    Q. A Bicycle powered Washing Machine ?
    A. " Gilligan's Island, ", circa 1960's.
    Aren't you afraid of flash floods ?

  • WithMercyAforethought
    WithMercyAforethought 8 дней назад

    oooh, This 'Councils of The Wise' is almost kinda thrilling

  • Smashed Avenger
    Smashed Avenger 8 дней назад

    It's a wasteland, of course there's no building codes.

  • hellavadeal
    hellavadeal 8 дней назад

    "Places aren't lonely , it's people that are lonely." Very profound statement.

  • Jokingvictim
    Jokingvictim 8 дней назад

    Hey, I'm living in Spain at the moment and thinking out lots of scenarios (for future plans) what to do and where to go, because one thing I'm sure about is, that I'm not willing to pay rent for some rich snobs. So some of my ideas include Africa and Boats and so on, but it's always orbiting the necessity of owning or just occupying land, homestead, plot or parcell.
    Since I realized that the system/...structures in this world are everything but fair, so I'm collecting knowlege since a long time to be able to live autonomous and take care for myself (at least). If somebody living in a rural area would offer me a bit of own space to cultivate and work together I would really seriously think about it. And...
    even though I'm German I have an US-american passport social security nr...
    So no problems at all to move to a place like that. I really like the idea, if there where no nuclear atomic bomb test sites arround, its quite a natural feeling.
    The available knowlege and tools are the most important in those conditions. Once this/my generation has our own workshops everything will be better because we are space bound!

  • Johnny Draco
    Johnny Draco 8 дней назад

    Where do all these "tubers" come from?
    "Tubers" try this, "Honesty is the best policy".

  • Matt Cardell
    Matt Cardell 8 дней назад

    this guy has it spot on,

  • BlindTom61
    BlindTom61 9 дней назад

    Where does he get his water? Very cool guy and a wonderful philosophy...

  • Milosz Ostrow
    Milosz Ostrow 9 дней назад

    Even in a no-code area, I'd still try to build to code, since the plumbing and electrical codes are based on sound engineering principles and evolved over time to prevent injury or death to inhabitants of structures. I like Wells' attitude about firearms: "When seconds matter, the law is just hours away."

  • Steve Legend
    Steve Legend 9 дней назад

    No building restrictions and no water, lol

  • Zamolxes77
    Zamolxes77 9 дней назад

    This guy lives in Minecraft, or 7 days to die !

  • Ken Bush
    Ken Bush 9 дней назад

    People like this built this country

  • InabilityToBeBrief
    InabilityToBeBrief 9 дней назад

    Just because there are no building codes doesn’t mean you need to live in a dump lacking any comfort or style. What a mess. You don’t need a ton of money, just some good minimalist design sense, a little engineering skill and some thought to the fact there are solutions to discomfort.

  • rationalguy
    rationalguy 9 дней назад

    Why go that far out? I have a $59,000 dollar, 1400 sf house I paid cash for in Kentucky, have a huge property tax break for being over 65 and am close to all the amenities. $2700 Socialist Security check easily pays expenses. Protip: Retire to a flyover state.

  • ronadpaugh44
    ronadpaugh44 10 дней назад


  • erik61801
    erik61801 10 дней назад

    can i move out there and be your neighbor?

  • idle observer
    idle observer 10 дней назад

    I was born there. Nice place, but really a lot more hostile than he lets on. Some years ago, a teen hiker died of heat exhaustion. It took days to locate the body because it was buried in snow. It really is nice, but damn. Before I was two, my family was barely rescued from a flash flood. The nearest rain fell over the horizon. When the water struck, the sky was cloudless. Awesome picnic spot. Usually.

  • clarkewi
    clarkewi 10 дней назад

    Got to be hot as hell in summer.

  • jnf1270
    jnf1270 10 дней назад

    no thanks. I would't want to live in the desert by myself in the middle of nowhere. What if you wanna go out to eat? or see friends? lol

  • John Kelly
    John Kelly 10 дней назад

    The trolls are in rare form today...

  • robert persall
    robert persall 10 дней назад

    What about water? Does he have a well?

  • Tamerlane Villanos
    Tamerlane Villanos 10 дней назад

    Interesting, his critique on the storage containers.

  • Johnson Rocson
    Johnson Rocson 11 дней назад

    Phaaaaaaaaase change ! People been using the science of phase change (liquid water into vapour) for centuries !

  • gst69man
    gst69man 11 дней назад

    glad he's not my neighbor

  • Kenny Rogers
    Kenny Rogers 11 дней назад

    Looks like Mojave desert

  • Chau Duc
    Chau Duc 11 дней назад

    This man is very creative but likes some sort of uncivilization living lifestyle. Just unbelievable!

  • MrMedukneusha
    MrMedukneusha 11 дней назад

    Fallout LARPers...

  • Robert Gilmore
    Robert Gilmore 11 дней назад

    Are you near Fort Hancock

  • Seraph909
    Seraph909 12 дней назад +1

    Kirsten must be an angel, because she can get invited into anyone's home. Super.

  • PickleRix
    PickleRix 13 дней назад

    I loved this video. I would probably increase the capacity of the solar panels to provide power for a small refrigerator and window A/C.

  • Furlow Torent
    Furlow Torent 13 дней назад

    This guy should contact the "earth ships" people. Pretty much what he's got going, but far more structurally sound and is more self sufficient. Full recycled water systems so even during long periods no water it should last bit longer. They can even have a miniature greenhouse to grow bit of own food. They stay cool far better than what he's got going as well all without pumping tons electricity into them.

  • Trev0r98
    Trev0r98 14 дней назад +1

    It's funny......this guy has essentially become a NASA engineer, out of necessity.

  • Thy Wish
    Thy Wish 15 дней назад

    His biggest threat is being abducted by aliens.

  • Robert all. Dawson
    Robert all. Dawson 15 дней назад +2

    I'm 64 years old, live alone, and still want to be a hermit!

  • Robert all. Dawson
    Robert all. Dawson 15 дней назад

    Way to go dude, I'm living in the city off the grid!

  • Tom Beller
    Tom Beller 16 дней назад +1


  • Joe M
    Joe M 16 дней назад

    What about a tornado? Do you have a safe room to go to?

  • Christopher Walch
    Christopher Walch 16 дней назад +1

    I agree 100% places are amazing everywhere to all kinds of people. It’s just people that are lonely because they can’t except and be happy with just being alive and making a good life with just what you have.

  • Sandra Anderson
    Sandra Anderson 17 дней назад

    I like his plan, however, he is still living "of the world". If you are buying your water in plastic bottles that is the epitome of living "of the world".

  • Extreme Cleanout Solutions
    Extreme Cleanout Solutions 17 дней назад

    It seems like this lifestyle would take 7 days of hard work also to maintain. It looks pretty complicated

  • Extreme Cleanout Solutions
    Extreme Cleanout Solutions 17 дней назад

    Great place to live! I wonder how far you have to drive to the grocery store?

  • mrjohncraigjr
    mrjohncraigjr 17 дней назад

    How old is this guy? He has a lot to do...... he said he needs a break!

  • ComputerNoises
    ComputerNoises 18 дней назад +1

    Holy shit. 40 acres for 8 grand. Hoooooooly shit.

  • Joe Go
    Joe Go 18 дней назад

    Cool. The one thing you forgot to mention was a well. Is there any water under the ground?

  • basically hell
    basically hell 19 дней назад

    How do you make money

    KNESS MACIAS 20 дней назад +1


  • PR4470
    PR4470 20 дней назад +2

    A big concern of mine would creepy crawlers like scorpions, millipedes, snakes coming into my sleeping quarters at night.

  • Bruce Maddox
    Bruce Maddox 20 дней назад

    under the pretense of simple living, this guy is circling the drain in the desert..his legacy will be leaving a social security funded junkyard in an otherwise unspoiled environment...

    • Joe Go
      Joe Go 18 дней назад +1

      Stay in the city. Sanfrancisco is more your style.

  • nrok113
    nrok113 20 дней назад

    this guy must be making some decent money still somehow. there's a ton of expense in this and he still relies on outside food

  • Kevin Kemble
    Kevin Kemble 21 день назад

    Once you decide to get the money thing out of the way through a definiteness of purpose (

  • Mike Wilson
    Mike Wilson 21 день назад +1

    If the SHTF then this guy won't even notice, other than his DSL might stop working. How does he get DSL way out there anyway? I can't even get DSL living 3 miles out of my small Central Texas town. I had to put up a tower and wifi the DSL from town to my home.
    I bought my house and did not build it, but I think there are not any building codes in Robertson County either, but I think Texas passed state wide building codes a few years ago and you are supposed to pay an inspector to come out of the city to do inspections now, but I would think those laws affect him too.
    I grew up in the city and absolutely love living in the country for past 12 years. Have not missed the city at all! But I am not totally alone like he his. Not even close. Totally understand his mentality though. City life has gone way downhill in the past few decades. To the point of mass insanity.

  • John D A
    John D A 21 день назад +1

    Glad that you could do this, even in a fascist state like the US.

  • Timmy R
    Timmy R 21 день назад

    I’ve driven through west Texas. What an awful, desolate place to live.

  • sapphireblue222
    sapphireblue222 21 день назад

    I feel sorry for this man...he had a dream that died.

  • Jem Bartlett
    Jem Bartlett 21 день назад +1

    Very very inspiring. Thanks for posting this

  • starrychloe
    starrychloe 21 день назад +1

    Libertarians should move to New Hampshire and conservatives should move to Texas.

  • dugfriendly
    dugfriendly 21 день назад

    Jake Mace grows a ton in dry Arizona. Hook up these two.

  • lakelure4me
    lakelure4me 21 день назад +2

    The richest man is not the one who has the most but the one who needs the least.

  • jon smith
    jon smith 22 дня назад

    I'm sure someone might comment on my long review like they did on someone else. But I don't mind I don't play on Facebook tweet or anything else on the internet so it's ok if someone doesn't like my long review. I don't know how hard the ground is is probably pretty hard being that dry. You should Maybe build an underground shipping container for storms. You're totally self-sufficient seems like you can do anything. One thing I thought about doing to charge my batteries is a bike with about a 140 1 wire amp alternator on it to charge my batteries. Or you could put two of them they're pretty cheap you can get them from Jegs Performance at +1-800-345-4545 or Summit Racing +1-800-230-3030. But there's probably cheaper possibly online one wire alternators. Another thought I had if you could take a pickup truck have it close to your solar panels and do vice grip clamps. I'm not sure if you own a vehicle. If you do when you're driving down the road you could be charging your home solar batteries. Also another tip the slower you drive the better fuel mileage you will get and shut the car off at a light. This is actual test I've done. My 9200 pound diesel truck has gotten 42.5 miles to the gallon with cruise in AC on. It's all stock but here's the catch I was only driving 40 through 44 miles per hour. My Thai, Turner was about 1150 through 1250 RPMs. If I drive 75 miles per hour the truck only gets about 10 miles to the gallon. Also I know a guy that washes his clothes out in a 5 gallon bucket with a hole in the top of the lid with a plunger coming out and he lets them set it a while and soak. Also baking soda is alkaline water if you let them soak for a long time it's not going to turn rancid green or black in the water because it's alkaline. And by plunging the plungers it's a way to exercise like riding the bicycle with the alternator on it. Also if you want to live longer drink 9.5 alkaline water I've not been sick in over 3.5 years and counting it's super water. It's the best water you can get and I researched every kind of water out there. You get it at health food stores The Big Box chains for about $0.99 a gallon drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water a day. Also I eat an apple a day it does keep the doctor away. But I only started eating an apple everyday about a year-and-a-half ago. That's 5 gallon bucket clothes washing. I need to try the 5-gallon clothes washing with baking soda because baking soda is good for the body and it wouldn't hurt if you left it on the clothes or not got it all the way out. I brush my teeth with baking soda and use it for deodorant most of the time. I just applied baking soda under the arm just the cheapest Walmart baking soda. I'm going to try 5 gallon bucket clothes washing sometime myself because I'm working on moving off grid. Any vehicle would get better fuel mileage if people slow down. Good luck

  • cine pobre
    cine pobre 22 дня назад +1

    if there's no one to smell you, do you really stink?

  • MostDear
    MostDear 22 дня назад

    Stopped watching after he said, “I have eight guns now....” Nothing cool or “alternative” there.

    • Timmy R
      Timmy R 15 часов назад

      MostDear Hopefully one day Ill have more RUclip content and Ill be a more valuable person like you. Retard.

    • MostDear
      MostDear 2 дня назад

      Timmy R get help

    • Timmy R
      Timmy R 2 дня назад

      MostDear I hope your family gets raped and murdered in a home invasion you beta moron.

    • Timmy R
      Timmy R 2 дня назад

      MostDear RUclip content = better person?
      lol Holy shit you are pathetic.

    • MostDear
      MostDear 3 дня назад

      Timmy R
      All right, Timmy. But at least I have “content.” All you do is troll other people, huh?
      Why not do something creative and share it on RUclip instead of calling strangers whom you happened to feel disagreement with names?

  • Saidakine
    Saidakine 22 дня назад +2

    This man has checked out of society and that’s the way he wants it. Quite innovative also.

  • Chris Gayler
    Chris Gayler 22 дня назад

    Why be a slave to Trump landlords when you can live good where your at. I see your style of living is like camping a fun experience.

  • Kenneth Kustren
    Kenneth Kustren 22 дня назад

    SwampCooler is awesome ! Your Buildings are awesome. Wondering where the Aircrete sub-surface rooms and hugelculture is. Perhaps you have space and patience for me to change the world thereabouts !!

  • IndigenousPotliquor
    IndigenousPotliquor 22 дня назад +1

    My chicken Marigold wants to live in my house with me!

    TRAITOR TRUMP 23 дня назад

    NO bath in summer . Pig

    TRAITOR TRUMP 23 дня назад

    Enjoy the 110 degree summers . A waste land . no water .

  • threadsofmadness
    threadsofmadness 23 дня назад +1

    man, thats looks like the most peaceful way to live. im looking into this for sure.