My previous blog post below seemed quite popular so I thought I'd add just a few more words and pictures.
The air-release bulb is a popular method for self-takes but as I said most cameras don't have a thread in the shutter button so need a bracket that can be purchased at a few outlets online. SRB Griturn are one company that supply various size brackets and an air-release and they are at http://www.srb-griturn.com/shutter-releases-246-c.asp
It doesn't happen very often but doing self-takes in the rain can be a problem. The camera can be positioned in the bivvy doorway but that isn't always practical. The picture shows how I do it now.
The 'umbrella' is actually a shade off of a child's pushchair. They are meant to be just a shade I think so they won't keep anything dry in a downpour unless you treat it with a coat of Fabsil or similar. They are good enough as them come though for light rain and for short periods of time...
It has a clamp on the base that easily tightens onto a bankstick. I wouldn't advise attaching it to the tripod as it will more than likely cause camera-shake. If you're using flash be sure the shade is tilted back a bit or high enough so as not to cast shadows in your shots.
The one shown is a Mamas & Papas Buggy Parasol/Shade. I purchased mine from eBay for about £15. Most are garish colours but there is usually the odd black one to be found. They fold down very small and can easily be kept in a bankstick pocket of a rod holdall.
I think that's it for now. I hope some of this is useful and makes your self-take photography just a little bit easier.