The ashes of Hunter S Thompson were blasted into the sky from a cannon in the late American journalist's Colorado estate on Saturday night (20AUG05), exactly six months after his suicide.

The Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas author, 67, shot himself in the kitchen of his home Owl Farm in Woody Creek, near Aspen on 20 February (05).

In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were fired from a 150 foot (45.7 metre) tower, topped by the his 'gonzo' journalism symbol of a red fist with two thumbs.

Celebrity friends, including Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Sean Penn, Lyle Lovett and THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND joined Thompson's widow ANITA and 250 others at the private memorial on Saturday, and watched his ashes joined fireworks in the sky.

His wife Anita lamented, "He loved explosions."