Progress! Now i am posting live ultrasonic distance data to Thingspeak.
HC-S04 ultrasonic sensor connected to a Node Moteino which send the data to the Gateway Moteino which serial ports it into the Raspberry Pi which uses a python script to post directly to a Thingspeak channel.
the mechanics are in place, now for a lot more work filling in all the details.
code is still too mashed up to post. the Thingspeak channel is showing the distance from my desk to the ceiling and the radio temperature......
but it works!