so still banging head against wall.
2017-01-28 17:55:17 - SYSTEM STATS: Time:15.9647 Method:cmd.php Processes:5 Threads:N/A Hosts:60 HostsPerProcess:12 DataSources:3421 RRDsProcessed:1810
2017-01-28 17:55:18 - SYSTEM THOLD STATS: CPUTime:0 MaxRuntime:0 Tholds:0 TotalDevices:59 DownDevices:0 NewDownDevices:0 Processes: 0 completed, 0 running, 0 broken
turned on debug logging for thold but nothing in the cacti log.
Also now installed cacti 1.0 with the newer thold plugin from GitHub but still the same problem, zero tholds processed :/