Curious thing happened. Plugins went weird and then my install was throwing server error 500's so I went through and one by one checked all the plugins to determine if it was them. Found about 10 that were strange and causing 500 errors so i left them off and deleted their code in case it was the issue. The site seems to work fine. Now however upon attempting to re-install the plugins again from fresh downloads I get the error "An Unexpected HTTP Error occurred during the API request".
I followed another thread on here attempting to get a solution using core control plugin and it didn't help me.
I note when in Core Control in Manage Transports (I have activated External Http Access) I see errors for all http transports:
cURL throws = An Error has occured: Couldn't resolve host 'tools.dd32.id.au'
php streams throws = An Error has occured: Could not open handle for fopen() to http://tools.dd32.id.au/wordpress/core-control.php
php fsockopen throws = An Error has occured: 0: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known
So that leaves me completely stuck as to what to do to make this work again.
I hope someone knows as this install was only working yesterday completely fine.