Yes that worked perfectly, thanks very much, I read the diagram I was looking at wrong (http://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/3614014331/
So I'm testing with software serial in my WiFly code now and it seems that the begin() command being sent to the WiFly is where everything stops. I've stripped it down to keep it simple (i.e. just starting up the wifi) and in the code below it never gets as far as the loop(). Physically all the connections on the arduino to the shield and RN-XV look good, the switch is on xbee and I have no problems configuring the RN-XV from CoolTerm on my computer so I think this elimintates any issues with connections. Maybe I'm forgetting to include a key library that's needed or could there be something wrong wih the WiFlySerial.h library?
Thanks in advance
//various buffer sizes
#define REQUEST_BUFFER_SIZE 180
#define TEMP_BUFFER_SIZE 60
//server hosting GET example php script
#define MY_SERVER_GET "http://www.asquare.org/"
#define MY_SERVER_GET_URL "in-progress/arduino-test/counter/index.php"
#define ARDUINO_RX_PIN 2
#define ARDUINO_TX_PIN 3
WiFlySerial wifi(ARDUINO_RX_PIN, ARDUINO_TX_PIN);
//sotware serial pins for testing
SoftwareSerial mySerial(4, 5);
int iLoopCounter = 0;
unsigned long startTime = 0;
//set up serial
//set the data rate for the SoftwareSerial port and send a message to test
mySerial.println("Software serial working");
//start up WiFly
//I tried testing with this in the hope it would send back an error code of some sort but nothing
//to prevent spamming serial monitor too much