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Hi Patrick, try adding sudo to the cron command. I have added that into the guide now.
Can you try just using the #ssids=('mySSID1' 'mySSID2' 'mySSID3') for your ssid and put a # in front of the 4 lines above. Just put a valid and then non valid ssid in autohotspot between cron cycles. See if it performs ok like that just to see if the issue is in the "wpassid=$(awk ...." line.

Also is there any special characters or spaces in your SSID?

The wlan messages you get "wlan0 Expired, wlan0 Configured" is correct. Wlan0 has been deactivated for Wifi so expired. The IP is effectively the router of the Hotspot that you have connected to, the the Pi is available on through that router.