learning to fly

The first time I took to the air was with a quadcopter.  A loong time ago I had a cheap little airplane and after tossing it into the air I almost immediately crashed it.  This was years ago and had no experience other than the occasional flight simulator on the computer.  I built my first quad, learned how to fly and then decided to look into fixed wings (aka RC planes).  My mother and wife surprised me last Christmas with a beater plane (a plane held together with straps and laminate).  It was a great deal for someone who wanted to learn how to fly and needed a place to start.  Instead of waiting for some pointers, I decided to take the plane out on my own.  First flight I am honestly surprised that I didn’t totally lose it!  I came close to crashing it in a tree and did break a propeller every time I landed.

In the following video you can see the very last time I tried flying without instruction from someone who knew much more about flying than I did.  In this video you can see that I stalled out really hardcore and broke the nose of the plane completely off.

I took the plane back to Stone Blue Airlines (the place I purchased it from) and the owner very willingly fixed nose, re-laminated it and replaced the destroyed motor.  I thought that maybe I wasn’t meant to fly fixed wings and should just stick to quadcopters.  After my plane was repaired, Jeremiah (the owner of Stone Blue) brought my plane back to the field and told me that I was going to learn how to fly today.  He showed me how to hand launch the aircraft myself and told me what I was doing wrong.  Turns out it was the littlest thing.  I was stalling out the plane when I first took off.  It didn’t have enough power to climb the way I was expecting it.  “Keep the nose down” was the best advice he could give me and set me on a path to becoming a much better pilot.  He taught me how to control the aircraft and not break as many propellers when I land.  I know that I might have been able to eventually get there, but with the advice of a good friend and a much more skilled pilot, I got there much quicker and without so much damage.  I owe him many thanks for getting me into a part of the hobby that has major benefits and allows you to soar with the birds or at least annoy the crap out of them.

ho ho ho

Ohhhh Santa!  I know what I want for Christmas! ;)  So I have several winter projects when the weather starts getting too cold to go out and fly.  One of them is a tomahawk panzer micro drone and the other is a spec wing!  I found the panzer online for a really cheap price and I’m thinking that I’ll buy the spec wing with Christmas money.  I have started playing with airbrushing and completely re-painted my Opterra.  It gave me some great practice and I’ve learned so much.  I will be posting photos with the new paint job as soon as I can get out into some weather that isn’t miserably cold or crazy windy!

 

This is a preview of the spec wing I’m interested in.  They usually go around 80-90 MPH and are super maneuverable.  Some of the guys I’ve seen flying these are really talented.  I’ve had a bunch of practice with my RMRC Recruit and I think I’m ready to move on to the fast guys.  I’ll be looking forward post some of the videos I make with this guy.

I believe the plan for this plane is to look more like the Joker’s wing.  Lots of green and purple!

my opterra by e-flight

I was first introduced to the Opterra when I saw it at the Stone Blue Airlines shop.  I looked at it and thought to myself, “something that huge has to be more expensive than I could ever afford”.  I had set my mind on a Mini Talon since it was a cheap starter plane with plenty of room in the fuselage.  Upon looking at it and watching the reviews, I had my heart set on it.  Then on a whim I decided to check the price on the Opterra.  Turns out it wasn’t as bad as I though especially when I considered what  came with it and how it functioned.  I saved up some cash and decided to jump in with both feet.  Now, granted it was a bit more money when you factor in the FPV, flight controller (which I might have went over board with) and all the other equipment.  I will saw though, that when you see it flight, it’s amazing.  To fly it and know that if there’s a problem it will fly itself home is a comfort.  I also purchased a servo that will allow me to look over the wing when I’m up in the air.

Now this plane is a delicate flower.. it’s not designed to do flips (though I have seen people do them).  I enjoy it because of its size (about 6.5 feet from wing tip to wing tip).  It can cruise once it’s high enough and altitude it can easily gain once I’ve set my mind on it.  The readings that my flight controller give me range from airspeed to altitude and it even points me in the direction of home.

I plan on having this craft for quite some time and even had a custom paint job done on it.  This plane is a dream to fly and if you’re looking for the type of plane you can put into the air and just enjoy flying, then look no further.  Feel free to check out some of my videos in the video section.  If you have any questions about this plane, please let me know and I’d be happy to respond.

flying through the air

I’ve jumped feet first into the hobby of FPV (First Person View) flying.  Started out a year or so ago when I built my first drone.  Took many hours of getting comfortable with her before I could put the headset on.  When I did, it was immediately terrifying and I almost completely lost my drone because I had no idea what I was doing.  Fast forward several months, I became comfortable flying with just the goggles.  Almost a year later it comes as second nature to me.  I have invested many dollars into this hobby and have 4 quadcopters, 3 planes and even a little RC truck.  Currently I derive much enjoyment from the planes.  Being able to soar like a bird as high or as fast as I desire is something that I’ve never been able to experience outside of a simulator.  As I have more and more flights, I will continue to update this site with my adventures.

So far this is my plane count:

5 quadcopters:

  1. A Tiny Whoop
  2. Baby Hawk
  3. MQC One painted with the dead pool logo (I call him Dead)
  4. Spartan with blue stand offs, I call him Azul
  5. DJI Mavic Pro (best for photos and video)

3 planes

  1. A RMRC Recruit (named him Crow)
  2. An Opterra (wing span is shown in the photo
  3. A prototype plane from Stone Blue Airlines (my starter plane)

Each plane serves it’s own purpose and I love each one for their unique abilities.  Feel free to check my videos section to check out some of my creations.

my adventures in covington, va

My adventure starts on a Friday afternoon after a very long week at work.  I started this little adventure with a simple plan:  get to Covington, Virginia to attend the Flying Circus sUAS event.  Basically if you don’t know what that is, it’s an event where people fly drones, race RC cars and have a general good time enjoying a shared interest.  I left Lynchburg around 6:30 or so and arrived into town about 9 ish.  I hadn’t made any reservation since I figured.. “it’s Covington, it’s not exactly a popular vacation spot”.  Too bad too since it truly is a very beautiful town!  I called a local hotel and asked if they had any rooms available.  It was the only hotel.. err make that Motel with a 5 star rating.  Granted, that was from just one person.  The little Indian woman on the other end of the phone confirmed that she had plenty of available so without delay I scooted on over to the most quaint little motel in town.

This was my destination for the night.  A small motel in the middle of town with only one other guest (at least guest with a car).  Was I worried?!  Was I scared for my safety?!  Was I frightening of small critters?!!  NO!  This was my bed for the night and I said, as long as there aren’t things crawling around when I open the door and turn on the lights, then everything will be OK!  Much to my surprise… they it was a very clean room!  The mattresses were very new looking and everything was as well kept as possible for a little cheap motel in the mountains.  Was there a TV?  Yup!  Was there a bathroom and running water?  Yes, sir!  AC?  Check!  

Okay.. sure.. I did put a chair in front of the door and slept with my gun on the night stand, but in the end, it was Covington, Virginia.  I don’t think they have too many problems with gangs.  I was awoken in the middle of the night to flashing police lights outside my window, but I figured as long as I wasn’t the one being held hostage, who was I to interfere?

I awoke to see that the night had past with no violent murders or sexual assaults, so I counted my lucky stars and decided to get ready to attend the aerial events of the day.  I had to motivate myself to fully wake up since somehow I got a sudden addiction to old re-runs of Rosanne, but with a little bit of encouragement I was able to leave the hotel room and make my way to my final destination.  I won’t go into a whole bunch of detail on the Flying Circus event, since this blog isn’t about reviewing things, it’s just about my adventures.  Needless to say I had a very fun time and if you really want to see the photos that I took of the event, head over to here and click away.  I ran into several people I knew there and watch many a person crash and burn.  We did have a rather large down pour, but that only improved the RC track for people who wanted to take their vehicles in the mud.  I was able to get a bunch of really cool photos of that!  I was even able to make them look like real cars going through the mud!  This photo is a great example of that!

Once I was done for the day (or rather pretty much rained out of the day), I decided to engage the trusty GPS on my Prius.  Little did I know that my Prius was plotting to get me lost in the back woods of Virginia.  Now normally I would have enjoyed the diversion, but I kind of wanted to get home at a decent hour and with as little motion sickness as humanly possible.  My Toyota had other plans that involved taking me through windy passes and one lane roads.  Now I will say this… it was the most beautiful parts of the country I have ever seen and yes, I will probably take that way again when it’s not pouring down rain and I’m not in a hurry.  I mean, seriously!  I saw waterfalls, horses drinking from streams and Norman Rockwell type towns that I didn’t know still existed.

I will say that towards the end of the trip I gave the GPS the finger and plotted my own way home which put me on a local highway.  I guess next time I’ll have to supervise my GPS and make sure that it’s idea of the “quickest way” home is accurate.  All in all though, it was a great trip and a super fun get away from own private world.  Sometimes it’s really what you need to clear your head and the mountains of Virginia / West Virginia give the rest of the country a run for its money in the beauty department.

ahh! zombies!

Yea, zombies are kind of the it thing right now.. seems like they have been for quite some time really?  I mean Walking Dead is going on it’s what… 8th season!?  Geez.. that’s 8 years that zombies have been.  Maybe it’s a sign?  Doubtful, but ya gotta question your zombie plan and revise it as life goes on.  When I was single, the plan was simple.. get in my car, gather up any guns and ammo I can safely obtain and get to a place with low population and possible self sustaining power.

Then life throws me a curve ball and now I’m happily married with a wife and step daughter to think of.  I do know that if my daughter turns to a zombie, her mom will probably kill me and feed me to her.  Not that she really needs to eat, since most zombies seem to live for a long time without any sort of sustenance, so I’m not sure why they see the need to feed them in the movies.  So I guess now that I have to think of, what to do.. what to do.  Guess I’d first head home to gather up the guns and ammo, possibly fighting off looters and panicked neighbors.  I’d try to call Sarah, but most likely the phones would be all jammed up and besides she never answers anyways :D.  

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that things go well and I’m able to gather up the family.  I think one of the best places to head to would be the desert.  Specifically the hoover dam which apparently can run independent of any human intervention for several years.  Would probably be a great place to hold out too…  Very limited entrances and plenty of water.  Problem is, food.. yea I’ll be able to refrigerate, but the desert isn’t exactly the greatest place to start a farm.  Not sure if staying in one place would be the best idea anyways.. hasn’t seemed to work for the people in The Walking Dead.  They set up roots and then horrible things happen..  Maybe best to keep on the move, stay on the ocean for as long as possible.  

Okay.. plan re-visited..

  1. Gather the guns and ammo
  2. Gather the family
  3. Head to the ocean, some place with very few people (don’t head to Norfolk)
  4. Find a boat, something with solar power (probably be best to learn how to sail before this whole apocalypse) 
  5. Keep moving, don’t stop, have no pity for anyone unless you’re absolutely positive they’re not trying to trick you
  6. Live as long as possible, since you know you’re gonna eff’ up sooner or later and become someone’s lunch.. BRAINZZ!!

Still not sure if having a family is going to be good for me or not.. maybe in this man eat man world, it’s best to sever all ties.  Guess we’ll see how this plays out ;)

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a triumphant return

Decided I should probably do an update since it’s been… two years!? since I last updated.  Well not to be too wordy, but here’s what’s changed in my life.

  1. I got married and am happily living with two crazy girls 
  2. I started back to the gym about a year ago and am working on a healthy lifestyle
  3. I stopped vaping completely
  4. I started building and flying UAV (drones)
  5. I started a new job and have been there for almost two years
  6. I am much happier than I ever thought possible

Now to dive into a couple of those points…  Last post I made here I was talking about cold feet and boy were they chili.  It has been a huge adjustment for me from living by myself to living with two people and learning to deal with their issues while they learned to deal with mine.  Sure, their have been some fights and disagreements, but when things are going well, it’s pretty amazing.  For our honeymoon, we took a trip down to St. Thomas and got a chance to enjoy the ocean and beautiful weather.  We went to an all inclusive resort and for the first day or so, we really tried to eat and drink our money back.  It was a great time and I can’t wait to return one day.

A little over a year ago we signed up for a gym membership at the local Y and our family has really tried to become the healthiest we can.  I’ve started lifting weights and cardio, while my wife has started exercise classes and has lost a ton of weight.  I haven’t lost weight, but I have bulked up and they say muscle weighs more than fat!  I still don’t always eat the healthiest, however I am adjusting that little by little.  My step daughter has also gotten into the swing of things by going with her mom to her classes and weight training when she goes with me.  I think that between the two of us, we should be able to keep that kid as healthy as an ox.

Stopped vaping about 7 months ago… Miss it almost every day :)

I was given a drone to play with on my first day at work and became hooked on it.  First day I flew it, I stuck it up in a tree, but live and learn!  Since then I have help produce several aerial videos and even built my own drone.  I got into racing and stunts with them shortly after learning to keep it in the air and not crash into a tree.  I have posted a couple of videos and hope you’ll check them out.  

Well I’m getting tired of writing for now, but perhaps I’ll work on the site a little more and post a bit more frequently!

getting married tomorrow..

marriageWell the day came a lot quicker than I thought it was going to!  This is honestly the closest I’ve been to getting married.  Sure, there were a couple of times before this when I ALMOST got married, but nothing like this.  For a while there I honestly thought I just wasn’t the marrying type.  That’s to say that I probably wouldn’t be picked to be married, just like I wasn’t picked to be on the kickball team in high school.

It’s funny, I never thought I’d really get married, so the stress and foresight of getting married wasn’t there.  I think I had a picture in my mind and I’m quickly realizing that the picture wasn’t exactly accurate.  I do know that dating a single mom and marrying one are two completely different things.  The kid that you could hang out with and be ‘that cool guy that mom’s dating’ isn’t the same guy that’s there when you’re living with the kid.  She’s only been there a couple of nights when I was there, but they weren’t exactly the most promising nights.  My hopes is that things will calm down after we get into more of a routine.

The past month has been so stressful and full of bickering that it has made me extremely nervous about tomorrow.  I know the time to back out has passed and it’s just my brain going into panic mode that’s telling me to run.  I’m trying to tell my brain that change isn’t always bad and that things have gotten better over time, but you know how brains are.. they don’t always listen to reason.

I’m going to give this marriage thing a 100% effort.  I am pessimistically optimistic and hopeful that the people that my fiance and I have been in this last month aren’t the people that are getting married tomorrow.  If I’m proven wrong, then I guess we’ll just be another statistic, but if I’m right I think it would lead a very happy life for both of us.

the dirty secret about us prius owners…

If you ever catch yourself walking through a parking lot and you hear a light hum behind you… that might be a prius sneaking up on you!  I’ve sneaked up on many people walking to their car or to the grocery store.  It’s always funny to see the expression on their face when they turn around and see a car a couple feet away from them.

At first I thought it was just me!  However I’ve talked to a couple of people that own a prius and it’s quite funny, but we all seem to enjoy scaring the shit outta of pedestrians!  Besides the sneakiness factor, I really do love my car.  It’s been one of the funnest investments that I’ve made and I truly enjoy saving so much in gas.  Even if it is pretty low these days.

random acts of kindness..

I sometimes weep for the world we live in.. when seeing someone go out of their way to help someone or something else, it truly makes me tear up.  It’s quite sad that the negative news and horrible things that people do to one another is usually the only thing we hear about. It’s so rare that the people that drop everything to help another person is acknowledged.  I watched this video below and couldn’t help but cry and thank God that there are people out there that help others without an expectation of anything in return.

httpsss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeph_eX_pVw

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde