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Monday, July 25, 2016

A Fun Adult Toy... and it's Deductible!

Last night we hosted a convergence of nomadic types at the Mine Shack. Some brought beer and goodies, others wine and goodies, the hosts, pizza, and one guy brought his new toy... a sophisticated drone, with surveillance cameras and GPS guidance software. Oh boy!

Of course you have met these people before, John and Joalenn, Q from Indiana, and Chris and Mindy from Illinois. 

After food and drink, I asked Chris to bring up his new drone and fly it off the deck. Our deck is rather small so Chris was dubious about the tight take-off zone. But after a few catcalls that berated his "manhood," he decided to give it a go. Funny how audiences love car wrecks and crashes:).  

Chris lugged a huge custom trunk up the stairs and began unpacking all the associated hardware and software. It was soon evident that this was no toy. He pulls out an iPad, attaches it to a hand-held module with joysticks and knobs, then a four engine hovercraft with a fancy camera underneath that could swivel 360 degrees and zoom in and out. 

Being a farmer and all, Chris needs a drone to inspect his crops for blight and such things... which makes it one of the most fun tax deductions out there (wink) short of a combine convention in Vegas. 

The deck take-off was flawless... zip. The drone took up a position about fifty feet above us and just hovered. It was in GPS mode, just holding its position until Chris told it what to do and where to go. Then he flips the drone's camera on, and we get a bird's eye view of ourselves standing on the deck on the iPad. I want him to fly over the Hot Springs Pool, maybe zoom in on some gals in bikinis. Mindy shot that idea down. 

Anyway, you see the possibilities, and the need for something like this on the farm (snicker). Chris and Mindy are going to take it up and do some flying over our Red Mountains. Should be pretty cool footage up there. I'm hoping I can post some of his flights here on the BCB. Below is a short clip of Chris flying off our deck.  Hey Bobbie, guess what I want for Christmas... :)


  1. Cool. However, even cooler is the floor. We are thinking wide plank engineered hickory for our house. What is this?

    1. Hi Sue... it does look like real wood, doesn't it... even feels like it to the touch. But in reality it is a product called Karndean, made from recycled water bottles. There are several varieties and styles, but we chose "Bracken." Also, we laid it ourselves (with a little help from our contractor) and saved some money. It glues directly to the subfloor, so if wherever you decide to use the product be sure to put down a good grade plywood. We didn't find it till the sub floor was already laid with wafer board. I had to fill all the divets and sand down but it was worth it in the end. Everyone thinks it's real. The same product is used in parts of Walmart and Safeway stores because of it's 30 year durability.
      check it out here: http://www.karndean.com/en/floors/guides-and-resources/resources/downloads

    2. Wow! Gorgeous! Thanks for the info. I'll add it to my growing list of possibilities.

  2. About the drone. We have one. Bought it from a fellow fulltimer. It needed work, but it's fine now and has been upgraded with a Go Pro and other stuff. Get one. Just imagine what you could "shoot" on "high".

  3. Hi Mark. I pretty sure you've seen some of my photos over at my OuraybyFlight Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/OuraybyFlight). I've been flying my DJI Phantom around Ouray for a couple years now. If you decide to get one I'd be happy to help you get started or answer any questions you might have. It is a super fun hobby!

    1. Hi Mike... yes I'm familiar with your breathtaking arial shots, as well as your cute new puppy :) I appreciate your offer, and should "Santa" be real and actually get me a drone, I will be happy to take you up on that.
      Thanks again, Keep up your fine work,


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