Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

With all the people we have lost in the entertainment community I guess I am lucky to make it to the new year. 2016 was a doozy so I hope that we can make it through the next few years healthy and happy. I hope the new year finds you the same.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I had a nice Christmas and got way more than I deserve and ate way too much, as usual. On Dec. 17th we had X-mas with my family at my Brothers house. Mom and Dad made the 3 hour drive up and after we ate and open gifts they turned around and drove back home due to a chance of freezing rain later that evening. It did get rather nasty here for part of the next day. Christmas day we headed down to the farm with cooked turkey packed up. After all the uncles arrived and we exchanged gifts  and conversed as some of the food was still cooking. We usually exchange scratch off lottery tickets every year as something fun to do. The most any of us has ever won was $100 by Needles Mom several years ago, that is until this X-mas. I got a ticket from Needles Uncle K and after scratching the ticket I could not believe my eyes. I won $1000 dollars. I told the family and we all were amazed that finally after many years of exchanging tickets and winning a dollar or two here and there that one of us finally won a nice chunk of change. Probably the most unbelievable thing was that it was me. I am the most unlucky person alive. If there was a room of 10 people and they were handing out 9 prizes, I would be the one walking out with nothing. Anyway I was extremely surprised at my luck and Needles and I had to send the ticket off to be processed. I hope that this might be a sign of what the new year has in store for me as other things seem to be swirling the shitter. Above is a picture of the bridge at the south end of the farm built for the logging that will be happening this year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Thursday we went down to the farm after putting the 22 lb. turkey in the oven at 6:20am. We slept in and around 10am we pulled the huge bird from the oven only to find that it wasn't near done at 130 degrees. The giant bird needed another hour at least, so this delayed our leaving for the farm. The bird got to temp and we packed up the food and headed down to see the family. We got there around noon with a few things to finished up when we got to the farm. We all ate way too much as usual and finished off with a desert of squash pie. On Friday we headed down to Kentucky to see my family. The traffic was surprisingly light for it to be black Friday. We arrived around noon and Mom had lunch ready. While we were there we did some shopping and again ate too much. On Saturday we went out to eat Chinese at their local place. We return home on Sunday to enjoy what was left of the weekend before returning to the work week. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2016

Just a few clips and photos of our visit to the Festival.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Goats on the Roof!

We just got back from a vacation in Pigeon Forge Tennessee where I got to ride a very fun rollercoaster. Watch the video above. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Follow Me

Just a quick clip testing out the Hubsan 501S Follow Me Mode.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Excitement last weekend.

Last Saturday Needles and I was setting in the living room and all of a sudden we hear what sounded like a bomb go off. Too quick for a earthquake so I went outside to see if a low flying jet may have flown past. That's when Needle noticed the neighbors house was being burned and the geniuses started the fire with gasoline. They started out with a little bit of the house in a hole and was supposed to add portions of the remaining house into the already burning portion a little at a time. Well it did go as planned. Apparently when pulling the dozer bucket from the already burning part to grab more of the house yet to be burn they transferred a flame that set all of the existing house a blaze. The local fire department responded and a couple of trees caught fire and there was heat damage to a neighbors house. The blaze was so hot we could feel it on our back patio and we were a go 80 yards from the inferno. Anyway here is some clips of the excitement.

Bit by the drone bug.

As you read before I had some ups and downs with the Syma X5C drone with one flying away and a another flying into the tree but I have now got several hours of drone flying under my belt and have progress to get a little more advanced machine. After a few weeks of investigation and not really wanting to commit to a Phantom, I decided to go a little more affordable route. Gearbest was having a sale so I purchased a Hubsan H501S. It has several nice features that will allow me to fly without constant input and fighting the wind. It also has a higher transmitter frequency so it has a lot more range than the Syma. About a week ago I took it down to the farm for its maiden flight with a lot of open field and very little wind for my first time flying the new drone. If you would want to watch a few clips from that flight I will attach the video below.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Drone ups and downs...literally.

I purchased my first drone on my birthday. I had it about a week until I got too cocky and tried to fly it in too much wind and also not knowing how to switch it into high range to better fight the wind. The drone caught some wind and was carried out of range of the transmitter and well long story short the drone is probably in a tree within 150 yards from the house. I searched off and on looking high and low for the better part of a week and no dice. Drone number 2 came in the mail about a week later. I promised myself to keep it close and in range and also switched up into high mode when fighting some wind. I few about 150ft high one day directly over head of the house and noticed some signal drop off but was able to recover and land without incident. I noticed a modification for extra range by using an old modem antenna. I had 2 transmitters so I though I would do the modification on one and try it out. The modification was a success, or so I thought. Friday July 15th  I took the drone out for its maiden flight post modification and I did get some increase range. I probably got up to 200ft and no signal loss. I started to cruise back down to ground level and thought I shouldn't have any issues as I didn't think I needed to be going that high. I flew past the house and up over the neighbors house and got up about a 90 feet or so and all of a sudden the signal dropped out and the drone kind of tumbled and glided into the neighbors tree. About 45 feet up in the tree. I was mad at myself and upset that I have now lost 2 drones. Even though I knew where the drone was this time, I figured the drone was lost for in just a few days we were going to be getting rain and that would be the end of the drone. We wen to the local hardware store and I bought some lengths of 3/4" pvc pipe and I rigged up a pole that would reach close to 50ft. The bad thing was that the pvc was too flexible and would bend before it got anywhere close to where we needed it to be. We did however attract the attention of both neighbors and the mailman while partaking in our hopeless endeavor.  Needles and I walked away dejected and thought that's it, we tried. I went ahead and ordered my third exact drone and it is to come Tuesday. Here is was Sunday evening and I noticed the Ameren Illinois truck pull up to the corner. I thought for a brief moment...Maybe I should ask if they could retrieve my drone. Was it too much to ask and pretty silly request and just about the time I was going to go outside. The truck pulled away and that was the end of it until about 10 minutes later the truck came back and pull under that same tree. I thought now or never so I went outside and I overheard my neighbor mention the drone to the Ameren guy but he didn't know where it was. It turns out about an hour before they started having power troubles with lines touching from that same tree. We had a brief wind storm about a week ago with lines galloping and sparking and I think some power lines got push up on top of the limbs. We had a chance of storms today but all we got was a little bit more wind that I guess made the lines touch and cause the outage, hence the Ameren truck. The gentleman after trimming the tree limbs to let the power lines separate asked me where the drone was. I told him where it was and within 15 minutes he had it and delivered it into my hand. I could not believe my luck. I am still just dumbfounded as we are supposed to get storms over the nest 2 days which would have rendered the drone toast. I did also recover the footage from the drones fateful flight. I may render it and upload it to YouTube and share the link here soon. Of course I will cut the additional 25 minutes of tree footage. I still can not believe it. I hope you had a good weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy Early Birthday To Me!

My birthday is in a couple weeks and I have ventured into a new hobby. It has been the craze for a few years but very cost prohibitive until recently. When drones first became available to the public a few years ago it was too expensive and the technology something that I just didn't think I would be able to master. Todays drones are much easier to fly and the quality is much better while the cost has come down...way down. A brand new Phantom a few years ago would easily set you back a grand or more, but recent models have become cheaper. A basic Phantom now can be had for around $500. Although this is still a lot of money to me, the price is more in my price range. Also the technology has improved so that it is a lot easier to fly them without spending large sums of money and have it end up in a smoldering crater in the dirt. I am still just a noob with only having my drone for 3 days, but it seems like something that I enjoy. I'm still learning and hope to improve,master and build my confidence with the drone I have and work my way up to something with a little more capability.
Have a great day.