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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

May Activities

 
Well May has zipped by quicker than expected. On May 5th we planted the garden, four different kind of tomatoes; Celebrity, Charger, Jet Star and Super Sweet 100s. We have planted all before except for the Charger. We got our bush beans in the ground on May 19th and about half have come up. We have already did a replant on several of those recently. Cucumbers have broken ground but one hill had to be replanted, peppers are looking nice and the zucchini are doing OK but the yellow squash hasn't made an appearance yet.  Our Alaskan vacation with my parents went off without a hitch, thank goodness. I think I worried myself almost to an ulcer prior to going and unfortunately during the trip I was a little less relaxed than usual. Our quick trip there an back afforded me a addition week away from work but when we came back Needles picked up a had cold and so she was sick most of the week and I ended up getting it the last half of the week so the week off wasn't very productive at all, to say the least. If you would like to read about our trip head over to my vacation blog, the link is in the right gutter. We had a lot of fun and got to see some amazing thing on our trip. I am just thankful that Needles and I got to travel with my parents and share Alaska's great beauty with them. Have a great day. The picture above is Mendenhall Glacier from Auke Bay.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nice weather means lots of work...

Last weekend I spent most of Saturday getting a lot of jobs done in preparation for the spring and summer. I serviced the lawn mower and patched a couple of holes in the garage that have been bothering me for years. I also turned over the garden for the first time and mounted my new weather station on the antenna just in time for a thunderstorm. Things on Needles soaping schedule has started to ramp up also with soap sales at the local 4H center and has another soap sale coming up in just a few weeks. In May we have a vacation planned with another trip that we are eyeing in Oct. Everything seems to be coming all at once. I just hope that our trip goes off without a hitch since my parents will be accompanying us. I just hope they enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Years, Good Company & First Snow

New Years came and went without issue other than our toilet water valve gave up the ghost just after midnight. A quick trip to Walmart New Years Day remedied the issue. We also stopped by the local Chinese restaurant for lunch.

This weekend we got to have some company. My cousin and his significant other came for a visit. We got to catch up on things and we went to the big city to eat at the new Hibachi Supper Buffet which was very good. We also made a stop in at Pop Around the Clock and the Dutch Pantry. When we got back to the house my Brother and his family stopped by to visit. The weather forecasters were predicting some nasty weather so our company decided to cut their visit short and they made the right call.  Last night we got our first measurable snow. We got about 7/10 of a inch of rain yesterday before the temps turned frigid and turned over to snow a little before 9pm last night. I think we go a couple of inches of snow but with the frigid temps the rain under the snow was turning to ice and making the roads slick. We heard the blade truck go by a couple of times this morning before we got out of bed. When the sun came up, it finished clearing off the roads. By the afternoon the roads were clear. They are predicting another chance for snow Tuesday. Winter is finally here.