Hello and welcome to the blog. This morning I am in Muscatine, Iowa visiting friends Johnnie and his roommate John. Last night I camped along the mighty Mississippi River at the town of Fairport. It was just $11 for a spot with electricity!
The weather had been unseasonably cold but it’s switched and the temperature is now above normal. With upper 40s and even 50s predicted, it’s likely there will be another camping trip again soon!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some exciting news with the friends and fellow adventure seekers. I ordered a new toy to make camping even more fun.
More than 35 years ago some friends and I used to fly kites. One of the guys tied a little camera to the kite and took some aerial photographs. They were cool! I’d recently been contemplating doing this again but now with some higher tech video equipment. After doing a little reading, I became intrigued with the idea of buying a small personal drone with a video camera on it.
This is the Syma X5C-1 quadcopter, named as such because of the four helicopter style blades. The picture you see has the rotor guards in place. There is an “HD” video / still camera in place, remotely controlled by the ground. The LEDs also allow for night time flying.
You can buy one of these quadcopters for about $60 – $70 on Amazon and Ebay.
I am hoping to start posting drone videos in the future. Instead of just showing readers a pretty picture of a river and a sunrise, why not go out for a little flight and take some video? With the small price tag, should the drone be destroyed at some point, there’s not a huge investment involved. While many owners disagree on which unit to buy, most will agree that you should start with a cheap one, fly it in the house (they are very small), and then think about upgrading some day.
Is it legal to fly a mini drone? Sure! They are largely unregulated but there are some considerations. (Do not take this as legal advice) You need to keep the altitude under 400 feet. Why? Because 500 feet is the minimum height for a small passenger aircraft to fly and even a bird can damage an airplane. The drone also should be kept in sight at all times. It is best not to fly over a densely populated area where people or property can become damaged. And, of course, a person should not operate a drone over a nude beach or other place where citizens might feel uncomfortable / threatened, like at a “Bozo the Clown For President” political rally. It’s all common sense stuff.
It’s probably going to be a month or so before the quadcopter arrives, is tested, and then tried outdoors. Stay tuned. If it all works out as expected, it should be pretty exciting!
Take care and thanks for visiting! I hope the blog readers have a pleasant weekend.
Your van camping friends in Iowa,
Bradford, Serena, and Jesse James
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