Monday, April 06, 2020

I've Been Really Flying High These Days!

Good Morning Everybody,

Let me begin today's post by wishing everyone well in these very uncertain times.

My heart goes out to those who are suffering the ills of the Coronavirus, all those who have lost their jobs, and all photographers who have their worlds turned upside down this photography season. We must remember, we are all in this together, and with the help of God and each other, we will make it through all this.

That brings me to why I have "fired" up my DigitalProTalk blog again. I thought these posts would help lift the spirits of some of my longtime readers and maybe also a few new readers who happen by.

Now, on with today's post... 

I've Been Really Flying High These Days!

As I've' mentioned many times over these last few years, LaDawn and I have mostly slowed things down business-wise and have been spending quite a bit of our time traveling the world. In our world travels, a new "toy" or two can really enhance the travel experience.  Today's post is about one of my favorite new "toys".  Check out the "cool" video at the end of this post.

We always head to Cabo San Lucas right after Thanksgiving and have been doing so for nearly 20 years. We love the location, water, weather, sunrises and sunsets, and the people we meet there.

We generally stay for 2-3 weeks, sometimes as long as 2 months, and over the years have really got to know the area quite well. It's always great to get back down to Cabo and check out what's new.  Needless to say, we have quite a bit of time on our hands just to relax once we get settled in. Since I'm not a "pool" person - LaDawn is, I prefer to explore the surrounds, check in with old friends and search out the best new place for a margarita;~)

Last year though I had a slightly different agenda. Friday, the day before we left for Mexico on Saturday, my brand new Mavic Mini arrived from Amazon. The Mavic Mini was (is) such a HOT item, most places were sold out. But, I had mine in hand and I was ready to fly!

Although I've never been a "drone" fan - I never wanted to spend the money and thought they were too bulky to travel with - but what I was reading about the brand new Mavic Mini really intrigued me.

Like I said I wasn't a "drone" person so what processed me to buy this little drone. Well, for one thing, when I began researching the Mavic Mini and watched a few YouTube videos on this amazing little drone - I was impressed with its super small size, the apparent ease of operation, long flight time (30 minutes), and the amazing amount of technology built into this thing!!! Plus, I didn't need to register with the FAA. The FAA says you need to register a drone if it weighs 250grams or more - the Mavic Mini comes in right at 249 grams - yep, it's really light and still has all that amazing technology built-in. Needless to say, I made the jump and bought one. Early Merry Christmas to me!

Purchase Options For The Mavic Mini
Although the Mavic Mini is priced at only $399 for the Mini itself, for only $100 more you can pick up the entire Mavic Mini Fly More Combo kit which includes two spare batteries, a three battery charger, propeller guard kit, extra propellers, cables, and case - such a deal - I sprang for the entire Mini kit for $499.

Settling Into Cabo & Preparing For My First Flight
Upon our arrival, we unpacked, got settled, and enjoyed our first nacho chips and margarita. The next day the weather was perfect and it was certainly a "pool" day for LaDawn.  Me, on the other hand, was going to settle into some YouTube videos to see how to fly my new Mavic Mini.

In all of my YouTube surfing, I have settled into a few favorite Drone channels.  If you're planning a Mavic Mini purchase I would recommend watching several videos from my friends over at:

Drone Valley [link] - Rick is a super sharp wiz when it comes to this stuff and he always offers unique insights into the equipment itself. And, he is fun to watch - one of my Favs.

51 Drones [link] - Another good site with solid info and good insights into flying the Mavic Mini.

FlytPath [link] - This is another great site! Not only is the info solid, but I also love how Aldryn Estacio presents the info in a clear, concise manner. He is also a photographer and I like how that experience works into his tutorials.

Important Quad Flying Tips for Every Beginner To Know

1. Be sure to set your RTH - Return to Home - height high enough to clear the surroundings should you Mavic Mini need to make an emergency RTH.  If its set to low, it just may collide with a building or a tree.  I set mine to about 120 feet.

2. Be sure the RTH point is updated before your flight.  As the Mavic Mini hovers about 3 feet off the ground, just let it sit there for a few minutes giving it time to acquire enough satellites for a safe flight.  When you hear, "Home Point has been updated." you are good to go.

3. Be sure batteries are fully charged before takeoff - just a good precaution.

4. Remove the Gimbal Guard - I forget this a lot of times - but there is a chance you could jam up the gimbal if you are not careful.

5. You will be nervous as heck on your first flight. I was. Just take it easy till you gain some familiarity with the controls. Once you do, it's a "kick"!

6. Remember to hit the "Record" button once you lift off.  I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to hit "record" - like when I thought I was recording the incoming Humpback Whales just off our balcony in Cabo only to realize upon checking for the video that I missed it. LaDawn still hasn't let me live that one down ;~)

There are plenty more flight suggestions but these and many more are covered in the many videos listed above.  The main thing is to have fun. As you become more confident and proficient with flying you will enjoy it even more.  There is nothing so cool to see the views from 400 feet - it is a way "cool' experience!

It's Time To Fly - Away We Go...
I'm wrapping this post with a short video from my earliest flight experiences. This video is an edit of about 5 of my very first flights.  The reason I mention this is because the video is still fun to watch.

OK, I am NOT even pretending to be any kind of experienced pilot here - these are my FIRST flights.  The point is that even a super beginner like me can get a decent enough video that is really fun to watch.

I've watched this video many times on our super BIG screen TV (82 inches) and it simply blows me away.  The amount of detail and rich colors are amazing! I sure hope you will view this video in the spirit it is offered.  If you are just starting out in this hobby, the results will only get better with more practice and experience.

Have fun watching everybody, and Enjoy!


Hey Gang,

That's it for me today.  I hope you enjoyed the post today. In the next few days, I'm going to move back to some African images and share with you some insights I've gained from the four safaris we have been on over the last two years. Be safe everyone...

See You Soon, David

No comments:

Post a Comment