Is it a Hobby or not?

by Jake Wells | January 28, 2015 | (29 Ratings) Posted in Just Fun

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After the Commander in Chief told the FAA today to do their job I started thinking. Not that I don't have this thought at least once a week. What happens if we lose our hobby what will I do?

I've been flying for awhile now.

My first plane was a 3 meter balsa glider with way too much everything on it. I built it and covered it myself without any help in middle school 29 years ago. It flew like a rock but the servos from my RC car made the elevator and rudder move so I was impressed.

Like all of us, money is my speed bump in the sky. Flying RC has always been expensive. It's still expensive even with all the ARF's and RTF's. But it's a lot more accessible to the masses now. More so in the past couple years. Fast forward to today and we have DRONES! To me for the lack of a better word I think it sounds LAME, totally lame to call them drones. Have you ever watched Joe Dirt? If not take a moment and watch this clip.

It's just trying to make a toy sound like it's something more important. Look, I hate it when my wife talks about my hobby like I'm playing with toys in the garage. But I'm definitely not gonna tell her that they’re drones. She'd laugh me right out of the house. 

So yesterday a drunk Federal not so intelligent agent decided to take his friend's DJI Phantom for a spin. Lost control, and put it out for a yard sale on the White house lawn. Then went to bed. Stay classy nerds in DC stay classy.

But this brings me to the next thing I want to talk about. DJI, Love them or hate them? I personally have hated them for a long time. Rewind to 2012 and they had a youtube video(which has since been taken down) of a man throwing a DJI Flame wheel frame across the room, then going over and jumping with both feet onto the frame, then he picked it up and tossed it out the factory window. I was sold! I ordered one that day. I received it, put it together, took off, had a radio malfunction, it dropped 25 feet onto the driveway and two of the four arm snapped. My wife looked at me with disgust when she saw me out in the driveway screaming at a little red and white quadcopter. (They weren’t drones yet.) I lost all faith in DJI then. In my opinion they can't be trusted.

I was so very proud of Flitetest for not reviewing the Phantom, but then they went and did it. Josh bought an Inspire. I admit, I watched it. I wasn't happy to watch it, but I did. My wife looked at me strange again when I yelled at the Apple TV, "OH come on! No! No you didn't! You just helped them sell those stupid things!" I haven't been that mad at Josh since he made the Box O Copter video and didn't give me any credit. Took me lots of donuts to get over that one.

Now let me admit this, the technology is impressive. I build junk out of whatever I can get my hands on, i.e. tupperware, wood, plastic and hot glue. What they have done is great. But I just don't believe they are honest. They don't tell people what these things can and can't do. 

So is the government gonna take away our toys? I don't know. I doubt it, but I can almost guarantee that some sort of payment is gonna be required to fly. I've been flying multicopters since 2011. I haven't flown fixed wing since. I love it and I know that I'll pay the price to fly. I'll pay the fine, if there ends up being a fine. For the past week I've been consolidating all my video's into one. I even started a new youtube channel. http://www.youtube.com/fleshpilot, why? Because I love the hobby. Or should I say, I strongly like it. I like to design, build, and share with everyone. I like to see my design's built and enjoyed by others and I like to make those designs availabe for free. Anyway, please subscribe as I deleted my old channel with over 800 of you guys subscribed. It was full and disorganized, I wanted a fresh start. I ended up with 3 years jammed into 20 minutes.

Back to the word Drone. Everyone calls them Drones until, they get in trouble. Years ago Chris Anderson owner of 3DRobotics crashed one of his planes onto property he shouldn't have been over and told the security guard, "I lost control of my TOY plane." They let him on the property to get it back. He didn't tell them it was a drone and that he had been taking pictures of their facility. No way! Why? Because the word Drone implies you're flying something other than a harmless toy.

I know the war is lost. People are going to call them drones. I mean come on, what am I thinking, if a man will wear skinny jeans, he'll obviously think it's cool to try to church up a toy. Just know that if you are one to call your toy a drone. I'm laughing at you. Although that doesn't say much because my wife is laughing at me for playing with expensive toys and writing articles about them, and talking about them, and crying over them.

Finally, I know, that the people reading this aren't the problem at all. It's the misinformed, money hungry and or drunk fed in Washington D.C.

Finally Finally, is it a hobby? Yes it's a hobby, it's my hobby and I totally admit, if they make it illegal to fly, I'll be at the first FPV Speak Easy I can find ready to have fun flying my toy.
 

 

Comments

bacpck on January 28, 2015
Nice Jake.

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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Thank you.
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MT Alex on January 28, 2015
Word.
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
up.
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The Groundhog on January 28, 2015
Great article! I completely agree with you.
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Thank you.
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Epitaph on January 28, 2015
Very good article!! Bravo!!
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Gracias!
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jamboree1 on January 28, 2015
I have been saying this for a few years "call it anything but a drone"
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
I'm gonna start calling mine a droid.
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RacerX on January 28, 2015
"These aren't the droids you're looking for.......Move along."
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
I think we need to come up with our own name.
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iflyos on January 28, 2015
Great work, Jake!
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Thank you sir.
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RacerX on January 28, 2015
You've done some cool stuff! And it's a good read. Thanks for sharing.

I always try to educate the people I know who generically refer to any copter type RC device as a "drone." When I told a co-worker I was into RC model planes, he said "oh wow, drones are cool." Meh!

As long as we have "ignorant masses" and manipulative politicians, we are pretty much doomed to have the RC hobby maligned. Oops, "manipulative politicians" is redundant.
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Thanks, lol.
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Bellows on January 28, 2015
Maybe someone here knows about this. I believe that the White House security jams radio and possibly GPS signals near the White House. I am curious if THEY caused this crash.Any thoughts,
LooseBruce
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Usually if there is a jamming source the equipment fails and falls out of the sky. I don't think it would fly toward the source and then crash. Sad thing is we only know what they tell us.
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flyingbuddha on January 28, 2015
I'm in DC and around the White House almost every month and I can tell you they are not jamming GPS. I could be wrong, but I doubt they jam the radio frequencies we as hobbyist, except maybe in an emergency. There are a lot of other communication protocols that operate in the spectrum we use, if they did jam 2.4, 433 they would most likely render their (government) systems inoperative.
But there are detection systems like this....http://www.droneshield.org/
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Yeah I agree I really doubt they are.
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jamboree1 on January 28, 2015
you are correct, i got my directors mixed up
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jamboree1 on January 28, 2015
RacerX beat me to the comment, lol
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RacerX on January 28, 2015
Aha! Sorry about that! I could hear the "nerd alert" alarm going off as I typed but I couldn't resist.
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jamboree1 on January 28, 2015
Oh, don't call it a droid, steven spielberg might try to sue you
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Oooo you have a point there. But I think it would be George Lucas or Disney to sue now.
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PrecariousPilot on January 28, 2015
I agree with every word in this so strongly I feel like I wrote it in my sleep. If the government takes this I'm moving to Canada or something. The word drone MEANT UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicle) and has now become the average Joe's way of saying flying machine, all because of the media. We (as the community of the hobby) Need to post more articles like this all over the web so that we're heard and that the government doesn't get it's way to put a fine on this amazing hobby. Overall, great article. Let's be heard.
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Absolutely!
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STFDAC20 on January 28, 2015
Nice article! Maybe your wife would understand more if you did not use her Tupperware as part of your builds! :) No worries - its taken a bit by my Wife just entertains me by listening. She has no clue except the costs.
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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
Oh I buy my own Tupperware, she tries to use mine for food and that's when I give her a look.
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ftwingnut on March 17, 2015
LOL!
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BluBunnyRC on January 28, 2015
Someone should make a compilation of all these articles fighting for the rights of the fpv hobby, post it on flitetest, and "if need be" shove it in the FAA's face, or whoever it is now- a- days who wants to kill our hobby.

LET'S PROTECT OUR HOBBY!!!!

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Jake Wells on January 28, 2015
You'd have to shove them in the face of someone who'd actually care to read them.
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Mmott on February 5, 2015
I have many doubts if the FAA would have any success in trying to ban recreational "droids". Think of how many people fly in the middle of nowhere, and I know the police and officials have way better things to do then drive around hoping to glimpse a "droid", quadcopter or plane. There are too many people in this world that are petrified of anything they don't understand.
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Drake600 on February 3, 2015
With any luck the proposed regulations in Australia will finally get approved then the US might have to rethink their approach - or you can just move here. Drop bears are bad this year but the weather makes up for it ;)
Legal unlicensed commercial operation if you're under 2kg! Can't wait!
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Mmott on February 5, 2015
Does that include planes? Or is it just quadcopters of "droids as we seem to be calling them.
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Korzik on March 8, 2015
This fight and the fight to keep a life saving device on the market are both absurd and made more complicated by the media spinning stories to get more views to sell.

The media would have you believe that i am the most hated man on the planet when I am at the park with my vape and simple quad but, in reality very few even seem to notice much less ask me to leave.
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JersterT58 on March 9, 2015
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a "Drone" an autonomous unit? You know, punch in some numbers (latitude/longitude) and you do nothing to fly it but hit the "start button".

I'm very new to this hobby (2 months) and haven't even flown yet as it's winter. But I know what a drone is... Great article.
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Jake Wells on March 13, 2015
Thanks.
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Eddy Current on March 13, 2015
FAA says you can't post "drone" videos on YouTube.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-faa-says-you-cant-post-drone-videos-on-youtube
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Jake Wells on March 13, 2015
HahHahHah, good thing I've never gotten paid by Google/YouTube. Most of my videos use copyrighted music so I can't monitize them. Besides you have to get 1000 views to even make an estimated dollar. After two weeks that estimated dollar dwindles to zero if you don't keep getting hits.
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F14 pilot on March 14, 2015
When FT posted that DJI inspire video i had the same reaction sadly.
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