I realize I don’t get out much. I mean I’ve been to a couple of county fairs and to the big city once but in all that time I’ve never seen a Great Egret in a tree. I had no idea they would perch in a tree. That’s another thing I love about photography. It exposes a person to many things and is always a learning experience. (Pun intended.)
A very enjoyable day yesterday. We had the grand opening / ribbon cutting to a new branch bank in Central City, Iowa. Met a lot of very nice people and had the opportunity to see many of my fellow employees, which is always a treat for me.
I always marvel at the quality of people we have working for our organization. It has truly been a blessing for me to work and associate with such wonderful individuals.
Still no word on my new Phantom copter. I had it a couple of weeks and found out it would not fly. It’s been in California for the last 6 weeks and still no word from the company on when I will get it back. Being the eternal pessimist, I’m willing to bet that when I do get it back it still won’t fly. 😦
On that high note I’ll bid you adieu. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
A short post today as I’m showing still images captured by the Phantom. These images show the progress on Angie and Ben’s home remodel project.
I’ve never gone through a remodel project but I can only imagine that it seems like it takes for every for the project to be completed.
We had some water damage in the basement of our first home and had to have some cabinets rebuilt. That was a two week project that i thought could have been done in a couple of days. 🙂
I see my Endocrinologist today for my six month check up. Hope my numbers continue to be good. I got a 20 mile bike ride in on Saturday. I altered my route just a little to stop by the kids home and wish Angie Happy Mothers Day.
So that’s the progress up to now. Weather permitting I hope to take fly over videos every weekend and then build a composite video of the entire project.
That’s my plan but then again Angie and Ben are still waiting on me for the wedding pictures I took of them. 🙂
Have a great Monday. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Be careful.
A short post today. One of the projects I wanted to get done was to do an aerial photography of Angie and Ben’s home before their remodel construction began. So that they could have a before and after to look at.
Yesterday I was able to accomplish that. Below is the video. I forgot to add music to it so there is just the video.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I am sorry to show you more birds today. I’m just having so much fun sitting in the back yards and watching them interact with each other. I cannot resist making images of them. I spent an hour last night just shooting away to the tune of 400 images. 400 images and I have three to show for it. 🙂
So far about all I have been able to attract to the bird feeder are some finches, sparrows, black birds, and this little Redpoll. Still it is very interesting to watch them protect their turf and jockey for the favored position on the feeder. Not all that unlike what we “humans” do on a daily basis.
Jeanne is going to Ames this weekend to visit her Mother. So it’s just me and the dog to take care of things while she is gone. I have so many projects lined up I can’t possibly get to them all. Not to mention my Phantom Vision 2 also has serious controller issues.
I was telling my good Friend Jake last night as we were leaving that flying the Phantom has lost some of its luster. For about every minute of flying there is an hour or so of work, repairs, maintenance, and charging stuff. Hardly seems worth the effort. Then again there is no other way to get some of the images I can get without the Phantom.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your Friday. Very busy time at work and home. Doesn’t seem to be anytime to just sit back and smell the bird poop. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Pretty veggie weekend for me. Some maintenance around the house and my head on Saturday and then enjoyed having Mark home to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Mark’s gift to his Mother was some flowers, which he then helped her plant. It made Jeanne very happy and I tried to capture the moment.
Took both Phantoms up for flights Saturday and Sunday. No video to show because it was just the same old stuff of the neighborhood. With each flight more experience is gained and more confidence. I practiced some fancy flying at low altitude with the Vision version had a couple of crashes into the soft grass with no damage.
Jeanne took her dog for a walk yesterday evening and so I thought it would be fun to take the Phantom up and follow her. I got it in the air about 10 minutes into her walk and I could not see her with my goggles. Of course at 250 feet she just looks like a speck. On the video I saw her several times and she was waving but through the goggles I saw nothing. So much for surveillance. 🙂
That’s it for today. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. It was fun this morning looking on Facebook and seeing my friends with their Mothers. I miss my Mother and her giving way.
Enjoy your day, thanks for stopping by, and be careful.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter. We certainly did. We went to early church and then were guests of Angie and Ben for an Easter Brunch. It was very nice. The image of Joshua is the only one I took because I was so busy trying to see how much I could eat. I just do not get along with buffets and can honestly admit I have no self-control when it comes to being presented with an abundance of food.
Before going to the Country Club for brunch I scooted down to the 16th Street Basin for a quick look at what was going on. Found these guys sunning and grooming themselves. Lucky I grabbed this shot when I did because when Jeanne and I went back late in the afternoon there were only a couple of Pelicans swimming in the middle of the basin. Yes I was late getting to the brunch and yes I was in trouble. But it was Easter so soon forgiven. 🙂
Later in the day Jeanne and I went to our favorite spots to look for more wildlife. Couldn’t find anything going on at the Basin or the River, so we decided to go up to Mud Lake Park and see if we could find something going on. All we could find was this Common Grackle. He was resting on this little bench and as soon as I started pressing the shutter he took off and I was able to catch him in mid leap.
I had never seen this area from the air and since we had the Phantom with us I flew it up pretty high had a look around. There was an elderly couple that pulled in while I was flying and they watched the flight and the landing. Then they came over and talked to us. They were pretty interested in the Phantom and asked a lot of questions. So I took it up again for a little demonstration and let each of them look through the flight goggles. They were very nice and when they left the elderly gentleman said, “Boy will I have something to talk about at coffee in the morning. They won’t believe it.” 🙂
I have a 6 minute video below. It’s worth the look especially when you see what I end up chasing around.
That’s it for today. I hope you enjoy your Monday. Thank you as always for checking on my blog and be careful.
Happy Tax Day as well. I don’t mind paying taxes for the privilege of living in this great country. What I do mind is how corrupt our system has become (both parties) and how the mindset of the politicians is handling money that is not their own. Billions become only a number to them and has no real meaning anymore. From the time they decide to run they spend every waking minute on raising money and running for re-election. As a young man I always wondered why a man or woman would spend millions to get elected to a job that only paid $100K. I was naïve and thought they must be doing it for the betterment of their fellow-man! 🙂
Boy was I dumb. I’ve had to stop listening to the news on the way home from work because I get so frustrated. I guess I also never really paid much attention to how powerful the media has become. Perhaps they always were but I just wasn’t paying attention. It is mind-boggling how they shape public opinion.
Okay enough about that. I am showing you some images from last month. They are still fresh and have not yet reached their shelf life so I feel safe in sharing them with you.
I captured more images of Blue Herons in March then I think I have captured all together in my photography efforts. They are such a skittish bird and hard to shoot but for some reason this year at the Basin, they were in great abundance and more open to having their image taken. Don’t know what changed but I sure enjoyed it.
I have some more parts to go on the Phantom, which will require some drilling, soldering, and cussing. I got an antenna package for the controller and copter, which is supposed to extend the range from a few hundred feet to well over a mile. Hell I can lose track of it only a few hundred feet away imagine what it’s going to be like when it is a half mile away. 🙂
That’s about all that is rattling around in my head this morning. Nothing too coherent. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day (back to Winter) and be careful.
Happy Tuesday! I have an amazing story to share with you today. I’m somewhat embarrassed yet over joyed to share what happened yesterday to me and the Phantom. I had yesterday off because of MLK day and I really wanted to go flying somewhere other than our neighborhood. I piddled around in the morning and then around 11:00 a.m. the sun came out and even though there were a lot of white clouds in the sky there was also a good amount of sunshine. It was 34 degrees so that wasn’t too bad. The wind was a little high about 22 m.p.h. but acceptable.
So where to go? I wanted to take an image of the Julian Dubuque Bridge I said to myself, so I loaded up the Phantom and a camera and off to East Dubuque I went. I went to the boat launch on the Illinois side of the river because it is close to the bridge and I reasoned I wouldn’t have to venture too far from my ground location. When I arrived it was apparent they had not cleared the snow in some time and so there was no good place to launch the Phantom from. As I sat there contemplating my next move I reasoned also that flying close to the bridge might be distracting to some motorist and that might cause an accident and I’d spend the rest of my life in jail. 🙂
Ah ha, to the Great River walk and I can take a video and some images of the old rusty railroad bridge. Yep that is what I’m going to do. Again I won’t have to get too far away from where I’m standing so it will be perfect. Fast forward now I’m standing on the river walk and I have the Phantom sitting on a circular pattern on the walk and thinking about my flight plan. So I fired up the Phantom and it jumped into the air. Now it is here that I have to explain a few things. First of all I wear transition lenses and they get very dark. Very dark indeed. So it is hard to see my iPhone and the flight app with them on. If I take them off I can see my iPhone but it is a big blur so I have issues.
Second the river is completely covered with snow. Snow is white (remember that), there are a lot of white clouds in the sky (remember that) and the Phantom is white. So I ran it up to an altitude of 112 feet so I could be sure and get a good clearance over the bridge and then I stopped and rotated the Phantom so I was looking at it from the other side. That is where I must have gotten disoriented. I could not see the Phantom so I wasn’t sure exactly where it was. I could make out the bridge on the iPhone so I flew it like that. I thought I cleared the bridge and was back near the place where I was standing but nothing looked right and of course I couldn’t see the Phantom so I was mildly concerned.
Finally I got it oriented to where I could see the Wisconsin Bridge and the Railroad Bridge and felt like I was re-acclimated once again. The wind was pretty strong and the more I tried to come back to the bridge the farther away I seemed to get. I couldn’t see my monitor good enough to really tell where I was but I also knew I could eventually figure it out. Then the worst thing happened. A “Lost signal with the Phantom” message appeared on my iPhone. Oh CRAP!! Now what. Well I can’t believe I’m that far away but I must have flown further than I originally thought. So I started walking South on the river walk thinking I was over by the Julian Dubuque Bridge.
I couldn’t connect to the Phantom so I figured I must have gotten turned around and it was North. I walked to the end of the river walk and then climbed a fence and walk another 150 yards or so trying to reconnect with the Phantom. It was nowhere to be found. OMG, now what? How am I going to explain this to Jeanne, to my readers of the blog, to my friends at work, hell to the insurance company? To say I felt dazed and dejected would be an understatement. I felt really bad. How could I have been that stupid, with less than an hour of flying experience under my belt, to take it over the Mississippi River. I walked back a lot slower than I had gone out so it was about 25 minutes from first taking off by the time and I knew that the Phantom had a 25 minute flight endurance on one battery. I finally got back to the bench and where I had left the Phantom’s case.
As I approached the bench there on the River Walk not more than 12 inches from where it had taken off set my Phantom. In one piece, fully powered down and just sitting there waiting for me to pick it up. So I reconnected with its WiFi and stopped recording. I had hopped it had recorded the entire event so I could tell where in the hell it had gone to. Sure enough it was still recording so I stopped the recording (see Lesson #5) and then powered down the Phantom again. I wanted to kiss it but I didn’t (in public anyway.) 🙂
The video below is the flight that I made. I cut out the long 10 minute hovering part until it went into fail safe mode. I’m impressed, just like they said it would do if it lost its connection with the controller it would return home. I didn’t turn the controller off until I started my walk back. So even though I had lost contact with the WiFi connection from the Phantom it was still receiving contact with the controller. When I shut the controller off, that is when it went into its fail safe mode and returned to its launch point. WOW!
So if you want to watch the video it is about 10 minutes long. Again I trimmed the sitting and waiting for me to turn off the controller so it could come home. Lesson #6.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.