Our Chief Technology Officer and reluctant nerd, Tony Shur recently got involved with hobby drone flying. At first we rolled our eyes as he showed us blurry pictures and regaled us with lunch room stories of climbing trees to fetch lost parts. But we all have to admit that he has really come into his own with this emerging hobby, and has even sold some of his recent flight videos as stock footage.
Since this is a fascinating and growing space, we thought it might be fun to have Tony talk about his experience in case there are other budding drone enthusiasts out there among our reluctantly nerdy clients and colleagues. You can also read more on Tony’s blog at: http://www.skybounddrones.com
Here are 10 things (pros and cons, if you may) I have learned and would like to share with anyone interested in getting started with this fun (but sometimes expensive) hobby.
- The flying community is GREAT. Everyone I have encountered that is into drone/quad flying is more than happy to help, give advice, and share their passion with you.
- You can never have enough batteries. Do not start flying until you buy extra batteries! Typical batteries for the inexpensive drones last anywhere from about 4-8 minutes of flying time. You can usually purchase them from Amazon for a very reasonable price. While you are at it, buy extra chargers too (many times you can get batteries and chargers together as a combo deal).
- You will crash and/or lose your first done(s). I strongly suggest spending less than 100.00 on you first drone. My suggestion is the Syma X5C. This is a great beginner’s choice, very easy to fly, and is quite durable.
- Watch videos. There are great tutorial vids on all things drone related, from unboxing to flying. Much easier to learn by watching videos than reading the sometimes confusing, not well-written manuals.
- Your early days of flying will be a mixture of fun and frustration. Hang in there.
- We are still on the ground level of drone flying. There are many business opportunities if you desire to try and make some money with this hobby.
- Flying with friends is the best. Many laughs, quicker learning curves, and less frustration when you crash!
- Location, location, location! Find a large area with lots of open space, preferably without too many people. Finding locations can sometimes be half the fun as well.
- Flying conditions: Once you find a great location, try to fly in calm conditions. Even mild winds can make a beginner’s day (with less expensive drones) miserable. Also, when flying outside, I suggest flying in the higher speed modes. The higher speed modes make the drone more responsive to your remote transmitter movements.
- Don’t be intimidated by drone terms, such as: trim, yaw, calibration, elevator, aileron, etc.… You will become proficient at understanding these terms and how to use them with minimum amount of experience.
Enjoy, have fun, and fly responsibly!