For a couple years now I have been "threatening" (I say this in jest) to buy some drone technology to assist us in keeping track of the cows,
especially during calving season. Not talking about toys here, but a more robust, higher quality, camera equipped real-time more all-weather capable
drones. Initially the wife was less than enthusiastic about my so-called 'threats'.
Back in July my lovely bride said (dared almost) if we could sell some steers for a high market price I'd quoted her, then I could go buy whatever I
wanted. Well, we sold a number of steers for not only the quoted price, but even more! I was pumped...drone-world here we come! Not so fast, Hoss!
Then (as it usually goes in marital situations) there were other "priorities" which were deemed 'much more important' by the better half. So, the
drone plans went back on the shelf once again.
Months passed by, the seasons changed and the always hectic preparations for winter began; selling off spring stock, hauling hay and all the usual
chores to get everything ready for a long winter. Frankly, I'd kind of even forgotten about getting a drone, maybe even subconsciously wrote it off
Then, in late Nov. / early Dec., we had a couple of incidents which presented some challenges. One of these was having some heifers go bat-S# crazy
on us during a round-up and escape. Initially they just escaped to another area of our ranch (no biggie, just a hassle). After a day's searching we
would find they'd escaped from our ranch altogether and onto a multi-'section' (several thousand acre) parcel of open-space land adjacent to us. The
terrain, like ours, was rugged with many hills and valleys, trees, rivers and countless places to go "play". After a day or so on horseback, ATV and
on foot we managed to locate them and then the task turned to returning them to our place (no easy feat given the unimproved area). Complicating
matters even worse was the fact they must have gotten into some coyotes or a cougar at some point because they were spooked by their own shadows by
this point. Needless to say it was a tiresome distraction, especially frustrating because these particular heifers were due to be shipped out to a
buyer...and now we were late. (knucklehead cows). Eventually we managed to get them back, got them loaded and hauled them to the buyer. All's well
that ends well.
Of course with all the other things going on, time passed and then my focus turned on Christmas among so many other things. All thoughts of any sort
of a drone for the 2017 calving season had long since vanished. We'd just have to slog it out, in the wind and snow, for another year (not so
incidentally; if you ever want to know when a cow will throw a calf...pick the worst possible weather, at night, in the furthest reaches of the
nastiest terrain imaginable and that's when/where it will happen!)
Fast forward to Christmas Day. The wife and I had a very enjoyable (thankfully uneventful) Christmas day. We exchanged a few well needed and very
appreciated gifts. I'd wanted some replacement clothing items and she'd wanted a Hudson Bay wool blanket...and Santa came through. After spending an
enjoyable morning our sights then turned to preparing Christmas supper. (after all the regular chores of course).
Around Noon or so, almost nonchalantly, the wife says, "Oh gee, there's one other gift I forgot about; well it's just kind of silly anyway so no
biggie. Here, I'll go get it, it's just kind of dumb so I don't even think I'll wrap it".
So, I'm just thinking it's some gag gift or coffee cup
She comes out with this stack of sizable boxes. Whoa, this is no 'gag-gift' and if it is, it's gonna' be one hell of a "gag"!
Well, boys and girls, I'm sure by this point in the story it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what "it" was!
In 2 hours and 20 minutes the DJI Phantom 3 Professional (drone) complete with 4k gimbal stabilized SHD video and live-stream will take flight! Spent
yesterday getting it ready (which was actually more involved than I expected). It's already been pre-flighted, firmware updated, all the batteries
charged, mobile devices charged and ready to go!
WHAT A GAL!!!
P.S. She tells me later last night, it was when the heifers escaped and we spent so much time looking for them which pushed her over the edge to get
the Phantom. "If we could have just seen where they were from the air, it would have been SOOOooo much easier!!"
T-Minus 2h 13m and counting...
edit on 12/26/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)