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T-Minus 2h 20m and Counting to Lift-Off!!

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posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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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 entirely.

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 or something.

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)




posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:21 AM
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Hopefully, we'll have similar videos to share in the near future...





posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:24 AM
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Congratulations, sounds like a worthy tool for your line of work. Have fun. Looking forward to some vids.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:47 AM
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edit on 26-12-2016 by DAVID64 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:55 AM
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Lucky bugger!!

At least you have a legitimate use for your "gag" gift. I just want one because I haven't really grown up yet.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:14 AM
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What a practical and fun gift. Merry Christmas.

Last year, my drone took off...malfunctioned...got out of range...and crashed somewhere in the trees a mile away.
Fortunately, it was an 'el cheapo'.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: Kukri

Ssshhhhhhh...psssst...(whispering) I haven't either!! But I'm not tellin'!




edit on 12/26/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: IAMTAT

I'm going to try REALLY hard NOT to emulate your experience!!!

Really, REALLY, hard!!!



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:31 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

What is the range on that drone? From your description it sounds like a good one. I have always wanted one, but being in a residential area there arent many places to fly it without people thinking you are trying to peek in their windows.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:39 AM
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DJI Phantoms are known for "fly aways"

Double check everything before your first flight....



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:44 AM
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T-Minus 39m 50s and counting...

Outside air temperature: 39F

Winds: WNW 3-5 mph

Skies: Clear

Visibility/ceiling: Unlimited

edit on 12/26/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: baddmove

Roger that!



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: annoyedpharmacist

Range is about 17,000 feet (or about 3 miles)

Ceiling: not sure, but I think about 1,200 AGL (but I've heard higher)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I'm thinking drones are going to be bigger than they are now in a few years for commercial use. There is a new class at the tech school not to far from me. Thinking about taking it after the routing class. Happy for you. Try to get a picture of Bigfoot will ya.

P.S. I bought myself an oculus vr for xmas and it is AWESOME..........I never want to grow up (over 50 yrs old and still growing).





posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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Will be going into "radio silence" in 12m. (Shutting down all WiFi and other radio sources.)




posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Tarzan the apeman.

Me too...53 here!



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:52 AM
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Good luck my man!

Hope it turns out well and keep us posted!



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:08 AM
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originally posted by: Tarzan the apeman.
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I'm thinking drones are going to be bigger than they are now in a few years for commercial use. There is a new class at the tech school not to far from me. Thinking about taking it after the routing class. Happy for you. Try to get a picture of Bigfoot will ya.

P.S. I bought myself an oculus vr for xmas and it is AWESOME..........I never want to grow up (over 50 yrs old and still growing).




That is actually a really good idea. If commercial drone use ever really takes off in the future, they will need plenty of pilots and people to do maintenance on them. After I retire in 25 years (lol) I would do it just for fun.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk


'Watched a son-in-law fly his Phantom 4 yesterday. 'Better herd those critters fast, that battery only last about 31 minutes. Still, an amazing and complex marvel.

edit on 26-12-2016 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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I purchased a cheapo so I could figure out how to fly, but haven't put the camera on it yet or I'd have gigabytes of crash footage.

With only a few minutes of air time per battery charge and NO experience in remote control operations, my learning curve is steep.

Good Luck & keep us posted on your success.

ganjoa




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