Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Category Archives: drone

The Cold Freeze is Over! (And I’m not talking about my blogging vacation either!)

For the past couple of weeks here in the Seattle area, we have enjoyed a nice frosty cold spell.  It was so cold, we had numerous days of the temperature dropping in the 20’s (F) and even into the teens.  That is pretty unusual for us.  It cause my little fish pond to freeze over. Don’t worry; the goldfish are still going strong under the ice.

It also cause Lake Josephine on Anderson Island to mostly completely freeze over.  The other sister lake, Lake Florence, also was frozen over from this recent cold spell.  Again, pretty amazing stuff for our mild martime Puget Sound climate area.

We broke up some of the ice by the dock.

Winter is coming….

Bella on the ice!

Now, when I took these photos, the ice was 2-4 inches thick and clear.  That will support my dog’s weight of 37 lbs with no problem.  It could support me…but why take that chance? My son and I happily stayed on the float section of our dock.  I didn’t want to fall through the ice, die, and leave you (my dear blog readers) sad and depressed, right? In this case, instead of my usual “Safety 3rd” motto, I bumped it up to #1. Heck, safety is no accident.

(Here is a link to some ice information.  It isn’t for Washington State. Click HERE to Ice Safety information).

My dog Bella enjoyed the ice and chasing the ball for hours.  My son flew one of our Phantom 3 drones over the frozen Lake Josephine as well, hopefully we will have some drone video to post in the next week or so. 

Now, the weather has warmed up into the 40’s (F) and the ice is disappearing.  Until next year….I bid you a fond farewell my frozen lake friends….

Thanks for reading, please comment below on my amazing blog post about ice safety in Washington State, Anderson Island, or just how darn funny and good looking I am.

Long Beach, Washington – Father’s Day 2016

On Sunday, my son, his friend, and I made a quick trip to Long Beach, Washington to create some drone video footage and take some drone photos.  The last time I was in Long Beach was with the family for a short lunch stop so I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit again and stay a bit longer.

The weather was perfect for enjoying Long Beach.  Clear blue skies and a bright sun for us however, it was very windy.  Long Beach is know for its excellent kite flying conditions.  Plenty of wind on Sunday and Monday if you like kite flying, seagulls, and assorted windy day activities.

We stayed in Jazzy’s Crab Shack Link to Jazzy’s Crab Shack and it was great for the three of us.  Two bedrooms and a queen hide away bed in the living room area, two bathrooms, dining room area, plus a well stocked kitchen with a breakfast nook.  The vacation cottage was very clean and looked like it is well maintained by the owners.

Monday’s weather was a bit more cloudy but the wind was about the same.  After driving around the area a bit, you realize that the beach is pretty far away.  It is wide and (of course) it is long (hence the name “Long Beach”).  In Washington State, you can drive on the beach (in certain areas).

The visit was short but still fun.  Hopefully, when you get the chance to visit Long Beach, the weather will be warm and sunny for your visit.

 

 

 

 

Sounder Train in Kent, WA – Drone Footage

We have uploaded a new drone video to our YouTube channel and this one features the Sounder train headed south. It makes a stop here in our fair city of Kent, Washington.

This video was created using a DJI Phantom Advanced Model (it has the 2.7k camera).

Southbound Sounder train – Kent Sounder Train Station

http://m.soundtransit.org/schedules#40_SNDR_TL

Phantom 3 Professional vs. Phantom 3 Advanced

A few issues we are having with our new Phantom 3 Professional Drone.

My son and I purchased the Phantom 3 Professional drone with a 4K camera.  We had one with a 2.7K camera but I crashed it a few times.  He rebuilt it and we need to purchase a new camera for it.  We thought the Professional 4K would be an upgrade but there are TWO different types of Phantom 3 Professional drones with a 4K camera on them.  One has a wifi interface (cost: $800) and the other one has the wired connection (cost: $1000).  We got the $800 one and that was a mistake.  We don’t really like it.

Cons/Problems/Issues:

The range on this Professional (with wifi) sucks compared to our old Phantom 3 Advanced model with 2.7K camera.

The wifi is always (and I mean always) having some kind of wifi interference.  It’s ridiculous how many “notices” pop up when you are flying.  It drives us nuts.  We have done some flying under bridges drone videos and it is a bit annoying to have the video feed disappear.

This video was done with the 2.7K camera.

There is a lag time when you are viewing the video feed and the response time on the drone control.  In the Mercer Island drone video, my son was trying to follow the jet skis but the lagging of the video made it impossible.  Our old Advanced model could have done this without any problem.

This one was made last weekend with the 4K camera.

We will purchase a new camera for the old Phantom 3 Rebuild drone.

Tip: Purchase the insurance offered on the Amazon website.  A small price to pay.  When I crashed the drone the second time, the camera was totally covered.  I learned my lesson the hard way.

Mercer Island I-90 Phantom 3 Drone Flight

This past weekend, my son flew the drone around Enatai Beach Park and underneath the I-90 bridge on the east side of Mercer Island. We then did a second flight on the west side of Mercer Island where the I-90 floating bridge begins.

You’ll see some jet skis, a few nice boats, and some salmon sports fishermen.

I’m posting from my iPhone 6 and can’t see to embed the video. However, below is the link. Enjoy and thanks for watching!

Drone Footage of Mercer Island and Enatai Beach Park

Crash of the Drone

So….

I’ve been practicing my drone flying skills and decided to fly the drone around Lake Union a bit today. I got some nice footage of some boats, saw a sea plane landing, and then managed to crash my drone.  Actually, the drone belongs to my son and myself. As you can imagine, it was hard to tell my business partner I crashed the drone this morning.

I was flying an old ferry boat and got too close to the barge that is docked next to it. I realized that I was too close and attempted to go up which is where I got into trouble.

Once the crash occurred, I pretty much thought my son was going to kill me when he found out. Why bother trying to find it? I was a dead man.

Nevertheless, I threw the controller and the drone backpack into the back of the car and raced to the crash site.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find it or be able to get to it. This is a “working” lake (meaning there are barges, fishing boats, sea planes landing and taking off) in Seattle and the drone was probably at the bottom of the lake.

I did find the drone laying on a barge and was able to recover it.  Below are some photos and the actual drone video crash footage of the damage.

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