Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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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.


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

Bourbon and Bacon Fest 2016

You know what I like? I like a charity event that I’m actually interested in attending.  Last night, I attended the Seattle Bourbon and Bacon Fest benefitting the Treehouse organization (foster kids).  It was a benefit that fulfilled my donation critique: 1)a charity event, 2) bourbon (spirits), and 3) bacon (food).  The admission (ticket) was a gift from my wife (unlike my stories are shift to my dear readers). So a donation was the ticket to the Bourbon and Bacon Fest held at the Seattle Design Center last night. For $70 (general admission), you wander around enjoying different sips from the distilleries and tastes from the different resturants/caterers. We attended the 2nd session from 7:30 to 10 pm.  Your ticket includes a souviner glasses, drink tokens, and food tokens.

Pros: It’s a charity event so you don’t have a bunch of drunk douche bags running around saying “Yo Bro!” and giving each other high fives. On a personal note, One of my favorite hobbies is “people watching” and that was decent.  I witnessed lots of bad tattoos, hairstyles, and liquor reps in black t-shirts trying to explain their various drinks to people who just want a bloody drink. And there wasn’t a lot of hipsters so it didn’t look like you wandered into a homeless shelter.  I did see one DB walking around and had to grit my teeth. The DB looked like the singer Pitbull. He had white framed sunglasses but they were upside down and on the back of his head. Keep in mind, it is 7:36 pm, it has been cloudy and raining all day, the sunset was 90 minutes ago, and the room is dimly lit. You really think you need to be wearing sunglasses inside?  You don’t need to be walking around like you are at a Miami nightclub ready to go onstage and perform.  Just go put away your sunglasses and put on a shirt that has actual sleeves.

However, I love people watching and eavesdropping on conversations so last night was enjoyable.  Some people purposely talk loud so they are noticed.  They draw attention to themselves, make themselves a little more important for a brief moment.  I don’t consider that much of an eavesdropping expedition and ignore their conversation (unless they are witty and/or sarcastic). I prefer the small group of two or three people discussing and talking, but not paying attention to me. Now that’s interesting because they will let juicy tidbits drop here and there.

Now back to the cons of Bourbon and Bacon Fest….

Cons: The event was from 7:30 to 10 pm but some of the vendors ran out of food or liquor and were packing up early (around 9:30-9:35 pm). That was disappointing.  I would also have liked to have more “bacon”. There was a lot of “bacon” items but I wanted to overdose on bacon, especially at a Baconfest. I want bacon wrapped around everything.

I’d like to hear:

“Would you like a stick of gum with bacon wrapped around it?”

“Would you prefer this bacon wrapped steak or this bacon wrapped around more bacon?”

 “Do you want to try some bacon salad in a bacon bowl?”

Just so I’m clear with you my dear readers, I want my tasting glass to be filled to the rim with some smooth bourbon and a bacon strip as my stir stick and then I’ll know I’m at The Seattle Bourbon and Bacon Fest.  Call me picky; but I want bacon.

Overall, it was a fun event.  Glad I was able to attend and make a positive difference in some foster kids’ lives.

Welcome Home! (Now you can get started on that laundry…thanks!)

Last Sunday, with the roar of the Boeing jetliner, I returned back to Seattle from my vacation to the Big Island (Hawaii). Besides my imaginary stalker Cyndi and my wife, a few of you devotees of my Worthless Advice know, I like to visit Kauai when I head to Hawaii. Note: my parents still live on Kauai (and I went to school there).  This year, I couldn’t squeeze a Kauai stay into my travel and vacation plans.  This vacation,  I spent the whole ten days on the Big Island this time around.  The other amazing part? The vacation was just with my wife and no children.  It was surreal.

The Big Island is “big”. It is twice the size of the other Hawaiian Islands added together. It is as big as the state of Connecticut (roughly 4000 square miles). One major drawback: Not as many sand beaches as compared to Kauai.  But you certainly do get a lot of driving time in with the distances between the tourist sites and there is no traffic jams. At least, we didn’t experience any. Coming from the Seattle area, it was heaven to drive in clear open roads. I would compare it to driving in Eastern Washington.

My wife and I enjoyed the Big Island. We even tossed around the idea of doing what my parents did 30 years ago: move to Kauai and live there.  I could do school photography there and here in the Seattle area. Commuting back and forth on an airplane twice a month.  She could get a job making hats out of coconut palms and giving cat massages.  Mr. Whiskers would love that!

You’ll be please to know, that I came home to at least seven loads of laundry. I guess the laundry fairy was out on vacation as well. Oh wait, I was just informed by Mr. Whiskers the cat litter box was also neglected.  Thank goodness the garbage and recycling made it out to the curb and back again with my divine guidance. 


Let’s NOT answer your question….

Have you perfected the skill of not answering questions?

A recent example of someone not answering a question was on the tv show: “Hawaii Life”.  I was watching the HGTV show “Hawaii Life” and the buyer asked her real estate agent: “Is there a lot of noise from the pool?” Her agent’s answer: “That is something to consider.”  See, you don’t answer the question but you give an answer that is just an answer.

Which makes me wonder: Do you give the best answer or do you just give an answer?

Or do you offer a question as the answer to the question?

Example: How much does that cost?

Answer: How much do you want to pay?

Again, not an answer but you opened your mouth and said something to fill the void.  You didn’t not answer them.  You could have also said “That looks like the color pink.” Both answers got you and them to the same place…nowhere.

Of course you can’t answer every question fully. In case of the real estate agent, she doesn’t know how loud it would be to live next to the swimming pool.  Who would?

Enjoy not answering any questions by offering answers that don’t answer the question. Confused? So is everyone else.

Oh, by the way, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

So even if you have been married a few months, a few years, or a few decades, you should get the spouse an expensive gift to show your true love. At least every time I purchase a Valentine’s Day card, I feel like I’m buying a very expensive gift. Those cards are expensive. 

However, if I don’t buy the card, I look like an insensitive jerk. Ah, well played Greeting Card company, well planned. You know even if my wife says “you don’t need to buy me anything, honey” that I’d be a fool to listen to her.  Because if I don’t buy that expensive card, I’m the husband that “forgot” about Valentine’s Day. My love is only shown through a pricey greeting card’s well polished verse of undying love, gratitude, and admiration.

Oh, and let’s not forgot about what sentiment we need to profess in this greeting card. If we go with the funny card and our spouse wakes up in a bad mood, we look like someone that doesn’t take our love seriously. But if we go with the seriously one and we are known for our funny nature, we are guilty of not being concerned about our choice of Valentine’s Day cards.   We picked a serious card because we didn’t care enough to look through the 863 different cards available.

I like the funny ones but depending on the mood of your spouse (on Valentine’s Day morning), you are risking a day…a week…a month…years of how you were an insensitive dope who chose the wrong Valentine card.

Yeah, so good luck with your card choice…choose wisely.

Drone footage of the Seattle Christmas Ships on Lake Union

My son and I purchased a drone back in September and he has put together a few videos of his recent flights. He is building up his YouTube channel subscribers. An important side note: to keep your YouTube channel “name” you need at least 100 subscribers.  So, I’m hoping you’ll take a moment to subscribe to his channel so he can reach 100 subscribers.

And if you have the time, please like the channel/video and leave a comment if you can.

Click on this link:

Seattle Christmas Ships on Lake Union drone footage
Or cut and paste:

I would have inserted the video into this post but it is from my iPhone and I’m not quite sure how to do it. Sorry!

Holidays…are they over yet?

Hopefully, your various winter holidays turned out the way you wanted.  Some of you are chasing the childhood dream of the perfect holiday…to recreate that feeling you had in your youth; waking up celebrating and opening gifts.  Perhaps your parents were awesome, the presents wonderful, the food mouthwatering, which resulted in your family making every holiday an amazing one.  Then again, while you may remember your holiday as a fantastic voyage of deightful winter images, others are trying to build a magical time to wipe away the nightmares of holidays past.  The bad food, the disappointed underwear gift from your grandma, and the ruined dried out turkey for dinner.

Whatever, you maybe feeling during this time of year, I hope you survived it.  Personally, anything that happens after Thanksgiving (American style) is a blur for me. It seems as if we rush through the days of December, we haphazardly trip over Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa in our final push for the New Year’s Eve Day Party (which is really the only holiday party we honestly all enjoy).  Sorry, did I miss any holiday in my politically correct post?
But we don’t enjoy the coming of the New Year, do we? We think about our past year and what we wanted to do. We think of the hours we wasted on frilivous smartphone games, bad movies, and worthless advice blogs we read.  Do you have regrets? Possibly you do.  Does that make you dread the new year?

But wait, we have a New Year and a new set of goals in a few days!  And this will be the year we accomplish all the things we failed to do over this past year.  Or at least we tell yourselves we will.
So get get out there and prepare for the new year! The holidays are over, enjoy the coming of 2016!

Girl Scout Brownie Update #2

Girl Scout Brownie Update #2

Last night, I attended another class in the Girl Scout leaders training series. Since I have decided to become a leader in my daughter’s Brownie Troop, I am taking all the training necessary to be one. I’ve been tapped to be the Outdoor Specialist (actually title) in our troop. I could also be the actually Troop Leader with all this training if the need arises.

Since I am an Eagle Scout and still active in the Boy Scouts, the Outdoor Training shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m looking forward to it.

This one was Leader Essentials and overall, I pretty impressed with the Girl Scout program. It has some great short term and long term goals and the program is there to raise the girls into strong young ladies.

Currently, the Girl Scouts are in a transition phase with all the badges, patches, and awards. This makes the leader’s role a little confusing because you don’t quite now what you are suppose to be doing for advancement. As in my previous class, I learned that the current Try It patches are being phased out while at the same time, the Journey program was introduced. Confused? Me too! Luckily, I wasn’t the only one confused and this confusion was cleared up last night.

This evening, I am headed back up to Seattle for my Outdoor 1 class. The commute yesterday wasn’t too bad (only one accident on Interstate 5) and I’m hoping tonight will be the same or better.

The big Girl Scout training adventure for me will be my Outdoor 2 training which will actually take place outside. I’ll be headed to one of the Girl Scout camps for two nights for the last weekend of March. Yes, March in the Pacific Northwest is still wet and cold. However, I’ve heard we’ll be housed in open air shelters. We won’t be wet but we’ll still be cold. Since I am a male in Girl Scouting, I’ll be probably getting my own shelter which will be sweet!

Self Help Guru and your Critical Thinking Skills!

I finally finished the audio book (I had to drive around the neighborhood for about three hours in my car to finish it) titled “Bright-Sided How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America” written by Barbara Ehrenreich. She really doesn’t mean to be funny but the book is funny in a depressing sarcastic way! Well, to me it was funny because it really showed how the “positive thinking” is messing up the good old United States of America. So that fits perfectly into my new brand of Self Help Guru Motivational leadership I want to do.

Before we go off and talk about my favorite subject (me), let’s talk about the book “Bright Sided”. The book is a serious statement against the Self-Help movement and Positive Thinking followers. You might be wondering what the difference between positive thinking and positive thoughts are.

Positive thinking is a blind belief that you must think positive all the time. Positive thinkers believe that all negative thoughts are bad and should be cast aside. But is that really the best thing to do? Aren’t you throwing the baby out with the bath water when you do that? Aren’t you just sacrificing your critical thinking skills for simpler, easier thinking? Could positive thinking cause you great harm?

What is Kevin talking about? Let’s take the example of walking through a bad part of town. Should you use “positive thinking” and the “law of attraction” to safely guide you through the dangerous streets of Compton, California? Or should you use your realistic thinking of the potential dangers that exist in this negative environment and use your critical thinking skills to get the heck out of there?

Positive thinking is all a big scam according to Barbara Ehrenreich. She writes about mega preachers and self help gurus. One would think that her negative view of self help gurus, motivational speakers, and mega church leaders would deter me from becoming a Self-Help Guru. Ha! If anything, this book has given me the push I need to become that Self-Help guru I so yearn to be!

Think about it for a moment. Positive thinking and the Law of Attraction is just a scam in which people are lied to and told that anything is possible if they “visualize” it. It is a scam in which they want you to falsely believe that if you think it will happen, it will actually happen. I’m pretty positive that I picked the latest PowerBall numbers, yet I haven’t won the Powerball jackpot yet.

Am I saying you should use negative thinking instead of positive thinking? No, not in the least bit, however, instead of positive thinking could we be realistic thinkers? Could we be realistic with the fact that you need to work hard to be successful? You need to study hard to get good grades? You need to develop your critical thinking skills to become successful. What are critical thinking skills? Critical thinking is your ability to identify the problem, analyze & evaluate the problem, think of multiple solutions, and hopefully solve the problem by implementing one or more of your solutions. For a more detailed definition of critical thinking, here’s a link

Now, there is nothing wrong with having a positive attitude while thinking of solutions to a problem as long as those solutions are realistic in natural. In the brainstorming phase, you can throw out crazy ideas (that is why it is called “brainstorming”). However, once you move past the brainstorming phase, you narrow down your objectives to realistic, doable, and obtainable solutions.

An example: You need to increase sale for your “drug lord business.”
How would you do this? I’d suggest you set some goals for yourself.
Goal: I want to increase my drug lord business by 100% next quarter.
Is that realistic? If you live in a small town and all the local druggies are purchasing from you already, a growth rate of 100% isn’t going to happen unless they build a new low income housing project overnight.
What if you live in a large city? It is possible, however, will the established gangs and drug dealers take too kindly to your encroachment onto their turf? Is your expansion plans going to piss off the neighboring gangs? Is a turf war worth it? How much will it cost you in death of your “employees” and lost productivity? Remember a dead employee doesn’t make you any money!

This is critical thinking at work. You have to ask all the good, the bad, and the ugly questions. You have to think of multiple scenarios in which your plan will have to survive in. These scenarios need to be worst case and best case because you need to be prepared to do your best whatever the outcome may be!

Now the positive thinking group and the Law of Attraction flakes would have you believe that you can just “think” about growing your drug lord business by 100% and it will happen. I argue that you can use realistic thinking instead. Yes, you can grow that business by 100% but use your critical thinking skills to do it. Your realistic thinking will then guide you into how you’ll actually go about achieving that lofty goal.

There is nothing wrong about thinking “big” and setting big goals for your self. You just have to know that it is going take hard work and dedication to reach those goals. Is your heart ready to live your dreams? I’m positive it is as long as you take it seriously. I’m not holding you back; I’m here to push you forward by making you think! Enjoy what you do and do it!

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

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