I Suck at FPV - Diatone Crusader GT2 Practice

Sometimes it's hard to get out there and fly. Sometimes it gets dark before you're out of school or work. Sometimes your batteries aren't charged up, or you forgot the cable you needed, or a thousand other tiny excuses. I've been falling prey to those tiny excuses for waaaaaay too long now, and have finally taken some time to work at my miniquad flying
It's not pretty, and I won't be on Rotor Riot or DRL anytime soon, but it sure was fun. I hopped into 4S about a year ago without taking time to reacquaint myself with 3S, and the jump has been showing. This little flight was part of 4-5 batteries I went through the other day, most of which were unfortunately not captured on video. The drone is a Diatone Crusader GT2 - It's pretty great! I put two bladed props on in an attempt to make it a little more docile, which has screwed up the tune. The FC and everything are super compact, and you can even adjust the FPV camera! A cheap battery strap is perfect for putting a Mobius/Runcam/Legend 1 style camera on top, producing the beautiful (/s) footage you see above.

It looks like I've gotta put in more stick time, more simulator time, and more time on the Tiny Whoop. Stay 'tuned folks, it's only going to get better from here!


RQ-4B Global Hawk 3d Print - Free STL!

 In 2017, I've going to try to put out one model per week, on Thingiverse. This is an attempt to make better use of my 3d printer, hone my CAD skills, and hopefully make some useful stuff! At this moment, I have 11 items on Thingiverse.
This week's model is the Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk. I'm a huge dork for drones big and small, and ever since I saw James Bridle's "UAV Identification kit" I wanted to print some of the bigger ones. Unfortunately, James didn't release his STLs (at least, I couldn't find them). So, I opened up AC3D and took a stab at it.
AC3D works somewhat similarly to 3D Studio Max, but at a much, much lower price point. I'm no expert by any means, but the model is adequate. There are some inaccuracies, however...
I haven't used any 3d modeling software in years, except Solidworks. The organic curves of the Global Hawk didn't really lend themselves to Solidworks (or at least, my skill level in Solidworks), so I dusted off my old software. After about an hour, I was pretty pleased with the results! The model is a little low poly, but at the scale my printer can handle it won't matter. 
 After running the model through a repair process to fix any holes, it's ready to print! On my Duplicator i3 I can print this guy out at about 11" wide, when printed diagonally.
Printing diagonally had a neat little effect: The infill lines up perfectly with the part, and looks like ribbing! Printed in translucent filament, it would be pretty neat!
Overall, I'm happy with the print. Next time I print one off, I'll drop the layer height to .1mm, though.
This would look pretty sweet with a layer of spray filler/primer, and done up in a NASA paintjob. 
To all my readers, I wish you blue skies, and happy printing.


Tri Spinner (EDC/Fidget) - Free STL for 3d Printing!

I've been seeing these EDC/Fidget spinners all over the internet recently, but couldn't find a satisfactory STL to print off a few of my own. There are a variety of commercial options, but the prices range from $5-$200+. I'm certainly not willing to drop that kind of cash, so I fired up some CAD software and took a swing at my own design.

If you like my design and want to print your own, you can get the STL on Thingiverse here. I hope you get some use out of it!

Don't have a printer? No big deal, click here to buy a spinner.


Sunday Follow-up: Memorial Day Flooding

This is the follow up to my previous post, showing the flood water on Sunday just as it was supposed to crest. Residents of the lower areas of Houston, my thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.

On a lighter note, the original footage was picked up by local media - Kingwood.com (and Part 2), HumbleTX.com, and KHOU Channel 11 all featured the footage. I'll have to see what I can do about getting a copy of the aired footage from KHOU.

West Fork - River Drone Exploration

Lazy flight on a Sunday morning, exploring the river. What's hidden on the other bank? It was neat finding flooded areas the river didn't teach, and seeing how  different the water color could be.
What do you think? Do you like this style of video?


El Rancho Cima & The Devil's Backbone

Rolling hills, a river, and decades of memories. This scout camp holds a special place in the minds and hearts of many a Boy Scout. El Rancho Cima is a gem, nestled away in the Texas Hill Country.
This area is steeped in lore, both from the old west days, and modern scouts. Ghost stories, shenanigans, legends... Decades of scouting history, and centuries of US history.

In the future, I'd like to start making more videos with drone footage narrated by a local expert. If you have any stories you'd like to share to do a voiceover for videos like this one, please Contact Me!


The Earth Mover - Giant Crane Drone Fly-Over

Driving around one day, I saw an absolutely enormous crane/earth mover - Too good of an opportunity to pass without flying around. It's nearly 300 feet tall; absolutely gargantuan.
This video is the second I've tried to color correct, and I think the edits are much better than my first try. What do you think?