The Seed of a Drone Obsession

I Feel Qualified to Pilot a Drone

It was mid November of 2014 and I had an irresistible itch to buy a drone. I'd never owned or flown a civilian drone. However, I have significant experience as a Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) pilot in the Air Force. Plus I'm a certified Tower Air Traffic Controller. Additionally, I have a degree in Professional Aeronautics with Embry-Riddle University. Therefore, I felt confident in my "drone pilot" abilities.

I was strongly considering buying the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. I was watching prices on eBay and getting close to pulling the trigger.  Everyday I watched videos from DJI and each one increased my desire to buy a Phantom 2. I kept imagining all the things I would fly over and the places I would take video. Yes, somehow the seed of a drone passion was planted in my heart. I had to have one.

DJI Announces the Inspire 1

One day I noticed that DJI loaded a new video. I quickly realized the video was a rebroadcast of a live video they had recorded earlier in the day. And I was thrilled to discover that they had just announced a new drone! It was the Inspire 1 and it looked amazing. I checked out their website and saw that it was going for $3k. Ouch! My wife and I had been pinching all our pennies since I got out of the military some months back. Yet, the Inspire 1 was so perfect! Honestly, what's a man to do? Save his money or feed his passion?

Well, I wrestled with this idea for a couple of weeks. Certainly I was leaning toward the Inspire 1, yet finding it hard to reconcile the price. No longer did the idea of the Vision+ satiate my growing desire. I felt like I had some time to decide, though, because they weren't going to start shipping them until Dec. 15th and it was only mid Nov. None the less, I continued to check the DJI store--maybe I'd catch a sale (not likely). Then I noticed a new change--that the shipping day had moved back by a week. It appeared I would no longer be one of the first to get an Inspire 1 if I decided to commit to it. Well, that was the final straw. I wanted one and as soon as possible so I put in my order.

 

All I had to do was wait--Easy, right?

Now all I had to do was wait. I was really hoping to get it before Christmas, because I wanted to get video of my grandma's property and some other places I visit during that season. As soon as Dec 15th came I checked my order page daily. I was looking to see if my drone had been shipped. Days went by without a change to the status. Those days turned to weeks. I missed Christmas, which was a double bummer, because it was also my Christmas gift. Jan 8th, my birthday, passed and still no ship date. A triple bummer, because it was also my birthday present. Seriously, I had a passion to feed and I needed that drone! I'd been telling everyone about the drone I didn't have and how cool it was going to be. I'd been promising to get cool video for people and all sorts of projects.

Finally I noticed a change on my order page. They've shipped my drone. It only took 3 days to get from China to Seattle via FedEx. Not bad. I didn't open it right away, because I was planning on making an unboxing video (coming soon). Before that happened I discovered that the aircraft had flaws. Some pilots had their drones crash after take-off. I had to wait for an IMU firmware update. OK, no problem. I know how to wait and I don't want to crash my $3k drone on take-off. And just as soon as the update is available I discover that the aircraft needs prop locks. Of all things the dang propellers could come off in flight! Really?! So what did I do? Waited, I waited. I let my passion sit in a box and wait. I was ready to send it back if DJI didn't straighten things out. Oh, and then I discovered that iOS was no longer a supported for the DJI Pilot app, which is a required component to operate the aircraft.

and now my passion takes over

Finally, my waiting paid off. DJI shipped my prop locks, which also only took 3 days from China to Seattle. (I should seriously consider buying stock in FedEx...) The day after they arrived I recorded an unboxing video with Tim, my friend and associate. (Tim is Drone Frontier's lead producer and a super techie.) Now I've had an opportunity to feed my passion. I've flown twice and have all sorts of events lined up. Indeed, I have some really cool things planned that I think you will enjoy!

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