Highly Aggressive Drone with camera.

Aggressive Drone with camera.

In my previous page, you’ll notice that I tackled the low-end drones.  Here we are going to set aside prices issues and work with the more expensive type drones, what they can do, where to get them, and why they are much preferred over the low-end type drone.

Thousands of folks still want to know what a remote control drone is and which one should they purchase, either as a first time purchase, or a replacement quadcopter.

DJI Spreading Wings S1000 Premium

At just under $4000. you probably do not want this to be your first quadcopter.  Though rather easy to fly, it should only be for the very experienced drone operators.

If you are a professional type helicopter pilot, then you may be able to get a good handle on this very quickly, otherwise, I would suggest to pass it by for a future purchase.

Stability is one of the best features of the DJI.  Transporting it to open areas is a simple taste as it compacts into a handy transporting package.

Spreading Wings Drone

Spreading Wings Drone

If you are sure of your skills as a pilot, and require fantastic videos, then then is the quadcopter that you’ll want to purchase.  (otherwise, wait for the Lily to be released…see link in paragraph # 1 )

The Original DJI T600 Inspire 1 Professional RTF

For the everyday average consumer, the DJI T600 is definitely one of those high-end priced models.  Prices usually run from about $2000. to $5000. and can possibly take a chunk out of your wallet.

On the other hand, if price is not an issue, then this video and picture capturing quadcopter will be an excellent investment.

DJI T600 Inspire Pro RTF

DJI T600 Inspire Pro RTF with Camera

Having a 360 degree viewing, you can buzz this guy into all sorts of “secret places” and come out with great images and videos.

Do not worry about blurred or shaky images, the3-axis gimbal keeps everything rock steady.

Don’t forget about the SDHC/SDXC  memory cards included and the ability for a live feed to any mobile device that is running the DJI Lightbridge app or some type of monitor  or perhaps FPV glasses with the HDMI input capacity.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision + V3.0  

The Phantom at around $1000. or so, has become a mainstay for serious quadcopter operators.

The HD video camera and its 3-axis gimbal, once more, keeps images rock steady, but at a lower price than the previous copter.

A full 25 minutes of flying time and self tightening props will give you a great sense of security that you’ll not find with most other models of quadcopters.

Phantom quadcopter

Phantom quadcopter with Camera & Remote Control

From the redesigning of the propellers, you’ll see the difference in flying abilities as soon as you take to the air.  However, I would suggest as usual, to always have and extra charged battery to take with you.

So, which one is for you?

Remember though, there is a 500 foot height restriction according to the new rules of the FAA.

You’ll also need to have some wide open spaces or perhaps get out of the city limits and into the hills, or mountains around your area.

Enjoy your quadcopter and be sure and leave your flying experiences in the spaces below.
Be sure to share this information with your friends!

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by:amazon,aliexpress,droneimagesblogspot,centuryheli


Want a quadcopter?  Check out what the Lily can do…you’ll LOVE it !

With the advent of and popularity of drones, not only does everyone want to know what a remote control drone is, what it does, but also where they can get the most bank for their buck!

Before getting into the higher priced drones, I want to introduce you to the best selfie drone.  Move over GoPro,  Lily is going to pass you by (and video record it too).

What The Heck Is A Lily?

The Lily quadcopter drone is going to give Gopro cameras a real run for the money.  Though at the time of this writing, the Lily is not on the market as of yet, but pre-orders are exploding.  Lily will be on the shelves come Feb. 2016.

The very desirable GoPro camera

The very desirable GoPro camera

Now, in the Pre-order, they run about $500. or less.  Once they are on the shelf, the price will be upwards of $1000.  These little drones are super simple to fly.  Literally, just toss it into the air and it will video record you while it automatically begins to fly.

They Way It Works Is …

you’ll  have a ‘homing’ device worn on your wrist.  The Lily seeks that device and records whatever you are doing while flying about some 50 to 250 feet above, around, behind and in front of you.

Lily tracking device worn on your wrist

Lily tracking device worn on your wrist

You can set it or control it as you want to.  Throw it off a building, a bridge, from a tall ladder…it really does not matter as it will automatically start to fly long before it touches the ground.  No crashes or destroyed property.  Yay !

Want to make some home movies while in the mountains? How about kayaking down a river?  Just toss it into the water…yes, INTO the water!  It will begin to fly up out of the water and follow your every command.

Plus…it’s waterproof !

This is the best selfie camera that gives you what you want.

Toss the Lily into the air and it starts doing it’s thing…filming you and what you are doing.

Check out this short video:

The only Drawback of the Lily is it’s rather short (about 20 minutes) fly time.  However, with a 20 minute fly-time, loads of video can be accomplished.  An extra battery also is a real plus.

Want it to come back to you?  How about landing into your hand?  Be sure and check out the video link above.

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Professional

Though I’ve already commented on the Phantom, let’s revisit it once more. You just can not go wrong with this quadcopter.  This drone has been one of the most sought after quality drone for all of 2015.

It has two positioning systems.  The first is American GPS along with Russian GLONASS which refers to it’s being able to locate and lock onto more satellites for a more stable responsive type flying.

This is a real plus for beginner/rookie quadcopter pilots.  It may be a wee bit more expensive, but if you are only going to buy one, then this is going to be it.

Phantom 3 Professional

Phantom 3 Professional

Phantom 3 Says It All

Three versions are ready for you.

Version 1 is the standard.

Version 2 is the Advanced.

Version 3 is the Professional.

Version 3 has the full 4K HD camera rather than the 2.7K   HD camera.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Click the SHARE button

Images by:psfk,discovermagazine,amazon

Enjoy Mount Rainier From It’s 14,410 Foot Peak!

Mount Rainier Climbers

Mount Rainier Climbers


Mount Rainier climbers enjoy  some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire world.  Why can we say that?  Several reason.  First, because of the rain that the western side of the state of Washington gets, the air is usually very clear.  The lakes, ponds, rivers, mountains and valleys, are all within eyesight as you ascend the mountain.

Another “plus” for climber/hikers is the almost constant rainfall, and because of it, the air is always being “cleansed” of pollution, allowing you to see clearly for many miles.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, I am not a professional hiker or climber of mountains by any stretch of the imagination.  On the other hand though, along with my family in tow, we have enjoyed several day hikes up Mount Rainier.  It’s great fun !   See how much fun and enjoyable it can be as you follow along on just one of our little day hikes.

On the other hand, being at the Paradise Lodge on many occasions, we’ve encountered several serious climbing parties that are heading to the summit of Rainier.  These Mount Rainier climbers really know what they are doing.

I can recall watching these groups get prepared for the hike.  Usually their guide is world renowned climber, Jim Whittaker or another highly experienced climber.  In times gone by, it could have been Jim OR Lou Whittaker.  Mirror twins of one another, (one left handed, the other right handed) would climb Mount Rainier as the group guide.


Oooooo,  I Think I’m Going To Be Sick!

At the age of 16, most boys seem to think they can do most anything at all, even climb the 14,410 foot height of Mount Rainier!

Jim and Lou in the early days.  At 6 ft. 5 in. they are ready.

Jim and Lou in the early days. At 6 ft. 5 in. they are ready for the climb.


Jim and Lou today Photo: Seattle PI Scott Ecklund

Jim and Lou today
Photo: Seattle PI Scott Ecklund

Jim and Lou  Photo by  Seattle Met

Jim and Lou
Photo by Seattle Met


Once these two twins set their Boy Scouts mind’s to the task of climbing Mount Rainier, they just do it!  As has been reported by the boys (now both in their 80’s), that first time up the mountain made both of them sick.  Being determined to accomplish the task, but far from being prepared, the two set off to conques Rainier with “a bunch of grapes that mom packed for us”.   That was about all they had!   Can you imagine that?

If you are not familiar with heights on mountains, it’s a well know fact that  as you climb, the air becomes very “thin” and breathing becomes labored.  With the lack of  oxygen in the mountain air, you naturally breath deeper and more often.  With every breath you exhale, you are also expelling body moisture.   As your body begins to become dehydrated, you crave liquids.

Snow was handy, so were the grapes.  The boys would melt the snow in their mouths and have a few grapes.  However, when they got to the top (yes, they did indeed reach the 14,410 foot level)……………….up came the grapes !

That was their very first experience as a pair of  Mount Rainier climbers.   That was in 1945.

Since then, the two have made themselves the most prominent mountain climbers in all of the Pacific Northwest.

Jim feels right at home in Port Townsend and Lou at his Mount Rainier area, motel.

14,410 foot Mount Rainier

14,410 foot Mount Rainier

Scary Stuff…That Snow

Over many years of experience, the two knew what areas were safe to climb and which areas were open to the dangers of avalanches.  Take a look at the avalanche information below.  I know you’ll enjoy it.

If you enjoyed this article or want to share a story about your hiking/climbing up Rainier, leave me a comment below.

 White Dragons On Mount Rainier

White Dragons, or better known as avalanches, are wonderful to watch………..from a distance.  But many want to know why, where, and what can be done in the never ending battle regarding the prevention of an avalanche and being able to safely enjoy a mountain climb.  Let’s find out together as we explore this great “sea” of white wonderment.

This is part 1

A Mountain Riddle

Several centuries back, there was a riddle that went something like this:  “What is it that hits without hands, sees but has no eyes, and flies but has no wings?”

The answer?  White Dragons…………or as we now know them, avalanches!

Tremendously powerful, these white dragons are.  They can engulf a person within seconds and at times they have been known to swallow entire villages.  Many lost their lives in these icey tombs, giving them the name, ‘white death.’

So where do they occur?  Well, if you live in the tropics or perhaps in lowland areas, more than likely, you’ll never need to worry about them.  On the other hand, if you live in a mountainous terrain with snow capped peaks, then beware, you are in the white dragons lair!

High up in the snow capped mountains where free-fall  snow occurs on a regular basis, is where these “creatures” live.  They come to “life” when enough build-up of snowfall gets too heavy, breaking itself free from  the mountain sides.  As these avalanches descend, the air pressure that precedes them can devastate bushes, trees, small towns, and people, and much more if they are in the path of these “creatures”.

Why and when does it happen?
Light fluffy snowflakes can be beautiful when we watch it from the comfort of our warm homes.  However, high in the mountains, when snow falls, it begins to change.  These snow crystals change because of the differences of the air temperatures on the ground as compared to the temperatures high in the sky.

As these flakes accumulate, they begin to pack onto each other.  As snow continues to fall, say, over a period of about 24 hours, a foot of nice fluffy snow can compact into as little as 4 inches.  Making it very dense and heavy.

Since we know that snow comes in different shapes such as, crystals, pellets and granules, they pack together differently at greater heights.  Depending on which type of snowflake is falling and packing together will explain why certain areas have more avalanches than others.  For instance, the crystal flake which has 6 points on it, will interlock with others of like kind.  Making it more “sturdy” than other flake types.

The granules and the pellet type flakes do not have that capability.  They will usually just roll over the top of each other.  At the same time,  if there happens to be a type of “solid” layer underneath,  it makes it that much easier to have an avalanche to “slip” from the firmly packed snow to do it’s damage on anything in it’s downhill cascade.

Not only the type of flake but the temperature, the steepness of the mountain terrain, the movement of wind, animal or human movement on the snow, and the depth of the snow all determine whether or not the white dragon will begin to move.

Crystal snowflakes

Crystal snowflakes

Granule snowflakes

Granule snowflakes

Pellet snowflakes

Pellet snowflakes

 Moving the Dragon

The white powder that so many skiers desire, is the perfect type for an avalanche.  How so?  The so-called powder snow is usually made up of either the granules or pellets. (see images)   Their ability to slide over each other can make for treacherous conditions.

Never expect to out-ski or out-run an avalanche………..that is, unless you can move at MORE THAN 200 miles per hour!  That is how fast or even faster, this white death can travel.  The tremendous air movement in front can blow off rooftops long before it arrives.

The Hard-Slab Slide

But which is the deadliest type of slide?  It has it’s own name.  It is known as the “hard-slab” avalanche.  They come about by old snow being built up over a longer period of time.  These hard slab slides can be very deceiving to many.  Looking like they are solid, then suddenly breaking away, causing a cascade effect.  Chunks of hardened snow come crashing down at some 50 miles per hour.

If you do decide to ski, do so in the middle of winter.  Why so?  Because that is when the snow is at it’s lease likely point of breaking away and causing a slide.  Spring time is just the opposite.  Spring has been deemed to be the time of year when most ski accidents from avalanches occur, along with loss of life.

Be careful whenever you ski.

But what parts of the earth do they occur?  Can they be prevented?  And what about rescue missions for those that are caught?  Do these same type of avalanches occur as Mount Rainier climbers tackle this mountain?


Leave me a comment below along with any stories that you have.   I love comments!

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site…