Five Things I Recommend for New Drone Pilots

1) Read the instruction manual. Watch the DJI videos based on your particular model

The saying goes “knowledge is power”. This is very true with your new drone. I know you are pumped to rip it out of the new box, put it on the table to install the props then run outside and take to the skies above. 


Slow down first to learn. It will allow you to be more prepared for when you do take flight. “Boring Brian!” you’re saying. I know right?! I am right. Though the alternative is an expensive crash then being butt hurt the rest of the day as you stare at your broken drone till parts come in. This will also prevent you from getting in financial trouble if you wreck into someone’s property.

Also refer to the FAA website regarding unmaned aircrafts for rules and registration if required. YouTube will also be an amazing resource for information. 

2) Remember how to play Resident Evil

Remember in Resident Evil how moving forward was not done by simply moving the sticks in that direction. The same goes for flying a drone. These are normally called Tank Controls. Forward to the drone is always the direction the front is facing. Not forward in relationship to where you are to it. 

I recommend launching the Flight Simulator in the DJI Go app. Now the app does have limitations when you “fly” it far away. It will become a speck on the screen quickly when practicing motions. I would move the drone where I can see it in the Sim then see how it reacts with different inputs. Another exercise I would complete was pick a spot on the map then fly there and back. 

3) Download UAV Forecast

UAV Forecast gives you insights on the weather and conditions outside for your flight. It also gives a recommendation if it is a good time or not to go. You can also check the future forecast for when it will be the time to fly later in the day, if it is not right now. 

Most helpful to me are the current wind conditions. It will use your phones GPS for locations or type in the address you are traveling to. 

4) Extend the controller sticks outward

When I have been flying my DJI Phantom it has been helpful to extend the controller sticks longer. With longer controller sticks it causes smaller movements to the drone to be made which results in smoother flight. Reduced jerking makes flight easier when you have started out. 

To adjust the controller sticks upward, simply turn them to the left similar to a nut. The underside will stay in place. When the top of the stick is further and comfortable tighten the bottom underside piece in place to keep them locked. 

5) Remain calm! 

The first time I flew I attempted to test the Return to Home feature. Due to my inexperience I cannot explain as to why but the drone took straight off into a tree. Luckily, I remained calm to cancel the Return to Home avoiding the tree. Deep breathes then thinking about your next move will reduce crashing your drone into the ground. 

Also I would avoid return to home unless it has disconnected from the controller, then cancel Return to Home yourself when it has joined back with the remote. Insure your Return to Home is set high enough to avoid all obstacles around you to avoid a wreck. 

Want to see me almost crash? Here’s the video!

I hope these help you get started with your new drone! I have been flying since the beginning of December so I am no expert. Though these items have helped me start out. 

Seven Things I want from iPhone 7

This was written on September 6th after the even I have notated actual changes with italic.

Oh man, this place is dusty. It has been several months since I have posted on here. Yet, here I have returned.

Tomorrow is September 7th, 2016 which means it is time for Apple’s See you on the 7th event. Of course, this will be the event where Tim Cook and team reveal the next generation of iPhone. I figured the night before would be a great time to put my two cents in on what I hope the event will show us.

Here we go:

1. Improved front camera 1080p 60fps – With the new apparent camera improvements there is no reason why the front facing camera cannnot be bumped up to 1080p resolution from the current 720p. Vloggers would go nuts for the bumps making the iPhone an ultimate video device.

*Bingo* Apple has improved the iPhone 7 to include a 7MP front facing camera that records at 1080p though no mention as of yet of the frames per second.

2. Apple Pencil support – The Apple Pencil would be an amazing addition to combat Samsungs explosive release on the Note 7 with the ability to create even more while on the go. Perfect for notes or pocket sketches. RIP Moleskine

Not a new feature. Strike one!

3. Water proof – It would drastically help creatives with the ability to create content in any condition, this includes rain. No special cases that reduce audio quality. Nothing causing the screen to be less responsive with layers of plastic on the top.

Apple rated the iPhone 7 as IP67 under IEC standards 60529 which means in English Ingress Protection for 6 rating of solids protections (highest dust resistance) and 8 for water between 15cm and 1 meter depth.

4. 128gb middle storage – Apple releasing devices with 16GB of storage should be dead. Even with a few basic apps 16GB becomes full to quickly. It is a poor user experience when devices cost as much as they do currently. Now the 128GB being the middle ground is perfection. Yes it is to much for most users but that is perfect. Now storage space is no longer a concern when it is time to record a family function they don’t want to forget.

Revealed as 32Gb, 128GB and 256GB

5. Flat black – I see the rumors of a new colors coming with a flat black and piano black killing Space Grey. Gloss black looks amazing though I know I would be constantly cleaning it with my shirt to remove smudges. Flat black is perfect in my book.

Features new color of Jet Black (Gloss) and new black which is flat black I wanted released. Space Grey is dead.

6. Better battery life – I have no complaints with the battery life in my current iPhone 6s Plus. That being said it would be great to make it on the days where I have used my device more to come back with a bit more left in the tank.

iPhone 7 is improved two hours and iPhone 7 + is one hour. I’ll take this as a win.

7. Improved camera with depth of field control – I tweeted earlier last week if Apple adds this feature bokeh will then rule the land.  Adding the ability to control depth of field will allow Apple to challenge the large appeal of using a DSLR camera, bokeh. Bokeh is the blurry background effect being a central focus point in a photo. Instagram better brace for the flood.

This is the new feature for the iPhone 7+ dual camera with depth of field and 2x optical zoom then 10x digital zoom. Also RAW photos are now an option for those wanting untouched images.

What do I think of the removal of the headphone jack as rumored by many? Meh. Does not bother me at all currently. I use Bluetooth for listening to music or podcasts. In the car I use the dock connector for charging and music currently as it is. My headphone jack is rarely used anymore. If it is the last thing standing in the way from a thinner iPhone then it can go. I am sure there will be a solution for those wish to still regularly use their 3.5mm hole.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. I really want to hear your opinion.

I am super impressed with the new offerings Apple has revealed today. (Of course!) Now comes the nerves part of waiting for a new phone to get in my hands!

Is 2016 the Year of Snapchat?

With a new year and new trends always emerge. Friendster gave to MySpace that turned into Facebook then evolved into Twitter as the space for social sharing on the Internet. It may not be the newest network on line being around for four years it is certainly gaining momentum since the holiday season ended.
Where is the new traffic coming from? The evolution of the demographic that uses the service. Normally, known for being used by those in college or younger, for better or worse reasons, Snapchat is now gaining popularity with those in the 25 and up age range. Many of these individuals are in the entrepreneurial segment wanting to connect with their audience directly via photos and videos than blasting their words on a Twitter page. Facebook has been taken over with meme based content that is just shared time and again which is losing its appeal for making a lasting impression.

Where has the popularity come from? Everyone has different reasons which run the scale as to why. I will give my personal reasoning. First, I have had an account for a few years though have never really found a need in posting photos that disappear. I have always wanted a log of photos I have shared online. I found it entertaining to see how others have used it daily. Often, I thought some went over board with using it. New features were added over time to add more utility to the platform. I began the deeper dive into it after seeing the unique motivational style of posts DJ Khaled. His post did not fully appeal to my taste so they became short lived for my interests. My attention was trapped again when Gary Vaynerchuk put his momentum into Snapchat. His attention to connecting by being so genuine to his audience gained my attention back to Snapchat. Have I fully gone all in to snapping 2016, not yet though I am getting there. I have never been a selfie person so I comfortable with putting my face out there. I will definitely say I have done more than ever before in this short time period of 2016.
Here is why 2016 to me is the year of Snapchat:

Personal connections via Snapchat are able to be made quickly via several different methods. Believe a person would prefer a text conversation. Do it. Think they want a simple photo with filter and writing on it? Get it done. Video chat a personalized message saying, “Thank you”. You are covered. Snapchat gives you this flexibility.

You must grow your network organically. You must either add friends to the network via username, address book, Snapcode or the nearby feature. So there is some hussle involed in getting your network setup. There is no auto invite feature for connecting it with an existing social network. You have to get your Snapcode out into the world by networking legitimately with people. Someone must find value enough in your content to be willing to put that effort in.

Snapchats are more candid that most other social networking platforms. No real editing can go into one. Yes, you can line up a photo perfectly but it will be gone in a day. No editing a video in iMovie before posting it. There are filters though nothing as elaborate as Instagram. Quick and efficent. Having fun with little risk of it being permanent allows for you to experiment with creating your own style.

Targeted messages for those that you wish to reach.