Personal Blog for Joe Bowser

Drones - What I'm slowly getting into

I've been somewhat busy the last three months. I decided that I wanted to get a drone before the regulation got insane, so I bought a DJI Phantom 3 Standard, and after three months of flying it, I crashed it into a tree and bent the gimbal. After talking to the repair guy, who gave me a rough estimate of the repair, I'm going to consider the first experiment into drones a failure, and get a new drone. I am not confident in my flying ability to build my own drone and fly it yet (I like AirBrakes), and after trying out the 3DR Solo Simulator, I decided to stick with DJI despite the bugginess. I will probably build a drone as well as buy one, but that will be later this year.

Now, what I DID make is, which is a rough guide to where you can't fly your drone. This takes the data from and the GoC Geogratis map for the National Parks of Canada and highlights them red so that you know not to fly there. I'm going to add more features to this, since I'm using this site and application to figure out where I can and can't fly.

Hopefully, I'm back up in the air soon, but here's a couple videos of me flying.

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Trail a Week - Jug Island

I made a new year's resolution to hike a day trail a week, so that I gain experience and stamina for those longer hikes in the backcountry, assuming that I get a chance to do overnight hiking this year. I decided to start the year with a trip to Jug Island in Belcarra. It's relatively close to my house, and it's a moderate trail. I managed to get it done in 1hr 30 minutes according to MyTracks. I did stop and take a bunch of 360 photos along the way, but most of them turned out badly. The ones that did work out well were the ones where I put the 360 camera on a wooden post.

Because I'm lazy, and because I have 360 photos involved, you can find the Google Photos album here

It'll be interesting to see how long I can keep up the hike-a-week thing, and whether work will end up getting in the way. I'm going to be uploading the good 360 photos that I took to Google StreetView, but I'm interested in some better solutions to the Giant Hand/Giant Tripod problem that I'm running into when I use the Ricoh Theta S. I'm finding that I want something more high-res already, but I feel that I need to use this camera more and get used to doing photos and video with it before spending money on much pricier equipment.

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2016 - Time for Adventure

I haven't written anything here in quite a while. Here it goes!

I'm going to be doing two new things this year:

  1. Try to hike one trail a week - This will probably be uneven. I already failed this week to hike a trail, but I will probably start next weekend.
  2. Get into 360 degree photography/videography - I've been playing with Google Cardboard, and so far I find the 360 video and photo stuff far more interesting than yet another VR landscape that people seem to be intent on showing me. I'll talk about that more at length
  3. Go on more camping trips - This is something that happens EVERY year.
  4. Start playing with Drones - This was another thing that I wanted to do last year, but didn't have the money for
  5. Buy a 3D Printer - Again, something that I'm lagging behind on

I'm sure there's others, but that's the basic list of it. I'll probably go more indepth of what exactly I'm doing but for now, I'm just going to put this out there.

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