So last week I became the proud new owner of a DJI Phantom 3 Drone, and although I’ve been dying to get some photos with it since taking it out of the box over the weekend…the weather has not been very cooperative with my plans thus far.
I’ve never flown a drone before so I have absolutely no clue what the hell I’m doing, and although I’ve heard more than one person say that this particular model is idiot-proof, I’m still terrified that I’m gonna crash it the first time I try to fly it.
We had plans of getting up early on Saturday morning, putting the drone together, and then heading across the street to the parking lot at Tropicana Field to test it out, however we ended up staying out a bit past our bedtime Friday night after attending the “Gala Under the Stars” at Demens Landing in downtown St. Pete.
The event was put on by American Stage– a local theatre group who present year-round plays in the Tampa Bay Area, as well as an outdoor springtime production at Demens Landing. So Friday evening, we had the pleasure of watching the opening performance of Monty Python’s Spamalot (which was absolutely hysterical), while we dined under the stars, met some cool new people, and had ourselves a good ole time (and possibly one too many glasses of wine)…
Needless to say, our plans of getting up early on Saturday never materialized, and instead we slept in and had a lazy morning watching Phantom 3 video tutorials in bed. The videos were quite thorough when it came to taking the drone out of the box and putting it together, but were severely lacking in the “how to actually fly the damn thing” department, which was kinda frustrating to say the least.
(As a sidenote…the actor in the DJI Phantom videos is a dead ringer for Christian Bale’s character in the movie American Psycho– complete with creepy smile and dreamy eyes, and the entire time that I was watching him give instructions I couldn’t help but imagine the dead hookers that were likely chopped up and stacked neatly in the freezer back at his condo).
Uncanny resemblance, no?
So anyway, when we finally had the drone assembled, the batteries charged, and had garnered enough knowledge to power the thing on and maybe possibly fly it…we walked it across the street to the Tropicana Field parking lot where we’d planned on testing it out.
Unfortunately the wind was blowing so hard that we almost got knocked over as we were crossing 1st Ave.South, and so we ended up scrapping our test mission altogether because windy conditions coupled with not-knowing-what-the-hell-you’re-doing is almost certainly a recipe for a drone-flying disaster…probably best to err on the side of caution and try again the following day.
And so try again we did…
It was a little less windy outside on Sunday, and so we decided to head over to Weedon Island and test the drone out there. Weedon is an absolutely gorgeous spot located on Tampa Bay (about 20 minutes from downtown St. Pete) encompassing over three thousand acres of mangrove tunnels, paddling trails, boardwalks, and observation towers. Rudy and I had been talking about going back to Weedon for quite some time to shoot photos from one of the observation decks, and so we figured we’d kill two birds with one stone and bring the drone along as well.
Once we got to the top of the observation deck, we decided that it was probably too windy to risk a test flight, plus there were far too many people wandering around the area and if I did end up crashing Lucy, I’d prefer it not to happen in front of an audience.
So after taking a few shots with the GoPro, we aborted mission once again and headed back towards downtown St. Pete in search of food and drink. We ended up at Hawkers, the Asian Street Food joint that opened up a month-ish ago a few blocks from our condo on Central Ave. and has kinda become our home away from home ever since.
We had a few beers, an order of Spring Rolls and an order of extra spicy Singapore Mei Fun (which is freaking delicious, and my favorite item on the menu so far but not pictured below because I was too busy eating it to be bothered to take its picture), and then we decided to call it a day and head home…
Alrighty then- that’s all for now…
I’ve got some videotapes to return, so I’ve gotta run! 😉
I’m headed to South Florida later this week so hopefully I’ll have some cool drone shots to post when I get back from my trip…stay tuned!