Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Blog, Video

Field Lines & Forest Hills

Starting out low

Remember my last visit to Stoner Hill, in Froxfield, particularly the part 1 video, which mainly focused on the North Face ? It’s a very difficult fly from the top, but the view is so epic I am duty bound to try and find other ways to commit it to film. And today, mainly by chance, I found one – fly from the bottom of the hangars instead !

Yes, I get the same scenery, but from another angle, and flying from here I replace the difficult, restricted-viewing-window, woodland-based launches of previously with nice, easy, big, wide-open, spacious ones here.

Lovely bit of hills there...

Lovely bit of hills there…

Launch Control

But still, it took quite a bit of driving to locate a suitable take-off site on the lower edge of Stoner Hill. In the end, I found 2 fields separated by a helpful public footpath, and so was able to launch from that.

In the danger department, we’re not up for much fun if we go down in the trees, but if anything goes wrong while over the corn, then I’m pretty much laughing – corn is the best absorber of crashes I have yet found, although it would be better still if it was longer.

The only thing odd about this flight was that I never once crested the hill. At several points in the flights I thought I was easily high enough to look over the top, but on checking back – I’d had to have gone at least 200 ft higher than my peak altitude to be higher than the ridge. Mental note made – go higher next time !

23000 mAH and 97200 frames later…

I had excellent 360 degree visibility, there wasn’t much wind at ground level, and I had a small area of flat, clear space from which to launch and land. I only had the 5 battery packs to burn, so used them all exploring the beautiful vistas surrounding me. In the end this got us 30 mins + airtime, which netted us 27 minutes of usable video, and 15 minutes of best bits.

I have had to cull a lot to get it down to 5 mins – a testament once again to the magic combo of GoPro3 and Aeroxcraft brushless gimbal, which seem to give uniformly usable footage even in very low light, as certainly were my last 2 flights of the day here.

Outshine the Sun

The sky was remarkable today, in that there was nothing in it apart from the sun, which had already begun to exit by the time I arrived at around 8 pm. Not a single cloud, and as this makes for very dull sunset video, I hardly looked up at it at all, and concentrated all my efforts into getting some decent shots of what was happening on the ground…

Hidden Palaces

What I didn’t know when I started my flights was that I had inadvertently parked up just a couple of hundred meters down the road from Old Ashford House, the biggest mansion in the valley ! Had I known it was there I wouldn’t have flown from that close to it without asking, but I didn’t know until I reviewed my film that I’d actually got some rather spectacular aerial shots of it and its beautiful grounds.


Once I had seen it on my screen I was careful not to fly to close to it again, and to keep at least 150 ft above it if I did stray closer than was ideal. I certainly have no wish to invade their privacy or make anyone feel as if they are being watched.

But it certainly had all the best trees in its grounds, so I’d be mad not to include the footage, which can stay unless the residents let me know they would prefer it not to be here…

Ask the choir to shut the gate…

Music today is typically (for my fields and hills videos anyway) Trevor Morris with another couple of tracks from his glorious Tudors soundtrack. Once again, I am extremely pleased to include some of it here…

Batteries (already) on charge…

I’ve only been back 5 minutes, but already the first of the LiPo’s is back on charge. Tomorrow is going to be lovely weather, and I’m going to go and record an Abbey for us all. So look forward to that.

In the meantime, here’s the photos from today’s session…