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Posted by on Apr 26, 2013

Cloud Connected

Cloud Connected

The misty sands. I was planning on heading into QE Country park for some sunlit woodland flying, but before that, as I was driving along the South coast on a brilliantly bright and sunny afternoon, suddenly, as if from nowhere, a large bank of cloud / fog / mist started moving rapidly inland from out at sea to the South East. I’d never seen weather conditions quite like it, and had my hex in the back, so overjoyed at the possibility that the cloud may have actually come to me for a change, and that I might be able to legally get above it without breaking the 400 ft rule (usually impossible), I parked up, got down on the beach and launched skywards for what would be 8 exhilarating (and at times quite tense) 6-7 minute flights. Yes the cloud is perfect, but the wind is pretty full-on – most of the time manageable, but sometimes less so. Fortunately, it was blowing inland, and was fairly constant. Testings But...

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Posted by on Apr 23, 2013

Spring Golds

Spring Golds

Back in the air… Well since crash time last week, the requisite repairs are complete, a few changes have been made, and 3 test flight sessions and 2 test flight missions mark the end of the post-crash testing phase, but most of that is too dull to make videos about. This is the last test flight, which is on nice safe Elsted Heath. Whilst this is regular ground for me, and therefore not particularly new or exciting if you watch a lot of my videos, it is one the few places that has a nice cushioned heath surface (heather, dead gorse, moss) and easy recovery in case we have a repeat of last week’s power fail action. Except when I’m flying over the trees, but we’ll let that pass. I didn’t fly anywhere near the quarry, so no cinematic excitement there, but the sun was doing some quite good ‘setting things’, and I needed to evaluate the video quality given that I’ve just changed the camera gimbal mount. Also,...

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2013

Sand Pits @ Sunset – Episode 2

Sand Pits @ Sunset – Episode 2

High Times Spin Panoramas in glorious Technicolour.  Watched Part 1 yet ? This is the bit after that. This episode sponsored by the Cat’s Protection League.   Yes, I am still using my unique location-based freedom from responsibility (see part 1), to do some high flyings over treacherous waters. We start high, and get to the lower stuff at the end. Conditions were good – there wasn’t that much wind to be any sort of threat to control, but it was there enough to have an unhelpfully profound effect on filming, during descents especially – prop wash + wind can’t ever be good. We’ll see how de-shake copes with all the long fades… Even if it’s duff video – I really don’t care – that sand pit isn’t going anywhere, and I’ll do it better next time with more wind-defying equipment as time goes on – for now – I got some great flying fun, and some amazing screen-grabs, and I’m happy with that. For anyone wondering why I...

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Posted by on Mar 21, 2013

Sand Pits @ Sunset – Episode 1

Sand Pits @ Sunset – Episode 1

It’s there if you dare… Hey Internetsters – it’s me, back with another trip out to see something nice, mainly from the air. Today’s niceness is… West Heath Sand Quarry, or as some people know it, Borrowers Sand Pit is just outside Rogate, off the A272.  Google maps found it for me, and I’ve flown here once previously, well before I started this blog, so it’s an aerocam.org.uk first. Let’s not get bogged down (pun intended) about what constitutes a quarry or a sand pit… we’re flying over it whatever it’s called. Double Bill Not much wind in my bit of the air today, so quite a lot of usable footage ! And because I had so many nice comments about my last adventure, up at Stoner Hill, I thought you deserved another multi-parter. Part 2 isn’t up yet, but will be, hopefully within the week. That one will be ultra smooth and ultra slinky, but this one is pretty much straight out of the cameras and up, give or...

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Posted by on Mar 19, 2013

Stoner Hill XL

Stoner Hill XL

At-height and In-depth Hey kids – and welcome to an expanded flight log.  This time it’s longer, and has got some behind-the-scenes stuff in it, as I report on Thursday’s Stoner Hill mission… Just as I suspect that fishing is mainly an excuse for sitting by a nice lake all day, flying gets me out wandering through my favourite bits of the beautiful British countryside and there is a certain joy and freedom in scouting potential fly-sites on foot, before you even get off the ground. So this time, I thought I’d include some extra video from my head-cam, which shows getting to the site, a bit of set-up, and hopefully gives you some idea what goes on that you don’t normally see. Don’t worry – if all that bores you silly, then skip straight to video 2, which is all the smooth, high stuff, or part 3 which is the exciting, fast, low stuff. Yep, there’s a lot more that goes on before and after the flights themselves....

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Posted by on Mar 15, 2013

Litten Lane Photoblog

Litten Lane Photoblog

Up, up and away… Today I’ve been having multi-site adventures up high on Stoner Hill in Froxfield, having not been there since the middle of Autumn last year. Let’s see what it looks like as the last of Winter disappears, and Spring is in the air. I am very much in the air with it. In fact, there were so many photos I liked from today’s flyings that I thought I’d award them their own blog, and do a separate one to the inevitable video and flight log report, which’ll be along on Sunday, or thereabouts. Until then, here’s some good ones… everything on-board is a screen grab from the GoPro 3 Black Edition video, and everything on the ground is the same, but from my head-cam GoPro 2, which always gives me a headache to wear, but does at least stay put… Click for full resolution, then use arrows or mouse to browse left / right....

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2013

Forest Flyers

Forest Flyers

Slightly sunny Saturday afternoons… I’ve been looking at the upcoming weather forecast, and it’s really not good. Even as I write this, my house is shuddering ominously in the freezing gale force winds that are battering Hampshire at the moment. And it’s snowing, and what isn’t being blown away is remaining. I could see it might be a while before flying was a good idea, so took this Saturday as something of a last opportunity to go. Weather isn’t ideal, but at least the sun is trying to emerge… To the forest ! So here we are on Liss Forest Heath, with a vague plan in mind, and Capt. McT on the ground with a GoPro2 on a hand-held gorillapod, while I’m in the air (not bodily) with a GoPro3. Yet he still has the advantage… Yes, of course we are also joined by stalwart of British weather ‘The Wind’, which once more set about its furious task of ruining my aerial filmings, and I’m ashamed to report that...

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2013

Aerocam Photo Log – Episode 1

Aerocam Photo Log – Episode 1

Aerial Stills Sep 2012 – Jan 2013. It’s raining outside, and nothing needs maintaining or doing on my hex, so I’m using the time to do a little compilation of photos that me and my craft have taken in the last 6 months or so of flying about over (mostly) the Hampshire countryside. Twitter has started reducing the resolution of all my photos, so I wanted to do a slideshow people could watch in reasonable HD, although I have used some low-res shots from the earlier days that I wasn’t expecting to ever be used in a video, but even so, it’s nice to have a little slideshow every so often… All these are stills taken from 1080p video filmed with a GoPro2 on-board or from 720p video from a FLIP or Nikon D3100 from the ground. Photoshop has been fairly seriously involved in most of them as I really hate washed-out photos and as these images were all taken whilst moving I usually have to reduce resolution and...

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2013

Sunsetting – Petersfield Heath

Sunsetting – Petersfield Heath

Up, up and away. Mostly away. As in ‘away in a workshop at home’. Haven’t done any flying this week, for reasons that may include what might later be referred to as ‘The Great Warning-off of Feb 2013’, but today the sky was doing good enough things to tempt me out and over to the Heath with a fresh rack of batteries and set of gloves B. My temporary flight area extension kindly granted by Petersfield TC so I could get extra good snow vids has expired, so I’m back in my ‘normal’ permitted areas. Never mind though, the sky is looking good wherever I point a camera this evening, especially if I then point photoshop at it afterwards… Mainly about the sky… Apart from a short whinge about battery / flight times, and wondering if that red light is trying to tell me something other than ‘battery low’, and also testing my new FPV cam mount that allows it to move with the main camera (that went very well...

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Posted by on Feb 4, 2013

Racton Tower Rise

Racton Tower Rise

It’s all in the follow-through… Perhaps I mean follow-up. Yes. This is a follow-up from yesterday’s scout mission, where I discovered what I didn’t know at the time was Racton Monument, but I was too far away from it to see anything properly. I resolved to come back and do better. Well I did come back, and only a day later.  Today, I’ll have you know, I half killed myself trudging across acre after acre of muddy field and windswept grassbank this afternoon with 10 kilos of batteries, a metal tripod, field monitor, transmitter and hex, all in an effort to get close enough to film the ruin properly for you all. Especially you, Nicky. I thought my heart was actually going to explode in several places,  but  I stopped before it did and when I could breath again, filmings could commence. I was too knackered to be annoyed that there was car sitting right next to the tower, which meant I could have driven there and avoided all...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2013

Winter Sun Sky Surfing

Winter Sun Sky Surfing

Ruined off. Like rained off, except involving ancient battlements. Today’s video efforts are something of a backup plan, or rather what happens if you do an elaborate plan to go fly a site, and then get there to find that Google street view has let you down and access is absolutely impossible. Doesn’t happen often, but did today. So was the case with Bishop’s Waltham Palace. So myself, Special M and first-time flyer / improvisational cameraman Paul left, slightly disappointed we couldn’t do our original plan. Fortunately Hampshire is full of top countryside, and some of that isn’t locked, so we went looking for a bit of that instead. Drive-by Flyings… Leaving Bishop’s Waltham we climbed back on the A272 towards home, and did some drive-by flyings when we randomly found a very attractive golf course, later discovered to be Corhampton / Droxford Down, at the top of a very high hill, topped off by an atmospheric spot of Winter sun, and the flyings commenced. Temperatures were reasonable, a nice...

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2013

The Winter Freeze – Elsted Common

The Winter Freeze – Elsted Common

In the bleak mid-winter… It might be bleak, and very very cold – indeed I very much froze my proverbials to the core getting you this footage, so let’s enjoy a Wintery look round over some evergreen trees, my second favourite quarry, and marvel at the intricate network of paths and symbols on the frozen ground that make up one side of Elsted / Iping Common… Yep, it’s one of my favourite flying grounds, and being determined to capture it in all seasons, I am pleased to add Winter to the list. Only Spring to go, and I have a complete year. Cinematically speaking… There wasn’t that much wind today, and what there was didn’t really get above 12 mph, so whilst it’s certainly not the smoothest flight vid I’ve ever made, at last I can add a snow-flight to my collection that doesn’t also involve the ridiculous shaking of previous efforts. I was on my own, and didn’t meet a single soul today, so was able to focus...

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Posted by on Jan 19, 2013

The Winter Freeze – PF Lake & White flights

The Winter Freeze – PF Lake & White flights

No Business like snow business. 2 vids in one this time, as one really isn’t very good, and yesterday’s flight is just me whazzing about in some real-time snow, so we’ll gloss over that (it’s at the bottom somewhere if you really want to watch it), and get on to today’s, which is much more interesting… Songs of Fire and Ice (no songs, or fire though) So, I woke up today to find it had stopped snowing, which meant I could venture further afield than the field by my back garden. To the lake then, which seems the obvious choice, given that Petersfield Town Council have just kindly extended my flying area until March so I can capture the wintery goodness. So here I am, doing that. What’s that, Mummy ? Loads of people, and their children / dogs about, so mostly flew over the lake where they weren’t, and my rigorous preflight checking paid off in that I didn’t fall into the lake at any point. So that’s...

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2013

Southsea Sky Surfing

Southsea Sky Surfing

Over the sea, not in it, please. It’ s cold out, but I’ve got a hat, and thermal socks that go up to my knees. We’re on the South Coast, just down a bit from South Parade Pier… This was my plan… As you can see, the green ‘safe area’ is rather smaller than the red danger areas. The orange bits are where I definitely won’t be overflying. The yellow bit is where I’ll be mostly flying with caution, and the blue and white arrows are showing wind at different speeds and heights. Note the wind is unhelpful in almost every way. Today was full of adventures… a lot of wind, a lot of sea, one RTH, one home lock return, and lots of people watching – if you’re reading this now, hello ! :) I’m specifically here to do a little lens-to-lens spy action on Portsmouth-cam.co.uk, who have a camera mounted a short way down from South Parade Pier. This is me. I was conscious of the fact that...

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2013

First Snow 2013

First Snow 2013

It’s all gone white. I woke up, saw the snow, hurried down a pint of warming tea, and got out in it straight away (bout 10.30 in the end) to bring you the sort of video that is largely unspectacular but never mind because it’s been snowing ! It had just stopped. So a very brief couple of flights around my ground zero training field, and quick pan round the town at the cloud line. Then my fingers froze, despite help from the HotRok that Special Observer M had got me for xmas. Without that, they would have frozen 10 minutes earlier. Keeping warm However, as soon the temp is below 0 degrees, the HotRok will be not be wasted on anything as unimportant as fingers; it’s going in the battery bag to keep my LiPo’s at room temp for as long as possible, hopefully without setting fire to them. This might help avoid the drastic reduction of flight time you get with very cold battery packs. Even as I type...

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2013

Broom Channel 7’s

Broom Channel 7’s

What the hell is a Broom Channel ? You might well ask. Hey Kids… I’m back, and it was almost another castle before I decided that the wind was just too high for any sort of town center fortress flying. So this is the backup plan, and we’re on the South Coast (almost) just off the A27 to Southsea flying next to an inlet called.. you guessed it;  the Broom Channel.   There’s a sailing club, a quarry, a large field, and a lot of sea, sandbars and islands, not to mention a massive industrial estate over the other side of the road, and it’s all lit by some rather nice Winter sun on a Sunday afternoon… Having said that, it was so cold my nipples were talking to me, like Jean-Claude Van Damme’s in that advert. Lot of wind as well, gusty and around 30 mph in places. Home lock had to be employed once, and worked a treat. Because of the wind, I’ve had to get de-shake...

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2013

Castles by the Sea

Castles by the Sea

Porchester Castle, Hampshire. I seem to be on a bit of a castles mission at the moment, or at least the ones relatively close to me. Today was another windless wonder (that’s 2 in a row – almost unheard of!) so this time I was up and on it and down the coast  by 1.30, when the sun was already quite low in the sky, and was doing good shadows everywhere. It’s the first time we’ve seen the sun for ages, so I was damn well going to be out in it, doing stuff. I was expecting to have some ‘access problems’ or ‘staff problems’ here, but neither transpired, there were no gates, or signs to say I couldn’t enter the public walkway outside the castle, and I was unchallenged for the entire time I was there. I couldn’t find any staff to ask for permission.  A  fair few local residents came along and were very interested and encouraging, and even helped me take some video at one point....

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2013

Drive-by Flyings 9 – Petersfield Heath

Drive-by Flyings 9 – Petersfield Heath

Circles in the mist. Well, it’s one of those rare virtually windless days, so it is my duty to be in the air doing something with it. I’d got up late, even by musician standards, and didn’t manage to get out the door until the light was failing, so decided to head to my favourite training ground, Petersfield Cricket Club Field. Seen it all before ? I fly here so often that not much I film here makes it into videos, as I don’t want to keep showing you stuff you’ve seen loads before, but it’s a been a while, and I don’t think I’ve made a video all about here for quite some time. Anyway, I was struck by the beautiful Winter colours – all that amazing russet brown and purple, and I love the crazy textures on the ground over the heath as old paths and new carve their ancient way across the heathland… Sailing the tree line Video quality is a bit suspect, mainly down to...

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2013

South Downs Heights

South Downs Heights

Cloud-bashing for beginners. There have been a lot of flights since Christmas, but not many have made it into videos so far in 2013, either because I’ve been using old flight grounds that you’ve all seen many times before in my vids, or because of our old friend the wind, and its comprehensive video-ruining properties. So this is another one that ends up more about the flight than the video footage… It’s Queen Elizabeth Country Park… Today, more specifically, I was meant to be heading down to the D-Day museum in Southsea, to do the seafront there, but aborted that plan because of distance and the likelihood of rain, so stopped half way at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and drove all the way to the top car park to see what the view was like from the hill the other side of Butser. Normally, given the blanket tree cover, I don’t fly from here very much because the clear spaces in the trees aren’t huge, which makes eyes-on contact...

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2013

Festive Flyings – Godalming

Festive Flyings – Godalming

Flying in a Windy Wonderland. Well it’s been a while since an update from me, but that’s because there’s been Christmas… Seasonal flying has been a bit sporadic and opportunist, as I’ve been very busy with Xmas gigs, web work and the weather has been most dreadful, with some really howling winds kicking in as Winter takes hold. Nothing as nice as snow has arrived, but the wind and rain and fog are certainly doing their best to fill the wintery gap its absence leaves. Somewhere (almost) new Was staying with my parents over in Godalming for festivities, so shot out on Xmas day for a quick 3 or 4 flights round the local field, taking in the new forest and spiritual retreat that lies normally hidden from view behind majestic banks of trees. No video for that one, as the 30 mph gusting wind made my footage mostly horrible… as we can see, even stills are not great in the focus department…   The next day was a...

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