Tag Archives: Drones

Skywatch Friday – Running Through the Woods

I went on a recently on Turkey Mountain. It was morning but it was hot but the trails were shady.

I was also looking for a geocache. I thought it was below the above ledge so I climbed down below and nope, there is another ledge further down and I needed to get below that. It was too hot and sticky so, as we say in the energy biz, I temporarily abandoned that project for a day when I feel better. Getting down ledges is easy, getting back up is sometimes harder. Further south there is a trail I could descent to and walk out. So I’ll finish this on another day.

It was still morning as I made my way back and the morning sun was making the leaves glow green. It kind of reminded me of a stained glass window except it was bright green. It has been wet this summer and the leaves and grass still have that fresh green look to them.

Went by Wagon Wheel Lake and it was full and overflowing. I have seen it dry as a bone by this time some years.

Sky to the south one afternoon.

I’m still flying my drone. I am kind of boring. I send it straight up and rotate it. I don’t want to fly it over anybody’s property but mine. Most of the time I go to 50 meters. Doesn’t seem very high but I can hardly see it at that height. You don’t get much better views higher than that and I can maintain control of the aircraft. I went up to 75 meters and suddenly the controller said it had lost contact and was going to try and land the drone automatically. That was kind of panicy but the drone came on down and reestablished contact so I kept it up in the air.

Sky to the northwest another day.

So I am not too adventurous it. It costs too much money. I know guys who fly their across rivers and subdivisions and all that. Not me I am not flying it anywhere I can’t walk to it, legally. Plus if it fell it could hurt somebody and I would feel terrible. It is tiny, only 249 grams in weight but something like that falling from 100 feet would give somebody a headache or worse.

I am amazed by the device. It is a technological marvel. It can fly for thirty minutes, it takes great photos, and stays rock solid when you stop it due to its built in GPS. If I can fly it, anybody can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the party!

Skywatch Friday – Hello June

This is the sunset on Wednesday evening. Looking west from south Tulsa.

And this was the reverse sunset, looking just north of east. I’m getting braver with my drone. I’ve inched it up to 75 meters. The controls act a little delayed and the video feed gets pixelated. Next I’m going to 100 meters.

Here’s the backyard from 75 meters. It is way down there!!

Broken Arrow Museum Mural

The Tulsa area is exploding with murals. This is a new one still being painted in the suburb of Broken Arrow.

Son Logan is home and taking summer school online.

This is the boathouse at the Gathering Place in Tulsa. Yep, I used an app to filter the photo.

This isn’t my photo. It was taken by a friend of mine working in the Bakken Field in North Dakota. This is a natural gas processing plant used to separate propane, butane, natural gasoline from wellhead natural gas. The plants are technological marvels.

This same friend took this photo of a rainbow over the plant. I hope you are not offended. All sorts of nice people work in the oil and gas industry.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out!!

End of the Week Thoughts

I went to the library Thursday to get a new book. “A Time for Mercy” by John Grisham. I’m only in it for a hundred pages or so but I love it so far. Amazing how on some books, even the ones I like, reading is slow and laborious and others one just flies through it.

While at the library I noticed the little symbolic sailboat was flying a pirate flag. Surprised nobody has said anything about it. The flag was flying the pirate flag so I took a video of it. I used the Hyperspektiv App on my iphone. I got lots and lots of photo and video apps and I use them quite a bit.

Rascal going to the groomer

I took the superdogs Abby and Rascal (above ) to the pet groomer. Oh they hate it. Look at that look on Rascal’s face.

Here’s our Lizzy, the kitten. I know she is not a kitten any longer but that is what we call her and she hates being held but she loves being petted. I petted her when she was laying on the back of the sofa and she ended up crossways. Silly cat!!

Hey I know that I have gone on and on about my jury duty and the case and all that. The other side of the story was that we had really long lunch breaks and so I was eating good. Above is some brisket pho from a new place downtown. Talk about good, and hydrating.

Another day I went to an old favorite and had their prime rib sandwich and tabouli. Marvelous. We got paid $20 per day for duty so I pretty much ate it all up.

I’ve been flying my drone. Here’s an overhead shot of our back yard.

And another shot. Only 8 seconds long. If you watch to the end you get to see the bald spot on my head as I look down at the controls.

So that is pretty much it for what is going on with me.

Skywatch Friday – Colorful Skies

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We had some color in the sky the other day so I fired up the drone and sent it up from the back yard. The color was not to the west because there were no clouds. The above shot is to the north.

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This is to the east.

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And northeast across the greenbelt.

I am thinking about the victims of Hurricane Laura which made landfall early Thursday morning in southwest Louisiana and is still causing damage far inland as I write this.

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – More Droning On

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After basically a month of no clouds except blue sky we are finally getting some weather. So if the winds are down I launch my drone from my back yard to catch the clouds.

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Evening is best when you get a little color in the sky.

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This is looking east at the back side of a storm system that came through.

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We had a quick rainstorm pass through Thursday morning. Here’s our back patio afterward. Nice to see all that water!!

Drone Shots

I took my drone to my MIL’s house who lives not too far away and launched it during the middle of the day. I love big old fat clouds against a blue sky.

Drone Shots

Hey somebody in a swimming pool. No, I am not spying somebody. That’s son Logan in MIL’s swimming pool. It’s a great place to hang out on a hot day.

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Here he is when he was four years old. Is there anything sweeter or more rambunctious than a four year old?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday, come check it out!

LaCorona Vida #4

I’m still #WFH (“Working From Home”) in twitter/instagram speak. Mostly retirement paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. My home office is a mess. I’m going to have to get some file storage that works.

Other than that getting lots of reading done. I read “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & the Oklahoma City Bombing” by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck. What a story told from McVeigh’s point of view. From war hero to bum. Killed 168 people because he was mad about government overreach. He didn’t care about the innocent people. Collateral damage as far as he was concerned.

So the wife has been gardening and I’ve helped her here and there. And I’ve been flying my drone when the wind allows. It’s fun and easy.

As you can tell I am not a very smooth pilot. Fortunately the drone stays still while I am trying to figure out what to do.

And we are eating lots of ice cream. Rose Rock is a store based close to downtown Tulsa. They hand make their ice cream and they deliver!! Life can’t be too bad if you are eating ice cream is what I say.

Here’s my latest Covid-19 Update for Oklahoma. Deaths are not declining, new cases are going up, hospitalizations are going down. What’s it all mean? You tell me.

Stay cool and safe folks!!

LaCorona Vida #2

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So today’s LaCoronaVida is about Ginger our rescue wiener dog mix. She’s 14 years old and you know things get a little touchy at that age with dogs. She’s been having trouble for a while with her rear legs and this morning she could hardly move them. As she got woke up things got better but still. So Heather called the Vet and we got an appointment at 4:30 this afternoon.

So we had all day to think about it. I mowed the yard and Heather did some gardening and we ran a couple errands but our hearts were not in it.

At about 11, the State of Oklahoma released the last 24 hours data on our Covid-19 situation. New cases and deaths have been plateaued for weeks and hospitalizations are trending down. Okay, lets open her up and let her rip. Golf Courses, and stores opened up here today. We are still isolating cuz that is how we roll.

So finally the day passed and we scooped up Ginger and went to the Vet. Vet thinks she needs acupuncture and gave us a referral. I felt like a big weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I mean Ginger is a pain in the ass but we love her. And we know that its just a matter of time with her. In the meantime, she bright and alert and loves to eat. So we’ll check out acupuncture for the old lady.

Now that I got you cheered up how about a drone video from my new toy. I put the drone over Heather’s head and sent it up as high as it would go. It is limited because we are in the flight path of one of the runways. It’s still pretty high.

So it was another day of LaCorona Vida. Running errands with our masks on and curb delivery. Less and less people are wearing face masks. So I guess we are getting used to this.

Tulsa’s Centennial Park

Manic Mini Centennial Park Tulsa drone

Centennial Park is a quiet spot just to the southeast of downtown Tulsa. It’s actually a park built around a water detention pond as part of Tulsa’s flood prevention system.

Manic Mini Centennial Park Tulsa drone

Things are much better now but in years past with an urban park with nooks and crannies you never knew what you might see as you turned the corner on one of the paths. So I kind of shied away and kept my head on a swivel when I went there. Mostly it was homeless people and almost all of them just wanted to be left alone. Last week there was nobody there except a city parks employee who was interested in my drone flying.

Manic Mini Centennial Park Tulsa drone

The park has a big pond with two fountains and has the city center as a backdrop. Way back when this was one of my favorite running routes at noon, taking loop around the pond and paths.

That day though I was with my new toy trying to get something besides me out in the middle of a parking lot. The guy walking up in the video is the parks guy. He had sprayed for weeds a couple days before and he was just checking on things.

So stay safe, and maintain physical distancing!!!

Come join the fun at Our World Tuesday

Asymetrical Warfare – Drone Attack on Saudi Arabia

I read with a little alarm and much interest about the drone attack on the Saudi Arabian Abqaiq Oil Processing Facility and other infrastrucutre recently. Big deal I say. Yes, it is a big deal, the Abqaiq facility with a capacity of 7 million barrels per day and 5 million throughput is shut down for now! That gets my attention! The Houthis of Yemen are taking credit while the US claims that Iran is behind the attack. It turns out that the Iranians have drones with a theoretical range of almost a thousand miles!!

I say theoretical because the Iranians do not have satellites so they have to use ground stations to control their drones which limits their effective range to 100 to 200 miles depending on what you read.

Still not worried about it? How about the following video which shoes Iranian Drone video of an American Aircraft Carrier taken from directly over the ship?

Don’t get too excited. Iran has great social media people and there is a lot of speculation that the video was faked using video available on the internet. If you have ever looked at Iranian Military social media you will know that they are very enthusiastic but not convincing, and I am not convinced.

What I get excited about is that Iran has well developed drone technology that have used in battle in Syria and other places. hundreds of times. Meet the second generation Shahed 129 drone, their most advanced drone.

According to Wikipedia, this aircraft attempted an attack on coalition personnel but failed. Also, the US Air Force shot down one down. It can carry about to four bombs or missiles, and/or conduct surveillance. From what I read a lot of the US sanctions and embargoes have been efforts to keep the Iranians from increasing the capabilities of their drone technologies.

The US is accusing the Iranians of launching the attacks on Abqaiq. This all points to Asymetrical Warfare which involves war between combatants with vastly unequal capabilities. This seems to be something that American leadership consistently does not take into account and we suffer as a result. The Iranians, the Houthis, Al Qaida, whoever, would be stupid to try and match up the United States and our Allies in stand warfare. They would be wiped out. So they develop other, cheaper strategies that tend to drive us crazy, IED’s for example, that neutralize our advantage.

You always have to be ready for unexpected is what I have learned over the years and one is most vulnerable when you feel most invulnerable. Somebody may not be playing by the rules you set. They will have their own rules. It appears that ten inexpensive drones easily defeated a world class air defense system and shut off five million barrels per day of oil from the world’s energy supply.

Droning On and On

I finally got my drone. It is just a toy. So sorry, no HD camera to peek into your window or hellfire missiles to mess up your terrorist plots.

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Just something that goes bzzzzzzz and so far is beyond my capability to control. I am going to have to go to a bigger space so I don’t have to worry about it crashing into my neighbor’s yard.

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The main issue is that the instructions are incomprehensible. It is like it was written in one language and translated and retranslated into a few more languages to where the end result is incomprehensible.

But have no fear, I’ll figure it out.

I’d love to get a “big drone” one of these days with an HD camera. I’ve seen some incredible footage from the air.