Category Archives: Drone

Selfie Project – March

It has been awhile since we checked in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I figured today was as good of a day as any to check out March before April is over.

I’m not sure I did more interesting things in March than I did in February or January where it felt like I never left the house. I think I’ve continued that in April. I actually even left the state in April!

Here are my favorites from March:

March 1, 2019
March 1

March 2, 2019
March 2

March 3, 2019
March 3

March 4, 2019
March 4

March 6, 2019
March 6

March 7, 2019
March 7

March 8, 2019
March 8

March 9, 2019
March 9

March 10, 2019
March 10

March 12, 2019
March 12

March 14, 2019
March 14

March 16, 2019
March 16

March 17, 2019
March 17

March 19, 2019
March 19

March 21, 2019
March 21

March 22, 2019
March 22

March 23, 2019
March 23

March 24, 2019
March 24

March 26, 2019
March 26

March 28, 2019
March 28

March 29, 2019
March 29

March 31, 2019
March 31

No doubt you already excited to see my April “adventures”.

Back to Harrier

A couple Saturdays back I took Rodan139 back to the Harrier Marsh for a bit of a joy flight. I’m not sure I really had an agenda. Just wanted to take it out for a bit of a flight and snap a few photos.

It was on this trip that I did decide that I would like to actually post some drone videos on YouTube. I don’t really enjoy video editing and I’m not much of a vlogger, but we’ll see where this takes me. Probably not that far, but when I do get my first drone video up I’ll let you know and then you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Right now I’m a mere 980 subscribers short of being allowed to broadcast live on YouTube.

Here are some pictures i took at the Harrier Marsh:

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Since these pictures were taken, they have burned out much of Harrier Marsh. The new plants should be coming in shortly and it will look very different next time we visit there, I’m sure.

Lazarus Come Out!

A few weeks back Rodan139 took a tremendous tumble from the sky. According to the flight log, Rodan139 fell out of the sky from 190 feet. It was going 40.3 MPH when it hit sweet, round, Mother Earth.

Rodan139 was a hurting unit when I got to it. A couple arms were broken off, the camera was barely hanging on, and most of the body was considerably damaged.

To be brutally honest, it sucked. However, Rodan139 is just a machine. So I picked up his pieces and threw them in the Sir Pixalotmobile and Jason and I drove to Luther to have a tasty lunch.

Whatcha Smoking Tenderloin

Let me tell you, nothing mends the cracks in an emotional broken heart while at the same time clogs up the plumbing of a physical heart like a tasty, tasty tenderloin*.

After lunch I went home and did some research on the level of fiscal pain this accident was going to cause me. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but the worst case scenario was that I was going to have to push off the purchase of the Sony RX0 that I have been coveting for a few months now (but that is another dilemma for another time).

I contacted DJI Repair and they sent me a UPS Label to send Rodan139 into them. I boxed it up and sent it off and waited. What happened next surprised me.

They covered the whole thing. All the parts. All the labor. All the shipping. Covered. And what was covered wasn’t cheap.

Here is a list of everything they covered and what it would have cost:

Item List

Gimbal Axis Arm Module (Pro)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 160.00

Total Price: 160.00

Upper Cover Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 11.00

Total Price: 11.00

Middle Frame Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 13.00

Total Price: 13.00

Core Board Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 320.00

Total Price: 320.00

Vibration Absorbing Board (Upper)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 2.00

Total Price: 2.00

Rear Arm Module (Left)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 21.00

Total Price: 21.00

Front Arm Module (Left)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 24.00

Total Price: 24.00

Front Arm Module (Right)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 24.00

Total Price: 24.00

Repair Service Fee

Quantity: 2

Net Price : 65.00

Total Price: 130.00



Shipping Cost


Total Amount




Total Payment (USD$)


You read that right. It could have cost me $705.00, but it cost me nada. Zilch. The big goose egg. Hmmmm…. I wonder what also costs about $705? That is a discussion for another time though.

What is not a discussion for another time is how amazing DJI’s Customer Service is. I was very impressed and I was glad that I decided to go with DJI when I decided to take a stab at aerial photography.

Yesterday at approximately 4:05 PM I was reunited with Rodan139. Now that I am complete again, I feel I can share a couple of pictures taken from that last fateful flight that ended in carnage of twisted wire and broken plastic.

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Yesterday it was a little windy, so I took Rodan139 out for another very shorty maiden voyage.

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

The last picture I took in my backyard as I wanted to test a night photography setting.

I definitely was the most nervous I have ever been on one of these little flights. In particular, there was a moment when I was out at the Harrier Marsh when Rodan139 was surrounded by a flock of birds. Visions of a bird smashing it to it and it tumbling to the ground danced in my head. I quickly rose above the birds, but I was shocked out how close they came to it. A mental note was made for future trips out to Harrier.

The weather on Saturday and Sunday does look promising. Although Saturday, Baby Got Rack might be doing a little research project. Oh… I’ve said too much.

*At this time, there will not be a review of the tenderloin. While I have very good perspective on what is actual tragedy and what is just “well that sucks”, I still wasn’t in the proper state of mind to properly assess the tenderloin.

Requiem for Rodan139

You probably thought that with the weather warming up, you’d see more drone pictures courtesy of Rodan139. However, sadly. I have to report that Rodan139 met with a bit of a tragedy a couple weeks ago.

Inexplicably, Rodan139 just fell out of the sky from about 200 feet. It was quite badly damaged. I didn’t take pictures of it because it was just too sad.

It isn’t all bad news though. Rodan139 will be back to prowling the friendly skies in a couple of weeks. It is at the Drone Doctor right now. It should be repaired and back home in about 2 more weeks or so.

The best part, because Rodan139 is still under warranty, what would have been a several hundred dollar repair bill is going to cost nothing. I can’t speak highly enough of DJI at this point.

However, before Rodan139 had its crash, I did have another trip with it out to the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area to experiment a little bit with some of its panorama settings.

Here are some of the pictures from that day:

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

I want to enter an aerial photograph into the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon this year. When Rodan139 and I are reunited, we will have to get cracking. The entry deadline is less than 3 months away!


This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is WATER:


A WATER photo is any photo that involves WATER. It is that simple.

Happy photo harvesting!

Almost Divine

Last Thursday, the weather was actually warm enough that I was able to take the drone (from now on referred to as Rodan139) out to the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area for a few trips across the sky.

Here are a few photos from the friendly skies:

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

In the few weeks that I have shared with Rodan139 I have also taken some video that is worth sharing. Have alook at a few of those videos below:

My next investment needs to be video editing software. As soon as I get my hands on that, I’ll be able to make some more interesting videos. Stay tuned!

I hope to spend some quality time with Rodan139 this Thursday or this weekend. It should be warm enough. Just have to hope for low winds and no rain.

Selfie Project – February

Seems like a good time to check in with the progress on THE SELFIE PROJECT.

I don’t think that February was my best work. Apparently I need to get out more and see more people because it seems like I didn’t leave my house much in February from these pictures.

But looks can be deceiving. Nothing deceiving about that bear though.

February 1, 2019
February 1

February 3, 2019
February 3

February 5, 2019
February 5

February 6, 2019
February 6

February 7, 2019
February 7

February 8, 2019
February 8

February 10, 2019
February 10

February 13, 2019
February 13

February 15, 2019
February 15

February 18, 2019
February 18

February 20, 2019
February 20

February 21, 2019
February 21

February 24, 2019
February 24

February 25, 2019
February 25

February 26, 2019
February 26

February 27, 2019
February 27

February 28, 2019
February 28

I’ll try to be more interesting in March.

Transportation – Alternate

I took a few alternate TRANSPORTATION pictures for last week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

All of these were taken with the new drone. There will be a more comprehensive blog on the drone if it ever warms up and I get to actually make some videos and what-not.

I don’t know when that will be. Looking at the current 2 week forecast, there isn’t a single day with a temperature above freezing for a fortnight. A FORTNIGHT people!

I like winter as much as the next guy, but from the moment the drone showed up in my hands, I’ve been ready for spring. Spring, which is still about 3 weeks away. Although just because spring is here, doesn’t mean that we will finally get some warm weather.


Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate
Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate

Transportation - Alternate

I might have to find a big indoors venue to do a little flying at this rate.


A great week of participation for the theme TRANSPORTATION. Despite the blizzard or perhaps because of the blizzard a lot of people got some great TRANSPORTATION photos.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:

Christopher D. Bennett

Kim Barker

Michelle Haupt

Tamara Peterson

Shannon Bardole-Foley

Andy Sharp

Carla Stensland

Carla Stensland

Stephanie Kim

Logan Kahler

Becky Parmelee

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


FACELESS PORTRAIT! What a great theme! But what is a FACELESS PORTRAIT? It is a portrait of somebody that doesn’t include their face. It is that simple.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!



The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.


Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.


That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very faceless Monday.

Remember Tonight…

I thought I would take a Friday off from regaling you with events from the Alamo Bowl Road Trip because, I do now own the drone that I have been planning to own for several months now.

While admittedly, I only reached 9 of my 10 goals, nobody has seemed to displeased with the fact that I’ve switch the filling of my change jar to when I pulled the trigger on the Sony RX0.

I received the DJI Mavic 2 Pro on Wednesday. I was able to put it together and charge the batteries and read parts of the manual. Because I wanted to at least see it in the air, I flew it about a foot off my dining room table and took a picture.

When I got home from work on Thursday there was a brief respite in the harsh weather conditions and I was able to fly it around my backyard for a bit and snap a few more pictures.

Therefore I present the first pictures taken with Photography 139 One (name unofficial and probably will change by the end of this blog):

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

This is the tip of the iceberg. There will be plenty more drone blogs in the future. A full review and tons of video. Tons of video!

I can report that Naima is not a big fan of Rodan 139 (see, I told you the name would change), but I feel in time she will grow to love it. Like how she loves being carried to the basement to watch Iowa State basketball games or two watch the feature movie on Movie Night or how she loves inflatable things or how she loves her dog food bag.

Speaking of Movie Night, Movie Night in February will be ON February 17. Projector rolls at 6 PM. The feature will be FORTY GUNS. It will be the first (but certainly not the last) Samuel Fuller movie shown during Movie Night. The B Movie is still to be determined. Snack currently to be determined, but popcorn will definitely be on the menu.


This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is EYE:

WEEK 178 - EYE

An EYE photo is simple enough. It is a picture of an EYE or anything EYE related.

Happy photo harvesting!