Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hubsan 502e Desire flight and video review #1

I took my new Hubsan 502e Desire out for a test flight yesterday and really enjoyed the flight. I found that the 502e is a beautiful little camera ship with 720p HD video and a really easy to fly personality to it. I did forget my instruction guide and thus couldn't remember how to go into high-rates but will do so on then next lessons learned video for this quad.

What was striking to me is the GPS hover and incredible ease of holding position for taking video and still shots. This is even more amazing given the $90 to $100 cost seen online from various online sellers of this quadcopter.

Enjoy the video and my mistakes as I learn more about this nice little flier.

Quadcopter Pre-flight and Post-flight checklists

My Hubsan 501c Quadcopter posing for a photo

I love flying my quadcopters and when I fly, I keep a simple checklist on-hand to insure I am following best practices for my quad flights. This is the list I have evolved based on this list from which I added my own items of importance to me.

I'm always adapting lists like this and if you have ideas, criticisms and comments, please feel free to submit them. I always consider other opinions since I am but one point of view.

Quadcopter Pre-flight checklist:

  • Check area regulations.
  • Do NOT fly near people or over them.
  • Safety check area - Is it safe to fly? Is wind too great to fly?
  • Batteries fully charged.
  • Quadcopter structure and landing gear OK.
  • Everything securely fastened.
  • Propellers tightened, locked and not damaged.
  • All rotors spin freely. Don't risk a flight if they do not turn freely.
  • SD Card - formatted and in SD slot securely for all cameras.
  • Remote Controller antenna(s) set up and securely connected.
  • Antenna(s) on Quad securely fastened. 
  • Camera(s) all turned on and recorders set to go.
  • Transmitter turned on.
  • All transmitter switches and controls in correct position.
  • Clear Frequency chosen.
  • Quadcopter powered up. Inspect all lights to insure normal startup sequence is occurring.
  • Bind transmitter to quad and if using GPS, wait for signal lock for GPS.
  • If flying FPV, check video and gimbal to insure proper operation.
  • If applicable, calibrate the compass. Insure you are not around metal or wearing metal while calibrating.
  • Final check - Is the area clear of people, animals and obstacles?
  • Notify people you will take off soon: Say "Clear!" to warn everyone of impending taking.
  • After taking off, hover for 20-30s, check for problems. Abort if any suspicion of issues.
Quadcopter Post-flight checklist:
  • On touch-down, insure you turn off the on-board camera if running.
  • Turn off the transmitter.
  • Approach quad and turn off the quad.
  • Open battery door/container and remove battery - Place battery on cool ground or container to cool off.
  • Stow quadcopter in safe location.
  • Inspect for damage. Turn all props - Are they free and clear?
  • If you intend to fly again, wait for 5 or 10 minutes to let the quad motors cool before next flight.
  • Once finished flying, stow quad and accessories in appropriate container/boxes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Mist captured during 2009 investigation in Truckee, California
Many moons ago, I watched as the SyFy Series, Ghost Hunters, aired and become intrigued with the idea of life after death as a real possibility. And so, with all my usual gusto for jumping into the middle of things I knew nothing of, I began investigating the paranormal and almost immediately got results.

Part of the reason of course was the illness of my father and I wondered... would his soul survive once he passed? What was "the Other Side" and how did this all work?

 So I began investigating and before long, I had formed my own team and had begin to explore haunts in my local area and I was turning up EVPs and evidence that convinced me that there was something to all of this.

I had face to face encounters with apparitions, was shoved, kicked, bitten and threatened on a regular basis when I went into these places to test and measure the Other Side. And I became convinced that the human spirit DOES survive death.
The problem is, when my father passed, I mistakenly believe I was ready for HIS passing despite all my knowledge. To that end, when he passed, I withdrew and learned firsthand the meaning of grief in all its stages and forms. And so my group, Ghost Rider Investigation, languished and I withdrew. At one point, I even let my old web domain go and was ready to let it all pass into the past.

Until... Events transpired to make me reconsider these decisions. I realized I could not let all that hard work go and I decided to bring it back. I managed to acquire a backup of the old site data and have been perusing it to bring it all back under a new format and to begin investigation work again, but with a difference.

The Paranormal, you see, is NOT a novelty or entertainment, much to the chagrin of many. It is a real and ever present mystery and deserves to be treated with great care and ethical handling to insure that we are doing our work for the best and highest purpose. For our team to be, this will be the new rule. Cases will only be taken on to help. Not to seek recognition or be attention seekers.

So... I rescued the domain and am transcribing material in over the course of this fall and adding new material in as we investigate. The old URL of is once again active and soon will be full of beautiful content, evidence and stories.

I will post more here as this all takes shape.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Comparing the Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove and a Solo Stove Lite

This is a comparison of the Etekcity Isobutane stove versus the Solo Stove Lite twig stove. My feeling is each has their place in your backpack and I love them both. Watch the video to learn more and I am providing all the Amazon links so you can look up more on each product:

Solo Stove Lite

Etekcity Ultralight Portable Stove

Camping Cookware Ten Piece Set

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fireside Chat about the Channel

Fireside chat about the Afterburner channel and projects plus sharing a bit about channels on Youtube I like...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Afterburner Homestead... What the heck is this about?

Afterburner Homestead?

What's that? Some hippie fighter-pilot lost in the clouds? Or a starship captain marooned in the 20th century?

Not exactly.

It's more about taking a complex life and the chaos of so much change and bring order to life and using a deliberate approach to it all to guide and manage what technology, living arrangements and products one chooses to live with.

So... It is a journey. A life journey.

My name is Jon and I'll be sharing my life with you in mostly video form on this site, but also with articles and a lot of humor and discussion as it all progresses.

I'll be posting projects, video logs and more... I hope you come along for the ride!