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Posted by kenh3497 | May 22, 2016 @ 08:41 AM | 1,079 Views
Take this for what it's worth.

Dear Mr. Hanawalt,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about S.Amdt.3596, an amendment that was filed to H.R. 636, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act on April 11, 2016. It is important for me to hear from folks in Iowa on policy matters such as this.
As you know, during consideration of H.R. 636, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) filed S.Amdt.3596, an amendment to improve FAA reauthorization provisions applicable to model aircraft. If adopted, this amendment would have made several changes to the legislation with the intent of mitigating any potential negative impacts to the model aircraft community. For example, H.R. 636—as written—prohibits the FAA from applying any new model aircraft rule or regulation to an operator who has passed an aeronautical knowledge and safety test administered online by FAA. S.Amdt.3596, would have tasked the model aircraft community with developing and administering the test—not the FAA.
This amendment would also have excluded model aircraft—as defined by and operating under the “special rules for model aircraft”—from the airworthiness standards to be developed by FAA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As you may know, this amendment was not voted on during the Senate’s consideration of H.R. 636.
I understand that many Iowans who enjoy flying model aircraft are concerned that some provisions of H.R. 636 may place burdens on the model aircraft community. With this in mind, I will continue to monitor this issue in the event that it is considered by the Senate.
Please know that I will keep your views in mind as the Senate continues to work on this issue. Feel free to contact my office with any further information, as I always enjoy hearing from Iowans.


Joni K. Ernst
United States Senator

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Posted by kenh3497 | Apr 23, 2016 @ 07:55 PM | 1,163 Views
I was looking for a special charge cord I made up so I could balance charge a LiFe battery in the plane. It has to be used through a switch with the charge port built in. Anyway I looked in my vehicles, in both my toolboxes out in the garage, in my parts bins in my model shop, under benches and sheets of ply. In other words I looked "everywhere". I called a friend that borrowed my charger thinking the cord was in the box and fell out. NOPE he didn't have it either.

Well... I finally found it. It was hanging just above eye level where I do all my charging. I put it there so I could find it

It just proves that "Everything is someplace". It's just figuring out whrer that someplace is!

Posted by kenh3497 | Mar 26, 2016 @ 04:56 PM | 1,830 Views
For getting hung up in trees and loosing their airplanes, quads etc. Not any more. This happened today at my home. I own the trees so a chainsaw was pressed into duty. Actually two saws as one was pinched in the cut as the branch took a funny roll, and then hung up on another trees branch.

The plane is a Precision Aerobatics Mini Katana. I broke the fuse in half a year ago and hand built a new fuse harvesting the rear turtle deck, front hatch/canopy, tail feathers and landing gear. Had three good flights on it.......

I own the trees and they are crappy wild growth nearing the end of their lifespan so the decision to cut was easy.
Posted by kenh3497 | Feb 14, 2016 @ 12:58 PM | 2,274 Views
I made my annual journey up to the Twin Cities in Minnesota for the auction that TCRC puts on every year. Other than being cold it was a good trip. I ohly bought an old beat up 40 size trainer to use as a float plane. It will get some old cheap Futaba 3003 servos and an old engine. I've never flown off water before so in case I have an "incident" I won't be out much.

Engines didn't sell very good. I watched a Saito 150 sell for $125 and a Super Tiger 4500 bring a whopping price of $40 or $45. I should have bid on the Saito but was busy gabbing If nothing else at least I would have run the price up a bit

Planes ran the gambit of price. I paid $20 for my trainer airframe only and a nice 80+ inch plane went for $400 RTF except for RX and battery.

The auction started 9AM and was finished by 3PM. There were several giveaways and all you needed was your bidding number and be present to win.

I was back home by 6pm

Posted by kenh3497 | Jan 18, 2016 @ 08:19 PM | 3,086 Views
With much fussing and mussing I completed registering myself as a drone. Tomorrow I will go to the local tattoo shop to get my number tattooed on my backside. I then will be able to show the FAA what I truley think of there actions if they ask....

Posted by kenh3497 | Oct 11, 2015 @ 09:06 PM | 2,809 Views
Loaded up my Pulse XT40 this morning to take it flying with it's new YS 63 on the nose bought here on RCG. PRISTINE engine that I would rate a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Jumped in the pickup and went to our field about 10 miles away. When I got there the tailgate had come open (I have a tonnue cover) and the fuse was gone with the new engine I hauled a** back home watching the road along the way and no plane to be found. Max time was no more than 15 minutes from the time I left home. Drove the road three more times looking..... I can only assume somebody picked it up.

Maybe that person will be nice and turn it in to the cops or something????? I did notify our local County Sheriff of the loss like it will make a difference.

In the meantime I'll watch Facebook, Craig's List and E bay for the plane as is or bits and pieces. OH, the wing stayed in the bed nice and cozy

Dang it I never even got to run that engine.:ma d:

I could give a crap about the fuse, I just want my engine and RX back
Posted by kenh3497 | Aug 30, 2015 @ 07:39 PM | 3,033 Views
"How do you know" you ask? Well all summer long when I mow, the barn swallows in my barn buzz me every time I mow gathering bugs I stirr up with the mower. Sometimes they come within inches of me causing me to need a change of underwear

I mowed this afternoon and no swallows came to eat bugs. They have gone south for the winter. YUP I said the "W" word We have a bit of time yet before the snow flies so make the best of that time.

OH..... You guys from the south.... Just go about your usual business

Posted by kenh3497 | Jul 28, 2015 @ 09:17 PM | 3,439 Views
This past weekend was the first airshow at the Mason City Municipal Airport in 20 or more years. What a great show it was. On top of that it was a two day show. On Saturday the show didn't start until 4 PM and went into the night with a couple of performances of flying at night with the planes all lit up with lights all over the airframe. Sparklers included There was a pretty good band to fill in the time after the flying and until the night show started. The Sunday show started at Noon and was wrapped up by 3PM. Rumors were a crowd of 3000 was expected and on Saturday Afternoon there were 4000 cars parked anyplace they could find a place to park. Cars were back up nearly a mile in each direction waiting to enter the airport. I think the 3000 showed up on Sunday . Can't name all the performers off the top of my head ( I'll have to grab a program and take a look see) but the highlight in my mind were members of CAF stopped by on their way from Oshkosh. We had a B25, 3 Mustangs, 2 P40's, a Corsair, an Avenger and a REAL Zero. The Zero did have a P&W under the hood though. From what I understand a real engine for a real Zero is even more rare that the airframe itself. There was a demonstration of the nimbleness of the Zero compared to the P40 and how the Corsair dominated the Zero with speed and power. All of the war birds did a flyby low and slow or fast as the case may be. OH the sound of 10,000 horsepower all at once gave me goosebumps. One of the...Continue Reading
Posted by kenh3497 | Jul 07, 2015 @ 09:16 PM | 3,213 Views
When I started to work for my former employer there was a Stihl chainsaw in a case setting in the corner. Didn't think much of it until six months later it was still setting there. I asked the boss about it. He knew nothing and asked about a work order on it. I hadn't found anything and a search of the serial number on Stihls website turned up nothing. Fast forward to a six weeks before we closed. Still nothing on the saw. I asked the boss what we should do with it. He said to throw it in the dumpster if nobody claimed it. Well in anticipation of the dumpster I checked it out. GOOD spark, decent compression and gas to the carb, but it wouldn't run. A shot of brake cleaner in the cylinder had a few pops so I knew I had a motor.... I thought.... I pulled the carb and when cranked over I could hear air blowing back out of the crankcase. Closer examination found a severely scored cylinder. OK we have the smoking gun. So I threw the saw in the dumpster. Two seconds later I went dumpster diving for a Stihl 290 chainsaw and case. If nothing else I wanted the case. I finished tearing down the saw and both the piston and cylinder were toast. A new replacement cylinder from Stihl was just north of $250 That is why the saw was abandoned. It wasn't worth the money to repair. I also snagged a couple of chains that must have been for that saw. Fast forward another six months and I was at the other Stihl dealer and was telling them about my score. The counter guys...Continue Reading
Posted by kenh3497 | Jan 16, 2015 @ 09:57 PM | 7,388 Views
Well we were finally was able to have a club meeting with enough members for a quorum. Club elections were to be held in November, but lack of members at the meetings pushed the elections back to January. Long story short the same officers are still in place. It's not that they are doing a bad job, its just I feel it is good to change the guard to keep the club fresh. We'll solder on and it won't be an issue. Our club is very laid back, maybe a bit to much????

So I'm still the prez and still trying to figure out how to do the job in an effective manner.

Posted by kenh3497 | Nov 30, 2014 @ 11:12 AM | 4,242 Views
My spouse of 35 years says to me this fall "You need to clean the garage". I says "Ya I know...."

So I start a couple weeks later and get all the big stuff organized and the garage looks pretty good. I was given six bolt bins from the local hardware store several years ago. Each bin has six drawers. I had filled all 36 drawers with "stuff" I knew I needed to sort as several of the bins had the same stuff in them. So away we go. When I got done throwing away, yes I said throwing away, and sorting I had emptied half of the drawers!

This gets me thinking I might do the same with my RC collection. I had one parts drawer that had my entire collection of screws and bolts all mixed together. I vowed to sort them at least into their respective sizes. Before this could happen I had to make a bunch of parts drawers empty. So off to the races again. I took my newly emptied bolt bins and started sorting stuff into them. I wound up purchasing a three deep drawer unit for larger stuff like engines, chargers and the like. Two, two shallow drawer units take care of sandpaper, battery shrink wrap, pack making supplies and the smaller stuff. I had four of the smaller drawer units used for all my small parts. I emptied two of those after throwing, yes I said throwing again, more stuff away. Of course some of the room came from consolidating several drawers into one. I hung up everything that is still in a package for easy viewing. I'm at...Continue Reading
Posted by kenh3497 | Oct 14, 2014 @ 08:35 PM | 4,630 Views
I just heard this song again. Haven't heard it in a long time. We all should do a little more of this.

Rare Earth - I Just Want To Celebrate 1971Remastered + Lyrics. (3 min 34 sec)

I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life
I put my faith in the people
But the people let me down
So I turned the other way
And I carry on, anyhow
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living,
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Had my hand on the dollar bill
And the dollar bill blew away
But the sun is shining down on me
And it's here to stay
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living, yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of living
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down,
Don't let it turn you around and around
And around and around

Well, I can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up my time by feeling fine, every day
That's why I'm telling you I just want to celebrate
Aw, yeah
I just want to celebrate yeah yeah
Another day of living, yeah yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of livin', yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down, no, no
Don't let it turn you around and around,
And around and around, and around
Around round round
'round and around round round round
don't go 'round
Posted by kenh3497 | Aug 30, 2014 @ 09:50 PM | 4,654 Views
I went to my local locksmith to have a couple of keys duplicated. I paid for my keys and was given my change. In the change i noticed a silver quarter. I thought "COOL" and said thanks for the silver quarter. The locksmith/owner asked if he could look at it, so I let him look. He put it in his pocket and took another quarter out of the register and gave it to me. I asked for my silver quarter back and he refused. I then "kind" of demanded it and he made some lame excuse. There was another customer in the store that witnessed this. I made a comment that if this is how trustworthy the lock smith is, do I really want to do business here. The other customer followed me out the door without completing his transaction. Never said a word to me.

Was I wrong with my comment I don't think so but then I'm a bit biased about the whole thing. The quarter doesn't mean a thing and it is worth what, 35 cents? So, the money thing is of no consequence. To me the smiths integrity is at question. I said on the way out I would never do business there again. That may be a problem as he is the only show in town for some of the odd stuff. There is a mobile smith in the next town but you can never catch him for the occasional key and he only does commercial stuff for the most part.

I guess I will live with the consequences.

Posted by kenh3497 | Aug 09, 2014 @ 04:17 PM | 5,568 Views
Hey... That could be a song

I've had the pleasure of being on the road the last three weeks or so. I've been in eight states, not counting my own and four of then twice. We work in teams of two so at least we can share the driving. Speaking of driving we cover anywhere from 500 to 900 miles a day

What sucks so much about this, is there are so many neat things to see but you can't stop 'cause you are on a tight schedule and it would be nice not to work past 8PM every night.

I guess the up side is, so far, never more than one night out at a time. We have been digging corn roots and checking for root worm damage and they have to be back ASAP for testing. Monsanto has contracted us to do this for them. The digging is done but now we start going back to those fields the tested over the limit and will start collecting the beetles that lay the eggs. Those get delivered to Monsanto so they can check the bugs for resistance to the genetic trait that is built into the corn to protect it from the rootworm.

Monday I head out to Illinois to the Springfield, Champaign, Bloomington and almost to Chicago. I think it might be cool to stop in Champagne and visit one of the hobby warehouses there just to see the spectacle But, no time to do that. On the up side the OT has kind of been nice even though it cuts into my playtime

Posted by kenh3497 | Jun 30, 2014 @ 07:18 PM | 5,889 Views
I'm posting this as I know not all RCG members are also AMA members. I feel it is imperative ALL modelers respond to protect our hobby.

Please read and respond ASAP. Thank you

EDIT: If you are not currently an AMA member please consider joining as your membership fees go towards fighting to keep us "safe" from just the things detailed below. As we all know this cost a tremendous amount of money. The more members the AMA has, the better they are able to fight the fight for us.

To view this email as a web page, go here.
...Continue Reading
Posted by kenh3497 | May 19, 2014 @ 06:27 PM | 5,719 Views
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "WOW, WHAT A RIDE!"
Posted by kenh3497 | May 10, 2014 @ 07:36 PM | 5,854 Views
Two firsts today. I flew my first RC flight of the year in the rain because I was going to get one flight in "no matter what" as it's about time

The second first, or is it the first second

I flew our sUAS over three different farm fields. The last flight got interrupted because of rain. Unlike our RC models the sUAS uses a pitot tube to measure airspeed. If ANY moisture gets in the tube the plane "sees" zero airspeed. This causes full power and if that doesn't work it gives down elevator to gain airspeed with predictable results

Here are a couple of links to the web sights.
We are flying the Vierio. It is all carbon fiber and kevlar. It uses many hobby grade components such as JR servos, folding prop, motor and ECS. The battery is housed in a "pod" that has cell balancing features built in. It is a LiPo battery of unknown capacity. The charger is a dumbed down Thunder Power TP610C. All it will do is charge. All other functions have been disabled. The charge rate starts out at about 5 amps so we can assume the battery capacity is in the 5000 milliamp range.

My longest flight today was 35 minutes and the HUD said I had about 40 minutes of flight time left... If you can believe the software After setting up the field to fly, the plane pretty much runs itself. From hand launch it climbs to it's...Continue Reading
Posted by kenh3497 | Feb 27, 2014 @ 09:31 PM | 5,264 Views
UAS is near to my heart. Not because I am a champion for them but because part of my income will be using one in my work place in the near future.

With that said I urge all of us to be on the lookout for legislation that can affect us all. NOT JUST from the FAA and our federal government but from a larger threat, our state governments. Many or our legislators do not have a clue about UAS or model aviation in general. A recent bill in the Iowa senate would effectively ban all model aviation in Iowa not to mention UAS operations. This senate bill was prompted by a senator that was concerned about a UAS "spying" on his daughters as they were sunbathing Well I guess I can see his concern but..... Efforts to contact him and be involved in the senate hearing were ignored by those that contacted him. I have this information in good faith from some of our AMA district representatives who did find out about the meeting and did attend. I was lucky and found the date for this meeting and forwarded the date to Rich Hansen at the AMA headquarters.

So with all the above rambling in black and white. Find out who your state legislators are and contact them proactively to help ALL of us out. It's better to stomp out a small fire than have to call the fire department to put out a house fire.

Posted by kenh3497 | Jan 11, 2014 @ 09:53 AM | 6,135 Views
The company I'm working for is getting closer to the purchase of a S UAS for flying over fields for the purpose of photographing crops. The unit they are looking at has its roots in the military and was used in the middle east for surveillance. It weighs in in at not quite 3 pounds, is a "flying wing" platform. It uses an electric motor for propulsion with a flying time of 60 minutes +. The camera is pretty amazing also.

The amazing part is the photos are good enough we can count the number of plants being grown in an acre. That is the software portion of the purchase. It uses "facial recognition" software to do this. Well at least a variation of that software. The future holds the promise of reading the "signature" the plant radiates as it is stressed by different disease, lack of water, bug infestations etc. Much of this is already well documented. The issue is just to make the software "see" the problem in the photos.

The goal for this year is to fly over about 100,000 acres of crop land. Right now we have about 20,000 acres verbley spoken for. We are told, flying 1000 acres a day is well within reach.

The next few years will be an exciting time.

Posted by kenh3497 | Oct 14, 2013 @ 07:00 AM | 6,900 Views
Well, today is a new day and a new chapter of my life. I start a new job today. My former employer decided to close the location I was working. I had the option of driving 60 miles one way to work at their other shop, but I declined. I guess if push came to shove and I couldn't find a job i would have on a temp basis.

Anyway.... The new job is working for a lab that analyses soil samples for farmers or who ever wants that done. they also will test plant tissue samples for nutrient uptake. I will be running their "new" machine which measures how well the soil will conduct electricity. I guess there is a direct relationship between soil conductivity and soil fertility. Who woulda thunk....


UPDATE 70 hours on the clock this week. Starting out with a bang I guess. I swear I missed a day someplace as it really seems like Friday although it is Saturday. Today was a short day at only 9 hours as I got rained out. I'm hitting the sack early tonight. Funny thing is I feel good, a bit tired, but feel good. I guess that's what hard work does to ya