I just got some bad news for my RC friends. Our old RC friend Azarr has passed away. He and Mike Glass were running buddies. He was the first person in the hobby I met at a show after I started working with Hobby Lobby. I didn't know him but he knew me. As I walked on to the field he shouted "BILLY HELL!!" I walked over and shook his hand and we have been friends for the last 13 years or so. I always took his photo if I saw him at an event and usually interviewed him. The RC world has lost a friend today. Maybe he's hanging with Mike Glass and they are doing a little flying. God speed Azarr and thank you for your friendship all these years!!
Who knew some paperwork in the mail could get me so amped up! I have been running an RC event for over 10 years now. It was mentioned to me by Randy Cameron that it might not be a bad idea to become a contest director with the AMA. Brilliant!! I took the test, got the required signatures and thanks to the help from my district VP Kris Dixon I'm official! Turns out Kris and his father camped next to us on the 3D line way back when at Nall. Kris's dad and I are both hair farmers and enjoy the sounds of the Allman Bros!
Thanks to Randy, Kris and the folks at the Academy of Model Aeronautics for making me official!!
I was at my yearly Nashville event that I host and a friend asked me what I had been up to RC wise lately. It occurred to me the the handy dandy article link on my member page might be an interesting way to show what has been going on.
Holy smokes what a long, cold winter. This week I finished building the Dream Flight Libelle discus launch glider. The temps were in the low 60's so Jason Cole and I headed to the field to shoot some video. It was nice to be outside throwing planes in the nice weather. Jason brought his Samurai from Hobby Express and was flying the teeth off it. He is an amazing pilot.
Keep an eye for the Libelle DLG review later this week!
I just saw this in the footer of the site, "Currently Active Users (in the last 15 minutes): 5,276." One of the things I'm always watching on RCG are the stats. That was pretty close to setting an all time record for the most users ever online!
Another thing I like to watch is how many unique users we get a day. This is a mind numbing number that can sometimes be hard to believe. I use Google Analytics for my data so I know it's real. Yesterday we had over 172,000 visitors - CRAZY! It's great to think there are that many like minded RC pilots out there in the world!
Another interesting fact is that RCGroups.com gets between 1.4 to 1.7 million unique visitors a month. Wrap your head around that!
While I'm rattling off stats here are a few more:
If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the site we have an app that will let you see threads as they are created in real time on RCG. You can see the Forum Spy here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/spy.php?
There are many things which began in 1996 that changed the course of history forevermore. Dolly the sheep was born… er… cloned. Garth Brooks refused to accept his American Music Award for Best Overall Artist because he so firmly believed in the hot new group Hootie and the Blowfish. AOL was the way to access the exciting new thing they called “the internet.” You know, important stuff.
But unlike Dolly, the Blowfish or AOL, some things that began in 1996 had some real staying power, and RCGroups.com is one of them.
In 1996, Jim Bourke wrote the "Electric Flight FAQ." He was assisted by posts on rec.models.rc, in particular by Doug Ingraham and Dennis Weatherly.
After writing the FAQ, Jim decided to create a mailing list of people like himself who were interested in electric airplanes.
Once the mailing list was running, it quickly became very popular. Jim set up a website where he could keep the FAQ and the mailing list instructions.
He didn't know what to name the website and felt it probably wasn't important, so he called it "The E Zone." At the time, it was very expensive and time-consuming to get a domain name of your own, so the site was hosted at http://world.std.com/~jbourke/ezone.html. By today's standards, that was a mouthful, but in 1996 it was standard for web pages to have long URLs like that.
For a quick lesson on how to use this new technology called the "internet," check out the video below:
In a previous life I had a podcast called the "HellCast." I basically traveled around the RC circuit and recorded stories from fellow RC pilots. Today I was in a thread with Jim Smith and when I asked what he and Joe were up to he said, "Heading to Dubai in a few weeks to fly for the Prince. Joe is really excited and looking forward to meeting him and Doing Demos for the World Parachuting Competition there. Going to be an experience for both of us I'm sure.
The Prince saw one of Joe's Flying videos and contacted him about doing a show for them last Spring. Been making preparations since. We sent over a 103" 3DHS extra, DA120, And a Futaba 18mz. The plane arrived there last week."
That immediately made me think of one of the best RC stories I have ever heard...and I have heard a fair share. Bob Sadler tells a story of when he and a group of well known RC pilots were invited to fly for a sheik. The rest you have to hear!
Summer is still in full swing around here. The kids are in the pool and having fun. I have a Taboo GT that I purchased at the Bruce a few weeks ago. First I needed an rx and waited a week. Then I smoked a servo and waited a week for the new one. Then after all that I broke my cf ele rod and waited another week. The good news is she is finally ready to go! So this morning I woke up and looked outside. No rain and fluffy clouds! The only hitch in the get-a-long was that I had to mow and then we were headed to the river. So I still haven't been able to chuck the Taboo but I did get in some wake surfing!
I was invited to hang out at the world's largest DLG (Discus Launch Glider) contest. I drove up to Shelbyville, KY and had a great time. The temperatures were HAWT but the amount of fun everyone was having seemed to exceed the heat so all was well. Bruce gave me a tour of the Thermal Farm and explained the rules of an F3K contest. Luckily for all of you I got it all on video, along with some hearty DLG throws so you can see how they do it. Thanks to everyone at the event for being so hospitable and we even ate dinner at Col. Sanders house!!
I was able to get my DLG higher than usual at Joe Nall. Josh Price offered to throw my DLG on Friday during the afternoon. Prior to this I thought maybe I needed a lighter plane but deep down I know it was just my throwing ability. Josh proved that on the first throw. He must have put her up around 150 to 180 feet. Cruising around at that altitude really showed me what I have been missing out on with my low throws. Unfortunately he was throwing it so hard he ripped out the pegs but evidently the style of pegs on my DLG are prone to ripping off. I went to Skip Miller Models and ordered the Steigeisen Power Peg. I'll have to get the Dremel tool out and do some wing work but I'm anxious to get the plane back in the air and see if I can get better altitudes!
I know the weather has been warm earlier than usual but after my visit to the field yesterday I know for sure it's officially flying season! Usually when I run out to the field to get in a couple of flights no one is around. I was surprised to find the field crowded with pilots! I asked one of the guys if it was a special occasion and his reply was, "Nope, just a pretty day." Right after that they got some combat going and everyone was laughing and having a great time. It really makes you appreciate your hobby and having a field where we can all meet. I got an email today from a pilot that flew there in the 1930's. He had read my article about our field and was reminiscing. If I'm lucky he will send me some photos that I can share with the guys. I say all that to say this - have a great flying season!!
I feel lucky to live in Nashville, TN. The people are genuinely nice, it feels like a small town even though it's a big town, you can't spit without hitting a great guitar player and the weather is nice, oh yeah, it's in the South and I like that a lot too. At the club I fly at I used to do maiden flights for people. There was this one guy named Bobby. He was from Texas and always had a new plane. Doing the maiden on one of Bobby's planes was always an exciting experience. You never knew what you might be getting yourself into! I would walk up on Bobby telling stories and it became pretty clear that Bobby was in the music business. Once I walked up on him talking about how Yoko Ono couldn't stand him but he and John Lennon were good friends and how playing his sax like frog for her album won him back into her good graces. Then I found out Bobby was the sax player for the Rolling Stones. It's gets better - Bobby got his start with Buddy Holly. I thought I better interview Bobby while I had the chance. To say he has some interesting stories is an understatement. I almost got to go on tour with the Stones as Bobby's roadie. The real plan was that we would build a road case that housed all of Bobby's planes and chargers. When we got to a stadium my job would be to have everything ready so Bobby could fly whenever we wanted. Can you imagine touring the world with the Stones and being in charge of the RC planes? We thought we had the green light but Mick ultimately shot the idea...Continue Reading
As the father of a boy with autism (Aspergers) any effort to help with research is near and dear to my heart. Each year the Electric Tournament of Champions (ETOC) has a special raffle to benefit a children’s and adult organization in the area to help their cause to help find a cure. I was surprised to find out that this year's raffle is for the fight against autism with their “Give Autism the Boot” campaign. They will have a special raffle to help benefit the fight against autism and help the Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism.
Here is what Tom Kroggel the founder of the ETOC has to say about it:
You can purchase your raffle tickets at the Toledo Weak Signals show at the TnT Landing Gear booth in isle “A” or at Central Catholic High School where the ETOC is held.
Many vendors have donated great items and a good chance for you to win. The kids win by your donation to a great cause to “Give Autisum the Boot”. So stop by and get you tickets for a great cause. It’s a win, win for everybody.
Here are just a few of the wonderful people donating to the raffle
Greg Tanous and I were talking last week about his RC design the RCSuperHero. On Sunday he sent me an email and told me to keep an eye out for a video that was about to come out on YouTube. That was 2 million views ago! The SuperHero video was released as a form of viral marketing for the new move Chronicle and it looks like it worked! Congrats Greg and here is the video:
I just wanted to wish everyone out in RCG land a happy holiday season. I hope Santa brings you what you want and you have a good time with family and friends.
Here is a song I put together with my friend Brian B and a video featuring our wild hooligan children.