HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Jim T. Graham's blog
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Aug 30, 2011 @ 10:44 AM | 26,202 Views
The wife and I took a leisurely drive to lovely Champaign, IL last week. I'm usually there in the snow season so it was nice to see the town while the grass was green and the sun was out. We had dinner with Chris and Carol from Hobbico in the downtown district. The downtown area had a cool vibe was very relaxed. Thursday we got the grand tour of the Horizon facility. Can you say huge?! Kim and Steve spent the day with us and could not have been any nicer. It is amazing how much RC stuff flows out of that one huge building. We also toured the halls of the main office. It's sort of mind blowing to know that pilots like QuiQue Somenzini, David Payne, Seth Arnold and many more are quietly designing away in the Horizon offices creating new RC products for all of us to enjoy. Horizon is chock full of great pilots doing what they love to do - designing aircraft. I had no idea my friend AC Glenn even worked at Horizon, and I looked up and there he was! After our big tour Kim Payne drove us out to Eli Field where they were preparing for the Illini Super Jets event. They had a giant hangar area, a large paved runway and everything a good RC field needs. Sitting at a picnic table were a passle of blue shirted Team Horizon members. My good friend and fellow bandmate Pete Goldsmith was there. David Payne was there prepping a jet. David and I used to do the RC show circuit together for Hobby Lobby back in the day. The keyboard player for the Nallman Brothers, Pete Bergstrom, strolled up...Continue Reading
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Aug 23, 2011 @ 10:09 AM | 19,927 Views
So the big white truck showed up and dropped off a BIG box on my front porch. I was excited to find the Stryker F-27Q inside!!! Back when I was in the selling side of RC I always dreamed of selling ready-to-fly planes and now those days are here. I popped the top off the box and had the Stryker ready to fly in stock form in around 50 minutes. I jumped on to RCG and did a search to get tips on how to program my Hitec Aurora 9 for elevons, set the esc to hard brake and I was ready to go. I got up early and headed to the field this morning. I used the foam box it shipped in as a carry box. All I had to do was cut slits in the back of the foam shipping box for the rudders and the Stryker was locked in and safe from getting messed up in the car (I tend to do most of the damage to my planes during transport). The first toss was interesting but as I skimmed the ground I punched it and off she went. I tend to try and get as much throw as possible without binding the servos and I set the expo around -20 on my Hitec but man 0 man!!! Since it was the first flight the Stryker wasn't trimmed and I used all the nerve I had to keep her steady as I trimmed it out. I brought it in and set my the expo to -50 and then it was easy to fly nice and calm and then grab a handfull of elevator or rudder. I was able to elevator to the ground immediately. I got a few flat spins but I didn't really get the "boomerang" going. All that is expected since these were my very first flights on the bird. I'm excited to get my hands on the Stryker F-27Q and I'm going to keep throwing her in the air on a regular basis. I love it! More later as I get more flights on her.
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Jul 05, 2011 @ 11:01 AM | 22,272 Views
Almost a year ago I saw my first DLG plane and I got the bug. Fast forward to this summer and I finally have a couple of discus launch gliders. Thanks to my friend Skip Miller and his son Cody at SkipMillermodels.com I got my first DLG and while asking questions on RCG I started talking with another DLG pilot and that has turned into to my second DLG with ailerons. This one is hand built and based on the Jingo. I have to admit right up front that I have very little DLG knowledge. The pilot at Clover Creek threw his bird in the air and proceeded to do an amazing amount of aerobatics on the way back to his hand. After my first few throws I realized that just getting the plane to make a few turns and come back to me was a trick! I am slowly learning how to get the plane higher with each throw and I'm also learning how to let the plane fly itself and keep an eye out for thermals. I spent the weekend camping with a 100 acre hay field as a backyard. Originally I thought I was going to get a DLG to fly aerobatics but now I'm trying to hard to learn the nuance of finding lift. I have a hundred questions but now I have a solution! For this next month's podcast I'm going to call Skip Miller and ask him every question I have. I think that will not only help me learn but hopefully it will help others out there thinking about getting a DLG plane. I am also thinking about making my next column in Model Aviation about my current DLG experiences. So far I'm having a blast and the fact that my RC field is 5 minutes away I am able to grab some flights each day. Exciting stuff!
Posted by Jim T. Graham | May 23, 2011 @ 09:52 AM | 21,597 Views
My first plane after my .40 size trainer was a profile 3D plane. It was a total accident that I bought a $30 scratch built profile but it paved the way for the rest of my RC career. Over powered and huge throws were all I wanted. This led to me creating the Profile Brotherhood and that led to me working as the PR marketing person at Hobby Lobby back in the early days of 3D. It was the beginning of the brushless outrunners and lipos. Mike Glass and I created the first pre-printed foamy planes. I have a garage and workshop full of profile planes and some Nikitis foamies that still do the job but things have taken a turn!
Last summer I was at the Clover Creek Invitational doing coverage for RCGroups.com and FlyingGiants.com. During the lunch break a pilot walked out on the grass and threw up a discuss launch glider. The DLG hit it's peak height and then he starting doing some hardcore aerobatics. He did them all the way back to his hand and then spun around and threw the plane back into the air. That was it, I knew I wanted one. Now I have one, thanks to Skip Miller, and it's on the bench and ready to be tossed into the sky. I spent the afternoon working with my new Aurora 9, learning how it worked and tweaking the DLG. It's raining right now but I'm hoping to get a quick first flight in the morning.
What would make me shift from over powered 3D planes to a DLG plane? I think it might be the simplicity - a plane, two servos, a battery, an RX, and the wind. Here is a plane that actually has to be flown. Many years ago Jim Martin, the founder of Hobby Lobby, stood behind me one day and watched as I flew 3D. When I asked him what I thought he said, "What you are doing up there is an abomination!" "That's not flight! That's an affront to aviation!" While I didn't agree then, and I don't agree now, I do think that Mr. Martin might actually appreciate my DLG.

A vid of a DLG in action:
DLG F3K aerobatic funfly by Kölleteam (0 min 45 sec)

Posted by Jim T. Graham | May 17, 2011 @ 01:54 PM | 21,448 Views
I always keep my eye on the site numbers of RCGroups. Those numbers are like the speedometer, gas gauge and oil temp of a highly tuned race car. Today I checked out my RCG gauges and BAM there it was - we broke 18 million posts! It seems like we just broke the 10 million post mark the other day. That is a lot of RC information in one place, and another reason that RCGroups.com is the world's largest RC site. Once again, thanks to all of you that make all those posts possible and here is to 18 million more!
Posted by Jim T. Graham | May 05, 2011 @ 02:03 PM | 22,543 Views
RCGroups.com is the world's most active RC site!

Our goal has always been to create a site that is informative, fun, and easy to navigate. Our Google Analytics are telling us that we are doing something right! Thanks to all of our members who make this site what it is, and thanks to Jim Bourke for having the crazy idea of creating the first RC web forum 15 years ago.

RCGroups.com Google Analytics for the last 30 days:
Registered Users - 357,985
Absolute unique visitors - 1,483,087
Total visits - 4,085,155
Average visits per day - 131,779.19
Total Page views - 34,379,033
New Visitors - 29.16%



Posted by Jim T. Graham | Apr 06, 2011 @ 10:31 AM | 29,918 Views
We recommend against using PayPal's Gift Option
We advise against agreeing to make payment for an item by using the PayPal gift option. Sales that use the gift option are not protected under PayPal's rules. Trying to save a few dollars may cost you far more money!
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Feb 25, 2011 @ 12:14 PM | 29,310 Views
RCGroups.com just keeps growing and growing!

Thank you for our best November ever, with 262,381 new posts!
...and our best December ever with 275,016 posts!
...and our best January ever with 302,648 posts!
...and our best February ever with 276,213 posts!

AND WE JUST BROKE 350,000 MEMBERS!

Hey we just did the math and we're juuuust under 10,000 posts per day!
...and our nearest rival (RCU) is getting just over 2,000 posts/day according to big-boards.com.

...while we're bragging, did you know we haven't had an outage of any kind across the entire network (including Flying Giants, RCCars.com, Crackroll.com, this site, and our hundreds of other hosted R/C sites) so far this year? In fact, we've only had 15 minutes of total downtime in the last 6 months, which gives us an uptime percentage of over 99.994% for that period. That's a new record for us.

THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE RCGROUPS COMMUNITY!!!
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Feb 04, 2011 @ 05:29 PM | 22,865 Views
I'm excited to tell everyone the first official RCGroups podcast is out! I had a podcast in the past and always thought it would be a great thing for RCG. My goal is to bring you a monthly podcast that highlights all the cool things going on at our sites. This first podcast features Jim Bourke, the owner of RCGroups. I talk to Jim about his early RC days, how RCG was created and what the future holds. I also talk to SLeepyC about FlyingGiants.com and RCCars.com, as well as interview our editor at CrackRoll.com Matt Gunn. I'm sure as the podcast evolves I will add more segments. I'm looking forward to bringing back some interviews from the shows I attend all year long. I hope you all enjoy it!

RCGroups Official Podcast
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Jan 24, 2011 @ 11:25 AM | 22,657 Views
I got into airplanes about the some time I got into music, at age 5. My grandpa would take me to every full scale airshow in an 100 mile radius. I grew up in Texas so that was quite a few shows a year. He also took me to every bluegrass festival in our area. So my love of guitars grew at the same rate as my love of planes. I have also found most of the building skills and tools I use in RC are very useful when working on acoustic and electric guitars.

I know a lot of you post videos and are usually in need of music. I thought it might be cool to post downloadable links to some of my songs. These are copyright free and RC video friendly.

Here you go!
APACHE (surfy, spaghetti western sound)
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_6601717

Sloe Gin Blues (laid back blues)
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_6451515

Texas Surf (highly charged surf music with periodic yells from me)
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_2517019

Chang Kai Shek (blues/rock)
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_2402018

Hell Blues (straight up driving blues)
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_2400839

Main Music Page Here:
http://www.reverbnation.com/billyhell
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Jan 17, 2011 @ 10:28 AM | 22,578 Views
Mike and I started talking back in my Hobby Lobby days. This was pre 3D craze. At this point everyone in the hobby was buying foam and cutting their own designs or designs they found on RCG. Mike and I spoke frequently on the phone and he said he had purchased a large flat bed printer and took a saw to it so he could print on foam. A little while later the Mini GeeBee was born - the first 3D foamy with printing on it. That was the first 3D plane I talked Hobby Lobby into carrying and it went on top be a top seller. This led to Mike and I working together to bring out other planes. I have always considered Mike the forerunner to all the foamies we fly now. A lot of what we fly started with Mike Glass.

Mike was also a good friend. We hung out at many events all over the country over the years. Once I was at a trade show in New York City and Mike came by the hotel to take me on a tour of the city. He took me everywhere and picked up the tab all night and would not allow me to pay for anything. At one point he wanted to move down to Nashville and he and his wife met me at my favorite country town Leipers Fork. This was back in my Billy Hell RC days. I'll never forget we were in the "Country Boy" restaurant and very loudly Mike's wife proclaimed, "GAWD LOOK AT ALL THE HICKS!". I quietly turned to Mike and said, "Are you sure you want to move down here?" That little scene still makes me laugh. There is also the time I met Mike at a hotel near the...Continue Reading
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Dec 05, 2010 @ 01:08 PM | 22,101 Views
Former AMA Executive Director Jim Cherry Takes Final Flight

I just received news that Jim Cherry has passed away. Jim and I worked together on events at AMA headquarters when I was there covering events for FlyingGiants.com and RCGroups.com. He was always easy going, a straight shooter and driven to get the job done. I knew if he said something was handled, then it was handled. It's people like Jim that help move this hobby forward, he will be missed.

- From the AMA website -
M U N C I E - It’s with sadness that the AMA announces that former AMA Executive Director Jim Cherry died on December 2 at his home in Panama City. Cherry had resigned his post in August to return to Florida to be with his family.

Jim was instrumental in several projects with AMA, including introducing AMA to the League of Cities, helping develop AMA’s reworked long-range strategic plan and implementing his Program of Work concept that helped guide the AMA’s staff of 55 at the 1,100-acre International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie.

“During his nearly four years as the Academy’s Executive Director beginning in 2006, Jim launched a number of important initiatives for AMA,” said Dave Mathewson, AMA president. “The entire model aviation community will miss him, and all of us at AMA extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Lynn, and his family.”

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday in the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends at Wilson Funeral Home on Sunday from 4 - 6 p.m.
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Oct 07, 2010 @ 11:42 AM | 21,972 Views
You know I'm always watching those numbers at the bottom of our forum index page. There are some interesting facts down there and occasionally we hit some major milestones. This week we hit more than one!

RCGroups has over 16 million posts!
We now have over 330,000 members!


Some other interesting facts are:
We have over 112,000 visits a day.
31.77 percent of our visitors are new to the site.
Last month we had 1,358,441 unique visitors to the site.

Thanks to all of our users that make those numbers possible.
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Oct 05, 2010 @ 10:08 AM | 21,470 Views
Last week I was in Corvallis, Oregon for the wedding of Jim and Annette Bourke. There were a lot of fun activities that took place but I though y'all might want to hear about my airplane adventure. Jim took us out in the evening to check out his plane "Russian Thunder". 14 Yak 54s were built in 1990's as jet trainers and while you see them a lot as a radio control plane, in reality there is only one flying that I know of, and that is Jim's plane. The airport had it out on display when we got there but it was a little late to fly it. The next morning SleepyC (FlyingGiants.com) and woke up to overcast weather. We weren't sure if we would really get a ride in this historical and high powered machine. By 2 PM it was clear enough to fly. Sitting in Russian Thunder is like sitting in a 60's muscle car, it just feels fast. I strapped on my parachute and got my nerves together to take to the air. As we were rolling out to take off Jim B. said over the radio, "are you alright?". I guess my lack of non-stop talking had made Jim B. think I was having second thoughts. I commented that I was completely calm and had been more nervous maidening RC planes. Jim said some people express regret immediately before take off. The plane literally jumped off the ground and the 360 HP motor sounded smooth and strong. The weather was calm so the ride was smooth. Jim B. let me control the plane for a while. The plane was amazingly sensitive. You just had to think about moving the...Continue Reading
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Sep 25, 2010 @ 10:15 AM | 21,729 Views
I have some Nashbro coverage to share with you RCGers later this week. Some highlights so far - biggest NashBro ever, hot air balloons and Mike Wolfe from the TV show American Pickers stopped by!! Turns out we hung out in the Hell Wagon about 6 years ago and he still wears his Billy Hell shirt, too cool.

Check out Mike's website here.

Check out my interview with Mike after he tried out some FPV goggles:
Mike Wolfe from American Pickers - NashBro 2010 (2 min 26 sec)

Posted by Jim T. Graham | Aug 27, 2010 @ 02:35 PM | 19,149 Views
Hey everyone. I thought I would check in now that the heat is finally below 100 degrees here in TN.

Born to Fly
My feature in Model Aviation magazine is out the month. My column is called "Born to Fly" and this month I feature the bass player for Alice Cooper, who also happens to be a hardcore RC pilot.

Mojo .60 for Sale
I have been a profile plane fan for a long time. I loved them so much I started a website about them called TheProfileBrotherhood.com. This month I'm selling a Mojo .60 RTF frame. This plane has never been in the air and all it needs is TX/RX and battery. The Mojo is my favorite plane of all time! Check that out that out here.

IRCHA 2010

Our partner site CrackRoll.com went to IRCHA again this year and provided some great coverage of the event with photos and videos.
You can check that out here.

We also have two contests going on:

RCCars.com, in conjunction with Hobby Lobby, is giving away a Mini-T!
CrackRoll.com, also in conjuntion with Hobby Lobby, is giving away a Gaui Hurricane 200 V2 SX!

More to come!
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Jul 12, 2010 @ 09:09 AM | 18,665 Views
ProBro Tony D AKA YNOT was making his way through Nashville so I invited him by for a steak and a tour. I have known Tony for as long the Profile Brotherhood has been in existence. He is an OG Bro for sure. I took Tony to my skunk works room AKA "the garage". Tony told me a story about his friends at work asking about my 1976 Eldorado Caddy convertible that was featured in the Pat Green song "Carry On" so we had to get a picture of that. We also hung out in my new guitar room that is almost finished since the flood. The steak was great, the wife made some amazing cowboy potatoes and a good time was had by all! We debriefed about the current state of RC and then Tony was off to Houston, Texas. Thanks for stopping by TD!

(Caddy reference in verse two of the song)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htNrs...eature=related
Posted by Jim T. Graham | Jun 30, 2010 @ 02:38 PM | 19,599 Views
I took the family out today to my local field. Today was "Kid's Day" at the Edwin Warner field (one of the oldest RC fields in the US). The parks people come out and helped the kids make paper planes while the local club members flew different types of RC planes for the kids. Hobby Lobby was on hand with the Giant Telemaster for a candy drop. Even Bobby Keyes, the sax player for the Rolling Stones was on hand. The heat was down slightly, the wind was up slightly, but all in all it was a great day!!!...Continue Reading
Posted by Jim T. Graham | May 02, 2010 @ 10:35 AM | 21,330 Views
So it seems that Springs showers have brought more than May flowers. The rain started yesterday and after being hustled into a gym basement due to a tornado being seen while at a guitar show in Leipersford we realized things were going South. When the tornado alert was officially over we jumped in the BBT (big black truck) and high tailed it home. We saw houses under water, trees across the roads and drove through fast and deep water. Mean while the wife and kids were at home watching the water rise in the backyard. The day before Ang had found a bunny nest with babies. She and my daughter went out back to save the babies and by the time they had one rabbit captured the creek jumped it's banks, jumped our retaining wall and in a matter of a minute or two had filled the pool that was empty (this usually takes a day or two with a water hose). The water has been steadily flowing since yesterday. Here are some photos and a video:
Vaughns Gap Flood 2.avi (0 min 57 sec)

Posted by Jim T. Graham | Apr 15, 2010 @ 02:57 PM | 19,740 Views
I just attended my last indoor for the year. The Weak Signals show was great, grueling and fun but now it's time to go outside!! Even though I'm still recovering from hitting the show floor in the morning and covering the ETOC from 6 until 11PM I must be ready to get outside because I spent yesterday working on the golf cart to make sure she is ready for the season ahead. I'm proud to say the tires are holding air, the battery is holding a charge and the ice cream truck musical horn can now play music from my Iphone!

SEFF is first up and I know the boys from Rite Wing are already on the ground over in GA. I'll head out Wednesday for the largest outdoor electric event in the world. On Sunday I won't say goodbye but "SEE YOU AT NALL!". That will be next on the RCG tour. Jim Bourke will be meeting us in SC with a free spirit and a 40 foot motor home. We will setup up camp RCGroups/FlyingGiants/CrackRoll and prepare to enjoy the 1,000 plus acres of giant scale, 3D, heli, electric and water flying. Uploading photos from the field in SC is tough too but that's what we do to make sure everyone can enjoy these events!

From there it's off to the XFC, IRCHA and after that I'll probably be ready for the winter so I can sit down for a minute!!

We are looking forward to seeing everyone, be sure to say "HEY"!...Continue Reading