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Posted by Bajora | Jan 21, 2008 @ 07:11 PM | 9,198 Views
We went to Yosemite this weekend past, to take my daughter and wife to Badger Pass for their first downhill ski outing. They both did amazingly well and hopefully we are hooked as a family.

Weekends like this one are what I will always will remember ... undoubtedly the best times of my life. There just cannot be anything better than taking your little girl downhill skiing for the first time!

And on the way in, we stopped on the valley floor and ice skated at the outdoor rink at Curry Village. If you have never been there, this is what you get to look at while you are skating. Can there be a more beautiful backdrop?!
Posted by Bajora | Jan 13, 2008 @ 10:30 PM | 9,145 Views
I accompanied my equestrian wife down to the ranch today to get some photos (and video) of her riding her Morgan mare. She has had her ever since she was a filly and now she is 14 years old. I had fun exercising my gear, shooting some action shots and some close-up "texture" shots.

I had hoped to get some video of one or two of my planes with my new camcorder today. We went out to the coast but it was very foggy. I had my ancient Ultrafly Outrage bipe and my PZ FW190. I was flying the Outrage in a steady 5 MPH off shore wind and was having a blast doing zero ground speed touch and go's but I was getting hit with RF quite frequently? granted, I only have a GWS 4 channel 72 Mhz recvr in it but I've never been hit like I was today. At one point, I heard the first bars of a funeral dirge playing, as I was close to the ground and still getting hit?! I recovered at the last minute though. the Outrage lives on, for now. The fog descended very quickly and since the FW190 is mostly gray, I decided to pack it in for the day.

Maybe next weekend...

Oh, and BTW, I continue to make progress on my Manzano Laser Works Skyraider. Today, I successfully installed one of the aileron servos in the wing. I am getting perilously close to finishing it. I am WAY overdue on finishing this review! (Sorry Charlie!) I am hoping to detail the finish to a level not previously achieved in a plane built by me. I am getting VERY nervous at the thought of chucking this one into the air...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Dec 27, 2007 @ 10:13 PM | 8,930 Views
My Pentax *istD has been a faithful companion for the last 18 months or so and has served me well, documenting my reviews, my personal projects and the growth of my lovely daughter. But technology (and desire) marches on and I have decided to update my gear. (And a special thanks to Bill K., my fellow RCG Author, who agreed to purchase my "old" gear, which I will miss in a way! )

So, out with the old and in with the new! I introduce you to my new Pentax K10D 10.2 MP DSLR. It has a lot of interesting features, such as shake compensation, a body with 50+ seals to protect it from exposure to rain and weather, and a whole bunch of features that I'll have to acquaint myself with! And the shake compensation is in the body instead of the lens, as in many of the other DSLRs on the market. Which means it will work with most of the lens I have!

I have just started getting into it the last day or so and decided to post my initial efforts. I have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me and think the photos will only get better as I get acclimated to it....Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Oct 31, 2007 @ 04:25 PM | 9,825 Views
Well, we did it AGAIN! Yep, we moved. Fresh from a relaxing 10 day trip to Hawaii, forced back into the realities of life with one of the top ten stressful things to go through. We do it regularly. Does that mean we have it down to a science?! IMHO, absolutely not. Too much stuff.

But on the bright side, I have another decent shop in which to hang out. A Man Lair of sorts. Oh, I'll definitely miss the last place. It was big. It was roomy. It was easy to load planes and gear up for an outing, as the transporter was backed right into the shop area, AKA a garage!

The new place? I'm going to call it the Redwood Shop, for several reasons. The walls are red, the street we are on is Redwood and there are Redwoods outside the window. It is the upstairs of the house. It is about two thirds of the attic but that means sloped ceilings, so I will probably wear a helmet most of the time to avoid excessive head banging.

I'll have to be extra careful when taking planes in and out, as the door into it is sort of like a submarine bulkhead door. You have to step up and over the sill. And before you even get to that door, you have to go through a door that is only about 3 and a half feet tall from the floor! The room it leads to has been christened my daughter's playroom and I have to walk through it to get to the submarine door leading into my Man Lair.

All I lack is a little fridge and I could live in their! A networked PC, my Uniden Scanner, my Sony Shortwave radio and all...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Oct 16, 2007 @ 10:01 PM | 9,371 Views
We are on a vacation in Kona right now. We have been to Kauai twice but this is our first time to a different island. It is very beautiful and we have seen a great variety of fish during our many snorkeling outings. Today we saw an abundance of sea turtles on land, although we have seen them in the water almost every day! The dominant landscape of volcanic rock is amazing to see!

Well, the big trip is over and it is back to real living, which of course is not all bad. ...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Sep 15, 2007 @ 10:51 PM | 9,337 Views
This a list to help me organize my thoughts as far as projects I NEED/WANT to get going on?! There are SO many cool planes I want to get going on but time is a valuable commodity as you all know!



Review Projects first:

- Fred Klein designed 400 sized Skyraider. Charlie from Manzano Laser Works sent me this short kit for review. This is the first full blown kit I have done in a while and I forgot how much time it takes to build with balsa and ply, from plans. BUT, the outcome is so rewarding and I am getting excited as this one comes along! The Spad is one bad plane and it is overlooked as far as being a subject provided by any of the big electric ARF manufacturers? Watch for this review to appear real soon!

- BH Models T28 Trojan - This is a 60 size nitro warbird ARF and it is a BEAUTY! I am doing a E-conversion on it and have been working with Mike G. oh Hobby People. Mike is awesome to work with. I am really excited to be doing this project. These BH Models are very nice quality and a VERY nice price too. I predict that after a few of them show up on Ezone as review projects, they'll become VERY popular sellers.

- Ultrafly P40 Warhawk - This is a sweet looking foam composition ARF. The buzz here on RCG is that it is a great flying plane. I have started the review and am hoping to finish it soon.

I have a few other reviews in the queue but they have yet to ship. I am anticipating the next one to show up on my doorstep may be the Electrifly L39 EDF. This...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Sep 05, 2007 @ 10:17 PM | 8,642 Views
Tnx for your help Will!
Posted by Bajora | Sep 05, 2007 @ 09:58 PM | 8,628 Views
I took the SHP up for three flights this weekend and there are not enough superlatives to describe the way it flies?! Everybody has been heaping accolades on Ben from 3dhobby.com and Scott Stoops for this plane and I have experienced it for myself now. I wanted this plane for a few months and I am not let down one bit. What an incredible kit!
Posted by Bajora | Aug 31, 2007 @ 07:45 PM | 8,083 Views
A long Labor Day weekend means quality time out in the Shop?! I kicked it off last night by staying up until 1:00 AM to finish off a couple of projects I have been working on. My own, a 3dhobbyshop Extra 300 SHP and a Ezone Review bird, the Eflite Edge 540 BP ARF. I picked up the SHP here on RCG classifieds, with a Torque 2818/800 motor spinning a Xoar 13X7 laminated wood prop. What a beauty!! And the Edge is gorgeous in it's own rights. I love how you can see though the translucent covering. You notice little details that you wouldn't on a conventionally covered plane?

Now, lets see if we can hit it again tonite...the perfect 4 day holiday weekend would be long nights in the shop and long days flying at the field!!
Posted by Bajora | Aug 09, 2007 @ 10:05 AM | 7,960 Views
I just came across these photos of a Golden Eagle we spotted on the way to Pismo Beach back in the Spring of this year.
Posted by Bajora | Aug 08, 2007 @ 03:21 PM | 11,031 Views
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2007 (9)

ParkZone Spitfire Mk IIB RTF Review

Lanier RC's Fokker D.VII ARF

Hobby Lobby Alfa Fw 190 D-9 "Dora" ARF Review

Great Planes PBY Catalina Seaplane ARF Review

Ultrafly P-40 ARF Review


E-flite Edge 540 BP 3D ARF Review

...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Jul 09, 2007 @ 04:48 PM | 8,318 Views
To celebrate the final day of my six day vacation from work, me and TR went out this morning to get a little flying in. Have you ever driven all the way to the field and THEN realized you forgot your transmitter?! Well, I did today. I do it about once every two years or so? Aghhhh! But the day was too good to not fly, so I went all the way home and retrieved it and returned. It was worth it! We got some nice shots of the Little Screamer Jet Screamer powered Alfa Mig 15. This thing hauls the mail for sure! Alfa 5 blade rotor and a 4s Lipo combine to boost the JS to 100+ MPH.

Thanks to Terry Riley (blueskyrider) for the assistance as always! This is a TOUGH one to photograph but I think he did a swell job this morning!...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Jul 08, 2007 @ 06:50 PM | 8,008 Views
Well, I can't refuse a few more kits. I loved my Kyosho Illusion but heck, out with the old and in with the NEW! I am really likng the new Kyosho Mirage and I think the delta wing and canards will make it fly more stable than its predecessor? Scott (Turbonut) hooked me up with one in haste from the LHS he works at.

And then you have the Flying Styros F16?! How could I not pass up a chance at one of them, especially when it was local?! Can you say Little Screamers Jet Screamer and an XF fan? There are a few guys (RCAV8R13 and rvincent and others) doing great things with these babies, using the newest, lightest electronics and gear. RCAV8R13 even flies his on 5S lipos!
Posted by Bajora | Jun 25, 2007 @ 02:50 PM | 8,146 Views
Feeling a bit adventurous today, I decided to pull EVERYTHING out of "The Closet" and see what I had forgotten about?!

My wife keeps saying I should open a hobby store? How can I tell her that I think I already have! I fully realize that my cache is probably meager compared to some of you? I did miss a kit or two, I noticed, after I had put them all back. One stuffed here or squirreled away there, you know how it goes. And you've seen all of my clutter out in the garage already.

And the best part about it is "The Closet" is already set up to go into an instant Lockdown mode if trouble threatens. Notice the padlock hasp. (Actually, it was already there when we moved in.)
Posted by Bajora | Jun 08, 2007 @ 09:51 PM | 8,478 Views
Planning a trip to Northern California soon? Are you the type that prefers to stay at Bed and Breakfasts or Inns? Would you like to stay at a "RC Friendly" place?

The Red Star Inn is now available for any of you who would answer yes to any of the above questions. We have been living here since November and have recently decided to open the upstairs of the house (and perhaps even the entire house if anyone is interested?) to guests. My wife is quite experienced in the whole B and B thingie, having managed several in Maine and also out here in California. I posted several photos of the premises in an earlier Blog entry here. We will be updating the website (www.redstarinn.com) very soon. Our location is a great base of operations for many of the great activities and sights in the San Francisco bay area. We are approximately 45 minutes from Oakland and San Francisco International Airports (depending on traffic), about the same from Napa and Sonoma if wine-tasting is your thing, 35 minutes from the coast and you can be in the heart of San Francisco in 30 minutes or so! From hiking to biking to whale watching to kayaking and so much more, our area is quite diverse in the variety of activities offered. The property is a 2 acre parcel of land, most of it fenced pastures, with a huge farmhouse perched in the center of it all. The house dates to the 1910's and is one of the original houses in the little town of Forest Knolls. We have two nice rooms available, with one...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | May 05, 2007 @ 06:36 PM | 8,396 Views
With the forecast of HIGH winds for last night and today, I figured today would be a bust for flying?! But the family is gone and I'm bach-ing it for a few more days, so I couldn't take a chance and miss out on one more day of indulgence?

The new field I am flying out had just received a fresh mow job and it was super smooth and nice. The winds were a little variable at ground level but pretty strong aloft out of the north. Not a problem, as I had stuffed the car with a little bit of everything!

Last week I had a BAD weekend, three planes crashed in two days. One was a bad radio hit, one was my Alfa Mig 15 Maiden and the last was my GP Siren. The Mig was particularly a bummer. I had finished it the week previous and it was looking fine, which is quite an accomplishment for me. Finishing is usually not my forte? But I nailed the Mig and felt good about it. (PHOTOS ) My attempt at a maiden last week went awry; I decided to do a ROG, as I feel there is not a more vulnerable moment for an airplane as the moment it leaves someone's hand on a maiden? There it is, untrimmed, unproven, low and slow. So, I decided it would be better to do the ROG. The grass was pretty wet though and I think I forced it up? Lesson learned: you can't do a 3D hover with an EDF! It went straight up but only for about 12 feet?! Then it flipped nose down and smashed into the ground. I spent multiple days and countless hours repairing it. (NEVER would have been possible if I had not been bach-ing...Continue Reading
Posted by Bajora | Apr 27, 2007 @ 02:14 PM | 7,658 Views
Matt, the pics below show how I propose to pack it? If this is agreeable to you, I'll get it on the way to you today. I can get 4-6 day service and see how much to insure it for $50.00? I don't know if they offer a option for you to have to sign for it but I can check? I just don't want to run up too high a bill for you!

I am thinking, from shipping to Canada, that the first $50 of insurance is free? I'll give you a total for the shipping and then you can Paypal me the cost of it plus a new motor at HL if that is ok?

Jon
Posted by Bajora | Apr 22, 2007 @ 11:13 PM | 7,879 Views
Lingering rain and high winds here in Northern California have me confined to the shop lately but that is not a bad thing at all! There are plenty of great projects to keep me busy, in preparation for an upcoming flying season. Today, I readied my Corsair Nut built Skyray for it's first flight since I took delivery a few weeks ago. I installed a receiver, balanced and mounted a 4.5X5.5 prop to the Little Screamer Park Jet it came with and set-up a model for it in my EVO 9. I am flying it on a Vampower 6 channel Dual Conversion receiver, with a "The Don" micro antenna. I am loving Don's micro antennae and have used about 6-8 of them? Time to order more! And Vammy's receivers are a budget approach to dependable glitch free flying. The rest of my fleet pretty much are equipped with Berg's though. I need to order more of them too! I wonder if I could get a quantity twelve discount?!

I also did a little work on my LanierRC Fokker D.VII today. I am doing an Ezonemag.com review on this one. It's a great looking plane and I am powering it with a Welgard 2217/10 that I picked up from GraysonHobby.com. Lt. Smash bailed me out by getting it to me in record time so Albert (Wahrhaftig) and I could get together and shoot initial video/stills for our joint review. He is doing the companion to the Fokker, the Lanier SE5A.

My crowning achievement today, though, was airbrushing a model successfully, with minimal bleed-thru on my lines! Painting/finishing models has not been...Continue Reading