Posted on Sun, Aug 13th @ 14:16 EDT
The past five days have been a blur. Once I got into Washington, D.C. I hit the ground running. Over the next couple days I had to get some work done so I went to the Starbucks near Takoma Park across from the Busboys & Poets. I would stay there for a few hours and each night after working, I would meet up with some friends in the city.
A HUGE thank you goes out to my friends Maud & Chloe and their amazing mom! I cannot express how grateful I am to you all. They always look out for me and make sure I’m good.
Wednesday morning, I met my sister and niece at our favorite breakfast spot, Original Pancake House in Rockville, Maryland! Seeing them always brings joy to my heart and a smile on my face. This is why she is my Sunshine. I’m extremely proud of her as she’s engaged and works hard as a nurse while raising an intelligent and beautiful daughter. Love you Sunshine.
Shortly after breakfast, I made my way to see my good friend Alex Elle and her amazing family (Ryan and Charleigh). I have not seen them in so long so the visit was nourishing and needed. She’s been a friend and supporter of mine for quite some time. I’ve watched her daughter grow so tall and I’ve seen Alex’s transformation into an inspiring and successful person. I got a chance to talk to Ryan about the journey too. I love answering questions about what I’m doing. If I weren’t doing this, I would be extremely curious about the experiences of someone doing what I’m doing. This also motivates me to make the journey interesting while engaging in things I would not normally do. Alex, Ryan, and “Charleigh” (<– inside joke) – I am proud of you all and love you guys. I’m glad I got to see you!
On Thursday night, I met some amazing individuals including a 5th grade teacher from Cali and her friend who is a producer and writer, currently working with Van Jones’ tour around the country right now! They both got my book and even promoted it to a total stranger while at Founding Farmers happy hour (yes, I went again–I have a problem). That same night, my friend of 17 years joined me. Brian Wilson has been not only a friend, but a brother to my sister as well as myself. Some of you may have read about him in my book intro. It was amazing to be able to hang out with him! He’s married with five beautiful children and his time is precious. Brian if you’re reading this, thank you. I love you bro.
The next day I got an amazing amount of work done and even was able to work on the pitch deck for Munee, an app and payment platform I’m launching soon.
On Friday afternoon (8/11/17), I worked until that evening then headed to my mom’s house in Southern Maryland, about two hours away. Not a bad a drive at all, even at traffic time.
Friday night when I got to my mom’s, we decided to watch Game of Thrones (finally I know). We got through about two episodes and both were sleepy. This has been the thing to do over the past couple days, however…I’m already over it. We made it to season 1 episode 5 last night and I was exhausted. I mean–it’s good, but an hour of my time “good”? Nah. I’m not sure how you guys got through six seasons of this. I’ve watched seasons of shows on Hulu before but most of those episodes are 40 min max…never six seasons of anything though. I’ll update you on Tuesday before I leave here to let you all know how far we made it!
Yesterday (Saturday 8/12/17) was amazing. I went sailing with my mom again for the second time while the sun was setting. Talk about picturesque…
I ended up bringing my DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone out with me to capture some of the scenery…I’m glad I did. Below you’ll find some maps of where I flew via the DJI GO app.
The drone almost fell victim to the Nanticoke River!!! Come back to the blog later to see the video and find out what happened!
Posted on Sun, Aug 13th @ 23:11 – DRONE POST
So I told you guys I would share with you what happened with the drone. Here it is:
Mom and I decided to head out on the boat before the sunset faded away. We got everything we needed before leaving and I grabbed my drone.
She says, “Oh you’re going to bring your drone?”
I reply, “Yea, do you have boat insurance? It should cover it.” Unsure but it sounded reasonable.
So we drive down to the wharf, prepare the boat and head out.
Once we got out into the river, I told my mom I wanted to launch the drone before we started to sail.
Flying was amazing. The land and waterways here are stunning.
After getting a battery warning with 3 minutes and 33 seconds remaining, I knew it was time to bring it back…this is when things got tricky. Not only did I have to bring it back from 2000 meters away but also I had to figure out how to land it!! Huh? How do you land a drone on a small sail boat?! I had a few problems on my hands:
- I have a drone that needs to land within 3 minutes now
- The boat is moving because the sails are up
- The propellers on the drone can easily cut into you
- There’s no flat surfaces to land
- If I don’t land this thing properly, it’s curtains. The river will claim a vicitim
So my first instinct is to fly the drone close enough to allow me to grab it by its landing braces on the bottom.
I fly the drone close, within a foot.
The boat turns. At this point I’m sitting down so as not to fall in the water while focusing on landing this flying machine.
I try again. The boat turns.
Mom shouts, “Stand up!”
I stand up along the side of the boat and try again to get close. I’m flying the drone facing me so I can gauge on my phone where to go but this isn’t working. Meanwhile, the “low battery” indicator is beeping and I’m starting to get worried.
All of a sudden, my drone starts to lift up slowly into the air as if being pulled by an invisible string.
“What’s happening?!” I shout.
Mom yells, “Where is it going?”
It took me a solid five seconds to understand that my drone was “going back home”. This is the default mechanism that happens when the battery is low. The drone will return just to make sure it can land safely and not fall out of the sky.
BIG PROBLEM: The GPS coordinates that were locked in for “home” are somewhere between the wharf and our current position. Someone help.
My reaction was to press the joystick downward except it was responding for good reason. That’s when I canceled the “return to home” function and brought it back down. “Back at it again Daniel”
Time wasn’t on my side and I had to figure out what to do.
Two minutes and 43 seconds remaining. Boat still turning.
I swoop in one more time. I get close but the boat turns and the drone gets knocked out of the sky!
It felt like an eternity, watching it fall all of three feet, then “bam”! The main sail hit the drone and it fell near the stern of the boat inches away from the water. Mom was quick to react as it was propeller-side down but the motors were still running. We both had our hands on it trying to stop them by pushing downward. I turned off the remote and nothing (DJI I need that fixed). Then I pulled out the drone battery.
The battery wasn’t the first thing pulled out because it was facing the wall of the boat and not easily accessible. Plus the propeller were still moving so I had to assess the safest method of stopping this thing.
Mom, the braver of the two obviously, got one of her fingers slightly bruised and cut, but not too bad. She was laughing after it all was said and done.
Things I learned:
- If you’re going to fly a drone off a boat, make sure that boat has a landing space
- If you’re going to fly a drone off a boat, make sure that boat is stationary and anchored!
- It’s probably not a good idea to launch off of a boat unless it’s fairly large with no one else on it
Things I need DJI to fix (if not already in newer models)
- If 20lbs or more of downward force is applied to the motors, stop the motors. This is needed guys. My mother and I were both pressing down on this thing and the motors continued.
- If the remote battery dies or turns off, the drone should drop like a fly and cease to operate
Here’s the video (no sound):