Saturday, August 23, 2014

When life gives you lemons............

Make lemonade!

Instead of a fishing expedition on the nearby Coquille River yesterday morning, I needed to make an appointment for repair of our Chevy 3500 4WD diesel truck.  Last week an inspection of unusual tire wear indicated an increasingly dysfunctional front wheel hub, which needed repair sometime soon.

So, in lieu of an attempt to put Chinook salmon on the dinner table, I took a ride to a Bandon repair shop to take care of the important issue with the truck.  I arrived bright and early at 8 AM, pulled the truck to the rack and watched as the repair guy readied the replacement hub.

Lemon attack!  The box was marked correctly...the part was for a Ford 4WD truck and a different year model at that.  I made the 25 mile drive back to our rolling home in Port Orford with a somewhat less than happy camper attitude.

Lemonade time improved my condition with the afternoon arrival of a Big Brown (UPS) package containing a DJI Phantom 2 Vision, the latest addition to an ever growing fleet of quadrocopters.  Wahoo!

Much to the delight of my dear wife, I spent the entire afternoon and evening unpacking, assembling, updating firmware on the flight computer and camera and viewing dozens of YouTube videos showing every aspect of quad flight.

Big Brown arrived with goodies

An early Christmas

The dreaded three words....
Some assembly required

Ready to go...if the wind ever quits!

This morning I completed the final flight preparation by calibrating the on board compass and I readied myself for first flight.  But, as luck would have it, the wind velocity picked up substantially, making such an attempt unwise, if not impossible.

Current quad fleet...l. to r.
Parrot AR 2.0
Hubsan X4
DJI Pantom 2 Vision

I saved the day by putting a rack of pork ribs on the Davy Crocket wood pellet BBQ to start the nearly 6 hour process of preparing the tasty meat for dinner.  The day will end with fabulous smoked ribs, baked beans and a nice green salad.  It doesn't get much better than this.

I will end this entry prior to posting a food porn photo of the ribs..............



  1. I am so glad Juanita posted this blog on FB, I hadn't caught up enough to know about it! Good for you, Gordon, we've certainly missed you on FB and this will fill the gap. Now, about that Phantom . . . YIPEE!!!!! So happy to see it has arrived and you will soon be showing amazing aerial photos. AND, let's keep our fingers crossed the wind cooperates and you and Steven can fly together when we get to Port Orford!! Holy Cow! Look out below!

    1. Linda...just got back from Port Orford ballpark where I made the first flight, three landings and a totally (frightening) automatic return after turning off the control station. The wind dropped to between 15 and 20 and I couldn't wait any longer.

      No all is good. Look forward to having twin quads in the skies of Port Orford soon. Nobody will be safe!!!

  2. Sorry about the truck. Hate it when you have to make another trip back to get something fixed because of incompetence. Love your copters/drones or whatever they are. Watched a guy play with his at Q last winter and it looked like so much fun.

    1. I'll make another attempt on the truck repair Monday...with the correct part this time maybe.

      These quads are a lot of fun and keep me occupied editing the movies when not flying.

  3. Gordon, I'm excited about your new baby. Take it nice and slow and she will be fine. You hear a lot of horror stories about flyaways but I think, much of the time, it's human error. Stay away from electrical wires!! I'll see you in a few weeks :)

    1. The Parrot and Hubsan have actually given me some good practice runs for the Phantom, so it felt fairly instinctive and a good bit more stable than I expected.

      I agree with you about the flyaways. I made sure every switch was in the right place and waited for all the green flashes indicating complete GPS lock. Turning off the control when the Phantom was about 100 feet away was frightening, but it did exactly as advertised...climbed to 60 feet, came in over the GPS home position and landed light as a feather. Awesome!!!!!

      Look forward to seeing you and Linda soon!!

  4. I see from your post before this one that you are a ham radio operator. I, too, am a ham (wb3dzy). That is my original call from many years ago. I am also an RVer. Right now my motorhome is in the shop. Hope to have it back soon. They have had it for too long. Their excuse is back ordered parts. BTW, I like your quad fleet.

    1. It's good to have another ham check in! My call is KB5GP and Juanita's is KB5JMP. I sometimes get on 20m when conditions allow but mostly hang out on 40. There are only two 2m repeaters located near our current location and activity is fairly light on both.

      Hope you can get your RV back in action again soon. There is still some good travel weather left in the year.

  5. I'll stay tuned for the next episode -- you and Juanita do it right! Bet you two are a lot more organized than we are to this day.

    1. Thanks for joining us "Vacationers"! I'm not sure we are all that organized, but we do have to keep it all together living in such tight quarters. Next episode should occur soon..............................