Two videos on YouTube from Caesar Creek

Finally got a couple videos loaded that we did almost a week ago at Caesar Creek. The first one is here below. Ronnie and I took a flight together on Saturday. Beautiful day with cumulus clouds….

The second was a drone flight over the east end of the field where several gliders were waiting to launch. Ronnie and I are standing along the tie down area ….

Updated blogs from our trip west will appear shortly






Salida, Colorado

We are now in Salida, Colorado about 1000 miles farther west since we left Lake Carlyle. It is quite a nice old town in the southern rockies. We are here at the Wilderness Expeditions RV Park on the South Arkansas River…more of a rushing stream…

The old town along the Arkansas River is charming and there are many old houses that have been restored to their 1890’s look.  Here are some scenes:


Thea, please show this to Jack….they go river rafting here using really big PBR cans

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This morning the temp is about 50 degrees here in the mountains, really delightful ..we will head farther west today maybe stopping around Gunnison, Colorado




On the road West

We left the soaring club on Sunday. We had decided on US 50 as the route for our trip to Utah so we drove to Lawrenceburg, IN (where we used to live) to hook up with US 50. Driving across Indiana was very pleasant.  After leaving Aurora, Indiana the road becomes two lanes but traffic was light and those who were out there were not in a hurray. In Illinois the road became much straighter but the road  condition was not as good.

We got to our destination on Lake Carlyle in Illinois in late afternoon and got a camp site at Dam West which is near the Marina. This is another Corp of Engineers project. These places are really special. With the National Park Senior Pass the price is  $13 a day for a full hook up camp site. Lake Carlyle is huge, about 26,000 acres. Construction on the dam began in 1958 and was completed 9 years later. It created the largest man made lake in Illinois, about 16 miles long by 3 1/2 miles wide.

A view of the lake from Dam West…


Our camp site about 50 yards from the lake…


It  seems that the weather pattern has thunderstorms all over America and we had one this afternoon…


Rainy days are for laying on the couch and reading…


Hey Kari, next weekend they are celebrating your birthday with fireworks !!


It rained most of Monday afternoon and all night.last night. We are going on west today.

A Day at Hidden Valley Lake

Ronnie and I lived here for 4 years from summer 2003 to summer 2007. Our friends Lynn and Eric still live on the lake so we diverted there on Tuesday for a boat ride, dinner and  then spent the night. They live right on the main lake which you can see here on the left over Ronnie’s shoulder… P1030822   Here is a lake view from their house… P1030834


Our old house is back in a cove on the other side of the lake. It’s the one hidden in the trees…P1030831  This is still our favorite house. We had  some great times there with family and friends from Caesar Creek. We only lived there 4 years but looking back at the total redo of the house and all the family gatherings it seems much longer.

Here is a slideshow of some scenes when we lived here.

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Going through all those photos from 10 years ago brought back some great memories….and some of the grand kids have since grown up

Drone Flight at Caesar Creek Soaring

Finally got my drone fixed and flew it two nights ago. The resulting GoPro video showed the flight lasted almost 10 minutes. I edited most of it out to make this short video on YouTube. I was a bit apprehensive about the flight and  almost crashed again because I lost track of how long I had been flying and the battery ran down. Luckily this time it survived.

The video starts out looking east from the west end of the runway where I launched  from. Then, some scenes of our clubhouse and big veranda porch. Several people were still sitting on the porch enjoying the beautiful summer night. The buildings on the right of the clubhouse include several glider hangers. The old red barn is now a tow plane hanger.  Our club bought this property in the late 1960’s.It was a working farm and as you can see we kept the silo. It really comes in handy locating the field from the air when returning from a long soaring flight. The pond on the south side of the field is lovely. We keep a grass walk way around it. At the west end  there is a glider tie-down area and you can see several sailplanes there. A soaring contest consisting of only one class of vintage gliders is underway here. These gliders were all made in Elmira , NY and mostly date from about 1965. Music is from a 1938 concert. Here’s the video:


I took several photos of these old gliders during the day when they were on the west end of the runway waiting for the tow planes. You will see that the photos are all distorted. The GoPro camera has a lens with 170 degrees of view. The result is a fisheye look. Here are a few samples. They are very colorful:







One of the tow pilots owns this little gem, a 1950’s MGB


We have had a lot of rain but we’re hopeful about tomorrow for some decent soaring flights.

Fripp Is. to Caesar Creek Soaring Club

We got the motor home all packed and left Fripp Island for Ohio on May 29th. It’s about 700 miles to the soaring club so we stopped near Knoxville at the end of the first day.. Stayed at a nice campground off I-40 on the Little Pigeon River. Ronnie had marinated a flank steak which we grilled for dinner. Delicious! Here is a short YouTube video greatly speed-ed up.I had a Bob Seegar tune with it but You Tube wouldn’t let me use it so it has goofy music.

The second leg through Cincinnati brought us to the club mid afternoon.  Here is another short speed-ed up video:

This is such a beautiful place. I took my first flying lesson here 22 years ago. It has been a huge part of our lives, both Ronnie’s and mine. Though we no longer live in the area we still spend several weeks here most years. The gliderport is located about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati. It’s 4 miles north of I-71 between the Little Miami River and Caesar Creek Lake.What a beautiful place to fly and to camp, During the week we practically have the whole place to ourselves, all 140 acres.

Our club owns the property which includes a pond, campground, clubhouse, porch with seating for over 100, all along a beautiful 2800 foot long grass runway .It’s one of the premier soaring clubs in America. Definitely one of the most beautiful..

Here are some photos:

Clubhouse and veranda Cutting Grass The Pond Runway and campgournd Runway and wind sock Pond  view 2

One thing about Ohio in springtime, it can rain a lot….for example we spent all afternoon Wednesday watching and listening to the rain from the motorhome.



I had been looking forward to taking some videos here with my GoPro camera mounted to my dji Phantom drone. However, I crashed the thing on the 4th flight and it is in for repair. I hope to get it back soon.  For now, the still photos will have to do.


A Drone for Video Photography

Just a week ago today I picked up a Wall Street Journal at the Marina Store here on Fripp Island. The Saturday issue has two sections of non financial stuff and sometimes I find something of interest. This issue featured a story about a man who experimented with a couple of drones on spring break to take video. Here is a quote:

“Flying a drone isn’t just exhilarating; it also fundamentally changed how I think about photography. It is hard to get excited about vintage filters on Instagram after shooting a drone selfie (call it a “dronie) or panning hillside Napa vineyards at sunrise. A drone allows you to move a camera in ways that might otherwise require a helicopter……”

This got my attention. I have a GoPro Hero camera that takes amazing HD video at a very wide angle and have taken many hours of video while flying gliders, riding my bike, etc. I love cameras and the fun of photography. This would open up a new world of video opportunities. I kept thinking about it.

The next day, Sunday, a beautiful spring day, Ronnie and I drove the golf cart over to the 11th hole on Ocean Point. to watch the competitors in the Beaufort Charities golf tournament play the par 3 hole. This tourney is a huge event. They always have a bleachers set up and a margarita bar going there on Number 11 all afternoon. Lots of fun watching groups come through. There was a bit of a gap between foursomes and I saw a lone man on the tee about 175 yards away. I watched, unsure of what was going on, and then a drone appeared in the air about 30 feet up moving slowly toward us. He flew it up to the green and made several take offs and landings. The drone was a DJI Phantom and he had a GoPro camera attached making a video of the happenings. I went over to see it and talked with the  pilot for a few minutes.

Some coincidence huh? Maybe this was meant to be. By Monday morning I was in full Google-search mode looking at all the options and where I might get the best deal. Had one on order by the end of the day on Monday  to arrive Thursday.  Thursday about 6 PM UPS arrived with my new DJI Phantom drone. Anxious to get it going I opened the box and started putting it together…..the debris is still on the dining room table here:


Assembly is quite easy. Four propellers and landing gear to attach and that’s about it. Batteries have to be charged both for the drone and the Transmitter. However the instructions said I should download a certain piece of Assistant software from the Phantom web site and do several things which I didn’t understand so  I slept on it and got into it early Friday morning.

I found 15 or 20 very helpful videos on YouTube. I did all the stuff that needed to be done. It was a total immersion into readying the Phantom to fly and learning how to fly it. By the end of the day I thought I was ready to do it for real. After a little diversion to the Bonita Boathouse for cocktail hour Ronnie and I came back to give it a go. No one was on the golf course and the wind was light so we walked out behind our house on the 13th hole and fired it up. Turn on the transmitter/controller, put the battery in the drone, wait for a sequence of flashing lights to appear and go…here is mine assembled with my old GoPro camera attached. Beside it is the transmitter unit.


Six days from reading the drone story in the WSJ, I had my first and second drone flights. This short YouTube clip below was not uploaded in full HD in order to shorten upload time…I will do some in full HD later

This drone has many amazing features to keep the novice from having a “fly away” or crash on the first flight. The best one is the GPS hover feature. When flown in GPS mode if you become unsure of what the drone is doing, just let off of the two sticks, they return to  a neutral  position and the drone hovers right where it is. Even with a light wing blowing, it will stay put. Then you can gently take back control when you figure out what you want to do next.

However, much to my delight, after only a few minutes in two flights I had a good sense of how to control it. It seemed almost intuitive. More drone blogs will follow with some YouTube video clips.