Tuesday Views 1 June 2021

This hospital chimney was photographed with an old DJI drone. My days with DJI, like this hospital I filmed for a community development corporation, are reduced to rubble.

Gear updates

I like to use modern, simple, widely available tools. It would be great if there were low-cost options available for starting a drone business, but that can be difficult. On a daily basis, I am bombarded by advertisements, messages, contacts, and emails that steer me towards DJI, but DJI was blacklisted (racist term) by the Feds last year. They are concerned DJI might be shady, but the risk to infrastructure posed by drones, in general, is not up for debate.

A flood of cheap electronics float through suburban safe harbors, through resellers, clubs, schools, distributors and wholesalers. The race to nationalize an American software manufacturing base does not really generate a lot of jobs or help communities – the stuff is made by robots, and the money leaves town.

So, added to this asymmetric competitive model, I have to deal with the problem of ecosystem paywalls. You need a computer to process the camera data from the drone in order to ill-afford the software licensing. This entire process seems vaguely familiar to the 90s. I can almost smell the dancing Pentium processor commercials.

I was lucky that I have family to help me with my business. This is the continuing saga of an underutilized remote pilot.


I have software that billionaires can beat.

aaaand more software

I have software that large corporations can beat.

textbook paywalls

I have a couple of PE Exam practice manuals to work through – 200 questions and 400 more examples, a summer learning project. I cannot afford an MS. My loans maxed, and my job as a substitute does not even allow me to pay for day care. All I want is to become and expert in this field, but I have family obligations that create ‘inefficiencies’, things like hugs, Marios Bros. character universe awareness, soccer games, stuff of typical househusbands.


I got a laptop to process video that I cannot actually present on my own equipment. I am going to lower the graphics load on my workflow, and export it to a cloud-based service for presentation. I am going to look at external and internal hard drives for the massive file sizes. The model was picked for it’s basic performance and Wi Fi future proofing.

scientific killing floor

I have some volunteer opportunities to follow-up on aggressively this summer. Building drones should have been enough, but it was not to be the case. I needed to do more than build drones.

blah blah new 5K camera and drone files crashing my laptop and phone

But I needed to get a laptop to process the new video. I needed a new camera to document services. I needed new software to present it. In order to…compete poorly completely poor.

Some old and new footage with a Skydio 2 and old phone
  • New cameras – I needed better cameras. I have two new cameras in addition to the drone, and I have plans to buy one more camera in the event that I host a wedding or other high dollar ceremony that require more control over choice of lenses, acuity of portraiture, lighting, and other production values.
  • New laptop – My last laptop was a steal. I took an open-box model running Intel i7 and NVIDIA GEFORCE to process CADD drawings and animation. And play Fallout because reasons. Unfortunately, the 1 TB hard drive is basically full of programs (700 Gb of programs), and sometimes getting it to settle down to run Windows 10 (purchased with Windows 8, yuck) takes 20 minutes and a restart.
    • Also, in 2017, my 1 1/2″ thick nearly 100 year-old rockboard ceiling collapsed on everything in the office. A chunk of the home-made drywall went right through a part of my desk where I usually rested my arm. Another piece bounced off of the aluminum case of my old, heavy laptop
  • New drone – I thought about getting the Skydio X2, but the price tag has pay walled me. From a recent Skydio webinar on the topic, I learned that “pilots are expensive”. So, to cut pilots out of the action, they created an unaffordable drone, pay walled the services that used to be relatively free five years ago since DJI has been shanked in the federal contract cell block. The language is in the bill. The pilots are being Uberized, so, I have no easy path forward unless I get a municipal contract. I am able to provide the services I cannot afford to use. I am trained to not be paid enough to instruct others. I am being squeezed by parasites and middling marketers. Yesterday, someone offered to sell me appointments. I am pay walled from the public.
  • New software – Can’t afford much, but I am going to need video processing software, so I have that optioned.
  • New tests planned – My app development with Orion Drones is solely focused on documenting obtained waivers and successful demonstrations of workflow using the new tools I acquired to provide drone services.

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