Well, I’m writing a blog…
That’s something that I thought I would probably never be saying. Not because I have a dislike for blogs or anything (who does?) but more the fact that I have come a long way from failing my English GCSE, and maths GCSE, and ….well most of them! I was never very academic as a kid and struggled a bit in that regard, the ability to learn was always there but I was much too interested in other things so please forgive me if there is the odd grammatical error here and there or maybe a word that I thought meant something completely different to what it actually is!
Did I mention that there would be some personal stuff in this drone blog too?
Really this first blog post is just a quick story about how I, a humble window cleaner from Redhill, Surrey, set up a drone business.
I think blogs are supposed to be fun. That could be a pretty hard task if I just wrote about drones all the time so I’m going to write some other stuff too and see if anyone is interested. In fact, it’s quite an odd feeling because even if no one is interested I’m still going to write it anyway, every single month, I’ll be happy if 1 person reads this!
Social media sites are so important for business and funnily enough that’s how my business started, all from a simple tweet with a video of Reigate Priory at sunset.
Rewind 3 years, I received a drone from Father Christmas like so many do. By 12.30 on Christmas day I had already lost it over the fields near where I live and spent the next hour and a half pacing about looking for this thing that was no bigger than the palm of your hand. I found it! then started to learn the ropes on actually controlling a drone. Luckily for me I picked it up pretty quick and within a couple of months had purchased a bigger, faster machine. The bigger, faster machine ended up in a tree after about 5 flights! never to be flown again – R.I.P Dromida Ominus, a great little flyer – but the most annoying thing was that it was in a tree I saw regularly but was so high up I couldn’t get it! At this point I’m droneless (is that a word!?) A couple of weeks went by, I was missing flying, that’s when I started to look at high end machines and many, many hours spent on YouTube looking at the massive range of drones that are available to consumers and dreaming of owning the best one.
Then, one evening after a few ales I got the credit card out and went all-in. Now bear in mind that up to this point, every drone I had owned had either been crashed or lost so there were a few eyebrows raised when I spent over £1000 on a “toy” right before my son was entering the world but…..wow……what a toy this thing was. I always remember telling my dad that I had bought a drone for that money and struggling to justify this “flying helicopter thing” to him but the best bit was seeing his reaction when he saw the it for the 1st time. As much as you try and explain a drone to someone you’ll never be able to prepare them for the other-worldly presence of one in the sky. Yes, it has propellers and yes it flies just like your old uncles petrol helicopter did before he crashed it but it’s the control, the balance, the capabilities, the noise … the camera looking straight at you like some weird AI robot from a sci-fi movie, it’s truly next generation stuff and it’s wonderful! Each drone almost has a character when you see it in the air and they all fly very differently but almost all drones have the same control stick layout which is great because you can buy a drone for under £10 now and it will have the same basic controls as a £10,000 machine. If you haven’t tried to fly one and you’ve got this far into my first ever blog post, whatever age or experience you have with flying please just go and spend a tenner and have a go, I’d be surprised if the inner child in you doesn’t come out for a moment but please be careful if flying around people because even the smallest of drone can cause injury. I used to fly this tiny drone around the living room and it ended up in my daughters hair, took over a year for her to grow that fringe back!
My 1st tweet was Reigate from 400Ft high, the legal limit for all drones.
I had literally no editing experience and it was put together in Windows Media Player on Windows 7.1, that’s probably cool now! Anyway, It got a few likes so a decided to post a couple of photos. The followers grew, the Surrey Mirror wrote an article about me;
And the BBC even got in touch, I donated some of my footage to them to use on Countryfile. Then the requests for work started to come but by this time I was fully aware that to complete the work and get paid for it I had to get my permission from the CAA. I’m not going to go into the details of that as to be honest for the most part it’s incredibly boring.
Apollo has been trading for nearly a month now and we have already completed 3 successful missions for our new customers, if you are wondering if a drone could enhance your project then get in touch. We are a new company but certainly not new to drones and aerial photography.
I’m Sam, Chief Pilot, Director and blogger 🙂
Welcome to Apollo & welcome to the 1st blog of my life