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Things You Should Know Before Buying a Drone

Things You Should Know Before Buying a Drone

Drones are becoming quite popular these days, especially if you’re a filmmaker or potential social media icon (which is pretty much everybody, if you ask me). We all want to make the most out of our creative projects, and drones allow you to get some of the most amazing shots ever – but that doesn’t mean you know everything. As a matter of fact, we’re going to talk about a few things you should know before you even consider buying a drone.

Drones are essentially little machines that can fly through the air with ease, capturing amazing footage in the process. It’s been used time and time again for various YouTube projects and has become one of the more common pieces of equipment being used for videography these days. They allow you to capture lush-looking landscapes as well as stuff you would never be able to see without a drone – that is unless you could fly around the sky with a heavy film-camera on your shoulder. It’s expected that well over a million drones will be sold this Christmas, and the number is going to grow exponentially as time progresses.

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Before you go about buying a drone, it helps to understand what the product itself can achieve – as well as how you’re supposed to be using it. Paying over a thousand dollars for a drone and then not understanding how to use it just seems sort of silly, right? Not only that, but there are certain rules that need to be followed when operating a drone. Certain places within the United States don’t permit the use of drones, and it could lead to a fine (or even worse, jail time). The drone debate is still slugging on, as people from opposite sides of the argument are constantly trying to dig up more evidence. Some say drones are good, and others say it is bad – I say it’s up for you to decide.

Not Every Drone is Easy to Fly

Drones, as a matter of fact, are quite hard to pilot. If you aren’t well-off and need to conserve your finances, buying a drone and crashing it to the ground on the first day isn’t exactly ideal. To make the most out of your purchased drone, you have to know how to fly it; which won’t always be easy. There are drones out there that feature flight controls, one that would mimic an RC racer of sorts; but there are others that can be much more complicated (or even worse, a lack of complication). Some drones allow you to pilot them through the use of your smartphone; all you’ve got to do is download a specific app and you’re good to go.

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That’s good for people that don’t want a massive controller to be used, but it also takes away from the precision of control that you can work with. Not only that, but when there’s no controller included, odds are it’s going to be one of the cheaper drone varieties you can find. Quadcopters are hard to fly, so imagine some of the more quirky and powerful drones that they’re releasing today! The Phantom 3, Inspire 1 and even Q500 4K would be the easiest drones you could fly today (in my opinion).

Not only are they not easy to fly, but not every single drone is going to come ready to fly. The RTF acronym stands for Ready-to-Fly, while BNF stands for Bind-and-Fly (with ARF for Almost-ready-to-Fly). ARF models call for a few components to be purchased on a personal level and are usually for connoisseurs. There are even waterproof drone options out there!

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There Are Tons of Vendors

If you don’t like the vendor prices you see at a specific place, never fear – there are plenty of vendors located all over the map that carry drones and drone-related products. Hobby King is a large chain of stores that sell plenty of drone parts, as well as many other accessories. Larger retailers can be found in both China and the United States, but that doesn’t mean other regions will be completely void when it comes to providers.

Investments May Be Necessary

If you’re an enthusiast, you may need to make a much bigger investment than you initially thought. Going about buying motors and transmitters is good fun, but it can get expensive (and fast!). Investments aren’t always a must, but when you start to develop a deeper passion for flying drones, it’s something that just comes around. Start off easy, and if you’re serious about your drone flying process, you can begin to invest more and more towards your projects. Not only will you be investing money, but time as well. Situations like purchasing a waterproof drone because you’re worried about splashing would be worth it!

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Bilal Khoja

System Engineer

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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