From the Back Bay

Upper Newport Bay is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in Orange County (and not just for drone flying). The Back Bay Loop Trail is 10.5 miles and runs from the Newport Bay through Irvine and up into Weir Canyon. If you don’t have a drone, you can still enjoy the bay by running or biking – or by looking at my photo below.Screen shot 2013-07-07 at 12.07.35 PM

This photo was taken at a lookout point just off one of the main road’s Jamboree. The foreground is the bay, the right side is the road, and in the back are lots of Irvine office buildings.

Meet my drone(s)

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So it’s time I share my gear with you. As I am a mere hobbyist, my gear is (relatively) simple and cheap. I was a bit hesitant to share my gear, including the cost, but in an effort to be transparent about this hobby, I thought you should know.

The first drone I ever bought was a Syma X1 4 Channel 2.4G RC Quadcopter, with a bumble bee shell. I got this because before I started flying around with my pricier drone, I wanted to practice on this one. If you want to buy a drone, I recommend you invest in a cheap, practice one first!

The controls require some hand-eye coordination, though for people who played video games growing up, it seems to feel natural (I spent my childhood playing with Barbies and my parents wouldn’t let me have video games). Thus, I’ve gotten this little guy stuck in trees and on top of roofs. Never fear, I’m a much better pilot now. Here are the deets on the BeeCopter.

  • Name: Syma X1 4 Channel 2.4G RC Quad Copter – BumbleBee
  • Where to buy: Amazon.com (toys and game section!)
  • Price: $43
  • Producer: Syma
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Pros: Cheap, light, easy to fly, durable, also comes in a UFO design (but the bee is way cuter!)
  • Cons: Can’t attach a camera to it, doesn’t really do anything except (if you’re an experienced pilot) be a fun pet toy or cool party trick

Continue reading Meet my drone(s)

View of the dunes: a look at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

Newport Dunes is an 110-acre resort in Newport Beach located at the entrance to the Back Bay Nature Preserve and the Newport Bay Conservancy. It looks like tons of fun — they’ve got a water park, beachfront playground, and of course tons of calm water for swimming, paddleboarding and sand castle making.

Check it out for yourself, or check out my bird’s eye view below! Stay tuned for more photos from Newport Dunes, coming soon (rhyming intentional).Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 10.30.28 PM

Great Park, great view

What better way to view the Orange County Great Park than from the sky?

A lot of photographers stand in the balloon, which is clearly pictured in this photo, to take aerial photos. I especially love this photo by H. Lorren Au Jr. from the Orange County Register. But what about an aerial photo of the balloon that many use to take aerial photos? Well, here you have it folks.

Though late on a Saturday night, the Great Park was busy on June 29, 2013 with families lining up to watch Rise of the Guardians as part of the park’s Movie on the Lawn series.01

Photos: Summer scenes at the park

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Today I flew my drone for the first time — with a camera! I flew over a park near my house in Irvine, which was a good choice for a first flight because it was easy to find a clear space where I wouldn’t have to worry about my drone hitting something or someone. Here are photos of the park, the baseball diamonds and some office buildings on the horizon in Irvine.

Drone Girl

Reporting on drones, sometimes with drones