Maiden flight of our new camera drone (with tiny crash)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-SmEHHLfHA]

So we finally gave into the camera drone craze. I have never flown a drone or any kind of remote controlled aircraft, so naturally I expected to crash this thing within the first twenty feet. Well, I am happy to report that I did not crash it in the first three minute flight, well not really. It did fall over as I was landing it, but it was on the ground so I am not counting it.

The drone is a Promark GPS Shadow ($179.99) . I wanted something simple and this had the “Auto Take Off” and “Auto Landing” feature that I figured would help a noobie out. The thing was super simple and pretty much ready to fly out of the box. Charged everything up and found a nice open area to give it a try. I will post an in depth review a little later on the drone itself.

We flew, landed, flew some more, and then tried to land it without the “auto landing”, and I had it perfect until it sat down, then rolled over. But hey, it was my first time! Maybe now I can convince Tracy to buy me one of THESE!!

2018 Lexington Comic and Toy Con

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This year we decided to check out the Lexington Comic and Toy Con. This was our first con and we were excited, but had no idea what to expect. My son Jase (4 years old), dressed as Ash from Pokemon, the wife and I went without cosplay.


We skipped the Friday night session and went on Saturday morning. I was granted a press pass, but we had to buy a two day pass for Tracy ($60), and Jase was free. The event was held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, KY. Parking was not terrible, but did cost $10 to park in the lot across the street from the main entrance. The line to buy tickets was a little bit if a wait, so I would definitely buy ahead, which save some money as well, as her ticket would have been $50 online.
We made our way in and through the press booth, finally making it to the con floor itself. The con was set up on all three floors on the centre. The number of people attending this event was astonishing. 2017 was around twenty five thousand. We have not yet heard a number for this year, but I guess higher. The number of cosplayers was also surprising. We spent the first day wondering the halls and floors, meeting people and photographing cosplayers, families, and st one of the props on display.
Sunday arrival was smooth and easy, walking straight in with no wait. The crowd seemed a little larger on Sunday, but the number of people in cosplay was lower, but still impressive. The costume contest was held on Saturday evening, which I am sure played into this. We spent Sunday wandering through the two exhibitor floors, as well as the celebrity area and shops. A lot more people seemed to be shopping on Sunday as well. The worst thing we faced was on Sunday as well, with the majority of the escalators being out of service, forcing everyone to use only the small stairs in between the escalators, which created a major bottleneck when trying to move around. This is of course on the convention center itself, and says nothing bad about the Con.
Overall the entire experience was amazing, and I could not recommend it higher. I will discuss some things in a little more detail.


Security. This was one of my major concerns. People suck, so security is necessary. The signage stated that you would be wanded with metal detectors, as well as have your bags searched. When we walked into the main entrance we were not searched or passed through metal detectors. We were in the venue for over two hours before we passed through a security checkpoint. The security was only set up around the celebrity and exhibitor areas. This surprised me, as I figured the entire venue would be secure. Regardless, security was not of any concern.
Crowd. Speaking of the number of people, this con was packed out. There was long lines for everything inside the venue, and you were never more than a few inches from another person. As I mentioned earlier, by Sunday, almost all of the escalators were down and that was really backing up the flow of people. Highly advised to travel light at this con. We had our gear stowed in one bag, and that felt like a lot. Of course most people are carrying tons of expensive gear I understand, but still. I like some space. Just plan of standing in line and being patient with nowhere to sit down and you will be fine. The entire cosplay community, who of this was my first encounter, are some of the most open, laid back, and welcoming groups I have worked with. The experience has made me want to seek out this group to work with in the future. If any readers met us during the con, reach out to us with any questions or needs you have, we would be happy to work with you again.
The people. I have traveled pretty far and wide, covering different kinds of events, people, and situations. I have been among such a group of polite and accepting people in my life. Being a photographer and constantly “trying to get the shot”, I usually displease at least a few people everywhere we go, unintentionally of course. The only person I yelled at was a slight bit of road rage trying to leave the parking area (I hate when people let other people go, they had their turn), but I digress. Nicest people ever. Ever person I stopped for a photo or interview was as pleasant as you could imagine, even the ones who declined. I have never been to any event like this, and I felt like I knew everyone there. It was actually a little moving seeing so many people crammed together and getting along so well.
All in all I could not recommend this con enough. From the event staff, the guests, exhibitors, cosplayers, down to the crowds of fans and enthusiasts, it was a great experience. Personally I can not wait until next March till it all happens again, as we can not wait to go back!

Women Who Choose Their Own Path

The world is made up of many different kinds of people, and everyone is different in their own way. Some people choose to follow a well known, established path through life, conforming to society’s rules and ways, thereby accepting their place in life, which is not a particularly bad thing. There are others however, who choose to forge their own paths, and can’t settle following everyone else’s lead.
Many women in today’s world are unfortunately seen as the weaker of two when compared to their male counterparts. Some women though, seem to break all molds of what is expected. Strong willed, highly independent, motivated, and determined. Though it’s not a secret women face inequality in many parts of life, these women choose to not accept that. They choose to write their own chapters, and to make their marks in their own individual ways. A woman who chooses to forge her own path, and who chooses to break that mold, can be an impressive character.

This year for International Women’s Day I wanted to focus on a woman I feel embraces this concept thoroughly.

Meet Jenny Davis,

Master of Motherhood, Purveyor of Produce
Jenny is a twenty nine year old, married mother with a two and a half year old daughter. Jenny runs a farm by the name of “Sloan Grown Micro Farm” named after her daughter. Jenny is also the president of her local farmer’s market, and is a six year veteran of the Kentucky National Guard. Spend five minutes in the same room with Jenny, and her strong personality and impassioned outlook on life will leave you wanting more. As a journalist, she was an instant first when the thought of this article first came to light. Never a dull moment in conversation and as entertaining as an actress, her interview and photoshoot were a delight. Women like Jenny define the modern age of multitasking, intelligent, and capable women making their mark on todays world. If you ask me, society would do well to allow these women ample oppurtunity to fliurish. Read her full interview below:

What do you call yourself in terms of your profession?
Most of the time I would say Homemaker, but I think I wear a lot of hats. My Instagram says master of motherhood, purveyor of produce. I think I am a teacher, a volunteer, a gardener, and a cook ( a really good cook).

How do you feel that your independence as a woman has affected your family life?
Astronomically. Being able to prove myself in a military setting and in a professional work environment, then be able to step out of those roles and still do something as fulfilling as gardening has opened up my eyes as to how strong I can be and how much control I have over my life. That is something I really want to teach my daughter that you are in control of your path no matter what. Gardening and selling vegetables out of my yard would not have been where I placed myself at 29 years old, but it is a journey that I wouldn’t change for anything and I think it makes it makes strong and it shows my daughter that I’m strong.

How do you feel that International Women’s Day affects women worldwide in helping to display confidence and independence?
I think to label a day in the name of something is important because it is easy to overlook certain things and to overlook sectors of people, but when you call attention to something one specific day it becomes their day. This is the to say “As a woman I can”. When its specifically International Women’s day that is a day where women everywhere with one voice can say “I can.” I think that is really powerful.

Do you think that as a woman you have faced inequality in your life?
I think that for the most part I have been fortunate in being treated equal, but I also think that part of that is a mindset, and part of that is waking up everyday telling yourself that you are equal. At the end of the day the only person validating you is yourself; The only person determining your self worth is you. If you wake up in the morning and you say “This is what I am going to do today and I am going to be good at it because it’s me”, then that is all that matters. I do feel like I’ve had some instances, especially in the military, where I didn’t feel that a situation was “as fair”, and I thought that it was because I was a woman, but I just woke up the next day and proved them wrong, pushed harder. To me, I am equal to everyone else, and that’s all that matters.
As a mother, Do you feel it is important to teach feminism/individuality to your children, or do you foresee a world where it is not going to be an issue in their adult life?
I would hope that in her adult years it is not an issue, but I think that it is a fine line to tread, and that if we go too far in one direction that in 50 years this may be an issue for men. I think that individually for all children we need to raise them to have a self worth and know that they are just as important as everyone else and that your actions are what determines who you are and that is not just a girl issue or a boy issue. It has to be everyone being independent and strong. I’d like to feel that I raise my daughter to be that way.

A lot of people today say that gender inequality is the modern day civil rights movement. Do you feel the issue is at that level? Do you feel there will have to be a large scale movement to bring everyone onto the same page?
I think that it is a huge issue, and I think because people are against certain things based on principles like religion that don’t affect everyone. You can’t use something like religion to judge everyone, and tell them that their thoughts and beliefs are wrong because you have a different set. I would hope that we don’t get to the point where its as bad as the civil rights movement, but at the same time when so many people are coming at an issue from so many different angles that they forget that the people on the other side are human, sometimes it has to come to something like that. We need to fight this on a political level, because you are not hearing me as a person. You are telling me that I am not who I am. I don’t believe that my beliefs allow me to tell someone not to be who they are. I feel my beliefs tell me to love everyone. Everyone on this earth should be treated like a human. If you are an american citizen, you should be treated like all other american citizens.

Do you feel that male and female is outdated terms?
Yes I do. I think that you can be in the middle of it. There are a lot of people, the majority of people, that are always going to identify with it, but there can also be leeway there. I think the conversation needs to be opened up. One of the things I struggle with the most is going up to someone and saying “How do you identify?” “What pronouns do you want me to use?” I just wish that was a comfortable question to ask. I wish it was easier to walk up to someone and say “I want to get to know you, How can I make you comfortable, and here is how you can make me comfortable”, “Can I ask you questions without offending you?”, “Can you tell me about yourself without being offended?”
Quote wall. You quote is going to be up for all to see on IWD, what quote would you want everyone to hear?
“The path less traveled gives me an excuse to carry a machete”
If you take the path that no one else takes, you are 100% in charge of where it goes and who is on the path with you, and what you take on the path. So carry the machete. Wield it.

Fire and Sunset

Saw a great looking sunset and decided to head out to get some shots of it. I noticed dark smoke on the horizon and decided to follow it.

Right as the last bit of light was hanging on, we came to the top of a hill, and the fire was off in the field on the other side of the property. The smoke spread out along the horizon and made a fantastic scene.

Graffiti Bridge

 

So in the middle of nowhere Madison Co we came across a very interesting bridge. The bridge, known to locals as “Graffiti Bridge” is covered 100% in multiple layers of graffiti. Names, symbols, phrases, etc.

The bridge crosses Silver Creek on Hagan Mill Rd. This tiny country road is a really nice drive, and exploring the bridge is completely worth the trip. Silver Creek itself is gorgeous and we found a large crane hanging out fishing.

It’s readily obvious that it’s not some rowdy gang marking their territory, but kids taking part in a tradition. Names and Greek symbols make it appear that a lot of sorority and fraternity kids from the local colleges make the trip to paint something onto the already well covered bridge.

If your out for a drive around the county this is definitely something neat to check out.

 

Dye Twins Photoshoot

A photoshoot of twin boys who were 2 weeks old at the time. Mom and Dad are both firefighters and wanted to use that as the theme for the photos. Great shoot and everyone had a blast playing around the firehouse.