The Salinas Project

Filmmaker Carolyn Brown has released a trailer for her upcoming documentary The Salinas Project. I am thrilled that she asked me to contribute aerial videography to the film.

About one hour South of the wealthy Silicon Valley, sits the agricultural, immigrant town of Salinas. On the east side of Salinas, in a neighborhood known as Alisal, deplorable housing conditions and gang violence are part of daily life. But there are big changes happening in the community and a sense of renewal.

Find out more about this film at

DJI iPad Ground Control Station FAIL

My first fully automated drone flight with with the DJI iPad Ground Control Station… Didn’t go as planned. The iPad GCS app for iOS7 was just released, so I thought I would give it a try. Everything seemed to be working great I did an Attitude mode flight with my TX right before this to ensure the F450 was flying OK. Everything checked out. It had GPS satellite lock before takeoff and linked to the iPad GCS flawlessly. It took off on the “GO” command and flew part way through the flight plan before veering way of course and slamming itself into the ground….. sigh.

ReplayXD Cameras posts their video of Monster Army Recon in San Jose, CA

ReplayXD Cameras posts their video of Monster Army Recon in San Jose, CA While we were out there shooting the event, we did a few flights with their cameras on board.


They used a couple of our aerial shots in the video and an on bike camera gets a quick shot of Brook and the Century NEO 660 in air at about 1:48 into the video.

Monster army

Skate Park Aerial

As I was setting up to fly over the Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park for The Monster Recon BMX event, a lone skateboarder was bowl riding. I grabbed this shot as I was doing a test flight to size up how high I had to fly to shoot directly down and get the whole bowl into the shot.

I was flying a DJI F550 Hexacopter and shot this with a GoPro Hero2 on the X468 gimbal

Propeller Balancing for Multirotors

One of the most important things you can do to make your multirotor fly better and to get smooth jello free video footage is to balance the propellers. Multirotor prop balancing is a little more involved than just balancing the blades… you must also balance the propeller’s hub.

Buy the Du-Bro Tru-Spin Prop Balancer

I also used Extra Thick CA glue and CA accelerator in this video.


Century NEO 660 Maiden Flight

I just finished building the Century Helicopters NEO 660 hexacopter.

Century NEO 660 Build

Century NEO 660 Build

At 660mm it is my largest multirotor yet. It is a very nice airframe, with seemingly high quality components. I will be doing a step by step build video in the near future, but for now enjoy this quick maiden flight video.

It flies nicely… some more tuning of the NAZA flight controller’s GAIN settings will be necessary to really dial in this larger copter. As a testament to how well tempered this hexacopter is, the video shot handheld on an iPhone 5 while I was flying with my other hand. There’s no camera onboard yet as I’m just doing setup test flights right now.

Century Helicopters NEO 660 Frame

NAZA GPS Flight Controller

Turnigy NTM2830 motors

Turnigy MultiStar 30A OPTO ESCs
Turnigy 10×4 Wooden Props and The Reverse Props
Spektrum DX8 TX/RX

Century NEO 660

Century NEO 660

FlyTron Infrared RC remote for Sony NEX

The FlyTron RC IR Shutter Controller allows you to manually trigger a SONY NEX camera to take photos and start/stop video recording remotely with any standard RC TX/RX controller.

Using it couldn’t be any simpler Just plug it into your any of your RX’s AUX channels. Use a 3 position switch to control your camera

picture of NEX-5n and IR Remote

UP Position:  Photo Shot (hold up for continuous shooting
DOWN Position: Video Start/Stop

Make sure that your camera can see the remote’s LED and that you enable “IR remote” mode from your cameramenu before using this device.  You can find the remote control menu under DRIVE MODES of your Nex5.

Close Up of Flytron IR Blaster

I bought mine at

The SONY NEX-5n is a great lightweight mirrorless inter-changable lens camera to fly on multi rotor helicopters.

SONY NEX-5n with 16mm lens