Friday, 25 May 2018

I got a drone! Thank you!

A few weeks while checking out twitter I came across the following tweet by Mr. Drone aka Thomas Bastis

Cheekily, I replied, "I wish" knowing that this wasn't something that I could afford, even used.

The next morning I woke up to find that fellow PNW superintendent, Ryan Gordon, had started a gofundme campaign to help me get Thomas' old drone!

At first I thought that no one would ever give me money to buy a drone. Afterall, drones are still considered by most to be a luxury item for golf course operations. To be honest I felt a bit bad to be the recipient of a fundraiser.

To my surprise after a few short minutes the donations started to pour in and after about a week almost $800 had been raised to pay Thomas for his old drone. Even though the fundraising goal was $1000 Thomas was happy to receive the lower amount and sent me the drone!

This is so cool.

Thank you everyone who donated and especially Thomas and Ryan for their generosity and thoughtfulness. I have big plans of how I can use a tool like this on my golf course and plan on sharing everything on this blog.

There's just one problem.

Flying a drone in Canada is very restricted. You can fly for fun in certain remote areas but if you fly for work ( which includes uploading video to youtube or a blog) you need a SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate). So unfortunately before I can share anything on my blog or online in any way (even likes are considered payment and would require a SFOC) I need to get a permit to fly. The fines are stiff at $30,000 so as someone with some social media attention, I am going to play it safe and do it by the book.

This is an involved process but something that I have already started to achieve. I need to complete aviation ground school, get a radio operators license, file a SOP, Safety Plan and many more things before I can legally fly. I hope to have all this done and be legal to fly some time in July (waiting period after applications are 20 days - 2 months). After I file a few successful SFOC I can apply for a standing permit which will allow me much more freedom of when I can fly. This should be easy to achieve on a golf course because it is very easy for me to plan long in advance of the SFOC flights that are required to achieve more freedom. I will share this process on my blog for those that are interested.

Either way, I am so grateful and humbled to be the recipient of such generosity and thoughtfulness from the turfgrass community. I can't thank everyone enough!