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You've Got to be Kidding...

Fly Me to the Moon


Jonathan van Bilsen

August 24, 2023

Fly Me to the Moon

Every time I fly, I am always intrigued with the great views of the scenery below. Trying to pick out landmarks, seeing if we fly over my house, or just simply enjoying the view, has always been a fascination of mine.

Ten years ago, I took it one step further and purchased a Phantom drone, which was about the size of a pizza box, and 5 times as thick. It was an incredible piece of technology. The camera was great (for the time), and I could create videos and photographs from high above.

Although it was heavy, 1300 grams (nearly three lbs.), and was not really meant for travelling, it did serve me well in the entertainment area, as well as business. People asked me to look at their rooftops to see if repairs were needed, and I did a number of promos for real estate agents as well. Overall, it was fun.

One day, the Ministry of Transportation decided drones were becoming a hazard, and justifiably so. If one landed on a car, it would make a sizeable dent. Interference with aircraft was another major downfall. Something had to be done, and it was. All drones weighing over 300 grams had to be registered, and to fly one, you needed a basic pilot certificate. Sadly, my drone ended up in a cupboard.

Last week, however, my life changed, and I acquired a mini drone. It weighs about 300 grams (half a pound), which is less than the registration necessity. This means I can fly it most anywhere. It is about half the size of an egg carton, takes fantastic 4K video, RAW photographs and is very easy to control.

I took it out on an inaugural flight over the lake and was very impressed with the results. I needed a photograph for a client, which had to be 9 feet by 2 feet. The quality of the final product was amazing. I am still learning the limitations, but flew it to its highest altitude of 120 metres (400 feet), and was surprised at how far I could see.

A whole new world has opened up for me, with endless possibilities, and I cannot wait until my next flight. Who knows, maybe I will get to the moon yet.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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