Ban the toys.

Ah, back to civilised times. I start work at 6 pm tomorrow and that looks like being standard for a little while. The night is mine once again. The writing candle is lit – we all have our little foibles, for me I have to have a candle burning while I write even though this little room has two filament bulbs, one eco-pointless bulb, two halogens and two LED lights. They aren’t all on but even so, the candle is relevant to the writing, not the lighting.

I should have joined Twitter a long time ago. It is an information tsunami. Tonight it led me to a brilliant talk by Lord Monckton and the real effect of the ‘tax on the rich’. Well of course the rich are unaffected. They are the ones controlling the tax. Duh. It was never for them.

One that caught my eye was the terror of the drones. The drones are scared of… er… drones.

Some guy evidently used his radio-controlled toy helicopter, with camera attached, to try to watch a football game without paying. He was arrested under anti-terror laws. It was a stupid thing to do anyway, those things have a flight time of 20 minutes at best. He’d have had to bring it in to recharge and refuel just as the critical goal happened.

These ‘civilian drones’ have been around for a long time. I had a go at driving one myself at the local model club’s open day a few years back. I was crap at it. In those not-long-ago days they were called ‘radio controlled model aircraft’ and some are very impressive indeed. The one I was allowed to try was a very basic slow-flying one and I soon handed control back to the instructor. I’ll stick with boats.

It’s not a suitable hobby for me. Buying or building is incredibly expensive and every amateur crash has a three-figure repair bill. It does look like fun but as a hobby it’s one for those with a lot of disposable income.

There is also the question of insurance. The models are often quite large and capable of doing a hell of a lot of damage if they hit someone. The helicopters, especially, can kill if they crash. Sharp, shattered bits fly off in all directions at great speed. Those engaged in the hobby have up to a million pounds’ worth of liability insurance.

There was one great local story of a helicopter model that went out of control and flew into a Ferrari showroom. Apparently the model owner just put his controller away and went home. I don’t know if it’s true and I’m not going to ask the car showroom in case they think it was me.

I heard from one of the fly-guys that if your model has a forced landing (crash) in a field, it’s better in a field of sheep than a field of cows. The sheep will be all at the far end of the field when you go to pick up the bits. The cows will have investigated and stomped it into the ground. Take-home message: don’t be a sheep. When the weird shit lands, investigate and stomp.

Now all these toys are ‘drones’ just like the military ones. They are all capable of carrying more than their own weight of Semtax and we are all going to die.

Reality – they can carry a little digital camera if it’s balanced just right and maybe a sparkler or a Roman Candle. It’s really hard to make them carry anything of substance.

If the models really could carry enough explosives to blow up a shopping mall or a football stadium, the local model shop would have refitted with gold shelving courtesy of Al Qaeda. These models can do no such thing. If they could, the terrorists would have been using them for a very long time. Beats the blow-up waistcoat, for sure.

The Government want drones to watch us all and they don’t want us to have them in case we watch them back. It’s not a complex equation.

If you are engaged in the world of flying radio-controlled models, start fighting back right now.

It’ll be too late when you are classed as some kind of paramilitary drone operator.


Okay. Writing candle is burning. Have to go and make up some stuff to scare people. It does feel a little futile these days though.


13 thoughts on “Ban the toys.

  1. I always wanted a radio-controlled model when I was a kid but they were far too expensive.

    BTW – I am the same age as you…

    I recently discovered that the Chinese have taken the whole thing over – everything is manufactured there now and the prices have tumbled – even a 9 channel transmitter/receiver is sub €50…

    So, I’m halfway through building my first quadcopter – complete with camera on gimbal!

    Check out and drool!


    • Indeed. The sudden departure without notice of the morning wench caused a lot of problems. I could have refused but Boss did the big brown eyes thing. She knows I can’t fight that one. Especially not when combined with the thrust chest and the pout. Still, next week it’s less of a problem. The hours start to concentrate into fewer days, as i wanted.


  2. I did think of buying a camera carrying drone, as a Derbyshire fell walker has used a drone to put scenes on his website, and the looked really good. However, He has broken the law by using a drone within 150M of built up areas, and 100M of a group of people, The drone he used cost 66 quid from amazon. These cheap drones can only carry > 0.2 kg.


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