One of the most impressive pieces of commercially available technology to take off in the last decade is the drone, also known as the quadcopter.
We’re not talking about the type that flies around shooting hellfire missiles at enemy combatants (and innocent civilians) from half a world away; we’re talking about the type that you can buy, fly around, and use to explore and take some impressive photos and videos.
Drone flying is impressive to most people because it’s just intrinsically cool. Many people are intrinsically impressed with aviation and getting great views of locations. The fact that you have a toy in your backpack that you can launch from most locations, fly around with ease, and get great videos impresses a lot of people.
Additionally, drones are fun as hell to fly, you can get some legitimately awesome photos and videos to share without too much practice, and the technology is fairly new, so not many people own them. It is the coolest new hobby that you probably don’t do. And surprisingly, a very good drone costs under $500.
I first saw a drone used on a trip overseas to the Philippines, where I watched a Taiwanese man fly a drone around one of the many beaches I had visited during my stay. He showed me his footage afterward. I was very impressed by the views of the landscape that he was able to capture. Since then, I bought one for a family member as a Christmas gift, used it a handful of times, and I eventually decided to buy one for myself.
I don’t live an entirely minimalist lifestyle, but I’m closer to it than most people. Almost all of my possessions support my hobbies; almost everything else has been thrown in the trash. I mostly own shooting, lifting, hiking, and survival gear, countless books, a TV, a few devices, and now a drone. I got rid of almost everything I didn’t need a while ago. Of what I still own, I could go without the vast majority of them and still be almost as happy as I would be with them.
With that said, drone flying has become one of my hobbies. I don’t recall once seeing it mentioned in the Manosphere. It’s almost never spoken about, yet it’s incredibly fun, relatively inexpensive, and it gets you incredible photos and videos.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the reasons you should consider getting a drone.
1) Drone Flying is Cool as Hell
If you buy a drone, you have access to brand new aviation and computer technology. You’ve (probably) never flown a helicopter or plane before, but with a drone, you can fly around a small, helicopter-like aircraft that flies like a dream and takes excellent photos and videos.
Flying a drone around at 400 feet (the legal limit) and exploring everything around you is badass. I’ve explored everything from my own neighborhood to various parks to hiking trails and landscapes out in the middle of nowhere. You’ll see perspectives on things that you couldn’t have seen without seeing a picture being taken by a helicopter or plane. Flying it simply for fun and doing tricks is great as well.
If you’re into shooting Youtube videos or photography, it’s almost a no-brainer that you should own one because they get you incredible shots and angles that you simply cannot get on two feet. Watch Youtube for a while and pay attention to the types of shots they get, and you’ll see many that are using drones, especially on travel channels.
2) They are Cheaper Than You Probably Think
Before I knew anything about drones, I thought that a drone would be $1000 or more, but you can buy a high-quality drone called the Phantom 3 for less than $500. It is generally considered the best drone for your money; especially if you’re new.
Should you crash it, which you won’t do in most cases unless you’ve made an avoidable error, you’re down about $450 instead of $1000 for a more expensive, higher-end drone. I recommend that you have more experience under your belt if you do want to buy a more expensive drone.
There are certainly cheaper hobbies out there, but there are absolutely more expensive ones. Drone flying is about in the middle somewhere.
3) It’s An Easy and Interesting Conversation Starter
Since the vast majority of people have never flown a drone, and surprisingly few people have even seen one, prepare to be asked a ton of questions about your toy. People will also take videos and pictures of your drone as well, for better or for worse. You’ll be the cool motherfucker flying a drone.
It’s a great conversation starter, and it will get you incredible pictures you can show off to anyone you meet. It’s a great attention grabber if you desire to use it to “peacock.” It’s not the primary reason to get a drone, but it’s an interesting plus.
If you take it out in the park, many people will be watching you fly it around. Just remember not to do anything stupid with it, especially if you’re in a crowded area. Many eyes will be on you.
4) They Are Incredibly Easy to Use
It’s not hard at all to make the footage of videos like this one. You mostly have to be in the right place to get a video this quality of an area this beautiful, and you have to know the basics of how to fly and record. The author is not using any special techniques with his quadcopter to record this video. He mostly uses fairly basic video editing skills.
Although flying a drone is not particularly difficult, remember to respect what you are doing with it. You still need to be careful around trees, people, and while landing your drone; particularly your first few times. Once it’s airborne in open space, you’re generally pretty clear.
Drone guides are everywhere, and the instructions of most drones are good enough to get you started.
5) The Photos and Videos You Can Take Are Absolutely Stunning
This is just one random photo I took in Anywheresville, USA. It’s not intended to be my best shot by any means; the point is that you can get a cool shot just by flying a drone up anywhere and snapping away. You can pretty much do this anywhere.
The videos and pictures you can get are stunning at best, and unless you significantly over/underexpose the lens and/or just suck at taking pictures, very interesting at worst. Even the ugliest areas will still be very interesting to see from 400 feet up.
Whether you enjoy hiking, traveling, or both, bringing a drone in a backpack with your equipment will allow you to get some memorable photos and videos when the opportunity presents itself.
6) Drone Laws are Surprisingly Reasonable
Surprisingly, most of the drone laws make sense.
The current laws include, but may not be limited to, depending on location and any updates since the time of writing: don’t fly above 400 feet, don’t fly within five miles of an airport without contacting the control tower first, don’t fly in Washington D.C, don’t fly near a stadium or military bases, don’t harass people and fly over their heads, and make sure you can see your own drone at all times. You also have to pay $5 to register your drone online after you buy one.
Note that before you use one, you should check your local laws to see if anything has been changed, or if your area is different.
Follow the law with your drone and don’t be the dumbass that ruins it for everything else. Keep your drone away from people, stadiums, and whatnot. Don’t do anything that can be considered harassment of others, such as flying into people’s yards and video recording them. If you somehow get told what you can and cannot do by someone who wants to make-believe that they are the police, make sure you know your local laws and rights as a photographer.
7) There’s a Very Large Market for Drone Pictures and Videos
Drone photos and videos are easily among the most popular on websites such as Google, Youtube, and Instagram. It can easily be a way to increase your social media or Youtube following and leverage it to profit if you are into photography, or if you can come up with another way to use the photos or videos to your advantage. You can definitely use your creativity and skill to find a way to profit or advertise a business or side hustle that you may have.
Some areas have been filmed many times by drones. Many areas haven’t. One thing for sure is that there are significantly less drone pictures and footage than there are taken from the ground. People look up images of places all the time, and again, they particularly love aerial pictures and footage. Use these facts to your advantage.
What Kind of Drone Should You Buy?
The best mix of quality and cost-efficiency is the Phantom 3.
You’ll notice that it gets very high reviews from beginners to drone enthusiasts alike. It is an excellent bit of machinery and your best bet in flying a drone.
The Phantom 3 flies easily, it positions itself via GPS and compass, and is flat out fun to fly. It has its own controller to control the drone. It uses an app on your cell phone to show you a view of what the drone is seeing, and to collect videos, pictures, and to give you other information and commands. If it runs low on batteries, it flies home to the place that it took off from.
The Phantom 3 and some extra batteries will set you back about $600 total. A fully charged battery will allow it to fly for approximately twenty minutes. For most people, three batteries should be enough. If they aren’t, you can always buy more later.
More advanced drones exist, of course, such as the Phantom 4 and the DJI Mavic Pro. They are highly rated drones that you may want to consider down the road, but I do not recommend these as your first entry into flying a drone.
This is a particularly good video on getting started:
And that’s all, folks.
If you are strapped for cash, there are certainly more important things you should do than fly a drone. But if you have a little money to throw around and if it remotely interests you, it’s absolutely worth the time and money investment you put into it.
If you choose to buy a drone, have fun and use it wisely. It’s a hobby that very few people regret getting into.