Dear Ted and Jody:
The stamps and PDX clipping you sent, braving the holiday mails, arrived yesterday. Thank you.
As you probably figured I did get around to taking a photo with the drone faster than I thought I would. First, I got on line and looked up the regulations for flying drones. It seems that if they weigh less than .55 lb (8.8 ounces) they do not need to be registered. Mine weighs 4.6 ounces, with the battery inserted. I further read that there are restrictions about where you can fly them. There is, however, an app for checking on one’s smart phone if there are any restrictions where one is. So, I downloaded the app and my front gravel is clearly not in a restricted zone as long as long as I stay under 400 feet. Given the drone has a 200 foot range, I am well within the legal limits. Besides, at 200 feet I doubt if I could see it as more than a speck in the sky. So, I took the thing outside (Nancy more or less insisted as she put it “Ed, I can’t move to get away from it if it attacks me. Besides you need room for it to do its thing.” Notice the assumption the drone is acting outside of my control. To be honest, it was.) on the front gravel and learned further than I don’t know what I am doing. However, I got it up in the air a couple of times pushing the shutter button as it flew (with me almost in control, at least enough control for it to respond to the landing button before it got too far away). I turned everything off (controller and drone) and brought it to the computer to download the photos that resulted from my pushing the camera button. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had neglected to install a micro SD card. So back to the coffee table which is serving as a drone hanger, repair pad and more importantly, where the instruction manual rests, to install the micro SD card.
Now mind, it was below freezing (OK one degree). So the front gravel crunched under my feet and the air was a bit nipper than it was in the TV room. None-the-less, I bundled up (hood up as well) trundled (more like a hobble to be honest) outside and flew the drone again. This time I paid close attention to which end was the front and sent it skyward. When it got up to the top (my guesstimate of top) I pushed the shutter button a couple of times and then hit the landing button. I hit the camera button on the way down as well.
In judging the resultant first shot I had to keep in mind that I was using a pin hole camera (rather small aperture) that was on a platform what was vibrating due to the four propellers keeping it aloft and the whole apparatus, except for AA batteries to run the controller, currently sells for $70.00 before taxes (got the shipping included).So, the next time I get a drone with a camera, I shall do much more research on the stability, pixels and quality of the images.
None the less, I should be able to learn to fly this one. I then suppose when one bearing a real camera comes my way, I will register it(assuming it will need to be MUCH heavier to make a more stable platform for the camera) and take photos with it. In short, back to the wish list.
In a sense, the drone camera is similar to the game camera I played with for a short time last summer. It can make an “almost” record of what happens, but not quite a quality photograph. Of course, there are uses for low resolution photos. Hmmmmm.
In some of the online searching I did in preparation for taking photos with a drone, I ran across a statement of photographer’s rights.
Warmest regards, Ed
PS: Here is the next “installment” in the Amanda Saga
017 Chambers Search
Fiction in 707 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
“We went to Judge Phillips to get a warrant, then there is no one here to see it. That janitor didn’t ask when we wanted in. He just let us in.” Complained Detective Eddie Philipson.
“Happens a lot when searching a dead guy’s office or home.” Replied Detective Mohamad Batan.
“Why is this called a chamber and not just an office? Asked Detective Phillips.
“I wondered that myself and tried to look it up years ago. As near as I could figure the term chamber was borrowed from the French to indicate a private space for holding some kinds of legal actions that were not suitable for open court. Apparently, the term stuck. But, don’t quote me.” Replied Detective Batan
“Say, why aren’t we searching his home too?” Asked Detective Philipson.
Detective Batan, laughed. “Look the guy is a widower, has no family save an adopted daughter in California, so there is no hurry on the home. It will be there when and if we need to search it. Now, look for something that ties Judge Belemany to the 20-year-old White case.”
Detective Philipson sat at the judge’s desk and turned on the computer. The opening screen indicated he only had to click on the signing and he would be in. “Yup, the judge was not a security freak when it came to computers. I’m in.”
Detective Batan moved to stand behind Detective Philipson. “Do you suppose it will be as easy as entering ‘Mrs. White’ in Cortana?” asked Detective Batan.
“Let’s see,” said Detective Philipson as he typed “Mrs. White.”
Cortana responded with no matches.
Detective Philipson then opened the File Explorer and looked at what was on the computer. “All I see are the normal programs and data in a calendar and documents. IT forensics might find something, but it looks like the good judge was not a heavy computer user. A calendar and a bunch of docs. Just to be sure, I did a search of the docs for White. No hits.” He shut the computer down and put a tag on it for pickup by uniforms later. He smiled, ‘I used to do the pickups.’
Detective Batan asked, “What about emails? Voice mails, that sort of thing?
Detective Philipson responded, “I made a note for IT to check. You find anything?”
“There is a binder here with at least six inches of paper.” As Detective Batan thumbed through the papers in the binder, some of the paper crumbled. “Hey, this stuff is old. Stock symbols, and some patent diagrams. I’m going to tag it so we can look at it without tearing it up. Maybe some of those college kids in accounting or the lab can translate this stuff. You find a check book in his desk?”
Detective Philipson opened drawers finding some office supplies, an unopened bottle of Jack Daniels, and in the bottom file drawer a check folder like his father, a green grocer, used to keep in the last century. He opened it and whistled “If this balance is right the Judge had more money than God.”
Judge Belemany’s photo
took up one-quarter of the front page on the morning paper at which Special Agent Anderson Fleishman was intently staring. Agent Fleishman did not have to get out the photo he had been carrying for three years; for, the image was etched in his brain. Not just one image, but several age progressions of the man he knew as Amos Constantine. ‘I found my man. Or, rather,’ he corrected himself, ‘I found his corpse.’ He sat quietly for a few moments than though ‘I suppose I am lucky this ends my search. But, should I go home or find out what Amos was up to in this time and then go home. I wonder how many people he killed here?’
Mrs. Amanda White
was looking at Judge Belemany’s photo as it was featured on the morning Channel 2 news. She did not turn the sound up as she could tell from the video of a figure covered with a blanket in the dark that the Judge had not fared well. She shook her head. “That’s the judge that put me away.”
The Clarktons, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Hastings all looked. No one spoke.