Mike uses a DJI Phantom QuadRotor with a Tarot Dual Axis Gimbal and a Gopro Hero 3 Silver. The DJI Phantom already comes with a GoPro mount. The Gimbal just allows the quad rotor to move without disturbing the camera – for smoother video.
The gimbal also allows remote tilting of the camera.
It does take some RC mechanical skill and understanding to attach this gimbal. The Phantom comes with a transmitter’ however, Mike connected it to the higher-end transmitter, a Spektrum DX7s he already had for his helies. So all of his RC Aircraft fly with the same transmitter. DJI does have a plug-n-play Gimbal ZenMuse, but it costs more. DJI has released a new Quad Rotor, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with Integrated FPV Camcorder. It comes with everything built in Camera, Gimbal, even a mount for your phone on the transmitter, so it can transmit the video nearly live to your phone. That way, you can see what the camera sees.
Blade is one of his favorite RC heli companies; their GoPro platform 350 QX RTF is a good one as well. But, like his Phantom, if you want better video from it you will have to add a gimbal. Although he hasn’t flown this Blade 350 yet, he has a couple of their helis, and it would be his guess that it would be the easiest to fly and work on.
Food and family are always intertwined – but never more so than when we had dinner with Mike’s brothers Patrick and Raymond on the evening they arrived in the D.C. area. They had flown in from Vegas and Cheyenne, Wyoming, respectively, to join Mike and me for their mum’s interment at Arlington National Cemetery the next day. We would be reuniting Evelyn with her husband of over 50 years who’d died in 2003. She’d passed away in early 2012, and it’d taken until now for everyone’s schedules to match up.
I Googled our eating options that night and found Mamma Lucia, an Italian place close to our campground and Patrick and Raymond’s hotel. It didn’t click at the time, but I now realize that the choice significant.
First. the name. We ate at Mamma’s the night before burying their mama. Then, the choice of Italian food. Their dad was full Italian. He was known for his homemade meatballs, which he prepared every week for Sunday dinner.
With a simple and unplanned meal, we gathered as a family, paying tribute to a very special couple and celebrating Evelyn’s life one last time before finally laying her to rest.
We picked Cherry Hill Park campground in College Park, Maryland, because it was the closest park to D.C. We were in town to inter Mike’s mum with his dad, who was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 2003. Evelyn passed away in early 2012, but it took a while for the family’s schedules to sync up so we could reunite Evelyn with her husband of over 50 years.
Cherry Hill is a pretty park. The office and camp store has generous hours – from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Staff is friendly and helpful. We drove our Jeep into the city, but you don’t have to if you stay at Cherry Hill. Transportation is available from the campground multiple times daily, and the staff can direct you to the tour that’s best for your needs. Only minutes outside the park grounds are a grocery store, a Starbucks, a home improvement store and a variety of restaurants. After all your running around, you can take a relaxing hike along the Nature Trail at the edge of the park.
There are spots for every type of rig at Cherry Hill, and the list of amenities is long:
- 400 RV and tenting campsites with water, sewer and electric hookups
- Sites are open year round.
- 30- or 50-amp service
- Handicap accessible
- Restrooms with hot showers
- Pets are welcome, and a pet walking service is available.
- Carpeted laundry room with 19 washers and 20 dryers
- Free Wi-Fi which was pretty reliable and reasonably fast while we were there
- Cable TV
- Miniature golf
- Game room/Arcade
- Large screen TV lounge with fireplace
- Two swimming pools
- Hot tub and sauna
- Nature trail
- Propane refills
- On-site Star Café and Grill that’s open until 9 p.m.
- A camp store with groceries, souvenirs, gifts, t-shirts, and lots of RV supplies
- Free movies, shown seasonally, in the Starlight outdoor theatre