Several weeks ago my nephew Chip invited me to a day of kites and drones at Legacy Park in Greenville. I meant to write about it at the time, but things crept up on me, and when I stumbled on the photos I had to put that to rights.
It was going to be a beautiful Sunday morning. We made arrangements to meet at Legacy Park, located in a new planned development between Woodruff Road and Verdae Boulevard. Chip and I had our drones, and I had tossed in several kites, just in case. Chip’s wife, Anna, and their kids Olivia and Ethan would round out our crew.
The thing I like most about Legacy Park is the wide open unstructured spaces. There is a section with playground equipment, and areas for other organized activities, but mostly is a grassy field. It seems that just about every other park in the city is taken over for organized activities such as soccer or baseball. It’s nice to see a place for random, unorganized play, and it was perfect for the activities we had planned.
I had two drones with me, one larger drone in a plastic cage that’s perfect for learning, and a smaller micro drone with a built-in camera. Chip had a small drone with built-in camera for First Person Video (FPV) flight. He also brought a set of goggles that could used to pilot the small craft. We were set.
We hauled all of out gear to the west end of the park. We were at the top of a grassy hill, and Anna had brought cardboard boxes for the kids. While Chip and I fooled with the drones, the kids entertained themselves by sliding down the hill on boxes.
As it turned out, it was a bit too windy for drones, or, at least, for the lightweight toys we had. Chip’s drone was a bit more sophisticated and could hold position better against the wind, but even that one struggled to return against the wind. We spent more time chasing after these and intentionally crashing them rather than letting them get lost or run into other park patrons.
For once I wasn’t trying to take pictures of everything. Of course I had a camera with me, but I’m not sure I picked it up. I was more intent on having fun. I didn’t take any photos of the drones themselves. I did, however, get a few shots from the on-board camera on my micro drone. Here’s a photo right before it landed. Roughly. OK, it crashed. But, at least, you can see the shadow of the drone.
I got a couple of other shots, including a selfie or two.
It being too windy for drones meant that it must be fine for flying kites. Actually, the wind was still too light, and a came in gusts, so it wasn’t even ideal for kites. Doesn’t mean that we didn’t try, though. By this time the kids had become more interested in what Chip and I were doing and wanted to help. We let them. Olivia got quite good at flying my little parafoil kite. Ethan would help launch. These photos were taken by Chip.
Before coming out to the park I raided my closet and just grabbed every kite I’ve collected over the past couple of decades. It was a bit of a mess, but in addition to the parafoil I was able to piece together a couple more kites. I launched one, and Chip launched the other, while the kids played with the parafoil.
Once you get a kite launched there is something very soothing about just watching it float on the sky. Even so, Chip and I couldn’t just let it go at that. We had a tiny camera just light enough to attach to a kite. We launched it in video mode. The resulting video was unwatchable as the kite twisted in the wind, but I was able to get some image captures from the video. Just ignore the time/date stamps on the images. We haven’t figured out how to set that correctly.
Eventually the kids got tired, as did the adults. We let them play on the playground equipment a bit before packing things in. It was a great day out in the park.