More things I want to do in places I want to go (again)

Because of “regulations”, I’m not allowed to fly my Mavic in Namibia. I applied and I tried, but the rules there are very strict and while I submitted documentation upon documentation to a very friendly and helpful Namibian DCA, there were additional complications in that South African ATC is in charge of much of the airspace over the southern half of Namibia. Add the red tape of two different government bodies in two different countries together, and see how far you get. It’s not far.

Still, all being well, I will have had some chance to fly this side of the border while we’ve been away.
Pictures and video to follow? Maybe. But in the meantime, let’s live vicariously through FPV Customs DE, who went to Norway and had some fun with their Mavic.

HD would be your minimum setting to enjoy that one in, and if you do have 4K capabilities, well why not use them?

Every time I see Norway on these kind of videos, I realise how much I want to go back there. There are plenty of other places I want to go too, but the urge to spend some more time in Norway is currently outshining them all.

No woman, no fly

The Mavic learning curve continues.

My wife was away this weekend, and I had big plans to take the kids out for a quick flight. However, the weather was weird on Sunday. Cloudy one minute, sunny the next; calm one minute, dangerously gusty immediately thereafter.

Not flying weather.

Still, that did give me the opportunity to use that title.
Silver linings, ne?

The purpose of the planned flight was to practice some videoing. The photography thing is coming along nicely, albeit slowly. But I look at other people’s Mavic videos and I want to be able to do that too. I did try a 4K video a couple of weeks ago, but my settings were all wrong and I ended up with a pretty much completely unuseable, 2 minute long, 1.8GB file.

Some reading up and a couple of helpful Youtube videos later, I adjusted the video settings and took the risk of popping Florence (for it is she) up to 50m or so to test them out.
Good news. The quality was excellent: clear and sharp. And “only” 150MB for a 30 second flight. So basically 5MB per second. I’m not sharing it here because it (the content, at least) is rubbish, but that’s not the point. Suddenly, there are a whole lot of opportunities open to me – the world is my whelk.

There will come a time (possibly) when videoing in 4K resolution is necessary/possible (the Mavic can do it, but my PC simply can’t handle it). In the meantime, 2.7K is far more manageable, and – to an amateur like me, at least – appears basically just as good [professional videographers fall to the floor in laughter].

Watch this space, because great* things are coming.

* terms and conditions apply. 

Under The Makeup

With their new (and allegedly last) album out next week, a-ha have finally got around to releasing the video for Under The Makeup: the first single off Cast In Steel. I’ll be honest, aside from the soaring James Bond-esque strings, it’s not one of my favourites by them and that was a bit worrying. Thankfully, the next offering, called The Wake sounds much more like my kind of thing, replete, as it is, with OMD-style ding-y keyboards and an 80’s synthpop feel, but more of that sometime soon.

So – here it is, starring Sofie Gråbøl and Frida “no accents in my surname” Farrell:

Sadly, given all the teasers and the generated suspense, they messed up a bit with the upload to YouTube, meaning that lots of Europe, Africa and apparently all of North and South America couldn’t watch due to “international content restrictions”. Thus, the video above is uploaded from the ridiculously named “WeWantA-HAandMortenHarket InTheFrenchMedia”. They might have a looney name and a niche agenda, but they can at least put 200 seconds of (ahem – pirated) video on the internet better than Universal music.
So… y’know… good for them.

As for the video… ja. I’ve watched it several times now, and I’m still not 100% sure of what’s going on, aside from the unfortunate demise of our protagonist. Are those… are those… Yurts? Do Pal and Magne escape? Whose side are they on anyway? What’s in the briefcase and why is that woman preparing a butternut in the middle of the Scandinavian wilderness?

Are you as lost as I am?

All in all, it’s not a great start to the whole Cast In Steel saga. There was never going to be massive commercial appeal for this anyway, but please – it should at least leave the fans happy. This, awkwardly… hasn’t… doesn’t.

Oh dear.

Fairly epic disaster video

Hmm. Cranes and bridges. I know who’ll like this one…

But it’s not a happy crane and bridge video. It’s a bit of a disaster…

Look, because of the title of this post and the title of the video, you know that things aren’t going to end well. But it’s the way things happen almost in slow motion and the lack of any sort of discernible panic that makes this so entertaining.

And we can be entertained, because happily (and perhaps incredibly), as this news article with its sub-headings like:

Veel schade (lots of damage),
Puinhopen (heaps of rubble)*, and
Enorme schade (enormous damage)

…also tells us:

Burgemeester: geen slachtoffers ongeval Alphen

Although running it through Google translate, it does appear that he was only talking about humans:

It is believed one man wounded by two cranes and a bridge part topple Monday afternoon and attacked a number of houses and shops in the Main Street. The man was removed from the rubble and had problems with his hip. Also, a dog did not survive the blow.

Oh dear. Damn those attacking cranes.


* Puinhopen is totally going to be the name of my next metal band.