My First Flight in Thailand with the Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter

November 22, 2013
By

Aerial Photos of Samut Prakan

For quite a few years now I have been wanting to buy some kind of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in order to take pictures and videos from high up. But, up until recently, they have been both expensive and difficult to maintain. The new generation of quadcopters have changed all of that making the drones more affordable for the average person. After doing some research and talking to some people, I decided to go for the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter. Everyone was saying that the Phantom is much easier to use than other drones and so ideal for novices like myself. However, while researching where to buy, I found out that the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter had just come out.

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For Phantom 1 you need to attach a GoPro (not included). However, the Phantom 2 comes with it’s own mounted 14MP camera with 1080p HD video recording on a micro SD card. Usually it’s not a good idea to buy a drone with it’s own camera, but the reviews I saw on the Internet last week looked good. But, what swayed me to buy the Phantom 2 instead of the older model is that the battery life has now been extended to 25 minutes AND the pictures are live-streamed to your smartphone. So you can control tilt and pan, exposures and also take pictures or video.

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I first looked into buying in Singapore as I have a friend coming to visit soon. But then I found a shop in Bangkok called Hobby Thai that stocked a wide range of drones including the latest Phantom. They had reduced the first Phantom down to 15,800 Baht and the new one that I just bought is being sold at 38,400 Baht. That is $1,206. If you check amazon, their full price is $1,399 and reduced price is $1,208.  So, slightly cheaper here in Thailand. I haven’t found any other outlet in Thailand selling the Phantom 2 yet, but you might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. Let me know.

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I bought the quadcopter last night and charged the batteries as soon as I got home. One for the quadcopter and one for the WiFi extender. The remote control takes normal AA batteries. It only took an hour or so to charge the big quadcopter battery and a bit longer for the WiFi extender.  This morning I took the quadcopter out of the box, put on the props, turned everything on, connected my smartphone WiFi to the quadcopters hotspot and then flew it. This was my first ever flight of anything like this. These are also pictures of my first flight. I then tweeted the pictures a few minutes later from the location using the hashtag #ThaiDrone.

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I will do some more blogs soon with more details about the drone. I haven’t  actually read the manual yet so I still have more to learn. But, it all seems very simple so far. I am off on a road trip at the weekend and will be taking the quadcopter with me. Follow me on Twitter @RichardBarrow for some live aerial pictures from the sunflower fields of Saraburi and the Monkey party in Lopburi.

I will post bigger sized pictures on my ThailandQA Forums >>>>

21 Responses to My First Flight in Thailand with the Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter

  1. Keith
    November 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Richard,
    The part I really love about this post. You have flown it, published pics taken by it and so on, then you say that you’ve not read the instruction manual yet LOL! Have fun with it, I am very envious.

    • Richard Barrow
      November 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      That’s me all over. Always impatient. If I have to read the manual first I usually give up.

    • Yuval
      January 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Where can we purchase in Thailand /Bangkok

  2. steve
    November 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Looking forward to your sunflowers from the air in Saraburi and Loburi. must be nice!

  3. Joshua Nulton
    November 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    A view of the river from above next Loy Krathong would be risky, but amazing I bet!

    • Richard Barrow
      November 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      I’ve seen videos that chase boats down the river. But I think you need to be a confident pilot to do that.

  4. Richard
    November 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I watched the very good videos from the company and it looks very nice. But how do you avoid crashing it into a tree or building?

  5. Steve
    November 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Excellent quality pics. Looks like it costs around £850 in UK although obtainable from US on Amazon for around $1200

  6. Brian Edwards
    November 23, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Very impressive. what I like is the height and range of the dji.and the gps function that returns it to it’s original takeoff position,if you fly it out of range. there are also some after market propellers available.

  7. Torben LUND
    November 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    That is a cool and excellent addition to an excellent travel blog. Look forward to see more of Thailand from “above”

  8. Ron
    November 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Gee, I wonder how many quad copters you could buy compared to one blimp for survelence?

  9. Wentworth
    November 25, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Maybe you could on sell it to the Thai Military.
    I’d ask for 1 million Baht if I was you.

  10. Ualan
    November 25, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Big or small, if it falls from 100m on someone it might produce big damages…Hope you have a good insurance!

  11. Zbip57
    November 26, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Richard, if you plan to fly over water, strap a couple of these “water-bouy” miniature floatation devices to your Phantom for peace of mind. Each one has the capacity to float 1kg. Search google for source.

  12. Ran
    December 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Hello,

    I’m from a forient production company, looking to use a drone for shooting in Chiang Mai at the end of December. Any ideas for drone company?
    Best
    Ran
    ranpasternak@gmail.com

  13. Toon
    January 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hi,
    Lovely pictures. Keep them coming.
    HappyNewYear.

  14. Seerat Hazir
    February 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Great. Would you know if there’s any difference in picture quality and functionality between Phantom 2 Vision and if you buy the DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter, Gopro Hero 3 camera, Zenmuse H3 2D Gimbal, DJI Video downlink, and FPV-DVR monitor, with their batteries, chargers and cases, etc etc etc, all separately? Am about to buy it so would be great if you could give me some insight as I’m sure you must have done some research before settling for the all-in-one Vision version. Thanks. seerathazir@gmail.com

  15. Brian
    February 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Richard, good stuff! I just got a Phantom 2 myself that I’ll be putting to work on our farm. I’ve found it very easy to fly, and I’m not very good at even driving a simple RC car let along flying something. Very excited to keep using this fun tool! Here’s my experience so far. http://bit.ly/19ujNgB

  16. des elward
    June 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Can you answer a question for me did you take the phantom on the plane to Thailand with battery’s in the case

    • Richard Barrow
      June 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

      I bought it in Thailand. But, whenever I fly I take out the batteries.

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