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.
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.
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.
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.
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 >>>>