FPV has been a wild journey thus far and it is just beginning... Let me fill you in on how it started for me.
I created Drone Theory to help give a platform to new drone technology designed by real world experience. Everything applied to Drone Theory was bread from breaking drones on the race course, customer service and management at the largest FPV retailers in the world, flying on set for multi-million dollar productions coupled alongside pure uncut passion.
Let me explain how I ended up here with a reason to explain my journey...
It all started with a real world problem, how to out-smart crows. My father and I were creating a farm and hit the roadblock of dealing with smart animals with nothing but time to enjoy themselves with destroy our crops. After I joked around with my Pops about drones being a way to challenge the complication the crows brought, he got me a Xmas gift of a cheapo toy drone. Although it was a gag gift that proved very ineffective since we were not able to keep constant vigilance, it kindled a fire of passion that would change my life in a multitude of ways.
After flying around and buying a few more toy drones just to mess around, I had to start learning how to repair them since letting friends fly them broke the toys much faster than normal. After a few Youtube searches on drones, a Rotor Riot video popped up in my recommended videos and this is where that spark of passion had now had a gallon of gas thrown on top of it.
The high speed, the ability to fly around with little risk to your own health, the ability to express yourself during flight, the aerial maneuvers edited to sync with music and the pioneering of the untouched possibilities with drones, it enamored me. A rabbit hole of searches on everything FPV is an understatement of what followed.
These are the 2 videos that had the largest effect on me.
Fast forward a few months later once I had built my first FPV drone, broke many parts in many ways, spent dozens of hours in Velocidrone and started racing, I created my own MultiGP racing chapter in Birmingham, AL. Not only was I enthralled with races and wanted something closer to chase that feeling but most importantly, I was determined to increase my skills.
My first big race out of state was with Todd Whol with DRC at the 2016 Georgia Championship and I faced "Wild Willy" before he was so well known. After being humbled by him at the race, my FPV Race Manager (my other half, Maurie) let me stop at the nearest freestyle spot to burn the rest of my packs where I just happen to run into the winner of the race I just placed 5th in, Wild Willy. I was blown away by his "send it" attitude with his craft and it was then I realized I had to have other skilled pilots around me to reach the level I wanted to achieve. This was the birth of my FPV racing chapter, FPV South. Some may say I gave my chapter a bad name, but I had big plans that made the name make sense, I promise...
Beautiful DVR of that race with Wild Willy.
I put together events that drew in attention from directions I had never foresaw but after producing 2 episodes for the largest FPV channel, traveling to ever race I could in car distance and keeping up with my responsibilities that actually kept food on the table, I threw a small racing event at Oak Mt. State Park that would change my life's trajectory in a big way.
The 2 episodes I produced.
This small event is where I met Taytay and established a connection that would have an affect on FPV sales around the world. I will spare you of the details around this small event but I wanted to note that I made sure that I was put in every heat TB was in so I could get practice against the pilot who had just came in 4th in the 2016 MultiGP National Championships and I won every single one of those heats while managing the race. He loves it when I mention that.
After being bored of my current career as a Live Event Lighting Designer, I took a big leap of faith and partnered with the pilot I had beat in the small event I just mentioned and sold my company, gear and house to transplant myself in Orlando, FL. Orlando is noted as being one of the largest FPV racing meccas at this time so I was ready in more than one way.
My business partner was full-time US Air Force and training for his bright future in another state so grabbed a few cardboard boxes from his mother out of their families back bedroom and moved into a space the size of a storage closet or two. Little did I know that this was the start of what was claimed to be the largest FPV retailers in the world at one point.
The first month I moved to Florida, my loving mother passed which was a major surprise to everyone. With the support of my family and friends, I endured through this hard time in a crticial stage in my life and focused more than ever.
As the blur of success masks time in life, I entered a vortex of commitment to helping create a foundation of trust for FPV consumers to the manufacturers.
Move forward in time two and a half years and the business had grown beyond our imaginations. After creating many of our own successful products and acquiring 50% of the company that had inspired me to be involved with FPV in the first place, I found myself working most of the time and flying less than ever. This realization and the work vibe turning from family to corporate in a bad way, I decided to sell my shares of the company and move to a job that I could get back to enjoying FPV with. I turned my phone off for a week to clear my mind and contemplate my future.
When I turned my phone back on, an unexpected surprise happened for me. I had voice mails of job offers from the biggest names in the bolstering FPV industry and after taking some interviews, I learned that some wanted me to come onboard and choose my role to some extent. While this is a dream prospect for some, I wanted to help those who needed help in this industry to create a fair and balanced retail economy in the FPV market, not to stabilize the champions.
This industry is still in its infancy and I know I cannot direct its flow but with my skills, I know I can help create positive waves that help ensure the pilot is first when it comes to our passion. Without this simple principal, we lose grasp on we created together as a community. I could elaborate about how this was not the case with many of my first FPV purchases and collaborations, but I digress.
I began to consult for a FPV Micro Drone company based out of San Diego and again uprooted me and my families life to pursue this crazy world of FPV and I was instantly handed challenges that I was unknowingly asking for. My vision blurred by racing, freestyle, career and testing so I lacked an outlet to push forward my passion since they had all been tied into each other of the last few years. FPV has unlimited possibilities when it comes down to it but I needed someone to show me a new outlet...
2 weeks before we moved to SD, Andy Hines called me about the possibility of shooting a music video in downtown Los Angeles. Naturally I obliged but I did not know what I was getting myself into. Thank the quad gods for Brennon Edwards of Transit Pictures for being my VO that day and showing me the ropes of how to deal with the pressure of being on set.
This first music video where I had been given the gift of a new outlet for me to release my passion and experience upon is where I will put down this story and pick up as we are now were Drone Theory is beginning. I now take my passion and direct it towards shooting from a cinematic standpoint plus a few other projects I will share with you here on this site.
My theories are based off what I know from first person experience and knowledge passed to me from those much more intelligent than I. My goal is to create a balance of these learned principals for the foundation of a platform that is designed for pilots that do not just look at a spec sheet or a single flight clip to learn the truth but for those who build, fly, break, repair and live around the idea of pushing our tech forward.