I was the one who succeeded. I purchased a remote control drone. Those who fly.
I was nervous, as was my wife, because I had dabbled in model aeroplanes a few years before and then quit after a spectacular crash, thinking it too expensive and requiring far more ability than I possessed. Will it be any different this time, or will I be out a few hundred pounds?
For the princely amount of £50, I bought a cheap drone - only 12 inches across, with a camera that did not transmit a live picture - and was able to get back into the air.
The remote control resembled my previous aviation controller and seemed to do the same things. The drones appeared flimsy at first glance, but it only only a few minutes of assembly with the included tools before it was ready to fly. The battery appeared to be insignificant, yet it was rated to keep me airborne for 5 minutes at a period at 500mA.
The battery takes roughly 2 hours to charge when connected to a computer via USB port (lead included). The first lesson is to purchase more batteries if you plan on flying a lot. They're only approximately £2 per on Amazon, and they come with a multi-port charger.
This is not a hobby for those who are easily irritated!
So, with the remote control fully charged and AA batteries in hand, I turned it on and followed the directions by pushing the throttle all the way forward and then all the way back to connect the controller to the drone. The objects began to rotate, the lights flashed briefly before becoming stable, and the set was complete.
When you first start flying, the first thing you notice is how shaky it is. When it comes to flying a drone, there is a procedure to follow. Forwards and backwards may appear to be straightforward, but there are also left and right slewing, as well as clockwise and anti-clockwise spot turns to consider.
I spent the first battery charge at low altitude, as indicated in a YouTube video, trying to keep the height consistent and understanding that the drone flies in accordance to its own forward motion, not mine. It is facing you if you see two red lights and away if you see two green lights.
It was tough to maintain a constant altitude, and I had a few sloppy landings, but nothing that damaged the drone or my dignity. I thought I was starting to get the hang of it by the time my 5 minutes were up (all four lights move from steady to flashing to allow you ample time to choose a landing spot).
I should mention that I am fortunate in that I have access to a large enough space to do my flying indoors. This isn't a flying machine for the living room, and I'm aware that anything more than a mild breeze can make outdoor flying difficult.
I'm currently waiting for the battery to charge for the second time (a 5 day wait for the extra batteries to arrive). But I'm pumped and ready to take to the skies once more.
Drone video I've seen on TV has made me love it even more. Professional-grade drones are significantly heavier, have GPS stabilisation, and most likely have a slew of additional features that make them easier to fly. However, they still require a professional operator, so I'll be working hard to justify a more flashy purchase for my next purchase.