Saturday, December 26, 2015

Family Tech: Here’s some tips on operating some holiday gifts - December 25, 2015

Think of this as a stocking stuffer column.

When 7-Eleven starts selling drones, you know it’s a hot holiday gift and perhaps you received one this year.

What now?

I do not have a drone, but I was listening to a podcast recently from a drone owner. One thing he strongly recommends is not to try learning to fly one outside, certainly not an expensive one. You will inevitably crash any drone you have.

You might be better off setting the expensive one aside for the time being and finding an inexpensive one in an after-Christmas sale or online for under $30.

Learn to fly that drone safely before trying to fly your more expensive one.

And, at first, fly both kinds inside as you learn how to maneuver them. If it gets away from you, it cannot go far and won’t end up in a pond. Air currents wreak havoc with flying these lightweight aircraft so learning in a benign environment is a better idea.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently decided to require many drones to be registered. Drones weighing more than .55 pounds must be registered. It can be done online and only costs $5. If you do it by Jan. 20, the registration fee is waived.

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