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What hobby did you give up to get into flying?


Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
This question really resonated with me, when I came across it in the "Ask Chad" thread. jhitesma asked Chad the following question...

Ok, kind of crazy question here, hope it's not too "personal" but it's been eating at the back of my mind.

It just seems like you (Chad) put a lot of time money and energy into your RC obsession even though you've come into it fairly recently. What I'm wondering is what did you do with that time money and energy before you got hooked :) Did you have other hobbies before that have taken a back seat? Or is it just kind of your life (and I assume business) evolving giving you more time to put into your interest in RC?
So, all of you other obsessed people, what activities did you set aside, when you got into flying RC aircraft?

For me, there were several. I used to be big into scuba diving. I was a frequent backpacker. I really enjoyed doing photography.

I've even given up flying rc to pursue other interests. I began riding mountain bikes. I got back into hiking and backpacking. The camera is still collecting dust though. I've recently gotten the bug back for RC. I think I only gave it up for "the winter".

So, back to my question, what activities did you put on the back burner, to be able to devote time and finances to this hobby?


White water paddling. No, not smacking bottoms, you little freaks. I'm talking white water kayaking. This is a video of me going through the largest rapid on a local creek upside down. You can't tell the power of it from the video, but let me tell you.... It was quite an experience. If I recall correctly, I rolled up 8 times, only to hit a rock, drop over a small ledge or just hit some F'd up water and roll back under. To add insult to injury, when I finally pulled the spray skirt and punched out, my buddy smacked me square on the head with his paddle.

Its not nearly as harrowing as when I flipped and dropped into a rapid called Buzzsaw, upside down. That day, my paddle was pinned to the bottom in a hydraulic. I put my boat on my head and hiked out a mile and a half out with a significant elevation change. Sadly, I don't have that on video.

I really need to get back into paddling. I'm getting too fat with this RC hobby.


Flying Derp
Scuba, then cycling, then archery. So far I've been with RC planes the longest and I don't see an end in sight. Most of the guys at my club have been flying RC since the early 80's or longer.


Fly fishing was in there somewhere, too.


I'm a care bear...Really?
Well I haven't given it up but I still drive my hobby daily. I'm big into trucks, mainly diesels right now. I'm driving a 2008 Dodge 6.7 cummins. I'm rolling around in a 610hp 1100 or so torque pulling monster. It will do 12.8 in the 1/4 mile at a 105mph. So since I'm at a level I like I need to find a hobby to take its place. At least R/C is cheaper then playing with upgrades for the dodge.......... Well for now.

edit...... Forgot to add videos

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Propaganda machine
I used to fish in all my spare moments. But in Canberra, once the closed season for trout begins, legal fishing activities are restricted to what amounts to bushwalking with a rod in hand because all the other fish go into hibernation. RC flying was supposed to be something to do through the winter (lots of cold, calm and sunny days here in winter). However I now wonder how I fitted in all that time for fishing.

However RC is taking a bit of a back seat to coffee. I don't even consider flying by myself any more.


Rotor Riot!
I haven't given up on anything specific, but RC has taken over a big part of the money I have earned this and last year.

RC has actually merged many of my previous hobbies - electronics, programming, design, building, woodworking, etc...

My bike is standing there rusting since I got my plane, though. I'll fix it up to take my tricopter places :D


Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
Immediately before RC aircraft was , Distilling, Tig Welding then Alternate Energy Systems, Custom High Dollar Flashlights, Machine shop equipment, Metal Casting, Metal working, Jewelry making, Lapidary, Faceting, Custom computers, Photography, hydroponic gardening, woodworking, electronics, stunt kites and parafoils, model rocketry, Hunting, Shooting, Reloading, Bullet casting, Archery, Hiking, Camping, Mountaineering, Spelunking, Paintball, Lake Fishing, Fly fishing, boating, canoeing ................................................................................................ and the list goes on.

Of course now Ham Radio has taken the forefront temporarily due to the License requirements of FPV Transmitters at my chosen frequency of 1258 and 1280MHz.

Ham Radio and RC Aircraft were 2 of my oldest childhood ambitions. I guess that means that my second childhood has officially begun.

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I also build custom watches. Much of my former watch money has been diverted to this hobby. I will still build watches, but I am going to be much more selective about what I build. My builds were trending towards much more high end so it takes a lot more time and planning. I will have to save money more carefully with RC taking what it does.

This is an example of a recent build. I spent nearly a year planning and building this watch. The watch is an homage to a Panerai watch that was used by Italian frogmen in the late thirties and during WWII. You can read about some of the things done by the frogmen here. This does not mean that I in anyway condone anything done by the rulers of the Axis powers in WWII, but you have to admire the courage of the individual soldiers who felt they were doing their patriotic duty for they country. Similar to flying a FW190 for the history of the plane (and how cool it is;) ). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_on_Alexandria_(1941)

The strap is hand stitched from a French ammo pouch I bought at the local surplus store, the case is from a limited series of 10 made by another watch enthusiast. The movement is from a Swiss pocket watch, likely from the 60s. the lugs and crown tube are soldered in place, and the strap is stitched to the case rather than being held by spring bars like on a typical watch. With the exception of the crystal, the hands, and the movement all of the watch is custom and hand made. I plan on eventually making a set of proper blued carbon steel hands for it, but my skills are not at that level yet.
Started putting plastic models together before Kindergarten. I do other things from time to time. Right now I'm pretty focused on Babysitting grandkids BUT eventually I'll be back to building, flying and competing with model airplanes. Nothing more relaxing then sitting on the edge of the runways and shooting touch n go's.


Some guy in the desert
Totally missed this thread until now even though it's based off of one of my questions :D

First off - that custom watch is amazing! I've always been fascinated by horology in general and watches specifically. I've been wanting to make a wooden clock for years and finally got a set of plans last year but am still working on getting my "shop" setup to where I can make it happen.

As for myself. I have way too many hobbies which is kind of why I was curious if Chad had pushed something(s) to the back burner when flight hooked him. I don't really think of myself getting out of anything though, just re-prioritizing. Though now that I have a kid the hobby budget has shrunk to all time lows and some of those priorities have gotten lower than I'd like :)

That being said I've never liked filling out questions about hobbies because honestly I'd be here all week trying to think of every thing I like enough to consider myself "into". Off the top of my head though a few of my higher priority interests include - brewing my own beer (been brewing for 20 years now with the longest break being about 2 years when I moved from Ohio to Arizona and my temporary housing didn't have room for me to brew), building and playing cigar box guitars (I'd love to learn to play real guitar but...well that budget thing), gardening (this has been on hold a LONG time but we bought our own house a few years ago and this year I finally got a small herb garden started), off roading and exploring in general and riding the nearby sand dunes in particular (this is actually one of the things that's pulled me back to model aviation, wanting to film friends from the air and seeing other people at the campgrounds with some zagi's when they first came out and wanting one), I've rebuilt a few motors and done quite a few upgrades and modifications to my various cars/trucks/buggies as well, wood working and home improvement (I tackle everything from framing and drywall to plumbing and electrical), photography (was actually my major in college, and I built my own darkroom while still in high school - framed and drywalled it plumbed it and wired it all by myself my freshman year. I'm actually working on a project for a local art event right now that included making a pinhole camera out of a bucket), electronics and radio (I've got a stack of homebrewed radios both finished and waiting for me to have time to finish assembling - I got my ham license when I was in 3rd grade), cooking (I do 95% of the cooking in our house and love experimenting), making and flying kites, knitting crocheting and sewing, kayaking & canoeing (we live right on the Colorado but don't get out nearly often enough!)

Basically almost anything can catch my attention and suck me in :D Right now RC flying seems to be near the top. I subscribed to Make magazine the day they started taking subscriptions and don't think an issue has come out that I haven't tried/build 2-3 projects out of. A few years ago they had an issue dedicated to "heirloom technology" and one of the projects was a 60" balsa glider. I had been working on a kite aerial photography rig so had some RC gear (and realized how much more affordable it had become! Side note to this side note - I just got a relatives old hobby stuff recently and one of the things I got was an early 80's Futaba FM 2 channel transmitter...with a $70 price sticker still on it!) My wife was pregnant with our daughter at the time so being a soon to be new dad had me really thinking about things I enjoyed doing with my dad and when I saw that article and knew I already had a TX that could fly it I had to build one. Which I did: http://www.dunephotos.com/Hobbies/Medicine-Man-Glider/7710282_Zwg2Q5#!i=498158286&k=d79vhTm

It's had 2 flights so far...and neither went more than 10 feet off the ground and 30 feet in distance - but both ended up with major repairs. So I decided the glider had to go on the shelf until I could get more experience flying real planes and not just simulators :D

Then last year I heard about the 9958 micro heli and decided I had to have one. Next thing I knew I had one along with a Syma Chinook and a generic coaxial and was having a blast - but the 4 channel FP 9958 was by far my favorite. I still wanted to fly more fixed wing stuff though so I started looking for a good trainer. I had heard of the EasyStar and was seriously thinking about getting one...then I heard about the Bixler...but I've always preferred kits over RTF/ARF/PNF/**F stuff so I kept looking....I found Ed's experiment airlines foamboard univeristy post on RCGroups and within 2 days had built a couple of tubes and a wing, but the motor/batteries I needed were out of stock. Make came out with another article for the "Towel" a flying wing with elevons and a flat airfoil - with the mid mounted prop it seemed like it may be even better than the nutball for a first plane...but again finding the right parts in stock was tough.

Somewhere along the way I had heard of FT and got hooked on their videos - and just as I was debating what to build to train myself with they released the nutball swappable. I had actually heard of the nutball myself a few weeks earlier and being RET and very similar to my RE glider I had been thinking it may be a good cheap easy build to teach myself with. So I ordered some parts and build a swappable nutball. But had almost no luck flying it, I went through my first bag of 5 props in less than half an hour and my second bag in less than one battery. Then summer hit. My hobby budget dries up in the summer to feed the AC here in the desert. My 9958 had a bad servo, my nutball needed props, the nearest LHS was almost 2 hours away and my budget was dry. So flying got pushed back on the priority list yet again.

But a month or two ago I hit the happy part of the year where my hobby budget is at it's peak, a new LHS opened here in town, and I decided to give things a try again. Picked up a few props for the nutball, finally gave it some landing gear (which helped the CG issue I was having that was making it so hard to fly) and have finally had some successful flights! Also picked up a v911 heli to go with my 9958 and a Syma X1 to get a taste of multi rotors.

I'm still dying to get a FPV setup going. But that will probably have to wait until next year since this years hobby budget is getting low again and summer is coming sooner than I'd like (it's 90 here today already!) But now that I'm actually able to fly we'll see. I've got an exerimental airlines Axon I've been building the past few weeks that I'm hoping I can maiden this weekend, just have to finish making the control rods and mounting the motor. Hopefully with it's easystar/bixler style layout I won't break as many props on my crashes since running out of props seems to be the thing that keeps pushing the hobby to the back in the summer.

Of course, I've also got a Little Free Library I'm building for my wife that I really need to finish before summer hits (my workshop is outside so it's not very usable in the summer!), two cigar box guitars that have been commissioned by thankfully very patient friends, a new duct for our AC I need to build, a manx buggy I really need to finish the rear suspension on, a new battery tray for our RV I really need to build (I finally finished building a welder out of broken microwaves), and I really want to build a permanent solar oven before this summer - the one I made out of cardboard last year worked great but didn't last very long!

To be honest though model aviation was one of my earliest hobbies and flying RC has been a dream of mine for over 30 years. I built quite a few balsa/tissue planes as a kid and several of them I setup for RC...but never had the money for servos and radios. So finally managing to successfully fly (even if my landings still leave a lot to be desired) has me super excited to be back in this hobby again. I'd still love to build a larger gas powered balsa plane at some point...but for now I'm sticking to foamies until I get better on the sticks!


This is a fantastic thread! (Crap, I hope FlyingMonkey doesn't see this-he gets so full of himself with power ;))

I have NEVER met anyone who's hobby was building watches. That is very impressive! Also very cool to see fellow fly fishermen on here. I guess we are all similar in some way and that's why we ended up at Flite Test.


How many letters do we ge
However RC is taking a bit of a back seat to coffee.
Meh - you can't be into coffee if you run a thermoblock machine. Get thee a boiler! ;)


Me? Lobstermash pulled me back into home roasting green coffee again (coffee has been a passion for at least 10 years). I'm glad to get back into home roasting because the coffee I was using until then was $52/kg which is the going rate, give or take, for specialty roast coffee. The coffee I drank this morning was _almost_ as good and closer to $14 per kg roasted at home.

But what did I give up? Flying gliders, full scale. I had to give it up when going to Uni for my first degree and never got back into it for lack of opportunity (lack of money was a part of that). My (now) wife bought me an electric RC glider, radio, etc when we were engaged (I had finished Uni by then). You young whipper-snappers have it good; my 36mhz 4 channel radio (non-computer, no dual rates etc) cost as much as 4 Turnigy 9Xs. The battery charger was only good for NiCads and cost $150! All up we spent about $700!

Have had a few lessons in a light aircraft in the last 6 months or so - would dearly love to take up full scale flying seriously again.


PS - that watch is amazing!