Drone Antics

So the past couple of weeks I’ve been flying my Mavic Pro around my hometown and surrounding area. My ultimate goal is capture enough footage to make a short video showcasing all the cool things I did this summer. For now, a lot of videos I have now are place holders for what’s to come.

I primarily use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit my videos and originally used to use Sony Vegas. It was hard adjusting from Vegas since I’ve used it for over six years, but now I’m super comfortable with Premiere and even After Effects. Currently I’m reading up on color grading and color correction which is something I’ve been meaning to get better at.

If anyone’s interested, the draft of the video can be found here!

End of the Semester Review

Hello again! I’m so sorry about the long period of radio silence. Things here have been a bit hectic, but I have so many things to talk about so hopefully this might make up for the lack of blog posts. I guess I’ll have to start back way, way back in March right before Spring Break.

DJI_0031-Edit

Shortly before flying back home to New Jersey to start what would be a moderately eventful Spring Break, I bought myself a DJI Mavic Pro! Eagle eyed readers might remember that I bought a drone my freshmen year, and they would be correct. Ultimately I regret to admit that that drone was a waste of money, but the lessons I’ve learned about drone operation and aerial imagery have long stuck with me.

Once I got home to New Jersey, I spent most of my Spring Break helping my parents out at their nail salon, mostly working as a receptionist and interpreter/translator. Whenever I had some down time, I’d fly my drone at the park by my house. It was really fun to get back into the hobby of aerial photography, but I just wish it wasn’t so cold during break.

I love the snow and it was one of the many reasons why I was super excited to fly back home, but I realized that it takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to fly out in the cold. Not to mention, you’re kinda at the mercy of the weather. Thanks to “Winter Storm Stella,” which turned out to be a bust by the way, the weather was pretty lame since it rained and sleeted a lot. Oh well I guess.

_MG_8820

It wasn’t until towards the end of the week that the weather got better so on Friday I spent a day in New York City and spent Saturday packing up my things for my flight back to Orlando on Sunday. And just like that, on that cold Sunday afternoon, I found myself on a train headed back to Newark International Airport so I could start class the next day.

_MG_8883

School for the most part has been pretty challenging as always. I think on the week I came back, or the next week, I had three tests scheduled in a row. Definitely not super ideal, but at this point, this has happened about two times so far this semester so I was kinda used to it. I did ok on one of the tests, while I did a lot better on the other two. However, I didn’t have time to contemplate my test scores because the following Sunday I had to shoot a wedding.

I’ve never done wedding photography before and wedding videography is a whole different animal. I will admit I was super nervous because with weddings, you only get one shot so if you blow it, well you’re out of luck. If I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely hire someone else to shoot video with me because one camera man is definitely not enough to cover everything.

Once I recovered from the wedding, I was handed another project: Completely rebuild the Digital Studio website in four-five days. Thankfully, the time-frame was extended for a total time of about two weeks. Now, before starting this huge undertaking, I was pretty good with WordPress and HTML coding. But, the more time I spent working on the website and trying out different design methods, I felt a lot better about my coding background and attitude towards coding.

A lot of people, like myself, complained that ERG115, the class where you first learn how to code in MATLAB, basically made them hate coding. I totally understand where everyone is coming from, but as I started branching out into other programs and coding languages, I rediscovered my love for coding and problem solving. I guess I needed some time off after doing fprintf(‘Hello world.’); so many times.

_MG_9597-Edit _MG_0837

Somewhere along the way, I was invited by my friend to join him at Sun ‘n’ Fun. For those of you who don’t know, Sun ‘n’ Fun is this huge airshow out in Lakeland, Florida. Many people have compared it to Oshkosh, but I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s much smaller. Regardless though, I had a lot of fun, but I do wish I’d gone earlier. I went on Sunday with my friend which was the last day of the week-long event, and a majority of the static aircraft, mostly military aircraft, and airshow performers had left. That was ok because I got to see the Blue Angels perform for the first time in my life. After seeing the Thunderbirds perform for three years, this was definitely a welcomed change.

_MG_9011

I also got to go to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the first time. I’ve been to Kennedy Space Center and the launch pads, but surprisingly never actually went to the Visitor Complex.

_MG_8915

With my sixth, wow has it really been six?, semester now coming to a close, I’m definitely looking forward to going home for the summer for some R&R. I look forward to taking Thermodynamics at Rutgers and flying my drone a lot more since New Jersey’s airspace isn’t as dense as Daytona Beach’s. I look forward to working either with my family or at a supermarket since I was already offered a job starting when I come home. But, most importantly, I look forward to summer and what it has to offer. Four months is a long time and I look forward to sharing everything when I see you all in August.

For now, good luck, and if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.

New Semester, New Year, New Digs

Hey everyone! Welcome back to our scheduled broadcast. I hope everyone had a fantastic winter break. Despite only having three weeks off from school, I vowed to make the most of my break….that was until I actually flew back to NJ and realized that it was really too cold to do anything.

Flying into New York, I was greeted by the pleasant sight of snow...which soon melted the next day.

Flying into New York, I was greeted by the pleasant sight of snow…which soon melted the next day.

So what did I do during break? For the first week I helped my parents out at their shop since Christmas and New Years were right around the corner. Not surprisingly they own a nail salon and since I’m lacking in the manicure department, I was basically a receptionist for seven days.

Once the holidays blew over, I started making plans with some of my friends who were home for break. The thing about going to school in the South vs. North is that everyone starts and ends school at different times so it’s always a ballet trying to find times that work for all parties involved. In the end, some plans worked out while other didn’t. No biggie: That’s what summer vacation is for!

I didn't go on a lot of photo trips this break sadly. Hopefully the summer will allow me to make up for it.

I didn’t go on a lot of photo trips this break sadly. Hopefully the summer will allow me to make up for it.

I did get to see Rogue One in theaters though! That was the first time I saw a Star Wars film in theaters and it was honestly an enjoyable experience. I think near the end I had to use the restroom, but I was so captivated by the action and story that I was glued to my seat. The movie had so many memorable moments and just listening to the audience react to the film made me miss going to the movies.

I sadly didn’t get to go to New York City like I wanted to though. I keep forgetting how much effort it actually takes to plan out a trip to the city. In my experience, you need an itinerary of places and things you want to do. Without one, you’ll probably get lost and side-tracked and might forget why you even came to the city in the first place. The weather was also a major factor.

Speaking of weather, it actually snowed! I was so excited to see snow before I flew back to Daytona. While shoveling and driving in snow is a bit of a chore, you have to admit that it is fun to play with. If anything, it adds a whole new layer of atmosphere to your environment.

Time slows down, you can hear the slush on the road as cars drive by, and kids emerge from their homes and enjoy their one out of three snow days. I wish it snowed earlier, like around Christmas like it’s supposed too, because it’s just nice to be around it.

But, like all good things, my break was over. Three weeks with my family was well needed and I was very sad to leave. However, while traveling to Daytona, my sadness turned into excitement when I realized that I have not only another semester to make up for the last one, but that I kinda have a new lease on life.

Watching rockets launch on the beach is one of my favorite pass-times.

Watching rockets launch on the beach is one of my favorite pass-times.

I have had a lot more time to myself, I have some goals that I want to accomplish, and overall, I’m starting to understand my limits and how I operate. Hopefully this knowledge and sudden urge enlightenment isn’t just a phase.

Snow? During Spring Break?

Wow, here I am back in NJ, and it’s snowing on the First Day of Spring. None of it is sticking however, but it’s nice to see snow falling after spending so much time in Florida.

IMG_8618

Someone please tell me that isn’t jet fuel being dumped out of my plane before landing…

IMG_8613

Surprisingly this is the 2nd time I’ve flown out of Daytona Beach Int.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, my break hasn’t been all that eventful thanks to Mother Nature’s winter-weather-fury. I manage to visit my friend who goes to school at the University of Delaware, got to go back to my high school and visit my friends in the drama department, had dinner at my friends’ house, and spent some quality time with my family; what more could you ask for?

IMG_8654

I found the University of Delaware’s equivalent of the COAS.

I got a nice chunk of my homework done, but there’s still more to accomplish so hopefully I don’t get sidetracked. Speaking of sidetracked, the snow is actually sticking! All the lawns on my street are turning white!

I’m glad we had a week off for Spring Break (technically 10 days for me but I digress.) I definitely needed the break to take some time to think about what I need to accomplish when I get back to Riddle. Not only that, it was nice to see my friends rooting for me because we all need a little motivation in life.

With that said, I think I’m ready to come back to school. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. I definitely need nicer weather to get more practice with my quadcopter so I’m excited. So, on that bombshell, I’ll see you all soon!

IMG_8666

12:41 “Eh, nothing’s gonna happen.”

IMG_8668

1:14 “NO WAY.”

 

“This Isn’t ‘Goodbye,’ It’s Only ‘See You Later.'”

Hello there!

I’ll assume that if you’re reading this, you’ll have no idea who I am: which is good because I have a few lines to make a good first impression!

In addition to living in NJ, I also work in New York City!

My name is Billy Nguyen and I’m from Eatontown, NJ. For starters, no NJ is nothing like the TV show “Jersey Shore.” Actually, it’s quite far from it and I highly recommend coming down in the summer since the beaches and night life is pretty cool around here, or you can go to California: I won’t judge you. Growing up, I didn’t have that many opportunities to pursue my interest in engineering or really anything aerospace related. What I did to get by was take the engineering courses offered at my high-school and spend countless hours flying in Flight Simulator X. Still to this day, I fly regularly in that game.

Oh so artsy.

On the side I started doing photography, videography, music, acting, graphic design, drawing, and computer work; a mouthful right? While my hobbies weren’t directly related to my major of Aerospace Engineering, I was able to find some outlets for my hobbies to keep myself engaged and active during my first semester here at Embry-Riddle. Thanks to my ingenuity, I’m now a general member of the Avion newspaper and I regularly cover campus events as a photographer. I wish I had time to join the Acafellas and Riddle Players, but maybe someday I’ll tryout. (You have been warned.)

Adjusting to life at Riddle was extremely challenging: definitely a step-up from high-school for sure. As we near the end of the first semester I can really start to grasp how much I’ve learned and changed these past few weeks and it’s really amazing. I think I’ve changed for the better; I’m now more aware of how important time management is (note how I didn’t say I got better at time management,)  and I’m starting to learn how to navigate the world on my own. It’s a life changing experience and my curiosity and passion for learning is what will ultimately carry me through all of this.

As my high-school’s cheerleading manager of 3 years, the quote in the title was

adjust is to get involved. If you have a passion for

tossed around a lot towards the end of each season and it makes me think about all the things that could happen in the 4-5 years when you’re away at college; only time can tell how things will turn out for me. For now, hopefully I come home for Winter Break I can impress my friends with the MATLAB programs I can write.

My advice for anyone still trying to adjust is to get involved. If you have a passion for something, chances are there is a club for you; you don’t even have to join a

Wings & Waves was my first ever airshow and I was amazed.

Wings & Waves was my first ever airshow and I was amazed.

club on campus per-say. There’s plenty of opportunities in the Daytona area. There is literally so much you can do at Embry-Riddle but you have to take that first step. Also, keep in touch with your friends and family. I like to send letters to my friends and I think I’m one of the few people still keeping the post office running.

So on that bombshell, “Allons-y!”
Billy N.™