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The Chronicles of Dirty Bird
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Dirty Bird
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Some air-to-air shots of the Phantom 4 "Night Fury" (black) & a Phantom 4 Pro flying over Baltimore.  The birds were running a joint Litchi mission during the tight formation flying.

Audio: "Ghosts n Stuff"

2018-2-6
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"Phantom 4 - In Flight" was originally intended as a "Follow the Leader" flight with a pair of P4 aircraft.  The lead bird was my black P4 with a P4 Pro as the chase bird.  Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to see the black P4 onscreen on a phone or tablet.  You'll need sharp eyes to see it even on a big screen!  This made it hard to get lined up properly at the start & impossible to adjust.  For fear of being "too close" we backed off and wound up too far back.  Nonetheless by request here is the footage from the P4 Pro of the black P4 "Night Fury."

Note:  You may be wondering how the P4P wound up in front of the P4?  This happened because somehow Obstacle Avoidance got turned on for my P4. When the P4 reached the stacks at Power Plant Live! (the guitar), OA caused the P4 to momentarily stop & rise.  It was during this event that the P4P overtook & passed.  You'll see the pass at 1/4 speed right at the end of the video.

2018-2-6
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A CW
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-2-6 02:22
"Phantom 4 - In Flight" was originally intended as a "Follow the Leader" flight with a pair of P4 aircraft.  The lead bird was my black P4 with a P4 Pro as the chase bird.  Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to see the black P4 onscreen on a phone or tablet.  You'll need sharp eyes to see it even on a big screen!  This made it hard to get lined up properly at the start & impossible to adjust.  For fear of being "too close" we backed off and wound up too far back.  Nonetheless by request here is the footage from the P4 Pro of the black P4 "Night Fury."

Note:  You may be wondering how the P4P wound up in front of the P4?  This happened because somehow Obstacle Avoidance got turned on for my P4. When the P4 reached the stacks at Power Plant Live! (the guitar), OA caused the P4 to momentarily stop & rise.  It was during this event that the P4P overtook & passed.  You'll see the pass at 1/4 speed right at the end of the video.

Love your work mate!
2018-2-6
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Dirty Bird
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A CW Posted at 2018-2-6 06:25
Love your work mate!

Thank you very much!
2018-2-8
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"Loch Raven Reservoir" - a 74,099' (14.03 miles) Litchi flight above the Loch Raven Reservoir in Dulaney Valley, MD.  The real-time footage runs nearly 30 minutes so the video is presented at 2x speed to reduce it to ~15 minutes.  I achieved the long flight length by creating  the full mission then separating it into two segments.  The end point of the first segment is the start point for the second.  The two videos were spliced together in post.   The video was recorded in 1080 x 30 fps with the camera in full auto & no filters or post color correction.   I'll be picking up some ND filters soon.  Recorded by the Phantom 4 "Night Fury".

"Loch Raven Reservoir - Winter"



"Loch Raven Reservoir - Summer" (PolarPro ND16-PL filter)





2018-2-8
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Dirty Bird
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"Carnival Pride - Captain Rick's Departure" captured by the P3 Advanced "Poop Chute".   The  ship was scheduled to leave port @ 5:00 pm but was delayed until nearly  9:00 pm due to a "medical emergency."  I was almost ready to give up when I saw the ship approaching the bridge.


2018-2-8
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P3 Advanced "Poop Chute" & P3 Professional "Goldeneye" take to the  skies @ Fort Armistead Park, MD for some formation flying above the  Patapsco River.  Recorded February 19th, 2017 on a beautiful &  unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon.


2018-2-9
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"Flight to the Forts" - The Phantom 4 "Night Fury" catches the sunrise on a 55,101' (10.436 mile) early  morning Litchi mission. The bird launches from Fort Armistead, passes  Fort Carroll & Sparrow's Point, then flies over Fort Howard before  turning towards home. The aircraft is a stock "Special Edition" P4 with a  high-capacity battery. She returned with 19% remaining. I had full  contact until about half way between Sparrow's Point & Fort Howard  where my altitude dropped to only 26'.  I am amazed that signal was  regained 5.25 miles away as she flew above Fort Howard at the furthest  point of the mission! Aircraft & RC are stock but I did have a  WindSurfer on the remote. The real-time flight was nearly 22 minutes so grab an  adult beverage, enjoy the music, pucker up, & imagine your bird  way-way out there!  

"Flight to the Forts - Experimental" - Accelerated version



"Flight to the Forts" - Real-time version


2018-2-9
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The Carnival Pride @ Fort Armistead as she returns to port.  Recorded April 9th, 2017 by the Phantom 4 "Night Fury."

2018-2-12
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Oracle Miata
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Man, your flights are the $h/&!   Well played.
2018-2-12
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Oracle Miata Posted at 2018-2-12 09:02
Man, your flights are the $h/&!   Well played.

Thank you!  
2018-2-15
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"Shaken Not Stirred" - A trio of Phantom 3 Quadroceptors are on routine combat air patrol when a sudden malfunction puts the entire mission at risk.  Only courage, cool heads, & team work allow them to save their young flight leader from certain death in the frigid waters.  Ride along & experience first hand their incredible true story!

2018-2-15
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Advanced Litchi missions require good reconnaissance.  This is RECON footage obtained from a manual flights for future Litchi missions (Stadium Shot/Cat & Mouse).  The manual flights allow me to get good object height data, as well as explore camera angles, field of view, & flight paths.  These are the best scenes from the flights.  Recorded by the Mavic "Proteus".








2018-2-15
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"Stadium Shot - Concept Reel" - From the "Ultimate Litchi Series" comes this advanced, long-range, early proof-of-concept mission flown by the P3 Standard "Miss Ruby".  The flight runs for 7.47 miles total mission length & covers Baltimore's stadiums, downtown, & Inner Harbor.   A work in progress...


     

2018-2-15
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From the "Ultimate Litchi Series" comes the Night Edition of "Stadium Shot," a 7.47 mile flight over Baltimore.  Flown by the venerable P3 Standard "Miss Ruby", the video includes an epic score that perfectly highlights the flight.

2018-2-17
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eman_vg
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That's a throwback drone!
2018-2-17
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Dirty Bird
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eman_vg Posted at 2018-2-17 07:03
That's a throwback drone!

She's still flying like a champ though!  I'd love to know how many total miles she has traveled.
2018-2-17
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-2-17 07:51
She's still flying like a champ though!  I'd love to know how many total miles she has traveled.

The distance she's flown!
2018-2-17
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"Cat & Mouse" - Phantom 3 Standards "Miss Ruby" & "Darth Videous" take to the night skies above Baltimore for a game of "Cat & Mouse."  The mission runs 39,773' (7.53 miles) & was recorded in 1080 x 30 fps in Full-Auto.  Sadly the Hardrock Cafe guitar appears to have blown a fuse...  

2018-2-17
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Phantom Force Archival Footage - "Swarm Test Session"

Here at Phantom Force we take our work seriously & a lot of planning, preparation, & testing goes into our missions.  Here is archival footage of one such test flight...

This is a 4-bird Litchi test flight of a 34,035' mission  We have Drone Nerd on point, Captain Rick riding shotgun, DroneViews in the #3 slot, & Dirty Bird as tail gunner.  The flight consists of a pair of P3 Professionals in front with two P3 Advanced in the rear.  DroneViews P3A "Phoenix" is sporting an experimental 4.4 oz kevlar condom for safe flight over Baltimore.

The mission began fine with "Phoenix" being  a tad slow out of the gate due to increased weight.  Things proceeded normally until we turned towards home when Captain Rick's P3P "White Wizard" inexplicably slowed.  This forced DroneViews to react & check up.  At the same time my P3A "Poop Chute" seemed to pour on the coal, blowing past the entire squadron in quick succession.

This, as they say, is why we test....

a
2018-2-23
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Dirty Bird
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"Hart-Miller Island - RECON" - Reconnaissance flight for an upcoming Litchi mission from Rocky Point Park to Hart-Miller Island.  The planned mission is ~40,000' in length & was flown by the P3 Advanced "Poop Chute". Recorded with a Polar Pro Cinema Series ND16-PL filter.


2018-2-25
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"The Wingman" - On a warm June morning the P4 "Night Fury" follows P4P "SkyFall"  across  the Patapsco River on a 10.5 mile mission from Fort Armistead  to Fort  Howard.  Discovered during the flight that the chase bird is a  hair faster than the leader so I had to manually back off now & then  during the joint flight.  Alas DJI's "new & improved" Go app has  omitted the Smart-RTH  toggle from the P4P's settings & she aborted  about half a mile short  of the turnaround point.  At 5:12 the  Pro's status lights beging flashing rapid red & a few  seconds  later she pulls up & heads for home.  Unfortunately this  happened at  the exact moment that the video began a new file.  



2018-2-25
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"Follow the Leader - Reloaded" - A Phantom is usually the unsung hero capturing the action behind the scenes, but today the Phantom is the star of the show!   Join Phantom 3 Standard "Darth Videous" trailing sister ship "Miss Ruby" on a 17-minute, 7.2 mile, non-stop, thrill ride as the pair soar high above Baltimore in an epic night version of "Follow the Leader."  

The birds are stock & each is running autonomous Litchi flights based on "The Baltimore Run" mission.  Chase bird "Darth Videous" is set to start ~25' behind lead bird "Miss Ruby" on point.  Waypoints are identical except the chase bird is set +10' at each point to maintain a degree of vertical separation.  This mission only needs some slight tweaking of camera angles to get 100% coverage of the lead bird throughout the entire flight.

Note: This flight is 7.2 miles in length with 75 waypoints & near constant altitude changes.  Not 100% perfect but it is pretty damned amazing how close the birds executed this mission.

*Updated with an all-new epic soundtrack!

What critics are saying:

"Dirty Bird is Public Enemy #1" - James Comey, Director FBI

"Did you see those streaks of light dude?"
- Sean Penn, actor, stoner, Communist sympathizer

"Can he please stop mentioning body armor & a fly-over being the only safe way to visit Baltimore?"
- Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore

"Curses!  Foiled again!" - Snydley Whiplash, Canadian criminal, nemesis of Dudley

"It's against the guidelines.  You're going to ruin the hobby for everyone!" - Anonymous

"I'm Matt Damon!" - Matt Damon, actor, left-wing wacknut

"They really know how to get high, man!" - Tommy Chong, actor, comedian, stoner, entrepreneur

"Εάν μόνο ήξερα!" ("If only I had known!") - Icarus, son of Daedalus, first recorded attempt at manned flight

"I'll get you Dirty Bird if it's the last thing I do!" - Kavon Williams, career criminal, inadvertently caught on video committing an armed robbery during a test flight

"These contraptions could have changed the outcome of Waterloo.  Sacre' bleu!" - Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor, general

"I'm reporting you to the authorities!" - Crash Hancock, blogger, crasher of all things that fly

"Who is Dirty Bird & who gives a crap?" - Mr. Clean, Product spokesman

"Stay on the leader!" - Darth Vader, Sith Lord

"He's going to ruin my company!" - Frank Wang, DJI CEO

2018-2-28
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Bluehook
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Love all your stuff D-Bird, you're amazing!  Been to your YT channel many times and it's an honor to speak with you here.

I have SO many questions but I'll just ask two:

1) What camera setting do you use at night?  Especially in "Stadium Shot - Night Edition" - I love that video!

2) Can Way Point Missions in Litchi be created in a Windows desktop computer and then somehow transferred to the drone/phone/controller?  Or do you have to map it all out on the small screen?  Newbie here.

Thank you, sir.

2018-3-2
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Dirty Bird
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Bluehook Posted at 2018-3-2 13:40
Love all your stuff D-Bird, you're amazing!  Been to your YT channel many times and it's an honor to speak with you here.

I have SO many questions but I'll just ask two:

Thanks you very much Bluehook.  That is one of my personal favorite videos too.  For recording I always leave the camera in full auto.  It seems to do a good job & this allows it to adjust to changing lighting conditions as it flies over various parts of the city.  Litchi offers the Litchi Mission Hub website which allows Litchi owners to create missions on their Windows or Mac computer.  After you create your account & sign in on the webpage & Litchi app, missions created on either are available to the other.  You can create a mission on your computer then load & launch it from your flying device.
2018-3-3
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When you create it on the computer, I assume you have to know the route and all obstacles very well and what heights to be at???
2018-3-3
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ghutch Posted at 2018-3-3 06:40
When you create it on the computer, I assume you have to know the route and all obstacles very well and what heights to be at???

On the Mission Hub there is an option for "Relative to Ground" for your altitudes but you still need to do some research & be familiar with the area you intend to fly.  I usually do manual RECON flights before a programmed mission to search for potential obstacles & make notes of the height of buildings.
2018-3-3
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-3-3 07:18
On the Mission Hub there is an option for "Relative to Ground" for your altitudes but you still need to do some research & be familiar with the area you intend to fly.  I usually do manual RECON flights before a programmed mission to search for potential obstacles & make notes of the height of buildings.

Good to know, thanks...
2018-3-3
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Bluehook
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-3-3 06:36
Thanks you very much Bluehook.  That is one of my personal favorite videos too.  For recording I always leave the camera in full auto.  It seems to do a good job & this allows it to adjust to changing lighting conditions as it flies over various parts of the city.  Litchi offers the Litchi Mission Hub website which allows Litchi owners to create missions on their Windows or Mac computer.  After you create your account & sign in on the webpage & Litchi app, missions created on either are available to the other.  You can create a mission on your computer then load & launch it from your flying device.

Thank you very much, sir.

You are a true rock-star to me in the droning world and I appreciate your response.  Although very new to this hobby, I am starting to get to gain some understanding and your answers (even the ones you provide to other users) assist greatly.

Much appreciated.

2018-3-3
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Bluehook
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 10:39
Perhaps one of my most exhilarating manual flights occured while sitting at Sandy Point with one charged battery remaining.  I spotted a cruise liner heading out to sea & the Phantom 3 Advanced "Poop Chute" was quickly in hot pursuit of her quarry which was more than a mile off-shore & traveling in excess of 20 knots.   Soon we caught up with the sleek & impressive "Grandeur of the Seas", shadowing & circling her all the way under & well beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for some extremely exciting aerial action & video.   When I peeled off from the encounter the Phantom was 14,416.8' distant!   It was totally amazing doing this from nearly 3 miles away with perfect control & video.

https://youtu.be/fnhjyfNOynA

Hey DB,

With this and some of your other "ship following" vids, is there an intelligent flight mode that you're using when you circle the ship?  Or is that all free-hand.

Love all of your stuff -- never ceases to amaze me!
2018-3-29
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-2-15 00:36
"Shaken Not Stirred" - A trio of Phantom 3 Quadroceptors are on routine combat air patrol when a sudden malfunction puts the entire mission at risk.  Only courage, cool heads, & team work allow them to save their young flight leader from certain death in the frigid waters.  Ride along & experience first hand their incredible true story!

https://youtu.be/k_exuhVsnAM

I really loved this one! Esp. the humorous approach. Real fun to watch!

I guessed you have been asked this before, can't find anything about it:
Would the 'active track' feature work from drone to drone?
I'm just imagining you have one leader drone and a chain of others following while each one is tracking the one in front of it.
That would be fun!
2018-3-29
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Bluehook Posted at 2018-3-29 10:23
Hey DB,

With this and some of your other "ship following" vids, is there an intelligent flight mode that you're using when you circle the ship?  Or is that all free-hand.

Thanks Bluehook!  Chasing & circling the ships is all manual flying.

All those hours flying through the mines playing Descent II paid off!  
2018-3-29
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Dirty Bird
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-3-29 11:50
I really loved this one! Esp. the humorous approach. Real fun to watch!

I guessed you have been asked this before, can't find anything about it:

Thanks Eric.  The mission didn't go quite as planned so I tried to make the most of it with the story line.

I have seen guys try to use tracking to follow another drone but it doesn't work reliably as a drone is just too small of a target.  You'd have to be extremely close which would make it easy for the lead drone to fly out of the field of view leaving the chasing drone suspended in the air & possibly far from home.

This flight was accomplished by programming separate Litchi missions for each aircraft.  The start/end points for each were slightly adjusted to stagger them ~25' apart with an offset for the end point to avoid a collision at the end.  All waypoints for Bird #2 were raised +10', & all waypoints for Bird #3 were raised +20'.  The aircraft were paused at their start waypoint until everyone was in position, then released in unison.
2018-3-29
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-3-29 20:29
Thanks Bluehook!  Chasing & circling the ships is all manual flying.

All those hours flying through the mines playing Descent II paid off!

Dayum brother, you are one talented drone pilot.  And you definitely have the biggest balls of any drone flyer I've seen on youtube -- and I've seen a lot.

Thanks for the info.



2018-3-30
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When you have entirely too much time on your hands...   








2018-3-30
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Eric13
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-2-28 13:14
"Follow the Leader - Reloaded" - A Phantom is usually the unsung hero capturing the action behind the scenes, but today the Phantom is the star of the show!   Join Phantom 3 Standard "Darth Videous" trailing sister ship "Miss Ruby" on a 17-minute, 7.2 mile, non-stop, thrill ride as the pair soar high above Baltimore in an epic night version of "Follow the Leader."  

The birds are stock & each is running autonomous Litchi flights based on "The Baltimore Run" mission.  Chase bird "Darth Videous" is set to start ~25' behind lead bird "Miss Ruby" on point.  Waypoints are identical except the chase bird is set +10' at each point to maintain a degree of vertical separation.  This mission only needs some slight tweaking of camera angles to get 100% coverage of the lead bird throughout the entire flight.

I have seen it before and still amazes me! Real epic!


One question: Starting around minute 4:30 the tail lights of the leader keep flashing yellow + fast.
That means: Remote Controller signal lost.
With these Litchi missions: Can you set it up that signal loss is being ignored and the mission is to be continued?
2018-4-2
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-4-2 19:22
I have seen it before and still amazes me! Real epic!



Nothing special to do or set up.  Litchi waypoint missions automatically continue even if RC contact is lost.
2018-4-3
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Baltimore's 2018 Independence Day fireworks display at the Inner Harbor.   Recorded by the Mavic Pro "Proteus".  My friend & fellow drone pilot, Captain Rick, was kind enough to ferry  a group of us to the harbor by boat to watch the show.  I launched  about 1.75 miles from the display barge.  Video was recorded in 4K with  the camera set to full auto.  My apologies for the cheesy title.  Haven't learned the nuances of Power  Director yet.  Need to sit down with it the titling & effects  editor for a bit.



2018-7-9
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Blériot53
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-7-9 15:39
Baltimore's 2018 Independence Day fireworks display at the Inner Harbor.   Recorded by the Mavic Pro "Proteus".  My friend & fellow drone pilot, Captain Rick, was kind enough to ferry  a group of us to the harbor by boat to watch the show.  I launched  about 1.75 miles from the display barge.  Video was recorded in 4K with  the camera set to full auto.  My apologies for the cheesy title.  Haven't learned the nuances of Power  Director yet.  Need to sit down with it the titling & effects  editor for a bit.

https://youtu.be/LS_M_VU3dbc

Thanks for a great show DB
2018-7-9
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Blériot53 Posted at 2018-7-9 23:13
Thanks for a great show DB

Glad you found it enjoyable.  My first new video in a while!
2018-7-10
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