I've already posted a few questions, and gotten tremendous help and support, but I felt like it was time to formally introduce myself.
My name is Rob Woodall, I'm a Psychology instructor at a small college, retired from active prectice, and a recovering alcoholic. 14 years ago, when I was first getting sober I came across a partly assembled balsa kit that a fellow was giving away because he'd lost interest. I found the construction a good way to fill up time that had been spent drinking, so I finished that kit and, over the next six months, built two more.
I was practicing instead of teaching at the time, and I'd let my practice go to crap so I never actually flew any of the planes I'd built. Instead I put my energy into rebuilding my career, and eventually gave away all my planes and equipment. Still I was very grateful to the planes for helping me stay sober, and promised myself that I'd get back in to the hobby someday.
I married fairly late in life, and had a baby boy at age 43. I shifted my career to teaching so I'd have more stable family time, and everything was great for two months. My young wife suddenly became very ill, and died from a cancer that had been masked by pregnancy and early mother symptoms, and I found myself a single father of an infant!
Well, my son, Braden, is now three, and coming along nicely. I do nothing but work and stay home with him, but he no longer needs the constant supervision that an infant needs, and I started to get bored. I actually had thoughts of drinking "just a little bit" after 14 years of sobriety, so I decided I'd dang well better get a hobby!
There's no way I can do anything as involved as balsa kits with Braden around, so I chose foam. I spend a little time building while Braden plays in the shop, and much more time flying. He loves to watch "daddy's airplane hit a tree!!!"
I live on a large farm, but I don't farm. My brother plants hay on my land but it's basically 14 open acres (except for a few dang trees!) so I have a good place to fly, but I'm hours away from any clubs, instructors or hobby shops. I need good online advise because there's no one local to ask, and that's where you guys come in.
Welcome to Wattflyer, Rob! Glad you're here. Raising a three-year-old and starting to get bored, you're our kind of guy. My hat's off you your handling of a job your didn't sign on for and making the best of it.
Until your attempt to infect your son with the sickness of loving radio control planes! And not satisfied with that you're teaching him to enjoy the sound of foam meeting tree.....is there no limit to the depravity of mankind? NO!
Okay, I am similarly diseased with irrational radio control urges. You know, with a large farm at your disposal that lowest of impulses has free rein to destroy your life and you COULD become a sailplane addict!
A thermal sailplane on a farm is as happy as a dog with a new bone, and it will make a slave out of you, breeding that obsession for reading the sky looking for thermals to take you higher than you launched without benefit of a motor and propeller. It's sailing in three dimensions where you are sniffing out those vertical streams of air so you can fly longer and higher.
The challenge isn't so much controlling the plane, it's the strategic angle of finding, centering in thermals, plane trim, small purposeful control movements and a concentrated relaxation that just isn't possible this side of fishing.
And I don't think anything is as beautiful as a good 2-meter or 100" sailplane. An electric sailplane means you never have to land, just hit the throttle and take her up to soaring altitude again. No cheating! Cruising around under power just isn't on the menu!
Welcome to WF, Rob. As you probably already know, lots of great info here.
In my experience, there is nothing better to clear the mind than flying and keeping your hands busy building and repairing. I married late also, but no kids yet. It was tough reading your story, sorry about your loss. But it sounds like you've done a heck of a good job with your son.
Foamies are a pretty good way to get back to flying, fairly easy to repair and not too hard on the wallet.
Good luck with everything......and yes those trees do move to grab your planes!! I swear I have seen em'!!!
Rob, good to have you here. I'm much younger then you, but also have a three year old. Mine loves planes and even likes to try to fky my dads simulator. We got him several small gliders, foam and balsa. He won't throw them now because we keep breaking them.
I used flying tohelp me to quit smoking. For the money I was spending in a couple weeks, I could buy a whole airplane. Its a great hobby. We all have our vices though, and let you not drinking define who you are, rather then who you were.
Any questions feel free, and let's get you back in the air.
Welcome Rob, I am fairly new myself. Thanks to the folks on here, I started out barely being able to fly, to learning more and more about planes and actually being able to fly quite well. The rc hobby is great, in any form, and is something that your son should be involved with when he gets a bit older. I feel the youth of today are far too involved in reckless behaviour and lack proper reasoning for real life. This includes those in their 20's, my age category. I often feel that I am different than most, as I am not one who likes partying, drugs, and so on, but that has been a good thing I feel. My music taste alone is different than most my age, as I prefer the 70's and 80's music. I like the odd drink, but I stay away from illegal activities and the like, partly because I enjoy things such as playing bagpipes, guitar, saxophone, as well as this hobby, especially rc planes. Not only will this hobby help you out, it will allow you to have bonding time with your son, and allow him to subject his mind to good things as he ages, and keep him away from drugs, bad crowds, poor habits, when he is older.