Joe Carlton

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Hello everyone, my name is Joe Carlton and I'm quickly becoming a dronaholic (new word, I'm copyrighting it).  

I was in the US Air Force for 20 years and part of that was as a cop and part was in communications.  As a cop I loved new technology such as alarm sensors, motion detection and as a comm guy I absolutely loved new technology and working with technology.  One of my jobs in comm was keeping UAV feeds up and running during the war.  I didn't get to directly work with the UAVs, just the video feeds over satellite.  It was still pretty amazing seeing what they can do as the best way to know the feed was up was to keep it on a monitor in our area.  

About six years ago I was on vacation in Hawaii and we were stopped at a scenic overlook over a blow hole.  A guy dropped a neat looking quadcopter down and immediately took off.  He had a tablet strapped to the controller and flew it all around the area.  I talked to him after he landed and he showed me what he was doing.  I was hooked after that.  

I dabbled with a Parrot drone which kind of sucked and I lost interest.  I finally convinced the wife after all these years to let me get my first "drone".  I ended up getting a Phantom 4 last year but as weather in Alaska goes and my work schedule I did not get to fly it until recently.  We took a vacation to Hawaii and I took the Phantom with me.  I got to fly quite a bit and had a ridiculously good time taking video of the family enjoying themselves.  

After returning I see that another department at the Alaska Railroad, which is where I work, bought a drone and got trained through UAV Coach.  Well I run the Telecom department and we have over 30 something comm towers and I thought that a drone would help immensely with inspecting our towers.  It would limit the amount of exposure of my guys to climbing as well as many other benefits.  I also saw a need for our bridge crews to use them to start inspecting their bridges.  The list of uses has increased to other areas.  So now I'm going to go through the training and start working up what we need to have an effective drone program to satisfy the needs of the various departments.  

One of the sayings I had always heard when I was an AF Cop was "Why send a man when you can send a bullet?".  This had to do with combat situations as AF Cops were basically AF infantry in was zones.  My thoughts now at the Railroad is "Why send a man when I can send a drone?".  :)  

I look forward to reading through the forums and learning from everyone else here.




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