One of the most popular gifts this holiday season ended up in my son’s hands this Christmas… until it got homesick.  Beware.  If you or a loved one received a Parrot Mini Drone as a Christmas present, it may decide to return to the North Pole if you allow it to talk you into flying it outside.  They do not like being away from home.Snapshot_20141229

My youngest brother, Paul, always gets my kids the coolest Christmas presents.  He puts a lot of thought into what he buys for them, doesn’t worry so much about the expense, usually consults me to see if I think his idea for a present is a good one.  This year Paul texted me to ask if Nate has a smart phone.  Why?  Because he bought one of those cool flying drones that are controlled via a smart phone app.  Nate loved it when he opened it, quickly becoming quite adept at flying the drone around my parents’ house.  It has been years since I have seen Nate enjoy a present so much.

He enjoyed it so much that he decided to go outside last night at 11:30 to try flying it.  My parents live in a small town in central Illinois, Athens, right at the edge with their property bordering a large corn field to the south.  Earlier, I had warned Nate not to fly the drone outside.  It is very small, light, and any breeze would take it away.  The drone communicates with a phone via Bluetooth and has a 66 foot range.  That is not much.

Do I need to say what happened?  The drone must have indeed returned to the North Pole.  We searched in the dark last night for it, then searched again this morning when the sun came up and several times after that.  There was neither hide nor air of the wayward drone (get it?  Hide nor AIR!!!).

That is the way it goes with any toy that flies.  Once they are airborne, they usually get lost.  A few years ago another gift to Nate from my other brother, Mark (yes, I have two brothers) was lost on it’s maiden voyage.  Mark bought Nate a model rocket kit, complete with launching pad.  Nate and I spent a few days putting it together and painted it.  Once it was ready, we took it to a large field close to our house to launch.  The rocket launched perfectly, popping it’s chute at just the right point and very high in the air.  Nate and I cheered as the rocket whooshed into the air, then watched as a strong gust of wind blew it far from the field and over a large woods next to the field.  I think I still have scars from the mosquito bites I got that night during my futile attempt to find the rocket.

Searching for the rocket turned into a family affair, as did the search for the drone today.  Neither search was successful, both projectiles sucked into the limbo reserved for flying toys and socks from the clothes dryer.

We did have a pleasant time.  My kids both enjoy Paul’s four year old son, Tyler, as demonstrated by this selfie Alyssa took with him last night.alyssatyleer