My friend Chris (get a site!), who is constantly finding new things to get into and get everyone he knows excited in, recently decided to turn his OCD towards RC helicopters.
In recent years helicopters have gotten much more approachable. Battery technology has evolved and you can now get a simple, ready-to-fly electric helicopter for a reasonable price. I picked up a E-Sky Lama 2 just like his from eBay a couple of weeks ago and have been having a blast!
First off, this helicopter is a toy more than a true RC helicopter. It’s small, about a foot long, and isn’t strong enough to fly outside unless it’s absolutely still. It is best suited for a large open-area in your house. It also can only carry it’s own weight. The first question most people have asked is “Can you strap a camera on it?” It’s surprising to me how many people ask this. Secondly, no, you need a bigger bird to do that with. (Chris just ordered a T-Rex, which can carry cargo and so much more. We’ll see how long I can hold out before upgrading.)
Even though it is a toy, it is a tremendous amount of fun after you learn to fly it. It took me about three 10 minute sessions before I could really hover with stability and not run into a variety of stuff. Now, after a few more sessions I have good control and am starting to make some maneuvers. My hope is to get to the point where I can race my father-in-law (he got one of these for Christmas from yours truly).