Featured NewsTrending NewsPilots StoriesPilot Story: Caleb Rimmer


10 January 2024

By Caleb Rimmer

After a hemorrhagic stroke in Nov. 2022, I needed to find something other than work to focus on. I was always a workaholic, focused completely on work. But that stress was one of the key issues that caused the bleed in my brain. I had to make a change, and not be so focused on making a living that I forgot to enjoy life. So, I needed to find something I enjoyed doing, something different.

I grew up all over the U.S. I lived in four states before I was six years old. I began working full time the summer I was 14.

At 16, I was working full time, and I have had at least one full time job throughout the 32 years since then. I’ve done a lot of different jobs in my life.

But I never had any hobbies, anything I did on a regular basis for fun. I’ve dabbled with different things. My mother seemed to see it as a must for me to have a hobby. It was almost a mission for her. So we would go on “hobby-hunts”, trying to find something, anything. Woodburning, carving, model rocketry, among other things. But nothing caught and kept my interest. Of course the RC cars, trucks, and planes looked cool, but we were not financially able to get into a hobby that expensive. Back then, the RC models were gas powered and very high priced for anything worth buying. From about five or six years old, until I was about fourteen or fifteen, we hunted for a hobby with nothing to show for it. And as an adult, I was always wrapped up in work.

So I was searching for quite a while, for something, anything, to pique my interest that I wouldn’t move on from in five minutes.

I wound up buying a cheap toy drone, and got hooked!

Since I have never been one to do anything halfway, I immediately realized a simple toy wasn’t going to be nearly enough to satisfy my needs.. The flight controls notwithstanding, the camera was not good. So I went into research mode. I researched drones, photography, and cameras. I watched many YouTube reviews. On equipment, on accessories, on technique, flight tips, and recommendations for different equipment for different uses. I then got a DJI Mini 3 Pro. It was like night and day, the quality of the camera was so much better!

As soon as I got the first drone, I started learning photography and videography, and realized I really enjoy not just flying a drone, but creating something from that flight that is beautiful or useful. So I also added a DSLR, and began to utilize that alongside the drone footage.

All the research before purchasing led me to the regulations. After doing the TRUST, I decided that I should get my Part 107 certification. Learning all I could about the regulations of flight was vital to safe and legal operations. I studied by taking the practice tests, then reading the regulations that I was weakest on, watching YouTube instructional videos, just absorbing all that I could. After 3-4 weeks of study I scheduled and took the test, passing on my first attempt. (I definitely recommend knowing how to read charts, by the way!)

As I grew my knowledge and experience, I wanted an even better camera, and more capabilities. After some more research, a DJI Air2S joined the DJI Mini 3 Pro. After more practice and learning, I began to get some work, mostly real estate lots, but some insurance inspections, roofing, and signing. I found it is just as enjoyable to create something useful as something beautiful.

I am also involved in a local Facebook news page, recording local newsworthy events and sharing on the page. We are not a large group, just 4-5 people trying to cover the news in our county, whenever we can.. Utilizing the DSLR and the drones, we get as much footage as we can, to share with the community. This is especially helpful as the news agencies have little or no coverage in this area. Being involved in the community is also new to me.

As I grow, both as a pilot and photographer, I strive with every client and every project, whether paid or not, to deliver the best possible product. And I know this is something I passionately enjoy doing. It has grown from a hobby into something more, and I hope to keep growing, in knowledge, ability, equipment, and delivering end products that exceed expectations!

Watch Caleb's "Swann Covered Bridge"

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