Ken Heron, A Drone Pilot’s Journey – Droneblog


It’s no secret that Ken Heron and I are associates. We’ve been associates for some time now – 5, or six years.

In spite of everything, I appear to be showing in increasingly more of his movies on YouTube. I’m alleged to be the digicam man, unsure why that’s! So, yeah, no secret there.

Picture: Ken Heron

In fact, I met Ken Heron lengthy earlier than I met Ken Heron. Like lots of you on the market, I met Ken by way of his YouTube channel, Ken Heron – YouTube.

I really was one of many earliest watchers of Ken and his channel, because it was of nice curiosity to me and my very own drone pursuit. Ken grabs you, there’s no different strategy to describe it.

He’s humorous, charismatic, and educated in regards to the topic of drones and another issues.

It was his conveyance of ardour for the interest that has led many people, me included, to select up a controller and turn into a drone pilot.

Picture: Ken Heron

To say Ken Heron has had an affect on me can be an understatement, and I’m not alone. In spite of everything, how may he not?

He has an infinite affect on the entire of the drone neighborhood, with a powerful presence, not solely within the GPS neighborhood, however that of the FPV neighborhood as nicely.

The appeal and, in fact, nice hair are simply how he’s. As I discussed above, I met Ken as certainly one of his followers, by no means pondering it could transcend that.

The how or why of us changing into the chums that we now have fairly frankly eludes me.

That’s simply how realizing Ken is although, he types on the spot bonds and long-lasting friendships. An excellent instance of that will be Jeff Sills. Should you’re not acquainted with Jeff, he helps Ken on TNL and does the present’s Drone Information section, one of many first varieties of drone information we had ever seen.

Ken and Jeff went to highschool collectively. I might have appreciated to discover that additional, however Ken is pretty tight-lipped generally.

That’s some dedication and dedication to a friendship there. Particularly in the event you ever watched the TNL Drone Information section.

Then once more, if you already know Ken, you wouldn’t count on something much less. So, I’m certain Jeff’s alright! I just lately tried that chair out myself and Jeff, we want you brother. It’s tougher than it appears to be like, and I’ll go away it at that.

The Interview

I just lately sat down with Ken and interviewed him for this very article. Ken’s a bit squirrelly in the case of speaking about himself or his previous.

I initially tried this by sending an e mail with the questions written out. The thought was to only have Ken fill within the solutions and ship it again.

We really reside about fours aside, and after some time, it grew to become clear if it was to get completed, another measure can be wanted, so I sat him down in entrance of a digicam, since simply sending him an e mail with questions simply wasn’t going to work, not for Ken.

Ken can be Ken in spite of everything.

The interview solely performs a small half in any article as there may be at all times unbiased analysis used to confirm and test issues. However with Ken, it actually has turn into a focus for this characteristic.

The interview itself runs about 35 minutes lengthy and was on a steady run.

On this interview we do get some issues out of Ken that nobody else has, so it’s price watching it by way of.

» MORE: Half 1: My Journey from Drone Hobbyist to Half 107 Pilot

Ken Heron’s Early Life

Ken Heron was born in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Aug twenty first, 1966. Now, Ken solely spent the earliest a part of his life in Florida, the primary few years. He can nonetheless be a Florida Man in order for you him to be.

It does go away one to surprise if dwelling so near NASA could have performed some half in his love of aviation. He would have solely been three when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, so a few of his earliest influences, maybe.

Though this didn’t come up within the dialog, you do should surprise. Ken has a sister who’s three years his youthful they usually grew up in a single-parent house for probably the most half.

He moved quite a bit rising up. He said that 17 instances, and it’s right here that the pleasant, get-along-with-everyone Ken type of got here from.

You possibly can see that; it was this have to make associates rapidly and be noticeable but unnoticeable on the similar time, by way of this era, that will have stored bullies and such at bay. It’s laborious to punch a man who’s making you snigger, you already know.

Ken offers with lots of life’s adversities with humor. Rising up shifting from one place to a different may very well be powerful on any child. I’ve spoken with Ken’s mom, who is just as candy as may be.

You possibly can inform she did her greatest to offer for each of her kids as they grew up.

One other level I took away from this portion of the interview was Ken’s greatest affect rising up. It seems it was primarily his grandparents. Primarily that of his grandfather, who suffered from being legally blind.

His grandfather’s incapacity led to Ken being round plenty of audio tools rising up, as his grandfather would use recording units for dictation. It was this affect that led Ken into radio, drawn there by sound results and a fascination for the know-how.

» MORE: Half 2: I Simply Obtained My Half 107. Now what?

Though he was nicely on his manner, radio started in earnest for Ken in highschool. He took on a tech and internet hosting place at WHHS a Excessive Faculty Station, out of Haverford PA.

An fascinating truth about WHHS is that it’s the oldest excessive school-run station in the USA, making its first broadcast on Dec 6, 1949.

After that, Ken did attend a fly-by-night broadcasting school. These had been very typical on the time and had been consistently being marketed. This sooner or later led to an actual internet hosting place at a radio station.

He grew up with not essentially a tough life, however then once more not precisely a straightforward one both. Ken himself described it as idyllic, which looks like extra deflection than the rest.

Having discovered that he may simply make associates and keep away from so lots of the pitfalls so many people encounter, Ken doesn’t have any of the vices that seize so many people in that interval, be it ingesting or smoking or different.

Ken, from an early level, knew what he wished to be – a radio host. And for probably the most half, rising up, it appears he centered on that objective, discovering himself and his persona alongside the best way.

Now, when attempting to glean data from Ken, about Ken, it’s like herding cats. Ken is a grasp of enjoying each side of the coin. Being prepared and but reluctant all at this similar time.

I really feel that we did acquire some good perception into the younger Ken Heron although. Typically, it’s what’s unsaid in an announcement that offers away probably the most.

Whereas speaking with Ken, you’ll be able to clearly see that it’s considerably uncomfortable for him to look again. It’s because Ken, being Ken, is at all times wanting ahead.

Ken Heron’s Radio Life

Within the second a part of the interview, I centered our consideration on Ken’s time in radio. Ken has been in radio as a present host for forty years now.

You possibly can solely think about that in that point there have been many ups and downs. Should you’re not all that acquainted with what’s been happening in radio in recently, issues have been a bit topsy, turvy, particularly by way of the Nineties.

Massive company stations moved in on lots of the unbiased stations on the time and acquired them up. That left somebody like Ken a bit out within the wind.

It reveals in his work historical past in that he moved from station to station, and there have been just a few. A few of them don’t even function anymore, having not survived the buyouts.

» MORE: Half 3: The right way to Open A Drone Service Firm

As a radio host, Ken is a tempered shock jock. He is aware of the place the road is and simply how far it may be pushed earlier than going over. Though there are occasions when that line does appear to have been breached.

Right here I have to warn you, within the interview, Ken regales us with probably the most memorable second from radio. It is rather adult-themed, so right here’s your warning about that.

What comes throughout probably the most is the fireplace of ardour Ken has for the work he does. How he pushes boundaries and the mindset and dedication he has for his artwork, and it’s an artwork.

Ken brings it up within the interview, and that was the time he spent as a co-host on the Beaner and Ken present.

Now in the event you lived within the Birmingham space anytime between 1998 and 2003 or Tuscaloosa from 2003 to 2006 on both 107.7 WRAX-FM or 100.5 WANZ-FM, you’ll have been listening to Beaner and Ken within the mornings. On this present, Ken labored alongside Man Patton, higher referred to as Beaner.

Picture: Ken Heron, Man Patton & Ken Heron, Yr 2000

The Beaner and Ken present ran for 8 years and actually was a primary ranked morning present in these demographics. Right here we see although, the place this can be a sore spot for Ken.

The present was canceled when the unique station was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting and adjusted the station’s format.

Though it might have been an finish to the Beaner and Ken present, Man Patton has gone on to put in writing and produce his personal sitcom and in 2015 launched the film, Pearl.

Ken, he’s been busy too. Having moved on from the Beaner and Ken present, he labored at just a few different stations earlier than discovering his new house of the previous few years at 98.3 Paducah on the JC and Ken present, one other morning present delivering on pure Ken content material.

Picture: Ken Heron

In fact, all of us bear in mind Kelly Inexperienced. Kelly is one other of Ken’s longtime associates and work companions who was part of the Kelly and Ken present on 100.9 The Farm. Additionally, the situation of that Crimson Barn.

Kelly can be a long-time co-host for TNL, and nonetheless will co-host alongside Ken now and again. It was this station that Ken references within the interview as what began him out in droning.

A lot as the autumn of the Beaner and Ken Present, The Farm additionally fell to a buyout state of affairs and a format change, leaving Ken in a short lived lurch, his place at 98.3. Properly, it’s Ken. So, the sky’s the restrict!

Within the final a part of the interview, we see among the actual Ken, and among the issues that he’s obsessed with and couldn’t have hoped for higher. We coated extra of Ken’s YouTube life and he reveals some issues!

» MORE: Half 4: The right way to Get Your Drone Enterprise Off the Floor

Ken Heron’s YouTube Life

Now we come to the half principally associated to drones and what Ken Heron has delivered to us all around the years.

Within the third a part of the interview, we mentioned Ken Heron and his YouTube Channel.

We cowl how he harnesses the ability of social media and know-how to share his information, creativity, and, in fact, his love for aerial pictures, scratch that, I imply Aerial Videography.

As you could not have been conscious, Ken’s probably not a photographer and by no means has been. His passions have at all times been that of audio and video. He even will get somewhat heated within the interview, after I strive hitting this level house.

What the video doesn’t present is we’ve had many conversations on taking pictures strategies and lighting and different features of nonetheless pictures in addition to videography, so, there’s a little bit of background that section doesn’t make clear. It was a little bit of a grimy pool on my half. His response, nevertheless, is priceless.

One of many greatest takeaways was how and who impressed the Present, TNL. That is one thing Ken by no means talks a lot about.

» MORE: Half 5: The Reality About Working a Drone Enterprise

Very similar to my very own friendship with Ken, Ken knew for some time the one that planted the TNL seed, and he performed a big function in Ken’s early drone movies. That was Dana Williams.

Now, if that identify sounds acquainted to you, you could be a fan of Diamond Rio. Dana is the Bass participant and the baritone vocals for the band. He’s additionally an enormous, fixed-wing RC flyer.

Picture: Ken Heron, Dana Williams/Diamond Rio

It was upon Dana’s prompting that Ken created TNL or Thursday Evening Reside. Now, I’ve little doubt that we might know of Ken Heron even when he by no means began doing the weekly present TNL. He has that sort of character.

Nonetheless, TNL might be what garnered him the place he holds immediately. A present he deliberate and produced solely by himself for 5 years with out lacking a single week. That’s to not say he didn’t have some assist alongside the best way.

He does use a co-host, and there may be at all times a behind-the-scenes factor taking place. Like most of his non-TNL movies, although, it’s all Ken from begin to end. From concept creation to closing edit and every little thing in between, it’s all Ken.

As soon as once more, Ken’s actions present a drive and untamed dedication any of us can be proud to have only a share of. It’s these very qualities which have led to Ken’s success and being acknowledged as one of many prime main Drone influencers immediately.

In fact, Ken, he’s too modest to let that blow his ego out.

That and in the event you had been to ask, he would deny being an influencer in any respect. Which is complete BLEEP! It’s this modesty that’s certainly one of his extra enduring qualities, as he does preserve a stage head as to his superstar.

» MORE: Half 6: Is Proudly owning My Personal Drone Enterprise Price It?

He’s a really down-to-earth particular person, though he has reached a sure stage of fame. That’s not what drives him. Fortunately! He’d be unattainable if it was.

Let’s be sincere: Ken Heron is legendary, however not within the Hollywood sense of well-known. Inside our drone neighborhood, although, 75%, if not even a bit increased, of any drone pilots you point out the identify Ken Heron to, they’ll know precisely who you’re speaking about.

They might be followers, or they might not like Ken a lot in any respect. Most are within the center. They recognize the humor and shenanigans Ken will get as much as. They look ahead to the educational How-To’s and to get Ken’s view on issues.

Many people watch to see Ken smash one other drone; it’ll occur in the end.

So yeah, between Radio Ken and YouTube Ken, he’s made a mark on this world that received’t be simply forgotten. Not unhealthy for a Florida Man, now could be it!

Picture: Ken Heron

We do be taught a bit extra about Ken’s inspiration for stepping into droning. He wished a selected shot of the Massive Crimson Barn Workplace the place he labored. It was right here that he did the Kelly and Ken present.

In fact, this was manner again, 11 years in the past in 2012, so choices had been restricted on the time to say the least. Then although, we be taught far more about Ken’s inspiration from seeing footage in Hollywood movies within the late 90’s and 2000’s. How he noticed that and wished to recreate it.

Ken additionally brings up a extremely good level as nicely about superpowers and the way drones give everybody the ability of flight. It’s not the primary point out of this concept of superpowers from Ken.

Inform me he’s not nerdy, come on, I triple-dog dare you. In a manner, he’s completely right. The present and energy of voice – it’s a superpower. The present of flight, to soar with the eagles – that’s additionally a superpower as nicely.

Though we’re not all going to run off and turn into profitable radio present hosts, we will all get a drone and fly.

» MORE: Half 7: The Greatest Errors I Made As A Drone Pilot (The Proper Decisions Now Will Save You Later!)


Ken Heron, what’s there to say? Radio Ken, Drone Ken, YouTube Ken, Common Ken, they are surely all simply the identical man.

Okay, I’ll provide you with there’s no common Ken. In on a regular basis I’ve recognized him, and within the means of gathering information and writing this text, I nonetheless couldn’t let you know what makes the person tick. I don’t suppose he may actually let you know that himself.

The rationale for that’s there’s no finish to the journey for Ken Heron. There’s tomorrow, certain. For Ken, although, it appears to be far more in regards to the journey than any vacation spot.

He finds the most effective in every little thing he does; he doesn’t look again with regrets and tries to seek out the lesson in errors. He has humor as his fixed companion, and it brings him pleasure to share the humor with all who wish to hear or watch.

He’s self-taught in lots of the expertise he’s wanted to turn into one of many best editors I do know, and an okay drone pilot as nicely. I jest.

Ken is among the most expert drone pilots you’ll find, and I’ve discovered fairly a bit from him, in particular person and from his movies. As I do know lots of you’ve as nicely.

Very similar to the ultimate interview query, “What do you see for you and the channel sooner or later?” Ken’s response was, “I don’t know!” I feel that was a particularly reasonable and sincere reply from Ken. He doesn’t know; none of us do.

Ken Heron, he’s fairly too content material with the now. Maybe that’s Ken’s secret and one other superpower; he really is pleased within the now of issues, and the longer term will carry what it does.

Residing within the now as a substitute of the previous or the longer term – if solely the remainder of us lived that far more typically, we may very well be somewhat extra like Ken. Now that’s not so unhealthy!

Fly Secure! Fly All the time, All the time Fly Secure!

» MORE: Half 8: Dronelife Endlessly!


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