Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 18th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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The internet is a marvelous marketing tool -- and a great way to meet people and strike up virtual friendships that can sometimes be cemented by face-to-face meetings.
And I'm presently planning to do both of these things before the end of the summer.
If things go to plan, the old sheila and I will (for the first time in nearly 25 years) have a holiday -- although for me it will be a working holiday.
The idea is to do a full circuit of the nation with two goals in mind.
Firstly, I'd like to meet as many Aardvark readers as possible -- even if just for a quick handshake and to hear people say "gosh, you look much taller in print".
But there's also another reason for this trip -- one that I think will benefit the entire country.
New Zealand has some stunning scenery -- I mean, let's face it, we're a tourist destination aren't we?
Now I have a YouTube channel that's edging towards 30 million views and 18,000 subscribers from all over the globe -- so here's what I'm planning.
My circumnavigation of the nation will involve a lot of RC model flying and that is good for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it will allow me to hopefully get some fantastic aerial shots of some of our most incredible scenery.
Using FPV (can't say drone, then it would be illegal) -- I will endeavour to get some spectacular aerial video of key landmarks and natural wonders, right around the country.
I'll upload these to my YouTube channel and introduce a huge number of people to just what they're missing -- if they don't come visit New Zealand.
Another other goal is to meet a whole bunch of other folk who fly RC models and introduce them to my viewers. Videos filled with scenery are good -- but it's the people that make a place really attractive to visitors. When ever possible, I'll drop in and fly with Kiwi RC fliers from all over. Of course I'll have to keep an eagle-eye out for grumpy old men with sniper rifles -- but hey, a little adrenaline is good for the system.
Of course I'm hoping that I'll also be able to put many faces to names of Aardvark readers as well.
And finally, it'll be a great opportunity to introduce more people to the hobby of RC flying -- especially in the area of FPV.
I'll take another transmitter (for dual-control) and a spare set of video glasses -- so that anyone who's interested can have a little taste of this exciting pastime. With luck, I'll recruit plenty of new fliers into the fold.
So I'm not sure exactly when this Aardvark/XJet global tour of NZ will kick off but I'll let everyone know ahead of time and you can drop me a line to organise a meeting if you want. I'll even let you do some FPV flying -- if you're game.
I wonder if I ought to apply to Tourism NZ for some support in this venture. Hey, maybe they can cover a rental car and accommodation -- in return for some serious promotion of this country to the world.
Cue Tui's ad!
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Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.