July 29, 2008

Back on Snoopy 2

Well I'm back on Snoopy 2 again after a few months on our sister ship Snoopy1. We are now currently in Akron, OH for the Bridgestone Invitational which is a bit of a homecoming for me. I flew some exposure over the Akron/Cleveland area yesterday and it was truly a walk down memory lane. I spent almost 10 years living in the area so every landmark takes me back. Flying over my old alma mater, Kent State, downtown Akron and what is left of Geauga Lake amusement park all reminded me of the days when this was just a dream. I can remember one day in particular that I was stuck in traffic on I77 as the Goodyear Blimp flew over head. I said to myself, what a cool job; I wonder how I could get into doing that. Little did I know that a few years later I would be the guy flying a blimp over that same freeway.

Its amazing how life can come full circle on you like that. I believe there is no dream that can't be realized. It can be a long road that seems like its going nowhere at times. I mean just four years ago I was working in an office at an insurance company. A lot of people would have just been comfortable and stayed in what was a promising career. I had a dream though that I refused to let die. My adventurous spirit would not let me be happy in a cubical. I needed and wanted more out of life so I took some chances along the way to pursue the goal of flying for a living. Even in that though led to disappointment when life at the airlines was still not enough to make me happy. In that time of discontent, I recalled what I had always wanted to do, fly blimps. With some legwork and good timing, it all started to fall into place at this time last year and the rest is history.

In this rather long reflection on things, I guess the moral of the story is simple. Don't give up on dreams that you know will make you happy. Even what seems as the biggest long shot idea in the world can become reality. It happens everyday. It just takes a lot of work, persistence and faith that it will all work out. Stay confident in yourself and your decisions. Sometimes the road to one dream leads you to another more fulfilling one. Its not always obvious at the time, but when you look back it all makes sense.

I know I can't do this forever. Life on the road isn't easy. However, I am sure that this will lead me to yet another dream somewhere down the road. I just wonder if there was anybody on the ground yesterday looking up that thought, "I want to fly airships."

Go after your dream whatever it is; its worth every minute when you get there!

July 23, 2008

Big Brother Snoopy 3

We've been spending out time flying exposure over New York City along the Hudson River this week. On my way back, I passed Snoopy 3 on the Hudson River who is also in New Jersey currently. Snoopy 3 is a larger airship than Snoopy 1 and 2. It is an American Blimp Corporation A-150+ Airship. It is 165 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 55 feet tall with a gondola that can accommodate a pilot and nine passengers. The envelope volume is 150,000 cu ft and is powered by two 180hp Lycoming engines. They have some power too. On my way back to the airport, I turned my head back and saw Snoopy 3 catching up to me. It was quite a little race back, but I had just enough of a head start to land first.

July 19, 2008

Chicagoland Speedway

We arrived in Jersey a couple of days ago from the Quad Cities. One leg of the flight took me through Joliet, IL which happens to be the home of Chicagoland Speedway. They just had a big race there this past weekend in fact. I was just a few days too late. We ended that day in Toledo where I took a picture of the peace sign in the field near the airport.

July 6, 2008

Quad Cities

We've been in Quad Cities for about a week now in preparation for the John Deer Classic PGA Tournament. Quad Cities is located on the boarder of Illinois and Iowa along the Mississippi River. Despite being called the Quad Cities, there are actually five cities that the nickname refers to: Davenport, Iowa; Moline, Illinois; Rock Island, Illinois; Bettendorf, Iowa and East Moline, Illinois. The picture on the left is of downtown Davenport. The Quad Cities is home to the World Headquarters of John Deer and the Rock Island Arsenal where they still produce ordinance and weapons components for the US Army.
There was a lot going on this past weekend with 4th of July Festivities all over the area. I went to one in Bettendorf that included a Kiss Tribute Band with an Elvis impersonator on lead vocals. A great tribute band once you get over the initial shock of seeing Elvis sing with Kiss.