Minecraft LEGO The Cave!

Minecraft LEGO The Cave

Minecraft LEGO The Cave makes a great gift for a boy or girl who loves Minecraft and LEGOs. Two great brands come together for a perfect match. Priced much lower than you can find in the store…

Buy it Now on Amazon.com

From Amazon.com

  • Includes 2 minifigures with assorted accessories: Steve and a zombie, plus a spider
  • Eatures waterfall, lava fall, coal, iron, redstone, gold and obsidian elements, plus TNT, torch and a ladder
  • Includes 249 assorted LEGO pieces; Combine this set with others in the series to create your own LEGO Minecraft world

My kiddo loves Minecraft and LEGOs too but they are always so dang expensive in our local stores.

This package is such a better deal. You can order now and stash it for a perfect “Oh, I forget to get a birthday present for ___.”

I love having a backup plan for those days.

Black Friday RC Airplane 2018

Black Friday Christmas RC Airplane

Okay, its Black Friday, Christmas is around the corner and you are looking for a great deal on an RC Airplane for either you or a loved one.  I just want to keep you from wasting your money and help you truly nail an awesome gift this year.

Unless you already own the new Apprentice, there is no other airplane to consider.  I’m so happy with this plane I wrote a full article about it here.  I promise you will not waste your money.  This is an awesome Christmas gift.  Happy Black Friday hunting!

(if you want to skip the article and just check the price on this awesome training airplane, click here.)

P.S. This plane comes with everything you need to be flying Christmas Afternoon!

 

Black Friday Apprentice remote controlled plane

Read the full article…

RC Airplane Kits ARF – Top Five List

RC Airplane Kit ARF Haviland Beaver Kit

When it comes to RC airplane kits there is ARF ,or Almost Ready to Fly, which basically means you get an air frame that includes everything to fly except for your electronics and propulsion.

Then you have PNP, or Plug and Play, and this one gets a bit blurry with what will be needed to complete your rc airplane kit.  Some PNP kits come with servos and a motor and electronic speed control and need only a battery and receiver to complete.

The third type of plane is the BNF or Bind and Fly which basically is a ready-made rc model airplane that you bind to your compatible transmitter and you are finished.

Finally, there is RTF, Ready to Fly, packages that come with a completed aircraft and a transmitter and battery.

 

Many RC model airplane enthusiast have built a collection of components so all that is needed is a ARF rc airplane kit.

If you already have servos, a receiver, a gas or electric motor, an electronic speed control and a radio transmitter, then a ARF rc airplane kit is for you.

#1.  Phoenix Model Edge 540 ARF

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#2.  Great Planes ElectriFly Evader ARF

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#3.  Durafly Messerschmitt Bf.110 ARF

Durafly Messerschmitt ARF rc airplane kit

 

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#4.  J-Power P-38 Lightning

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#5.  EDGE 540 EP G2 ARF

EDGE 540 EP G2 ARF RC Airplane Kit

 

Here is a tip on saving a ton of money on ARF RC Airplane Kits, components, batteries, motors, servos and everything you need for this hobby.  Visit HobbyKing and choose your appropriate warehouse.  I have had nothing but good results with these guys and much more bang for the buck.  If you know someone who is new to the hobby, make sure to check out the Best 4-Channel RC Model Airplane Trainer To Learn On.

 

Three Top-Rated Inflatable Water Slides Moon Bounce House

Inflatable Bounce Water Park with Water Slide

For the cost of a typical birthday party, or even inflatable rentals, you can own your personal inflatable bounce water park and be the envy of your neighborhood.

When the party is over just roll it up and stash it until the next big event.  Blast Zone is the industry leader for quality inflatable bounce water parks and inflatable water slides.

Don’t just throw money away with inflatable rentals, own yours and give the kids a fun place to play for many summers to come.

What makes these three inflatable water parks with inflatable water slides the highest-rated is the best reviews, the quality of commercial grade materials used and the commercial grade construction.

 

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#1 Blast Zone Inflatable Combo Water Park Moon Bounce House and Inflatable Water Slide

  • Two working water cannons
  • Crawl Tunnel
  • Moon Bounce house
  • Large splash area
  • Inflatable Water slide
  • Protective netting
  • Durable reinforced construction
  • Commercial grade
  • Inflates in less than 2 minutes (includes blower)
  • Non toxic materials
  • 20 feet wide, 12 feet deep and 8 feet high

Inflatable Combo Water Park Bounce and Water Slide by Blast ZoneInflatable Combo Water Park Bounce and Water Slide by Blast Zone

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#2 Misty Kingdom Inflatable Moon Bounce House – Water Park with Inflatable Water Slide

  • Easy to transport, store and set up
  • Safety netting
  • 4x Stitching
  • Inflatable water slide and ball pit (balls sold separately)
  • Moon Bounce house
  • Dry or wet play time
  • X-weave material
  • 13 feet wide, 14 feet deep and 8 feet high
  • Inflates in two minutes (includes blower)

 

Misty Kingdom Inflatable Bouncer - Water Park with Slide by Blast ZoneMisty Kingdom Inflatable Bouncer – Water Park with Slide by Blast Zone

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#3 Shark Park Inflatable Water Park Moon Bounce House Inflatable Water Slide by Blast Zone

  •  Crawl Tunnel
  • Splash pool is 80 square feet
  • 4 sprayers (three shark sprayers and one over inflatable water slide)
  • Shark tank moon bounce house
  • 8 foot slide
  • 5 foot climbing wall
  • Safety handles and netting
  • Inflates quickly with included blower
  • Measures 19 feet long, 11 feet wide and over 8 feet high

 

Shark Park Inflatable Water Park Bouncer Water Slide by Blast ZoneShark Park Inflatable Water Park Bouncer Water Slide by Blast Zone

Have a great Summer this year with a personal inflatable water park.  The little ones will never get tired of playing and best of all sleep well at night!

 

Best 4-Channel RC Model Airplane Trainer To Learn On

Apprentice 4 channel RC Airplane Trainer

A while back for some odd reason I found myself in our local hobby shop.  My dad had given me a 3-channel v-tail RC model airplane that I had spent the last couple of years flying.

(if you want to skip the article and just check the price on this awesome training plane just click here.)

I had broken the tail feathers on this plane and the battery would no longer charge.  At the hobby store, I found replacement parts for my plane but I also found the best 4 channel RC model airplane trainer package– the Eflite Apprentice S 15E.

I shelled out $350 for mine (they are less now) and told myself this was for all of those Christmases I wanted a larger plane and didn’t find one under the tree.  Let me tell you, this is one of the best investments I have made.

 

Eflite Apprentice S 15E with S.A.F.E Technology

The new Apprentice comes with everything you need to start flying in about 1 hour.  Included is a Spektrum DX5e transmitter.  A real transmitter!  Not a dedicated-to-your-plane-only transmitter but a 5 channel transmitter you can use with hundreds of other planes (and basic Helicopters) as your skill levels progress.

Spektrum DX5e
Spektrum DX5e

You get a 3c Lithium battery and a balancing charger that also charges 2c batteries.  Very little assembly takes place and if the winds are light, you are ready to fly in no time.

What is S.A.F.E.?

This is where the magic happens.  You have three settings on your transmitter.  The first is the “I am a total noob” setting.  The second is “I’m getting better, let me have some more control” setting and the third is “Okay, She is all yours” setting.

These settings can be switched on the fly and will save your plane countless times.

The beginner setting restricts your throws and by using a gyro in the receiver, will only allow you to pitch, roll and yaw the plane in safe learning attitudes.  This means no matter how hard you try to turn, dive or climb the plane is going to help you do it smoothly and gently (and not too much).

The plane will not invert on this setting and will not let you make any dangerous for beginner maneuvers.  I had never flown a big 4-channel plane and with ease (and a rapid heartbeat) I took off, flew pattern after pattern, and easily landed this plane.  Not exactly on an imaginary strip, but safely.  Now I can land and stop this plane at my feet.

The intermediate setting gives you a larger attitude envelope.  After you get used to flying on basic, you switch over and find out that “Oh dang, I would have already crashed this plane if it weren’t for the beginner setting. ”  This setting still keeps you from getting into trouble but gives you more of a feel for what the plane can do.

Now the Fun Begins!

After you have been flying on your trainer settings for a few runs, gain a few hundred feet of altitude and switch to the third setting which turns the plane over to you completely.  Tight rolls, slow rolls, tight loops and slow loops.  Fly inverted, go crazy.

As soon as you are out of control just hit the switch back to beginner and “Bam” the plane instantly, and I mean instantly, rights itself and is easy to control.

I bought an additional transmitter and linked them together so my 6-year-old could fly with me.  I get him up to altitude and then turn it over to him.  It’s fun watching him do insane maneuvers that I would never do.  His transmitter is set to full control and mine is set to beginner.

As soon as he starts to get too far away or scare me, I let go of the trainer switch (panic switch) and I take over in easy mode and fly him back to us.

When I first got the plane, a reckless buddy and I were out flying.  We were linked together in training mode (like with my son) and he was flying crazy.  A guy walked over to talk to us and I was watching him come over.

My buddy starts to yell and I look up in time to see him hurtling my plane nose down at us at lightning speed.

I don’t know how I did it but I let go of the trainer switch and watched the plane right itself and fly on just a few feet from the ground.  I totally thought I had lost it.  I was amazed at how instantly it corrected itself.

And amazed that we didn’t pop off all the rubber bands holding the wing on!

apprentice rc 4 channel trainer flying

How well built is it?

Well, I invite my sister out to watch me fly.  This is after about my 10th flight.  I am showing off for her and have been flying around inverted a few flights before she arrived.  So I show her my abilities by rolling over inverted with not near enough altitude.

I get confused and pull back on my stick (with too much throttle of course) and slam my plane into the ground hard.  I mean hard.

With my head down I do the walk of shame over to find that I have broken the main wing almost in half.  Broke the cowling into no less than 10 pieces and chipped off a trailing edge of one front wing corner.  No broken propeller.

Nothing else hurt.  I have no idea how I could destroy that cowling so bad and have no other major damage.  This is one tough RC model airplane!

So I hot glue the wing.  Sand the other wingtip to match the chipped one.  Buy another cowling at the hobby store for $5.00 and I’m back in action.

And since I had now broken the plane in, no pun intended, I followed some easy instructions on youtube and converted it into a tail-dragger and added L.E.D. lights as well.  Oh, I also added some bigger tundra tires.  The plane still flies like day one.

Do you have any Specs on it?

Sure this is from the E-flite site.

Wingspan:59.0 in (1500mm)
Overall Length:42.5 in (1080mm)
Wing Area:515 sq. in. (33.2 sq. dm.)
Flying Weight:49.0 oz (1390 g)
Motor Size:15-size brushless outrunner
Radio:Spektrum DX5e transmitter (included)
CG (center of gravity):3-1/8 in (79.0mm) back from the leading edge of wing
Prop Size:11 x 8
Speed Control :30-amp brushless (installed)
Recommended Battery:11.1V 3S 3200mAh LiPo (included)
Flaps:No
Retracts:No
Control Throw (Ailerons):Low: 0.71 in (18mm); High: 0.91 in (23mm)
Control Throw (Elevator):Low: 0.71 in (18mm); High: 0.91 in (23mm)
Control Throw (Rudder):Low: 1.10 in (28mm); High: 1.35 in (35mm)
Charger:2–3S LiPo balancing charger, 0.5–3.0A (included)
Minimum Age Recommendation:14 years
Experience Level:Beginner
Recommended Environment:Outdoor
Assembly Time:Less than 1 Hour
Is Assembly Required:Yes

How did it come packaged?

Very well.  Very protected.  E-flite is a top-notch company.  The plane was packaged tightly and very protected.  I would have no fear having one shipped to me.  There is every replacement part for the plane you can imagine.  If you break something there are no worries.

All of this makes the Apprentice the best 4-channel RC model airplane trainer to learn on.

Where do I get the best 4-channel RC model airplane to learn on?

Best price I have found is below…

Apprentice S 15e Ready to FlyApprentice S 15e Ready to FlyCHECK PRICE

E-Flite Apprentice S 15e – REVIEW

Great plane, great price, you will not be disappointed…

Put Floats on your Apprentice!

Recently the price for the Apprentice floats dropped by 50% so I pulled the trigger and ordered a set.  Took me about an hour to get them set up (but mainly because I had modified my plane to be a tail-dragger).

I didn’t know when I would get a chance to try them out but my folks took the kids to the lake the other night and we went out to meet them for hot dogs on a beautiful, fairly windless night.  Check out the results below.

You can find the apprentice floats here.

 

Pros and Cons of Coloring Books

Coloring is one of favorite children activities. Kids like it because it is fun. Parents like it because it calms down their young ones calm down for at least few minutes. Teachers like it because it promotes discipline. Sounds like everybody wins, right?

Wrong!

Some people don’t approve coloring books and they even try to expel them from kindergartens and schools. Why? Coloring pages can limit inborn creativity and sometimes cause serious frustrations. This belief is especially popular among academics.

So who is right and who is wrong?

(intro image credit: mycoloringland.com)

 

Benefits of coloring

1. It is fun!

Through coloring children explore different media, learn to recognize objects, their relations and the use the of right colors in playful way.

Their hands are busy, coloring can be done alone or in groups and can be for instance nice way to brother-sister or parent-kid bonding. Thanks to coloring sheets kids enjoy good looking pictures before they are actually able to make them.

cute-bunny-coloring-sheet
Are coloring books really harmless?

2. It teaches discipline!
One of basic requirements of coloring pages is staying with colors inside the lines. This way children learn to control and stay focused. They are also encouraged to finish what they started.

3. It has health benefits too!

Coloring improves eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills in general. Thanks to coloring kids forget the momentary problems and relieve stress. This works for adults too, so coloring is more and more used in different therapies.

coloring-page-flowers-in-vase
Coloring is relaxing activity

What about the cons?

Without doubt drawing inside the already existing lines impose certain limitations and can suppress the thinking out of the box ability. Several researchers suggested this kind of drawings doesn’t offer equal emotional relief as drawing on totally blank sheet of paper.

It can be also frustrating because kids soon realize their drawing abilities are inferior to drawings made by professionals.

But to be honest we must add this believe is largely based on works by Viktor Lowenfeld and his students. Lowenfeld was huge authority in the field of art education for children and his works about the artistic stages are still the foundation for observation of mental and emotional growth at kids.

spinosaurus coloring page
Coloring pages can be used as learning tool

Unfortunately his conclusions about coloring pages are built on wrong assumptions and supported with wrongly designed experiments (mixing anecdotal cases with scientific research, without control groups, lacking double-blind experiments etc.)

I will not go into details because they are all available on-line, so you can make your own conclusion, but I would like to provide my thoughts:

Coloring pages can be important part of children educational and artistic development in many different areas, just like picture books with quality illustrations. Their tremendous value lies especially in ability to present ‘serious’ things in fun, playful way. They are definitely useful in certain therapies for kids and grown-ups.

It is our (parents, teachers, therapists) responsibility to evaluate the impact of coloring pages and use them in proper ‘doses’. As everything else they are not perfect and they never intended to be. So use them but use them with a pinch of salt.

All images are used by permission of their authors. By clicking them you can visit the sources.