The RCX Experience was wonderful!
Of all the fun I have had in the hobby of Radio Control cars, trucks, planes, and things, RCX 2016 takes the top spot on my list of real adventures in R/C. What is RCX?
“Come immerse yourself in over 500,000 sq. feet of radio control technology! RCX is where thousands of drone, action technology, and radio control enthusiasts from across the country gather to discover the latest new products.” [ Copied from http://www.rcx.com/ ]
The journey began as a thought, that later turned to reality. In 2015 I decided to take my R/C experience to another level. My plan was to continue building the Radio Control Patrol brand and to dive deeper into the radio control hobby and its many facets. RCX 2016 in Orange County, California seemed like a good move to make. A much needed vacation for me as well and a chance to see a lot of R/C products and enthusiasts like myself. So I purchased tickets and started looking for flight and hotel arrangements.
When the time came to venture to Costa Mesa, California, I was so excited that I started prepping for the trip 1 week before take-off. Cameras, video, and my trusty laptop were sure to take the ride with me to RCX 2016. I was set to fly out on Southwestern Airlines….my first time dealing with their flight service. They have very nice prices and I was able to get round trip tickets for a nice deal along with hotel reservations. Super 8 motel in Newport Beach was my place to lay my head once in Costa Mesa, and the stay included complimentary wine and snacks at night and free breakfast in the morning, can’t beat that. 🙂
So the day to leave was upon me sooner than I expected, and it was off to the Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, Ga. I missed my plane due to security being slow as molasses syrup and had to miss the opportunity to lay-over in Las Vegas. That probably was good for me as I would have went broke trying to gamble between flights…LOL. So I caught another flight that stopped in St. Louis for 2 hours before heading to John Wayne airport in Costa Mesa.
From Atlanta to St. Louis was pretty smooth and the plane was nowhere near full, so it was a comfortable ride indeed. Being a bigger built guy I must say Southwest Airlines is a bit slim on the seating side of things. 🙂 The second flight was not so fun at all. I had one seat left when I boarded the plane and it just so happened to be beside a couple with the window seat being the only one available on their row. Now that was a cramped ride for me considering I couldn’t put my right shoulder back on my seat and kinda had to lean forward the entire trip. The stewardess was pretty nice though…”Jack and Coke?”, she asked me…”Yesplease!”, I replied. Three drinks later I was now feeling good and checking out the sites own below while in flight. I managed to get a few shots in with my phone as we passed over Las Vegas and the Mountains of Southern California as well.
As we touched down at John Wayne Airport, I was relived and ready to get my vacation REALLY started. It was sunny and seemed to be a wonderful day indeed. It was Friday, March 11th, 2016 and that meant I had a night to see the town and enjoy myself a bit with a few friends. Yes Indeed!
I exited the airport after finding my luggage that had shipped out on the first plane that I missed. It was waiting for me in the security section, and from there, I headed to the backside of the airport to find a taxi to the hotel. Very quick and easy at John Wayne Airport, it is a lot smaller than my home airport in Atlanta, and security takes far less time.
Now it was time to go and see the so-called executive suite in which I had reserved at the Super 8 Motel. I really was not expecting much of an executive layout, but it read good on the advertising…lol. So, I found a taxi and spent $26 bucks to get to my hotel which was about 3 miles from the airport. I was hungry, a little bit sore from the flight, and ready for a tasty beverage as well. I had the cab stop me off at a corner store and proceeded to go check in and grab my keys. I must admit…although the room was dated, it was clean and did indeed include a desk with surge strip and a few nice additions to make my stay nice. There was a fridge, nicely designed and roomy shower, and a flat screen television to add. There was also a nice chair with ottoman for me to rest my feet and read a magazine later that evening while checking out a show or two on the television.
I changed up my clothing and prepared to check in with my friendsReed and Chris via Facebook and Skype.
I took some video of a little walk-around of the room on my cell phone, not the best of quality but it gets the point across.
So after realizing that I had to sit the rain out, I decided to set up my workstation and do a bit of creative building. I always take my Maschine with me to crank out a rhythm or two. Native Instruments came with a very nice drum machine/sampler when they created Maschine. Quick and easy beats in minutes and the sounds are on point as well. But anyway…Here is a link to the Maschine from Native Instruments.
Although the rain ruined any of my plans to walk around and explore Costa Mesa, California a bit, I did however meet up with Reed and Chris that night. It was awesome to finally meet these two in person. Reed, I have known since joining the network, has been a wonderful friend indeed. He is the owner of Urban RC LA . Chris is the creator of Hemistorm RC, and a good friend I have known for some time online.
During the trip I met a lot of great people and had a chance to enjoy hobby and personal time with them. Castle Creations was responsible for bringing Chris and his custom built Axial Yeti XXL all the way from Norway to RCX 2016, and while hanging out with him, I had a chance to meet some of the wonderful people from the company. Kate, Joe, and Thomas were all very knowledgeable and enjoyable people to spend time with, and it was an honor to meet them indeed. Chris’ XXL was the baddest ride at RCX 2016, and the crowd proved as such. He really enjoyed the experience, and you could see it in his face the whole day. 🙂
Castle Creations makes the best products you can buy to upgrade your RC. Their motor/esc combos are supreme and the customer service can’t be beat. If you have not already heard of Castle Creations, then a trip to their website is definitely needed. http://www.castlecreations.com/
Lue from Mattzilla RC Works and Chris had met up before the expo and spent some time catching up and exploring Lue’s shop. Chris said he was a great guy and would be a cool person to meet. I did indeed meet Lue while having a few laughs with Chris while we explored RCX 2016. Lue makes some serious chassis and is well known for such in the R/C crawler world. Check his work out at his website Mattzilla RC Works, it’s well worth a look. He also has a Facebook page at @Mattzilla RC Works
On top of the fun and enjoyment I had the night before the expo, when Saturday came, I was like a kid in a candy store. RCX 2016 was definitely an experience to repeat again. From open to close, the expo was full of enthusiasts checking out the latest products from so many different brands. I was able to get a lot of shots of the various booths while I roamed around. Everyone was enjoying themselves and there was plenty of R/C action to keep one smiling all day.
FireBrand RC at RCX 2016
Firebrand RC is a new company making their way into the hobby with new and innovative products. Check out their website at http://firebrandrc.com/
Firebrand RC offers a wide variety of products for R/C cars and trucks. Drifting seems to be one of their specialties and indeed they do carry some nice wheels and bodies for the drift and on-road chassis available today. They also carry lights, tools, and an amazing array of decals to spice up any R/C body needing some style. Firebrand also carries a selection of short-course bodies and wheel/tire combos as well. Make sure to check out the website and see the full line-up of products for a wide range of RC models. I will be posting videos about some of their products on the Radio Control Patrol Youtube channel very soon, so stay tuned and make sure to subscribe if you have not already.
Firebrand is also one of the sponsors of the Radio Control Network. Here is Reed Lucas putting in a little work over at the Firebrand RC booth at RCX 2016.
Reed also had his entry in the Firebrand build off present at the show as well. He filmed a nice video of the painting process on his Youtube channel Urban RC LA. Here is a link to the VIDEO as well. BMW Drift RC Build
While until RCX 2016 I met with owner Darren of Firebrand RC to receive my choices from the $200 Firebrand giveaway. After seeing some of the products they carry and some of the fellow R/C enthusiasts and their drifters at the convention, I took a dive into the drift world for the first, but not last. Darren was a very cool guy and really has a passion for his business and products. I can’t wait to see more from Firebrand RC. I will be posting about my prize winnings soon as well so keep an eye out for the update. New rig…Yes Indeed!
Rigs to note at RCX 2016
James had his drifter out and was just enjoying himself at RCX 2016. We exchanged a bit of conversation, and I got a few pictures of his rig. Check it out…familiar to some, if not, make sure to give this dude a follow. He does indeed do some quality photo shooting that’s R/C related. James is also another inspiration behind my new drift build.
Another rig to remember was this custom Winnebago which was rolling around RCX 2016 as well as winning in the Pro-Line Racing “Show and Shine”.
This custom RC was filled with features and pulling another custom build behind on a trailer. Not much more you could ask for. I had to take the time to snap a few photos of the rig and have a talk with this talented gentleman. The scale RV included a cigarette lighter port, lights, sound, and tons of working scale features. There was even a cooler inside the shell the works along with a drain plug to release the melted ice inside.
The Jeep even had working door hinges and latches. Scale items scattered around in the bed also gave this build an awesome scale appearance.
Another custom build roaming the floor was this sick rig “Zombie Killer”.
This was a very nice drifter I noticed a few times while walking around RCX. The owner is @migeleto on Instagram. He said that the rust was real and went through a pretty tedious process to get the look right. All the hard work payed off in the end no doubt.
Elvis was present with his custom Yeti trophy truck. Elvis custom built and welded the chassis himself, and has not even been into welding that long. This dude definitely has some skills and has me wanting a chassis as soon as he gets the time to create one for my Yeti conversion. His rig featured custom axle, arms, and chassis. Sporting an Axial Racing Score body, this rig really looks good. Elvis has video of the custom rig on his YouTube channel Elvis RC.
Elvis stood on the chassis to show its strength and not one thing broke or bent. Well built and cool as hell! He really knows how to turn a Yeti into a trophy truck for real.
Tengu Drift Club was in the building.
Many more sites to see at RCX 2016, but to keep this post from rolling on too long I have broken the rest of the coverage into two more posts. These posts show the other brands, events, and sites that were available at RCX 2016. Click the Titles below to dig deeper into the experience.
A good portion of my trip was spent hanging with Chris from Hemistorm RC. He captured the adventure at RCX 2016 from his point of view and put together a wonderful video of the whole trip. A very good watch and well edited to bring you a true “Experience” of RCX 2016. Chris shows you what real friends, good times, and RC have in common, in a well documented way. Check out the video!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the first part of my write-up on my trip to RCX 2016 in Costa Mesa, California.
Radio Control Patrol