FRESNO, Calif. -- They take to the sky in seconds, hover, turn and fly, hundreds of feet high, and up to a mile away and many can take video and pictures. Aerial drones are hot Christmas gifts.
Kevin Nichols is the remote control specialist at the Hobby Town store in Fresno. He says these quad copters can fly just about anywhere and sell for anywhere from $39 to more than $1,000.
"The ones with the cameras are popular especially ones that can transmit the video back live to you so you can actually watch the video as you are taking it." Nichols said.
While the best can take cinematic quality video you can watch live, a small $69 model puts acceptable looking video on a tiny card, you can take out and watch after it lands.
The "drones" are a lot more popular than the traditional remote control airplanes. So the Federal Aviation Administration has an ad campaign to remind users about the rules.
The message: "Do fly your unmanned aircraft below 400 feet. Don't fly beyond your line of sight."
And don't fly within three miles of an airport, airplane pilots have reported some close calls. But Nichols notes the big concern is privacy.
Nichols explained, "I think the fact they put a camera on it, just kind of freaked people out."
These things can take video or pictures just about anywhere, so personal privacy is becoming a big issue. And with sales of these things five times higher than last year, just be aware, after Christmas morning there will be a lot more eyes in the sky no matter where you are.
Drones are hot Christmas gifts this year