Plano Balloon Festival

I posted a thank you to the Plano Balloon Festival’s Facebook page this morning and someone actually had the nerve to say “They didn’t do a thing but charge ppl money and cancel everything.”

…  Yep, it is all about you. They decided to take the easy way out and just cancel everything and take your money. Seems like the best way to get the crowds to return next year.

So, what REALLY happened:


On Saturday morning, I got up at 5am so I could be at the staging location for recovery by 6am. I sat in the car and ate my What-a-burger breakfast (potato, egg and cheese taquito, if you must know). The sun started peeking over the horizon and it became obvious that we would not have a clear morning. The cloud base was VERY low. The balloonists would not have any visibility and could very easily run into power lines etc. Furthermore, the winds on the ground were gusting at around 10mph, which is at the edge, but acceptable. However, up at the 500-1000 ft range, they were much greater. I don’t think any of us wanted to have to drive half-way across Oklahoma to recover a balloon.


Saturday afternoon the Collin County Amateur Radio Emergency Services executed their Fall Simulated Emergency Test (SET). (I would link to their site, but it always seems to be down) This exercise allows a simulated event to be conducted while city and local responders coordinate simulated messages and resource readiness. I stopped by the trailer for a little while and was able to send a few ‘strip’ messages to area coordinators and communicate over the UHF repeater to the McKinney RACES org. It was fun to see it in action and help out, even if it was only for about an hour.


Despite being exhausted, I hung on long enough to see the Fighting Texas Aggies beat the hell outta Arkansas! Maybe, just maybe, this is the year for the Aggies to keep their 5-0 start going. Let’s keep it going boys!


More Weather

What did we have this morning? Straight-up-storms! There was rain (between 7am and 11am I received just over 1 inch at my house) and there has been a LOT of lightning in Texas today, with more on the way. The fields would be nice and soaked at the moment.


Lightning strikes seen in Texas, mid-day on the 25th of September 2016

So, yes, they cancelled the remainder of the event. Boo hoo for you. Too bad you forgot how this actually affects everyone involved with the event. 🙂

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