A local drone enthusiast is building a growing following online after capturing views of Hua Hin previously unseen.
Canadian expat Michael Brown, shares a variety of different videos on his Mike’s Tropical Tech YouTube channel.
Michael first started his YouTube channel back in 2008 after he bought and restored a 1973 Porsche 194 which he then converted to electric.
A self-confessed techie, Michael’s background is in software development and before moving to Thailand he worked for IBM for more than 20 years.
Michael mainly uses the channel to share videos of his tech projects, which includes a series on creating his own DIY lighting control for his condo. He also recently took delivery of an electric scooter.
“I share those videos so people can learn and then apply that knowledge to their own project,” Michael says.
“It’s super super niche stuff, but the few people who watched those videos were very appreciative”.
However, it is his footage of Hua Hin which has proved most popular and has resulted in a spike in views to his videos in recent months.
In April 2021, Michael first shared drone footage of the construction of the dual track rail line in Hua Hin and has since gone on to post monthly updates charting the progress of the project.
“The construction of the train line has been taking place right near my condo, so I thought I would use my drone to help people understand the progress of what’s going on with the train line”, Michael explained.
“That’s when my videos really started to take hold in Hua Hin”.
The videos of the train line construction are the most viewed on Michael’s channel and have also been well received by Hua Hin Today readers after being featured on our website.
Each video takes around 5 hours of flying time and another 5 hours of editing.
Michael says he can’t wait for construction of the train line to be completed.
“I love the Thai train system and have traveled almost everywhere you can go on a train in Thailand but it is stuck in the past,’ Michael says.
“If you want a real adventure, get on a train in Thailand”.
Michael, who uses a DJI Mini 2 drone, believes the construction of the new dual track line will be a real game changer for train travel in Thailand, especially between Hua Hin and Bangkok.
“The train line will make travel so much faster, that we could be in Bangkok within two hours”, Michael estimates.
As well as documenting the progress of the train line, Michael, who has all the necessary license and insurance to be able to fly a drone in Thailand, enjoys using his drone to capture footage of other areas of Hua Hin.
“I enjoyed videoing kite surfers on Hua Hin beach but one of the most enjoyable videos I made was at Sam Roi Yot, it’s just magnificent down there”, Michael said.
However, Michael’s drone flights have not been without incident.
During a flight around the Banyan Golf Course, the drone lost contact and crashed.
He contacted Banyan management who informed all their staff that a reward was available should they find the drone.
Three days later a local mushroom picker found the drone deep in undergrowth near the course.
The drone no longer worked but Michael says he thinks I may be able to fix it.
Michael, who has lived in Hua Hin for 8 years, says the city ticks all the boxes for what he wants from life, in terms of ease of living, infrastructure and facilities.
“I’m thrilled with the lifestyle in Hua Hin, I love living here”, Michael said.
Michael says a future series for his drone will show the progress of the development of the Hua Hin boardwalk in the area of Hua Hin near the popular seafood restaurant Chao Lay Seafood.