The RC Saylors


Written by Rachelle Haughn
The Other Side of the Tree Line
Column
As seen in the Winter 2019 issue of
Park Pilot.


Six years ago, Nathan “Nate” Saylor and his then-girlfriend, Abby, were searching for a way to spend more quality time together. They found the answer in RC. The couple decided to share their love of the hobby with others through a YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/TheRcSaylors). Today, 1,200 videos and 153,000-plus subscribers later, their channel and their family continue to grow with the addition of their daughter, Amelia. In true RC Saylors fashion, the couple answered questions via a video.

Rachelle Haughn: Who got started in RC first and with what?

Nate Saylor: Well, it was me. I got into RC because of my dad. My dad taught me how to fly 110%. Everything I know about putting an airplane in the air was from Dad. We would go to my parents’ giant field and shared land with [my] grandparents and fly in a big, tall, grassy field. [We flew] very old airplanes that had fuses, and you blow those fuses if you stop the motor in tall grass or anything. We had a big Ziploc bag full of those fuses. We went through those faster than we did propellers and batteries. It was pretty crazy, but we had a lot of fun.

Our RCS Fest that we host is the location, the Vinton County Airport, where I learned to fly even better because the airspace was more open.

I grew up in a very small town in Ohio, the [birthplace] of aviation. There was a period in time when I stopped flying [and] got more invested in, probably, girls. And now we’ve settled down and I’m totally back in the hobby 100%.

Abby Saylor: Nate has been teaching me how to fly since probably a year or less into our channel and I still have a long way to go. I can get a plane up in the air.

NS: She flies just as good as anyone else.



Nate and Abby Saylor and their dog, Popeye. Photo by Christy Morgan Photography.


RH: How did Abby get involved in aeromodeling?

NS: We got into the hobby because Abby and I were looking for a hobby to share. That was very important. We knew early on in our relationship that we just wanted to do something together and at first, it didn’t really matter what it was.

So, we toyed around with video games and that didn’t really pan out although we play them now together some. But in the beginning, six years ago, we really wanted to do something outside. We did a little fishing, but that’s too seasonal, so we decided to do RC stuff. And I suggested it because it was a very fun activity that I did as a kid.

I knew how to fly RC planes but I knew it might be kind of hard for Abby to do. (This is before smart stabilization and stuff like that.) So, I thought we should do a ground vehicle so Abby could get used to orientation. [Abby nods her head.] We did some research online [and] found a couple [of] cheap trucks that we liked.

RH: What type of model aircraft do you prefer?

NS: I like warbirds and sport fliers. I’m not a big fan of EDF jets. They look cool, but I’m just not a huge fan of them.

AS: Mine is anything I don’t crash.

NS: You really liked the Tower Hobbies Millennium Master.

AS: Yes, and I’m really liking the Horizon Hobby Carbon Cub S Plus that has the flight stabilization, and I like flying little delta wings.

RH: How did you meet?

NS: Funny story. That’s short and sweet. We met on eharmony.

AS: Yep, but there’s better parts of the story.

NS: Our first date was at Bob Evans.

AS: Let’s be clear here. I did not pay for eharmony.

NS: I sadly did, and it was a horrible waste of money.

AS: Awe.

NS: And then, on a free communication weekend, I met Abby. I had never met anyone in person that I was matched with.

AS: He messaged. I figured out how to get my Facebook info on eharmony. That’s how I completely avoided paying for it and he found me on Facebook and then I think, for a whole week, we basically both were like hooked to our computers. This was before we had one of these [smartphones].

NS: I think we knew [we would make a good couple], and we just wanted to weed [out] all the questions like what’s your favorite color.

AS: It was basically like shopping for your significant other.

NS: And every question that we asked each other, we just kept falling for each other a little bit more. We decided to meet in person.

AS: After less than a week of talking, we met in person.

NS: It was meant to be.

AS: So that was November of 2010. A year later, he proposed on the same day we met and then June 1, 2013, we got married, so we’ve been married for five years now. And then boom! Baby.

NS: And I’m 30 now, so we had Amelia very close to when I turned 30.



Nate and Abby like to have fun in life and on their YouTube channel. They can fly a variety of model aircraft, but Nate’s favorites are foamies. Christy Morgan Photography.


RH: Please share how your YouTube channel was born.

NS: I had a Hoyt compound bow and I used to shoot targets with some friends. I sold that bow and I took the couple hundred bucks, $250 or so that I got from it, and I bought our RC trucks. In the whole process, we watched review videos online to try and help narrow [it] down and we thought, man, these are boring.

AS: Yeah, and I was really interested in video editing.

NS: I was into the RC stuff. Abby had a good high interest in editing, and so it just kind of meshed together. We thought well, if these old guys that are just reading instruction manuals at the audience can do this, we can put our own fun spin on it and not read the instruction manuals. So that’s how it got started. For Christmas, we bought each other more ground vehicles and that’s kind of when the channel started.

AS: And from the very get-go, when we decided to do YouTube, we just decided to make it different from everybody else that was, at the time, just as Nate said, reading instruction manuals and very technical. We’ve, since day one, just tried to make it about fun.

NS: Yes, we want newcomers.

AS: And family friendly.

NS: Every single day, over 1,200 videos now, people tune in every month and we just want to make sure that it’s fun for people and we never want anyone to feel overwhelmed or like something that we’re saying is too technical and it goes over their head. Because that’s how we felt at the beginning and it’s not very fun to feel that way. So, keeping it fun.

AS: And then, as Nate said, we bought a couple of trucks from China. They were Iron Tracks Spathas. I think they were like $120 or so each. They were just some ready-to-run little short-course trucks.

NS: I would not highly recommend them today. [Abby laughs.]

AS: But that’s how we got our channel started. That’s what got me interested in the hobby, and that was [October 2012]. Christmas of 2012, I picked out the ARRMA Raider, which I loved, and then I got the HPI Wheely King.

NS: So, we got three new trucks for Christmas for each other and that’s all we wanted and that’s all we got, and it was so awesome. We put those on our channel and that got a little more interest because they were more name brand and we thought, boy, this is really fun to have RC mixed with the world of YouTube.

AS: Yes. So, our first episode aired October 18, 2012.



Abby and Nate’s daughter was born three weeks early on October 23, 2018. White Heart Photography.


RH: How did the public respond to your first video?

NS: It was a very, very, very slow process. We were lucky if 10 or 15 people would watch our video in a given week. And then a few months later, maybe 10 or 15 people would watch our video in a day. We’ve never gotten some big spike of attention or anything. It’s just been a slow, but steady growth and it’s nothing short of hard work.

[The feedback has been] generally positive. If it was negative from the get-go, we might have been discouraged, but there has always been a negative Nancy to every 10 positive people that we’ve had on our channel.

RH: How do you handle the negative comments?

NS: I think that having each other is a huge, huge help because some days, one random comment will get to me, and Abby will talk me through it and vice versa. Sometime, maybe, someone will say something extremely horrible about our new little baby and then it will get to Abby and I’ll just remind her that that person is probably having a bad day and they’re taking it out on an easy target.

AS: Our most popular video has like 5 million views, [and] I get torn to shreds. We used to delete the negative comments, but then sometimes they come in such waves toward me on that video. But we can’t keep up with it so we’ve just given up.

But, you know, we make some money from YouTube, I mean that’s obvious. It’s not amazing money, but it’s enough to help out.

NS: It helps pay some bills.

AS: And, you know, I’m just like, bring on the negative comments. You just made me a penny.

Whether someone leaves a good comment, a bad comment, a thumbs-up, or a thumbs-down, it helps our channel grow.

NS: We do our best to put a positive spin on anything that’s negative in our lives, and so that is how we handle negative comments.

AS: I have a lot of respect for YouTubers [who] do it on their own. I couldn’t imagine doing YouTube without Nate and not having the support of each other.

NS: I feel the same way.



The couple hopes to pass on their love of RC to their daughter someday. White Heart Photography.


RH: What has been the funniest moment on your YouTube channel?

NS: We have a lot of fun moments. There’s just a fun moment that stands out like a sore thumb in my head and it’s when we had the Zero Explorer crash with the Tundra.

AS: It’s funny because of how worked up I got. That’s the only video that I’ve ever showed like …

NS: Crying.

AS: Really emotional for me.

NS: Yeah.

AS: And now I look back on it and I laugh at myself because I cried. That was the most expensive crash.

First of all, Nathan loved that Zero Explorer. And then we had just gotten these awesome Durafly Tundra planes from HobbyKing and I just smashed that plane directly into that drone.

NS: Since that video, I have repaired the Explorer and it flies great. Actually we’ve sold it, but the Tundra, I have probably buddy boxed and trained 200 different people with that plane.

AS: But at the time, I thought that they were gone. It was like a $1,000 crash.

NS: Maybe more.

AS: I cried.

NS: Crashes happen.



Baby Amelia, the newest member of the RC Saylor family, sleeps next to an AMA teddy bear. White Heart Photography.


RH: What are your goals for the future of your channel?

NS: I just want to keep it going. I love it and if it grows great, if it stays right where it is, wonderful.

AS: We look at YouTube as a positive outlet for people. They can come to our channel and have a safe, happy place to just escape from their lives for a minute, and sometimes people need that. If life is getting hard then they know that they can come and can have a good smile on their face for 15 minutes because of our video. That’s always been the goal of our channel and I know we want to continue that and continue building our RC family.

RH: What do you think is the key to getting a lot of subscribers on YouTube?

AS: I don’t think we’ve gotten a lot of subscribers at once. It’s just been perseverance through six years. Six years, 150,000 subscribers.

NS: We didn’t just blow up overnight. There’s a bunch of people who can get a video in a few days that’ll get millions of views. We’ve never had that. We just get a thousand views here, 5,000 views there, and they all add up.

It’s all the videos together working passively that generate the views, and it’s perseverance. You could take the cheap route and title things very click-batingly. But we try our best not to do that. If the video is about a $50 drone, that’s the title. It’s going to be the name of the drone—$50 awesome drone or bad drone.

AS: Perseverance and just keep posting.



In addition to airplanes, Nate and Abby enjoy RC trucks and boats. Christy Morgan Photography.


RH: In August 2018, you held a meetup with some of your YouTube subscribers at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Indiana. What was that experience like?

NS: It was a last-minute notice on our YouTube channel. We said hey, if you’re in the area, we’re gonna be there flying with friends. I think we had like 20 or 30 people show up to fly and hang out. Maybe some more.

AS: We were really surprised at the facilities.

NS: The facility’s awesome.

AS: We [had] heard about it and we were just thinking it was going to be something similar to where we fly at here at home [in Kentucky], but it was humongous. It was absolutely beautiful out there. We had the meetup with everybody on Sunday and then we went out to eat once everybody left. [At dinner] Nathan was like, “Abby, I have a couple of batteries left, let’s me and you go back up and just fly, me and you,” and we had this gorgeous sunset.

NS: It was nice.

AS: It just felt like miles and miles and miles of airspace. It was just beautiful. Just absolutely beautiful out there. Very peaceful.

NS: I enjoyed it a lot. I liked that we were at the paved runway section that was in the shape of an X. A few of the employees at AMA came over to just hang out. At first I thought they were there to [say we were doing something wrong].

AS: I saw them and I was like, “Nate, AMA’s here.” I was like freaked out. I thought we were in trouble.

NS: Total opposite of that. Everyone was just really nice, really supportive, and it makes me want to go back. I talked about maybe after RCS Fest just meeting up with our volunteers there. I just felt really nice being there. There’s so many spots to fly. We do have plans of going back someday. That was a really nice experience, and I will remember that till the day I die.




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8 comments

Keep up the Great work I get a kick out of watching your video. I find them very exciting I watch them everyday most of them make me laugh & smile you to make a great couple and Popeye too, most people that watch your cannel should know by now that when you take you drone off Popeye is going to bark you don't have to drown him out. Love your work. Terry

Great article Rachelle! Nate and Abby may be two nicest people I have ever met! They have worked extremely hard to get where they are now. They have a wonderful supportive family and a spectacular group of friends. Their love of the RC hobby is extremely geniuine! Not only have they found the perfect thing they can do together, they have found a way to spread the fun and joy to everyone as they are helping the RC hobby grow! How cool is that? Kudos to them!

This was a very good article and for two young people that have done so much for this hobby. I have come to think of them as a large part of my family. I wish them nothing but a wonderful life and many of God's Blessings

What’s up RC Saylors! I’ve always loved your Channel for reviews and just fun flying experience. So listen, trying to get my wife involved in the hobby. We love doing things together outdoors: surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, etc... but she shares little to no interest in flying. I truly think she is intimidated, but I know once she is on the sticks of one of my planes that have built in SAFE, she will be hooked. Anyway, any ideas? J just sent her this article to read because it’s hilarious how we met the same exact way and were married almost immediately in 2013. Anyway, love the channel and videos. Please keep them coming!

Great article. I have been into drones for about 4 years now and always can rely on the Saylors for great drone reviews and advice. I love their humor (naming their cute little Yorkie, Popeye; i.e., Popeye the Saylor) and I can only guess naming their daughter after the great aviator, Amelia Earhart; what a wonderful tribute. I am always impressed when I hear about couples who share their passions as they do for RC...a perfect match!

Great article. Haven't see the YouTube videos yet, next on my list of things to do. Nate, my dad got me into flying when i was young, glad he's did, kept me out of trouble. Dad passed away in 07, miss those flying days. I'm soo glad the two of you have the flying bug. It's soo much more fun when you can share the time together doing something that is soo enjoyable, except when gravity kicks in. Lots of luck, have fun flying and most of all, congratulations on the birth of you daughter, get her started early! LOL

You guys are so positive and that is something we don't experience a lot of these days. Forget about the negative comments by just realizing that there are those that live negative and disappointing lives. You are an inspiration to those new to RC and to those of us that just appreciate uplifting people.

:)

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