You’ll notice a small tweak to your question …. so ….
Have done since I was very young.
Twice I was accepted by BOAC (as one part of British Airways used to be called) for pilot training at Hamble (near Southampton) … but the bloody Americans invented a Jumbo Jet so “we won’t be needing so many pilots in the future” meant one intake was chopped from 30 to 10, and the following year the intake was cancelled all together.
On to Birmingham University and most of my time there was probably spent at RAF Shawbury with the University Air Squadron flying Chipmunks and anything else I could wangle flights in (Vampire, Jet Provosts 4 & 5, many Folland Gnat flights [including flights with Red Arrows], and quite a bit of helicopter flying [Tern Hill, just up the road, was the Army chopper instructor school]) - those were great days and far more interesting than the Geology I was supposed to be getting into.
Then I got a job and was poor … but gliding soon got under my skin … and even parachuting for quite a while. And for a while a massive RC glider provided fun … until some CB radio (probably) killed the old analogue signal and I watched as it glided out to sea at Durdle Door … and never seen again.
Finances improved and I got my PPL and did a lot of flying around UK and to France. But - having got trapped in France by weather and a rather large bill for having the club’s plane for 10 days (it was supposed to be 2!), and I realised that our weather meant I needed to get an Instrument Rating … and that was just too many £££ for the amount of flying I would be doing!
A brief lull in flying was followed by paragliding … here in UK, in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and India … and still have the kit, but just can’t afford all the driving about needed to get the right winds in this country.
Another aviating lull ended with the purchase of a Phantom 2, 5 years ago … to go with my photographic hobby since I was about 7 years old.
The first tentative flights were just incredible … the tech, the sensors, the everything … that just enabled it to hover 6ft off the ground in my garden … without any controller input!
The next day I fitted the H33D gimbal and my H3 GoPro and - just at the back of my house - I recorded my first 2 minutes and 19 seconds of stabilised video.
No FPV on that kit, so it was card out of GoPro and into the computer … and, had I been wearing socks, they would have been blown off into space!
That 2+ minutes still remains one of my favourite pieces of drone video … because when I re-watch it I can still re-sense that overwhelming feeling of astonishment! The back alleyway, back end of Shogun, a few garage doors view is totally irrelevant … but they are all totally essential to impress one with the stability of the P2 in the first place, and then the gimbal totally eliminating the small movements of the P2.
I had enormous fun with the P2 … took it to Italy a couple of times, and places en-route (since I was driving) … but the lack of FPV was the thing that made me lose interest, and to add FPV was almost as much as the eye-watering cost (to me) of the P2.
I resisted the later P2V, that was the first to include FPV, and the P2 sat rather unused (other than occasional flights in full manual mode that were initially damned tricky, and then damned scary when I started doing flips!).
And then the Mavic Pro was announced! … and there was no way that I could really afford or justify the cost. But, besides FPV that had become the norm, it had one feature that prevented the desire from being resisted … its size! The P2 FILLED my backpack, and left the gimbal vulnerable if I tried to include anything else in the backpack.
The MP, however, was small - it, and it’s RC, would go in small cases that meant I could chuck it in my backpack … and other things as well without fear of damaging the MP.
Hiking and drone flying for video and photos was now a totally practical thing to do … and the fact that I had a 3 month camping holiday in summer '17 kind of burning in the back of my mind meant that I now had an additional justification for getting an MP.
The views I got with the MP in Italy were astounding … seeing things that you’d never even know existed if your viewpoint was fixed to the ground.
Then I joined this forum and there was a summer treasure hunt that I rather wrote off initially. But, the more I thought about it the more I considered that I might really have a go at it. This got me out and flying in the UK more - something that I was really struggling to motivate myself to do.
And - that’s the reason I find the drone so much fun. It’s flying, photography, the MP is light-weight and compact, and you can see the world from a different perspective.
Oh - and I won that 2018 Treasure Hunt.