If electronic gadgets fascinate you and you want to do more than just use them, then you are a great candidate for pursuing a radio controlled hobby. If designing and assembling electronic devices is your fascination then you will be interested by RC models, whereas if you are more interested in wireless transmission and making communication contacts with people around the world, then you are more cut out to pursue hams.
These overlap many times, and most ham operators have a flair for radio controlled models, and vice versa. This is because they are attracted to anything that concerns radio waves. The best resource available to a beginner in radio controlled hobbys is the internet. It is a storehouse of information with valuable bits of knowledge on all aspects of the hobby. But interestingly, as opposed to amateur radio which is far easier to search for online, searching for RC model enthusiast groups is a bit tricky! If you try to use any search engine to search for remote controlled toys, you will find scores and scores of sites listed, most of which deal with sales of the toy grade or sometimes hobby grade models.
This does not mean that one wont find good resources on the subject online, just that one might have to change the keyword to find the best results. One other way is to use the online communities and forums which can be indispensable tools for connecting to people with similar interests. There are dozens of Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and Google groups for this purpose. In addition to this, there are online communities, blogs and friends network sites. These will be good places to start. There are numerous groups and one must try to find one with people close to home as well as those that have activities related to the hobby. One word of caution always applies that one should never reveal personally identifiable details online unless you are confident in what you are doing.
The benefit of online search is that distance is not a factor, and there are virtually no other restrictions. You may also meet with more experienced hobbyists who can guide you pretty well in pursuing your hobby. Talking to experienced hobbyists can help you make a good decision, and can help you learn a lot. There is a lot available online and someone must know where and how to get to the useful information. You must try to collect information on the history of the hobby that you are pursuing, and the current issues and contemporary relevant things with regard to the hobby.
You should consider the amount of time you want to devote to your hobby. Time is an important aspect that one needs to consider before pursuing one’s hobby in a serious manner. Without adequate time available on hand, one cannot pursue the hobby of amateur radio. RC hobbies involving toys and devices also requires some time.
Financial investment should also be considered. This is one important criteria and is the bridge that changes you from “I want to be a radio hobbyist” to “I am a radio hobbyist”. Amateur radio sets are available in ready-to-use form. The costlier models usually have a longer range and better quality. On the same grounds, the better and latest RC models will require a considerable investment.
Just use all of the resources at your disposal, and you are sure to find that radio controlled hobbies are very fun and rewarding.