I finally succumbed and purchased a quadcopter after some hand-wringing. I should mention that pretty much all my purchases are accompanied by hand-wringing, as I am a bit of a skinflint.
Naturally then, I purchased just about the cheapest little drone that I could for two reasons. The first was that - as mentioned - I don't like spending a lot of money on an indulgence like that for myself; that's just the way I am.
|Yep, the Cheerson CX-10 is really that small|
Secondly, while the idea of buzzing a quadcopter around seems like fun, I have no clue if I actually would enjoy it, or if I have any aptitude for it. It demands some level of hand-eye coordination, after all.
I have a co-worker who builds his own drones, both for first-person drone racing and as a video camera platform. His video channel is here, and I find the footage mesmerizing. However, I am not going to spend several hundred dollars to find out if I can get my jollies from a quadcopter.
That said, I found a teeny-tiny "nano" quadcopter on sale for less that $20 at a local computer chain, ready-to-fly out of the box. The product - a Cheerson CX-10 - is actually pretty well-reviewed for what it is; a cheap no-frills way to get into the hobby. It's actually currently even cheaper on Amazon!
I have already flown it (indoors) and while it needs a light touch, it is fun. Now, the "nervous" nature of the flight characteristics are mainly due to 1) it's a very small device 2) it also has a very small (cheap) controller and 3) I have ham hands. Under those caveats, it flies quite well!
I have kept it away from our dogs so far, as feel the "buzzing" or "whining" motor sounds may freak them out, or they may think they are supposed to chase it or something; better safe than sorry on that score. It does not have prop guards and while the props are plastic, they could damage the eye of an excited dog lunging at it.