Born out of a lifelong love of radio-controlled (RC) vehicles, Jeremiah Guelzo has opened Stone Blue Hobbies to share his passion for the hobby with others. When talking about his passion, Guelzo said that he’s been involved in the hobby since he was a teen. “I started in the hobby in my late teens and slowly progressed through my first kit, put it together, flew it, crashed it, repaired it, and flew it again.” Located at 104 Whitehall Road in Lynchburg, Guelzo’s shop has everything for the RC enthusiast.
Once a strictly online presence, Stone Blue Hobbies’ storefront has radio-controlled cars, trucks, planes, drones, and boats. Starting as a custom RC Aircraft shop, they have grown to a full hobby shop over the years. Hobbyists can find kits including micro-crawlers, which can be tested on the store’s micro track, to large planes, boats, and helicopters.
Beginners to the hobby can find starter vehicles to get a taste of the adventure without spending a great deal of money, while long time enthusiasts can find highly customized accessories to level up their RCs to their ideal specifications. “We carry the latest accessories to upgrade any vehicle, or we can order it,” stated Guelzo.
While many will recall the old days of gas-powered remote-controlled vehicles, many RC kits are now battery powered with long-lasting battery life. The longevity of the batteries can depend on the terrain and speed at which the vehicles are operated. The velocity of the vehicles has ranges of a few miles per hour up to 100 mph. These vehicles can be used on a track, street, and off-road, as well as in the air and on water. The shop also sells drones and will teach the customer on the use of the apparatus.
Guelzo’s shop also has a repair center for those in need of repairs to their kits. Customers are welcome to observe how repairs are made so that they may make repairs on their own in the future. Guelzo’s team has extensive technical knowledge, and they strive to educate their customers on the care and use of their vehicles.
Hal Creasy, an employee working on repairs to a customer’s RC truck, said that people are encouraged to learn from Guelzo. “People learning how to fix their own RCs or building the kits are learning a skill that has been lost for a long time,” remarked Creasy. He was a high school student when he first entered Stone Blue Hobbies, and now he works at the shop doing something he loves.
The team also encourages others to get into the sport with educational videos and tips to all RC skill levels. Using social media, Guelzo continues to promote events that would be interesting to both new-comers and veterans of the hobby.
The shop also caters to the mobility of the human form and not just rider-less cars. Stone Blue Hobbies is an authorized Segway dealer and “Onewheel” seller. The store offers sales, education and service of these forms of transportation. “We have various items to choose from for most any need,” Guelzo mentioned. “With the popularity of the rental scooters on the college campuses, you may spend upwards of $800 per semester, whereas you can buy for about the same money and have it for all four years or longer.”
Guelzo is also trying to make a difference in the community by providing training and education to Central Virginia Community College STEM students through an internship program as well as Liberty University students who are studying aeronautics. “In the past we have worked with CVCC, and we’ve worked with Liberty’s drone program helping students understand how to use tools and understand the mechanics of flight,” stated Guelzo.
“Model aircrafts were the beginning of flight,” Guelzo explained. In talking about the beginning of manned flight, Guelzo observed, “They were first making model aircraft, figuring out how to do it with pulleys and strings, to gas engines before it went fully remote.” The shop owner uses this knowledge to help others understand flight through remote controlled aircraft.
The shop is open Monday – Friday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday 10 am – 1 pm Find more information on the shop’s website, stonebluehobbies.com, or on Facebook.