Hey Reddit! I am YouTuber "Grant Thompson - The King of Random". Over one million subscribers follow my experiments, life-hacks, and random weekend projects, and many have been asking for an AMA, so I'm taking a break from filming projects today to hang with you and answer your questions. You can find my videos on YouTube at http://www.thekingofrandom.com

Proof: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=752347141452477&set=a.539091452778048.1073741826.383563044997557&type=1&theater

More proof: http://youtu.be/Of7wTiiSaGk

Let's get it started!

Comments: 740 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

BonoVoxGS35 karma

Do you think you can sustain a living on a long term basis from YouTube or is the "living off YouTube" thing just a bubble?

TheKingOfRandom44 karma

I would recommend having a "plan B" in place before trying to make YouTube a career. It is possible, but like anything, there are no guarantees and it could all fall apart at any moment.

Swazzoo13 karma

What do you consider to be a good back up plan if youtube fails? Something that is a good follow up to youtube?

TheKingOfRandom14 karma

Some other way to pay the bills. I still have a business on the side, a career in the airlines, and a load of other qualifications, and a lot of life insurance .. just in case...

steveblackops1430 karma

Do your neigbors hate living next to you? You have some noisy projects. I live next to Colin furze and his projects get loud sometimes

chibolamoo25 karma

I imagine the ambient noise around your place is a mixture of jet engines and maniacal laughter

TheKingOfRandom17 karma

Bwahahahahaha! That's awesome

TheKingOfRandom14 karma

Haha, I'm always wondering about that, so we frequently take cookies to the neighbors and ask. To date, they still say they love us. We try to have them over once in a while for dinner, or to see some of the projects. It's working so far :)

claire102018 karma

Do you have any other jobs besides making YouTube videos?

TheKingOfRandom56 karma

Yes. I have a business I've built up over the last 9 years in real-estate, and I'm also an airline pilot.

nevertricked5 karma

What kinds of planes do you fly?

TheKingOfRandom11 karma

Usually CRJ200 and CRJ700-900

bravo459515 karma


TheKingOfRandom12 karma

Great question! Probably 100-200 hours goes into each project video. And when you do the math, it might become obvious why I can't make videos any faster. I typically make between 2-6 prototypes of my project before I film it. That way when I make the video, I've got some experience backing what I'm saying. The filming, editing and producing takes about 4-6 days working 10-16 hours a day. Probably because it's just me doing it all. And that's why I appreciate any support.

zacg2412 karma

Why are you so amazing?

TheKingOfRandom13 karma

Gold star friendship point awarded to you!

Fapplet11 karma

Have you ran into any legal issues?

TheKingOfRandom6 karma

Copyright issues mainly. YouTube is pretty sticky about copyright issues, and seems to jump the gun pre-maturely in a lot of cases, but I've always had proof that re-instated my videos any time they were restricted or stricken.

394511 karma

do you find most of your life hacks online or think of them yourself?

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

About half and half. The strange thing about making them up myself, is even the ones I create, have already been done .. so there's no winning is there :)

nevertricked10 karma

Hi Grant, been a big fan for the last couple of years.

Do you have any formal training in science or building? University? You have a day job, right?

Ever get in trouble with some of your experiments?

Thanks for doing this! I'm very impressed by your videos and you have a beautiful family! Cheers!

TheKingOfRandom13 karma

Hi, and thanks. I don't have any formal education outside high school. That doesn't mean that I haven't put significant amounts of time into researching, developing, learning and experimenting. I spent 4 years training to be an airline pilot, and have been flying commercially for 9 since then. Thanks for your compliments!

I_Like_Quiet9 karma

What's you favorite source of background music?

TheKingOfRandom9 karma

My friends Scott & Brendo (who also make a lot of music for DevinSuperTramp are one of my favorite sources. I also use these guys quite a bit

douxcv8 karma

Do your kids show any interest in the things you make or does their interest vary? Like explosives are always fun to watch but maybe party tricks aren't their thing.

TheKingOfRandom12 karma

My kids are still pretty young (all 3 are 5 and under), but they are really enjoying parkour, and just recently my 5yr old starting making things with toilet paper rolls, and calls everything a life hack :) For the most part, I'd say they don't really get what I'm trying to do yet, but they are exposed to it everyday, so I'm interested to see how they develop!

Master_Maxamus8 karma

Have you ever started a project but then canceled it because it was too dangerous?

TheKingOfRandom3 karma

Yes, many. I'm not afraid trying so called "dangerous" projects because danger is relative to the person doing the project, and the amount of preparation. But there are many projects I don't think I could put a video up about. Many people have knee-jerk reactions about what they consider dangerous.

Lacider6 karma

Is you're title "king" granted by a people or were you self appointed? If self appointed, wouldn't it be more accurate to be called czar or dictator of random?

TheKingOfRandom4 karma

It was a title my brothers friend gave to me before I made videos. I was always working on different projects, and he said I was the King of Random.

Bemo986 karma

What was your favorite hobby as a kid? Did you like building a lot of thing since you where a kid?

TheKingOfRandom5 karma

Probably Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. Haha, I didn't build anything when I was a kid, so I'm kind of making up for it now.

DownloadedPixelz6 karma

What gave you the name: TheKingOfRandom?

TheKingOfRandom4 karma

My brothers friend. He was always impressed at the new projects I was working on because they were always so different, but he thought they were cool, so he called me the King of Random.

stephaniecastillo6 karma

How old are you?

TheKingOfRandom4 karma

Over 30

RibbleBird6 karma


TheKingOfRandom11 karma

Awesome question! The world of video has always been a big foreign to me, and like any project, I wanted to try it out and learn more about it. For awhile, I wanted to try and make good quality videos of projects that interested me the most, for 3 reasons.
1. It's fun to go back and relive later on and see how much my perspective has changed since making it. 2. So my kids would have a library of experiences to watch when they were old enough to care. 3. To try and give back to YouTube, the place that helped me learn so much about the science and fun of doing a lot of these projects.

hockey11025 karma

What's your favorite life hack?

TheKingOfRandom11 karma

Great question. My favorite life hack is the pillow trick in my last video. Ive used it every night for years.

Brandon44G5 karma

Hey Grant! Been following you for a while! I love your life hacks but I really enjoy your projects! Are there any new and upcoming projects on the way?

TheKingOfRandom11 karma

Yes, I've got some chemical experiments mixed with survival projects. More to do with homemade rockets, and even some as simple and easy as diy juggling balls :)

PocketGarrison5 karma

Being the King of Random there must be many things which you have done which haven't made the cut, how do you decide what is good to post and what isn't?

TheKingOfRandom5 karma

Each project video has about an hour and a half of footage. I try to boil my videos down to the bare bones to keep them as short as possible. So yes, for every video there is usually over an hour of footage that gets cut. I only keep what's necessary, or enhances the video, because sometimes "less is more". The footage I'm attached to, or still want to feature, sometimes goes into a quick-clip.

PocketGarrison3 karma

Glad to know that you put effort into all your videos, and i agree quality > quantity.

bausl5 karma

But sadly quantity wins the Youtube game.

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

Yes, sadly hard work isn't rewarded very evenly

Aldenrenfrid5 karma

As someone with many of the same interests I have to wonder... How much do you worry about ending up on some governmental watch-list while tinkering with rocket fuel, making rust powder, tinkering with magnetrons etc? And have you ever considered filling out a FOIA request to see what the government things of you?

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

I don't worry about that much. I try to use common sense, stay within legal boundaries, keep the peace with my neighbors, and I have no devious intent. I am no threat to the government, so they are welcome to watch, or even come visit.

nathan42345 karma

where do you get all of your equipment from? :)

TheKingOfRandom6 karma

Most of my tools are from garage sales, or buying off the classified ads. I once found a company going out of business and made a pile of tools on the floor and offered $100 .. which they accepted. So I've been able to keep it pretty cheap.

Jeboy12345 karma

Hi Grant. What is more time consuming, making the videos or to think of a new project to do?

TheKingOfRandom3 karma

Hmm, that's a hard question. Some projects have 6-8 months of testing, research and development before I make a video. But editing takes up most of my days, so I'd say editing is most time consuming. Each project video has 100-200 hours invested in it. Thanks!

JDawg2225 karma

Where did you learn the building skills that you use to design your projects?

TheKingOfRandom6 karma

I used to work odd construction jobs as a kid for money. I think a lot of it comes from that. Everything else is experimental and learn as I go. Internet and YouTube has been really helpful to get ideas when I don't know where to start.

Cyberwiz155 karma

What is the craziest project you have ever done?

TheKingOfRandom8 karma

Define Crazy! :) I suppose some people would say "eating" liquid nitrogen, or making rocket fuel, but I think turning the microwave into a usable AC arc welder was the craziest to me. Surprisingly, not many people have watched that series yet.

msnickers4 karma

If you could choose three items to take to a deserted island and survive for two months, what items would you take?

TheKingOfRandom7 karma

Easy! A GPS locator, suntan lotion, and a bag of crinkle cut salt and pepper potato chips. :) In reality, probably a hunting knife, water bottle (the round and clear plastic kind), and some rope.

Airade4 karma

Hi Grant! I love your videos and I actually discovered your channel through Reddit. My question is: What is your favorite project, and which one was the most dangerous to do? Thanks!

TheKingOfRandom1 karma

Thank you! I just barely started reddit, so I need all the friends here I can get :) Pyrotechnic Pie might be one of the most dangerous. My favorite project is most of them .. all for different reasons. Sorry that's vague, but I learned something new in each one.

O3HundredRD4 karma

I believe you were a pilot before you started making videos, how did you manage to become one? Through the Army?

TheKingOfRandom5 karma

I'm going to oversimplify this, but I basically did it myself, and paid out of my pocket as I went. Ibought an airplane with money I saved from working on the oil rigs, hired an instructor to teach me to fly. Then I got study materials and challenged the university exams when I had enough flight time, and paid for all my flight time by working jobs in the transportation industry. I moved to Hawaii, got a job flying cargo, then applied at the airlines when I had enough experience and could prove my ability. That was all about 10-12 years ago.

Fargraven4 karma

How many things go wrong during a typical video? Whenever I try to re-create what you do, several things always goes wrong (especially the solar scorcher) Is your life just perfect or is it a lot of editing? :P

TheKingOfRandom7 karma

Life is 99% failure to get 1% perfection. Somehow that's worth it, and my experience is the same as yours. Most projects I do 3-4 times and make a lot of prototypes, so by the time I make the video I have experience with it. Even then, it takes a lot of editing

Fargraven3 karma

That's really good advice. This can apply to life in general, not just projects or hacks. There's always room for improvement. Big fan of you and your videos by the way!

TheKingOfRandom3 karma

Thank you very much!

0779YankeeZulu4 karma

Have you ever had the police called in you for one of your experiments? If so what happened?

TheKingOfRandom6 karma

Yes. He came in and I showed him the footage. Put my name on a list, then left. :)

Asorex3 karma

What's your all time favorite video on YouTube and why? (Can be anything)

TheKingOfRandom6 karma

The double rainbow songified! It was one of the first videos I saw on YouTube, and we use to watch it as a family over and over and laugh.

Gombur3 karma

Do you get many negative comments on your videos? How do you respond to them?

TheKingOfRandom5 karma

I care about all comments, and appreciate everyone who is supportive, or even gives suggestions and advice. Feedback is important to me, as is continual personal growth. However if I can tell someone hasn't thought about what they've said, or is just trying to be mean, they get ignored completely. Sometimes blocked or banned in extreme cases.

tester2o13 karma

Do your kids watch your videos?

TheKingOfRandom4 karma

Yes they do! :) They see every one before I upload it, and amazingly they are usually riveted. Amazing to see a 2yr and 4yr old sit so still for 4 minutes! Even my 6 month old is starting to watch. haha

carlostoski3 karma

have you studied any degree?

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

Not formally. I do a lot of self-study about anything that interests me at the time.

LizzieRH2 karma

Which is your favourite of your videos?

TheKingOfRandom5 karma

They are all my favorites for different reasons. But some that I've most recently enjoyed more than the others were the Micro-X Bow project and making the Dark Knight Batarang. Oh yeah, and even though not too many people watched it, THIS was super fun and an awesome way to celebrate 1 Million subscribers.

zacg241 karma

Do you come up with your own life hacks or get them off the internet?

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

Both. Many start out as my idea, but then in researching I quickly realize I wasn't the first to think of it. Many times I've found other people who have also done them already. However, I have never showed a life hack I haven't tried, verified works, and would personally use.

NativeMan811 karma

Hey Grant, have you been on a mission because you kind of hinted it in your tie video. If so, where?

TheKingOfRandom2 karma

England, Leeds