I used an 18' extendable painters pole, took a $10 paint roller brush and cut the brush off, then threaded the metal at 20 per inch that comes out of the plastic handle (which just happens to be 1/4") then attached a ball mount to that. I use a wireless remote trigger which was also pretty cheap (I forget now but probably <$40 and I already had one). This is the pole setup. [IMAGE'S LINK: http://s589.photobucket.com ...410e_zpsfssm42gg.jpg.html] [IMAGE'S LINK: http://s589.photobucket.com ...Estate/IMG_6409e.jpg.html]
For the pole stand I welded a flat piece of metal to a 3' metal pipe that the pole will fit into, I drive my car onto the flat piece of metal to hold it stable then lift the pole and camera and set it down into the 3' metal pipe. Now you have a stable setup that you don't have to hold onto so you can concentrate on capturing the picture. You can do all of this without the stand and I have but it's a beast and quite wobbly so I'm always afraid of dropping the whole thing!
I like to use my Canon 70D camera body because it has a tilt out screen that I can actually see the composition of the picture before I release the shutter.
This setup is the cheapest I could figure out at $ Per Foot of elevation. Not counting the camera and lenses of course, because I already owned the camera equipment. It would certainly be a different story if I was starting from scratch and just trying to get an elevation shot affordably. About $50 for the pole, $10 for the paint brush handle (needs to be cut and threaded), $40 for the remote trigger, $50 for the metal stand and pipe (needs to be welded) so about $150 for the whole thing and most likely less than $200 total including labor if you need it.
For me I had the metal, welder, remote trigger, camera ball mount, paint brush handle and threading dies so I only forked out the $50 for the painters pole making it a no brainer for me. The height with a nice wide angle lens (8m-24m range) is incredible. Most people think it is done with a drone.
Here are a couple example shots, you can see in the first one my shadow of the setup. Lens was at 11mm on a crop body so about 18mm for a full frame. I shot this one hand held without the metal stand. ps: be careful of electrical wires...