Ok. here's the deal. I'm a seasoned electronics tech, so I know my way around the stuff. My problem is that I don't know much about microcontrollers and would like to get into this the right way. The right way being, that I want to start small and relatively cheap, but have the ability to grow without having to spend a lot of time/money to expand my capabilities. I have been looking at starter kits, but don't see too many that allow you to program and remove a chip to put in an external circuit though. Am I mistaken? I also need to keep the chip/circuit small and light for RC use.
This all stems from my desire to duplicate MR RC-Cam's "Nav-Lights" project, and that is my immediate goal. The problem is that it's a fairly old article and I'm not sure if/how the technology has changed. So far I've been looking at stuff from "Microchip Technologies", "Parallax", and PICAXE. I would like to be able to duplicate the "Nav-Lights" project without being limited to having to do the "One time burn" routine if possible. In other words, I would like to be able to use the RAM based technology if possible. I'm not dead set on it though.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.