Today I connected a Feather (Adafruit's HUZZAH + some other niceties) with a giant red joystick. The joystick switches ON-OFF via 4 microswitches rather than proportional movement. That's OK, the motor drivers I've started out deliver an ON-OFF signal as well. All 4 switches work and have been tested using the onboard LED on the ESP8266 (on the HUZZAH).
Working on making one ESP8266 (connected to joystick) talk to the other ESP8266 (connected to motors + blimp). Found a project on Instructables to get started with. Now the motors are controlled by joystick :)
There's some massive lag here, not really sure why.