I have been interested in ham radio for quite some time. I remember from when I was six years old my dad calling CQ on his Yaesu FT-101. My older brother became a ham in his teens, but it took me quite a while longer.
I began working for a client who is involved with SKYWARN and the bug bit again. I met other hams and they all encouraged me to study. I went to the local club (Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club ) meeting and decided to get started that evening. I ordered the book Now You're Talking from the ARRL Website and began studying.
Like I said earlier, I passed Element 2 and got my Technician License in May 2005, passed Element 1 (Morse Code) in August 2005, and passed Element 3 (General) in September 2005. I also helped my 10 year old son, Andrew (KE5GAQ), prepare for his Technician (he tested and passed on the same date I passed General).
My son and I were able to take part in the annual Field Day with NARC and helped by setting up antennas, manning radios, and we even camped out to help with security. We had a great time, I will see if I can find a picture or two. Field Day really helped me to see that I would not be happy as just a Technician, I wanted to operate on HF (High Frequency) as well. Andrew was more than excited by field day and decided that he wanted to get involved also.
Since Field Day I have continued the Mentoring process with some more experienced hams (Elmers), namely Army (AE5P), Kent (KD5SHM), Howard (KI5KR) and Robert (KD5FEE). These guys help me when I have questions, and encourage me (and Andrew) to pursue the next test.
I have built a few antennas. I assembled the NORCAL Keyer Kit as well as the RockMite 40 meter QRP Kit.
Most recently KD5SHM and I put up an antenna (Comet GP3) at the City Police Department, and KG4LTV helped us put up a similar antenna at the County Sheriff's Office. We got the antennas up just days before Hurricane Rita was to arrive. Our hams activated for the storm. I manned the County Emergency Operations Center before, during, and after Hurricane Rita hit our area. We learned a lot. We know how to talk with out power (many of us lost power for 1-7 days).
Currently I am working on this site, and studying for my Amateur Extra test (I plan on testing in November 2005).