Personal Time

So many people know that I love a new adventure. For 15 years I was a Cub and Boy Scout leader, finding new adventures and turning them into trips. Plus camping with my son when he was younger and in Boy Scouts at over 50 camp outs. I loved hearing from other chaperone parents often saying “We’ve been coming here (the Cape, etc) for 40 years and never knew this was here”. Those words made all the trip planning and executing all the more worth while.

Thankfully my wife likes to camp too and she is always part of my adventures. What follows are some fun & interesting destinations with brief descriptions and web links of things to do. Most revolve around water as we are recreational kayakers and camp in our travel trailer. A new and interesting adventure is just around the next corner.

The adventures are broken into general area sections and have camping, kayaking, and interesting things to do and see listed. As I remember more and re-visit places and do more, I’ll be constantly updating this info. Check back often, especially during the warmer months.

I have also been a ham radio operator since I was 14 back in 1977. My first call was WB1DBY and I held that call for 36 years before changing it to something shorter. It is now W1AST. The new shorter call makes chasing DX with voice or Morse code much faster and easier.

Ham radio is an essential part of my life. All my close friends are hams and pretty much always have been. Since the fall of 2017, I have been the president of my local ham radio club. The HCRA (Hampden County Radio Association) is a fun and active club. If you are in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts or Connecticut, come and join us. Or if you would like to learn more, visit the web site at:

Another excellent site to learn all about ham radio is the national organization. The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is located in Newington, CT, just 30 miles south of me. Visit them to learn more about ham radio or to find a club in your local area:

Local clubs have classes usually a few times per year if you want to learn about ham radio and earn your license. From there the world is at your fingertips. Here are a few of the modes and operations types that I operate and have fun with:

  • Single Side Band aka SSB is voice communications
  • Continuous Wave aka CW is Morse Code communications and still a very active part of ham radio
  • Digital Modes are communication thru a computer to the radio such as: FT8, FT4, RTTY (Radio TeleType) and others
  • Portable operation – sit at a picnic table with a portable radio, battery and antenna and talk around the world
  • Fox Hunting – kind of like Hide and Seek but with radios. It’s lots of fun!
  • Digital Mobile Radio aka DMR. With a handheld (HT) radio and a hot spot, I can talk around the world. One of a number of digital portable modes.
  • Chasing DX is working countries or entities and getting confirmation for doing so. Keeping track towards the max of  around 360 entities and earning awards along the way.
  • Contests are working hams in certain areas that meet certain criteria and submitting the scores. Very addictive and fun.
  • 13 Colonies is a special event that runs 7 days where you work stations in each of the original 13 colonies plus a few special ones to earn a certificate and special Qsl cards (confirmation cards). It runs each year from July 1 – 7.
  • Kit building – building all sorts of kits and antennas
  • Mobile HF – imagine driving down the road and talking around the world from your vehicle. Yes, talking to a station in Denmark and complaining about the cold and snow to a ham there gets you no sympathy. (Licensed hams are exempt from the recent can’t touch your phone while mobile laws in all states).
  • Public Service and Emergency Communications – When All Else Fails, ham radio still gets through.