to upgrade my ham ticket.
These days it isn't hard as there are a number of programs out there that make it easy and are either free or cost very little.
One of the things that has made things a bit easier are the numbers of home study courses out there that will help a guy along and you do not have to schedule classes. I just spent an hour on an introductory session and the best part about it is that I could just drop it and do something else whenever something important came up to deal with.
Nobody is likely to steal the course from me and if I leave it or turn my back on it when I return it will be right where I left it.
I can take my final when I feel like it and get my upgrade in a couple of days. In fact, as soon as I pass the test I can go on the air as an "Extra" even though my name isn't yet on the FCC database. All I have to do is carry my test reciept with me.
The reason for this is that a lot of DXpeditions use frequencies that are not available to guys with general class licenses and don't start taking callls from Generals for the first several days. When they finally do they generally transmit on the Extra frequency and listen on the General frequency which means I have to set up my rig for split operation.
Being able to use the Extra frequencies will give me alittle more to work with.
There are actually a lot of other non radio courses out there. Back when I was studying for my Able Seaman and Captain's license there was no internet, or at least it was in its infancy and it wasn't readily available. I'd bet they are out there now.
Once I have my Amateur Extra upgrade I think I am going to start getting a little more education off of the web. While I have no real burning desire to get my degree, I figure that maybe I can learn a little more in some technical area because I sort of like the sciences.
Maybe I can become an orthopedic surgeon in my spare time. Dr. Piccolo, MD.
While that rates right up there next to being elected Pope Piccolo the First, the idea of learning to fix, say, the family air conditioner isn't all that too much of a bad idea. I'll bet the Air Conditioning makers have something out there that wil teach me how to fix it if I dig around a little.
Manufacturers like to teach people how to install their products because the guy that knows how to install one is likely to buy one he understands as opposed to one he has to read through a book to understand as he is installing it. They also know that there are a number of do-it-yourselfers out there that will buy one of their machines if they can get instruction on installation.
While I do not know what I am going to do after I upgrade my license, I do know that I am going to do a little snooping around on the web and maybe find something interesting and as I write this now I already have a pretty good idea.
I haven't used my celestial navigation skills in quite some time and maybe I'll brush up in them and when I do I'll bring my lifeboat sextant to work and shoot a couple wheels of stars while running up the coast.
Sometimes polishing up an unused skill isn't a bad idea.
Anyway, first things first. I think I'll upgrade my ham license.
my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/