I grew up in Kosciusko, MS. When I was 10 years old my Dad gave me an AM crystal radio kit. I put it together on Christmas Day and I’ve been hooked since. When Dad gave me my first real shortwave receiver for Christmas when I was 13, I was really hooked.
Fast forward to 1990. I had been a Civil Air Patrol member for 5 years and held a FAA Private Pilot Certificate. We ordered Azden 2 meter mobile radios and modified them to CAP frequencies. Several of us then obtained our no code Technician Class Amateur License, I became KB5ZBN and the rest is history. After deer hunting season ended in 1991 I buckled down and passed my written General Class and passed my 13 wpm Code Test. I went on the air on HF and started to increase my code proficiency. A few months later I passed my Advanced Class written and the 20 wpm Code Test. In October 1991 at the Memphis Hamfest I passed the written Extra Exam and since then I’ve been K5XQ.
I served 25 long years with the Tupelo Police Dept in northeast Mississippi, a city of 38,000 people and a very professional police department of 120 sworn officers. I had a 2 meter mobile rig in my issued patrol car which really passed the time on long 12-hour night shifts and during severe weather. I also was one of the four Level III advanced accident reconstructionists who investigated all the fatality accidents. I retired from the Tupelo PD at the rank of Sgt after 25 years of service in 2003 at the right old age of 47 and became a part time Licensed Local United Methodist Pastor for 17 years, retiring from the ministry in June 2020. My wife and I are now very active members of 1st United Methodist Church in Columbus, MS, where I assist on communion Sundays and other occasions when asked by the lead pastor.
I have a grown daughter, Anna Irving who still lives in works in Tupelo. I left Tupelo when I re married in 2011 and since have lived in Vernon, in northwest Alabama, a small town of only 2000 people where I enjoy a very quiet low profile total retirement. My wife Carol is an Amateur Tech Class, KM4BTS. She works as a comptroller/accountant at Homestead Barndominiums in Northport Alabama. She plans to fully retire in 2 years.
I deer hunt every day of the November-January hunting season if it is not raining here in Lamar County Alabama and on my dad’s property outside Kosciusko in Attala County Mississippi. I’m also an avid golfer and am a member of Elm Lake Golf Course outside Columbus, MS. I’m also a Life Member of The Sons Of The American Revolution where I do Color Guard in Mississippi and Alabama, a Life Member of The Society Of The War Of 1812, A Life Member of The Sons Of Confederate Veterans, and a Life Member of The Military Order Of Stars And Bars, where I serve as the National Chaplain General, so I stay very busy. I have fully documented ancestors who served in the above three wars.
As far as my amateur radio station, I operate a Kenwood TS590SG, a 1KW Ameritron amplifier, 2 dipole antennas 30 ft up. I also have a Kenwood TM-V71A for local communications, and a Icom ID 880H for DSTAR, but I only do DSTAR when the HF bands are dead. Be advised I’m not a big DSTAR fan as I consider that ”internet radio.” I am a ARRL Life Member and hold the ARRL Worked All States CW Certificate and the ARRL DXCC CW Certificate. I’m of course a very avid CW operator and 99.9% contacts are by CW. I also love 6 meter CW when it is open. I was a USAF MARS operator for 20 years, retiring in 2016, and also served as a ARRL Official Observer for 20 years, also retiring from that in 2016. Now I just as they say quietly enjoy the hobby.
I look forward to being a CWops operator and I’ll be hopefully working all of you in the future.