CWops # 1785, from South Beach , NY , USA.
My name is James Fehling Jr. I am 45 years old and live in NY on the north shore of Long Island with my wife and 2 kids. I am a retired NY City Firefighter and my hobbies include Cycling, Hunting, Licensed Drone pilot and I am very active as a leader in the Boy Scouts. I first was introduced to ham radio in the 90’s in college. My electrical engineering professor offered extra credit to anyone who studied and passed the NOVICE exam. As I am sure your aware, the novice exam required we learn code at 5WPM. So after listening to tapes for weeks I took the exam and passed and my ham radio hobby was off and running. At that time, all I had was a 10 meter radio but was able to make tons of contacts on it. With my education and life getting in the way, I let my license expire and it was not until 2010 till the bug hit me again. With the no code exam and my engineering degree, I studied and passed tech and general almost overnight. Shortly after that I studied again and passed extra and decided to give back to the ham community by becoming a VE liaison for my local radio club. After passing Extra, My son got interested in ham radio also and at the age of 8 passed his tech (KD2ELA) and at the age of 9 passed general. Somewhere in the back of my head I always wanted to “really” learn CW but tried on my own several times and failed. then someone mentioned CW academy. My Level 1 instructor (Van N5TOO) was the most welcoming and helpful person I have ever met. He started me on my path to learn the basics and when we finished he said I did so well I would be sending at 25WPM in no time. I of course could not believe what he was saying because I was barely getting words out at 8 WPM. Then came Level 2. I got an email from my level 1 instructor explaining that I just hit the jackpot because I had been paired up with one of the founders of CW Academy, Rob K6RB. All I can say is that Rob was a magician and got me pushing the limits of 20WPM in no time. Half way through level 2 I was trying to participate in the weekly CWT instead of just listening. and by the end was making 10-15 contacts. I am scheduled for Level 3 in Sept 2017 and cant wait to further my CW skills. I guess Rob was impressed enough with my progress that he nominated me for CW ops membership and I am the proud owner of #1785. I try my best to make all 3 CWT’s on Wed so I hope to work as many members as I can.