Archive for the 'Friends' Category

Flying, Simulators and Airplanes

Monday, May 25th, 2009

When I was a kid in 1885…I mean 1985, my dad got our family a new computer. The computer my dad got us was called the “Amiga 1000″.

Shortly after that we got the “Flight Simulator 2.0″ from Electronic Arts game company. This was the program I used to learn how to fly in the computer simulator. I loved this simulator, there wasn’t much else I could do in those days because this was the very best technology that was available at the time. So I would fly in the simulator ALL the time! In fact I loved it so much that I would setup chairs in my bedroom so the neighbor kids could come over and become passengers in my simulated airline.

My bedroom was in the basement of my parents house and that’s where they kept the computer. So we had lots of space down there and when all the neighbor kids came over then my sister would dress up as a stewardess and cater to them with hors doeuvres.

Yes I was a super geek even then!

A few years later a new game came out called “F-18 Interceptor”. Wikipedia lists the release date as 1888…I mean 1988. I got my first volenteer job at Shawnee Mission Medical Center around 1991 because the summer of 1992 I went to Bakersfield California to work with my uncle for his masonry company, and the summer of 1993 I got my first real job working for Taco Bell near my house.

So between 1988 and 1991 I spent a lot of time flying F-18 Interceptor, esspecially the carrier landings. This video game had a system to log your flight hours, and 1991 I would have been in 7th grade. So by 7th grade I had already logged well over 7,000 hours of flight simulator time.

Just a few weeks ago my friend Craig Russell of Americans In Orbit-50 Years decided to take me up flying with him from the local airport here in Huntsville Alabama. After we were in the air, he told me to take the controls, so I did and it was the coolest feeling I ever had! Craig could tell immediately that I had a lot of experience because I had such an easy hand on the controls. That’s because I had already trained my mind and muscels how to fly an airplane as early as 7th grade and even before then! Craig has a long and distinguished flying career because he used to fly for commercial airlines, so Craig has something in the ball-park of 9,000 hours of actual flying time. He was very surprised to learn that I had 7,000+ hours in flight simulators even before 7th grade! Now everyone laughs at me because they find it funny to imagine a little kid sitting at a computer flying a simulator all hours of the day and night! So much as even starting a simulated airline in the basement!

I will admit this is a little amusing, now that I think about it.

Some of you may ask, why didn’t you go into avation for a career in the first place?

Well this is a good question, I loved the idea of flying, being free above the world without a care. But I also recognized that it would get boring really quick as a job, because the cockpit would become my office and I would just be sitting behind the controls all the time flying from point A, to point B and back again. This didn’t appeal to me at all, I would have prefered to be in a fighter jet, or testing new airplanes. It was impossible to get into testing new planes unless you had some flight time in a higher performance fighter jet of some kind, and the only real way that a kid could get into that would be to join the airforce, and I wasn’t about to do that! Likewise it was mostly impossible to get into really flying fighter jets if you had eye problems like me. So I knew this was not an option for me. I decided to get into Electrical Engineering and become as smart as I could and educate myself on everything that I possibly could about science and physics. This was also an area that interested me. So that was the direction my career took.

I would like to thank Craig for giving me my first experience flying a real airplane! The other day I helped Craig upload a new video for AIO50 that was aired on a local TV station here in Huntsville for the Americans In Orbit-50 Years event at the Davidson Space Center, US Space Camp. Get a load of these kids in the video!…Awesome!! I love it!



Forum and Blog Updates

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I just wanted to inform everyone that some changes have been made to the forum and the blog on my site. In case you haven’t noticed, all users registered on the forum are now also registered on the blog and all users registered on the blog are now also registered on the forums for my site. I’ve also updated the graphics for the login and reg. pages. A number of additional security measures have been put into place to keep the spammers and hackers out. This has proven to be most effective! Dan also added a useful and much needed Nav-bar to the forums.

All of this is special thanks to my new friend and part-time employee Dan Meeks. I had to bring Dan in because all of this has grown beyond the scope were I could manage it all by my self. Dan is an amazing web programmer and brings a lot of skills to the table. I want to thank Dan for the incredible work and efforts that he’s made on updating the site and making sure that everything works together so well, all without breaking my bank account. (Completely… ;-) )

If you want to hire Dan to work on one of your projects, let this stand as a professional recommendation. You can reach him on his Rent-A-Coder page here:

But please, if your going to hire Dan for one of your projects, don’t give him to much work, as I still have more stuff for him to do on my site first. :-P



In Memory of: Konrad Dannenberg (by Greg Allison -NSS)

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I just got this summary from an old friend in Minnesota:

Ben Huset president of the MNSFS - Minnesota Space Frontier Society

This is a sumary of a great man who passed away this week: Konrad Dannenberg

Written by Greg Allison of the Huntsville HAL-5 chapter of NSS - National Space Society

Space Pioneer Konrad K. Dannenberg passed away on the 16th of February 2009 at the age of 96. He was not only one of the last of the Von Braun’s original rocket team, but one of the most active publicly. In the 1920’s Dannenberg began his rocketry career developing mail rockets after a lecture by Max Valier inspired his interest in space. Mr. Dannenberg designed the injectors of the A4 “V-2″ rocket. Dannenberg went to Ft. Bliss Texas as part of Operation Paper Clip to advance US Army missile development. Later he transfered with the rest of the German Rocket Team to Redstone Arsenal next to Hunstville Alabama where he became a manager on the US Army’s Jupiter and Redstone missiles. He joined NASA when the Marshall Space Flight Center was formed and became a key member of America’s first program to land people on the moon. Mr. Dannenberg rose to the position of depty director of the Saturn V Program, developing the largest rocket ever flown.

This earned him NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. After retiring from NASA in 1973 Dannenberg worked extensively with young people to foster their interest in space. He was an instructor at the US Space Camp, and led the way for student flight experiments on space shuttle Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. As a man of vision, Dannenberg was active in the World Future Society. He was a charter member and served on the Board of Directors of the L5 Society, parent society to the National Space Society. Mr. Dannenberg played a critical role in starting Huntsville’s chapter the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5). He called HAL5’s first meeting. Dannenberg was a major advocate for Newspace. He was an advisor to the Canadian X-Prize Team that sought to build an uprated manned V-2. He was there in the Mojave when Burt Rutan’s team won the X-Prize and later presented NSS’s Von Braun award to Rutan. Dannenberg’s career spawnned the entire space age. He inspired many young people to seek careers in space, science and engineering. Many engineers were inspired to excellence by the example Dannenberg established both in his areas of technology development and public service. Konrad Dannenberg set the bar that we should all strive to meet. Those of us that were honored to know Konrad will dearly miss him.

Windows File Searching

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Have you ever noticed that Windows will some times not find the file you are looking for when you know it is there, or for a file that contains some text that you really need to find in a specific file? I have! Today I found out that Windows excludes certain files from the file search even if you select “Search Hidden Files” and “Search Sub-folders” and “Search System Files” based on the file extension, and the search will still not find the file(s) your looking for. Well that is the reason why. I did not know that although I knew there was something fishy when this happened to me

New Web Forums Finally Online

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Ok finally got my own forums online, I still plan to customize them and hopefully get some custom graphics and stuff in line with everything else I’m doing on this site.

Note: There is a

New Site Graphics Updated

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve posted all the new site graphics that I made while I was in Thailand. This comes with a special thanks to my girl friend for taking the time to upload all the files from her laptop since they didn’t burn properly on the DVD I made just before my departure. I couldn’t have done it without you Mahal!

Hope you like it, I do. :D



New Site Graphics

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I just finished developing a new set of graphics buttons for my site. Of course I haven’t done any re-touching yet, or even tested them out. So I’m not sure how much more work it will take before I like the final result, but at least I’ve gotten the ball rolling for retooling my site. I still have some new title graphics to work on, and I haven’t even started to restructure the site itself, however, getting the buttons done is an important first step.

The last few days here in Thailand I’ve been down with a BAD cough and I haven’t been able to do much of anything. My girl friend finally went out and got some Robitussin. Ever since then I’ve been on the rebound, thus I’m doing much better now. Only about 1 more week here and I’ll be flying back to the US.

At this point I can feel I’m already starting to miss this place and I haven’t even left it. Mostly because I won’t be with my girl friend any more, but also because the weather here is absolutely AMAZING, and I just know the weather in Minnesota is going to be nothing but crud for another

My Encounter with the Thai Police

Monday, February 4th, 2008

After the basket ball game this last weekend a bunch of the guys all had a party and we ate some food from the Philippines, well prepared Pinoy Style, since the food didn’t actually come from the Philippines. You see all the friends I’ve been hanging out with here are from the Philippines, they are all international teachers. After the food, one of the guys here let me borrow his motorbike, and he borrowed the keys to another motorbike from his friend and the two of us went on a joy ride through the local country side. I didn’t have a helmet because most helmets in Thailand are made for Thia people and Thia people tend to have smaller heads then western people. ;) So I didn’t have a helmet, but helmets are required in Thailand.

The joy ride was really great, I got up to third gear and passed the guy I was riding with, then we turned around and started back a different route. On the last turn before getting to their drive way by their flat, there was a speed trap set by a whole bunch of Thai Policemen. They had pulled over a bunch of motor cycles and where busy writing tickets.

Before I continue I should tell you that people here in Thailand don’t say English words quite like they do in the USA. For instance Ice Cream is pronounced Ice-a-cream, and Stop is pronounced Sa-Top.

So I look at the police officers as I ride past them and first one then two officers see me and shout after me “Sa-Top, Sa-Top!” I just kept going like I didn’t understand them, because truthfully it didn’t really register that they wanted me to stop until I was already around the corner. My friend and I kept going until we got to our drive way, we pulled in and got off. Then we all had a good laugh about the Thia Police, they joked that I’ll get my ticket in the mail later.



Thai Basketball

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Last night I was invited to play some hoops Thai style, well actually it’s the same as any ole basketball game around the world. So it’s not like they play with their teeth or anything like that. Only difference is the weather is about as spicy as the food. (HOT) Thus working the ball around the court tends to produce copious amounts of sweat. :-D

Our team lost the game, but anyways it’s not really about winning or loosing, just out to have some fun, and it’s been ages since I played hoops anyways. Best part is I made some good friends while I was at it. They want to learn more about computers and programming, so hopefully I can help them out. When you guys get here, I wish you all a warm welcome.

First time in Thailand

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

I wish I could come up with words to describe the last few weeks of travel I’ve experienced. Pictures are worth a thousand words so the best I can do is post some pictures to really tell the story. However, I’m not able to post pictures right now because this entire time the DVD player in my girl friends laptop has not been working properly so it’s not able to read most of my DVD’s with the applications and things that I brought with me. So I can resize the images, nor can I optimize them for web publication. We had planned to go to the computer store and look at the cost of getting the DVD player replaced or finding a removable DVD player. That’s part of the reason I haven’t made any posts lately, and my time online has been limited for the last few weeks, although I have been online a few times it’s not easy to get lots of time online in the Philippines. It’s a little easier to get online in Thailand. I’m currently writing this post from my girl friends laptop in her