I have been married to a gem of a wife, Lynn, since 1972 and we have two trendy daughters, Rebecca and Laura. I originate from Birmingham and still have family living there but in 1974 we decided to explore other parts of the UK.
Initially, we headed north for the hills, or more precisely the Highland Region of Scotland and spent two and a half years working in spectacular countryside and living close to the town of Inverness.
Thereafter followed a series of work related moves to 'Archers' county (Worcestershire), the once great steel city of Sheffield (South Yorkshire) and twenty-eight years in the village of Grateley, Hampshire. In more recent times with both my daughters having long flown the nest we took the opportunity to move closer to the sea and are now enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle in Exmouth, Devon.
I have worked in the telecommunications industry for nearly 40 years in various technical and managerial capacities. Some 24 years were spent in the public sector but following a trade sale acquisition in 1994 I was employed with NTL Broadcast (now Arqiva since January 2005) who provide a diversity of services including broadcast, cable and satellite.
At the end of 2002 I took early retirement, which has enabled me to pursue other interests, as well as having no excuse to service the list of household jobs which Lynn has been saving for me!
Picture: September 2012; Palamos Spain
I have been licensed as G3ZDG since 1970 and for many years was active on the HF Bands with various items of home-brew and commercial SSB/AM equipment with a keen interest in mobile operation on the 80, 40 and 15 metre bands. VHF interests in the late 70's and early 80’s mainly lay in the operation of RTTY and data using home-brew hardware/software.
Since the mid-80's and at that time living in Hampshire I have not been very active, mainly limiting operation to the 40 metre band using a Yaesu FT-747GX transceiver and G5RV multi-band dipole. Now that I am ‘retired’ and living in Exmouth, where there are many licensed operators, I have no excuse to become more active on the bands again!
I have been a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) since 1970. They represent the interests of the UK amateur radio fraternity and ensure that our regulatory assignments are maintained at a time when there is increasing commercial pressure on frequency spectrum.
I have to admit I still spend too much time on this hobby! Primary interest these days tends to be surfing the Internet and reading interesting articles. I like to keep abreast of technological development and concepts, which is another way of keeping my brain cells active!
Over the last 20+ years I have developed a keen interest in playing electronic keyboards. It's a great way of de-stressing after the rigours of the day (well even in retirement it can get stressful....), but I am no Rick Wakeman! Other than with some assistance of an experienced tutor during 2004 to help improve my playing technique, I am self-taught.
Picture: January 2004 Test Valley Rock School Event, with me playing the Technics KN7000 keyboard!
I began in 1987 with a simple 49 note mini keyboard, which gave me sufficient confidence that this was not a short-term fad, so in 1988 I took the plunge and brought a Roland E20 five octave synthesiser. By 1994 and after consultations with the finance director (the other half!) I went for the Technics KN2000. At the time it was a major leap forward in functionality, which enabled me to more fully explore my fledging musical talents. By 1999 technology and my skills had moved on sufficiently to justify a KN5000, which I kept until 2002 when I upgraded to the KN7000. A superb instrument, but sadly the last of it’s type as Technics withdrew from the market a few years later, so I migrated to Yamaha, firstly Tyros 3 then Tyros 5 (76 key).
My current instrument is a Yamaha CVP-709PE Clavinova, a piano arranger that represents state of the art technology and contains many superb sampled sounds as well as being highly configurable to enable me to be more expressive as well as exploring a wider variety of musical taste.
I tend to enjoy playing big band/ orchestral pieces covering the 20's through to 80's period. Whilst living in Hampshire I periodically got together with friends to jam - all good fun! I have also explored the use of the sequencer in conjunction with my computer running programs such as Cakewalk Sonar to widen my sound experience, as well as helping me to improve my playing skills, particularly timing.
There are many web sites devoted to the distribution of MIDI files and a number of specialist sites which contain some excellent examples of sound & rhythms submitted by other keyboard users or forums.
A long favourite pastime of mine, made more interesting after I purchased my first digital camera in late 2002 and subsequently my first digital SLR camera in 2007, the well rated Nikon D80 with 18-200 VR Lens. These days I use a Sony A6000 with 18-200LE Lens. This mirrorless camera is capable of taking high resolution images and I enjoy the creativity and instant verification. It also records full HD video at 50fps and is smaller and lighter weight compared to traditional SLR’s.
Picture: Kilt Rock Waterfall, near Staffin, Isle of Skye
I continue to retain a keen interest to travel by whatever means, although flying or cruising is much preferred. The more exotic or interesting places the better!
I find there are many enjoyable aspects to Web Design, such as artistic presentation, expansion of graphical skills, research and communication for others to enjoy or find helpful. It is a great aid to memory retention and developing logical connections, attention to detail being a key aspect if the site is to be informative and interesting.
My largest site dedicated to the history of the Directorate of Telecommunications, known as DTELS from 1991 until the trade sale to NTL in 1994, continues to attract many visitors.
The only downside to web design and management is that it can be addictive and you spend too much time at the computer. Which is why I need my other half to keep me in check!