Last night a long-time friend of mine, Mike Comer, came for a visit. Mike used to be N8DGV and had a MONSTER 10-M station in Ravenswood. Simply stated, he OWNED the band. I had a Hy-Gain TH6-DXX at 90-feet about 1 mile away from Mike's QTH and that was a really good 10-M antenna. But I would sit and listen to Mike "run" JA's and out of every 3 JA's he worked, I knew I could work one easily, one I figured I could work with difficulty and the third I could not even hear! Mike would open and close the band with his Alpha 86 and his 40-foot boomed antenna.
Well, as I often say, "life got in the way" and Mike became inactive while raising a family and maintaining his career. He recently retired from his main job and although he took other employment, he decided to get back into ham radio. He upgraded to Extra Class and acquired the callsign, N8WC. But, because of not having a station anymore, he has not had a chance to use his new privileges or his new call. So, when he came to visit last night, he asked to get on the air and put N8WC out into the ether for the first time. Below is a video of his first QSO.
It is obvious that an 18 year layoff from ham radio has not diminished his CW skills in the least! And, it was also obvious that the "bug" has bitten him again and it won't be long until he has his own station operational again.
After the above QSO with Spain on 15-M, Mike had a desire to get back on his favorite band - 10-M. So, we moved to 10 and Mike easily worked a Canary Island station with just 100-watts into the 160-M Inverted-L. More grins ensued there so I'm guessing he was making some QSO's in his sleep last night!