I was first licensed in Laurel, Maryland in 1960 at the age of 14. Back then, you had one year to upgrade to 'general' or, as I recall, you were DONE! In any case, I quckly obtained the general class license, the "N" was dropped from the novice call sign and became, K3TIN. Also 'back then' you had to go to an FCC Field Office and sit before an examiner to take the written test, as well as send and recieve CW at a minimum of 13 WPM. I forget who drove me to Washingon, D.C. but, frankly, I don't remember much about the trip to D.C. other than I was a bit nervous.
My first transmitter was built on a piece of plywood! It was a single tube and the power supply was built on, yet another, piece of plywood (great 'conductor' eh?) My first "commercial" rig was a Heathkit HX-11 (try finding one of THOSE nowadays!). My first receiver was a BC-348.
So yes, I've been a ham for over 60 years now! Actually, I have been quite active all those years, including when I was stationed with the US Air Force over in Japan during the Vietnam war. I was in Japan between 1968 and 1971 and held the "Japanese" call sign of KA2JO. While there I bought my first "serious" gear, a pair of Yaesu twins, the FRDX-400 receiver and the matching FLDX-400 transmitter. I even bought the matching speaker. I had this set up in a 'radio room' (club house) at Yokota AFB, not too far from Tokyo.
Upon my return to the USA I renewed my interest in flying (that's a story for another whole web site!) and eventually started flying 'professionally' in 1976. At that time I was living in south Mississippi and eventually started my own flying service in Laurel, Mississippi. That is when I first started flying Learjets. I finally 'settled' in the Tucson area where I started teaching Learjets at FlightSafety International, from which I retired after 21 years.
Now that I am retired I am enjoying ham radio more than ever! As my "Home page" noted, I enjoy trying out a variety of equipment, "old and new", mostly 'newer'. I suppose CW is STILL my "all time favorite mode" albeit, I do quite a bit of digital modes, including Pactor and many, many of the sound card modes. I still prefer the "handshaking" modes (non-pactor) such as packet, ALE-400 and, now, VARA. Of course, "all the rage" now is FT8/FT4. I won't go into my "FT8" diatribe here but, suffice it to say, it too has its place. It is a great mode for "checking" band conditions, regardless of one's "opinion" of it. :)
Enough about 'me'. I'd love to meet you on the air, whatever mode, and enjoy a good, old fashioned "rag chew"!