On September 25, 2004 I took the exam for the technician class amateur radio license. I passed that test and became a licensed HAM operator. I was assigned the callsign KI4HDU.
I took the exam at a "HAMfest" (a flee-market type setup where you can buy/sell/swap ham and computer related "stuff) at the Ten-Tec facility in Sevierville. While at that HAMfest, I found an inexpensive 2 meter handheld radio; an Icom IC-V8. I also picked up a dual-band 2 meter/70 cm mag-mount antenna. With all of this, once my license grant information appeared in the Amateur Radio Service licensing information (available by searching the Universal Licensing System), I was able to begin talking!
The main reason I got involved in HAM radio is something called APRS. APRS was developed by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for tracking and digital communications with mobile GPS equipped stations with two-way radio. Since its introduction, it has grown to encompass just about every aspect of Amateur Radio.
APRS is only one form of Packet communications and is the tip of the iceberg as to what can be done with a computer connected to a radio.
I have also participated with some communications groups for some Public Service Events. This part of the hobby requires some time, but is very rewarding. Most of these events are with the Blount County ARES group
After a couple of years, I decided that having privileges to operate on HF would add very nice long distance communications options to my bag of tricks, so I took and passed the test for my General class license on February 24, 2007 at the Dalton Hamfest in Dalton, GA.