Sunday, July 14, 2013

Conntected...and not by phones, internet, or skype. REAL connections!

...but it all STARTED there!

As many of you know, I'm a satellite geek. I enjoy the technology, the challenge, and the "finds" that exist for us to catch in our dishes. I also enjoy much more....the communications with friends of similar geekdom who have helped me grow in the satellite hobby.

This weekend, Satellite hobbyists, radio station employees, friends of radio people, and listeners all met in my town of Ionia, Michigan for a night of discussion, laughter, and fun as the cap to a weekend of showing off our historical features in town, with the help of the McCord family and other volunteers. New friendships were made, and old ones renewed as we all gathered at the Lamplight Grill.

The group which was the genesis of this wonderful gathering is called "satellite guys." It's a worldwide group of people who enjoy technology in home, phones, home theatre, satellite, internet, and more. The owner and operator of the site has known about WION for a few years through my membership and has inspired us to stream publicly, and has put Ionia on the map through a listener to listener forum they host for us as a service!

The weekend included a visit to the Ionia relay for life as well, and that was quite moving. The team WION helps, known as "volunteers for a cure" was given $811 by donations of WION listeners and satellite guys members....making it another tie between this online group and the people of our town.

I'd like you to read what Scott wrote about WION, and the people of Ionia after he and his wife Eva spent the weekend visiting us....Not an "event" weekend, either. Just your average Ionia county weekend. Enjoy Scott's post from

Well folks...

As you know I travel a lot for SatelliteGuys, and I got to admit, this  is the first trip I can remember going home feeling happy and satisfied  about where we just left.  On this visit I feel we touched a number of  peoples lives, and they touched ours as well.

Last night its difficult to explain the night other than magical.  As I  sit here in the Bishop International Airport in Flint I am still riding  the high of the entire week.

First off I want to thank SatelliteGuys member "Radio" otherwise know as  Jim Carlyle of WION Radio for having us and bring our host for the 4  days we are here.  He made us feel like royalty while we were here...  but to make things more special the entire town of Ionia, Michigan  made  of feel welcome.  It was amazing and we saw some amazing things and  were giving access to some sites and things that nobody else ever gets  to see... and they were excited to have us.  It was so fun going down  Main Street and going into the local shops and doing some shopping, we  got great deals but in a few cases made some good friends who we will be  doing business with again going forward. Jim enjoyed taking our members  on tours of his radio station, and he also loved coming on the tours of  the town with us, he actually saw sites and places that he was never  able to see before.  I think that our visit was as much of a vacation  for him as it was for us.

We had the McCords give us tours of Ionias Historical landmarks and  they enjoyed giving them to us as much as we enjoyed going on them.  Its  hard to explain how happy it made me to see the joy in their faces as  they almost never get to show visitors these hidden treasures that Ionia  holds.

Everyone also took my wife under their wing and showed her a great time,  and on the day of her birthday showed up with cards and gifts.  I don't  know how my wife felt but I was amazed and humbled by the kindness  shown by these people we just met.

Then there was Rich Thompson the owner of the Lamplight Grill, which for  this trip was our home away from home.  Not only was his food at his  restaurant great, but Rich went out of his way to make us feel welcome,  including getting my wife a delicious chocolate birthday cake to help  celebrate her birthday.  Everyone who attended out get together last  night  all mentioned what a perfect spot it was to hold our event.  If  you are ever going to or driving through Ionia please do yourself a  favor and visit the Lamplight Grill.  

We got a amazing all access tour of the Historic Ionia Theater by Amy,  and she was so happy to show things off and was able to answer all of my  geeky questions that I threw her way.  She loves the theater and loves the  town and it shows.  For a theater of its age I have never seen one as  modern and clean inside.  It was interesting to see how the received the  digital movies and how they transferred those movies to their  projectors.

Another place you should visit when coming to the area is Danny Boy's  Drive In Theater.   Unannounced we surprised Bart the owner of Danny Boy's,  by just showing up to his drive in, in the middle of the day and he was  just ecstatic to have us there and gave us a deluxe tour of everything  that Danny Boy's offers.  Now;  Danny Boy's is not just a drive in  theater is it so much moreDanny Boy's does things before movie time  that will make memories for kids and adult alike that they will remember  for years.  Please if you are in the area go check it out, you will not  be disappointed. Make sure to check out the bathrooms!

Thank you to everyone who traveled to our event, we had people from as  far away as Kentucky and Chicago drive to our event, and I honestly  believe all of them went home last night as happy as we were.  Everyone  who came last night went away with a armful of goodies.  I was also  happy when we were doing our drawings for prizes  that Scott Beeman was the winner of  the FTA System donated to us by SatelliteAV.  Scott is the engineer for  WION radio and the entire time we were there he was talking about how  much he wanted to get into FTA but didn't have the resources to do so...  well now that's not a problem for him.  He was so happy when his ticket  was picked out of the basket!

The 4 days went quick, but we are now going home happy, we not only made  a lot of people happy by having us in their town and shopping in their  town, but we made some new friends. 

We didn't talk about them much here, but I want to say a quick "hi" and  thank you to some other people that I didn't have time to write about  here.  I could tell you great stories about each one of them, and  appreciate their kindness and the friendship they have shown.  These people  include, Vicky and her husband, Dan and his wife Bonnie, Bill from WION and  his wife, Phil, Devin,  Leftlane, Jason, Claude, Dave, the other Dave and his wife.  (A reminder  to all those we met... watch out for Channel 2... its a doozy!) (You  had to be there!) :D

Again thank you to everyone who made us feel welcome and to everyone who  joined us for the magical night last night, I truly hope you enjoyed it  as much as we did.

I will be posting pictures later today or tomorrow after we get home as the camera is in our checked baggage.

And now with that.. I think REO Speedwagon sang it best... "It's time for me to Fly!"  Thank you Ionia, Michigan!

Ladies and gentlemen of Ionia County, my friends and WION listeners, every one of us is an ambassador to our town.  I had the pleasure this last weekend. I hope you do someday, as well, and rise to the occasion.  It's wonderful having new friends who now know what Ionia looks like, and how it can welcome them!

-Carlyle costs nothing to JOIN and post your questions, comments, ideas, and needs in cable TV, interenet, satellite TV, smartphones, streaming video, and more.  Please join us, and use the WION forum that has provided! There's a link on our main page at the top of!