Thanks for visiting my QRZ page. I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW. I'm a native of Shawnee Oklahoma. I was first licensed in 1995 as a no-code Tech and currently hold an Amateur Extra class ticket.
I'm a member of the ARRL and, when I remember to pay the dues, the Pearl River County (Mississippi) ARC. I am a 2-term past-president of the Westside Amateur Radio Club, the oldest continuously operating ham club in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. I'm also a reporter and anchor for Amateur Radio Newsline and an ARRL Volunteer Examiner. I can be seen on Ham Nation, an Internet TV show about amateur radio broadcast weekly on the TWiT network. Ham Nation is hosted by Bob Heil, K9EID, Gordon West, WB6NOA and George Thomas, W5JDX. You can find it at http://twit.tv/hn.
Radio has been a major part of my life. In 1970, at the age of 10, I told my parents I would one day be the voice coming out of their radio. At 15 I began studying for my ham license but girls and cars became more alluring than Morse Code and theory. It was 20 years later in 1995 that I finally became a ham. As a young teen I was swept up by the CB craze in the early '70s and right out of high school in 1978 I got my first broadcasting job at the hometown station, 1450 KGFF in Shawnee, OK. From there it was off to Oklahoma City and 50,000 watt 1520 KOMA, then as the afternoon jock on 640 WWLS in Norman, OK. I found my way to New Orleans for various radio jobs at WQUE AM & FM, WRNO FM (simulcast with WRNO Worldwide shortwave), WNOE AM & FM, WEZB B-97 FM, WLTS FM and then to mornings as a member of the KOOL Wake Up Club at oldies WTKL, Kool 95.7 FM. I was also a traffic reporter for several radio and television stations with MetroScan Traffic Network in New Orleans and Production Director for the four Clear Channel owned radio stations in Biloxi, Mississippi. While Production Director at WLTS/WTKL I produced two Addy Award winning radio commercials. Currently I'm Creative/Production Director at the eight station iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) New Orleans radio cluster and I do a little freelance voiceover and radio production from my home studio. My Newsline and Ham Nation duties come from my home studio.
In between radio jobs I wandered down various career paths including retail pipe and tobacco store management and completing training as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Married to Dawn since 1984, we adopted our only child, Tyler Michael, who was born in 2000. "T" keeps Mom and Dad very busy. The family also includes Amelia, a female Miniature Schnauzer and Ted, a male Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix.
In my spare time I like to read and surf the internet. I also enjoy the occasional pipe and cigar, car shows, restoring and driving my 1978 Trans Am, travel and the outdoors.
We lived in Chalmette, Louisiana until Hurricane Katrina. Chalmette is a suburb of New Orleans located in St. Bernard Parish just 10 miles from the Superdome. St. Bernard Parish was one of the hardest hit areas. Every structure in the parish (county) was flooded with anywhere from a few inches to 20 feet of water. Our home was flooded with nearly 4 feet of water and crude oil from a refinery spill. We've permanently relocated to the family acreage in Picayune, Mississippi where we share the 10 acre property with Dawn's parents, her brother and his family and her uncle (KB5TQG). It has become quite the family compound with more in-laws living on the adjacent 10 acre property, again all Katrina survivors. I traded living in the shadows of an oil refinery for 10 acres and a pond in the country.
Thanks for looking! I hope to talk to you soon.
My QSL card. Yes, it's real.
My wife Dawn, son Tyler and me.
Presenting the Young Ham Of The Year award to Kaitlyn Cole, KS3P at the 2011 Huntsville, AL hamfest.
IC-7000 in my Jeep
My '78 Trans Am. A clean bird is a happy bird!
My '73 Trans Am. 455, 4-speed. Sadly, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. This was taken at the '04 New Orleans World Of Wheels.
Best In Class!
6226792 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:25:09, 5131 bytes
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