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First licensed in April 1984 as KB4JPN, I received my General Class on Election Day the following November. Four years later, again on Election Day, I upgraded to Advanced Class. With thousands of QSOs logged, DXCC, WAC, WAS, WAZ, WAN (Worked all Neighbors!) and other "wallpaper" in the book, Amateur Radio just keeps becoming better every day!

What helps make it all worth while??? "Volunteering", that's what. After nearly fifteen years of being an "Elmer" to others in the Atlanta area, it is fulfilling to know I was (and continue to be) able to reach across the generations, extending the efforts of my own Elmer, Maurice Wheeler, K4RMO.

I work most HF bands including the WARC frequencies. For nearly twenty-five years I held down the Net Control post, mainly Tuesday evenings (9:30 PM Eastern Time) on 3.970 kHz,for The Southern Section of the Country Cousins Amateur Radio Network. Beginning Thanksgiving Day 1984 I had the honor to serve the Cousins' not only as an NCS (continuous through September 30, 2008, but also as an elected officer, including 2d VP (Project Manager)...twice, 1st Vice President (Net Manager), President and,subsequently, Chairman of the Board...twice (1998-2000 and 2004-2005)!

Equipment and working conditions in the "shack" are modest; a Kenwood TS590S with the potential to work 160-6 Meters...and an Ameritron ALS600 @ 600 watts to an MFJ VersaTuner to accomplish my goals. The ol' TS450S has been donated to the Morgan County (GA) EMA/EOC and continues to give service for ARES (WR4MC) activity.

My wire antenna "of choice" is a full wave 80 Meter Delta Loop, corner-fed at the bottom (18' off the ground) and flat-top at 65'.  Being able to experience 'horizontal' and 'vertical' polarization and a surprising variety of patterns and subsequent reports makes for quite interesting QSOs. The VDL is complimented by A 160 Meter dipole at 35 feet.

As of April 1, 2016, there is a "K4KIO Hex Beam" (20-10) sittin' atop a 30' pole tied to a utility pole, nestled (nice word for 'hidden') among the trees, 150' from the shack. 

See the "raising" at https://www.facebook.com/billronay/videos/10154056752897726/.  "Honor Roll" here I come!


Being able to snag a "rare one" from a "big gun" is a very satisfying experience...! Yes, I also work UHV/VHF on my Kenwood D100 Dual Band... There are not that many repeaters in the area to "hit" so I am mostly active on 2 M/440 while "mobile".

ATTENTION all of you County Hunters, we are on an honest-to-goodness "County Line"! The "lake" side of the house and yard is in Putnam County. However, the front of the house, office/garage, the biggest part of the yard and the longest parts of the antennae are in Morgan County!

Note: CW is ALSO alive and well at this QTH!

2007  2015

My wife, Camille, and I moved from Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia in Spring 1998. We had lived there for nearly thirty years. We are now in the "Wilderness", as my mother-in-law calls it, of Lake Oconee, approximately 75 miles east of Metropolitan Atlanta...halfway between there and Augusta. To the No'th is Athens, GA. To the South...Macon, GA. Each about an hour's drive.


Attended the ARRL Centennial Celebration, July 17-19, 2014...in Hartford/Newington, CT.  Among the many fascinating experiences during these three days, I had the opportunity to operate W1AW/100 (for 15 minutes...) the 40 Meter Phone position. 

The "Hawaiian" shirt is a special tribute to Tad Williamson, WF4W (SK).  He wore an Island design just about every where went.  In the more than 30 years I knew WF4W (ex-WA4CUG), seldom did we see ol' Tad with a coat and tie!  His sudden passing in May 2014 was a shock to all of us and...at every opportunity...we don this apparel 'just because'.


"You have Cancer..."  Timeline

Discovered Stage 3 Colon cancer in Mid-March 2015.  Spent thirteen days in St. Mary's Hospital, Athens, Georgia...and came out with a good prognosis.  Twelve chemo sessions ended in October 2015 and declared a SURVIVOR and in short-term RECOVERY!

Having a Colonoscopy earlier may have caught the cancer in a lesser stage.  This we will never know.  However, it did make me a believer in the procedure.

Bottom line...listen to your body and do what it tells you to do.  I'm lookin' at slowing down around the age of 92.  How about you???

December 17, 2015:  The results of my "baseline"CT scan just a few days before revealed "NO RECURRENCE". Roughly translated, "Cancer Free"!  Quarterly follow-up exams and 'flushing out my infusion access port every 6 weeks or so my maintenance...  That and an annual Colonoscopy for the next couple years should be a very easy schedule to follow.

March 17, 2016, St. Patrick's Day, sent a "Four Leaf Clover" my way in the form of a "TOTALLY CLEAR" report from the Gastro Doc...moments after waking up in the Recovery Room, seeing my loving wife grinning at me...as the Doc breezed by saying, "See you in three years!"  NOT!!!

Mid-March 2017 - Just returned from my "Bucket List" trip to Curacao as part of the PJ2T Team during the ARRL NADX Contest.  Knew something was wrong internally and subsequent Colonoscopy/PET Scan/MRI/CT series received the diagnosis of Stage 4 COLO-RECTAL CANCER with Liver metastasis.

The tumor is located about four inches abve the rectum and lodged between the outside/inside intestinal wall, leaking inwardly.  Prescribed treatment is a couple 'shock' chemo sessions, 28 treatments with modified chemo/radiation...all of this to shrink the tumor(s)...and then surgery, followed by another maintenance chemo series.  Looking at November/December to see all this through.

As of August 14, 2017, the above treatment has been completed and we are in the 'relax' period of 6-8 weeks planning surgery.  And believe me...I need it!!!

All evidence points to a "Drop Metastasis" (UNCONFIRMED)  which may have occurred during the 2015 operation and lay hidden from detection by doctors and other clinicians for nearly a year!

Successful Surgery!!!

Almost two months to the day, October 18, 2017 to be exact, I checked in to Emory Winship Cancer Center (Decatur, GA) for what would be a six-day odyssey... from the 7th Floor.

Two surgeons ready to slice 'n dice...another on standby.  Dr. Staley would preform a miracle in his colon/rectal resection as would Dr. Maiphal as he attacked my liver's section "6" and surrounding areas.  The Urologist, Dr. Ogan was there if work was needed on the Prostate.  His recommendation was "leave it alone".  And they did.

Pathology states "...ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO!"  With the exception of a very low risk spot on the Prostate, the Cancer, tumors, et al, heave been excised.  The spot on the Prostate is rated so low, the surgeons all agreed to not touch it.  However, the removal of the Seminal Vesicles was necessary.  At this age, who needs 'em any way???

Oh, forgot to mention, the Liver doc decided to remove the Gallbladder "...'cause it was just in the way."  (At no extra charge!)

I left the hospital on October 24, 2017 with an Ileostomy...a temporary elimination port on the right side of the abdoman...to be reversed as soon as all conditions are met.  Somewhat inconvenient and messy.  However, it is so much better than the alternative!

Surgery Update!

Doctor's visit on December 11, 2017 confirms "Conditions Met" and the Ileostomy is to be reversed sometime in mid-January 2018.  This is just three months +/- after the operation.  Wow, I am definitely one lucky guy.

Will be adding to this blog as soon as I have "news".


REMEMBER THE BOTTOM LINE..., pun intended!

IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD A COLONOSCOPY, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???  SCHEDULE YOURS TODAY!  If I had followed this advice when I should have, and had regular follow up visits to the doctor, my original Colon Cancer would have been "discovered" in time for me to have avoided a major surgery.

The origin of the second cancer is anyone's guess.  However, a COLONOSCOPY procedure discovered it...and that's the BOTTOM LINE!


And the Biggest Surprise of 2016...


As mentioned earlier, I am a committed volunteer to the local community. These include:

  • Emergency Coordinator - Morgan County ARES, WR4MC; Communications Liaison - MCSO
  • Reserve Deputy Sheriff - Badge 918;  Morgan County Sheriff's Office; Morgan County, GA
  • Oconee County Amateur Radio Society, W4EEE; ARES/RACES; serving EMA/EOC, Watkinsville, GA
  • ARRL Life Member
  • Quarter Century Wireless Association, Inc., #36542
  • Founding Chairman (2007); Arts Development Council of Georgia (ADCG), ...through December 2015.

Camille Ronay, XYL, owns Georgia Made Georgia Grown, LLC. She has been in touch with Georgians all over the state for over three decades, traveling around the state talking with business owners and tourism professionals developing creative ways to promote local Georgia products and resources. Camille was a consultant with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Tourism Foundation (2007-2009) developing the statewide "Creative Economies Initiative" which which she actively continues on a state and regional level.

Lake Oconee, the second largest man-made lake in Georgia, is managed by the Georgia Power Corporation. The lake is a generous source for the generation of electrical power, the main reason for which it was designed and created in the early 1980s. However, fishing and small game hunting make this fresh-water lake area a very active location all year long.





Reelin' in DX and catfish within a few dozen yards of each other is not too hard to take! This particular photo is a neighbor waiting for the crappie to jump in the boat...











8508756 Last modified: 2017-12-12 18:56:13, 15017 bytes

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