The past year has been a mixed bag for me, but I am still alive and kicking. I lost a few close friends in 2013, but at my age it's to be expected. As John Winter says, there's no future in getting old. On the flip side my kids and grandkids are all healthy and doing well, and for that I am very thankful.
In February my blog will be two years old (this website, four), and while it's been fun, it's also had it's disappointing moments. It's allowed me to stay in touch with old, friends and meet new ones as well. Lately however I've been trying hard to get the spark back...to get enthused about detecting again, and it's not been going all that well. Not good when you are trying to get others excited and you are not.
Anyway I will be giving all this serious thought in the days ahead, weighing the pros and cons, the good and the bad and decide whether to continue with Stout Standards. In the meantime I want to wish you all a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!
With only two days left in the year it seems only appropriate that John Howland should wind it up with by poking his two adoring fans Wally & Harry. If you are interested in what Bubba has to say about the Heritage InAction group click on his photo...
Despite the fact that I am somewhat bored with detecting, I still check the various websites, blogs, forums and try to keep up with what's going on. I started to wonder however that in doing this I just might be compounding my problem. A few words come to mind...boring, humdrum and treadmill.
I am not exactly sure what I expect anymore and just maybe getting older is my problem. Certainly I have heard that diagnosis and worse from a number of people, especially my wife. Another possibillity is that it may have to do with how long I’ve been detecting and all the finds that I've made over the years. While I’ve never found a gold coin, or for that matter a silver dollar, I have found my share of goodies and I find it hard now to get excited over finding more of the same.
Wouldn't mind trying my hand at nugget hunting again, but doubt I will get the opportunity. I also loved hunting the beaches when I lived in New Jersey, and would sometimes come home with a few goodies, but what I really enjoyed most was just being there, smelling the salt air, hearing the waves and experiencing that end of day tired but healthy feeling.
Today all the TH'ing forums look alike and read alike, as do the websites and blogs (mine included). Ditto for all the home made, self promoting videos. When I sit down with TH’ing magazines I find myself reading stories that I am certain I’ve read before, and see photos of finds that look exactly like those in the article two pages earlier, and sorry, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot get excited over finding a button or a bullet. I understand why others do...it’s just not my thing.
There also seems to be a lot more much one-upmanship, "right here pal", buy mine not theirs, BS. Too much ME and and not enough WE. Yes I know it’s marketing, selling, self-promotion and the way things work. I just find it to be repetitive and as of late, unrelenting. We all have ego’s, a need to be noticed and some of you a product to sell, but enough already, please! Seems the sky's the limit when it comes to our wallets, and then it's every man for himself. All this when our pastime is under attack in many areas. I guess I shouldn't be surprised however. It's always been "yes siree, if ain't happening to me who gives a rat's ass"!
The times and the participants are changing, as is the technology, pretty much leaving me in the dust. I don’t like it but I don’t really have a problem with it either. It too is just the way it is. I will still continue to dig holes here and there, looking for that first silver dollar or gold coin. I would however like to think the hobby will be around for my grandkids when they get older, but if things keep going as they are, I have serious doubts. Hope I am wrong.
For the record this is a forum that someone from another site “begged” me to join a while back, telling me that it was indeed different from the others. I agreed and registered. After doing this one of the administrators or partners thanked me, and told me that the owner of the forum, Larry (from Texas), had worked with me at Garrett, had hunted with me many times and not only that, we had found “gold”!
While I hated to ruin a good story I told him I had no clue who Larry was, had never worked with him at Garrett, never hunted with him, and sure as hell hadn’t found any gold (somehow think I would remember that). Anyway when I attempted to post anything on this forum I had a lot of trouble logging in. No matter what I did I was unable to connect. Finally the administrator tells me that “Larry” had banned me. When I asked why he said he didn’t know. No reason was given.
“Did I send you the note that he was BANNED from THF last summer? (we had to) I’m not making this up, seriously, Larry and me banned him! Ask Dick! The old coot, he deserved it !”
Hmm, deserved what? And why did you “have to” ban me? Why wasn’t a reason given? Interesting too that they seem to find it funny that they “had to” ban me . Apparently when you call someone out for making up stuff or lying, you are not a team player anymore...
And that my friend is just one example of why I feel the way I do...
I found the following article interesting, especially the quote “I wish it had been someone working who found it". Sure would love to know the whole story.....
To Wally & Harry…the Beavis & Butthead, Bert & Ernie, Flotsam & Jetsam of the archaeological community. Over the past year you’ve not only had me ROFLMAO, you’ve also taught me words like tekkie, coiney, thugwit and hoik. And then there’s Farmer Brown? Golly gee, what a funny guy!
So because you both have made my life so much more enjoyable, and because this is the holiday season, I have decided that starting in the new year I will do my very best to keep exposing you two for what you are…professional trolls, laughing stocks and wannabe detectorists. So der ya go! Happy holidays and have one for me, or whatever it is people like you do for fun.
A guy broke into our house last week. He didn’t take our TV, just the remote. Now he drives by and changes the channels. Sick bastard!
Not sure if you remember the Club Step Up & Cleanup Program from this past spring, but it’s been renewed thanks to White’s Electronics.
First adopt a stretch of highway, a park or other similar public area and make it yours. Draw up a plan or schedule (preferably weekly or monthly) and donate your time, keeping it free of litter and trash. In other words, take pride in your community and at the same time promote your club. It’s that easy!
Send a newspaper clipping or email a link to a television blurb about your club’s “Step Up and Clean Up” initiative. It must show your club actually at work, cleaning up your adopted area, and it cannot be dated before January 1, 2014. Last years winners are not eligible…
Send it to: “Step Up and Clean Up”, White’s Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386
I want to thank Alan Holcombe, and White’s Electronics, for participating in this. I have nothing personally to gain out of this, other than my love for the environment and animals, both domestic and wild.
We can all make a difference when it comes to our surroundings, and while what you do may seem insignificant, it is not. Watch the following video all the way through, and I think you will agree.
What do you think? Is your club interested in winning a White’s Coinmaster, and in the process, making a difference in the world? Good luck, and keep me posted.
Lastly Fay and I want to wish you all Happy Holidays, and during this festive season please consider visiting your local animal shelter….I have no doubt you will meet your new “best friend & family member”!
I want to thank Dan Hughes for giving Stout Standards a plug on his latest metal detecting podcast. At least I think I do? You see he actually called me a curmudgeon, and if that weren't bad enough he then called me an angry old man. Well Dan, I will get even with you in due time...that's what all us curmudegons do. Perhaps when you're old enough to join the angy old mens club, although I am not sure you are no where near nasty enough. Any way remember..hell hath no fury like a curmudgeon scorned!
Well, apparently I am not the only down trodden Tekkie right now and sorry John Winter, misery does indeed love company. Read John's latest post and you will understand. He breaks down and finally shares those adventures he was trying so hard to hide. So welcome to the club John. Keep it up and I might consider you for membership in the above mentioned "angry ole curmudgeons club"!
Well the big bopper from Bournemouth has sent a holiday tome that I think you will like. Along with his usual funnies he actually offers to help out the Bobbsey twins with any future "tekkie hate" postings. Hope you will take a minute or two to read his latest "ho, ho, ho" by clicking HERE.
This morning I recently received an email from detectorist James Bizzell asking if I would mention his newly formed club, the Rio Grande Valley Metal Detecting Club. The group meets in Welasco, Texas, just a short distance from the Mexican border and covers the Brownsville to Rio Grande City area. Good luck James and keep us posted on what's happening in your neck of the woods.
When I first turn on my computer in the morning I check my email first, and then Wally and Harry’s offerings. That way my day can start off with a chuckle or two. Today’s read was exceptional as in ROFLMAO!
Not sure why but for some reason Wally has to share or mimic what Harry writes all the time. I suppose that’s so Harry gets a visitor or two to his blog every now and then. Anyway Wally starts off making sure we read Harry’s titillating outlook on life, and then goes on a tear pissing and moaning about all things metal detecting. You know more of the ole “leave it there, it all belongs to us” rhetoric.
While Wally’s daily blog posts always scream foul, today’s were over the top. Guessing that maybe he had dreams about the Staffordshire hoard or the now highly discredited AEC. Pity his family this Sunday (if indeed he has one).
I have tried hard not to link to their blogs but I think today is an exception. It’s only fair to share my mirth with you all. Enjoy, but don’t laugh too hard. You might get sick.
Maybe it’s me but recently I’ve noted that many detectorists feel the need to say things like “I will never sell any of my finds”, “I don’t do it for the money" or "I just love touching history”. I find no fault at all with these comments, but it seems to me that they are somehow trying to justify what it is they do, and appease anyone who might find fault with it. Do you feel guilty for participating?
Well I hope this doesn’t disappoint you, but over the years I have sold a few of my finds (coins mostly) and feel no shame at all. Why should I? You see over the years I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in equipment and travel expenses, hundreds of hours researching and everything I found was on the up and up...legal, licit, acceptable and within the law. I never trespassed, always had permission to hunt on private land, and detected those public places where my pastime was allowed. Did I find anything of historical significance? I doubt it, but that depends on your definition of historic, doesn’t it?
Why did I sell some of my finds? Because I needed the money. Does that sound sordid or obscene to you? If so, I am sorry. You see shit happens and times are not always as good as you’d like. Whoever said “money doesn’t buy happiness” forgot to add that it does help pay the bills. Yes, I understand saving and displaying your finds is fun and I still do that, but an old detecting friend of mine used to say "that's nice but can you eat it?”
I know that my good friend in Warsaw will be all over this, but I don't care. He's irrelevant. This is an acceptable pastime and I have nothing to be ashamed or anything to hide. Will I continue to sell my finds? Don’t know...maybe, but I sure as hell won’t allow anyone to put me on a guilt trip if I do. How you feel or handle this is up to you...
If you happen to be a coin hunter and facing a long hard winter, let me offer a suggestion. Sit down and go through your coin finds and look for “semi-key” dates. In particular, pennies, dimes and quarters.
When I started out in the 70's I used to put my silver finds in a 2x2 and label it with the date, location and the approximate condition. After that I filed them away in coin boxes, notebooks, and stored them in a closet. Every once in a while I would pull them out and look at them, primarily to get a feel for what location I might return to, but that was pretty much it. Then a few years ago I looked up a couple in the latest Red Book and was floored how much they had increased in value.
I started pulling out my books/folders/boxes and discovered I had quite a few coins in the VF to XF grades that were worth a helluva lot more than when they were found. I knew the 1914D penny was a semi-key, but was amazed by how much it had increased in value over the years. I was also very pleased with some of my Seated and Barber coins in vf to XF condition...
Be sure to check the early wheat cents and Mercury dimes w/mint marks, as well as the Barber & Seated.
John Howland shares more on the AEC, sometimes called the "Artifact Erosion Counter". Given that Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry created this fairy tale I prefer to call it the "Automatic Erection Creator". If you are interested in knowing more please read John's "I gotcha" by clicking HERE.
My whacked our tekkie friend in Oregon, Neil McElroy, emailed me this listing from Craiglist, and had to share it. Accurate title or description? I think so...
Thanks Neil...hi to everyone in the BSC McElroy family. Hope they let you all out for the holidays.
During the recent ice storm here I found myself reading more, and that included metal detecting books. I picked up my first copy of "successful Coin Hunting" by Charles Garrett, and amazingly it read as though it was an entirely new tome. It reminded me of my early days detecting and also just how much better all these older texts were. I belive there's been at least 4 updates of this title, but none of them can hold a candle to the first. The grammar wasn't always the best nor was the spelling, but the stories, the tips, and the enthusiasm was top notch.
It seems that as time went on ghost writers, color photos and flashy presentations took precedent over content. JMO.
Thanks to all of you who emailed and tried to help me get out of my detecting funk. I'll get over it. In the meantime I just need to see what else is going on in the world...
At a Scottish wedding reception the D.J. yelled..."Would all married men please stand next to the one person who has made your life worth living." The bartender was almost crushed to death.
“This time we were at another large field, across the road from our morning hunt site. I was told that the property contained the earliest courthouse in the county, though it became obvious that the house currently standing on the site is only from the turn of the century. A small building standing on the property, though, was the original sheriff’s office. The fields here yielded some beautiful buttons, early date wheat pennies, a couple of Indian heads, a few silver dimes and several large American pennies. We hunted until approximately 4:00 when we decided to call it a day and a great day it was. I couldn’t have asked for a better day or a better group of hunters and I can’t wait until we get out there and do it all again”.
The above is from the December newsletter of the Shore Seekers Artifact ∓ Recovery Club, Salisbury, Maryland, and did little to help my “in house” confinement. The ice is still here big time! I can’t get into my car, I am getting tired of staring at the walls, and we pretty much lost most, if not all, of our large oak tree in front of the house.
Reading Bill Draper’s description of the club’s latest outing reinforced my belief that if I were back home I wouldn’t be feeling so low. Yes I would still be 72 years old, but I would be in rural Hunterdon county, New Jersey, detecting cellar holes, picnic groves, old schools, turn of the century homesites, and feeling pretty damn good about the odds of my next signal, my next find..
Anyway I am still alive and kicking (well somewhat) and will send you to John Winter’s great blog. His latest post is a good read and should inspire a lot of newcomers. It’s also a reminder that what we do is not rocket science . Stay warm and have one for me.
Yours truly doesn’t have a whole lot to say or offer up at this time, and since there’s a very good chance we could lose power over the next couple of days, I decided to share John Howland’s latest here on the home page. Thanks Bubba…
Tales of treasures lost and fortunes found litters American history. Many of the tales dating to well over a century ago are born out of the days known as the Wild West. It’s the stuff of Hollywood legend and matinee idols, of the kind that made screen heroes out of Randolph Scott (a particular favourite), Gary Cooper (and you didn’t mess with him when he’d had more than two-fingers of Rub o’ the Brush), war hero Audie Murphy (Shane), and Rory Calhoun (known for his portrayal of The Texan) notwithstanding his time as a hoodlum who robbed a ‘jeweller’s store, stole a car, drove it across a state line making it a federal offence. He did three years in the Springfield, Missouri, penitentiary, finishing his incarceration in San Quentin). He made good and became a movie star. But my all-time favourite, was Ray Danton, star of The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960) and The George Raft Story. All these guys added to the romantic mystique of the pioneer West where truth and fiction blended seamlessly. However….
One particular treasure tale still remains cloaked in controversy. It concerns the so-called Colorado Dimes Incident, where barrels of freshly minted, silver 1907 Barber Dimes, reckoned today to be worth around $4-million to the finder, went AWOL in mysterious circumstances. So what makes these particular Barbers so special? Though some 4,080,000 were struck from 90% silver and 10% copper bearing the ‘D’ of the Denver mint, few ‘D’ Barbers exist today in really good condition, whereas the lost coins if found will be in excellent condition and highly prized. “This coin is tough to find in AU and MS, according to the David Lawrence Rare Coins blog.
Numismatists are divided in their opinions; some reckon that the 1907 Barber Dime is, inexplicably, one of the rarest American coin types, especially in Fine condition even though over four million were minted. Others say precisely the opposite. Today, just a handful exists in reasonably good condition. So who’s right? Depends who you listen to.
The story goes that in 1907, a shipment of these silver Barbers Dimes, were packed in a number of barrels at the Denver Mint, Colorado, and put aboard a Phoenix-bound wagon train. Neither they, nor any of the wagon train crew arrived at the intended destination. Somewhere along the trail they and the Dimes vanished from the face of the earth. Speculation abounds as to their fate: Were they prey to outlaws? Or did the wagon crew make off with them, or, as some treasure hunters believe, the wagon train fell victim to the treacherous terrain, possibly toppling into Black Canyon. Maybe even, the wagon train was swamped as it tried to ford the Gunnison River. My money (yeh, I know, a dumb-ass Limey), is on the latter and somewhere close to the Gunnison River’s Diversion Dam.
No one knows for sure the precise shipment’s precise fate, but if you could get your hands on the contents of those barrels you could be looking at a great payday at today’s prices. Good luck!
In one of his poorly written, near impenetrable blogs, Barford again rants and rages at Tekkies, rounding off his outburst with the best throwaway line in years:
Tekkie-Apologetic Winter [he means the excellent writer, John Winter] and his lowbrow-conspiracy-theory fellows are really getting pathetic with their childish denials. Just what do they take the rest of us for?
I'm not sure about the rest Barford, but I know what many take you for (including some arkies) and it rhymes with Rick!
I have a confession to make... I am bored to death.
Since starting my website and blog I have had occasion, many times over, when I wish I hadn’t bothered. Times when I just wanted to do something else, and forgive me, times when I am just bored to death about anything and everything metal detecting. Worse yet the weather here has been terrific of late and I've had no desire to go play in the dirt.
I visit the forums, websites, blogs and related pages on Facebook (which seem to multiply daily) and maybe it's just me, but I have never seen so many redundant topics beaten to death, and as much as I would love to participate, I just can't get excited about being the 100th person to say "great find Jack" or "welcome from Texas". Don't beat me up please....I understand a lot of the information online is very useful for those just getting into the pastime or for those who are looking for answers to specific problems. As for me? Meh!
Perhaps it’s time to move on, find another interest, hobby or obsession. Maybe needlepoint or whittling...both are sedentary and would help alleviate my aches and pains. Then again maybe I should finally get involved in Pentanque (Boules). I've had my balls now for sometime (Howland, don't even bother), which is more than I can say for Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry, and I've always wanted get involved with the group here in Dallas. Yep, maybe that's the ticket. Toss a ball, drink a little pastis or wine, toss another ball...
If you have any suggestions on how to get me out of this funk let me know. I've been detecting now for almost 40 years and just need to get my head out of my ass. In the meantime bear with me if I occasionally cry in my beer (okay, it's Merlot).
So call this a reflection, file it away in the "bullshit" folder, and If by chance you are upset or offended about my criticisms above, please click here...
Thanks to John Winter for sharing a recent Malamute Saloon posting by John Howland. The topic is something we need to be aware of and the more tekkies that read it, the better. This ongoing "it must be a detectorist" blame game is getting old, and we all pretty much know where it's coming from...
Curious. Who was the first tekkie to take videos of their "in the field" experiences? I mean who was it that decided others would would want to watch "them" dig a coin, button, whatever?
I was looking forward to Thanksgiving at my daughter's house this year, but things just didn't quite go my way. On Tuesday I came down with a virus and despsite a visit to the doc's and a shot in the butt, I still felt pretty lousy on Thursday. Not wanting to give it to the rest of the family, especially the grandkids, I stayed home and spent the day napping and chowing down on a bowl of red beans and rice, thanks to Zatarains (Jessie Thompson, eat your heart out).
Anway it's Saturday and despite feeling somewhat better, I still plan on spending a quiet day at home. It is after all "black Friday" weekend, and I don't care to be part of this annual "running of the idiots". I've often thought they should make it part of the Olympics. You know, put a large screen TV fifty yards away and let the entrants do whatever is necessary, including stomping their competitors to death, in order to retrieve it. I doubt however there would any interest from countries other than the US.
I do hope your Thanksgiving was more eventful, and that it was a relaxing, enjoyable day with family, food and friends. Despite my being sick I am still very thankful for so many things, even Zatarains, which helped turned my quiet day into a "somewhat" quiet day. You should be thankful you weren't around me to celebrate!
Happy to see that Butch and Anita Holcombe, publishers of American Digger magazine were recently recognized by the SmallBizClub for their hard work and entrepreneurship. A great magazine, a great success story and two deserving individuals!
The funny guy in the UK just emailed me with a post for the Malamute Saloon, and hope you will take a few minutes to read it. If it weren't for John my bawdy joke bag would be empty. To read his latest click HERE.
Enoyed the following article from the British Museum site, and hope you will not only take the time to read it, but save it as well. Thank you Michael Lewis!
Just came across another old photo of Barnum and me and had to add it to my "Barnum collage". It was sometime early in 2002, right after we brought him home. As you can see we have both aged somewhat since then, but still very debonair if I do say so myself...
You've heard me mention these two tekkies before, but they still keep knocking me out with their finds. Dave recently messaged me that he had found his tenth George Washington Inaugural button and Todd had found this fourth. They are cellar hole hunters, and frankly irritate the hell out of me. I used to hunt cellar holes and found a few nice things here and there, but these guys...they abuse the privilege. I mean come on...
For those of you not familiar with this particular button read more about them HERE.
John Howland's latest contribtuion to the Malamute Saloon adds a some insight to the anti-tekkie blowhards, Paul Barford and Nigel Swift. It's an accurate assessment and right on the money. They are yahoos of the highest order. Take a minute and read his byline HERE.
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. It's the only holiday that doesn't demand you buy gifts or attend religious services. It's simply a day for family, friends, feasting and great conversation. It doesn't get any better than that.
Just wanted to update you on all things trivial and stupid here at the Stout residence. I know how much you care. Your concerns are appreciated (even yours Wally).
For those of you who offered possible solutions to my pc problem, I thank you. I hate to say this, but it wound up being my monitor, NOT the pc! Bill Gates, I apologize. As to the guy who got pissed about my FB post...UP YOURS!
Well my good friend and pub mate John Howland has advised me that a holiday gift is on the way from across the pond, and I am already experiencing deja vu. You see I have received two years running now the same damn mug. Knowing what a cheap bastard he is I suspect he bought case of these, a dime on the dollar and sends them out every year. I will keep you posted on what the "new" holiday gift is.
We are facing 24 hours of freezing rain and sleet today, and while I can deal with the weather, I have a hard time dealing with loss of electricity. Yep, I'm a wimp. So if I don't offer up anything for a few days you will know why...
A gal I know from here in Dallas recently told me she is moving to Warsaw, Poland and I asked if she would look up my good friend Wally when she got there. She promised she would. She is also a proponent of judo and karate, and is working on her introductory move...
If we should happen to lose power here, just want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. The one holiday that offers good food, good wine, family and friends. It doesn't get any better than that! Enjoy and be sure to have ONE for me...
I was bitten with the treasure hunting bug eons ago and I became obsessed with it to the point where I lived, ate and slept it. I thought every beep was silver, and thankfully in the beginning a lot of them were. I subscribed to and read every metal detecting magazine on the market and then read them a second time. I kept reading the owner’s manual, just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, kept my detector ready to go, and spent countless evenings passing metal items over the search coil so I could better understand their sounds.
I adjusted my work schedule whenever I could so that I could squeeze in a few minutes of detecting, and started keeping very detailed records, recording what coins I had found, the dates, mint marks, the location, the weather, what detector I was using and yes, if I could remember, even the settings. I would then study these notes as if they were dead sea scrolls. I was obsessed and enjoyed every damn minute of it.
Over the years I found a helluva lot of coins, some jewelry, a few relics, met lots of great people, got to travel to places I had only read about, and spent a couple of years working for a major manufacturer. Today? I’m older, fatter, lazier and enjoy watching you all do those very same things. It’s a changing of the guard I suppose. Oh I still enjoy detecting, just at a less frequent and slower pace.
As I visit some of the detecting websites, blogs and forums I can’t help but notice how obsessed everyone is today with their equipment. I know, you've heard me harp on this before but it baffles the hell out of me. Detectors, headphones, coils, pinpointers, swingey thingey's, cameras and so on. I just wonder if you wouldn't be better off if you spent half as much time and money searching for places to use it all. Kinda like "all dressed up and nowhere to go". I understand your exuberance...just that I never had the deep pockets you all have.
I look at the price of today's detectors, pinointers, headphones, diggers, shovels, cameras and I am amazed. In the dark ages all I had to worry about was whether my detector had fresh batteries in it and where I would take it. I had a cheap pair of headphones, a screwdriver and carpenter's apron, all of which probably cost me around $25. I was also pretty damn good at recovering a coin without leaving a trace and miracles of miracles, I didn't have a pinpointer. Okay, so maybe once or twice I had to replace the apron.
I am guessing here, but I bet the average detectorist today has spent "at least" $1,000 on his equipment, if not more. I also understand that times have changed, and that there's a zillion other pastimes where one can spend the same amount of money and more. I also think that Tiger Woods would still shoot a pretty good round of golf with a set of clubs from Walmart.
A couple Nike quotes come to mind...
As I am sure you know, today is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, and a day that will always be remembered. Hardly anyone will forget where they were when they heard the news. I know I won't and I can only hope that those who were too young to remember will learn more about that fateful day and understand the full meaning of it all.
I have to also add that today is my daughter Molly's birthday and Barnum's too. I will not share Molly's age, but will tell you that Barnum turned 12 today, and he is fast asleep next to me here in his "brand new" bed...
They are predicting cold temps along with sleet and freezing rain for this weekend so you all take care, and if you're planning to do some detecting, dig out the ice pick.
There's a Bass Pro shop just across the lake from me, and I like to shop there for clothing, shoes and the like. Well I was in there the other day and thought I would be eaten alive by all the camouflage. I have never seen so much of it in my life.
First there was the rocker recliner. It not only came in camouflage, but in four different shades! Now if you happen to have one of these in your living room please excuse my sarcasm, but who the hell are you hiding from? The wife? The kids?
Next, if you happen to get stuck babysitting during hunting season you can simply take the kiddo along, because Bass Pro sells camo baby bottles and baby clothes to match. Then I got wondering. Was there a house somewhere painted in camouflage? Damn if I didn't find come upon a few cans of camouflage house paint.
Why they even had camo light switch plates, rope, baby pacifiers, dinnerware for the home, flip flops, "kiss my bass" boxer shorts for the ladies and if you absolutely need to go hunting on Sunday morning you can score a few points by getting your sweetie a pink camo studded cross Bible case! There was no doubt in my mind that if they sold mens suits there would be more than a few in camo.
And I thought I had seen it all but on my way out of the store I noticed a display of......come on, take a guess?
Well the Bubba caught me by surprise with his latest contribution to the Malamute Saloon. I knew he was up on United States history (probably even more so than I) but he is apparently a big fan of the twenties & thirties, and in particular the "gangster" part. His latest story about Dutch Schultz ought to appeal to Big Tony from Bayonne, but I hesitate to bring him into all this. He probably has a few family members involved in the storyline....
If you are interested in searching for $50 million in gold coins, jewelry & cash, be sure to check out John's latest by clicking HERE.
I finally got out for a little detecting Sunday morning, and while I came home with a piece of silver, I'm not sure it was all worth it. Later that day I was reminded of something John Winter often says...."there's no future in getting old".
The weather Sunday couldn't have been better. Sunny and the temp topped out later in the day at 86, tying a record for this date here in the Dallas area. I dusted off the MXT Pro and headed to a spot (which shall remain anonymous to protect the innocent the aged) and spent close to two hours waving the magic wand. I finished with a few pieces of clad and one dateless Standing Liberty quarter. Thankfully the quarter was found at the start of my search, giving me some impetous to continue. I didn't need to worry about when to quit....my back and my feet told me.
It felt so good to get in the car, and later on I was so exhausted I fell asleep watching my beloved New York Giants play. The rest of Sunday was nothing but pain without any gain, silver quarter be damned....a reminder that I need to eat a little less pasta, find another excercise program other than lifting fork to mouth and start taking my health a little more seriously. When you start figuring the per hour payout based on the time spent, you know you aren't the hunter you used to be.
For you modern day tekkies, I did take a video, but it's a pay per view event! Check with your local cable provider for date and time.
"Hi there, my name is James and starting my blog has been a wonderful experience and one which has given me great satisfaction, it will be a record of my metal detecting trips on the historically rich Fylde coast and the banks of the lower river Ribble. I wish to share my love of history and pre-history, birds, conservation, wildlife of all kinds and photography, especially concerning the Fylde Coast and the river Ribble and its estuary. The unparalleled impact human beings have upon the environment and each other"....
That, in a nutshell is what Digging History is all about and it's become a favorite of mine. I enjoyit because it's diversified, and a nice change of pace.
Hope you will take a few minutes to visit James, and if you like his take on things please let him know. Bloggers blog because they enjoy the process, but it's also nice to know that others appreciate what it is you are saying.
Well I was looking forward to last night's Relic Roundup show because Mark Schuessler, the president of the FMDAC was the guest, and I was eager to know how the group's recent "summit" meeting turned out. This summit was Mark's idea, and took place at the recent FMDAC gathering in Knoxville, Tennessee. Thanks to Butch & Anita Holcombe from American Digger magazine, it was a Skype event which included Mark, Avery Marder (Task Force), as well as representatives from Fisher, Garrett and Minelab. The purpose? To discuss if it was possible for the various entities to come together to promote and protect our pastime. Something that is desperately needed in my opinion.
I was really hoping to hear something new and exciting last night but was saddly disappointed. All I heard was more of the same ole, same ole...the two organizations will share information, try to work together and more of how we need to teach peope how to dig properly. A rehash of everything that has been said before, and no mention at all of combining the groups into one.
I know I am going to take a lot of flack for criticizing this effort but this pastime just seems to "float" along taking things as they come, and then tries to deal with problems "after" they happen. I also understand that these organizations are made up of volunteers, but please, spare me that excuse over and over again. I get it. The FMDAC has always been made up of volunteers but it shoudn't be a reason for not communicating or getting things done.
I was also hoping to hear a little bit about the problems in Lousivlle, Kentucky, Cook County, Illinois and even the recent proposed ban in Mark's Erie County area. A brief mention that they were "working on things" was all I heard, and why wasn't someone from the Task Force available last night to share their take on the "summit" meeting?
I understand it's easy for me to sit on my ass, complain and criticize but if I didn't who would? Okay, fire away!
Well now that I've got your attention, thank you to the gang at Regton, Ltd. for not only sharing this photo but for making me aware of the Facebook page called Ghosts of the Eastern Front. They also have a titled Kurland Militaria.
While I've just become aware of this site, it looks quite interesting. Please be forewarned however that locating and digging many of the items shown is dangerous and not something to take light heartedly. Unexploded ordnance is something people in Europe deal with regularly, and I once witnessed the Département du Déminage removing a bomb from a beach in France, that according to my friend Michel Tocque, was detected heavily. Do yourself a favor and read the following article...it's a fascinating read:
In any case I hope those of you who are into military history enjoy both the Ghosts of the Eastern Front Facebook page as well as their website. Thanks again Nigel and friends at Regton.
The internet age is in full swing and in all it’s glory. There’s absolutely nothing you can't find online. As a result brick and mortar stores are going out of business and mom and pop shops have become extinct. You see there's no need to visit that book or video store to browse, to hang out, to meet others who enjoy the same thing. You just do it online. You can buy what you want there too. End result? Large corporations going bankrupt, store closings and thousands of jobs lost.
The question that I have, and it’s one that sometimes bothers me, is will all this technology kill our pastime like it has businesses and jobs? Will we be so giving, so willing to show off our talents that we endanger the hobby in the process? Think about the recent detecting shows on TV. How much is enough? How many YouTube videos, photos and comments will it take before we dig our own grave?
The metal detecting fraternity is inherently good in nature, but are we are also prone to boasting and one-up-man-ship. It’s only natural to want to brag about a nice coin find, a neat old relic or gold nugget, and what better place to do it than on the internet. Years ago we could only tell a few close friends. Today? The entire world! Think about it and then think twice about what information you might be sharing.
Shout if you want, but do so at your own peril. I am getting older and it won't affect me half as much as it will you.
This is an old Western & Eastern Treasures article that I did years ago. I decided it might a good time to edit it and share again. Nothing new and nothing earth shattering....just a few suggestions on how to get through the winter doldrums (plus I didn’t want to piss off anyone with my computer problems)....
Having spent most of my life in New Jersey, I can relate to the winter blues. On those days when it was bitterly cold and darkness came early, spring was only a figment of my imagination. I literally counted the days, but nothing seemed to make up for this dismal time of year. After about two years of this self-imposed exile I began to realize that there were indeed things I could do during this down time, and things that were fun and rewarding.
Being the detector addict I was back then I kept my detector near the dining room table, and almost every evening I would pass various items over the searchcoil, trying to ascertain patterns on the meter or variations in the audio. It did not take too long to recognize the difference between nails, coins, bottle caps and other metallic items. I didn't become an expert, but I started to become more familiar with my metal detector and what it was telling me.
I continued this practice for years, and while I am not faced with harsh winters here in Texas or get out that much, I still periodically do this, only instead of a meter I now study the graphic readouts of my MXT Pro.
I also realized that while it was indeed cold outside, I could still get in my car and drive around the area looking for new sites. It was also a useful time to check out those overgrown sites I had encounted earlier and every once in a while I was actually able to detect them. Driving around your town, city or countryside can be a great winter pastime. Also not a bad time to knock on a few doors and make friends.
Take advantage of this down time to clean up your clad finds and to double check dates just to be sure you haven't overlooked any key or semi-key coins. With all the various error coins out there now, it's easy to do. Even today I have hundreds of wheat cents I need to check, and I have found a few that were worth a little more because of some such error. Winter is also a good time to roll and cash in those common date clunkers. I used to save that money until I could afford to purchase a key or semi-key coin that would appreciate in value and it was a wise investment.
Take advantage of the winter months to clean your detector and accessories. Not big deal, but keeping it free of dirt, dust and corrosion will pay dividends down the road. Cleaning a metal detector is not an involved process, and usually all that is needed is a wet cotton cloth and a small container of warm water with a drop or two of dish liquid.
Take your detector apart (coil, stem, control box, etc.) then wipe the control box down, being careful not to allow water to seep inside any of the minute openings. Clean all the nooks and crannies, and then do the same to the bottom of your searchcoils. Do not overlook the searchcoil cable itself. They can become extremely crusty and inflexible with daily, in-the-field use. Cleaning your detector along with your digging tools, water scoops and waders, will leave you with one less thing to do when spring arrives and the fun begins.
Take this time to obtain permission from those landowners you've meaning to contact. You've been drooling over the possibility of hunting that old house down the street, that picnic grove, baseball field or carnival site, so why not make this the year to see if it's going to happen? What do you have to lose? Remember you can't hunt those areas now so a "no" merely means status quo. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Don't be bashful and don't be pessimistic. Plan your presentation and go for it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
If there's a particular site that intriques you for some reason, go online and find out who owns it. Not sure where you live but THIS is what I use here in the Dallas area, and I suspect there's a similiar website available for your locale.
I won't bore you with this one, but you know what it means, and I suspect you know how I feel about it. Read, read and read some more. Whether you read a book or go online there's always something out there that will help you when warmer weather arrives. Make time to visit your local library. I know there's a lot of information online, but there's a lot that's not and it's buried somewhere within the pages of a book. I don't care if you think you've found or hunted every possible site in your town, county or state....you haven't!
Google your town or county, and try out any and all words that might come to mind...schools, history, sports, centennial, carnival, circus, grove, railroad, amusement park, and so on. The list is endless and limited only your lack of imagination. Be sure to try out the NEW Google maps as well. Similiar to Google Earth, but the images are clearer (type in your home address and see how great you house looks).
The internet is a limitless source of information, a source that I wish I had access to back in the 70's & 80's.
While I am not a big fan of them, you might want to consider getting involved in one or two of the many metal detecting forums out there. You will find other detectorists there who love the pastime as much as you, and who might be able to answer any questions you may have. Keep in mind however that while most metal detecting forums are honest and well intentioned, there are a few that seem to have an axe to grind, a product or advertiser to promote or an agenda of some sort.
Look for those forums or websites where "ALL" product lines are discussed, and don't be offended by those who "think" they know it all. Many of those who frequent these forums spend hours and hours there, and as a result feel entitled to say whatever is on their mind. Don't be surprised too to see these same tekkies on other forums. I often wonder if they ever sleep.
I realize that all the above ideas aren't new but I offer them as a reminder that wintertime need not be dreary. Sooner or later the weather will break, the season will begin and if you could be ahead of the competition. It's up to you...
My good friend John Howland just sent along an update to the Malamute Saloon and hope you will take the time to read it. If you are familiar with the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme and wonder if it will ever happen here be sure to read his comments by clicking HERE.
Yesterday I got some grief from a detectorist on a metal detecting Facebook page because I shared an update to my blog there. Apparently I wasn’t sticking to the groups standards with my recent reference to my computer problems. His reply:
"Why contaminate a metal detecting page with other crap like this? Metal detecting is how I get away from politics, economics, bumper stickers, pontificating, grandstanding, whining, and anyone who blames their inabilities or failures on others --- Bill Gates or otherwise.
But... I'd really like to hear about the Flying Eagle cent or the 1916-D Merc you dug up.
Since I had been posting my updates on that particular FB page for some time I was a little taken back, but apparently this individual had an axe to grind. Well, let me take a minute and explain to him, and anyone else who checks in here at Stout Standards, just why I bother to do this and more importantly why you can opt out if you want.
First, I am not sure exactly what he meant with regards to the 1916-D Merc or Flying Eagle cent but for his satisfaction let me state that in all my years of detecting, I have never found a 1916-D Mercury dime, but I have found two or three Flying Eagle cents. Unfortunately I found them at a time when wearing video cameras on your head was not an option.
Next, let me explain (once again), where I am with regards to today’s pastime, my lack of credibility when it comes to telling you all how to get rich. You see, I’ve been holding back. Living a lie. I found a huge cache a few years back and I am now living the good life! I have a house in the South of France, and all I live for is writing this blog!
On a more serious note I would much rather find that fountain of youth instead of that cache or hoard. I am no longer in the game today, nor will I be in the future. I am 72, feeling my age and I don’t get out detecting too much anymore. As a result you might have to listen to me talk about my computer, my pug Barnum, my aches and pains, and yes, my pissing and moaning about anything and everything. That’s me and that's what Stout Standards is all about. Don't come here for that magic elixir that will solve all your metal detecting woes, or for that one tip that will put you on easy street. They don’t exist here and I doubt they exist anywhere else.
After this recent exchange I decided not to share my blog posts on that FB page anymore because I don’t want to bore the hell out this guy or anyone else there, but I will not apologize for what I write. It’s not complicated....don’t like my blog or website...don’t read it. If I can’t offer you your metal detecting orgasm, ignore me. Hell, you won’t be the first or last to do that. I have learned, especially over the past year or so, just who my “real” friends are. I’ve also learned how to weed out those who merely wanted to use me to further their goals, their business and their profits. Just a sign of the times I guess.
Try to understand that the few coins I find today are not worth bragging about or posting a photo of. I also do not have a video camera, and even if I did, watching me in action be like watching paint dry. I am just grateful for those times when I can get out for some fresh air and exercise.
My blog is my sounding board, and something that allows me to say what is on my mind. I know I frequently talk about the “good ole days”, throw out names that are probably unfamiliar to you and I am sorry, but that’s just who I am and those are the folks that I know, remember and think of. I come from a different era, a different time period.I don’t mean to sound bitter but I do get tired of having to explain my blog. If I can inform or entertain you, fine. If not, you are only a mouse click away from bye bye. I stopped posting my updates on the forums, and apparently I will have to think about doing the same on Facebook. If any of you reading this want to keep up with my blog, my BS, my brainfarts, whatever, please add your email address in the left column of the blog.
Hope what I am saying makes sense and that you understand where I am coming from…
After struggling for the past six weeks trying to get my computer up and running I decided to invest in a new one and tackle the much dreaded Windows 8!. I headed out Saturday and it didn't take long for me to find one that offered all I wanted and more....12 GB memory, 2 TB hard drive, plenty of USB ports, and best of all, 18 month financing, no interest. I bit the bullet and said hell yeah!
I was able to load my programs, hook up my printer, scanner, external HD, etc., and was barely able to get a screen that resembled Windows 7. I then decided that maybe I should download Windows 8.1, the latest operating system from Microsoft. It was supposedly designed to help PC challenged people like me migrate to Windows 8, offering a lot of the same features and looks of the old OS. Well, after starting the process I was informed that the manufacturer of my PC (Hewlett Packard) did not recommend downloading Windows 8.1 on my particular model. Hmm, first piss off....
So I decided to take a break, eat dinner, and when I came back an hour later, the computer would not boot up. Hmm, second piss off! So I pushed the on and off button about six or eight times, and frequently had to sit there watching some sort of "refresh" program try to fix the "brand new" computer I bought a few hours ago. Hmm, third piss off! Anyway it did finally boot up, and I tried to once again understand the layout of Windows 8. After getting nowhere I went to bed.
Sunday morning....get up, push button on NEW pc...same crap as yesterday. Wouldn't start! Hmm, fourth and FINAL piss off!. Removed all my programs, data, packed it back up and returned it to the seller. Fortunately the return went smoothly, and here I am back to my ole pc. Not sure what my problems are, but I am going to try a few things over the next day or two and see if I can isolate the problem and that if fails I might just ride off into the sunset.
John Howland sent me his update to the Malamute Saloon last week but thanks to my pc problems it did not get posted on time... think you will find his latest a good one. As usual he can't let the two amigos (Wally and Harry) go without a few choice words, and his reference to the current state of the PAS is most definitely worthy of your time.
It's no secret that I check out Warsaw Wally's blog every day. I do it because it makes me realize just how good I have it, and how lucky I am to live here in the good ole USA. No matter what issues I might be dealing with I can always count on feeling better after skimming through his repetitive, piss and moan "poor me" posts. He never misses a beat, banging the same ole drum, degrading, insulting detectorists, collectors as well as the United States of America.
Incidentally, in case you didn't notice Wally couldn't come up with any archaeological credentials and changed his "About Me" to read:
"Suntanned sushi lover living and working in Warsaw Poland. Since the early 1990s a primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context and their effect on the archaeological record".
Let me suggest another change....how about:
"Pale, miserable sushi lover, living in a small dark room in Warsaw, Poland. Since the early 1990's I have been committed to bringing down the metal detecting and collecting communities through any means necessary, honesty and/or accuracy be damned. While all my friends and peers have disowned me I am more than ever committed to continuing this crusade, and vow never to write a post that is informative, uplifting or humorous. I also thank God daily for my good friend Nigel Swift of Heritage Action, for without his token responses here, there would be none at all".
One more suggestion Wally...why not ask Santa for a metal detector this Christmas (you do celebrate that don't you), and in the new year attend a rally or two. Have a couple beers, hoik a few artifacts and join the fun. I know it will be difficult, having been such a self centered asshole for so long, but why not give it a try. You just might like it, and I feel certain there's any number of tekkies out there who would love to help you with that new detector.
You've heard me talk about Bob Sickler quite often here, and I am proud to say I conned him into writing a guest post. Bob is the author of "The Detectorist" and was responsible for many articles and fields tests over the years for Western & Eastern Treasures magazine. Hopefully he will consider doing more writing. His insight and technical knowledge about all things treasure hunting has been sorely missed. Thanks Bob...
OK, the title is obviously a deliberate play on the accompanying photo, but it's there to later drive home a point. As a premise, I'd like to acknowledge that there has been some general sentiment lately that current metal detectors are just a rehash of older technology. I think a second look is in order.
Yes, metal detection is still based on the original principle of induction balance, but metal detector circuits today are engaging the digital age with some subtle muscle. Ever since ground rejecting motion technology endeared itself to metal detector discrimination, there has been one little problem... The speed at which the detector recovers from a target rejection to avail itself to another desirable target in close proximity. The earliest motion discriminators required a very fast searchcoil sweep speed to initiate the ground filtration process. This caused a misrepresentation in operator perceived response location. As analog circuits progressed, the sweep speed has come down to what could be called normal or reasonable... A speed which is more conducive to careful searching and pinpointing, amen.
Having started metal detecting 45 years ago, my transition into the digital world has been slow because my musician's ears are still more at home with the tone of analog signal amplification. I've tried a few new digital based metal detectors only to be turned off by the character of the target audio and the annoying crispy rapid recovery staccato response.
I hunt mostly private yards and abandoned cellar holes from the 18th and 19th centuries. These locations by default are always littered with nails from the once standing structure. Many of these old homes became flat after a devastating fire and were abandoned thereafter. If you have ever burned a pile of lumber with nails still in it, you'll know exactly what hunting around one of these old cellar holes is like. I got to thinking about the rapid annoying response of the digital detectors again and the fact these circuits recover way quicker than the old analog detectors did. Fact is the older metal detectors operated with a threshold audio and you could actually hear how many nails were present at any given site by the duration of the rejection "null" in threshold. Too many nails and the detector stays in the null so strong you could pass over a desirable target and hear only a "click" of an audio indication and possibly walk on by!
I'll make no secret of my history with Garrett detectors. I used the "Groundhog" for many years in my early days and it still holds the unbroken record of my best silver coin found. When Garrett first came out with the AT-Pro, I still wasn't sold on digital detectors yet, but my loyalty to the brand and the features of the detector coaxed me into making a purchase. Here's a few things that I found immediately attractive about this detector...
Personally I like the idea of being able to read the conductive properties of any metal target in a numerical format. I also like an active indicator of where those numbers fall in the ascending target conductive spectrum. The AT-Pro goes a step further and offers the operator the ability to fine tune what level of ferrous rejection is possible, thus preventing larger ferrous targets from totally masking out smaller, higher conductive targets. I like a synchronous depth reading scale that operates full time, even in the discriminate mode. I also like target ID tones and pinpointing audio that are modulated in terms of target depth and size as well. STOP! Without turning this into a full Garrett review, I'd just like to conclude by saying there are a lot of excellent features in an intuitive, lightweight interface that fits my style of hunting for a reasonable price tag.
As for this story, the biggest attribute is the detector's ability to hunt concentrated ferrous and recover itself quickly to uncover items other detectors sometimes mask out. It's also comforting to know you can still keep hunting in drenching rain on a promising location and not have to run for cover in fear of destroying your investment. Just coming home from a muddy day and taking a hose to the entire detector without that same fear is truly icing on the cake. Ironically, the digital audio on this detector is very close to my old "Groundhog" which is a major comfort for me. Nothing better than proof in the field though...
Last weekend I contacted a neighbor about getting permission to hunt his mid 1800's property. His answer was a welcomed "yes". Coincidentally, he was about to contact me with a request to find a gold ring he lost in his garden 6 months ago. The ring had huge sentimental value because it was made from gold in his father's ring. I called my hunting partner to share in the hunt and it was a good opportunity to test out the AT-Pro at target separation. Ironically, I had hunted the front lawn of my neighbor's home using my old "Groundhog" when my previous neighbor owned it back in the 1970's. A few "Wheat" pennies and a silver dime were found at moderate depths, but my guess is the oldest coins are still a lot deeper. Why is another dissertation unto itself!
We started by taking ID readings from a gold ring very similar in size and gold content. We were shown the general area to search and while I was explaining to my neighbor how the detectors worked, my partner was already hunting the garden. Within minutes he called me over to get a reading and it was very close in conductivity to the reference readings, but the depth was indicating 8" on both our detectors... He dug carefully while I was still conversing with my neighbor. My partner walked quickly passed me with a grin on his face toward my neighbor and sure enough he found the ring buried in loose dirt only an inch deep, but on edge! (Be careful about a "deeper is always better" hunting mentality.) The look on my neighbor's face was priceless. I was envious of my partner's accomplishment. This is a truly great thing we detectorists do for others. I only wish our detractor's could know all the great unselfish deeds that go unrecorded.
Our attention then turned to hunting the property front. Wow, the house still stood and there were intense ferrous signals all around us! I wasn't more than five minutes in the swing when I got a mixed readout of numbers in the 80's and 30's with mixed high and low tones. The AT-Pro processed target audio on both levels with great speed. The pinpointed signal was a little wide compared to other coins found on other outings, but a manual reduction in signal strength on the 11" 2D coil had me cutting a neat plug. Plug folded back (and a smile on my face) there lay a shining example of the last year for silver quarters. It was just under the plug depth of about 4 inches which validated the accurate depth reading I was getting beforehand! Elated, but not totally satisfied, I interrogated the hole with my handheld pinpointer and inearthed a rusted utility knife blade not far from where the quarter resided. Between the two of us, we removed a lot more rusted targets, but no more coins in the front yard. I guess I did a good job with the elder Garrett long ago, but I'm convinced I missed a good-sized, fairly shallow silver coin because of rusted steel in the hole. In conclusion, If your huntsites are littered with rusted ferrous targets, re-hunt them with one of the newer high speed digital detectors, you might just find more in your own footsteps!
P.S. You can thank or dislike my dear friend Dick Stout for schmoozing and cajoling me into writing such a lengthy piece from self-imposed exile...
Neil McElroy, my whacked out friend in the great Northwest keeps reminding me to keep an eye out for mismatched dollar bills. His recent Facebook post...
"You might remember that I found a very rare 2006 $1 star note ERROR a few months back. Just today one of my friends found a similar note! Keep an eye out for 2006 series $1.00 with a star at the end of the serial number and the letter "B" at the beginning ~ some were printed in error with mismatched serial numbers ~ the serial number on the left starts with a "O" (zero), and the serial number on the right starts with a "2". I sold the one I found for $400.00!! Not bad for a measly dollar out of my pocket change!
For all you folks who have a detector, digger, pouch, pinpointer, knee pads, drop cloth, camo outfit and camera....you missed someting! Check THIS out!
I often receive emails from detectorists asking what detectors I would recommend or what did I think about this model or that model. Well, let me try to answer this once again....
I am aware of the various brands and models on the market today, and I will sometimes look at their features, design and of course price. Have to also add that I have become more aware of how much they weigh. The older I get, the weaker I get... Other than that I can offer nothing in the way of recommendations. I would love to be able to try out all the various models but so far none of the manufacturers have chosen to send any to me. If any happen to be reading this I will gladly send you my address.
If you already have a detector and want to upgrade then consider what it is you need and want and why. Since you want to upgrade you obviously think the detector you are currnently using isn't get the job done or else you think (or imagine) that the more expensive the detector the more treasure it will find. If indeed you have money to spare, or perhaps burn is a better term, then give me a call and for $100 I will throw a name and model at you, along with my PayPal account info.
If you want to upgrade your detector, try and find a local dealer to help with your decision. Hopefully he will have a few for you to test out. If there's not a dealer close by you will find hundreds of detectorists on the various forums that will give you a hundred different recommendations and reasons for buying this or that model. You will just have to find a way to discern the reasonable, well stated recommendations, from the all too typical "I know it all" bullshit. You will also need to decide whether you want visual ID, tonal ID, variable frequencies, VLF or PI, knobs or pads, cool looking or nerdy, one or two piffwangers, and/or cream and sugar. There are other options as well that I have surely overlooked.
When considering any detector, consider your pocketbook. Don't go into debt to scratch an itch. You will only be sorry later, especially if that expensive model doesn't live up to it's hype. Look for a light weight model, one that offers visual and tonal ID, and is easy to understand. If of course you are into Hieroglyphics, or a PC geek, then you might prefer the more complicated models that come with 200 page manuals (think of the hours you can spend in the john).
At this time in my prehistoric life I use the MXT Pro and it does all that I want or need. It's an excellent coin and/or relic machine, easy to understand, and it has knobs and switches which as you know I love (a carry over from my Fisher & Price years). I typically run the MXT Pro in the coin & jewelry mode, slight threshold, disc set just below nickel, gain set as high as possible (i.e. stable), Trac set to ground and music tones on. I use the Eclipse 5x3 coil and headphones with dual volume controls (I have hearing problems).
I will often increase the gain by taking the threshold into the null (just below audible). This allows for more depth without the noisy chatter, and will frequently let me identify those barely audible responses by giving me a numerical readout. It's a give and take situation but works more often than not, and for that matter, don't be afraid to crank your gain all the way up, chatter and all....what you are trying to do is get a VDI reading of any sort on that very deep target.
I will also hunt in the Relic Mode, looking "only" at the numerical readouts. You will get a little more depth in this mode, and the numerical readouts are the same as in the coin & jewelry. My accessories: Lesche Digger, carpenters apron, drop cloth, Aleve and Jack Daniels.
Okay, hopefully I just explained my knowledge or lack thereof about which detector is the best for you. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Maybe you could try pretending that the detector you have now just arrived and see if that helps, and if not just buy the coolest and best looking model out there ....
John's latest update is a good one, and I hope you will read it. He let's it all hang out and doesn't pull any punches. You can find his latest contribution by clicking HERE.
I am a detectorist. Someone who enjoys metal detecting in my spare time. I have been involved in this recreational pastime now for just about 40 years, and have benefitted greatly from it. It is an outdoor endeavor that has undoubtedly been good for my physical health as well as my mental well being. I have also become interested in history as a result.
When I go metal detecting I have no idea what I will find or come home with. Oh, I try to make sure that I am detecting an area that might hold something old, something of interest, and yes, something that might make me rich. Have I found those things? Well I’ve found hundreds if not thousands of items over the years. Some of them are old, some of them are interesting, but most of them are junk. Likewise I am still waiting to for that one find that will put me on “easy street”. I know in my heart that will never occurr, but you see, that doesn’t really bother me because all my other detecting friends are in the same boat, and we know the odds of something like that happening are nil and none. We just love the thrill of the hunt.
Classify me a coin hunter if you like. That’s what I primarily search for, and the older the coin, the better of course. I have never found a gold coin, nor have I ever found a silver dollar. I have found numerous silver and copper coins, mostly from the 1800's on, and I have shared many of them via talks and demonstrations at events over the years. Are they worth a lot of money? Not really, but they are coins I had fun finding, and each has a story.... none of which would be of interest to you.
I am writing to you today to enquire why you and your fellow archaeologists dislike me and my colleagues so much. Just what is it we do that you find so distasteful? Do we hunt on your archaeological sites? No. Do we find items that are of interest to you? Of course but isn’t it great that we do? I mean if we didn’t, who would? Was that community park or farmer’s field on your list of “to do’s”?
I wonder why you continue your effort to put us out of business by telling communities and governmental agencies that we destroy history! Just what history are you referring to? That which has yet to be discovered, or that which might overshadow your professional credibility? I am sorry I just don’t get it.
I also wonder why when someone with a metal detector breaks the law, you assume that he or she is “all of us” yet when one of your colleagues does the same thing they are not painted with that very same wide brush. I guess it doesn't count somehow or it's just not the same. Funny how that happens...
Mr. Archaeologist (may I call you Arkie?) there’s a lot of land out there, and yes maybe some of it of historical significance. The question of course is how will we ever know that. How can we uncover it’s past, it’s mysteries, it’s secrets without exploration? Does is it all belong to you? Are you waiting for millions in grant money to tackle this monumental effort? I think not, yet you work so damn hard at making sure we never have the opportunity either. Kinda selfish wouldn’t you say?
Arkie my friend, I have another question. Why is it that you almost never reach out to us, and ask us to help in your efforts? Is that just simply “too embarrassing”? Oh, I know you've thrown a few crumbs our way, but it's hardly ever a joint effort, and in one instance you even asked the detectorists to pay a large sum of money to participate.
Over the years I and others have volunteered our time to help law enforcement officials, historical groups, those who have lost valuables and we have participated in various charitable causes. We could help you too if only you would just “get over it”. I know, I know, many of us do not have college degrees, and yes, probably some of us never graduated high school, but what we do have is knowledge that you can use and not just in the technical sense.
I know of relic hunters who can identify found items immediately, and even speak to it’s history or importance in a particular location, battle or campaign. They could and would put you to shame, yet again, you refuse to accept their input. Instead you would rather work at depriving them the right to find that next relic, that item that if you had your way, would never see the light of day. Oh, I know you think it would be better left in the ground, but do you really believe that? Would you prefer it be lost forever under a shopping mall? I mean, come on please....
Just recently Ed Vaizey, Heritage Minister in the UK said....
“There’s something essentially mysterious and exciting about buried treasure, and I’m delighted that each year reveals still more finds. These items help us get a fuller picture of how life was lived centuries ago, and add enormously to our rich and varied cultural heritage. I also salute all the responsible metal detectorists – true heritage heroes - whose patience and unceasing curiosity do so much to bring this treasure to light”.
So Arkie I look forward to your response, and your reasons for casting doubt on our hobby as well as our integrity. We seek nothing more than the reasonable right to pursue our pastime, and while I know this is hard for you to understand, we're honest, hard working people, who love history too. Imagine that?
A tax paying, metal detecting enthusiast
I am about to embarrass myself because I was not aware of his death until now, but Glenn Carson passed away in May of this year. I only heard about it last evening after receivng an email from Bill Chapman, long time treasure hunter in Golden, Colorado. Glenn and I first met back in the early 80's, and he and Mary were always willing participants at our FMDAC conventions. We also ran into each other a lot when I was with Garrett. A more kinder man never existed. His wife Mary, passed away in 2004. Glenn was and is a legend in this pastime and he will be missed. RIP Glenn....
How I missed his passing, and why I did not bother to contact him over the years bothers me a great deal. Forgive me Glenn..
I was reading the most recent issue of American Digger magazine, and really enjoyed the "The Hole Truth" article on the last page. "The Hole Truth" is Butch Holcombe's place to get on his soapbox, sound off, tell it like is, piss and moan and express his opinions (or as I like to call them "brainfarts"). Sorry Butch....
Anyway the gist of his oratory this time around was that we, and by we I mean detectorists and non-detectorists alike, have become so dependent on the technology that's available to us it's turning us into robots. I could not agree more, and let me say that I confess to being part of this group...
Today's there seems to be nothing we can't do on the smart phone, I-pad or computer, and as a result we are becoming introverts, anti-sociable and in Butch's commentary, homebound. He brought up the subject because the attendance at many of the relic shows he attends has fallen sharply over the past few months. His take, and I think it's probably an accurate one, was that people would rather share their finds online than actually show them off in person, and those that need identification or information would rather find it on the internet, than to get it firsthand from an authority or seasoned pro.
I know things have passed me by, and I will probably never own a smart phone (no comments please), but do those of you with them have any idea what you look like when you are out in public? I have sat in restaurants and watched tables where large families were sitting, and every single one of them was staring at their phone, excercising their index fingers, apparently ignoring the reason or purpose of their visit. Even when the meals were served they continued in between bites, and whenever I am in back of a car that is swerving or taking up two lanes I can count on it being one of two things. It's either someone on their cell phone or it's John Howland.
While Butch's take was related to his business and that of the show sponsors, it was spot on. We need to learn to communicate all over again, one on one, face to face, person to person and make it real. Butch, thank you for bringing up a subject that needed to be addressed. Not sure how many will do anything about it, but we all need to get off our ass (me included) and become more involved in the social aspect of life today. I intend to start doing my part this evening. There a bar about a mile a mile down the road from here that I haven't been to in some time....
Just had to share this recent news story.... Needless to say Wally and Harry are about to piss their pants over it, but then again they find that easy to do without any provacation. Please do note the statement "I also salute all the responsible metal detectorists – true heritage heroes - whose patience and unceasing curiosity do so much to bring this treasure to light”...
If my next post or update seems to take longer than normal it's because I have to take my computer into the shop Monday for a lube job or something. Works fine when it's up and running. It's the up and running that's the problem (kinda like my private parts). Anyway, in the meantime, have one for me.