Aug 102011

We have had a wonderful time visiting Rocky and Berni, here in Muskegon, and as always, the time has gone by way too fast. We have joked, laughed, acted like kids, and forgotten all of the troubles of the world for the last four days. Thanks for always making us feel welcome, Rocky and Berni. It’s been a great mini-vacation!

Unfortunately, we have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks to get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal out, and to wrap up a hundred and one details for our upcoming Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina, Ohio. So we’re back on the road today, headed for Elkhart Campground, our regular base when we’re in this part of the country.  It’s only about 140 miles, and I’m hoping for an easy trip. However, the weather report says it’s going to be windy, so I’m hoping that it won’t be too bad.

We always feel like we’re coming home when we pull into the driveway at Elkhart Campground, and over the years, owners Bob and Gita Patel have become a part of our extended family. We have watched their two sons grow up into fine young men as we have grown our businesses. We have a lot of friends in Elkhart we’re looking forward to seeing, and I think if I play my cards right, I can hoodwink my pal Al Hesselbart, from the RV Hall of Fame Museum, into buying me dinner at least once.

If we have any time while we’re in Elkhart, we really need to unload all of our motorhome’s storage bays and do some serious sorting and get rid of a bunch of stuff we’ve been carrying around and don’t use or need. We’ve done this every year since we became fulltime RVers, so you’d think we wouldn’t have anything left to carry any more, but stuff seems to expand to fill the space available. I can’t prove it, but I’m convinced that my buddy Greg White goes to swap meets and yard sales stocking up on junk, and then late at night when I’m asleep, he crams it into my storage bays! Where else could all this crap come from? 🙂

Thanks to everybody who left comments on yesterday’s blog about how they get online. I have a question; my Droid Incredible phone has a setting that says 3G Mobile Hotspot, and I have never used it until yesterday, when I did some experimenting. I discovered that I can use it to turn my phone into a WiFi hotspot, but I’m not sure if there is an extra charge for that, or how it is billed. Can any of you Verizon Wireless users out there clue me in?

In the last few days, several people who have downloaded and read my mystery novel Big Lake from Amazon’s Kindle bookstore have left very nice comments on Facebook, and I really appreciate it. Besides being very flattering, something my ego is always happy to receive, whenever that happens, I see a little spurt in sales, which my bank account appreciates. 🙂

Thought For The Day – A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Elkhart, Here We Come!”

  1. I have a Driod2 with Verizon. I have used the 3G Hotspot on a few occasions. Sometimes it works good for a while, but most of the time it drops out or goes to sleep. While in San Diego last February I called VZW and they said it was dropping out because there were too many WiFi nearby. I used it again a few weeks ago while at the Elks Lodge in Forks, WA and it still dropped out several times.
    It is just hit or miss on being able to hold the signal. I don’t buy the excuse that there were too many WiFi signal causing the problem.

    It costs $20 a month for two gigs. You can start and stop the feature any time during the billing cycle and they pro-rate the charge. They also pro-rate the data usage so that you cannot add the feature, use two gigs, and then drop the feature the next day. Both the $20 and the 2 gigs are pro-rated.

    Most of the time when I don’t have WiFi I just tether the Driod2 and my wife and I share the computer. The only time I add 3G Hotspot is when my wife demands to be able to use her iPad instead of using my computer.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Nick,

    There is an extra charge for the mobile hotspot service. It isn’t exactly cheap… I think we pay about $20 for like 5gb data transfer per month, but there’s an option to get another couple of gigabytes for another $5-10. Once you get the service activated though, it’s very easy to use. You simply turn on the mobile hotspot and the mobile network, and then use the settings to name your device (the SSID, basically). Then you can set a WPA key for security.

    We have three HTC Incredible phones here. So I use the exact same thing you have, and it works pretty well for the most part. Even when there’s only one bar of signal strength, I still seem to be able to get fairly decent throughput. I’ve never tried it with full signal strength though, because I’ve not been lucky enough to be in such an area. But you can drop or add the service by the month, if you need to–you just have to keep track of the cut-off dates for your monthly billing cycle.


  3. We pay about $80/month. That includes $30 for unlimited data/texting, unlimited mobile to mobile with 700 minutes for land line.

    The IPhone is it’s on hot spot. I can turn wifi on and it will connect to any available hot spot or as I use it, I turn it off and it becomes my own hot spot.

    I am capable of connecting my mac to the IPhones hot spot if necessary (not necessary as we have the 4g air card that is plugged into a router with an external antenna for the laptops.)

  4. David has the right info on the Verizon Droid hotspot.

    We have found that it works well in some places and not so good in others, no rhyme or reason. In Salem, MA last month it worked great over a weekend, then bogged down on Monday – must have something to do with usage in the area. In upstate NY and VT it worked just fine.

  5. Nick, unless you need to share a connection, tethering works well. Easy Tether and PDANet are the two most popular tethering programs, but you may not find them in the Android Market. You can download PDANet directly from their website ( Easy Tether may be available in the Amazon Android Market. Tethering is nice because you don’t have any data limits (provided you have unlimited data on your Droid). Jim

  6. I’d give the tethering a shot Nick. I’ve used it on my iPhone before, but hadn’t tried it on the Incredible phone with the Android OS. Having just read Jim’s post, I went ahead and tried it–and it seems to be working well, as he stated. Installation was slick. You do have to pay for it after a trial period, if you want all the features. But as I recall, that was only about $20-25 or so when I did it for the iPhone–but since the trial version is free, you have nothing to lose by trying it.

  7. That was part of the reason I got the Palm Pre Plus when I did….I get 5GB Mobile Hot-Spot free every month. The offer was expiring within days of my buying the phone.

  8. We also use PDA net to tether our Droids. great for us. If we have cell service, we have internet service. Been very pleased. . .and well worth the $29 one time fee each.


  9. One additional note about PDANet. Unless they’ve changed it since we downloaded it, you can download a free version. But you can’t visit secured sites like banks unless you upgrade to the paid version. Easy Tether is a paid version only. Jim

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