Wednesday, February 21, 2007

St. Kitts license materials sent

I made my goal of getting my license request for St. Kitts in the mail today. First, though, I called down to the island of St. Kitts today and verified all the information obtained from the ARRL web site was indeed correct. I'm glad I did.
There was something of a run-around as I wasn't exactly sure which office to call. Once I found the right person it was clear that all the effort would be worthwhile. The young lady on the phone verified that the amounts to send were the same as mentioned on the ARRL web page, but she suggested that I not send a personal check or even cashiers check for the transaction as that almost always triggers a 6 to 8 week delay in processing. {gasp!} Instead, she recommended that I simply send $30 in cash (US dollars) to cover all the fees.
I know what you're thinking (or should be thinking). Sending cash in the mail is usually a very, very bad idea. Before I could fully form that thought in my head, though, she followed up with a question of her own: would I be using Federal Express to get the materials down to St. Kitts?
This is the second time I've heard that regular postal mail isn't the best way to get things on-and-off these islands. Our (second) set of licensing materials for the Montserrat group was also sent via Federal Express as instructed by our contact there. It seems Federal Express has a reputation of getting things there expeditiously. When I said that I would be using FedEx, there was a note of relief in her voice. I'm sure she's been on the wrong end of a lost license request before and wanted to avoid it here if possible.
So, I took all the materials I'd gathered yesterday, stuffed $30 and a cover letter in with it, and drove down to the Federal Express office in Burlington. It cost a little more... OK, it cost 40-times the postage of a regular international first class envelope... but I was assured it would be there tomorrow. Whether this translates into me getting this license quickly only time will tell. At this point, though, I like my odds.
Once I get my license, I'll get a web site the call sign as the domain name. It will be something like (or something similar). Since it is just little-old-me (and Sandy) going on the trip, it won't be as elaborate as the VP2M web site, but I'm sure I'll find some interesting stuff to put there. This will have to be deferred until the license comes, of course.
Small steps. A little at a time. That's how these things get planned. I'll start looking into flights over the next few days.
In the mean time, QSL cards keep coming in bunches. Another 15 or so arrived to day and I got word from Budd that some folks have sent their QSL request directly to him instead of me (the QSL manager). I guess they're still fooling with the card design so we're not quite ready to send it off to the printer. I can tell you all that the versions I saw last week looked fantastic. I hope you all believe it is worth the wait.
Finally, I also received an envelope full of CDs (DVDs?) with pictures from Bob (AB7ST). I've not had a chance to look them over yet, but I'm sure they will be spectacular. That's tomorrow's project, though, as it is well after midnight here on the East coast. As Mike would say, "The sleep monster has me." Time for bed.


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