I have retired and returned to jobless life. In Korea, I have heard many
people have worked so hard just for the companies only for whole life ever
since they had been graduated from college and feel suddenly as if they have
nothing to do, which makes them getting older faster. However, I have
had too many things to do after the retirement.
since I will have plenty of time, I can play golf as many as I like, can
restart my ham radio life, traveled a lot for business up to now but I can
travel to places I like to go when I want to go, can work with
computer as much as I want and can play with grandchildren as Charlie
presented two grandchildren at a same time etc. etc..
Castlewood Country Club, where I have joined few years earlier to prepare
the retirement, has almost 100 Korean members out of total 800 members and
almost all of my golf friends are members of the club. Therefore, I can play
with any of my golf friends without concern about green fees, have played
3-4 times a week usually and played 4-5 straight days many times.
I joined Samsung, I was a member of the Palo Alto Hills Country Club and
complained about old people (They seemed old people to me at that time but
they were at my current ages mostly.) playing on weekend days making the
course congested, while they could play on weekdays as they don¡¯t have
jobs. However, what I have found now is I have to play on weekend days too
because my partner players are mostly still working.
got American ham radio license as soon as I moved to the united States and
had ham radio station in our Cupertino house with the call sign of KB6IR
until I joined Samsung and went to Korea, with which I talked to Korean and
Japanese hams over the radio mostly quite often. Since I will have plenty of
time, I erected high antenna tower in our
house and was requested to remove it by Home Owners Association as it will
lower the house price around the area. I found any house built in last 20
years or so have been built with hundreds of houses by developer and there
are always Home Owners Associations.
wanted to have a ham radio station any way. I tried mobile operation with
ham radio equipment installed in my car but there was quite a limit as the
antenna was too simple and small. I drove to highway 1 along the
but it was almost impossible to communicate with
could easily communicate with local stations from the car but my English was
good enough for the business at office but not good enough to joke with
American local hams.
there are not many HM call ham stations indicating
and my HM1AJ call sign in
has been very attractive to all DX (long distance) stations. However, there
are so many W6 or K6 stations in
and not many people were interested to call KE6AJ, my
call sign. At least in ham world, I have realized that
is far more valuable than the
, as it is classified as one of the most rare countries.
I had to find out the way to install high antenna tower somewhere. I finally
made a decision to buy a house where I could install high antenna tower. It
might sound crazy to buy a house just for the hobby but there are many
people who buy airplanes or boats for their hobbies, and 20% down payment of
a small house is not any more expensive than these airplanes or luxury
looked around for a small old house without Home Owners Association for
about a month and bought one nearby, only 1 mile away from my house. It was
30 years old small house and I installed my ham radio station KE6AJ.
installed about 40 feet high antenna tower getting the license from the city
to install it and installed high performance antenna on top of it. I
transmitted maximum legally allowed power of 1KW and could communicate with
but also all over the world easily now, including Korean hams in
and many Korean hams in
. I have made many scheduled contacts with them regularly.
enjoyed the ham radio for about a year there. However, I was tired talking
with same guys always as there were not many hams in
who have good enough ham gears to contact with
. I also found not many hams over the world are interested to talk with
hams as there are too many hams in
. Besides, 5 minutes driving back and forth to go there every day was not
convenient either. Ham radio stations are supposed to be installed in the
house living and turn on the radio any moment I find the time I want to
communicate and the radio propagation condition is good, which is constantly
addition, the international telephone call was hard to call and very
expensive, which made free ham radio communication a lot more attractive.
Now, by the development of cellular phone, we can communicate with anyone in
any part of the world easily and clearly at cheaper price. Not only cellular
phone, internet communication these days also made international
communication much easier in free. Therefore, the ham radio became now less
and less attractive to many hams.
I closed down the ham radio station in a year and practically scrapped all
equipments I have invested and installed. Though I scrapped them, I still
could make some money by ham radio as the house price went up so much in
this area meantime. I believe this had been my first and only time I could
make money because of ham radio.
I am retired, the luxury traveling is all over and I had to travel with my
own pocket. However, I love to drive around and made quite a trips after the
retirement. The major trips I have made since the retirement in 1998 were :
- 2/4, 2000
– 6/19, 2000 Western USA
Driving Trip with nieces from
- 1/26, 2001
Golf Trip with Seong-Koo and Shim couples.
Golf Trip with Castlewood Country Club
– 5/1, 2001
- 8/11, 2002
(Sightseeing and Golf)
- 10/31, 2002
- 8/21, 2003
sightseeing and Whistler,
- 10/29, 2003
- 2/2, 2004
- 6/29, 2004
I spent quite a time with computer. I scanned about 5,000 photos I had and
stored in my computer hard disk classified by each year in different folders
for each year so that I can easily find any picture I want to find. I had
more than 10 hours of 8mm movie I took since I was married. I converted all
this movies into videos and stored in hard disk with all video tapes I took
after the video camcorder was available in the market. I made DVDs of these
movies and videos and gave one set each to all 3 sons so that they will have
all records of their own since they were born.
the other hand, I opened this www.thechofamily.com
web site in May 2000. At first, Johnny initiated this web site and updated
it. However, as he has been too busy usually, I have taken over and updated
every time something has happened to our family, KMI friends and ham friends
with a lot of pictures. I also stored a lot of past stories of family, KMI
and ham radio so that any one can look at them whenever they want. This web
site is now very popular to all family members, KMI friends and ham friends
all over the world including
, enabling Korean family or friends can see what has happened in
instantly in same day with a lot of pictures.
addition, one of my nephew attended Engineering College, Seoul National
University together, started a web site café ¡°Choand2¡± in 2004
and it has been a quite a pleasure chatting with Cho family members in Korea
over the internet every day.
than nothing to do after the retirement, I became busier after retirement
this way. I feel like a day or a week, even a year passes very fast. I
don¡¯t know why? But I feel like a month is a lot slower somehow.
my life for 70 years (practically 60 years as I can not remember anything
for the first 10 years of life), I wrote a book of ¡°70 Years of My Life¡±
in Korean. I believe I have lived my 70 years with the philosophy of
¡°ENJOY TODAY¡± faithfully which was established when I was a sophomore in
college. If I can have a moment to think about myself right before I die and
can conclude ¡°I have lived my life enjoying every day under the given
circumstances without hurting any one¡±, that would be all I want to be and
I would like to live exactly same life if I would reborn again.
a conclusion of the story, I believe I was really a lucky guy. I think I was
born in the best generation in human history first of all as my parent
generation didn¡¯t have all these conveniences as we have today and there
might br too much technological development and too much computerized and
controlled life in our next generation.
couldn¡¯t do much in Gold Star other than to standardize drawings but
learned very valuable lesson of ¡°What not to do¡±in free (rather paid).
However, I have been successful wherever I have worked thereafter. I would
say it was a great luck to get in to Fairchild Semikor first of all, met Mr.
Silverstein and Mr. Clevenger and could learn American management so well
from them early enough in my life.
was also so lucky to come to this
where the real estate has appreciated so fast. I have never tried hard to
make lot of money, rather spent money better to ¡°enjoy today¡± every day
but could accumulate this much retirement fund without any special effort
just because of real estate appreciation.
only these, I am not specially careful for my health violating a lot of what
to do for the health but I am still healthy enough to play golf for many
days in the row without any major physical problem yet, which must be
another luck of my body.
were few unlucky events too, of course, to this very lucky guy. I built a
nice hill top house and lost all my cash reserve just one time as the real
estate mortgage interest sky rocketed unexpectedly and my golf ball went in
to sand traps so many times some days. However, how could you complain this
kind of just few unlucky events too?
I live today too to
much as I can.