December 19, 2011
1. How did you get started with the outdoor decorations?My parents did it when I was a kid. We'd drive around and look at lights a lot, too. I've been putting up lights ever since I was out on my own, I guess.2. Did it grow gradually with time?Yeah, I would say it gradually got bigger until it got too big like it is now. It still grows every year though.3. So how long have you been doing the lights blinking to music?I've always done the regular lights but then about three or four years ago, I started with the music part. I saw the blinking lights YouTube video and then the Budweiser commercial, so I started researching on the Internet how to do it.4. So, how does the music part work?It goes out over the radio station out of the computer. I don't want to get too technical, but basically the computer controls it all. I program all the lights to the music on the computer, and then I have an FM transmitter that transmits over the FM radio in people's cars. Plus, I have speakers outside. A program does the timing of the music and the FM radio. … The radio part doesn't go too far — just this general area.5. Do you turn them on at certain times or every night or what?I usually turn them on between 6 and 6:30 [p.m]. The computer controls all of that. The radio is on 24/7 but it only gets this neighborhood. As it's gotten dark earlier, I've gradually had the time they start creep back, too. I turn them off about 9:30 [p.m.] on weekdays and around 11 [p.m.] on weekends.6. How many lights do you have out here?I have no clue, but if I had to guess it would probably be in the tens of thousands — probably 50,000 to 60,000. I have everything double layered with white lights and then colored ones on top of that. Heck, my Christmas tree in the house has 2,000 lights on it.7. About how much do you spend on electricity with all these lights?I don't really know because I don't really pay attention. But it's different than having them on all at the same time, and I control the intensity of the lights. 8. Have your neighbors ever complained at all?No — never. ... Maybe because I do it up so much, then they feel they don't have to. Up to this time, I've sort of shied away from any kind of media or press because when you get more people, you can have more issues like people breaking things or stealing them and stuff like that. I do put commercials on the radio between songs about people not using the neighbors' driveways and stuff like that — I try to be considerate of them.9. When do you put all this up?I start the day after Halloween. … I do a lot for Halloween with smoke and stuff. I'm actually still putting stuff up. I put stuff up until I feel I'm done. I still have totes of lights I could put up. Generally, it takes me about a month to get it all ready to go. I try to have it ready to turn on by the weekend after Thanksgiving. 10. When do you take it all down?I try to take it down right after New Year's Eve unless there is a lot of snow or it's really cold, but all the bigger decorations come down after New Year's Eve. 11. Who made all the wooden decorations you have out here?I made the cutouts and my wife painted them all. She's the artistic one.12. Does the weather affect your light show at all?I don't usually run it if it is really windy or there is heavy rain. I also use dielectric grease on all the lights. That seals the lights from water.