Before I get to the point I should mention I had an incredible chase about 2 weeks ago in Oklahoma. At east 8 tornadoes, some very beautiful and high contrast, were documented by myself along with Ben Holcomb and Jonathan Williamson. Detailed log can be seen here: http://www.aerostorms.com/110711-Oklahoma-Tornadoes-in-November.php
The sad part is that only covers about half of what went on. A little known fact about that day is we actually got hit by a brief spinup while blasting north under a new developing area of rotation. My ears popped, debris flew by from the west, and then whipped back around from the east. No doubt in my mind it was a brief tornadic spinup. At that point the battery in my camera was dead from filming over 90 minutes of the chase so I have no video. Jon had his camera on the seat since he was focusing on still pictures, I was filming with Bens camera and had it pointed out the windshield, but he said the video turned out like crap. So who knows...
That being said, one of the things I will be upgrading is a new extended battery. Never again do I want to have a battery die during the middle of a hot chase. That was the first, and will be the last time that ever happens.
I also plan to get a wind filter, one thing I can't stand in video is excessive amounts of wind noise. Sort of hard to avoid in this line of work, but a filter is a relatively cheap purchase so its worth a shot.
New laptop is coming thanks to a very generous individual. It won't be top of the line [nothing I own ever is] but it will be better than what I have, and I've been able to make do with what I have, so an upgrade is an upgrade. I am tired of being skunked in video sales [especially by people with worse shots] because it takes my old ass laptop 2hrs to render out a 20 second video clip to upload.
I say this every year, but I would really like to finally get my HAM license. Not sure Ill have money for a radio though, so we'll see.
I also want to get certified in first responding. Arriving on the devastation moments after it happened during the April 27th and May 24th outbreaks really was a kick in the gut. The things I saw those days were just...ugh. I need to be able to help more.
So that is a bit of a preview of the things I plan to change for 2012.
If I have time I may attempt to build the rest of the hail guards for the windshield and rear window. Time is short, and so are funds. So we'll see!
Any moment we will be in winters grip, and as always there is plenty to keep me busy during the off season. 2012 potentially has some major opportunities for me. Lots of leads for good things, just gotta keep my head in the game and make sure I am always striving to improve!