Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The History of 101.1FM Radio on the Island of Roatan

The History of 101.1FM Radio on the Island of Roatan

Chapter One

As a current 1/3 owner of 101.1FM now called Blue Wave Radio, I have been asked many times how I came to this point as I now have put these shares for sale on the Roatan MLS via Palagio Real Estate Roatan. Well here goes!
When I first arrived on Roatan some 7+ years ago, the only English speaking radio station was 101.1FM then simply called “The Wave”. There was only two live DJ shows—Roatan Bruce most weekday mornings and John & John on Saturday mornings. The rest was programmed music and quite frankly, not very listenable! After a bit of hunting, I found the sleepy office of the station in Jackson Plaza. On the couch was Gary & Will who looked at me like I was an alien invading their deep conversation. “You guys looking for DJs” I asked. “You a DJ?” asked Gary. “Well I did a regular show on a college radio station about a million years ago” I answered. “When can you start” Gary asked. “Any pay?” knowing the answer but thought I would ask. “No, but if you sell any advertising I’ll give you 20%”, he offered, as if it was like laying a red carpet in front of my feet. “How about after the John & John Show on Saturday afternoons” I suggested. “Done”. And that was the beginning of a long strange journey.
Driving back that afternoon to our then rented house in Flowers Bay, my wife Barbara and I brainstormed for a DJ name for me. Gotta have a DJ name-right? As we were driving the Seaside road outside of Coxen Hole, we saw the Billy Breeze Bar. Hmmm..Billy Breeze…that could work, right? Not having many friends at this point, we really did not have many people to bounce this off of. Later in the week, we ran into Jonathan, the realtor who had rented us the house in Flowers Bay and asked him what he thought. “Sounds pretty gay” was all he said. Now, I am a very open minded man and have had many friends that are gay, but it was not the persona I wanted to debut my radio show as a newbie on Roatan. In the end, it was Barbara who suggested I adopt a pirate name, preferably one who had been on the island in those days. A quick look in the “Who’s Who Pirate Guide Book” we brought to the island and it was decided. I would be Calico Jack.
I started doing my show every Saturday, trying to pick theme shows with related music and after the first few, the jitters disappeared and I started to have a lot of fun. Now to get some advertisers to at least pay for the gas back and forth. Well, there was a big problem. Everyone I approached said the same thing. Is that the radio station with Roatan Bruce? Upon positive confirmation I was literally kicked out the door. Seems he had quite the reputation as Roatan Mooch leaving a trail of empty promises in exchange for just about everything. A regular one way barter system snake oil salesman. Though I was gaining popularity with my show, it was not paying off to head to Jackson Plaza for 2 hours every Saturday so I gave my notice (like they really cared). Then I had the then brilliant idea to create my own internet radio station as it was the wave of the future. If it could work in the US, why not here? Of course it would have helped if people on the island had decent internet which though existed, was very expensive. Trying to stream a radio station on a limited budget through a TIGO internet dongle was not good. Still I plodded ahead with my dream.
After a bunch of research, I signed up with Live 365 and anxiously awaited my “free” equipment which included a mini mixing board and a microphone. When DIP shipping delivered it, I was like a kid in a candy store quickly hooking everything up to the computer and setting up my website page. Looking like a scene from when Alexander Graham Bell “called” Watson of his newly invented telephone in another room, I sent Barbara to the far end of the house with her laptop and started my initial broadcast. “I hear you” she screamed. I smiled. Roatanradio.com was born.

Stay “tuned in” to my blog for Chapter Two, “The Recruiting of the DJS”

Friday, April 29, 2016

Roatan's Music Evolution

Before being a real estate agent on Roatan, I wrote this one in 2010 for the Bay Islands Voice Magazine

Roatan's Music Evolution

Roatan's Ancient Underwater Secret

Before becoming a real estate agent on Roatan, I wrote this in 2010 for the Bay Islands Voice. Fun researching this one!

 Roatan's Ancient Underwater Secret

Just a Little Patience....Living and working on Roatan! Palagio Real Estate Roatan

Let's face it, life on a Caribbean island is not for everyone. Guns n Roses sang it and those of us who have migrated to Roatan live it...just a little patience! When and if you make the big jump, your friends will be jealous and some will think you are crazy. You have abandoned normal life to spend your days sipping Pina Coladas all day by the beach and dipping your toes in the sea. You are living the dream! Well, yes and no… most of us cannot just retire early so there has to be an income which in its self can be challenging. Roatan's economy is almost 100% reliant on tourism and tourism is most unreliable thing, thus many of us wear several "hats" on the island, yours truly included. During my seven years here, I have taught school, written for the island magazine, created, programmed and DJ'd a radio station, managed a boutique hotel and started a real estate agency. All of which have taught me the most important virtue to a successful and happy life on an island.. patience. You have all heard of the expression "Island Time" right? Well, I am here to tell you that it DOES exist and you better get used to it! Manana literally translates to tomorrow but here it means maybe sometime in the future.. maybe. In an "instant gratification" world, this can be frustrating. For example, when you find something on Amazon you just have to have, one click and it is on your doorstep the next day. Here, if it gets here in 3 weeks, you are overjoyed (if you can remember what you ordered!). There is no daily newspaper, a sort of post office, no movie theater (this was tried but it turned into a sort of disco with a film) and you quickly learn that Facebook is your connection to the real world both on and off the island. We probably have more Facebook groups per capita than any other place in the world. Don't believe me? Just type Roatan in the search box and see what comes up. Facebook is our newspaper. Get up, let the dog out, put on the coffee and check Facebook is our routine. And then there is banking...hmmm.. let's just say if going to the bank is on the agenda for the day, don't plan anything else for the morning. The good news is that you will probably know everyone in line and it is an excellent time to catch up on island gossip. There is no rush here, it will get done when it gets done and it is what it is. We often forget what we wake up to everyday but a random jaunt to the beach reminds us that we do live in Paradise, even if it is "Paradise with a Price". Patience is a virtue and a necessity with island life and as soon as you grasp it, you will be just fine. Besides it will always lead to some great stories in bank lines!

I’ve touched on a quite a few subjects here which I will get into in more detail later as we explore life on Roatan. I made the jump and I have no regrets. Life is slower here and to me that is a good thing. I often compare it to living in a small town in the 1950s. I have more friends than I have ever had and know that if I ever need help, it is there in a second. Roatan has a wonderful Ex-Pat community from every corner of the world. Everyone has a story about their “former life”. Some share, some don’t, but who cares? I honestly don’t even know the last name of some of my friends. How cool is that? It is easy to lose touch on an island and frankly, I love it! Until next time, I leave you with a link to one of my favorite island songs by the Zac Brown Band which could have easily been written about Roatan. Oops, there goes the electricity—off to the beach!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why should you work with Palagio Real Estate on the island of Roatan?

John Morris is a Buyer’s Agent for Palagio Real Estate on the island of Roatan. What does that mean for you? When working with John he represents you in your search for the perfect property whether it be land, a condo, a house, land or a business having access to all listings on the island both on the MLS and private. There is no cost or commitment to you the potential buyer. John has lived and worked on the island for over 7 years and has accumulated a vast knowledge of the island and it’s people and has created large network of professional connections having been involved in media, hospitality and real estate during his years here. Originally from New Hampshire, John spent many years traveling the world and understands people and their desires, needs and sometimes fears of making the step to becoming an “Ex-Pat” in our little slice of Paradise. So when considering an agent to represent you in your search, relax and let John handle it!

Barbara Morris is a Listing Agent for Palagio Real Estate on the island of Roatan. Why should you list with Barbara? When listing with Barbara, not only will you be on the MLS exclusive to Roatan and its agents, your property will be professionally marketed on the Palagio Real Estate group of websites, the About Roatan Real Estate website as well as the most visited internet sites specializing in real estate properties. Your property will also be featured on the Roatan Travel Network Cable Station which is received in 95% of the hotels on the island. All for no extra cost to you. Barbara takes her clients and her listings very seriously ensuring each one is properly handled in the optimal way to get it sold. Originally from Milan Italy, Barbara is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish which can be a tremendous help when it comes to properly handling the paperwork on Roatan. So when considering where to list your property, Barbara will get you the most exposure to the potential buyer while treating your property as if it were her own.

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Stay tuned to this blog to see how easy it is to make your dream of moving to Roatan come true!