Next Week

The Daily Frail is making a comeback as a daily workshop series! We will be adding a twist for our Patreon sponsors,

Our other new project is a return to basics.

Right now we have 743 videos on YouTube. While there are a couple of  basic frailing lessons, it can be almost impossible for beginners to navigate our massive collection.

With that in mind we are launching Frailing Banjo 101. The series will take you from setting up your banjo all the way to advanced jamming techniques.

Keep an eye on frailingbanjo.com and/or  https://www.patreon.com/Dobro33H for more information.

Get Busy Living

Amy’s favorite movie was The Shawshank Redemption. I think we watched it just about every time it was on, and she had the DVD too. I was not a big fan of the film, but I could  do a good impression of Morgan Freeman describing the escape: Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of @#$% smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to.

After a while, I started doing Morgan Freeman’s 500 yards bit to narrate whenever we had to clean up something gross. Like cleaning our hedgehog cage. It drove her crazy – but I had a way of driving Amy crazy. The first time I made dinner in her kitchen I set the stove on fire. 

Another quote from Shawshank has been running through my mind for the past few days: Get busy living or get busy dying.

A close friend contacted me to remind me to take care of myself. He was not alone. Other friends and several strangers have reached out to ask me to be careful not to allow my grief to alter my recovery.

When I came home to Crisfield a few years ago I weighed 300 lbs, my blood sugar was out of control, my blood pressure was sky high, I had peripheral neuropathy so bad that I was unable to walk and I was on a staggering amount of prescription pain medication.

The pain medication came from a slew of different doctors and surgeons. I never intentionally took too much of the stuff. I just had too many doctors over-medicating me.

It took a monumental effort to get clean, lose weight and get back on my feet. The process is still in motion as I am still on a diet and still on a Suboxone program.

Doctors are also making progress helping me with my seizures and migraine headaches.

My heart may be broken, but I have to keep working on myself, teaching, making music and finding new avenues for my creativity.

Folks on my mother’s side of the family regularly live well into their 90’s and beyond. I could have a lot of time ahead of me!

Here are a few things I would like to do over the next fifty years or so:

  • Continue writing and teaching.
  • Finish the Blues Project.
  • Visit my family and friends in the UK and Spain.
  • Learn to Juggle.
  • Learn to play the piano.
  • Swim with otters.
  • Learn to bake bread.
  • Take some art classes.
  • See the redwoods.
  • See the aurora borealis and/or the aurora australis.
  • Convince my friends/readers/students to plant milkweed, parsley and butterfly bushes to help monarch butterflies, swallowtail butterflies and clearwing moths.
  • See the night sky in the desert.
  • Hold workshops for my friends in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.
  • See as much of Canada as I can.

I know for sure I will check off one or two things off of my list and there are other things listed here that are next to impossible for me because of my health. A goal is nothing more than something to get you out the door starting on your adventure.

I will love and miss Amy to my dying day and beyond, but I have to keep on living. After everything I have been through, I am so blessed that I can still get excited over daydreams and inspire people to sing along.

I am going to be okay.

God bless each and every one of you.

Patrick Costello
Crisfield, Maryland

Old Time Banjo With Patrick and Dear Old Dad

I found a packaging sample from one of our most successful instructional video projects, Old Time Banjo With Patrick and Dear Old Dad.

We produced a lot of instructional videos between 2000 and 2003 with some of the best teachers in the business. I had no intention of ever teaching in front of a camera, so when we could not find a suitable frailing banjo teacher it was up to Dear Old Dad to do the job.

We were shocked at how popular this CD ROM workshop became. We tried to generate interest in our other titles, but people did not want fiddle or various guitar styles. They wanted old-time banjo. They wanted us playing and singing and having fun.

After this project we stopped publishing anything but our own videos. In 2003 I accidentally wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo and we never looked back.

Real Player is old and buggy technology, so we uploaded the video to YouTube. The tab is no longer available, but you can find all of the songs in my books and essays.

After all these years, not many teachers can come close to Dear Old Dad, and our little jam session at the end of part 8 still remains unique. It’s cool to have your work reach so many people for such a long time. I can’t wait to see what happens down the road when all of you start teaching!

Mature Content With Banjos

We got word from Patreon yesterday that, due to some of the language in my book-in-progress, our Patreon page has been marked as mature content. I am willing to bet that the Irish banjo molester did not help the situation.

When we started this book Dear Old Dad and I talked at great length about modifying the language and possibly editing out some of the, shall we say, impolite things that happened. It is not our intention to upset or offend anyone, but the guys who taught me had a way of saying things. Being from Philadelphia, so do we. The goal of the book is to tell what really happened, so we decided against modifying the language.

None of this changes anything. The book is still rolling out one handwritten chapter at a time, and working so closely with my dad once again is turning out to be an entire new adventure. How cool is that?

The Book Goes To Eleven!

The eleventh chapter of my book in progress has been scanned and uploaded. Whoo!

Patreon sponsors can download the pages here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/21002930

As you probably know by now, I am writing this book entirely by hand.

I am writing in pencil on legal pads because a neurological problem has made it difficult for me to type.

This download is a first draft with a quick edit. Dear Old Dad will edit it two more times before transcribing it all into Word.

We are numbering the chapters as they are written. They will probably appear in a different order in the finished book.

Once the book is finished we will make the ebook edition available to all our Patreon sponsors.

In this chapter we meet another guitar player who helped me put more of the puzzle pieces together.

Better

I’m still sore from surgery. I  only only feel half as lousy as I did yesterday, so things are improving.

I am still getting used to sleeping next to the computer that sends my heart rate to the cardiologist every day. 

Easing myself back to work today. I have a fresh stack of legal pads and a new package of Mitsubishi  9850 pencils ready to go. I will be handing Dear Old Dad the next chapter from my book in progress soon.

I have not been leaving the house very often these days. With these strokes I have been having I can’t drive. I don’t mind walking, but I don’t have a phone to call for help if I get into trouble along Brick Kiln Road. With wireless being so crazy expensive I am looking into getting a good tablet with a simple data plan . I don’t need much, but several people have pointed out some new tablets that allow you  to write  with a stylus. That might be cool now that typing is difficult.

Pencils, paper, a big glass of iced tea and Pooka are waiting for me to get back to work. I hope you all have a nice weekend.

God bless,
-Patrick

Headachy Day

I still have a nagging headache from yesterday’s trip, so I am taking it slow today. Hanging out with Pooka the tortoiseshell calico cat and Precious the Chihuahua.  

Deer slept in the garden last night, but it’s okay. We are all happy that a critter found some refuge. 

The zinnias are doing really well this year. The butterflies seem to love them, and I enjoy cutting a handful and making a small arrangement to surprise mom.

I should be able to finish the eleventh chapter of our book in progress tomorrow. We are still making progress!

Chapter 10!

Chapter 10 of my book in progress is available for our sponsors to download! 

https://www.patreon.com/posts/20801113

As you probably know by now, I am writing this book entirely by hand.

I am writing in pencil on legal pads because a neurological problem has made it difficult for me to type.

This download is a first draft with a quick edit. Dear Old Dad will edit it two more times before transcribing it all into Word.

We are numbering the chapters as they are written. They will probably appear in a different order in the finished book.

Once the book is finished we will make the ebook edition available to all our Patreon sponsors.

In chapter 10 several stories from my past come together to illustrate the importance of core skills. 

Before anybody asks, Ed Parker was awesome.