Doc Moonshine Interviews Patrick Costello

Doc Moonshine writes:
This is an interview I recorded, during the station that I broadcast with’s previous incarnation. during this conversation, Patrick and I discuss what lead us to music, Patrick’s philosophy on banjo playing and on making music in general, and what sets his teaching apart. like any good friends, there are methods Patrick and I agree on and methods we don’t. but that doesn’t stop us having a good laugh and hopefully teaching you a thing or too.

Ten Thousand Harmonicas?!

It’s been a long day for me. I woke up at 0-dark-thirty with a hideous migraine.

Thankfully, Dear Old Dad picked up more of my migraine medicine and Pooka has been glued to my side. Right about now I just feel like I have been run over by a truck hauling pig manure – and that’s a big improvement from this morning.

While I am laying low today. Dear Old Dad is busy scheduling banjo lessons and mom is working on her web site.  

I do have one cool bit of news to share! YouTube sent me a notice that my beginner harmonica lesson has passed ten thousand views! Wow!

I guess I have to add harmonica to my upcoming slate of workshops!

I am going to curl up with Pooka and a cheesy movie. Something really wonderfully grotesquely bad like Project Metalbeast, The Gian Claw or Head.

Have a great weekend!
God bless,

Semi-Social Media

Last year neurological issues made it difficult for me to type.

I handled the situation the way I usually do; I adapted. I dropped off social media and turned my attention to writing. The keyboard was out so I started writing my next book longhand, with paper and pencils.

Now it is 2019. My book is coming close to completion and I have made a little bit of progress with the neurological issues. I think it is safe to dip my toe into the murky water of social media.I Have set up new Facebook and Twitter accounts today. As things progress I will be posting more information on the upcoming book and other cool folk music projects we have in the works.

I am proud of the progress my mom is making with her web site. Be sure to visit for recipes, craft projects, poetry and her insights into early childhood development.

We have a ton of exciting music and mayhem in the works for the year ahead. I can’t wait to get started!

God bless,

Miss Trudy On Patreon

Miss Trudy on Patreon!


This is an invitation to join with me as I share with families the Importance of their role as the foundation for happy, healthy children. Children do not come with an instruction manual. Every child is a unique individual with temperamental characteristics that are theirs alone. It is my desire to spend the remainder of my years delivering an understanding of child development into homes with children. I bring compassion along with a depth of hands on experience and education. I want to offer encouragement to caregivers of young children. The tools I will use will be varied and fun. Your support means I can be there for others and you will be a part of my work.My heart and my home will be open via the internet. I will share my love of my husband of 50 years, my son and my home. A strong foundation of education and years of working with young children and their families will enable me to outreach with understanding. The format of all my offerings will be love. As I developed my lesson plans while teaching, I will plan in co-ordination with the seasons and holidays. The range of my interests is vast, but all will be offered with joy!

Personal Information:

  • Christian wife of 50 years
  • Retired from Healthy Families Lower Shore serving as home visitor to families living on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland
  • Experience presenting “Growing Great Kids” curriculum
  • Experience presenting “Parents as Teachers” curriculum
  • Opened and directed a Christian Child Care center
  • Preschool Teacher of children aged 2 to 5 years.


  • Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Recognition and Certification of Achievement Maryland Child Care Credential Level Five

Hobbies and Interests:

  • Fabric arts including quilting, hand-spinning, applique, crochet and sewing
  • Baking and cooking
  • Mountain dulcimer
  • Reading including my Bible, mysteries and love inspired suspense

Visit Miss Trudy at:


Everybody claims to hate fruitcake, but that is because they have never had the real thing.

My mom makes fruitcake and it is so good that Dear old Dad and I usually fight over the last slice!

Watch the video and get the recipe at

5,000,000 And Counting

Last night we reached another milestone when we passed five million views on YouTube.

Five million plays on YouTube. The number boggles the mind.

Our top ten most popular videos:

Some of our shared experiences on YouTube have been life-altering.

Other YouTube moments were . . . welll . . .

Through it all we have been sharing a message of love, joy, simplicity and creativity. 

Here’s to the next five million views! And the millions after that!

God bless

Say Hello to Miss Trudy!

A snippet of video to introduce my mom’s upcoming YouTube channel!
That’s right, the woman who taught me about faith, music, poetry, art and Pennsylvania Dutch cooking will be sharing her skills on the Internet.
Stay tuned for more details.

Pencil and Paper

I am working on a book about my adventures learning how to play the banjo, guitar and other folk instruments.

My circumstances as a young music student were unique. I was dealing with massive hearing loss and epilepsy. I had been exposed to Eastern philosophy as a young martial arts student. My mother taught me to use the tools the good Lord gave me, so I applied concepts from Kenpo karate and Taoism into my explorations into old-time banjo and country blues guitar.

Much has changed over the ensuing years and much is still the same. I am still learning new things every day, but now I am also a teacher. I have BAHA implants to help me hear, but new problems have sprung up to make my path more interesting. Neurological issues are making it difficult for me to type, so I am writing this new book entirely by hand in pencil.

I am writing at a desk that once belonged to my grandfather. He delivered it to me tied to the roof of his Dodge Dart on my eighth birthday. My great-grandmother helped my grandfather run his electrical contractor business from this desk. I feel them both with me as I work.

I write on Amazonbasics legal pads in pencil. I start out with a large quantity of sharpened pencils point-up in mugs and jars. As they go dull I drop them point-down in an empty container.

I am mainly using Blackwing pencils now and I can’t say enough nice things about them. Some of the nicest pencils I have ever used. The Blackwing long-point sharpener actually makes a difference. It is not fast, but the slow pace adds to my Steinbeck-style morning ritual of sharpening enough pencils to get through the day.

I use a shitajiki writing board under the page as I write to keep the pencil point from making an impression on the pages below it.

MUJI erasers work really well for someone who writes with a heavy hand like I do.

Field Notes and Write notepads help me keep my thoughts in order when I have to step away from my desk.

When I finish a chapter I pass it over to Dear Old Dad. He gives it a quick edit and passes it back to me for scanning.

I scan the chapter to post for our Patreon sponsors. They get the raw unprocessed data that will eventually be organized into a complete work.

After I post the chapter I give the pages back to Dear Old Dad for transcribing to Word, editing and recording for the audio book edition.
Scanned Sample Pages:

To give you a taste of what our Patreon sponsors get, here are single-page scans taken from the first page of the first three chapters.

My father takes my handwritten draft and transcribes it into Word. Here us a sample of how that turns out.

I looked up and a middle-aged man was gawking at me like I was a geek in a sideshow. He started laughing and turned to Lefty.“Why is Pillsbury gnawing on a guitar?”

They both started laughing. He made fun of my Converse high tops. He made fun of my Miami Vice tee-shirt. He made fun of my guitar. I started to get mad.

“What’s your problem? Never heard somebody play the blues before?”

He didn’t just laugh at that. He screamed. I thought he was going to go into hysterics. He opened the shop door, leaned out and hollered to somebody, “get in here and take a look at Pillsbury. He says he can play the blues!”

The next thing I know these guys come marching in and all of them think I am the funniest thing they have ever seen. I knew that I had a lot to learn on the guitar, but this was serious ball-busting. I was being mocked and it didn’t feel good, so I mustered up my courage and said, “if you guys are so great, why don’t you teach me something?”

The guy who had started the let’s laugh at Patrick party looked at one the others. They had a silent conversation, with one pointing to his watch and signaling that they had some time. Laughing guy pulled up a stool and sat in front of me. He reached for my guitar, and while it was hard to trust him I handed it over. “Damn, this is a heavy guitar. Okay, Pillsbury, do you know any bass lines like Elmore James played?”

“Who’s Elmore James?”

“Who’s Elmore James! You want to play guitar and you’ve never heard of Elmore James?” The rest of the group voiced their disapproval. “Well, Pillsbury, this is what I’m going to show you.” He took my guitar and made the bass strings ring out in a boogie-woogie rhythm. He started simple and driving and changed the pattern each time through until he had this amazing walking bass happening.

“I want to play like that!” I said.

Several people have encouraged me to move away from my current analog approach to writing and switch to voice to text or write on a tablet computer. I appreciate the input, but I like the simplicity of working with pencil and paper – and I get to have another adventure with my father.

When I do have to type – and the keyboard is inescapable in 2018 – I just take things in very small doses. It took three days with help from Dear Old Dad to put this post together. I move a little slower, but things still get done. Life is good.

Let’s wrap this up with a complete list of my books and essays released under Creative Commons licenses.