Musical | Personal Development | Books & Movies
Environment & NatureHistorical Links
  Local Coffee Shops | Rotary

Folk Of The Wood is a site specializing in all sorts of acoustic instruments, on line lessons, books, videos and an on-line newsletter. Itís a fun site to visit.



Guitar Alliance/Just Acoustic is one of the best online multimedia guitar lesson resources for beginning, intermediate or advanced guitarists. Includes guitar lessons in four areas: general guitar, acoustic, guitar riffs and blues guitar. Each of the four involves a separate annual membership cost, but cost is very nominal for the information that you receive. Each of the four sites explains what is involved and there is always a money back guarantee. I have been a member of  Guitar Alliance for some time and have also now subscribed to Just Acoustic. Check them out.

  Guitar Alliance l Just Acoustic Riff-o-matic l Blues Guitar

Cowpie Song Corral

Cowpie Song Corral is a free source of thousands of song lyrics and chords by hundreds of artists. Some songs include tabs and other useful information. Also includes a long list of links on guitar theory, chord dictionaries, and other good information.


Gigmasters is a site that lists music artists and bands of all types and genres from all over the United States. You can put in the type of music or type of musician(s) you want and they will provide a list of entertainers who will travel to your area.  Gives good information on each artist including the types of music they do and samples of some of their music.  You can also get listed on their website by submitting your information.

The Old Town School of Folk Music is located in Chicago and provides a variety of classes, workshops and private lessons along with live performances and a music store.  A great resource for Chicago area musicians.

 is a site that features and supports independent folk and acoustic music and musicians. Most of the proceeds from CD sales goes directly to the musicians.



This is the official John Denver website.  


Also visit the web home of the World Family of John Denver at:                                              




  Jim Croce | Neil Diamond | Dan Fogelberg | The Eagles 

Arlo Guthrie | Gordon LightfootDon Mclean l Kenny Rogers

Simon & Garfunkel | Jimmy Buffett   




Peak Potentials - "The Mission of Peak Potentials is to educate and inspire people to live in their Higher Self based in Courage, Purpose and Joy, versus Fear, Need and Obligation." Peak Potentials is one of the fastest growing personal development companies. Sue and I attended their three-day Millionaire Mind Weekend and found it to be a transforming experience. I attended the Firewalk Certification Training with the company's founder T. Harv Eker in 1994. Three ways you can check out what Peak Potentials has to offer is through T. Harv Ekerís book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, through the Millionaire Mind Evening Seminar or the Millionaire Mind Teleseminar. Click on the links below to find out more on each one.


 Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind Book


                                                        Millionaire Mind Evening Seminar


                                                                        Millionaire Mind Teleseminar


Nightingale Conant  is the world's largest publisher and producer of personal development products and services. Iíve been using their programs for many years.


Quantum Quests - I first ordered Jonathan Parkerís 12 tape program Pathways To Mastership from Quantum Quests in 1982. I have worked with many of their other programs and attended a number of their workshops since then. The programs include a combination of explanations of metaphysical principles and guided meditations to heal and transform the listener at deep levels. This has been one of the main sources of my spiritual development over the years.



F.I.R.E.- The Firewalking Institute of Research and Education is an organization that teaches and certifies firewalk instructors. I first firewalked with Tony Robbins in 1991 and then in 1994 took the Firewalk Instructors Certification from Tolly Burkan. While I have not actively taught firewalking since then, it has been one of the most transforming experiences of my life.


Near Death Experience Resource Site - One of the greatest mysteries that we face is what happens after death. There has been a great deal of research done into the area of Near Death Experiences that can provide some answers. This web site provides a comprehensive resource into this fascinating field.


The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a nonprofit membership organization that both conducts and sponsors research into the workings and powers of the mind, including perceptions, beliefs, and intuition, exploring the frontiers of consciousness to advance individual, social and global transformation.


The Association for Global New Thought was once called the "religion of healthy-mindedness" by the philosopher William James. the New Thought movement was born almost 150 years ago as a revolt against the negative dogmas so prevalent in the churches of that day. The early New Thought movement was driven by the discovery that physical healing was possible through the power of mind and spiritual awareness. As that initial idea unfolded into successful application, practitioners of New Thought began to see that the power of an uplifted consciousness could also bring healing to negative circumstances and conditions in one's personal life. As it evolves today, twenty-first century New Thought is driven by a far broader intention. Planetary healing through self-realization is emerging as the new promise of these teachings.


Astara is a nonprofit religious institution dedicated to elevating the consciousness and health of humankind since it was founded in 1951. People from all faiths study esoteric teachings and mystic philosophy through Astara and still maintain membership in any religion. Astara's Book of Life Degree Lessons have helped enlighten hundreds-of-thousands of seekers worldwide.


Wayne Dyer has been one of my favorite authors for many years.  His newest book, Inspiration, Your Ultimate Calling, is his best work yet.  Other works include Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages and The Power of Intention out of 28 books along with numerous audio programs and videos.  Nightingale Conant carries many of his audio programs.  In his most recent book, Dr. Dyer talks about inspiration as actually being "in spirit" and living life in tune with the calling of the higher self or spiritual self.  He defines the difference between motivation and inspiration as trying to make something happen versus allowing something to happen.  With a doctorate in Educational Counseling, Dr. Dyer has evolved from the psychological approach in his first book, Your Erroneous Zones, to a Spiritual approach in his later works.  I highly recommend any of his works.





  What Is The Secret

The Secret - What you think about, what you visualize, what you hold in your mind, becomes your reality.  Most people focus on what they don't want and then they are surprised when it shows up.  What you resist persists because you are giving energy to the very thing you don't want.  Worry and fear can bring about the very things that you are worrying about or fearing because you are giving them energy.  Focus on and visualize what you do want and you will create that in your life.  The Secret is currently a popular film and number one best selling book both available at local book stores or on



  Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior - Arrogant, talented Dan Millman seems to have the perfect college life: a stunning gymnast's body of incredible strength, handsome looks, good grades, plenty of money and a shot at the Olympic qualifiers in men's gymnastics. Still, Dan wakes up almost nightly from terrifying nightmares and odd visions he can't explain or dismiss. One night, awakened by yet another nightmare, Dan goes for a run through his foggy neighborhood and comes upon a well-lit service station. Behind the counter, an old man seemingly moves without regard for space or time. One moment, Dan is paying for his snacks, the next the old man is on the roof of the station. Stunned by the impossibility, Dan begs the old man, whom he instinctually names Socrates, to share the secret of his abilities in order to achieve his goal of Olympic Gold. The old man puts him through a regiment that changes his diet, training, and lifestyle. Before long, his life is ruined, and he loses his friends, his girls, and is almost thrown off his Gymnastics squad. Thus begins a journey of discovery for Dan that will shatter every preconceived notion he has about academics, athletics, and achievement, Guided by Socrates, Dan will consider a whole new ideology--one that values consciousness over intelligence, strength in spirit over strength in body. But in order to succeed, Dan must somehow let go of all of his expectations--and simply live in the now. Starring: Scott Mechlowicz, Ashton Holmes, B J Britt, Amy Smart, Nick Nolte.

Celestine Prophesy - Based on James Redfield's worldwide best-selling novel, The Celestine Prophecy is a spiritual adventure film chronicling the discovery of ancient scrolls in the rainforests of Peru. The prophecy and its nine key insights predict a worldwide awakening, arising within all religious traditions, that moves humanity toward a deeper experience of spirituality.



Global Warming - Can we afford to take a chance that this is only a myth?  By the time we find out, it may be too late! The earth adapts to change and it won't care if half of Florida or New York City is under water or devastated by hurricanes or not.  The earth has millions of years to adapt and evolve new species.  We don't! What is at stake here is mankind's life on earth and the future of our children and grand children.  What kind of world do you want for them?  Have an open mind and explore the possibility that we might need to make a few changes in the way we live. Go to the website to find out more about global warming and see the film trailer.



The Spiritual Cinema Circle is a DVD of the month club that features four inspirational and transformational movies of varying lengths each month that you cannot find elsewhere. You can try the first month free to see if you like them.


Conversations With God, the Movie, is from the producer of Somewhere In Time and What Dreams May Come, comes the first original film production of the Spiritual Cinema Circle. The movie version of Donald Neale Walschís New York Times Best Seller is currently available on DVD in bookstores, on and at Family Video.

INDIGO is a film about loneliness, redemption, and the healing powers and grace of the new generation of Indigo (psychic and gifted) children being born into the world.  Although the story is fictional, the emotions and actions of the film resonate with the spiritual dynamics of life today.  INDIGO was directed by Stephen Simon who produced What Dreams May Come and Somewhere In Time; was co-written by James Twyman, author of the book Emissary of Light, and Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations With God and who also stars in the film.  INDIGO is available for rental at Family Video in Charleston.

The INDIGO Evolution is a follow up to the first movie, INDIGO. Whatever you call them, (Indigo's or something else) our children are coming into the world with their eyes wide open, ready to play their role in creating a world of compassion and peace. Are we witnessing a major leap in human evolution, what Jean Houston calls "Jump Time?" Many people believe that we are on the brink of a global awakening, and that the Indigo Children are here to show us our highest potential.


Environment & Nature

Douglas Hart Nature Center is a gem of a site located on DeWitt Avenue east of Mattoon. It features a nature center, nature trails, woods, prairie, animals and various programs. The picture of the prairie on the Prairie Minstrel home page (and behind this page) was taken at the Douglas Hart Nature Center prairie area.


  Environmental Organizations Ė

              These are three of the environmental organizations that we support:

   World Wildlife Federation                                                                                              



National Wildlife Federation          



The Nature Conservancy                                       

Climate Change - This is the US Environment Protection Agency site on Climate Change.


Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site was the 1840s home of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, father and step mother of Abraham Lincoln. It is located eight miles south of Charleston Illinois. The site now involves two 1840s living history farms, a $3 million visitor center and the nearby Reuben Moore Home and Thomas Lincoln Cemetery.  I was the Historic Site Manager of Lincoln Log Cabin  from 1974 until my retirement at the end of 2002.  See photos in the photo gallery.


The Five Mile House is located southeast of Charleston, Illinois and is five miles from the Charleston Court House. The original two room brick house was built in the late 1830s or early 1840s. A frame kitchen addition was added in about the 1860s and a porch, exterior stucko and other features were added in the early 20th century. The Five Mile House Foundation acquired the house in 1999 and has nearly completed its restoration.  I have been involved with the FMH Foundation for several years, which allows me to still dabble in some historic restoration and collections work and I am President of the Five Mile House Foundation for 2007.   See photos in the photo gallery.




Rockome Gardens

West of Arcola, Illinois


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois,    is a fabulous, state of the art, tribute to the life and times of our 16th president. Also in Springfield is The Lincoln Home National Historic Site along with Lincolnís Law Office, the Old State Capitol, Lincolnís Tomb and Lincolnís New Salem State Historic Sites. Itís easily worth a two or three day visit.


The Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council is the Midwest regional living history museums organization that promotes networking and sharing of resources for open air museums. I was president of MOMCC in 1985 and editor of their magazine from 1986 to 1992.




The Association for Living History, Farms and Agricultural Museums is the national and international version of MOMCC. Their annual conference in June is held at different open air museums all over the United States and Canada. MOMCC has two conferences a year. These meetings were an invaluable resource of information and ideas that I used in the development of Lincoln Log Cabin.



Jackson Avenue Coffee is a popular Charleston coffee house where you can perform or hear great live music. They have open mic every Thursday night, and various types of musicians on Saturdays and other select nights. It is located just off the Southeast corner of the Charleston Square on Jackson Avenue. Thursday night open mics are a lot of fun with a friendly and very supportive crowd.  It's a great way to develop or hone your performance skills.


Common Grounds is a great coffee shop and deli in nearby Mattoon that features a variety of local musicians and has open mic night the first Friday night of the month. It is located at the corner of Charleston and 17th streets in Mattoon.         





  Charleston Rotary Club - I am currently the Past President and Club Service Director for the Charleston Rotary Club for the 2007-2008 year, which runs from July of 2007 to June of 2008. Check their website to read the club newsletter.



  Rotary International

Rotary International is a world-wide service club. Its business is service to mankind, both in the local community and internationally. Rotary provides a ďuser-friendlyĒ way of giving back to the world and adding value to the lives of other people.  Throughout the world, 1.7 million Rotarians in over 28,000 clubs in 138 countries are known best for participation in the eradication of polio and for international exchange programs for high school students, college students and young professionals among many other projects.  The Logo shown here is the one chosen for the 2006-2007 year by Rotary International President Elect, William Boyd.