I finally found a hobby I like

By John Toth

The Bulletin


About three decades ago, Sharon and I were looking for something new to do.


“Let’s start a weekly paper,” she thought out loud.


Sure, what could go wrong? It’s a high-risk business. Things could sour really quickly, and then what?


“Then we go back to work for someone else,” I said, answering my own question.


We started planning, and in about a year we were ready to put the final pieces in place. It was more like a hobby than anything else - something to do when I was not working for The Houston Chronicle.


The hobby then became a business, and it has stayed that way for almost three decades.

I have a new hobby. The Bulletin remains intact, but something else also caught my interest - video editing.


I started playing with a video-editing program a while back, much like I started playing with a DOS publishing program circa 1993. I stayed up all hours of the night, learning it. I didn’t know where it would lead, but I knew that I enjoyed doing it.


Working at my regular job after an all-night learning session was less enjoyable.


I have not stayed up at night learning how to use video-editing programs, but I have put in a good amount of time. I started out by making videos about family outings.


I felt like I did at my first reporting job at the Daily Tribune in Bay City in 1979, where I wrote some awful stories that at the time I thought were masterpieces. I hope the Tribune has lost or discarded all of those papers by now. Luckily, there was no digital archiving back then.


Practice makes perfect, though, or less imperfect in the writing business. As the years pass, skills improve. If they do not, there are other ways to make a living in other fields, many of which pay significantly more than the writing field.


I’m sure my first videos are at par with my writing skills in 1979, But that’s O.K. It’s just a hobby, right?


To make things interesting, I set up a YouTube channel called, “Wandering with John and Sharon,” where I post all my videos. It’s a public channel, which allows anyone to view them.


Just call up YouTube and enter our channel name in the search bar. It’s called vlogging.


Then bookmark the site, especially if you wish to follow my video-editing progress. If you want to get a notice when new videos are uploaded, hit the subscription button. It’s free and not required, but down the line, it may help us. YouTube at a certain point starts placing ads in the channel and sends part of the proceeds to us.


That’s not going to be for a long time, if ever. Some people do this for a living, but it’s just a hobby for me.


I needed a hobby. Golf is not my game, and I don’t like woodworking. I can’t sing, paint or play a musical instrument, although I did try the guitar a long time ago. I never got past the trying part.


Vlogging is right down my alley. Vloggers are video bloggers. Many are good and interesting. I have subscribed to about two dozen channels so far, mostly ones connected with travel. Two of my posts include two videos of a cruise Sharon and I recently took.


YouTube vloggers carry some expensive camera gear, GoPros, and drones, which make for great shots.


I carry a GoPro and an older digital camera that also takes videos and a smartphone. That’s my gear.


So far, it has served me well, especially the GoPro. I just wish it could zoom, at least digitally if not mechanically. Hear that, GoPro? The Hero 12 should have a video zoom function. That would make it perfect, for me, at least.


But I can just see one of those fancy vlogging cameras under the Christmas tree this year.