They Sure Don’t Make Empires Like They Used To

Empires come, empires go. Especially virtual empires.

A couple months back, I posted here that my first music stream, Radio Danko, would not be closing as I’d thought, that in fact I was adding two new music streams, part of a burgeoning virtual broadcasting empire.

I guess I wasn’t cut out to be an emperor.

In the last few days it has leaked out that the platform that hosts two of my music streams will be doubling the amount of commercials it requires us to air from four minutes an hour to eight. It’s not a ridiculous amount, I could live with it under other circumstances,
but it’s enough that these music streams no longer work for my own purpose, the reason I created them in the first place – to serve as the soundtrack of my virtual world places. When the music fits the place, it helps with immersion inworld. Interrupting that twice an hour for two minutes of commercials wasn’t perfect but doubling that is simply too much.
In addition, there have been several other policy changes by the platform in recent months that had just about pushed me out the door, so this was the last straw.

Happily, when the red flags started going up over the summer with these policy changes, I began another stream on a different platform that charges me a fee rather than requiring that I air commercials. That stream will continue.

Radio Danko and Chicken Fried Country were fun to operate and I’m sorry to see them go. Thanks to everyone who listened and enjoyed them. But I am also having a great time with the new (commercial free!) Retro Roots Radio and I invite you to listen…

Retro Roots Radio webpage

Direct URL to listen inworld or online

Listen via TuneIn


Posted in Virtual Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dankoville on Naras Nook grid

Dankoville Welcome image

Dankoville is my OpenSim home.

Dankoville is open to all visitors to explore, write, roleplay or just hang out. It’s online 24/7, give or take the odd glitch. Located on Naras Nook grid, Dankoville is accesible via Hypergrid:

If I’m in town or the surrounding area, I might be working or just hanging out. If you’re visiting, don’t hesitate to say hello or ask a question. It’s best to use IM as I might not notice local chat.

The sim is the setting for some of my story writing. In story, Dankoville is a small town in a farming area somewhere in the Corn Belt of the United States.

We are a long-term project and therefore always in some state of disarray, under construction, pardon our appearance, etc.

Dankoville Tourism Ad-Poster Summer Corn - Copy

For more info, visit the Official Dankoville website:

Dankoville Nook Aug16 Update

Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Virtual Broadcasting Empire

In our last episode, our hero (me!) announced he was getting ready to close his little faux radio station due to circumstances beyond his control. Since then, circumstances have changed, however, things are still beyond my control and have taken on a life of their own. I’m just hanging on tight and enjoying the ride.

Radio Danko will not be closing. I hesitate to make such a definitive statement but for now and likely the foreseeable future, it’s business as usual for my radio station/music stream.

The change in circumstance that allows Radio Danko to continue is that we can now be heard in Canada again. Our host platform has geo-blocked a number of countries, most likely for financial reasons, and while I’m still not happy about that, the blocking of Canada was the deal-breaker for me as Radio Danko has a number of loyal listeners there. The vast majority of our listeners come from North America and Western and Central Europe and are now unaffected by our host’s geo-blocking, which means Radio Danko is virtually (pun!) unaffected by it as well, so we can continue operations.

I’m very fond of the station myself so I’m really glad I don’t have to close it. In fact, rather than closing one music stream, I opened two more! One on the same hosting platform as Radio Danko and the other on a different platform.

Funny how that happened. It’s a rather long and complicated story so I’ll skip the details and just say an unexpected series of circumstances and opportunities combined to cause me to start my own little virtual broadcasting empire. Bill Paley never imagined such things.

Radio Danko was originally created to provide inworld music in my various virtual lands and the inspiration for the two new streams comes from exactly the same place. Now, throughout my virtual home of Dankoville on Naras Nook grid – every area has an appropriate music stream that I know I’ll be happy with because I picked the music!

Dankoville is a 768 varregion (the equivalent of nine standard regions), so there’s a lot of territory to cover. Radio Danko is heard in the city and town areas as it has been since it was created in May of last year. But now in the rural areas, my new station, Chicken Fried Country Radio is heard. The third stream, Retro Roots Radio, is just perfect for two of the local bars, The Evergreen Pub in Dankoville and Ted’s Tap in New Teasdale. (I’ve also got it on at my farmhouse.)

And since I’m a man of many worlds, I need music Elsewhere too. That’s a little joke. “Elsewhere” is the name of my region on Craft World. I can’t remember which station I left on when I was there over the weekend but Retro Roots Radio should be the perfect choice in Elsewhere too. I’m also running it in Second Life at my retreat, my cottage in Winterfell, another perfect fit.

The music streams are an outgrowth of my virtual world hobby and now with three of them, I suppose they are a hobby all on their own. But the new hobby or sub-hobby leads me right back to virtual worlds. As I’ve been working on getting the two new streams up and running, I’ve been thinking I really need to make a physical space in my virtual lands for a radio station building. I’m not sure whether to go simple and small, little one or two-story office buildings for each station, or go for a larger build to house all of them, a virtual world headquarters type of thing. So that’s one new virtual world project to think on and develop over the coming weeks or months.

Another project is much simpler… I’m gonna make an inworld radio that only has my three stations on it! Oh sure, I still listen to other music streams and I use other streams for parcel music in some of my virtual spots, so I won’t be getting rid of my current inworld radios. But I’m going to make a new radio with only my streams, just because I can!

And I’ll leave a slot for a fourth station. (Stop laughing!) I have one more idea for a music stream but it’s on the back burner for now as I do have my hands full.

Internet radio stations come and go — that’s why I made a music stream in the first place, a couple of my favorites went away — so you might be looking for a new music stream, yourself. And since I have three, one (or more!) might be your answer. So here are the direct links to all three. You can use these links in a browser or to set parcel music inworld. Please check them out! Thank you.

Radio Danko (link updated Aug 25)

Retro Roots Radio;

Chicken Fried Country

Each stream has a little website with info about the music genres and ways to listen, have a look…

Radio Danko website

Retro Roots Radio website

Chicken Fried Country website


Posted in Virtual Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Radio Danko Prepares To Sign-Off

UPDATE, JULY 13, 2016: Radio Danko lives! And that’s not all! See the update on this blog, A Virtual Broadcasting Empire

UPDATE, MAY 16, 2016: It ain’t over ’til it’s over! I may be able to keep Radio Danko on the air once we shutdown on our current platform. Further investigation and extensive testing must be done first to see if another platform meets our needs. This may take a few weeks to work out so PLEASE STAND BY! In the meantime you can still hear us in the US, UK and most EU countries and some others; we are still geo-blocked in Canada, Brazil, Japan and many others, though I’ll bet some of you are smart enough to know how to get around that. Stay tuned to this page for updates! Here are our current listen links:

Radio Danko – direct link to listen online or inworld as parcel music

Radio Danko page on Radionomy website
(listen here and see the Recent Tracks & Artists list)

original article, May 11:

My music stream, Radio Danko, is hosted on the platform, Radionomy. That company appears to be instituting policy changes that I can’t live with. The result is, I’m expecting to have to shutdown Radio Danko for good in the very near future.

At the heart of the matter is the issue of music rights fees. It’s a very long and complicated story but the most important part of it is that in January 2016, new policies went into effect in the U.S. that dramatically increased the fees for small webcasters. Radionomy pays those fees for us, in exchange for that and for providing the platform, we broadcast their commercials twice an hour.

From what I’m gathering from various sources, Radionomy has decided to geo-block our streams to countries where they have no advertising revenue. I guess this allows them to only pay rights fees in the countries they are continuing to stream to, the ones they do receive advert revenue from. It looks like they are going to continue to stream to the US and the EU and a few other countries but are blocking the streams to Canada, Brazil, Japan and many more.

I started Radio Danko to use as parcel music in Dankoville and my other virtual world places. But now a visitor to Dankoville from Canada or Brazil won’t actually hear Radio Danko, instead they’ll hear an ambient lounge station which plays rights-free music. It’s Radionomy’s default re-direct station. This defeats the original purpose of Radio Danko.

If I wanted to spend a lot of money and dedicate a lot more of my time to Radio Danko, I might be able to continue, using another platform or method of webcasting. If it was my main hobby, I would. But my main hobby is virtual worlds and I would rather spend my time and money directly on that hobby rather than on what is in reality, a side project. I’ve run Radio Danko for exactly a year and it’s been a lot of fun but it looks like my only smart choice now is to shutdown. The only thing that stops me from doing it today is that Radionomy – as usual – has not announced anything officially about it’s new policies, other than to confirm they are geo-blocking some countries. They have not even told us which countries are blocked! What information I do have is from talking with other users via social media and figuring it out among ourselves. But I could not leave my regular listeners hanging any longer so I’m putting out this note. If you use Radio Danko as parcel music and you live in Canada or any other country that’s been affected by this policy change over the past week, I suggest you find another music stream to put in your parcel. The rest of you can still hear Radio Danko until I actually stop updating the daily program logs.

My heart goes out to my fellow webcasters for whom running a small radio station is their main hobby, a labor of love for most, with no financial incentive. The short-sightedness of the U.S. government, the big record companies and music publishing companies is killing off the hobby of thousands of “just average folks” who have a love of music and radio that they want to share with others. Contrary to the propaganda that is put out by big money interests (and their allies who don’t really understand what’s going on), the actions of the corporations and inaction of the government is not an attempt to protect the artist, it is clearly an effort to quash any and all competition, however small, so the big companies can have full control.

I thank you all for listening to Radio Danko over this past year and for the nice compliments that have been sent my way. It really has been a pleasure to run this little radio station and to have others enjoying it. I’ll announce the actual shutdown when I get some confirmation from Radionomy or when I just give up on waiting for it. Unless Radionomy pulls the plug on me unexpectedly, the stream will keep running – in the countries you can still hear it in, until I decide exactly how and when to make an exit. Could be I’ll be happily surprised by some unexpected good news from Radionomy but it sure doesn’t look like it. Stay tuned to this page for any further news.

It also could be that Radio Danko returns at some time in the future, if changes in U.S. law or the policies of big money corporations ever allow for that. I don’t expect that but I’m going to keep Radio Danko’s social media accounts just in case I need them again some day. They’ll just be very quiet after the final broadcast day is announced.

Thanks again for your support,

Danko Whitfield
aka George Miner
for Radio Danko

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Because of Second Life…

Strawberry Singh has a new Monday Meme. She blames Draxter Despres for starting the whole thing and who am I to argue with her?

Drax started a Twitter #hashtag, #becauseofSecondLife and Strawberry meme’d it. And I was inspired to jump in…

Twitter May 16 101

@StrawberrySingh was kind enough to give my tweets a Like. (Thanks, Berry!) Which gave me further inspiration…

Twitter May 16 102


Thanks to @draxtor for coming up with this new #hashtag. Thanks to him and #becauseofSecondLife, I made new friends on Twitter today!

And I got a blog post out of it!!

Posted in Virtual Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hi, High Fidelity

High Fidelity has opened to the general public this week. I read about it on Inara Pey’s fine blog. I’ve just downloaded it and logged in.

First I was the default avatar, then I selected the male starter av from a menu.

High Fidelity Starter Av

So far all I can do is spin around in a circle and move up and down. The instructions about what keys to use to move forward and back aren’t working for me. I’m using keyboard and mouse, you’ll be better off with a game controller or HMD.

I also have no Mic. I’ll have to buy one as it appears that is the only way to communicate. I knew it was silly to log in without a mic but that didn’t stop me. 🙂

Once I figure out how to move around, I’ll see if I can go someplace. I’m wondering how I will communicate to others that I can’t talk to them.

I actually think it’s fun to be a noob and have no idea what to do!

Posted in Virtual Issues | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Mitch Newmore’s Journal

“…there are no classical guitarists who don’t know who Eric Clapton is…”

Here’s a brand new story blog written by the same guy who writes all my stuff…

Mitch Newmore is a character in the Cedar Point RPG in the virtual world, Great Canadian Grid.

Mitch is a 27-year old musician (guitar and woodwinds) who has lived in the local area his entire life. He plays gigs all around the area and also gives lessons but sometimes has to take part-time jobs doing other types of work to support himself.

Cedar Point is a small (fictional) town in British Columbia, near the border with the United States. The time is the present.

Posted in Role Play, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mitch Newmore’s Journal

Danko On Craft

First let me say that my typist and I had a bit of a row over who was going to write this piece and whose blog it would appear on. As I begin to type, I’m not sure which one of us won the argument.

There have been times in my virtual life when I’ve had no home. I’ve always had a pub and often had an office, usually both, but not always a home. There have been other times when I’ve had multiple homes. I go with what suits my needs and desires of the time.

One of the most enjoyable periods of my virtual existence was when The Steamlands were thriving in Second Life. At one point, I had six offices, three pubs and five homes scattered about Winterfell, Caledon, New Babbage, Austral, New Toulouse and Steelhead.

I was thinking of those days the other night when I rented a region on Craft World.

My farm town, Dankoville, has been my main virtual world project of the past two years even though there have been many other projects during this time as well. Dankoville is self-hosted and connected to Naras Nook grid. We hooked up to Nook in late February and things have worked out so well, I can’t say enough about it. (But I really should, in a separate article. Been meaning to.)

The thing is, in story, Danko never lived in Dankoville. His relatives ran the family farm nearby and Danko would visit but until the last couple of years he never spent any serious time there other than summers when he was a child. But his story has taken him there often these last two years and nowadays, he does consider the farm as one of his homes.

But therefore, he needs others too. He has Winterfell on Second Life, which he has considered his main home for more than five years. But in reality, he doesn’t actually have a home there now. He has the Storytellers Pub in Winterfell Laudanum and a little private office in the sky above but no house.

I think George took over for those last two graphs. Well, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself…

Regardless of the details, I still think of Winterfell as my main home and now Dankoville as my second home. But now that Dankoville is happily settled on Naras Nook and I can devote my time to improving it and looking for new story there, I now have the time, the desire and I think also the need for another home in OpenSim.

I’ve always wanted to have a place on Craft. It’s slogan is “the friendly grid” and it is home to many artists. The Craft Store is considered one of the best freebie shops in all of OpenSim for getting your avatar started and the welcome region, Hydra, hosts an excellent collection of teleporters to various regions on Craft as well as hypergates to other grids.

Somehow I lucked out and my new region, called Elsewhere, is just a few map squares northeast of Hydra and just a square away from VirtualChistine‘s popular Monte Gordo region. So I’m right in the middle of things.

Elsewhere is a hilly, wooded area in which two small state roads intersect. My house, in a sort of Victorian/New Orleans style, sits atop a hill, in the north of the region, away from the road. The landing point, in the center of the region, is next to an old gazebo or bandstand on which I plan to put some informational notecards. In the southeast corner of the sim, there are three worn commercial buildings where State Routes 25 and 94 meet. I’m almost finished installing a pub in one building (still need a name!). One of the other buildings will have a few hypergates and the third building will remain vacant for now and maybe in time will become a shop of some sort. I have room for one more building if the need arises. The rest of the region will remain natural and I’ll be adding more trees and plants as time goes on.

I haven’t done serious shopping for things for the house yet but I had Dankos from a couple other OpenSim grids come over via hypergrid and drop some stuff off to get me started. I arranged the furniture they gave me into sitting rooms on both floors of the house. The downstairs will be for entertaining guests or just hanging out while the upstairs will be for writing.

I used to do all my blog writing inworld, nearly all of it in Winterfell. I never minded if someone interrupted to chat or ask for help or whatever because in my RL writing work, that’s how it always was. But last year I began writing stories that were much too long for my story blog. These stories were more complex and therefore required more concentration and after an interruption it would take a bit of time to get back on track. So I started writing those stories offline. After awhile, I wrote everything offline.

That was all fine…but I missed writing inworld. I’ll have to keep working on those longer stories offline but I want to be writing inworld whenever I can. And to get that started, I need a new place or places to do it.

So now I have Elsewhere on Craft. And I just wrote this article there, err, here…in my new writing office/sitting room on the top floor of the house on the hill. Nice view from here.

And yeah, I hinted above that I might need another place to write inworld as well. I haven’t given thought to that yet but I’m feeling that one new place is not going to be enough.

HG to Elsewhere:

Posted in Places, Virtual Living, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Radio Danko Is On The Air!

You’ve probably asked yourself many times over the years, “What if there was a radio station programmed by a time traveler?”

Well, now there is! Yours truly has entered the arena of internet radio.

It started in the usual way. One day I was bemoaning the fact that two of my favorite music streams had gone away. The next day I was starting my own.

I wanted a cross-genre stream that I could use in some of my virtual world places, a stream that played hits and familiar songs along with album cuts and novelties. A station that would play Ian and Sylvia along with Bruno Mars.

The music mix is heavy on the classics – classic rock, classic soul, classic pop, classic country. There’s blues and folk. And a few old standards too. And a little jazz. Then add a layer of new songs by new artists from those same genres as well as new songs by older artists.

Core artists range from Bob Dylan, The Band, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Garcia, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Green Day, Lyle Lovett, Adele, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Fountains of Wayne and Rufus Wainwright.

But that just scratches the surface.

“Absurdly eclectic” is one of the slogans I’ve been kicking around.

It hit me that there are not many reasonable explanations for such a format. Time travel could definitely fit. It would probably be more interesting than the real story. And it would probably make more sense too. So I named the station after a time traveler. Me.

And so Radio Danko began broadcasting from the virtual world to the real world.

The direct link to listen online or inworld…(link updated March 2016)…

If you want to see the song titles and artists’ names as you listen, go here…

The website…

The stream has been running for a week and as I’ve been listening to it, I’ve been thinking about my character, the semi-retired time traveler. In my stories, he has spent a lot of time living in the 1870s and he comes from a very musical family. As the music stream played, I imagined him spending extensive time living a hundred years later, and falling in love with the songs of the 1960s and 1970s. When the time comes for him to return to the 19th century, he realizes this music has become too important to him to leave behind.

So he takes it with him. It’s not easy lugging a large record collection through time. Not to mention the applicable playback devices. And a boatload of batteries.

As time goes on, he continues to investigate this music. That leads him to collect examples of the music that came in the decades leading up to that period as well as the music that it morphed into in successive decades. And to collect an array of playback devices. And a wide variety of batteries.

He is fascinated by the fact that so many musical styles existed at the same point in time. He loves both the most pure example of each style as well as the various hybrid combinations. He dreams of finding a way to dump all of this music into one delivery system, where all he has to do is push one button and the songs play themselves, skipping around from one genre to the next. And all he has to do is listen.

That day has finally come.

You can listen too.

I hope you will. It’s the only way Radio Danko can stay on the air. I’m using the free Radionomy platform. They require that a station maintain a certain amount of listeners…or else! No, they won’t start charging me a fee, they just pull the plug instead.

Radio Danko is therefore, listener-supported. But I don’t want your money, I just want your ears. Please give Radio Danko a try. If you like it, the more often you listen and the longer you listen, the better the chances of keeping this stream alive.

When you like something, you want to tell your friends about it. Right? Well, you can do me a big favor then. If you like Radio Danko’s eclectic music mix, please give it a mention in social media and give your friends the address for the webpage…

Thanks for listening and thanks for your help. I hope you enjoy Radio Danko. I’m having a ball with it. 🙂

Posted in Virtual Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

One Giant Leap Backward For Blogkind

Yes, the design of this blog has changed. Again. I’m not happy with it either. I believe this is the fourth wordpress template I’ve used since I started this blog in December 2012 and I haven’t actually liked any of them. But heck, they’re free, so I can’t complain. Right? Well…

I almost liked the last one. It’s called Sequential. I was going to stick with it even though I was only about 80-percent happy with it because I don’t think my happy meter can go higher than that for a template.

Unfortunately the Like button was broken. And the Reblog button. Not for everyone apparently but for most people, including me. When my typist tried to Like one of my posts (it was plugging his site, of course), the Like button reacted as if he was trying to post it to Facebook. And the Reblog button was scrambled up with some other action.

I have a test blog where I do my prep whenever I’m creating a new blog or updating an old one. The Sequential theme works fine on my test blog. But when I activate it here, it doesn’t. Even activating another template and then re-activating Sequential doesn’t work.

You say I should contact wordpress about this? That doesn’t work either.

When I’m looking at my wordpress dashboard and that cute little (read: annoying) “How can we help you today?” dialog box comes up, I type one word and then when I hit the spacebar, that dialog box disappears.

I knew that was a waste of time anyway, I was just playing along so I could say, “yeah, I told them about it.”

I’m not sure how many blogs I have at the moment for myself and my pen names but there are quite a few. So I’m already using a bunch of free wordpress templates and I like each one to look different. I can’t find another one at the moment that is acceptable both functionally and aesthetically. And yes, I’m only considering the free ones.

So in desperation, I have reverted to an earlier time. I think I used this template for an old blog for a pen name I killed off a few years ago. You can tell it’s an ancient template just from the name, it’s called Twenty Ten. To be clear: I don’t want this one. I’m using it until I feel like messing around with this some more. Which could be tomorrow or six months from now.

Assuming the buttons work.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments