Hello, I'm Jack Swinden, a sixty-something Baby Boomer.
Welcome to my newly redesigned website designed to showcase and provide resources for my hobbies and passions and community service.
My favorite hobby is taking photographs and videos of the night sky, sometimes referred to as astrophotography.
I am also an active Extra Class amateur radio operator (ham radio) and my call sign is W5JCK, hence the name of this website. If you ever monitor the ham bands and hear "Whiskey Five Juliet Charlie Kilowatt," that is me.
My favorite hobby and greatest passion at the moment is night sky photography (astrophotography). I'm merely a hobbiest and the equipment I use is not the best. I believe we must do the best with what we have. I'm not a professional photographer, so everything I do in astrophotography is self learned through trial and error, mostly error. But it is deeply satisfying. I've long since lost any religious beliefs, but I tell my friends that sitting out under the stars at night is my cathedral. It is so peaceful and inspiring and filled with a lot of beautiful sights if you know where to look and point your camera.
If you would like to see my amateur night sky photos and videos, then please check out my Flickr Page to see my latest and most complete gallery.
Alternatively, you can view a selected few of my night sky photos on my Astrophotography Gallery. (Note: I don't keep this gallery up to date like I do my Flickr page.)
I'm an active ham and a member of the Arlington CERT and the Tarrant County RACES, and I use my hobby to assist the National Weather Service with storm spotting. I operate HF, VHF, and UHF when I have the time and the bands are open. It used to be a lot of fun, but it is quickly turning into a sounding stage for political garbage. Hams traditionally avoided hot button topics like religion and politics. But sadly the times they are a changin'. When I use amateur radio these days, I only talk internationally or with people I know and like. I don't like what the American hams have turned the air waves into, but thankfully most of the international hams are still really cool to talk with.
If you are interested in amateur radio, then please visit my Amateur Radio Page.
I've spent a lot of time in the past year or so researching my family tree. I have an account on Ancestry.com where I built my family tree, but I realize that not everyone has an account there and I wanted to make my family tree available to family and friends. So I created a website containing my Swinden and Wakeman Family Trees. Feel free to browse it. It is scaled down from what I have on Ancestry.com, but there is enough information for family to see where we came from.
Feel free to drop by my website any time! If you want to contact me by email, please use the Contact link in the page footer section at the bottom of this page.