Authors’ note: I tried to get this post up yesterday, but fell asleep while I was typing!

I tried to go off of my pain medication for a few days. I wanted to break out of the fog and feel. for a change. It was hard, but it was wonderful. The taste of good port. Sunshine on my face. The feel of Amy touching my hand.

Alas, all good things come at a price. I woke up screaming in pain on Easter Sunday.
We ran to the hospital at O dark thirty, got shot up with enough pain dilaudid to almost work and we were sent on our way.

The sun was coming up as we were heading home and Amy stopped by a creek where the Virginia Bluebells were blooming.

I do not own a good camera at the moment. As I predicted, he image sensor got trashed at Holi DC – but my first camera was still lying around – a Canon Powershot A580. As is custom for me, I made the most of what I the good Lord gave me.

I dove headlong into the sea of green and blue . Happy as an old hound dog.

Then we went to mass at the chapel at the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. The good sisters were very kind. Making every every effort to make sure we were comfortable and able to take part in communion. The chapel is a small wonder of Arts & Crafts architecture.  Amy loves the garden, but I would love to to a workshop. I hate making phone calls for that kind of thing,so it you wan it it happen I will leave it up to you.

For Easter supper I made jumbo bacon cheeseburgers (Just a burger for me, I can’t do dairy anymore) with portobello mushrooms. 

Then we curled up on the couch with Qiona and Invicuts and watched some of Ben Hur and I took the pain meds the hospital prescribed for me. The fog settled in and I thought about the pain of the last few days and realized to feel the kiss of my Amy’s lips, to feel the Virginia bluebells along the creek – and that creeks cold water . . . I would do it again in a second.

Christ is risen.
Life is beautiful.

Since I don’t have a camera, and I can’t really play much banjo until my shoulder is stronger (especially with the new katana) I will be focusing on a little project with the working title of Crisfield Guitar. I have new tools to help me interface my BAHA implant with the mixing board, but it still not quite as objective as natural hearing. I need help.

Since my car is still stuck in Crisfield, I also will need a ride. I will play harmonica, jaw harp, ukulele and tell stories all the way.

Volunteers to help with sound engineering would be greatly appreciated. We will be using a Zoom R16 and a pair of MXL 900 mics. Volunteers will be fed with home cooking by Patrick and Miss Trudy.

Another project already in the works is a rather, um, unusual songbook. More on that later.

At  some point over the weekend Any kissed me and said, “Welcome back.”

Happy Easter, everybody!

Update: Harmonica Jam in Alexandria, Va!

Tuesday 2/08/2014 2:30 PM
Patrick will not be there
He is on the way to the hospital

He asks that if you are planning to go that you go

He is in very bad shape
Prayer needed as never before
Both for him and the doctors
We got to find out what the heck is happening

More later

Peace to all,
Pat Costello (Dear Old Dad)

Order Amid Chaos

Don writes:

Question: How do I find your instructions in lesson sequence. For example I see Dear Ole Dads first lesson on the banjo, but can’t locate subsequent lessons. I found one lesson associated with the How and Tao, but again can’t seem to find them in sequence. Any suggestions for an ole man?

You can follow the complete workshop series from Old Time Banjo with Pat & Patrick with on YouTube:

You can also find the lessons on the Internet Archive – with tab files.

Frailing Banjo Techniques can be found in its entirety on YouTube:

Everything else is kind of scattered. There are 500+ videos on YouTube and probably twice that many workshops in various media on the Internet Archive.  You can find links to some individual works like online books on our how-to page:

Basic Frailing Banjo and Frailing The Blues were uploaded in their entirety to the Internet Archive, but something happened to the files over the years. I haven’t had the time or inclination to go through the upload process again.

You can order some of our workshops on DVD at

Hope this helps.

God bless,

The State of the Art

The World Wide Web turned 25 the other day. Dear Old Dad and I have been teaching and creating on the Web for over fifteen years now.

Since February 2008 our YouTube channel has been accessed 3,675,995 times. Frailing Banjo Lesson One has been viewed 542,694 – and that is not counting the Internet Archive or DVD sales.

When we recorded Old Time Banjo with Pat & Patrick in 2001 there was not a lot of instructional material for frailing banjo, and what was available focused on a single note melodic style that nine times out of then just flat-out does not work. Before we turned on the cameras most teaching videos focused more on the artist performing than explaining anything. We decided to put our egos aside and focus on the lesson.

I think it worked pretty well.

Once we started creating lessons and posting them on the web the next natural step was for all of you to take the basic skill set and start creating music.

This is just a small portion of what people have sent us, but I think it illustrates the creative diversity that is happening with the craft.

I think it is safe to say that the craft of frailing banjo is growing and thriving. My father and I are so proud of you, and we can’t wait to see and hear what you come up with over the next fifteen years!