I am 69 years young and started decorating outside in Northern Ohio when I was in my early teens. My Mom and I loved to decorate and since my Dad didn't want to put lights outside on our house I became our decorator. Things were simple back then -- some blow molds, cardboard standups that were lit and some strings of lights around the eaves, fence, etc. I also used my stereo record player to pipe Christmas music outdoors by running the speaker wires through our mail slot to our front porch. But back then nothing was synchronized. But that's what started my adventure.
Once I got married and we had our own house I again took to putting up some outdoor lights; but still low key. About 19 years ago my second wife and I bought our first house together in NC which we have been decorating since. We started with just some lights outlining the roof and some bushes; but every year we made a point of adding at least one more feature.
A few years ago we started seeing videos of lights dancing to the music which totally fascinated us; but the cost was prohibited for us. Then 2 years ago right before Thanksgiving we got some surprise money and decided it should go to something fun. We decided this was an omen and so I got our LOR starter kit with 2 controllers and the mini director/mp3/fm. Since this was right before Thanksgiving I knew I would not be able to do my own sequencing that quickly since I needed to learn how to do it first. So I bought a show from LOR and we were simply plug & play that year. The lights danced to the music and they looked fine but I knew it could be so much better if I sequenced our lights to the music. The next year I started sequencing our lights in August to our music and was able to produce a pretty good show for my first time.
But I wanted more! I was intrigued with the CCRs so when the spring sale happened this year (2015) I managed to grab some CCRs and another controller along with the regular director so that I could run 2 networks this year and upgraded to an Advanced license. It is currently May 2015 and I have been working on my new display for about 3 weeks whenever I have a chance. Lots to learn to incorporate the CCRs into our display. I plan to use the 10 ribbons horizontally on our roof. We also bought more LED lights after Christmas last year so we'll have more of those to light up as well this year.
2017 Update: Past couple years we have done a debut party for our neighbors. Hand out candy canes and home made cookies. Have a special sequence that counts down over the last 60 seconds to the start of the show. Hope to keep this going as an annual event as everyone really enjoys it. Hoping to add some addtional CCRs to my roof matrix and additional RGBs elsewhere in our display this year. On a sad note my wife of 32 years and best friend for 36 years passed away in September 2016. So my shows are dedicated to her memory and now I need to be sure they are big enough for her to watch from heaven.
I'm still a kid at heart and just love being able to do this every year. We enjoy them as well as our friends and neighbors. The Griswolds have always been a goal although we don't believe in doing all white lights. Christmas is all about colors.