The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. These timeless tales of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz and Even More Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

Nomes of Oz is a wonderful adventure for anyone who loves the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: The First Witches of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Ron Sweed As The Ghoul; May He Rest In Peace

Every now and then, someone passes away who had a major impact in my life. Last year, it was my mother and my mother-in-law. This year, I found out that Ron Sweed, who played a character on 1970's television called "The Ghoul" had passed away.

I recall many a Saturday night watching late night TV. Back then, televisions had two tuner knobs. One was VHF and had all the channels from 1-10. The other knob was UHF and his show was on channel 38 as I recall. He would show some awful grade-B movie and fill the intermissions/commercials with some bizarre hi-jinx, including blowing up model cars and ships, as well as his sidekick, Froggy.

I loved watching when Froggy would show up with his trademark saying, "Hiya gang, hiya hiya hiya!" and then The Ghoul would abuse him and make Froggy's life miserable.


I never grew tired of poor Froggy being mutilated, beat up, destroyed and otherwise abused. Every week, Froggy would show up once more and we would all shout his intro theme, "Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy!" I always wondered how many Froggy's the show had in stock.

Another great feature was The Ghoul blowing up stuff, either model cars or model ships, with an occasional odd object thrown in for fun. 

The Ghoul was my inspiration for blowing up stuff. I lost count of how many models and such I blew up during those days. I eventually took it to another level when I combined explosions with model rockets. It was a wonderful time that could never happen today. Nowadays, you blow up one thing and everyone labels you a terrorist.

I even remember this episode when a poor fake turkey got The Ghoul treatment. I had almost forgot about his fascination with Cheese Whiz.

Looking back on it now, I'm fairly certain he was either totally baked/high or drunk, or more likely a combination of the two.

There will never be another character like The Ghoul ever again. He was a one-of-a-kind and someone who inspired me to be loony every now and then... just for the sake of looniness!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Return to Oz

As you can see, it's been quite a while since my last posting. Life has a way of doing that. Nonetheless, we have returned to our passion of writing and find ourselves on the cusp of beginning our latest book: Aquareine of Oz, which is a mermaid's tale of adventure and fun while visiting the waterways of Oz.

It looks like it's going to be a grand adventure as we have begun the outlining process before we gets down to chapters and such. Wish us luck!!! 

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, August 11, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Live Webcast

In celebration of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017, which will cross the entire United States of America on August 21, 2017, The Vigo County Conservation Club and their Astronomer-in-Residence; James C. Wallace II, in conjunction with WTHI-TV10 and Chief Meteorologist Kevin Orpurt, will be on site in Carbondale, Illinois, site of maximum totality and duration, to webcast the event live for the enjoyment of those who are unable to travel to the path of totality.

In order to view this webcast, click on the following link on the morning of August 21, then sit back, relax and enjoy the show of a lifetime.

First contact (when the partial phase of the eclipse begins) is expected to occur at 11:52AM CDT (12:52PM EDT). Totality (when the Moon completely covers the Sun) occurs at 1:21Pm CDT (2:21PM EDT) and will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Last contact (when the partial phase ends) will occur at 2:50PM CDT (3:50PM EDT).

The webcast will include a 3-camera set-up, including live video from an 8" Celestron Telescope at prime focus to capture first contact and everything leading up to and away from totality, a broadcast camera for the totality (or beauty) shot and a 3rd camera for live interviews, information and live commentary from both Kevin Orpurt and the Vigo County Conservation Club's Astronomer-in-Residence; James C. Wallace II (that's me) during the entire event.

If you just can't get away for this once-in-a-lifetime event, then please join us from the comfort of your computer screen for all the excitement and fun as the Moon's shadow cover us all.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spectrum Cable and Very POOR Customer Service!

UPDATE: I finally spoke with Customer Service today and they made it very clear that they were not in the least bit interested in retaining my business. I guess 14 years as a loyal customer means nothing to Time Warner / Spectrum. Oh well, I'll be moving on to another provider.

As the title implies, Spectrum Cable, formerly Time-Warner/Charter Communications, has demonstrated some extremely poor customer service to me today.

Please allow me to elaborate...

Last week, as has happened a couple of times over the last few years, we found that our pay cycle was not in sync with Time-Warner/Charter Communications' billing cycle, requiring us to request an extension so we could pay our bill. Time-Warner/Charter Communications was fine with this as we only ever asked for 1-2 days extension and we would always pay both the past due and current bill. We've been customers with Time-Warner/Charter Communications for 14 years and while we've had to endure increases in service cost and such, we've had little to complain about... until last week.

Now, Time-Warner/Charter Communications is called Spectrum and when we found it necessary to request an extension of 2 days in order to pay both our past due and current bill, Spectrum's customer service rep flat out refused and was quite snippy in demanding payment or face disconnect and reconnect fees if our service was restored.

We found it necessary to borrow money from one of those loan shark places to pay just the past due amount and repaid the loan shark place 2 days later, with a substantial fee attached. I don't blame the loan shark place as that's their business, though we haven't had to use their services since 1999. Needless to say, I was quite upset about this and resolved to find a better service provider.

Since Monday, I've looked around, talked to a number of providers, including Joink, Frontier, Direct TV, Midwest and Xfinity and found several really good deals that serve our needs and cut our overall costs by nearly 1/2 of what we spend now. So, today, I received a flyer in the mail from Spectrum that had a seemingly great deal for a bundled set of services, including Internet, cable and phone for $90.00 per month for a year. Now, the catch is that it's for new customers only, but since Spectrum is new to us as we are to them, I consider this a valid offer that should be available to us.

I went down to the former Time-Warner/Charter Communications office (now Spectrum) and met with a customer service rep named Carly. I explained our predicament, including the refused extension, diminished Internet speed and rising costs and my desire to discontinue our service unless they offered us the deal I showed her that we had received in the mail. During my discourse, she interrupted me on numerous occasions in an effort to distract me and disable my train of thought. Well, I don't play those games, so I had to restate my case numerous times until she realized that I was aware of her tactics. Once finished, she excused herself and returned a few minutes later with a rather large fellow that I'm sure she thought would intimidate me. Good luck with that as even cops don't intimidate me. He said he was a Tech Op Supervisor, but when I requested that he identify himself, he refused.

I find that very disturbing as it implies that Spectrum has something to hide. I wonder what it is???

When I tried to present the relevant facts regarding our concerns, this large fellow, who I'll refer to here as Beavis since he wishes to remain nameless, told me that I was being disrespectful. I pointed out that I was not raising my voice, I was not using foul language and was only presenting facts. He once more declared that I was being disrespectful.

I suppose in today's political climate, facts are considered disrespectful. Go figure?

I left Spectrum without any resolution to my concerns and so I am considering terminating our service after 14 loyal years and seeking services from another company that is more concerned with their customers than the corporate bottom line.

I am willing however, to afford Spectrum one opportunity to address our concerns and retain our business. Otherwise, we will switch over to Joink and Direct TV and still pay half of what Spectrum is demanding.

The ball is in their court, but only for a week or so, then it's time to move on.

James C. Wallace II

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mapleton Wizard of Oz Festival 2016 and Nomes of Oz!

Once again, Amanda and I found ourselves en-route to yet another Wizard of Oz festival and passing by yet another field of pinwheels.

This time, it was in Mapleton, Illinois and this was our third year of attendance. Fortunately, this wonderful festival is only about 3 hours west of our home in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Once we arrived, it was clear that we had arrived in the Land of Oz.

The first thing we noticed was an over-abundance of mud, which was due to unusually intense thunderstorms the night before and was certainly not something the organizers were able to control.

As it was, all of the wonderful volunteers did a great job of dealing with the mud and the vendors, some of whom were not pleased with Mother Nature and somehow blamed the Oz festival organizers. I know that none of them were Oz vendors, as Oz vendors know fully well the power of Mother Nature and Her penchant for tornadoes. Thank goodness there wasn't one of those, as there was back in 2010 at the Chittenango, New York Oz festival.
Once we set up, it was on and we were very well received by the thousands of Oz fans who had come out early during the cool weather.

If you didn't attend last year's festival, you won't know that the weather was blistering hot and crowds exceeded 5000 people, which was waaaaay beyond the year before, when only about 500 people showed up for the Oz fun. I'm very pleased to report that the organizers of the Wizard of Oz Illinois Festival learned from last year's experience and solved virtually every issue from last year. In all, we would estimate the count at well over 3500 visitors during the entire day.
The park was very well laid out with a mix of vendors, Oz-related activities and shows, as well as a stunning Land of Oz Yellow Brick Road Park.
We were very pleased to see the return of Steven's Puppet's, featuring Bob Walls. His show's are always a huge hit with both kids and parents and his performance skills are awesome. His sense of humor is equally odd and very enjoyable. I've always thought that kids need to see this type of performance more often and the organizers were wise to bring him back once again.

There was also a wonderful traveling animal show called Woody's Menagerie, which featured not only numerous animals for the kids to learn about, including a bear,

as well as a pair of Ligers, which it turns out, is a hybrid cross between a Lion and a Tiger. It reminded me of the Kalidahs, which were a part of the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz book (1900) by L. Frank Baum, but were transformed into Dorothy and her friends chanting Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

One new addition to the festivities was Professor Marvel and his Magic Show. It was a fine show and I found out after speaking with the Professor that he is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, as I am as well.

Of course, one of the two highlights of the festival was the Spirit of Oz Character Troupe, who I have worked alongside of for over 5 years. These folks are amazing in their performances as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West and they simply captivate everyone they encounter during their shows and while wandering about for photo opportunities.

The other highlight was the Yellow Brick Road Park, which was relocated and expanded from last year to accommodate the larger crowds.

It all starts out in Kansas with a rainbow, the Gale farm and Professor Marvel's wagon.

Watch out Toto! Looks like the Wicked Witch and her evil minions are coming after Dorothy and Glinda!

Of course, once the twister hits, we find ourselves in Munchkin City.

 As we "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (I'll bet you sang that, didn't you?), we come across an old friend, the Scarecrow and the Apple Trees.

Shall we stroll into the Dark Forest?

Oh look, it's our old friend, the Tin Woodman!

Anyone brave enough to venture off the Yellow Brick Road and visit the Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West? Watch out for the Flying Monkeys!!!

"This is how long you have to live, my dear! And it isn't long... it isn't long!"

Fortunately for our dear Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West meets her melting fate.

Let's get outta here and find the Yellow Brick Road. Maybe we'll find one more friend.

Hello Cowardly Lion! Care to join us as we leave the Dark Forest and find the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City?

Look, it's the Field of Poppies and Emerald City in the distance!

Whew! What a journey down the Yellow Brick Road that was!!!

Overall, words fail me in describing just how wonderful this festival was for all who made the journey to Mapleton, Illinois. The weather was great that day. There were no issues with parking whatsoever for the over 3000 visitors that showed up. There were plenty of Oz vendors with a wide selection of commercial and hand-made Oz-related goodies, great activities and shows, the Spirit of Oz Characters, and of course, two outstanding Oz Authors with a great selection of contemporary Oz stories which will please fans of Oz of all ages, young and old alike.

Of course, we highly recommend their latest book, Nomes of Oz, available in paperback at and through this blogsite, where you can get your copy personally autographed by the authors (that's us) themselves. Just leave a comment at the end of this posting and we'll be in touch with instructions on how to get your personalized copy of Nomes of oz... or any of our other fine books from the Land of Oz.

Special kudos and congratulations go out to the Hollis Park District, Jim Robertson and all the fabulous volunteers who put in soooo many hours of hard work to make this year's festival so memorable! You folks were the greatest!
We hope to be invited back next year as this festival continues to grow and excel~

Per ardua ad alta!!!

James & Amanda Wallace