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I got my first taste of real astronomy in high school, with some basic courses.  While in the US Air Force, I had the pleasure of traveling to North Africa or the Middle East deserts in the middle of nowhere.  On my off-duty time, I would go over the next hill or dune and get lost wondering through the sky.  I used nothing more than my eyes and a handy pair of (gasp!) zoom binoculars.  I've only recently purchased a real telescope.  I've become a bit of an equipment freak, collecting and tinkering my scopes.

My Scopes

Scope Modifications

Scope Formulas

MC-90 Scope Review

AutoStar Satellite programming

Mask research