You Can Be Anything You Want to Be…

I’ve come to the conclusion that our pastime has now become a game of one one-upmanship.   An “I Can Do it Better Than You”  avocation.  Yup, the more time I spend in cyberspace the more convinced I am.  It’s an ongoing game, and you can be anyone and anything you want to be there….

I see certain tekkies posting photos of finds every single day, and in many cases the finds are not just good, they are unbelievable, outstanding (note John Winter I didn’t use the word awesome).  Yes I do scratch my head and wonder at times, but I wonder even more about what the hell these beepers do for a living.  They’re too young to be retired?  I saw a photo the other day of a coin that looked like it came out of a proof holder, and a hoard of sorts that was also too nice to believe. Please, please…. understand, I am not doubting, just scratching my head until it bleeds.

There also seems to be a race or contest to see who can upload the “most” photos and videos of  finds, new purchases (especially those killer, better than the best, imported coils) and how many posts like this can one can make on a daily basis?   I understand it’s fun to be Cecile B. Demille but would someone tell me ‘why’ so many, and why you ‘need’ to get so many views?  Is it a numbers game?  Do you win something?  Honestly, just give me ONE video that peaks my interest, instead of forty that all look-alike.

Detecting videos today now come with titles, subtitles, rolling credits, fade ins, outs and original music.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before a few of the movie producers will be charging a fee to watch.  Used to be it was a good day when you came home with a few keepers, but now it’s apparently whether or not you got some great footage. You know, shots of the back and forth coil swings, sharing the numerical readout, scanning the hole with whatever pinpointer you are promoting, and then the ole coin in the hole shot, the rubbing the dirt off, the verbal exclamations (my favorite is the softly murmured “holy shit”) and of course the final, all cleaned up, ready for prime time viewing, shot of the day’s finds, unidentified crap and all.

Yup, I go back to a different time and a different era. One where you “just went detecting”.  Dick Stout is old school, no frills, cheap, uncool, bare bones, no bells or whistles and steadfast.  I am a ODWPM ! On the other hand I am damn comfortable with that.

I’m done, now go get that reality show…










Filed under Metal Detecting

18 responses to “You Can Be Anything You Want to Be…

  1. RoyR

    Those of us over sixty, (well over) remember just getting the detector, whatever digger you had and an old nail apron and heading out the door to go wherever an old school or park was located. No schools had locked gates or tall fences back then. Find a handful of coins, lots of silver back then, and an occasional piece of jewelry. Sure miss the old days.

  2. Andy Baines

    I agree that there is now a lot of videos and photos of hunts/finds and I participate in it all as well. But I think it’s more than just a case of oneupmanship. We live in a digital age now and social media, videos and blogs/forums ect are all the rage and kind of a way of life now. It’s not all bad though it has taken this one hobby of metal detecting and turned it into a number of hobbies all rolled into one with amateur filmmaking and photography. I didn’t know a time when it wasn’t like it is now as I only started this hobby 4 years ago but I wouldn’t want it to be any other way, I guess its a case of what you grow up with and this is the way I have grown up.


    • You mean to tell me I’m old?

      • Andy Baines

        I wouldn’t be as cruel as to use the word old, how about a bit long in the tooth 🙂 kidding, just busting your chops buddy


      • Long in the tooth is fine…you are probably right. Different generations.

        Love “busting your chops”….a term used a lot in New Jersey, my home state. Had to explain what it meant when I used it here in Texas. I love busting chops, in case you didn’t notice.

  3. “Yup, the more time I spend in cyberspace the more convinced I am,” you write. Well do as I do and spend less time out there. That said, the hobby is evolving like many other pastimes and inevitably there’ll be enthusiasts who like this sort of stuff. Some of it is very well done and entertaining (Andy Baines magnet fishing, for example), while some is……

    Anyway, are these over-enthusiastic hobbyists causing any real harm? Nope. If anything they might be saying and doing things they’ll come to regret, even be embarrassed by, later in their detecting careers.

    I think it’s probably true that 10% of the detectorists find 90% of the goodies, while 90% share the remaining 10%…but I doubt they’ll notice being too busy filming!

    • Andy Baines

      John, I can’t bare to watch my own videos, I’m embarrassed about them now, let alone in 20 years time. It’s all good fun though even if my Mrs and family do think I’m a bit of a nerd.


      • Hi Andy:
        They look good to me and best of all, are instructional. If only there was a way of magnetising $20 Bills, sovereigns, Spade Guineas, Staters, and Double Eagles for openers.

  4. Bigtony

    I don’t travel out to older sites much anymore and I guess being over that age has much to do with it. After all I can’t do what I did in my 50’s now that I am in my 60’s ….or did you write that line?
    If I watch too many videos about recovering deep silver coins I get confused…did the camera stop just before they reach in and pull out a large coin or was it my eyes? I don’t take videos and for whatevedr reason I stopped taking photo’s of coins in the hole that I just dug. I guess I am losing interest too. Is there any help for this attitude? Do I need to see a coin doctor and get a pill to help me detect more?

    • “and I guess being over that age”….what the hell does that mean? What is “that age”? I am 74 and trust me, things do not improve the older you get.

      If I am causing you to lose interest I apologize. Don’t get tied up in my miseries….

  5. Bigtony

    Dick, I am 64 and you never will lose my interest in your site. It is rated best of all around.

    Myself, I don’t know what is wrong, I guess I am a coin shooter at heart and just enjoy the hobby in place for what it is. Today I found two wheat cents and was happy with that and getting out for two hours.

    • Understand Tony, and the dilemma I have is that I can’t physically get out for two hours. Not sure what my limit would be…would depend on my knees, back, etc.. Not sure too that a couple of Wheat pennies would make it worthwhile. Just the way it is with me anymore.

      Sat on the steps the other day to clean Digger’s ears. Took about ten minutes, and when I was done I didn’t think I was going to be able to stand up….needed something to hang on to. Would have made a funny video.

      I was pretty sure too that Digger was laughing….

  6. Bigtony

    Are two wheat penny’s worth it? Yes, it’s a hobby.
    I am sure Digger loved your company and TLC

  7. Steve DeSanto

    Dick I think you hit on what will be a sore spot for some. Shame is your post won’t reach those trying to beat the last hunter”one-upmanship”. I joined groups a few years back and started into the forums. The first point of interest was rule 1, no one can question the Authenticity of ones finds? You will be removed from the site! Really, I can post anything I want? I did question without posting some finds of others.

    Then after a few years as you alluded to, the same ring/find was posted in another years find/video/photo. I just ignored those people. Then it grew in numbers, too many people doing the same. I left those sites. They sent me emails asking why I haven’t logged on, I use to answer them, but the bottom line with commercialized sites they need the Sensationalized finds to sell advertisements! s

    While some post nearly perfect specimens that are truly unbelievable, we all can remember finds coming out of the dirt or beach that we stopped and said “holly shit” I dug this mercury in mirror like condition, no ones ever going to believe me.

    I still have a few smaller, non commercialized sites I belong too. These too have started to be infiltrated by this these people. I rarely post videos anymore. Shame I thought I was helping others, I’ll still post finds but not as I find them as a few have tried to reunite my finds with their owners for me. “scam” Those of us that truly do this for the love of the hunt, not the notoriety or value, but of the save we made will soon go back to just observing the others…

    AKA “BCNJ”

    • Steve, I have been taken to task for this blog post, and perhaps I shouldn’t have said what I said. I am after all the curmudgeon, the old guy who just rants. On the flip side this a blog, my blog, and it reflects my thinking (which I admit can be somewhat muddled after a glass or two of red), my feelings, right or wrong. So let the chips fall where they may.

      I think the pastime has changed dramatically over the past few years, thanks to the internet and TV shows like Diggers, Dig Wars, etc.. Great for the manufacturer, not so great for the detectorist. The amount of information out there today is overwhelming, and I just find it very hard to differentiate between the good and the bad.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Steve, and don’t be a stranger….

  8. Ha ha ha!! These are fine words coming from the man pictured in front of a table chockfull of coins and various and sundry relics. The truth is Dick, that most of us noobs just want to look like you. Respectfully I say give us a break, sir, we are but blinded by the glossy photos of your generation of hunters and try to emulate, however poorly, the glory before our eyes. I think that most of us are not engaged in a game of one-upmanship (except for Minelab users) but are simply looking for the magical detector that will unmask all and go so deep that we will need an excavator to retrieve the targets. As for the authenticity of our finds, well, one time I had a companion accuse me of planting an Indian on a site he swore he had cleaned up and in another time, a guy I hunted with showed me a V nickel he had just dug up and this thing was so shiny and silvery there was no way it had spend two minutes under the ground. I guess it takes all types. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta post a photo of the latest wheat I dug up.

    • “These are fine words coming from the man pictured in front of a table chockfull of coins and various and sundry relics”…

      Truth be told that was a long, long time ago. These are the treasures I seek now…

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