D. J. Slows Down Just Long Enough…

If I ever opened my email and didn’t see “D.J. added a new photo” or “D.J. updated his status” I would panic.  I’m talking about DJ Yost of course….the  daily digging machine and dammit I’m envious.  I have a  feeling too he has been digging a few of my old sites.

D.J. is yet another member of the White’s Test Team and I thank him for slowing down long enough to answer my questions….


Q. Okay, first off, what the hell does D.J. stand for? I need to know…

A. Detecting Junkie. Just kidding. David John (My father & grandfather’s name.) I’ve been called DJ my entire life.


Q. D.J. I know where you live since it’s close to my old home and my roots, but can you share a little more about the area for those reading this?

A. My hometown was established in 1743 by the early Moravians. Now it’s part small-town, surrounded by farmland, but minutes from Target and a major highway. I’m close to the NJ/PA border and the Pocono Mountains.

DJ on a field ready to go (and if you look close you can see Target in the distance)


Q. Can I be a little personal and ask what it is you do for a living?

A. I am a foreman for my family’s cleaning company. I’ve been at it for over 25 years now. We specialize in mostly commercial cleaning – carpet & tile. Sometimes a job can turn into a potential detecting site.


Q: How so?

A: I establish a friendly relationship with the property owners and naturally a conversation about the history comes up. Most of the time, this leads to permission to detect. I also work for people who own multiple buildings and this has also led to permission.


Q. So what was it that got you interested in metal detecting?

A. I think it was the hands-on experience. I liked finding an item and then researching what it was. It was addicting. I wanted to find more and learn more.


Q: Clarify the “hands on experience” if you don’t mind….I’ve lived in Texas much too long.

A: By “hands on” I mean the first moment of touching a relic or coin. Feeling a piece of history in your hands.


Q. When did you start and what was your very first metal detector?

A. My very first machine was a Radio Shack Micronta 4001 – which I still have. I got it when I was 8 years old. In my early 20’s I began to take the hobby more seriously and developed the passion you see today.


Q. And what was it that made you purchase that particular brand/model?

A. It was a gift from my parents.

David John with David John Sr.


Q. I know you have a significant other and a daughter. How did you two meet and does she detect as well?

A. Carissa and I met through mutual friends. She’s very supportive – but only comes out occasionally. 

Carissa, Annelyse and D.J.

Annelyse… can you tell she’s a daddy’s girl?


Q. What was your very first signal/find? Do you remember?

A. I remember the first coin that I found – it was an 1836 US Large Cent. At that point, I didn’t even know they made pennies that big.

Two more of D.J.’s large coppers..


Q. What was your very first good or decent find, as in “keeper”?

A. As I said I lucked out – my very first find was a Large Cent.


Q. In the beginning did you concentrate on one particular treasure? i.e., did you hunt for coins, relics, jewelry…?

A. I loved it all. If the property was older than the 1960’s, I was all over it.

Tough to find one let alone five Flying Eagles….


Q. How long did it take you to find your first silver coin and again, do you remember what it was?

A. I want to say it was a Mercury Dime. I distinctly remember being in awe of it’s beautiful design.

The first has led to many…


Q. How long did it take you to find your first ring and what kind of ring was it?

A. Can’t remember exactly the first ring I found, but I do remember the first ring return. It was a class ring from the early 70’s that was lost for over 40 years. That was a terrific feeling, to give it back to the owner.

Another return…this time an ID bracelet. The owner couldn’t believe it. Said his daughter lost it over 50 years ago! How cool is that?


Q. Do you spend a lot of time researching and if so how do you go about it?

A. Yes. I love to hunt for Colonial relics. I spend a lot of time looking at old maps to see where period homes used to sit. I enjoy talking with old timers which can lead to clues about the area.



Q. If you go out detecting with others who decides on where to detect?

A. That depends – usually it’s just wherever we can get permission. We work a lot of our sites to death, hunting them over and over again.


Q. I know this is hard but what would you consider to be your best find so far?

A. I would say my “best” find so far is a George Washington Inaugural Button. I never thought I’d find one here in PA.


Q. Okay what is your weirdest find to date (other than Dave Wise)?

A. I’ve found a few weird items… a gold tooth, a bird band with only the foot still attached, a miniature toilet, quite a few smoking pipes.


Q. What is your “oldest” find to date?

A. Technically that would be a Native American artifact, which I also collect.


Q. How did you become part of the White’s Field Test team?

A. After having a friendly relationship with the company for years, I was invited to join the Field Team.

The Field Test Team…back row, l to r: Dave Wise, Mark Durant, Dominique Ivy Da Silva, Ed Cropski, Todd Hiltz. Kneeling l to r, D.J. Yost and Frankie Buonanno


Q. Tell me about your first trip to the factory in Sweet Home…was it the first time you observed the manufacturing process?

A. Yes – it was neat. I never really thought about the thought and labor put into each piece of these machines. We just see the final product, so to see them manufactured was interesting. I was amazed at the hands-on work. Everyone who worked at the factory was very nice and welcoming. It was a great experience.

In the White’s museum, Sweet Home…


Q. Curious. I know you met Bob Buttafuso, the old guy from Virginia. What was your impression? Weird huh…

A. Ha! He’s a great guy. He loves his Italian food and still knows how to have a good time.

Neither rain, nor sleet or snow….D.J., Cody Zimmerman, Seth Edwards and Chuck Myers.


Q. You obviously use a White’s detector but what model are you currently using and why?

A. Right now I’m running White’s latest – the MX Sport. I tested it out and it stuck with me. I never thought I’d leave the MXT behind, but the Sport has taken it’s place as my go-to.r


Q. Can you share a set up or two?

A: The MX Sport is a versatile machine. It has multiple modes to choose from. If I have the opportunity, I use three of them: I start out in relic mode to get a feel for the property, sensitivity around 5 or 6. SAT off if running smoothly. After that, I go over the area again in coin & jewelry mode. Finally, when the targets slow down, I run the all metal mode to see what’s left. I advise doing a manual ground balance first, then locking it in. I feel the Sport reads the ground mineralization very well when it is manually balanced.


D.J.’s arsenal…..


Q. Tell us what accessories are you using….

A. I use the White’s TRX pinpointer, the Digmaster hand shovel, and my finds pouch. I switch up coils from time to time, using the aftermarket Dtech 7 and 13 inch coil.


Q. I think I know the answer to this but how often do you get out detecting today?

A. As much as I possibly can. History is all around me. You have a chance to get lucky basically anywhere you go.


Q. Where do you concentrate your time….parks, rural areas, homesites, etc..?

A. For the most part, private home properties. If not, I’m out in the fields. Since my daughter has been into it, we sometimes go to the park for a little adventure.


Q. You surely have a bucket list. Care to share it?

A. A US Civil War belt plate, a coin with a readable date from the 1600’s, and any type of cache of older coins would be amazing.

Just a sampling of D. J.’s finds….

Q. Have you detected overseas at all?

A. Not yet. But I would really love to.


Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A. Lightweight and functional is all that really matters to me.

Sometimes playtime can be profitable…..


Q. Have you given any thought about where this pastime will be ten, twenty years from now? Will we even have one?

A. I hope we have one. I’m afraid that with the growing popularity of this hobby, public areas may be off-limits in the future. I try to do my part in educating new detectorists on the proper way to treat a site.


Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists, what would they be?

A. Get to know your machine, have a ton of patience, and do your research.


Thanks D.J. and happy hunting….

Be sure to check D. J.’s YouTube channel


Next Q & A – Ron Guinazzo, a.k.a. Chicago Ron



Filed under Metal Detecting

6 responses to “D. J. Slows Down Just Long Enough…

  1. D.J. Hits the nail on the head when he says “I’m afraid with the growing popularity of this hobby, public areas may be off-limits in the future.” I think that is exactly right, at least here in the U.S. A small glimmer of hope shines for the hobby when some of the younger generation of hunters can see and define the problems involved with too many detectorists and not enough common sense.Good solid interview Dick, I enjoyed it!

  2. heavymetalnut

    Great read.DJ is one heck of a good guy. Glad to be part of the White’s team with him.

  3. Bob K

    Dick I think you do an outstanding job with the interviews. Keep them up.

    • Bob thanks, but after this recent one I’ve come to the conclusion that detectorists either don’t like to read or can’t. It was shared on quite a few sites and the response was nil. On the other hand photos and videos score big time. I realize now why the national organizations and local clubs are disappearing.

      I have two people who I’ve asked to do Q & A’s but not sure now… thanks again Bob.

      • Yo Ricardo:
        Hey! Just because some readers don’t comment, don’t mean they ain’t read the piece. In my experience, people read, enjoy, and move on.

        I loved that pic of Annelyse…reminded me of my own granddaughter when she was about the same age. You say you have a couple of people in the wings to do a Q&A session. Great. Now, If you can get Donald and Vladimir ….

      • Was referring to the “visitors/views” category Bubba…

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