Radio star clocks more than 2900 hours on air
PEACOCKS at midnight, dazzling sunrises over the sea and barbells hitting the ceiling over his head.
Those are some of Col Daisley's unusual memories of his 15 years on radio so far.
The 2AIR-FM presenter, who joined the community radio station shortly after it was granted a licence in 2000, has clocked up more than 2900 hours on air.
The singer, entertainer and retired purchasing officer is one of many seniors who enjoy lending their time and talents to the station.
2AIR-FM began broadcasting from a studio at the Big Banana, in a space just below the hilltop restaurant, which had dazzling views of the coastline, ocean and Solitary Islands as well as s close relationship with the food waste bins..
"You didn't have to wait for the weather report, you just opened the window," Col said.
Responding to some taps on the window just before midnight one night he slid the door open to be startled by a glaring peacock in full display, the bird's body dwarfed by its huge iridescent tail.
When 2AIR-FM moved into the studio space at the Jetty Village vacated by youth radio station CHY, located beneath the gymnasium, the challenges were different.
In spite of soundproofing and damping, Col said weights sometimes hit the floor above so hard he feared they would crash through as the ceiling shuddered and equipment vibrated.
Col is one of about 80 volunteers, including 65 on-air presenters, who are celebrating 2AIR-FM's recent move into its own premises at 24 Glenreagh St, opposite the central Coffs Harbour campus of TAFE, overlooking the waters of Coffs Creek.
What was formerly a suburban home has been transformed in the past year into a modern and functional radio station, although work is still in progress on about $130,000 worth of renovations.
The station's oldest presenter and former treasurer, 85 year old Trish Ryan, was one of the driving forces behind the push for their own premises which began in 2003.
Grants from C.ex Coffs and the NSW Government plus community, trade and business support have helped make the plan a reality.
The President of Coffs Coast Community Radio Inc, Richard Moore, said 2AIR-FM's new headquarters was once the home of Sunday Gospel program presenter Garry Sambrook, who said in his wildest dreams as a kid, he had never dreamt he would be presenting a radio show from his bedroom.
While locals between Red Rock and Stuarts Point tune their radios to 107.9 on the dial, streaming technology has expanded the station's reach right across the world, with devoted listeners in the USA, the UK, Canada and other distant climes as well as roaming grey nomads tuning in via their smart phones, tablets and computers.
With a charter to direct the majority of its programming to listeners over 40, the station has an ever-expanding potential audience and is always keen to welcome new volunteers, especially people with skills in computers and broadcasting technology, an area Richard described as their Achilles heel.
Richard said once renovations were complete, they would hold an open day at the new station.