Hi, folks! My husband and I would like to get into amateur radio. I've already purchased books to study for licensing, etc. But as far as equipment is concerned, we don't really know where to start. There are NO stores anywhere near us where we could browse or get help (closest would be a 5-hour drive). We don't want to start with the most expensive gear on the market, you know? I'd appreciate all advice, and thanks in advance! We own our house, so we can do whatever we want in terms of an antenna. We're in Largo, FL. LOTS of thunder/lightning storms here, in case that's a concern (antenna). Basically just looking for equipment that would allow us to communicate with others. Thanks in advance!!