My amateur astronomy "career" began at age 19 when I met a fellow student at the University of Oklahoma who was building a telescope from scratch. He was grinding an 8-inch mirror in his home in Norman, Oklahoma. I caught the bug and ordered a 6-inch kit from Edmund Scientific. It took a while, but I finished that mirror and subsequently another 6-in and a 12.5 in.
I sort of wandered in the dark until I started work at the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis in late 1965 where I found the McDonnell Amateur Astronomers Club (since evolved into the Boeing Amateur Astronomers Club). There I learned more and more astronomy, worked on those other telescopes mentioned above, participated in club meetings, served as various officers, etc. I have been an off and on member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society over the years (much more steady lately).
I've traveled to four total eclipses of the Sun (1972 in Nova Scotia, 1973 off the coast of Africa, 1979 near Winnepeg, Cananda and 2004 off the coast of Turkey). I've completed several of the observing programs of the Astronomical League and served at the Chairperson for the Mid-States Region of the League three time (plus the current Chair position).
In 1995, my wife Yvonne and I took on a missionary assignment in Oaxaca, Mexico where I found my nights free and virtually cloud-free. I had been intrigued by the advent of CCD cameras and managed to find in the budget money for an SBIG ST-7. Of course, my existing telescopes were inadequate so that started a tracking telescope acquisition program that lea to an 8-inch Meade, followed by a 10-in Meade LX-200 and (now) a 14-inch Celestron.
In Mexico, I discovered the joy of searching for and finding asteroids with this equipment. This was in the days before the "machines" monopolized the discovery of new asteroids but from January 1998 through parts of 2003, I discovered 102 asteroids from my little observatory in Oaxaca, Mexico. The first one I got numbered I named "Oaxaca" in honor of the state and city of discovery. Since then, I have named nine more including rubyroe, yvonneroe, robertcox, dobson, pulgaril, melbartels, sooner.
Since leaving Mexico asteroid observing is much more difficult and I have switched to variable star observing using my 10-inch (since retired), the 12-inch and the 32-inch AfA telescope. In 2008 I submitted some 25,000 high quality measurements to the International DataBase of the ASVSO. I've also measured many transiting exo-planets.
Also, since leaving Mexico, I've founded the Alliance for Astronomy, Inc. which is a Missouri non-profit corporation with the mission of promoting education, awareness and appreciation of astronomy and related sciences. In February 2005, the AfA founded the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri as its chief outreach activity.