Home > About this site and Doug Reeves

Mission Statement

  • It's people and the journey taken, not 'likes', technology or features, or tracking users keystrokes.

  • Honor. 

  • Integrity.

  • Be nice.

  • Family matters.

  • Spend less than you make.

  • Respect and civility.

  • Foster a sense of community.

  • Try to lead by example.

Doug's Resume
primary role in world:
husband / father

professional experience:
75% computer this and that
25% airplane stuff
(some simulated / some real)

things with motors, 
wings and guitar strings

Hello.  That's me on the left in 1974ish.  Blue jean cutoffs, Beatles haircut and a cracked finger (dodgeball).  Hand-me-down bike that was a little too big in front of our garage that was converted into another room.  Shirt said 'DYNE O MITE' and had a picture of Jimmie Walker from 'Good Times' on the front.  He does Medicare commercials now.

Jeff Ewing in the middle (still close friends).  Mike Guest on the right (passed in his 30s).  He had an X-15 Estes rocket that I thought was pretty much the coolest thing on earth.  Aviation/Space bug planted early...

My name is Doug Reeves and I started and run this website. 

As you might suspect, there is a buzzword for what is going on here: SolopreneurVansAirForce.net (started back in 1996 and branded as 'VAF' online) puts the spotlight on Van's RV kitplanes and the people who build and enjoy them.  It's a laid back, civil, non-corporate place to virtually hang out with other people who, like yourself, like the idea of leaving the Earth's surface occasionally in a Van's Aircraft RV.  

No politics talk allowed by design.

If you think this type of web site should stay online, please send in your honor system $25USD each year.  VAF is how I put food on the table for my family.  Those who donate yearly, along with the advertisers, quite literally put food in our mouths and a roof over our heads.  Easily an eight hour a day job, it's spread out over the whole 24hr day in little thirty minute bites.  An unconventional career with everything-on-the-line financial risk, but the perks are meaningful:

  • Shoes optional / shorts above 50*F.

  • No status reports.

Some background on the site:
Starting back in '97 with the RV White Pages and some 3rd party message board software, the site found its online footing.  Later, as the weaknesses in the message board app became apparent, I created several Yahoo groups - one for each model to give the community a little more flexibility.  A couple of years later when the I.T. department (of my then day job) blocked access to all Yahoo stuff (like most companies were doing at the time), I couldn't approve messages fast enough for people's needs and still keep the spam out.  Shortly thereafter I researched, purchased and installed the current forum software (and deleted the Yahoo groups I had created).  The newest incarnation of the site's forums hopefully make the hobby, in some small way, more personal. 

VAF became my full time job in 2007.

VAF HQ:  $36 table bought at Target 30+ years ago - our first 'dining room table'.

The rules for posting in the VAF Forums can be cliff-noted with 99% accuracy with a simple "Don't be a D-bag", but you should take a moment to familiarize yourself with them.  These rules are required due to the high eyeball traffic seen here...high volume forum sites need structure due to the wide demographic makeup of its participants.  As a contrast, read the comments section of any news site (any story) to see what happens when there are no enforceable posting rules. 

"You can stand out on a street corner handing out $100 bills and someone will still call you an @sshole."
 -- friend of Jim Pappas

There has been a very conscious effort on my part to make everything on the site visible to everyone, without requiring any kind of registration or login.  While you do need to login to the forums to actually POST a message, any unregistered 'lurker' can see it all.  Unlike almost every other aviation website.  I do it this way specifically to put a no-hassle spin on the experience and to quasi-reinforce to viewers that we represent something that is more community than clique.

For me this hobby in its purest form is one person, one plane and an empty airport.  But there are those occasions when your passenger makes you realize what you were put on this Earth for (I wrote this after a flight with my son):

It is my hope that if you come to the site regularly, and consider yourself a regular viewer, you will adhere to the honor system that I've requested and will send in your yearly $25 donation some time during the year.  I have enough usernames and passwords to keep track of, and have enough people trying to pressure me into buying things.  I don't want to be that guy.

I currently live north of Dallasw, TXw with my yoga instructing wife, son (when not at SMU) and chihuahua 'Moon Dog'. Above all else I care about my wife, family and friends.  I am Blessed beyond words and hope to never forget how lucky I am to have the friends I have.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this.

Kindest and best,

Doug Reeves (and family)


About Tracking Visitors:

VansAirForce.net is not a social media site.  YOU DESERVE YOUR PRIVACY and you will most certainly get it here!  I don't track your interactions with this website.  There are no 'analytic metrics' going on behind the scenes.  I wouldn't sell the VAF reader's contact information for a million dollars, and at least for me, that Google/Facebook/Twitter/Instragram/Snapchat/etc have been reported (sources) to track mouse moments, keystrokes, your lon/lat (and potentially sounds) breaks squelch on my comfort level.  I get why companies use social media to promote their products, it just makes me a little squeamish how the social media companies use people's data.

Recent studies suggesting heavy social media use and its ties to mental illness are something else that raises a flag with me (sources).  "Addictive Nature."  "Fragmented attention."  "Underlying background of anxiety."   Yikes.

I have purposely laid out VAF's content delivery in a way similar to a newspaper - something you check for five minutes a day. Or not. Skip a day! You're not going to miss anything if you're registered and know where the 'New Posts' link is.

There are no 'attention engineers' here working full time to maximize the amount of time you spent visiting (it's a thing...4min mark here).

"...something I think we're going to be hearing more about in the near future, is that there is a fundamental mismatch, between the way our brains are wired, and this behavior of exposing yourself to stimuli with intermittent rewards throughout all of your waking hours. It's one thing to spend a couple of hours at the slot machines of Las Vegas, but if you bring a slot machine with you and you pull that handle all day long from when you wake up to when you go to bed, we're not wired for that. It short circuits the brain and we're starting to find that it has actual cognitive consequences. One of them being this sort of pervasive background hum of anxiety. Now the canary in the coal mine for this are students from college campuses. If you talk to mental health experts from college campuses, they'll tell you, that along with the rise of ubiquitous smart phone and social media use among the students, came an explosion of anxiety related disorders."
-- Dr. Cal Newport

Dopomine-driven feedback loops and social media's effect on mental health and cognitive ability is a real thing.  It's tearing at the fabric of society, and it's worth some of your time to research.  If I come off to you as Don Quixote titling at windmills, then I would venture to guess you haven't given much thought to the link at the beginning of this paragraph.  Cocaine, slot machines and social media.....they all target the same part of the brain.

If I've done my job right, VAF should allow you to touch RV base for a couple of minutes, then spend the remaining 99.99% of your day living your life.  I'll have no idea what you're doing. ;^)

So, when potential advertisers contact me and ask 'how many clicks do you get?'  I just say 'I think a lot.  Maybe ask some RV owners around you if they've heard of the site'.   If you have, for example, a widget ad on VAF over on the side of the page, chances are when it comes time for an RV builder to purchase a widget, they have scrolled past that ad daily for a few years.  They know where it is...  

I might be wrong, but it just seems less intrusive this way.  IMHO, you deserve your privacy.  At least you'll get it here in my infinitesimally small corner of the web.

Some grabs showing various websites and the number of trackers blocked in the DuckDuckGo app.

You deserve your privacy.  You'll get it here. 
No trackers being blocked on VAF BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY!


Not so much everywhere else...



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(why Facebook shows 'clean' explained here)