Mike Hotka has been an amateur astronomer for almost 50 years. It all started when he was 10 and Santa brought a small, Tasco refracting telescope. Being cold in Iowa that time of year, he poked his new telescope out an upstairs bathroom window and first looked at Polaris. Mike became a member of the Astronomical League in 1984 and made his first Astronomical League certificate observation on July 12, 1986, when he recorded observing M57 for the Messier Observing Program. Many observations later, he has completed 37 of the Astronomical League’s Observing Programs, receiving 46 certificates in the process. Mike’s presentation will share his experiences in observing, how he prepares and records a night of observations, touch on the 3 telescopes he built, share tips on how to complete some of the more advanced Observing Programs and much more useful information to help make your personal observing more fun and rewarding. For more information about Mike and his observing, visit his website, http://www.mikehotka.com.