I’m Ben Holcomb and I grew up in Lansing, MI before moving to Norman, Oklahoma in July of 2010 where I currently reside. I work in the IT industry as a Linux Engineer for my “day job” but enjoy weather, traveling, amateur radio and fishing.
I have an insane passion for chasing tornadoes, which is mostly what brought me to Norman – That and a hatred of winter. I became interested in weather at a young age and eventually got into amateur radio and skywarn spotting in 2005. A couple of years later on October 18, 2007 I would go on what I consider my first “storm chase” where I witnessed a funnel cloud in Fulton County Indiana. The storm would later produce an EF-2 tornado in the town of Williamston, MI just 15 miles to the east of my apartment. Since then I have been addicted to seeing the worst mother nature has to offer. I’ve witnessed approximately 175 tornadoes and traveled well over 100,000 miles since 2007 and appeared on most national news outlets at one time or another.
Travel is one of my top favorite things to do. I have been to every one of the 50 states as well as almost 2 dozen countries on 3 continents. National Parks are often my destination of choice, having visited over 35 different National Parks. Between traveling and storm chasing I have gotten into Photography. I have a full frame Canon 6D DSLR I use to take photos of trips and storms. Some of my favorite destinations include Dubai, Singapore, Alaska, Amsterdam, and Calgary, Alberta.
I also like going to rock concerts, and seeing live music in general. I have seen over 150 bands live. My favorite and most notable concert would have to be Black Sabbath’s final show in Birmingham, England in February 2017. I find myself traveling often for concerts or working concerts into travel plans, having seen concerts in 20 different cities. [ My setlist.fm ] Unfortunately the health situation of 2020 put an abrupt halt on this. I do hope some day we can go see live music again without restrictions.
I have attended a few NASA social events, including the Tweetup event for STS-135 Space Shuttle Atlantis launch in 2011 and the EFT-1 launch of the Orion space capsule in December 2014. I have visited all 3 remaining space shuttles as well as most of the Apollo command modules.
I also have been a huge fan of roller coasters all of my life. I have ridden over 150 different roller coasters. My favorite is Skyrush at Hersheypark.