We recently had the opportunity and pleasure to catch up with Des Cooper a local Sippy Downs resident who in August of 2013 set up the Village FM Radio Station at 80 years young. Now 85 Des is still going strong sharing his astounding music collection with the local and wider community.
We asked Des how all this came about and he shared with us, “It took me some 2 years to get all the music together and another 2 to get the licence sorted out”
“With my love of music and knowing a lot of people in my area are vision impaired – who can’t watch television or read papers – I thought I’d get a station started,” Des said.
“A lot of music gets lost and wasted, and it’s nice to bring it all back to life.”
So far Des has converted more than 7000+ songs from old records including 45’s, LP’s and 78’s and also, cassette tapes and videos into MP3s which he then plays on the air for listeners.
Des lives in the Bellflower retirement village here in Sippy Downs and operates Village FM from his home playing an eclectic mix of music for every taste with a full Programs & Schedule list available on his website.
“At breakfast time I love to play happy loving music for couples having breakfast and that sort of thing, for 9 till 12 I play a little bit more upbeat stuff and easy listening and then I do two hours of quieter stuff and that goes through early afternoon and then from midnight to about 4 am I do orchestral sleepy music, soft stuff which is nice.” Des Said.
But in amongst all that Des is introducing some 70’s and 80’s music as the demographics of the retirement village and wider community changes over time.
The station is licensed to transmit on the FM band frequency 87.6 MHz with an aerial power limited to an ERP of 1000 mW. Therefore the station services listeners within an estimated radius 2 kilometres from the approved transmitter site at the Des’s private residence, however with the online streaming service listeners can tune in from anywhere in Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast or anywhere in the world.
Village FM may well be the only station in Australia, if not in the world, broadcasting 24 hours a day and streaming on the net, from a retirement village.
Village FM aims to provide a variety of musical entertainment of a genre palatable to the residents of the Bellflower and Hibiscus Retirement complexes and the wider Sippy Downs Community. Village FM also to relays messages to residents in regard to social, sporting or leisure activities being organised or conducted by the retirement village management, village residents’ association, community website news and information and also community updates and opportunities for action by the Sippy Downs & District Community Association.
Des has a limited opportunity for local businesses to submit paid advertising which helps Des keep the station running and equipment maintained and when need be replaced and upgraded so if you are a local business who may be interested please do contact Des via his website linked throughout this story.