That is so damn cool man. Sorry to hear about your fellow HAM.
My youngest received his license recently. He has been working on the VHF and UHF bands authorized for Technician class here in the USA. We will be working on getting some antennas up in the near future to increase his range. Not sure when he plans to move to the HF bands, but can't wait as that was my forte in the early days of my military service.