"CHEAP GAS" No, not the stuff generated by rapacious cooking. The stuff for sircrsft engines. A series of short hops had left the Duck getting low on fuel. Checking prices around the area, i found Brooks Field in Marshall had the best. We needed to blow out some cobwebs anyway, so flying to another field to "save $0.50 a gallon" made sense. Anyway, to my twisted mind it made sense. One thing we noticed right off, was that the farm fields are much dryer than a month ago. Low areas near fields are still damp and soggy, but fields are in good shape. Winter wheat this time of year is the most eye catching green I know of. Looks like every stem has a green light shining in it. Sky divers and parachuters were up today. On the weather briefing they cautioned me, and on the radio we could hear the cautionary call,"Jumpers AWAY!" It's easy to avoid these jump areas, but still I scan all around. It would scare the bejazus out of me to see a diver go plummeting past, or a chute drifting down up ahead. One of the things we always notice and appreciate is the open friendliness of folks in the aviation community, wherever we go. Maybe once every couple of years we run into something else, but even then it has been easy to get along. Most are even nicer than me. A slow moving warm front that stretched from South Dakota SE'ly down to northern IL & IN, held a couple of high pressure systems hostage - to our benefit. We had clear skies for 4-5 miles up, and visibility of 25-30 miles. An interesting line of fast wind at 6,000' to about 10,000' was off to our west. Thankfully, it stayed away from of us. As we approached home field back at Mason, a student pilot was in the pattern. His radio calls were non-standard, and not real communicative. After a few of them, I thought he was soloing, I almost advised him to get with his instructor for help. Then, a familiar voice came from the plane. His instructor took over the radio, and transmitted properly what the pilot's intentions were. I recognized the voice, and relaxed. The student wasn't alone, and the training will be done. A cup of coffee at Bestsellers Coffeeshop capped off our day. Cheated death again.