Update 1/26/11:
As of today, Bill has reached the $1000 donations he needed to pay off the licensing fee. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to keeping this video on the air!

Update 1/19/11:
If you enjoyed Bill's video, if it touched you inside, help him keep it online and available.

The video uses a Pearl Jam song for its soundtrack and there's a $1000 fee to use it legally. Bill is unemployed, but the video -- and the amazing response it has garnered -- mean a great deal to him. Visit his posting on Reddit.com and look at all the responses he received there. Unfortunately, YouTube must take action to enforce the copyright holder's rights if Bill can't pay off the fee to use the song.

We can all help him by donating, just a bit, to his licensing fund: http://helpbill42.blogspot.com/


These two videos represent a history and a tribute from a son to his father. On the YouTube site itself, Bill Costello writes:

This is a photo story of my father's BMW:

Boy meets girl, gets married, buys motorcycle. Rides it for 60,000 miles and has accident when wife is pregnant with 3rd child (me). Wife orders motorcycle to be taken off road until all her children are grown and on their own. One day when bike is moved to a different storage location, son sits on it and dreams of being a Jedi Master like his father. Couple grows old together and bike is not ridden for 40 years. Husband is now a grandfather of 7 and married for 50 years, when he dies of a stroke at age 71.

Son looks over the old rotting machine and finds a note attached to it from his father, to him. Son decides to restore the old 1958 BMW R50 as a tribute to his father. With the help of many friends, especially Peter Nettesheim, the world renowned BMW collector, bike is restored to look even better than it did when it was built in Germany.

In a further posting, he continues:

After inheriting my father's 1958 R50 over a year ago, I dove into my new hobby head first. Being a motorcycle newbie, I really did not have anything to contribute until now, but now I have an interesting story to tell.

During the restore, in which most of the time I have been an apprentice guided by the BMW philanthropist/collector and now good friend Peter Nettesheim, I also took the motorcycle training course and got my license. Two days ago I both finished the restore after one year, and rode a motorcycle for the first time on a public road, all on the same day.

An R50 is slow? It has bad brakes and a slow shifting transmission? Well not if it is the only motorcycle you have ever known! Riding her is more exciting than I ever imagined (but less relaxing).

I have already written too much, and my story is too long so I will leave it for a future post or make a web blog. What I do have now to share with you all is a slideshow I have just completed today and posted on youtube that tells my BMW story visually. It starts in 1958 or so and ends 2 days ago. I added a text summary in the youtube description area. And yes, the cute young kids in the beginning are my parents.

Oh, one more thing. If you change the resolution setting that you see along the bottom of the video from 360p to 720p, and then hit the zoom-full screen button, then you will see my slideshow closer to the way it was intended to be viewed. The default is just too small and fuzzy.If you enjoy it, feel free to post a comment on the youtube page!

cheers, Bill Costello

The second video, which was shot in 2009, before the restoration, has this note from Bill:

Peter Nettesheim, BMW expert and collector, got my newly inherited 1958 R50 started in about 30 minutes after it sat for 35 years without being run. All we did was change the 2 cracked carb floats and we cleaned the plugs. Kick starting wasn't enough so we pushed it down the driveway hill.

If you enjoy viewing this, Bill asks that you follow the link above to the YouTube page and add a comment.