To be a radio amateur, you need to pass exams and get a license. After that you need some kind of radio and probably some kind of antenna. I got my license in 1992. My callsign is OH1KMB. Also my husband is radio amateur.
You may be wondering, why nowadays someone still goes thru all that trouble, when we have e-mail, internet and cellphones. And also invests money and time to buy/build radio equipment and antennas. Sometimes BIG antennas. Good question. (In the picture is one of the antennas of club station OH1AJ.)
Amateur radio (a.k.a ham radio) working is a world of its own. Mostly between amateurs there is the thing called "ham spirit", meaning comradeship and mutual help. It is just like any other technical hobby. You can find a fellow amateur in almost every country in the world.
Some people like to build radios and gadgets, some like competitions and some - like me - are interested in nice conversations. Learning morse code has been in my "to do list" for last 10 years, but I just never seem to have enough spare time. :)