Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 2 of 83)

Summer Backyard Activities for the Whole Family

Make your backyard the place to be this summer! From how to do some small budget decorating upgrades, to creating your own water blob for the kids, we have found some of our favorite backyard tips from our cable channel, HGTV.

3 Outdoor Upgrades Under $100

DIY Backyard Kerplunk Game

How to Make a Backyard Water Blob

DIY Pool Noodle Kids’ Games

Backyard Camping Ideas for the Whole Family

 

Want to jazz up your backyard even more? Don’t forget to enter our Summer Story giveaway where we will be giving away a 36 in. Endless Summer Deep Drawn Bronze Fire Pit! Just go to our Facebook page and find the SUMMER SOCIAL GIVEAWAY – WEEK 2 post for details on how to enter.

Another way you can win this summer is by saving with our summer promotion!

  • Add any new service and receive FREE installation.
  • Upgrade your Internet speed and receive a $25 bill credit.

To sign up for this great deal or learn more about this promotion, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2019 Summer Event Schedule

Being a part of the communities we service has always been very important to Great Plains Communications. While we are an active member of many local chambers of commerce, we also encourage employee involvement and always look forward to the summer season when we can tour the state to take part in different local parades bull rides and other events. Here is a list of our 2019 summer tour:

Saturday, July 13, 2019: Chadron Fur Trade Days in Chadron, NE

Saturday, July 20, 2019: Perkins County Fair in Grant, NE

Monday, July 29, 2019: Custer County Bull Riding Classic in Broken Bow, NE

Thursday, August 8, 2019: Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama in Bloomfield, NE

Thursday, August 8, 2019: Thayer County Fair in Deshler, NE

Saturday, August 10, 2019: Old Settler Days in Indianola, NE

Friday & Saturday, August 16 & 17, 2019: Chase County Fair in Imperial, NE

Along with walking in the parade, we will be sponsoring the Hairball concert Friday night, so watch for our employees at the front gates for a free t-shirt while supplies last!

Saturday, September 28, 2019: Heritage Days in McCook, NE

So, if you are in the area for any of these events, keep an eye out for our employees and give us a wave or stop and say hello!

Summer Story Giveaway

What’s YOUR summer story? Are you planning a vacation? Or maybe you will be living next to the pool all season? Is there a big camping trip coming up?

Let us add to the fun with some awesome giveaways and savings you won’t want to miss! Starting this week, through July 19, add any new service and receive FREE installation. Upgrade your Internet speed and receive a $25 bill credit! Find your summer story with savings from Great Plains Communications.

The excitement doesn’t stop there! We are doing weekly giveaways on our social sites throughout the entire promotion. This week we are giving away a camping package including:

  • Inflatable lounger air sofa hammock
  • 2-piece set cast iron skillet
  • 750 Lumen LED battery lantern
  • 3-pack Jiffy Pop popcorn
  • Stainless steel coffee mug

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Like this post
  3. Post a picture or short video in the comments below, showing what you and your family are up to this summer

The camping giveaway will end Friday and you can also enter through Instagram. And don’t forget to check back next week for a new theme and giveaway!

If you are interested in signing up for our promotion or would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2019 Grilling Father’s Day Recipes

Looking for the perfect gift for that special man who has been there to stick on the band aids, check under the bed, and walk you down the aisle? Father’s Day is this weekend and Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite grilling recipes from our cable channel, Food Network that will please dad from the inside out this holiday.

How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Does your dad enjoy a nice juicy steak with a healthy char from the grill? Watch as the cooks from The Kitchen explain how to cook different cuts of beef so you can pick the right one for your budget and family.

Bobby’s Garlic Mustard Beef Skewers

Looking to enjoy a beefy flavor but want to mix things up a bit? Try these skewers that pack a punch through the different types of mustards and raw garlic.

How to Grill Salmon Steaks and Fillets

If you are looking for something other than beef, consider trying grilled salmon. People can be intimidated by grilling seafood; afraid it will break apart on the grill. This video will show you how to prepare both fillets and steak cuts of salmon.

DIY Outdoor Grilling Caddy

With Father’s Day still a few days away, make this easy and very handy grilling caddy from HGTV. It includes a bar to hang his grilling utensils and a bottle opener for his refreshments – this is a thoughtful and rather cheap DIY gift he is sure to enjoy.

Raspberry Pi Intro Activities for Kids

Have you heard of a Raspberry Pi? No, not the dessert that’s delicious with vanilla ice cream. A Raspberry Pi is a small customizable single-board computer that is capable of being the base to countless projects ranging in difficulty for not only adults, but teens and children. It is a great way to get your family and kids into the world of computer hardware and coding or programming. And did we mention they only cost around $30?

You’ve probably heard a lot about schools incorporating more STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities into their curriculum. Great Plains Communications wants to help continue that into summer activities you can enjoy with your kids using a Raspberry Pi.

Different Models and What They Mean

So, we have covered the very basics of what a Raspberry Pi is, but there are multiple model types and we want to make sure you are selecting the right one for your projects.

  • Raspberry Pi Zero: Internet of Things (IoT) applications, robotics
  • Raspberry Pi 3 A+: IoT applications, home automation projects
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+: Low grade server projects, or possibly a full-blown daily computer

Each Raspberry Pi can be used for just about any project, but the main difference between the models is connectivity and price. The more you pay, the more you get for horsepower and connectivity like Ethernet and USB ports.

One of the biggest benefits of the Raspberry Pi is the large community of users and creators behind the small computer, meaning lots of tinkerers who know what they’re doing have done all sorts of projects with the Raspberry Pi. Some of these collections can be found at Instructables, PiMyLifeUp, and even the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s site.

Intro Projects and More

If you are just starting out with a Pi and want an introduction the whole family can understand, a good first project would be Setting up your Raspberry Pi from the Raspberry Pi foundation. This project will walk you through all cables and other hardware you will need to use your Raspberry Pi to start creating projects.

After you’re a bit more familiar with a Pi, you can take the next step and start programming with a program called Scratch, which is an interactive, point-and-click beginner’s introduction to programming. The Raspberry Pi Foundation also has a great project page for a Water use calculator – a fun interactive tool your kids can use to calculate how much water they are using each week.

After getting your kids’ feet wet with some conceptual programming, you open a whole world of opportunity. You can look all over the Internet for more advanced projects, from designing video games to creating a weather station. Instead of having kids looking at their screens all summer, help them learn what makes that screen work.

Big Season Premieres Coming this Month

There are quite a few fan-favorite shows starting back up this month! To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action, Great Plains Communications has included start dates and the trailers for the upcoming seasons below.

 

Wednesday, June 5

The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu

The adaptation of the classic novel by Margaret Atwood is heading into it’s third season of The Handmaid’s Tale. While society has been fighting against a plunging birthrate, there is a much larger battle at hand.

 

Black Mirror – Netflix

As fans know, Black Mirror has separate stories for each episode, but we have included the trailer for Smithereens, the first episode airing Wednesday, June 5. As each story is intense in its own way, this first episode of the fifth season looks to not disappoint.

 

Sunday, June 9

Big Little Lies – HBO

After a chart-topping first season, Big Little Lies is back for more and is adding Meryl Streep to the star-studded cast. While many of the mothers are bonding together after the traumatic season 1 finale, one mother is now looking for answers and it doesn’t seem as if she is going to stop until she gets them.

 

Thursday, June 13

Baskets – FX

Chip Baskets played by Zach Galifianakis is back for a fourth season with big changes coming. He is finally ready to move out of his mom’s home, but it seems it might be a tough and humorous transition.

 

Tuesday, June 18

The Detour – TBS

Back for a third season, The Detour will take us on a worldwide tour with the Parker family as they search for Delilah, after she has run away. They will search tirelessly and stop at nothing to find their daughter, while also angering many people along the way.

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Take WatchTVEverywhere on All Your Summer Trips

Planning a big family vacation this summer? The kids traveling for sports? While you are enjoying your busy summer schedule, don’t think you have to miss out on your favorite shows! Catch them all on your wireless devices with WatchTVEverywhere from Great Plains Communications. If you are a cable customer of ours and have access to an Internet connection, you can view Food Network, HGTV, ESPN and much more through your Roku, laptop, tablet, mobile phone and more.

The first step to getting your WatchTVEverywhere account is to register. You will need to go to www.watchtveverywhere.com and do the following:

Select Great Plains Communications from the list of TV providers in the drop-down menu and click on Submit

Click on “Register”

You will need two pieces of information to register: your account number and the correct spelling of the last name on the account.

You will then be asked to:

  • Provide a valid email address. This will be your username.
  • Provide a password
  • Select a password reset question
  • Supply the answer to the password reset question
  • Click on Register

Check the email address you just provided. You will find an email message with your WatchTVEverywhere activation link. Click on the link to complete the registration process

You are done and can begin to enjoy your favorite channels!

 

If you have any questions regarding your Great Plains Communications cable service or accessing WatchTVEverywhere, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Tips and Tricks to Camping in the Rain

Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us, which often means hitting the road to your favorite camping spot. While it may be the end of May, Nebraska’s weather has proven time and time again to be temperamental or a bit unstable, so Great Plains Communications has a few tips and tricks for camping in colder wet environments.

Create Sheltered Outdoor Living Space

The rain often comes in the evening, when you are looking to relax and eat dinner. Pack a few extra tarps that won’t only keep the ground dry but can be strung up between trees as a rain shelter. This way, everybody won’t have to cram into the tent or camper all night but instead, enjoy the sound of the rain and spring weather without getting soaked.

Warm Your Clothes to 98.6 Degrees

Tent camping can lead to cold clothes, sometimes damp from dew, and that is not what anybody wants to step into – especially after sleeping on the ground. Be your own clothing warmer and place your clothes for the next day in a small, breathable bag and put it inside at the base of your sleeping bag the night before. As you sleep, your body heat will warm them, and your sleeping bag will protect them from the dampness of morning.

Flip Your Water Bottle

As we have seen in the past weeks, temperatures across the state have varied in the most extreme way, which is exactly what it can do from daytime to night. Here is a trick to make sure you always have water at the ready even when the temperatures dip. Flip your water bottle over before going to sleep. Since water freezes from the top, when you flip the bottle back over to get a drink, any ice that has formed will fall to the bottom and water will remain on the top.

 

With rain and the spring season come bugs. We have looked to our cable channel, HGTV for a video on natural bug repellents to consider taking this weekend.

3 All-Natural Bug Repellents – HGTV

 

Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Internet Safety Topics to Discuss with Children this Summer

As the school year comes to an end, kids will have a lot more time on their hands. While there will be plenty of time spent outside, the Internet will also be a huge part of kids’ lives this summer. It is good to keep in mind some Internet safety topics to discuss with children to ensure their online experience is a positive one.

 

Internet usage guidelines

Rather than telling them all the things they can’t do, have a conversation with your child about how long they are allowed online and what type of sites are OK or not OK. While you make the ultimate decision, show that you are listening to their opinions. Also discuss how to behave towards others when chatting, gaming, emailing, or messaging.

 

The importance of privacy

While this depends on the age of the child, a simple rule for younger children could be that they should not give out their name, phone number or photo without a parent’s approval. Older children should be advised to be selective about what personal information they include on social networking and you should always know what social platforms your child is using. Snapchat for example has a location feature that can be set to show the user’s exact location on a map to any of their “friends.”

 

Meeting online “friends”

The Internet can be a positive place for children to interact with other young people and ultimately make new friends. By discussing it ahead of time, your child is more likely to recognize if they’re talking to someone they shouldn’t be. This is also a good way to keep the dialogue about Internet interaction between you and your children open.

 

Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives and that it is a wonderful educational and recreational resource. Let your child show you what they like to do online and discover it with them.

Congratulations to our Pick Your Prize Giveaway Winner!

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Help us in congratulating our Pick Your Prize Social Media Giveaway winner, Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE! By sharing a gif showing her favorite thing about spring on our Facebook page, she was given the option to choose between a $200 Visa gift card or a 5-Burner Open Cart LP Gas Grill in Stainless Steel and Black with Side Burner. Shelley has chosen to receive the grill as her prize!

The Pick Your Prize Giveaway is part of our Pick Your Spring Savings promotion that is currently going on through May 17. While we were only able to have one winner for our social media giveaway, you can still receive up to a $100 bill credit by taking advantage of this promotion! Here is how to do it:

  • Sign up for NEW Internet service or upgrade your current speed and receive up to a $100 bill credit!
  • Bundle with TV, Phone or both and receive an ADDITIONAL $25 bill credit!
  • + FREE installation on all new services

To sign up for this great deal or to learn more, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. And again, help us in congratulating Shelley Mitchell on winning our Pick Your Prize Giveaway!

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