You have a good start on the radio. Now you need a good antenna and a good ground. For listening a long wire antenna will be sufficient.
I am KL7BG but don't get on the air much anymore. The internet has made talking to people all over the world much easier.
Friends don't let friends eat farmed fish.
"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm."