Rod Thomas is an Idaho farm boy living just three miles from where he grew up. By age eleven, Rod and his older brother were operating a custom hay stacking business. With experience in custom farming and their love of all things flying, agricultural aviation was a natural fit. They started their own application business, Thomas Helicopters, Inc., in Gooding, Idaho in 1975 with a Hughes 300. They have owned as many as five helicopters they used for ag and other work such as coyote hunting, wild animal darting, fire-fighting, heli-skiing, construction and sling work, and movies.