Milan Prokes, Jr. was introduced to fireworks by one of his friends and classmates in 1997. Starting at the early age of 11 performing as a stage and close-up magician, he developed sense of appreciation for the arts and entertainment. Following his career as a magician, he remained in the entertainment industry.
Obtained his college Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences in 1991, but his major in Psychology and thought of becoming a counselor was short lived. Commercial art, photography and graphic design is also one of his passions. Milan has been a webmaster and graphic designer to several successful websites over the years including RadioDJs.com, ScreenwritingPortal.com, IdahoPoint.com, ElitePyrotechnics.com, ActionFireworks.com, ParamountPyroFX.com, EagleRockBlasting.com, and many others. His brief career as a screenwriter for film was taken over by the love of fireworks, and Milan wrote his first fireworks training handbook in 2007, only intended to be released as a training guide for companies he worked for.
In addition, Milan was in the broadcasting industry, not only as a club DJ but radio announcer and music director from 1994 to 2004. His knowledge of art and music helped him to apply this artistic skill to the art of firework display design and choreography.
Milan has been involved in the fireworks industry on a full-time basis since 1997. Thereafter, he quickly climbed the ladder up to the General Operations Manager, then Artistic Director, Display Designer, co-Owner, and of course Lead Pyrotechnic Operator. Milan is a certified shooter and member of numerous organizations such as the PGI, Inc. (Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc.), the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and WPA (Western Pyrotechnic Association) organizations. Milan just recently became a full-time member of NFA (National Fireworks Association), TFA (The Fireworks Foundation), and ISEE (International Society of Explosives Engineers). He also holds an honorary memberships at other clubs, associations and organizations such as the CJ's (Cracker Jacks), IPS (International Pyrotechnic Society), and RMPG (Rocky Mountain Pyrotechnics Guild) to name a few. ***
At the age of 54, Milan has been involved with writing series of books (12 in total) on pyrotechnics after his lower back injury in 2013 (after a pyro-related accident) while in a long-term recovery. One of the many reasons why Milan has decided to publish these books is to raise funds to help with his medical treatment, huge amount of bills, and funds for back surgery that he now requires. He suffers from daily chronic pain, clinical depression and insomnia. However, this enormous book project which is constantly evolving, has literally and truly saved his life. This task gave him another chance to live and survive, and a goal with a major focus on full recovery.
It has not been an easy road to recovery. I have been in good health until recently. I’m in enormous debt due to my medical expenses as a result of my multiple back injuries (without not having any insurance), plus I’m currently suffering from insomnia and clinical depression since 2010 after my last pyro-related accident.
"Depressed and totally desperate what I can do in this situation, which totally brought me to this health condition, while recovering at home, I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t find a job which would accommodate for my injuries. Not knowing what to do next, I decided to write one large book which eventually was divided into several volumes."
During a long period of recovery time, I have decided to start this project to fill in the time when my pain was not so severe. It began in 2007 but I never truly had time to completely finish it. The first book was only 196 pages long and served as a training book for our company employees. I never intended to release this book to the public and to the fireworks industry. After my third back injury in 2010, I was unemployed and recovering for almost a year. With lots of time on my hands, even though they very painful times, I finally had the opportunity to work on this enormous task, which was essentially a huge puzzle for me.
Through countless nights without sleep, due to insomnia and horrible depression, I have been able to get to this point with the project. However, I could not complete this project without visiting Pain Management Clinic. I was given strong pain medications which are under strict control, plus had to attend chiropractor twice a week. Now I go for procedures for epidural injections and procedure which essentially burns the nerves.
Now after 9 years, I’m left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and praying that I can repay some of the debts. It’s been a very difficult and challenging time and road to recovery and on top of this the loss of my fiancé, the loss of my father and other family members. Plus, I'm a caretaker for my very ill mother. This has become more than stressful and did not help me much with staying positive all the time. And as if that wasn't enough, Medicaid decided to place a lien on our house so it puts even more pressure on me than I already am under. Thus, I am hoping to sell these books to help me out with paying off the enormous debt.
Therefore, the two main reasons I’m selling these publications are to introduce safety to the fireworks industry in a very visual way, especially during these tough times filled with many accidents and mishaps, and secondly, to pay for my medical expenses.
"I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity. Thank you for making this possible!"
*** Due to a miscommunication between my webmaster and myself, statement about the APA and CPSC as was previously mentioned on this bio page, was a webmaster error which indicated that Milan was a member of these two organizations. However, this is not the case, and I am not a member of these fine organizations. We apologize for the error and for any miscommunication that this may have caused.
Dear Friends and Customers,
Just a brief NEW and current update. It is unfortunate but my previous printing company went out of business. Instead, a new owner took over the printing company, which happens to be my former employer, and General Manager where in 2006 I was first injured with my lower back. It's kind of strange to suddenly do business with a former employer, but I have done tons of research about pricing, and their prices are very competitive and nobody else can come even close. Go and see for yourself, as most places will charge you over $100+ for the amount of pages I have in each book. They are only slightly more expensive since my last supplier. But as with everything else in the world, prices are rising in costs with everything and so is same in this business. I try to keep it low and I'm honestly not making any profit from it. Originally, I wanted to be non-profit organization, but it would have taken a long time with paperwork, etc. and at the time I didn't have any time at all, due to sudden health changes. Hope you can understand.
There are many more things I will add later, but most of all at this time I'm in extremely bad state of health. I have several complications which prevent me from working my online businesses, mainly eBay, Amazon, Etsy and Discogs. I sell CDs, DVDs, posters and other collectibles. CDs are from my previous radio DJ days. I still have 1000s of them from 1980s and 1990s to current.
I have also several book projects in mind, but unfortunately on the back burner for now. I would like to update several books, this includes finishing and adding chapters to books #5, #7 and #6. Volume #8 for "Consumer Fireworks", I have in mind to COMPLETELY REVISE the ENTIRE book and add huge amount of new and current information. First of all, I'm focusing on adding many chapters on fusing methods of cakes, finales, and shell kits. Also adding new firing systems such as Ignite and Fire-Fly among others. Also many chapters on TIPS, HELP, and SAFETY plus product use and advice on many topics. I strongly believe it will be one of the best books for amateur pyros on the market! Perhaps I can convince some of those pop-up tents and outlets to carry these books when they sell consumer fireworks either all year long or just during the season. I certainly could use the help of convincing them to carry them for safety purposes, as I truly believe that taking the time to read the material will save others from disasters. We do NOT need any more bad press and publicity about fireworks!
Another idea is to create new book for "Articles of Pyrotechnics" as this is becoming very popular and very fast and some good information needs to be out there. Also, perhaps on Building Racks correctly and maybe re-doing the Hollywood SPFX as I had a external Hard Drive Failure and have lost the entire Word file to this book. I have another book with ideas about "Introduction to Fireworks Devices"
However, what is preventing me from working on these projects is the current state of health which suddenly turned for the worse. Aside from the new MRI from April of 2022, which along with deteriorating discs as L-4 and L-5, I have S-1 Sciatica nerve in the left leg that is making my leg go numb and tingly, plus now I also have L-2 bulging, herniated disc starting. In March of 2021 I started to have extreme abdominal pain. In August of that year, I had my gallbladder removed, which showed large amount of stones. However, even after my removal surgery, few weeks later, I started to have even more pain in the abdominal region, at the lower left side. This year's tests only revealed Gastritis, but I have such extreme pains, combined with lower back pain, that it's truly debilitating, and I am now forced to be on pain medication every 4-6 hours and nobody seems to be able to find out what else is wrong and the doctors are NOT helping me at all. Most of the time I'm on my couch or in bed and can barely move. I can't even have my laptop on my lap, literally!!!... and work on it as this pain is just truly unbearable. Thus, it is preventing me to not only just working, but even every day tasks or living a normal, every day life. Sadly, just normal things on dally basis become impossible. So please bare with me and send me prayers as I really need them.
Also, live your life and enjoy every day as if it was your last day, because you really never know, as it may be THE last day. PLEASE don't take things, just normal little things, for GRANTED! Be thankful for what you have, and live and enjoy one day at a time. I had my own experience where I was pronounced DEAD for few minutes or so, and had one of those what some I guess call "out of body experiences" which I have NEVER believed in before!!! I was a real skeptic until I suddenly found myself in that position. It was MY will to "go back" as I HAD A CHOICE to either go back or not. It truly is YOUR choice to live or not, and I apparently was given another chance. I have asked my doctors, to which they have replied..."I guess it just wasn't your time!" So take this with a grain of salt, and be kind to one another and say "I love you" often to your loved ones. I suppose I still have lots of work to do, and perhaps this project, to educate people about safety and preventing the loss of life, is hopefully one of the reasons I am still here...just maybe.
Thanks you for taking the time to read this "novel" lol
NOTE: For some reason I am unable to change the heading on the "WELCOME TO THE ONLINE BOOKSTORE" page and change or update the new prices. Sorry about that, but my editor has mind of it's own!