They do offer a lot of cheap classes and have helped me and anyone who joins the club a ton. I'm not trying to recruit but just wanted you to know you're not alone in the in N.C. with your love for bonsai.
Hey Joe, just realized you don't live to far from me. I'm in Johnston county just a little west of Smithfield. I have 2 very large ming aralia. I've often thought about putting the bonsai to them but never have. Without doing much of anything they seem to look like trees. I am also with the Triangle Bonsai Society in Raleigh. You might want to look into joining the group has a lot to offer and are a great bunch.
Joe just to let you know. The next meeting of the Triangle Bonsai Society is April 12 and Suthin Sukosolvisit will be doing a talk/demonstration. Visitors are always welcome. Directions on the web site. ALSO there is a comprehensive Introduction Course by Harold Johnson on May 2nd in Carrboro. Need to check it out on the web site and get signed up. Harold is a club member and does a great job.
Joe I couldn't help noticing your Goals. A major assist in reaching your goals would be to join the Triangle Bonsai Society. Workshops almost every month. Nice Trees are often available at our summer picnic/auction. Check it out at www.trianglebonsai.com. ps: some of our bonsai/members will be at the Art In Bloom st the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh on Thursday, March 19 to Sunday, March 22.