Glad to have you BigRog:
I think the forum is a great place to come BEFORE breaking out the wallet and buying either too much or too little of whatever bee equipment you end up having! Especially if you have a full season to see both successes and failures in the many beeyards that are represented here.
Just think of it: from Alaska to Florida and Australia to Maylasia, we have beekeepers everywhere all trying to make the best of their beeyards, always dealing with pests and preditors, weather and neighbors, we have it all - it truly is vast and colorful, and I do know that if you keep your eyes open, you will learn a lot about beekeeping here.
If you have read any of my Beekeeping Course (link below) you will get a good start at some of the basic thoughts, but NOTHING compares to the information and feedback that the forum has to offer.
So you are VERY WELCOME to be here with us - there are no stupid questions, just questions we haven't heard the answer to yet! Every day EACH OF US are subjected to new eye-opening events in our beeyards. People who are observant around their colonies, and those who treat their bees with respect do well in this hobby.
But that doesn't mean you can't play too! The most enjoyable part of beekeeping to me is teaching it, then writing and photographing it - somewhere in there is BEEKEEPING itself happily tucked away between those other hobbies. But I still enjoy making nucs, separating frames to raise new queens, tracking the bees using my GPS, treking in the woods looking for new patches of pollen and nectar pockets, etc.
I would make one suggestion to you - when you have made your choices on equipment (especially hive bodies and frames) then I suggest you purchase them early during the Winter time, so you can paint or stain or whatever you plan to do with the boxes, and have them ready for whenever the weather breaks.
Ordering bees should be the only variable in your beekeeping agenda - everything else should be ready and waiting on the bees next season. Winter time is perfect for getting all the necessary equipment ready and (hint) it makes a great Christmas Gift from the spouses and kids!
Have fun here, thanks for introducing yourself.