He and his family were subject to repeated intrusions on his property in Pahrump. Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War and in his free time operated a pirate radio station at Amarillo Air Force Base.
In fear for his family's safety, he opted to leave the air, and ostensibly, public life, as he believed the intruder or intruders wanted him off the air. He would make a point of playing anti-war music (like "Eve of Destruction" and "Fortunate Son") that was not aired on the American Forces Network.
Bell was one of only a few talk show hosts who did not screen incoming calls, but this changed in 2006.
On the October 31, 2006 edition of Coast to Coast AM, (renamed for the night to Ghost to Ghost AM), Bell was asked why he was now using call screeners.
Syndication of his program to other radio stations began in 1993.
During the early 1970s, Bell lived in Watsonville, California and worked for KIDD 630 AM in Monterey, California.
He announced his retirement from weekend hosting on July 1, 2007, but occasionally served as a guest host through 2010.
He attributed the reason for his retirement to a desire to spend time with his new wife and their daughter, born May 30, 2007.
His broadcast studio and transmitter were located near his home in Pahrump while he hosted Coast to Coast AM except from June to December 2006, when he lived in the Philippines. Bell has always been interested in radio, and at the age of 13 became a licensed amateur radio operator. While there, he set a Guinness World Record by staying on the air for 116 hours and 15 minutes.
During his tenure at KDWN Bell met and married his third wife, Ramona, who later handled production and management duties for the program.