Hey Everyone. First off, thanks for all the kind words. After reading a lot of your comments, I realized I left out some pictures and a few things.
First of all, I made a mistake, my exhaust is only 2.75", not 3.5. Secondly, the reason I was bringing the temp up so much was to season the UDS originally. I have done another burn just to see and it looks like it's stabilizing much better.
I'm able to maintain 225-240 which is perfect for Pulled Pork by tweaking the magnets on the intakes. Pretty much leaving one open and all the rest closed. I have 1/2" nipples with caps that I will install after this burn.
I'm using plain old Kingsford charcoal. I use a weed burner on the middle for about 30 seconds for the minion method and that works great.
My thermometer is a replacement grill thermometer, so it doesn't have a long probe, just about 1" inside the drum. I have installed it just below (but not touching) the grill itself. Also, I'm using what's called "Regular Metal lath" that I got from the cement section of Home Depot for like 7 bucks for a huge sheet. I was able to cut it with tin snips and bend it into a circle around a propane tank and clip it together with metal rings then put three 3" carriage bolts in the bottom to get it above the bottom of the barrel 3 inches.