Guys, thanks so much for the inspiration from this epic thread. I went ahead and built it using the KISS philosophy. Seasoning burn was last weekend, first cookout this weekend!
First barrel (had a liner, consigned to fire pit duty) https://db.tt/3CbiYDqT
Fire basket construction https://db.tt/wWS0jgT9
Fire basket completed. https://db.tt/VTvGoC3q
Smokey Joe. https://db.tt/pbkIppOu
(one day I will learn to post pics!!)