Bell founded and was the original owner of Pahrump, Nevada-based radio station KNYE 95.1 FM. died in 2000, and Jane Bell died December 23, 2008. After leaving military service he stayed in Asia, living on the Japanese island of Okinawa where he worked as a disc jockey for KSBK, the only non-military English-language station in Japan.
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.
He also created and hosted its companion show Dreamland.
Bell's studios were located in his home in the town of Pahrump, located in Nye County, Nevada; hence the voice-over catchphrase, "from the Kingdom of Nye".
Fans regard Bell as a master showman, noting that he calls his show "absolute entertainment" and expressly says he does not necessarily accept every guest or caller's claims but only offers a forum where they will not be openly ridiculed.
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.
Some of Bell’s regular guests, particularly Hoagland, continue to be regular guests on Coast to Coast AM now hosted by George Noory.
Bell's own interests, however, extend beyond the paranormal.
Bell returned to the United States and studied engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.
He dropped out and returned to radio as a board operator and chief engineer, and had opportunity to be on the air a few times.
He has interviewed singers Crystal Gayle, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Eric Burdon and Gordon Lightfoot, comedian George Carlin, writer Dean Koontz, hard science fiction writer Greg Bear, X-Files writer/creator Chris Carter, TV talk host Regis Philbin, Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, actor Dan Aykroyd, former Luftwaffe pilot Bruno Stolle, actress Jane Seymour, actress Ellen Muth, actor and TV host Robert Stack, human rights lawyer John Loftus, legendary disc jockey Casey Kasem, and frequent guests physicist Michio Kaku and SETI astronomers Seth Shostak and H. Beginning in late 1996, Bell was criticized for reporting rumors that Comet Hale-Bopp was being trailed by a UFO. Originally, Coast to Coast AM was a conservative political talk show, but in recent years Bell has expressed both conservative and liberal views on the air.
It was speculated that members of the Heaven's Gate group committed mass suicide based on rumors Bell aired, but others dismissed the idea, noting that the Heaven's Gate website stated: "Whether Hale-Bopp has a 'companion' or not is irrelevant from our perspective." Bell has at times seemed to support many different 9/11 conspiracy theories, such as the one that claims the World Trade Center was brought down by explosives planted in it in advance. On air, Bell has shown support for immigration reform and decriminalizing marijuana.
Bell abandoned conventional political talk in favor of topics such as gun control and conspiracy theories, leading to a significant bump in his overnight ratings.