You asked for pictures and a story. Here are mine.
I live at 5800 ft. in Denver, CO. Grilling and smoking seem to be different here from Houston. Several years ago I bought a New Braunfels offset smoker at the end of a season at Home Depot. This was an experiment to see if I liked smoking and could do it. First efforts were good but messy and a lot of trouble. I began modifications, mainly from www.smoking-meat.com and www.Amazingribs.com. Here are some pictures as well as some of the meat that came out. Modifications include inlet and outlet baffles, tuning plates on rails below the grate, charcoal basket, smoke stack extension, and grease drain tube. These helped a lot.
However, this is a small smoker that loses a lot of heat and tends to be uneven in inside temperature. I insulated it with 2.5 inches of fiberglass house insulation. This is covered and held in place with galvanized sheeting. The ends are open for air circulation and to prevent buildup of moisture under the insulation I painted all surfaces with high temperature spray grill paint too. The red on the open smoker picture is Permatex RTW I put on this morning to better seal around the doors. I don't know how it will work out yet as it is curing. It is kind of a mess to work with.
This does so well I may not ever upgrade to a better and bigger unit. With mainly my wife and me, even a pork butt is a lot of meat. Anyway, it has been a lot of fun and we get wonderful food out of it.
I sure would appreciate exchanging e-mails and experiences with others out there. I am on www.Smoking-Meatforums.com