I've used the Intelsat Mini-M, B-terminal and the Iridium type phones.
I would recommend you get an Iridium-type phone. The Iridium type phones are by and far the easiest to use and the most compact, being a bit bigger than a cell phone in size. Iridium has pretty good coverage, except at the poles, in highly mountainous areas and heavily forested areas... so you should be pretty good to go. The airtime is rather expensive, so keep the calls short.
Also, IIRC, the use of a satellite phone within the CONUS borders is illegal unless you have a waiver from the FCC. This was true when I was doing a lot of work with satellite phones about six years ago, getting them prepped for journalists going abroad in Croatia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and such, and I had to get a waiver letter from the FCC, but this may have changed... I seriously doubt it though. Just FYI.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.