Josh ThompsonLast week, country newcomer Josh Thompson stepped things up a notch when he bid a sad farewell to his long-time tour companion, 'Van-a-White' -- the eight-passenger van that took Josh and his band 175,000 miles across the country touring for the past three years. Josh is now sitting pretty with his new tour bus (the name of which has yet to be determined), but the singer admits things got off to a rocky start.

"It broke down twice, and it made me late for my first gig," Josh tells The Boot. "We went to the first show, and it was fine. Then the air compressor went out. It took a little longer than they had expected to get that fixed, so we didn't get to the next show until eight o'clock at night. We were supposed to go on at 10. So we ended up using the opening band's stuff just to make it easy. We did that, got back on the bus, and the same thing happened again -- it broke. They sent us another bus from Nashville that picked us up at noon the next day, so yeah ... good times!"

But don't think those problems will keep Josh from continuing his life on the road in a new tour bus. The singer says there are just too many benefits. "You can sleep on a bus comfortably. If I need to get on my email and can't open it from my phone, then I have wireless internet to be able to do that. I can sit down and write. I can eat stuff ... it's pretty amazing!"

But what about 'Van-a-White's' future? Will he hang onto the 2006 Ford E350 as a memory? "It has a 'For Sale' sign on it right now. I don't want to make a monthly payment and make the insurance payment on a memory," he says with a laugh. "It's been great. I will probably be a little emotional to see it go. I will probably give it a little hug because it's been great. It did exactly what it was supposed to do. I'm going to give it to somebody, maybe another band ... or a plumber!"

Josh will be putting plenty of miles on his new tour bus beginning next month when he hits the road with Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin on Brad Paisley's H2O tour.

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