The AAVSO Binocular Program consists of 153 stars in the northern and southern hemispheres. They are mostly semi-regulars and Miras, with a few other types sprinkled in. Most of the stars range between 3.0 and 9.5V and can be observed best using simple hand held binoculars.
The AAVSO Bulletin: Predicted Dates of Maxima and Minima of Long Period Variables is a long-running publication of the AAVSO. It gives predictions of dates of maxima and minima for hundreds of long period variables (Miras and semiregulars) in the AAVSO program, and is intended to be an observing guide and planning tool for all observers of LPV stars, amateur and professional alike.
The currently published Bulletin for January 2016 through February 2017 is Bulletin 79.
One of the ongoing questions for visual observers has been, “What can I observe that is still scientifically useful?” The answers to this have changed over the last decade, and will continue to evolve as conditions change.
You can observe whatever you want, of course. For many of us, observing variable stars is fun and addictive, and we’d continue to observe some of our favorite stars forever even if there were little chance of our observations being ‘scientifically useful’.
The AAVSO Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars (ISBN 978-1-878174-00-0) is a comprehensive guide to variable star observing. Included is a lot of information and tips on how to make variable star observations and report them to the AAVSO. The Manual is available online in .pdf format. Translations of the Manual are available in several languages.