Hi Chet, I just wanted to chime in with a feature available on our Coal-Trol Digital. Our TS2 thermostat, in addition to having energy star features such as 4 weekday and 4 weekend setpoints, has a manual fan control feature which we added for this year with your situation in mind. Manual fan control allows you to override our normal automatic control of the speed of the convection fan. If, for instance, the fan is too noisy while you're watching TV or are playing a family game you can set it to whatever speed you like.
As I said, this is a feature of the TS2 thermostat. The TS2 is a factory option available with all new Leisure Line stoves and is also available for retail through many stove dealers and directly from us at http://www.coaltroldigital.com
on our Coal-Trol Digital Basic+ and Standard+ stove control systems.
P.S. Eric, yes, you can put a rheostat on most stove's convection fans. Biggest things to watch for is that the device you use is rated for control of motors/fans (some are only meant for lights, for instance) and that it is rated for (or above) the current the motor draws.