Yep, these are the standard size pellets. Turns out Home Depot is no longer selling them so I had to go to Lowes, and I am told some of the wood/coal stove suppliers up here sell them as well. As for how am I going to keep them from falling through... I am sure some will fall through but in general they should mix in with the coal, wood embers, and ash in general.
This morning I went ahead and gave it a small try, I threw about 10lbs of coal in my bucket and then threw a small shovel full of pellets in and just did a quick mix of it and threw it into the box. Only saw of few pellets drop into the ash pan and the pellets did seem to take off pretty good also reducing some of the smoke/smell. So maybe in theory this might work. Almost can't wait for the real cold weather to come.
As a side story on the same subject of smell, I had another neighbor (next to the other guy that complained to me) stop by this past weekend to introduce himself too. And quickly followed up with "and I want to formally complain to you about your coal stove and smell." A little startled, I replied, well its a pleasure to meet you too. He went to say he was a doctor and he has tried everything to try and stop the smell from getting in his house; even went as far to say he put a filter on his fresh air intake on his furnace. Scratching my head I ask, "wow, I have never seen a fresh air intake on a gas furnace and I asked if I could see it some time." He said maybe sometime sure. Then he went on to say, "can't you smell that now" (I had a little smoke from my chimney) and I said yes I do, does that bother you too? Because I am only burning wood right now and no coal - hasn't been cold enough really this season. Flustered, he said, well it must be residual from when you did burn coal. Now I was getting pissed - looked at him and said, you know, I am not a doctor, but I have to believe with all the schooling you have been to, your smarter than that...
I ended my discussion saying look, I want to be neighborly, but I also want to be warm and to also be able to afford to do other things besides support my local utility companies. Then said, I have about 3 ton of coal and 4 cords of wood for this year. If you and the others don't want to smell it, then let me know who to collect money from to pay my utilities, otherwise, I would recommend you get your stories straight and deal with it. Your welcome to file a complaint with our city, and here is the number (I had in my phone from when I called.) And they can tell you the same thing I just did. Then I said all the local hardware stores sell respirators so I would recommend he get one. Or a check every month will be fine, and I walked away.
I really don't like being like this but my two next door neighbors (one is a retired pilot, and other is also a doctor) both have told me they have no issues with the smell. Sure sometimes it's stronger than other times, but in general no issue. So the saga continues I guess. Maybe with all the homework and feedback from here and the local shops I may have done all I can. We will see.