I don't yet have any radio equipment but I find this hobby interesting and would like to learn more. I'm looking for something that isn't too basic and will keep my interest without spending too much. I saw the Baofeng uv-5r which looked cool. What sort of license would I need to get in order to use that radio? I'm just looking at occasional use for now. Would it be possible for me to use that radio to talk to my friend's walkie talkie or is that not possible with these radios? I'd definitely look at other equipment if it has that feature but I could live without it.
The Technician license is the usual starting license for this hobby (Amateur "Ham" Radio) in the US. You would use the radio on the VHF/UHF US licensed amateur bands to talk with other licensed ham radio operators. You cannot talk to an unlicensed friend if it is on a license sanctioned band (unless that friend is using equipment owned and station operated by another licensed ham operator).
I recommend looking into taking the Technician license and talking your friends into taking the license so that you would all be legal on the amateur radio bands.