I am 53 years old so you have a decade more than I for a new career and I think my change of career is a bit more radical than your own - I'm a former Catholic clergyman by personal, voluntary choice (after an almost 2 year process, I got my letter from the Pope last October that formally freed me from all obligations of the vows, so I'm not AWOL). If you have the time, I would follow the course that you have chosen, study full time working toward the A+, follow that with Network+, CCNA or MCSA, Security+, and Linux+. I live near Level 3 here in Colorado. I was studying for the CCENT/CCNA and had just finished writing up my resume (finally had at least A+ and Network+ to put on it) when I looked at their career site and found that they had over 200 job openings. I applied, interviewed, and was offered a place in their "IP BootCamp", which is an intensive training of several weeks for new hires (experience was not really a requirement for the entry/level 1 technician jobs, but CCNA was preferred, but I am glad I had the Network+). Watch as many of the ITPro Courses that you can, read the books (Safaribooksonline is a great subscription service that has a ton of up to date print materials and videos. I think ITProTV plus that is a great combo, If only one, stick with ITProTV, because it is the complete package with the most detailed video coverage of topics, labs and practice tests included). Also, register with Dice (IT job site, and free) or Glassdoor (free) to get steady updates of IT job openings in your area, maybe something will pop up.
I must admit, it is a big relief to get this opportunity, but I did spend a good year and a half studying full time to put myself in a position to write up a resume and at least try for an interview.
Hang in there Albert, keep chopping wood, and enjoy learning all this neat new stuff in the wonderful IT universe.