There is nothing like automation, which works (within thirty minutes). Enter Terraform.
You can download an installer, or a simple _brew install terraform _on OSX.
Then point your browser at https://www.terraform.io/intro/getting-started/build.html
I was able to spin up an EC2 instance, modify (with a different AMI), and destroy in under ten minutes. Excellent.
The only thing which would not work for me, the first AMI was missing.
I simply replaced with HVM Linux ami-f9dd458a, and then _ami-8b8c57f8 (_for the modify part of the tutorial).