You are making hard work of it. Easiest way is to use the Layer style drop shaddow. If you don't have all the options you need, right click the drop shaddow and choose Create layer. This will seperate the layer style so you can add a layer mask etc.
Other way, and what I tend to do, is ctrl click the object layer to load it a a selection. Add a new layer under the object layer, and fill the selection with black (Alt backspace with black as foreground colour). Then you can free transform; add a layer mask, run a gradient up the layer mask, blur etc.
Any time you have an active selection, you can either a) add alayer mask, or b) open an adjustment layer. Both will have the mask filled with black outside the selected area. I quite like this option because the Mask Properties panel gives you addional options. Horses for courses though. Whatever works best in the situation you are in.
thank you so much for your quick reply. i'll check things out that you've suggested and get back to you as soon as possible.
i appreciate your time!!
First of all, I am very sorry that I haven't gotten back to you before now.
I did everything you taught me and it worked out brillantly !! So, thank you very much!
I appreciate your time.