Clearly, those taco shells are brilliant. And you can do it, too! Seriously, you can. You too can make taco shells, tostadas, and chips. There is nothing like the smell of a good corn tortilla that is getting crispy in some hot ass oil. Seriously, it rules. So here are some pointers:
1) start with the best damn corn tortillas that you can find: I think that coarsely ground, maybe stone ground yellow corn tortillas—not white corn—are the best for frying. You get a harder, crunchier result with yellow corn tortillas. To know if you have found the right ones, simply use your eyes: does the "grain" look smooth or somewhat rough? If you can easily roll a room temperature tortilla into a tube without that tortilla cracking, spend some time looking for tortillas that will break if you attempt to tube them.
2) get yourself a pot or a big deep cast iron skillet: you want a vessel that will retain heat. Hot temperatures are essential to good frying. If you are making tostadas, you can use a fairly shallow pan, but for chips you want something deep. I use a 2.5 quart stainless steel pot with a heavy-duty bottom. Now about oil...
3) the darker the oil, the lower the smoke point. The smoke point is the point at which the solids, i.e. those things in the oil that burn, well, burn. Dark oils like sesame oil are totally unsuitable for frying. They will never reach a temperature that is hot enough to get a good result. Same is pretty much true for most olive oils—don't use them. I heard about a recipe for french fries fryed in olive oil and I politely said, "hmm, yeah, maybe," but I really meant, FUKCING STUPID. Basically, buy Canola or vegetable oil by the gallon and use that. Then, crank up your heat to pretty much full flame. If your chips or shells are burning before getting crispy, uh, turn that shit down a notch. Not rocket science, folks.
4) reusing your oil: oil is good for many sessions of frying, like 20. I keep a five gallon bucket in the garage for discarding wasted oil. One day I plan on giving it to someone who has a vegetable oil powered car. Anyway, when you are done frying, leave the pan or the pot on the stove until the oil has cooled. Then, do like I do: pour it into a big jar and save it for the next purpose. Or, get a pot that is only for frying and leave the oil in that pot. You don't even need to cover it. Just shove the pot into an out-of-the-way place and forget about it until you need it again. Oil does not spoil. No spoil oil.
Peace, and look forward to some more posting soon. Oh, and if you are making chips, hit them with some salt right after they come out of the oil. Tools needed: slotted spoon, forks for making taco shells. You need two forks; tongs will work, too. Come back another time for the technique, or simply go on youtube and watch some demos. Later.