I got my build problem figured out, but now I want to add patches to my kernel.
I've read several tutorials on how to do this in bitbake, and from what I gather, once simply makes and/or downloads the desired patches, adds them to where bitbake can find them (i.e ${OVEROTOP}/org.openembedded.dev/recipies/linux/linux-omap3/ for 3.0.x kernels), and rebuilds (clean and recompile). I have done this and everything recompiles, but I am not seeing the effects of my patches when it boots.

In particular, I have downloaded the 3.0.36-rt57 patch from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/rt/3.0/ and bitbake successfully applied it, but the -rt57 suffix was not added to the kernel name, and I am not seeing the typical signs of RT linux when I boot. As for configuration, I followed the instructions on https://rt.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/RT_PREEMPT_HOWTO, enabling CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT and the high-res timer.

I have also written my own patch that modifies the VDBG function in the storage_common.c file to add timestamps to the entires in var/log/syslog. I am not seeing these modifications either.

Bitbake seems to be accepting and applying my patches, as it does not tell me otherwise. Am I missing an essential step somewhere?