Many free hosts disable hotlinking due to bandwidth concerns.
I must be missing something fundamental. Hotlinking is pulling images from a remote host into your webpage? Doesn't your webhost serve your HTML page to the user's browser and then the browser pulls the remote image directly from the remote host? Thats why CNN & other sites take longer to load because they are waiting for the remote adverts. I thought that your browser pulled together all the pieces, for hotlinking to be an issue it is the host that pulls together the pieces.
Thank you for your patience.