A wise man once said....

A wise man once said
"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new."
Dalai Lama

Monday, 24 May 2010

House Construction Part II

Things are progressing. Only a week gone by and already the timber frame for the roof is in place. We have also bought the toilets, showers sinks etc. Not much else to sort out. Roof sheeting, well a chap called round on Saturday morning, he introduced himself as an Agent for a local roof sheeting supply company. Wanna did a check and he was cheaper than the roof sheeting we bought for our house. Added to which he offered 24 hour delivery. Dark green we ordered in case you are curious! More to follow.

video

House Construction Part II

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Laos


Quality not quantify is what I've always been told but in this case I've got both, good quality stuff and a lot of it.
So, a lot to write about. Visiting Laos. I thought another Land of Smiles. Well no its not! We had a few days there and enjoyed but the people were not as friendly as in Thailand, in fact I would go so far as to say they were generally miserable by comparison. Seemed very noticeable to us that few smiled. And I do not mean at us but in general. They, when chatting amongst themselves seemed to be far more serious and I did not see the usual Thai spontaneous smiles! Pity as it is an interesting place.
We went over for a 'visa run'. Reason being my work permit had been cancelled due to some error from when I last went overseas to Ha Noi last month. Anyway that was the reason for going to Laos on this occasion.
Getting there. First requirement was a visa. Available at the Consulate in Khon Kaen. Took all of 5 minutes. I timed it!!
Then on a bus to Vantienne. We drove to the boarder, go off and went through Thai immigration, got back on the bus and 100 meters up the road got out again for the Laos immigration. Then we were driven over the mighty Mekong River and on into Vantienne.

Khon Kaen to Vantienne is about 250 kilometers all up. This was done including the stops in about 4 hours at a cost of Baht 186 each. (That's about 4US$). Could not do that in a car!!!!


Well of course first things first. Food on arrival. Next to our hotel beautiful spit roasted chicken and Wanna jumped in to make her own 'Som Tam'. The food is basically identical to Issan food so for Wanna home from Home! Good start to the weekend.



We had a walk round and spotted a lady painting the "Ghost Houses'. I had always wondered how it got done. Also some nice old buildings and street scenes.Followed by a quick trip round a few temples. Interesting years ago people used to take your photo, develop it and come back an hour or two later to sell it to you. Now its digital and they carry a portable printer! Clever application of Technology.

As I said at the beginning of this posting we did a lot. Visited local markets and bought some silk.

Spotted a lovely old Triumph Motor Bike.


And last but not lease bought a Laos sandwich.

The sandwich is a beautiful fresh baguette, filled with pate, salad, meats and can only be described as delicious. Catch you soon.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

House Construction Part 1

video

House Construction Part 1






29th April 2010 was an auspicious day in Thailand. Seems lots of people considered it the best day to start on a new house. This included Wanna's parents house on our farm. We had in truth been planning it for a long time. Even raised the area with some fill from an adjacent plot so as to have it on higher land. So we got the area ready and have left it to settle of some time. A few months infact. So what next?

video

Assorted Progress Movies


Well on 29th April it was necessary to start the construction, this begins with the erection of the first two columns to the house. These precast concrete columns are placed in a foundation hole dug into the ground. Prior to being placed there is a small religious ceremony including some prayers and offering to Buddha. Also there are as part of this ceremony various cloths and fish traps etc erected on the polls. In addition some money is placed under the foundations for good luck. All went well with Wanna's Mother leading the prayers as you can see below. Lets hope it really is an auspicious day for all concerned.

video

Few Photos

Tiger - The Guard Dog


Just a quick note to show how Tiger is growing up. Super Guard Dog or just a very soft 'Pouch' ????
I am certain it is the latter. Look at him does he scare you?

Monday, 10 May 2010

Such is Life -Missing friends by a few Kilometers only!!!

I've got way behind in my Blog/Diary. But rather that let it slide I am going to keep it up adn also try adn back track so check older entries if you feel inclined.
Had the weekend at home in Pattaya. Checked my fishing 'aquaponics' system and did little else. Khun Pathan has phones twice, well I assume it was him on my mobile 'missed calls'. I was doing so little I was not even answering my Phone! He was the reason we went to Chang Mai last month. House warming etc. This is us, in a photo taken a few weeks back in Chang Mai.


He was phoning to tell us he was in Khon Kaen and wanted to visit us. Really bad luck. Wanna was back down in Pattaya with me. Both of us disappointed to miss them. Never mind next time.

More Salings

I've posted about three posts so far on Salings. Started after Owen bought his. The purchase made me take a second look at these machines and see them in a new light!


I've posI think I might do a small series on all the different Salings I spot along my travels. So many and so many different types. They all have a few basic similarities. i.e. 3 wheels and a small 125 cc bike. The variations from there on in are quite amazing. Some are people carriers, some ice cream sellers and some carrying all manner of things. This one looked to be of the more heavy duty haulage type. Definitely more to follow.

Monday, 3 May 2010

April 2010 A Quick Month

I've been so busy over this month that I did not get time to record my travels or outline the bits and pieces that have kept me away from my key board.
Trouble with this approach is that now sitting down to write becomes a bit of hard work instead of a few enjoyable minutes spent typing and uploading a set of photos. How to cure this. Do a Vlog? Its a sort of easy/lazy way to get it all down on paper. I did one before and in making it I really enjoyed it a lot. Talking and having the video on the go seems to work well for me. Even had a some feed back from readers which is always good for the ego. (hint, hint).
Well, now enough of the introduction down to basics. April has been eventful. We have had a weekend in Chang Mai and another one in Khon Kaen. This along with the usual social events incorporating lots of food and beer. Not to be sniffed at I can assure you. All in all a good month and one I need to record for you and for me as a future trip down 'memory lane'. And God, I almost forgot I also went to Ha Noi, Vietnam for a weekend to see about some work. So you can see how for me time flies. I'll cover in a separate Blog.
Before I get you get to the Vlog one thing I noticed at Chang Mai airport was a sign advising not to carry 'copy' (means counterfeit) products into some European Countries. I though this concept applied to Thailand and ALL European Countries.

We had a great time in Chang Mai, did the usual night markets, watched Thai 'Pat Tong" a sort of football. (I took this clip on my phone.)

video

And apart from that we just generally relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. This time I did not take another set of Photos of the Wats, well only a few....


Interestingly the young Monks like their adult counterparts shave not only their heads but also their eye brows!

The main purpose of going to Chang Mai was to catch up with our friend Khun Pathan and his lovely wife Duan. They were having a house blessing and we had promised to go for so long that we just had to make it. And I'm glad we did. Great time had by all.

That's Wanna, Me and our Friend Khun Pathan in the picture above.
So apart from visiting Chang Mai, up in Khon Kaen there was April the 29th. A very 'lucky' day by all accounts and it therefore was taken as the day to commence the foundations of Wanna's parents house just down from ours. This is a separate subject. Construction is planned to take 6-8 weeks maximum, and I'll cover it over a series of entries and videos.

So on with the April Vlog....Just some ramblings.....Well maybe next time. I seem to have covered all I wanted in this here. Have the Ha Noi trip and Khon Kean house project to follow.