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

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Grog 1

I mentioned back on 11th March I would make some grog.  Well I made up a mix of yeast sugar and water and let it ferment.  Seemed to go on for ages about 12 days.  Only 4/5 litres.

Anyway cut a long story short.  The end...  :)................................
Today got the still out and distilled my first batch. First section stank to hig heaven adn hte rest just like a rough alcohol. No real smell except for the sugar and yeast sort of thingy.

I am not planning on drinking it.  This being my first batch was a trial to run something through the system and see how it all works. In fact it was very easy.  If you check the cloudiness in the bottles compared to the last photo with thethe clarity of liquid is is quite amazing.

My main concern which did not materialize, was keeping the liquid from boiling over.  I was expecting to get to water boiling point very quickly but now realize as the alcohol evaporates this requires a lot of heat so things did not get much hotter. Whole process took me about 1 and 1/2 hours including setting up and checking final alcohol levels.  I used my hydrometer which indicated 56% proof by volume....Adjusted for todays amazing 37 deg Celcius and lots of sunshine and that's about 59.5  % ABV.

 Hehehe.  Lots of fun coming there.

Ban Muang

Hi Guys,

Hear in Ban Muang it 40 Degrees yesterday and very high humidity.

Today hovering around 37+  Definitely not Blog writing weather.  Praying for rain....

Monday, 27 March 2017

Another Day In Ban Muang

Life seems to be pleasantly drifting along.  Today had a few friends round for coffee. went out on the village road for some noodles. Had time to watch the cows go by !!

Made some more cheese. No time for bread today !!

Later "Pat" and "Pet" came round to give Wanna a fish. Well it was about 5 kilo, a Cat Fish. Still alive and ready to go in our pond. It arrived in a plastic bag obviously caught in someone elses' pond, Probably when being emptied.


 Lovely gift.  I'll leave it there swimming around for Rene or Owen to catch!!! (Charlie if you read this you need to be quick........).

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Taking Photos

When I first got interested in photography I was in my 20's.  Before then it was just click and shoot. But over the years I bought several different cameras and did some black and white development and coloured slides. Got into underwater photography in a big way. But one of the most significant things I remember was reading a statement  in a photo magazine. Basically it said if you could not find enough things to make some really good shots within 3 miles of your base you needed to reassess your ability to see things.

I think what that means for me is everyday I pass stuff which I see time and time again. No big deal.  But it is a big deal.  Today I took the scooter out for a spin. 10 minutes. Spotted several charcoal kilns  and saw some lovely rice paddys, rivers and general pretty scenes.  I stopped and took a few shots. Again I do not think they are anything special as I'll see these places all the time and sure to again tomorrow ! But I need to start looking at things differently. Get some of the old magic back.



Saturday, 11 March 2017

A day in Ban Muang....

Busy day.

Had a  trip out to look at the banana fields. We sold a few bunches (12)  of the bananas last week and eager to get some more funds in ASAP ! All looking good. The whole area around the village is looking sunny, dry and its hot.... Wanna's Nephew is planning staying in the hut when he gets it completed. Outside toilet as show below will I am sure get some walls eventually !!!!

We're decided to sell a Rai of land (1600 m2). Sign went up last night. Already had interest !!!  Sign reads "This for sale.  Area 1 Rai. "

Decided also to get my new still out and give it the first clean out. Only now getting round to reading the instructions!  Need to put water vinegar mix through it first, then, and only then, can I put it to use.  Even then it is advised I run the first batch of fermentation through and then throw it away.. Then I should have the whole thing cleaned out ready for real production. I won't bore you with the details suffice to say distilling in Thailand in illegal so I'll officially only be making distilled water for my motorbike battery !!!  But I think it is the sealed type.... :(

Kitchen life. Country style.

Just took a picture of our kitchen looking in from outside.  All very open.  But on the column to the left we have a wall clock.  It is home to two frogs.  They have been with us for ages. Perhaps mentioned before as well.  Trouble is they never get big enough to go in the frying pan.  Perhaps they keep the  mozzies down. Anyway no problem to us.  Good to have the company.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Back, as a matter of fact I'm back........

My last post was 17th Nov 2016.  Bit sad to think I've nothing to write about. Wrong just being very lazy.

We finished in Vanuatu at end of October. Wonderful trip.  Followed by 2 months in Seychelles.  Not to be moaned about either.  Sorted out our apartment on Mahe and as usual our house on La Digue needed attention.  That is a whole other story. Lots of plans for that. News and updates to follow. Now back in Ban Muang northern Thailand.

Now been spending my time getting back into playing/practicing guitar and started back on some of my retirement projects...

Arduino electronics,
Motor Bike
Bread making,
Cheese making,
and importantly the new alcohol still arrived.  Could no handle the price of USD 40 in Seychelles for a bottle of gin.  Either give up or make my own.  Truth !  its difficult to give up completely.  I do on a monthly or sometimes two monthly basis then have a few too many to catch up on what I did not have over that period. Go figure the logic. So new project indeed. Next I'll complain about the price of tonic.....

Add we are also looking after our Crays which are still growing and multiplying. No time left of anything else.

Batch 4 was smaller about 290 gms and Batch 6 of my cheese waxed today. 811 gms from 8 litres of fresh milk.  Yes, Wanna has found a supplier with fresh unpasteurized milk. We order and collect fresh. Fantastic.

Sadly for you subscribers I will now make an effort to continue to Blog.