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

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Cock Fighting...

Went for lunch at the local restaurant today. It is a very local spot where numerous people come in for sit down meals and take away's. We go about once a week when here.  Well today was different. One chap came in with a baby carrier over his shoulder but no baby. Instead he was carrying his fighting cock. He treated just as a woman would a baby. Stroking it and making sure it was not in anyway frightened. He, the fighting cock in fact seemed very much at ease and not at all nervous. I am not keen on chickens, except to eat them that is. So I was even more impressed with all this. Add in the fact that no one, absolutely no one took any notice of this guy and his friend!

Where to buy a Guitar in Khon Kean ♪♫

I've been on various web sites trying to find the location of a guitar shop in Khon Kaen.  Easy enough I thought especially using www. Thaivisa.com which generally seems to be a good source of information for such stuff. Not to be.

So I mentioned to Wanna that I could not find an address for a guitar shop in Khon Kaen. "Why did you not ask me first? My last job was in a shop opposite the local guitar shop!!!" Enough said!

Well off we went. Bough a Yamaha 310 with an electric attachment which means I can plug and drive the neighbours mad while I learn my first few chords.

After buying the guitar of course I found more shops selling guitars….One only 50 meters from the first.

Now been to both and I would choose NUMSIL as a first choice for next purchase. Details below for you the reader and me to be able to find for next time!!!!♪♫

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Washing Machines

A friend in the village runs a small coin operated washing machine business. He’s been at it for a few years operating from his garage at home. Last week he rented a small lockup. Its one of about 6 along the main village road. Others are internet games room, motorbike repair, and electronics repair shop. So he’s just moved all his stuff yesterday and so I went along to have a look.
About 10 washing machines staked up. Tells me he has about 80 of these things on the go. They are scattered around several neighbouring villages. They all are coin operated and he charges a fixed amount per wash Seems to be dong quite well. Not going to make millions but enough to keep him and family in a reasonable life style.

video


Interesting on my visit today as a couple of guys came by to install the coin operating system on the new machines. To do this they have to take the machines half to bits. Then install a few wires and connections then bolt on the coin slot machine ‘thingy’ to one side and that’s it. Ready for use. So without delay out go the machines to their new home and to make more money for its owner… Enough to buy some more machines. The cycle goes on…..

Typical Thai Roadside Restaurant

Stopped at a road side restaurant the other day. Nothing special but in its own way quite interesting. Not only was it a restaurant it was also the house, kindergarten, open storage area and general living area complete with a sleeping dog!
I shot a short video while there. Essentially to try and capture the essence of the place. I’ve left it basically unedited but it does give a very clear idea of a typical roadside restaurant. Well there is no ‘A’ typical restaurant in Thailand. Each one is so distinctive in its own way. But this will give you some idea of at least one!!!!

video

Musings From The Farm

Rained all night. And again this morning. Makes getting anything done in the garden just hard work and somewhat unpleasant. The good thing is the drainage system we installed round the new house is doing well. I had envisaged a load of erosion but it seems the drainage did its job and so prevented any real damage.

We had planned today on laying/placing some grass seed to also combat erosion but the seeds will only get washed away.

Similarly, our pond which is now completely full from the rains needs our attention. The overflow pipe requires to have a reduction to the opening. Having filled up so well with the rain I do not want to see it a drain out again in the next few weeks. But sorting that out is not an enjoyable job in the rain. It will have to wait.

What to do? Done some fishing and interestingly it is very easy to find worms at this time. Just dig up around the banana plants. Got lots. Followed by catching 2 fish. About 500 grams each. In addition I lost 2 hooks which were taken. So for sure some big ones out there. All this fishing done between down pours.

We do need to get into Khon Kaen and sort out some things. Got a couple of 200 litre plastic drums for sale, and a buyer. (They are left over surplus to the aquaponics system). Get Baht 800 for the 2. So selling them pays for the trip up. Not sure what we're selling for the return trip!!!

Also I want to look at some music shops and check out prices of guitars.

Add in some time on the internet and the day will have passed, even if it continues to rain. And that's the prediction. Then come evening it will be time to fix another Bar B Q. And that's a ood job, one ot look forward to.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Quick look at Ban Muang



Finally after running around for the last few days, I have managed to take a few shots. Much better ones to follow. One thing I could not do was get a good photo of a beautiful bird that was sitting around on a bamboo stick near out pond. Just could not get the focus or the right aspect. What I have got should however be enough to let you see it was quite special.
The quick set of shots are poor more of me being in a rush just to get something onto my Blog. So for you followers better stuff to follow soon enough.

video

Up to Ban Muang

All was going well in Pattaya but late on the Friday night we had a call. We needed to come up quickly to Ban Muang on family business, so in a mad rush we packed the truck and made our way up. So laden were we that we had to drive slowly. We had not been planning on coming up for a week or two but it was very necessary.
Packed up the truck bring with us our aquaponics system (well bit by bit) along with other bits from Owens house will eventually be required to come up and give him some space. This included Buddha Head figurine about 1 meter tall. (We had bought him a few days ago and decided to place him in Wanna’s parents house in the prayer room. First he has to ‘have his eyes opened’ by the Monks at the Wat. That’s a job for Monday or Tuesday….Need first to attend to family matters. So up we came. Got stopped on the way by the police. Not for speeding!!!! No you were not going fast at all. But new rule. Your truck should be covered carrying so much loose stuff. Fine is Baht 400!!!! We discussed this. Fine was reduced based on our pleading our innocence and lack of understanding etc etc, It was reduced to Baht 200 and an official receipt. So all above board so to speak!!!! But what was really good about it. As we got back in our truck the policeman stopped me from departing, offered me a bottle of cold coffee and wished me a safe trip!!!
8 hours it took us door to door. On arrival we were greeted by Moi. She had been waiting and had saved us some dinner !!!!
Its been a couple of weeks since we were last up here. It has been raining hard for the whole period and so it was with some trepidation that I wanted to see just how well the garden had done. That will have to wait till tomorrow. Night!!!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Pigs Head,

Well imagine my surprise, our friend Tao called earlier to ask if we would like a pigs head? Well?.... err Yes why not. “Good See you in 5”.

Well 45 minutes later Tao arrives armed with,…. a…… yes you got it a whole Pigs Head already cooked. Amazing how much meat there is on it must weigh in at 5 kilos at least. So I can for see a lot of meals ahead all containing pork of some description. When all done I also for see a lot of pork soups coming up!!! Truth be known my favourite meat is pork so no worries on that score.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Shopping.

We were out and about earlier today and stopped to buy some beer and odds and ends for the evening Bar B Q. Usual stuff, beer, charcoal and an assortment of crisps and nuts etc.
However it was a particularly interesting local village shop, At first glance it looked like any other road side places selling mundane stuff. But once inside there was so much more. It seemed to be more of a Thai Deli as the assortments of rice and fresh goods was so much more. There were about 30 different types of rice. I am no expert but I have had some of it explained. Different types and then different quality based on the amount of breakage 5% 10% etc. The differences in size and shape are also quite something. Good stop. Now back home for a dinner…..


Note:- pictures not so clear. Taken on my mobile phone!!!!



Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Local Area And Self Dicipline

I remember thinking yesterday that I should observe more of what is going on around me and add it to my Blog. Well today as I'm not working I had decided to stay in!!! I know so difficult to photo much. But a quick visit to my friends house made me look round. Only 200 metres from our house is a beautiful Wat. I stopped for all of one minute just to capture one of the building against the tropical forest backdrop. It is not the most ornate or beautiful Wat but it does have an air of serenity and peace as I've found most Wats seem to have.
All that done I must now get down to some work and get myself back into some form of self discipline. It is so easy to tell myself "Oh that, I'll do it tomorrow". Very lazy. So now I have set myself some goals. As I said earlier. I must learn Thai and I also want to learn the guitar and play with my Lego. I know sounds so easy but really sorting out the self discipline is actually very hard. Watch this space..... Might even add in a few Thai words in a month or two!!!
I know I covered these thoughts a few posts back but I will be keeping a close watch on my performance and try and measure how I step up to my aims. So here is one start. 2 Blog postings in 2 days.....

Monday, 16 August 2010

Food and Dogs

After posting this morning that I should be doing more.... Went into town with the specific aim of buying some Rice Bran oil. Yes Rice Bran Oil. (Used for making mayonnaise) well it is in my recipe.

While stopped I took a quick shot of a typical street restaurant and to my surprise the next shop was a "Doggy Beauty Parlour".

The model dogs were a bit different as well!!!!

Updates

Hi, Seems time has flown by again and continues too. As you know I stopped work at the end of June and since then have even less time to write and it seems even less time to do anything!!! Where has the time gone? Well looking back the house did take a lot of time and effort. Now with a few days break and some travel, I need to get myself into some form of routine.
I've started some guitar lessons (well following a book actually but that is still lessons right?). Its not so hard but for the training of the fingers to actually go where they are supposed to and in the time frame required. It all looks so simple watching Led Zepplin and Hendrix. Now having had a first try I am so much more impressed.
So where was I. Oh yes time. I am going to try and split my time between getting fitter, guitar lessons, Lego Robotics and as much as I keep putting it off, getting back into my Thai lessons. I'm not inherently lazy (honestly) but when I am not keen on doing something there always seems to be a reason for not doing it!! But right now as I'm not working I really am out of excuses...
Furthermore I am going to try and post every couple of day. Not always stuff about me but try and cover a lot more of what is happening around me as well. You know, things I see, and should really record.
One immediate example was last Saturday night. Pattaya City put on a fantastic fireworks display. The Navy or at least I think it was the Navy who supplied 3 big barges and moored them out in the bay. Loaded them up with fireworks and in front of a capacity crown, yes the beach and beach road were packed with people, proceeded to give us one of the best displays I have ever seen. This all synchronises to music coming from hundreds of speakers placed along the whole lenght of the beach. Needless to say I did not have my camera! I forgot it in the rush to leave the house. Goes back to being so busy when not working... Check out Pattaya Daily News International Fireworks Festival They did a very good report on it.
Today is Monday and already I am energized to move forward. Photos to follow.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Final House Photos







Final House Photos Promise. We completed the canopy and drainage yesterday. Only need to add grass to make the place look really green and established. Then back to more of my old Blogging. Goes well withour place. Pity I cannot make hte pond look blue.