All My Stories

A detailed index of all my posts

With over 230 posts on this site even I have forgotten what I have covered on the blog during my time in Thailand. I thought I would start the long task of reviewing all the stories and writing a short introduction to each one to help you more easily find topics that might be of interest. Because of the amount of work involved you won’t find a complete list today. I will continue to add to the index and update this post as I make progress so please refer back to it from time to time.

232. Isaan – the Small Stories 10 

  • Published 14 Jan 2016
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu – Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Heaps of new small stories have been added to my list for this post since the last one I wrote HERE, so get a coffee or beer and settle in for a very mixed bag of little events. The first couple of topics are more family personal so you can skip these if you are after more general insights into Isaan life. I included them because the events they describe form part of my life here, which is the main theme for this blog.

231. Wat Tham Pha Keong

  • Published 11 Jan 2016
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu – Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

A recent trip to Khon Kaen for a medical appointment took us through the small town of Phu Wiang, where a guy who was fitting some gutters at home the previous week told Gaun there was a good temple to visit. Having “wasted” the morning we decided to call into this wat on the way home as I am eternally (mostly!) optimistic that the next temple I visit will be worth the effort. Many aren’t but this one was definitely a go’er and therefore it has replaced my partly finished “Isaan – the Small Stories 10” post as the next story to share with you.

230. Teddies in Thailand

  • Published 3 Jan 2016
  • Place: Thailand general
  • Topic: Sightseeing in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

This is my 230th post and I thought I’d do something I haven’t done before and publish a post provided by a couple of readers of the blog who recently holidayed in Thailand. The reason I have done this, apart from being lazy, is that almost their entire trip in the North of Thailand was planned using my blog and the stories of places Gaun and I enjoyed in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It was interesting to see familiar places we visited from another point of view (closer to the ground!) and of course the photos that resulted from the trip.

229. Living in Thailand Tips and Advice

  • Published 30 Dec 2015
  • Place: Thailand general
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

I receive many emails from readers asking specific questions about some aspect of living in or moving to Thailand. When I write a new post I try to include as many tips and hints I can think of that relate to topic. I thought it would be useful to bring all of these together under the one heading and pin it to the main blog menu so that you can refer to it whenever you need.

228. Making Merit with a Monk

  • Published 21 Dec 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Monk initiation festival
  • LINK: HERE

At about 5.30 am many days the “mayor” of our moo ban (village) gets on the loud speakers and tells everyone what is going on – like it or not! It is one of the reasons I built a quiet house with double walls and glazing. Maybe Gaun picks up stuff from this or from the family but however she stays informed she knew that a monk initiation ceremony was about to happen. The invitation for us to attend came when the mother of the monk to be spoke to one of her neighbours who has land next to ours and she in turn yelled over the wall to Gaun. Formalities over we turned up yesterday to the final of the three days ceremony in the process of initiating a new monk.

227. Tour de Thailand

  • Published 21 Dec 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Topic: Bike for Dad
  • LINK: HERE

Bike for Dad was a major event held by Thais worldwide as part of the festivities for the king’s 88th birthday. Over 600,000 Thais formally registered to take part after a similar event not surprisingly called Bike for Mum on the queen’s birthday earlier this year. Having missed mum’s bike ride, which was at a much hotter time of the year, I thought that we’d saddle up for dad.

226. An Isaan Sport’s Day

  • Published 21 Dec 2015
  • Place: Si Chomphu, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

I had a moment when I wondered whether sharing a Thai sports day opening was really the sort of thing I should be covering in the blog. It sounds so mundane doesn’t it? However on very modest reflection I thought that it was and is very much in the general theme of this blog. This event is a great example of how us expats need to keep a lot of our western preconceptions of life boxed in the storage shed along with many other concepts brought from our home country that might stop us experiencing this new culture to its fullest.

225. From Farm to Market

  • Published 16 Dec 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Farming
  • LINK: HERE

One of the joys of living in rural Isaan is experiencing the wonderful freshness of the locally grown food. Much of Thai food on offer is very basic and often quite different in style from the menus in your local western Thai restaurant. What makes the difference here is that you are more likely to find that the ingredients in your roadside food stall offerings were either in the ground that morning or walking around not that long ago!

224. Wat Tham Sang Tham

  • Published 9 Dec 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

Now “Tham” means “cave in Thai (pronounced more like “Thum”) so Tham Sang Tham seemed to double up on the cave bit. However Gaun tells me that the two “Tham’s” are actually different words, so close in the Thai pronunciation that in translating them to the English phonetic they are spelt the same. Tham number 1 refers to the cave aspect and Tham number 2 relates to the sort of meditative state one enters when spending time with a Buddhist monk. The “Sang” means light as far as I can make out so I think the whole name means a cave where you experience ”lighting up” (maybe a clarity or enlightenment) of your life while spending time with a monk. Anyway whatever the name this is a super cool wat

223. Who Will You Talk To?

  • Published 7 Dec 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

I started this story a while back intending to make it my 200th entry to the blog, which coincided with my second anniversary in Thailand. This milestone seemed like a good time to review how retirement is working out for me here and also to reflect on the challenges retirement offers in general no matter where you make your home. It didn’t work out for the 200th post but it does today.

222. Loi Krathong in Isaan

  • Published 27 Nov 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Topic: Festival
  • LINK: HERE

This year we decided to split the difference size-wise and visit Nong Bua Lamphu, our nearest larger town, which is based around a good sized lake. It puts on a big party for the event and this event is one neither Gaun nor Peng, my stepdaughter, have seen before. This year was also different from the last in that despite the fact Gaun and I had got married in the morning (HERE), Gaun decided that she’d make her own krathong for the event rather than buy. 60 THB saved!

221. Married Again

  • Published 25 Nov 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Marriage
  • LINK: HERE

Today on the auspicious day of Loi Krathong, which you can read about HERE, Gaun and I completed a ceremony to officially marry under Thai law, which is also recognised internationally. I thought I would combine sharing the day’s events with details of the process required to formally marry a Thai national in case the situation ever comes your way.

220. Isaan – the Small Stories 9

  • Published 22 Nov 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

One of a series of short stories about any topic of interest I observe while living in a small village in Isaan. This is a cut down version of what would have been a longer post further down the track. I have a close friend in Australia who is spending time with her dad who is very ill and she asked me to send her some stories to help lighten the day.

219. Nong Bua Lamphu Markets

  • Published 21 Nov 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Markets
  • LINK: HERE

I have been to quite a few markets across the country and I find that each one is pretty similar in the types of products for sale but they achieve a degree of local flavour through the food they have on offer. These Nong Bua markets are more oriented towards retail rather than food, which the smaller village markets revolve around.

218. A Visa Run at Nong Khai

  • Published 18 Nov 2015
  • Place: Nong Khai, Isaan
  • Topic: Visa
  • LINK: HERE

Written by a friend “I have non-imm O-A retirement Visa. The 12 months was almost up, so I did a border run at the Nong Khai ‘friendly bridge’ border with Laos, while visiting friends near Udon Thani.  I now have another 12 months permission to stay stamped in Passport and on Departure card. I found some good advice here and on other sites on how to do it – here is my experience and more details that may help some others”.

217. Visiting Isaan – Part 3

  • Published 16 Nov 2015
  • Place: Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

The third and final part sharing with you some of the local attractions around our part of Isaan including a School Visit and Takraw, Suanam Lion Park Resort, Lake Ratana, Phuphan Noy, Phu Phrabat or Phra Bat Historical Park and much more.

216. Visiting Isaan – Part 2

  • Published 16 Nov 2015
  • Place: Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

The second part sharing with you some of the local attractions around our part of Isaan including a variety of topics including Udon Thani, UD Town and Tawan Daeng nightclub, Nong Khai, Mut Mee Guesthouse, the broadwalk, lunch on the Mekong, Wat Po Chai, Sala Kaew Ku, Wat Pern Panau, the Nong Khai aquarium and Isaan Rum Distillery.

215. A Forest Temple Festival

  • Published 7 Nov 2105
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

With the three month Buddhist Lent period, also called Vassa, finishing on the 27th October the restrictions on temple festivals and many other Thai social events such as weddings and monk ordination, has been lifted. Our social calendar has picked up with three temple festivals and a possible wedding happening in the next few weeks. The first of these was a big festival at Wat Pha Silawa, a temple we support in a very minor way by joining in their evening programmes a couple of times a week.

214. Isaan – the Small Stories 8

  • Published 31 Oct 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

One of a series of short stories about any topic of interest I observe while living in a small village in Isaan.

213. Bangkok

  • Published 29 Oct 2015
  • Place: Bangkok
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Bangkok
  • LINK: HERE

This is a bit of a mixed post with no big highlights or hidden Bangkok treasures to pass on. As always I will just ramble along and hope that there are some aspects to our trip that helps fill in a coffee break for you. It includes why we took the trip (to obtain documentation to get married) and how, getting into Bangkok from the airport, using the BTS (Bangkok’s sky train), International Translations and Silom Road plus lots more.

212. Isaan – the Small Stories 7

  • Published 28 Oct 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I think this series of posts will end up being an eBook. The stories just keep on coming. I really enjoy writing these posts because they pick up on the variety of life here and allow me to skip around a whole range of often obscure subjects rather than just plod through a single topic. I will be out and about with my camera and take a photo and already see in my mind the story that will go with it in the next “Small Stories” publication. Without that motivation many of these moments wouldn’t have been either recorded or shared.

211. A Ghostly Meal

  • Published 28 Oct 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Isaan Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

Yesterday was a particular day of importance because it is a time when people give food to the ghosts (Gaun’s terminology – she means spirits but I prefer ghosts). Thais are very mindful of spirits and I have written often about the influence they have on life. Also one of my favourite moments in Thailand was coming across a sound stage and dancing girls set up next to a “holy” place to appease the spirits (who must be male ghosts in this case) and bring good luck to whoever paid for this show.

210. House Update – 2

  • Published 25 Oct 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

There is silence in the air – the builders have left. Well silence apart from the occasional passing motorbike, dogs barking, roosters, loud speakers from people selling things and any happenings such as funerals. At least there are no weddings or new monk celebrations happening during the three months of Buddhist lent. Come November add them to the list. I partly jest. In reality the village has its moments where the double glazing comes into its own but mostly is a very quiet place to be.

I thought I would chat with you now that we have finished a long list of minor extensions and additions to make what has worked out being a very liveable house design even better.

209. 90 Day Reporting Online

  • Published 23 Oct 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Visa
  • LINK: HERE

I have an OA Retirement Visa and one of the requirements of this type of visa is that I have to report my current address to Thai Immigration every 90 days. As with so many aspects of bureaucracy the world over it is best not to question why and just get on with it. A report by exception, that is let Immigration know if you change your notified address, would seem to make more sense but it’s a waste of energy getting all worked up about things you can’t change.

On the good news side, where previously you had to appear in person with copies of paperwork including the all-important TM47 form, this process can now all be done online.

208. An Isaan Funeral

  • Published 19 Sep 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Isaan Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

We are having some building work done on our newly completed house with the aim of making what has ended up a very liveable design even better. One day after starting all work stopped for three days and loud Isaan music could be heard being played from our part of the village (my commitment to double glazed windows pays off every day). What had happened? Someone had died. In fact this is the fifth or sixth funeral that has happened in the last few months but the first one where I had previously met the deceased. Based on this we went to one part of the funeral wake and I thought I would share the day with you.

207. Retirement Visa and More – Comments

  • Published 6 Sep 2015
  • Place: General Thailand
  • Topic: Visa
  • LINK: HERE

My original post on the retirement visa and the largely unknown automatic 12 month free extension was covered HERE, and has proved one of the more visited stories on my site. There have been a number of updating comments made since I published it back in August 2014 and I thought it would be worth organising these into a more readable post, extracting those points that may be useful for readers looking for answers to the often confusing visa topic.

206. A Day in Chiang Rai

  • Published 4 Sep 2015
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Northern Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

This post is a direct follow-on from my story “A Day in Chiang Mai”, which you can read in post 204 below. Here we travel to Chiang Rai for an overnight stay and a look around some of my favourite attractions. This is a great post if you are planning a visit to the far North and have limited time to see the best it has to offer.

205. Isaan – the Small Stories 6

  • Published 27 Aug 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

In my last post, A Day in Chiang Mai, I said that my next story would be about the following day on this trip, which we spent in Chiang Rai. However I must be getting more Thai because having sat down at the computer to write that post I have ended up doing something completely different. Hang on for Chiang Rai because it will be the next thing I do – maybe.

204. A Day in Chiang Mai

  • Published 25 Aug 2015
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Northern Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

This trip came about because I had promised Gaun’s (my wife) younger sister Yuan and husband Lud that I would take them to Chiang Mai for a few days and include their first ever airplane flight as part of the experience. Getting them away from the farm is always a challenge and a slightly quieter time in the season gave me a window of opportunity to take them on a rare holiday.

203. A Day with the Monks

  • Published 9 Aug 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

I am so embarrassed. This is my second wat orientated post since I said I wasn’t going to do anymore! My excuse is that this is a story more about a day travelling around the countryside with a van full of monks than the wats themselves so I hope you forgive me and keep reading.

202. The Cost of Living

  • Published 6 Aug 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

This post will give you some ideas of the cost of living here in Isaan and give you a basis for comparing that with your current expenses wherever that might be. My conclusions are that if you live like a local it can be dead cheap. Anything farang orientated is mostly what you’d pay in your home country or more. Most service that involves a large labour component is very cheap. Where people earn 300 – 400 THB or $12.00 – 16.00 a day it isn’t hard to work out why. Anything imported is hit with huge taxes and ends up being expensive.

201. Wat Pha Nam Yoi

  • Published 6 Aug 2015
  • Place: Roi Et, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

I finished my last post describing the Ubon Ratchathani candle festival and more HERE with the words “On the way about 70 km out of Roi Et we spotted this chedi on a hill and decided to have a look. I know that I am yet again being wat obsessed but trust me this has the potential (it’s still being constructed) to become one of the most impressive temples you will see in Thailand. I will cover it with lots of photos in my next post.” Let’s see if I can convince you the last part of this statement might be true.

200. Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

  • Published 5 Aug 2015
  • Place: Ubon Ratchathani
  • Topic: Isaan festivals
  • LINK: HERE

The motivation for this trip happened almost two years ago. I was taking Gaun, my Thai wife, on her first ever plane trip, from Phuket to Bangkok to pick up my ex-stepdaughter Sarah who had flown over from Canberra to celebrate her 30th birthday with me. The Nok Air in-flight magazine had an article in Thai with a photo of these almost unbelievable wax carvings made for a festival held in a city called Ubon Ratchathani. From that point it was on my to do list.

199. Watting Around

  • Published 25 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Wats/temples
  • LINK: HERE

I have to say that having seen so many wats during the past two years I am a bit over them although I can still be surprised by occasionally finding a special one which keeps me following signposts and searching the internet. I thought that in this post I would give you a mixed taste of wats and then pretty well leave them alone for a while unless I come across something outstanding.

198. Isaan Cowboy Ranch

  • Published 19 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

For some reason the Thais have a love affair with North American cowboys and the occasional Indian. Here in our bit of Isaan in the North East of Thailand we don’t miss out as there is a place called the Cowboy Ranch, fifteen minutes’ drive from Nong Bua Lamphu, our local larger town.

197. Escape to the Country – Isaan

  • Published 16 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

This is a bit of a cheat post since apart from this introduction nothing is written by me. A friend wrote to tell me that this article appeared in the latest edition of Voyeur, which is the in-flight magazine for Virgin Australia.  It is so unusual to see Isaan featured in a mainstream publication that I thought it was worth including in my blog, with all credit given to the authors.

196. Thai Health Insurance

  • Published 12 Jul 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

People come here expecting health to be very cheap, and certainly if you rely on the public system it can be relatively inexpensive. Even the private system is considerably cheaper than many western countries. However if you want to make choices in the level of healthcare you receive, especially if it is for a major incident, then you pay for what you get and the costs can add up even in Thailand. This post covers my solution and also offers a very useful link to another blog with some comprehensive additional information.

195. A Garden Update

  • Published 12 Jul 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

This is a bit of a specialised post for those people interested in how the garden at our new home in Si Bun Ruang, Isaan is looking after a few months of occupation. I might publish these updates from time to time as much for my benefit in following progress as anyone else’s.

194. The Road to Wat Pa Phu Kon

  • Published 28 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

You get a bonus with this post. Not only will I take you to the beautiful Wat Pa Phu Kon, close to the border with Laos, but I will share a little of the trip along the way and back. This is becoming a well known temple in this part of the world due to the huge reclining Italian marble BUddha statue. If you can spare a day in your time in the North East then I recommend to put this wat on your list to visit.

193. Seasons on an Isaan Farm – June

  • Published 26 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Farming
  • LINK: HERE

This post is partly for my benefit to record the change in seasons and the resulting variation in crops and activities on the farm. I haven’t been living in this part of Thailand for a full year yet so writing a post like this from time to time will let me know what is coming up after one farming cycle so I can talk like an expert to any visitors heading our way 🙂

192. Visiting Isaan – Part 1

  • Published 22 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Many people coming to Thailand never make it to Isaan, the North East region of the country, even if they have heard of it. The obvious holiday attractions of places like Phuket, the other islands, Pattaya and the Northern cities of Chiang Mai and Rai are often at the top of traveller’s list well before anything to do with Isaan.

Because not a lot is written about Isaan by farang it is easy to think that there’s nothing to do here. Certainly we can’t compare with some alternatives but to dismiss the whole region is to miss out in some ways on a more genuine side of Thai life. Although Isaan may not be as spectacular as the big names with the absence of busloads of tourists it can be a much more intimate and real experience.

191. Erawan Cave

  • Published 14 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

A cooler day yesterday and a massage appointment that was postponed for two hours had us heading the 40 km down highway 210 towards the town of Loei and Wat Erawan, a cave set in limestone cliffs with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. I had read about the 600 plus steps to get to the cave itself, which was why the cooler weather played a part in the decision to visit.

190. A House Update

  • Published 4 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

I thought I would update those of you following the build with what my impressions have been after two months of living in the house and what additional work has gone on. I had a reader suggest that I had gone quiet writing new material for the blog because I was spending my time watching the mangos grow. There’s a lot of truth in that comment but not completely true as it relates to the house 🙂

189. Isaan – the Small Stories 5

  • Published 4 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Some of the following post has been almost ready to publish for a while so covers some events that happened a little time ago. I was worried that I would run out of the small stories of Isaan but they seem to keep popping up. In fact I have ended up with so many that I will have to keep some back for Small Stories 6. I enjoy writing this series because it makes me keep an eye out for interesting things to write about. I might sleep-walk through my days

188. Songkran in Isaan

  • Published 25 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

Songkran is the huge Thai New Year festival that is officially held over three days in mid-April each year. It is very similar to the Western Christmas/New Year period with a large movement of people heading back to their homes to be with friends and family and a lot of businesses shutting or slowing down for the one week encompassing Songkran. This year we joined in the local celebration of this fun and very wet celebration.

187. Becoming a Monk in Isaan

  • Published 16 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

We were just having a cold drink in the garden after a day of clearing up after our house construction when conflicting loud music in the next street made it pretty obvious something was going on. “Someone make monk” was Gaun’s comment, who seems to know everything that’s going on in the village even though she doesn’t involve herself in the community too much. We walked over to be met by separate processions for two new monks, both heading to the temple after doing the rounds of the village.

186. A House Blessing Ceremony

  • Published 14 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

One of my most consistent readers wrote a comment recently and said she was looking forward to hearing about the house blessing ceremony. For some reason I had a blank moment about passing this story on as it happened in mid-March, Week 20 of my house build. It’s never too late in blogland so here it is – sorry for the delay Linda. Having built a house you can’t move in until the spirits approve. Find out how that’s achieved.

185. Living with a Thai Woman

  • Published 12 Apr 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

This is my first post-build story and I thought I would step away from the tourist/travel side of describing life here and do something a little different. If like me you have spent any time on the many farang based forums and you happen to end up in the often depressing topic area called “Farang/Thai Relationships” then I hope my post will do something to add some reality and positive words to the subject. Some very positive comments at the end of this post so make sure you have a look at them.

184. Retire to South East Asia

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

A good article published in The Canberra Times and others. It has been obviously written from an Australian viewpoint but some general points of interest for other nationalities too. As are so many of these articles is is biased towards the financial benefits and I would strongly recommend you read my post HERE to gain a more balanced viewpoint.

183. Isaan Silk

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I only came across this story when Gaun, my wife, recently came out in the morning dressed in a beautiful wraparound skirt given to her by her mama many years ago and made from pure silk. That in itself isn’t of great interest but the fact that the silk was produced from worms raised by mama and the thread extracted, coloured and woven into this garment by her was. Read about the process in this post.

182. A Short Time in Pattaya

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: Pattaya, Chonburi
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Pattaya
  • LINK: HERE

My contribution to the many articles on Pattaya has nothing on the walking street, the big girlie area, as we never made it there. Seen it all before in Phuket’s Patong and Nana Plaza in Bangkok and am well over it. For the two people left reading the post at this stage carry on for a more balanced review of Pattaya and some associated topics.

181. An Isaan Village Festival

  • Published 2 Mar 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

Every year around this time our Moo Baan or village puts on a small Buddhist festival involving the village’s wat or temple. These festivals seem to be pretty light hearted affairs with the aim of having time off work, raising some money, gaining merit in the Buddhist system, having a few drinks, listening to music and dancing. A pretty good combination in my opinion.

This is the first time I have been in the village for this occasion so on Sunday we left the cool of our partly finished house, and you can read about why we have set up camp there in my latest post on the build, and joined the crowd for an afternoon of celebration Isaan style.

180. The Sights of Isaan – Hug a Tortoise

  • Published 13 Feb 2015
  • Place: Khon Kaen province, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I have written before about my goal of “discovering” the hidden sights of our bit of Isaan, the largely rural part of South East Thailand. This time I had read about two places to visit on the way to Khon Kaen. Both had been very briefly written up on Thai orientated websites with very little detail and I thought I was on a winner to bring these treasures to light for anybody exploring this area so get ready to hug a tortoise.

179. Wat Tham Klong Pane

  • Published 13 Feb 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

Wat Tham Klong Pane is a collection of buildings and shrines spread over a large area, many of them built around or incorporating the some of the huge rocks that litter this area. It is best to have your own transport to see all the parts of this temple as it is quite a distance between some of them. One of my favourite places to visit in the area.

178. TV from your Home Country

  • Published 27 Jan 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

NOTE: This post is being updated as at 16 Jan 2016. I have put this information into a separate post as it might be especially useful for the many expats reading this blog. It is an alternative to using paid internet TV services such as ThaiExpat TV HERE.

If you want to access UK or American TV but are locked out because your ISP, internet service provider, is in a foreign country, like us expats in Thailand, then you have a couple of free options.