Gaun’s family home has gone through some renovations since we last visited for our wedding in February this year, which I wrote about in a blog entry HERE.

Gaun’s family home is located on a corner block in a Moo Baan, village, just outside Si Bun Ruang. The land has been unofficially split into four separate building spaces. The original house is for Gaun’s mama and will be the retirement home for sister number 2.

The main family home. Gaun's building plot is immediately on the right of the house.

The main family home. Gaun’s building plot is immediately on the right of the house behind that big sign, which BTW gives the official statistics for the Moo Baan.

Behind the main house there are two more plots. One has already been built on by sister number 4 and her husband. The middle plot has been reserved for Gaun’s younger sister Yuan and her husband Lud. This is the house that has been started since our wedding. The columns have been built and the concrete frame to support the eventual slab is in place. A roof is on as you can see. Most of the roof is constructed from recycled materials but does the job. The cost for what you see here is 80,000 THB or around $2,600. Not a bad start.

Yuna's new house shell. Sister 4 called Paet (pronounced Baet) house on the right, the main house on the left.

Yuna’s new house shell. Sister number 4, called Paet (pronounced Baed), has the house on the right, the main house is on the left. The structure you can see on the left is the family rice store house.

A closer view of Yuan and Lud's house looking towards mama's house.

A closer view of Yuan and Lud’s house looking towards mama’s house on the left.

The view from the new house towards the street. The rice storage on the right.

The view from the new house towards the street. The rice storage on the right. Concrete rain water tanks.

This photo above shows the concrete floor support structure, which is infilled with compacted soil. The concrete slab is then poured on top of this to create the floor.

This is the same view taken before the house started to take shape.

This is the same view taken before the house started to take shape.

The second major change to the family compound was the building of a new carport and kitchen area onto the side of mama’s house to replace the very dilapidated kitchen they were using before.

The previous kitchen was pretty basic.

The previous kitchen was pretty basic.

This is how it was operating during our wedding. Food for 50 people came out of this kitchen.

This is how it was operating during our wedding. Food for 50 people came out of this kitchen.

The side of mama's house as it was for our wedding.

The side of mama’s house as it was for our wedding. As it is now below.

The family, well mostly sister number 2, has invested 200,000 or $6,500 in upgrading both of these structure. The kitchen was moved from the central area between mama’s and Paet’s houses, because it was in the way of Yuan’s new house, and placed in the new carport.

The new carport from the front road. All concreted.

The new carport from the front road. All concreted and drained.

A drain to the front road. Unusual in Thailand as they are woeful in designing for excess water.

A drain to the front road. Unusual in Thailand as they are woeful in designing for excess water.

The new enclosed kitchen area on the left.

The new enclosed kitchen area on the left.

Still a basic set-up with a one burner gas stove and no running water but clean, dry and workable.

Still a basic set-up with a one burner gas stove and no running water but clean, dry and workable.

Outside the kitchen but still under cover the family have built a new food preparation and relaxing area. Mama is a regular supervisor from this position.

The sala with the kitchen at the rear.

The sala with the kitchen at the rear.

I can vouch for the quality and quantity of food that arrives incredibly quickly from this kitchen. Isaan cooks are not ones to hang around when there are hungry workers and one farang to feed.

The rainwater storage tanks. The Moo Baan provides piped water too but sometimes it runs out in the dry season. The family will drink the rain water not the Moo Baan water.

The rainwater storage tanks. The Moo Baan provides piped water but sometimes it runs out in the dry season. The family will drink the rain water not the Moo Baan water.

Mama and Peng using the sala.

Mama and Peng using the sala.

Yuan and Gaun with a new plateful of sticky rice. No wonder they are looking happy.

Yuan and Gaun with a new plateful of sticky rice. No wonder they are looking happy.

Yuan using the sala as a work area to prepare food.

Yuan using the sala as a work area to prepare food.

Gaun cooking on the charcoal stove still used here.

Gaun cooking on the charcoal stove still used here.

Boong the family dog chomping through leftovers. Chicken bones, fish heads and chillies are all OK for an Isaan dog. I guess the ones that can't cope die. Natural selection in action.

Boong the family dog chomping through leftovers. Chicken bones, fish heads and chillies are all OK for an Isaan dog. I guess the ones that can’t cope die. Natural selection in action.

The other priority for me was the installation of a western toilet to replace the squat one the family uses now. We are moving into the family home in November and will be there for the six months I plan it will take to build our house. A hot shower and a normal toilet are my two main necessities. Now both installed.

The new toilet being inspected by the girls.

The new toilet being inspected by the girls.

The original bathroom/laundry.

The original bathroom/laundry with squat toilet and manual flush i.e. a bowl.

The $15.00 for the job plumber.

The $15.00 for the job plumber.

External water pipes for ease of installation. No risk of freezing pipes here!

External water pipes for ease of installation. No risk of freezing pipes here!

One of the reasons I needed to visit Isaan now was that my Australian stuff had been delivered from Bangkok and I wanted to check it off. It had all arrived in two wooden shipping containers, which the family had unpacked and put in mama’s bedroom, moving her to sleep in the lounge! I was horrified when I heard but that was four weeks later.

A package from Australia.

A package from Australia.

Stored ready for moving into our house when built.

Stored ready to move into our house when built. The stuff at the front ready to come back to Chiang Mai.

So big changes in the family compound. I look forward to seeing Yaun and Lud’s house grow as the money comes in – no mortgage here.

Just a final update on our land. The surroundings are looking very lush now that the rains have started.

Our land looking front to back.

Our land looking front to back.

Our road.

Our road looking back to the family house in the background.

Me on the land with Lud and Yuan.

Me on the land with Lud and Yuan.

I am still happy to have made the purchase and the decision to live in Isaan.

Thanks for reading.