Select Page

Tony in Thailand

Writing more stories about everyday expat life in rural Isan

In this unique blog You will find hundreds of stories about my life in Thailand, the good and bad. Not just a list of tourist destinations but stories about REALLY living here. I hope you enjoy sharing my experiences of settling into a new country and culture as much as I am living it. 

Blog stories

YouTube Videos

You will find many expats writing blogs about life in the coastal centres and places like Chiang Mai. For the many westerners with a connection via their Thai partner to Isan, a large region in the northeast, this is not very helpful. There are some excellent resources that focus on Isan life in the bigger urban centres but almost none that describe life outside the cities. I give you a unique glimpse into what village living for an expat actually looks like day to day.

None of my stories are spectacular and will never be found in the search results of tourists looking for adventure. However, most of the readers who follow this blog, and there are some who have become ‘virtual’ friends over the years, are people who have a much more committed and personal connection to Thailand and have moved well beyond elephant riding, zip-lining and bar hopping. If you are one of those you have come to the right place.

…..these little stories will give you a connection to village life and broaden your understanding what a life in rural Thailand might look like if that ever happens for you. Even if you are not planning on moving here this blog will give you an insider’s view of Isan like no other. Dive in for a insider’s view of Thai life.

An Unexpected Life in Thailand

My name is Tony and up to mid-2013 I was living in Canberra, Australia and had been for 45 years.

Towards the end of 2012 I decided to take time out of a very stressful period in my life and have a couple of weeks holiday in Phuket, Thailand a country I had previously never visited.

After the conservatism of Canberra, Phuket by constrast was such good fun. Constant activity and new sights, bright colours, wonderful cheap food, great massage, friendly people and pretty country away from the tourist traps.

Returning to the boredom of Canberra suburbia, a government job with zero satisfaction and a future that had lost any purpose led me to totally re-think my life’s direction. The result of that assessment was a complete reboot involving selling up everything, taking 12 months leave without pay from my job and heading off for an adventure in Thailand like I have never had before.

I arrived back in Phuket 12 June 2013 to spend a few weeks ‘holiday’ there before heading off to explore some of the rest of Thailand. Not being an adventerous type I asked a Thai lady to join me on my extended trip to help smooth the way once I left the farang comfort zone of Phuket. It is something my darling wife Gaun continues to do six years later!

I rented a house in Chiang Rai where in September 2013 I was offered a voluntary redundancy from my job. After many sleepless nights I decided to accept the redundancy and also to retire permanently to Thailand, which I officially did on 1 November 2013. We moved to Chiang Mai, in December, where we lived for 12 months during which time we bought land in Isan and moved there permanently to build and live in late 2014.

Isan is not for everyone but for me it was as if I had come home. My enthusiasm for the simple lifestyle we lead, the people, events and attractions we come across is what makes this blog unique and ongoing even after six years of writing and hundreds of stories.


What’s been happening recently?


THE LATEST VIDEOs Tuesday, 21 May

Site Update 17 May: I have been busy behind the scenes indexing my historical stories, a huge task, and redesigning this home page. The blog has now become so large that I wanted to prioritise a simpler presentation of everything it offers readers than was previously the case.  Because of this distraction the daily stories aren’t up to date ATM. Business will return to normal soon!

Bun Bang Fai rockets from factory to skies

  • Published 21 May 2019
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals

We came across the rocket part of this moo ban’s (village) festival last year, and it was quite impressive, so this year we added it to our list of must do’s. The street party I reported on in my last post was enjoyable so we had high hopes for day two. Before we get to the day itself let’s drop into a rocket factory and see what that looks like. We can then take those images and apply them to the finished product exploding into the sky.

Bun Bang Fai street party at Ban Sa-At

  • Published 20 May 2019
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals

We headed out to a street party happening in a village called Ban Sa-At close to Si Bun Ruang for Bun Bang Fai, the Isan rocket festival. Four moo bans had combined resources to put on a great dance display with four separate music trucks and dance groups. Masses of photos as always.

This Week's Stories

March Stories

This Month's Stories

February Stories

Last Month's Stories

January Stories

My photo of the day – 20 May 2019

A monk was looking for some small foreworks at this street stall.

Pinned Stories

Living with a Thai Woman

Buying Western Food

A tropical garden in Thailand

How to get a yellow house book

Building a House in Thailand eBook

Driving in Thailand

My Stories since 2013

My Posts to 1 - 50

My Posts 151 - 200

My Posts 301 - 350

My Posts 51 - 100

My Posts 201 - 250

My Posts 351 - current

My Posts 101 - 150

My Posts 251 - 300