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Daily Stories – 6 February

Everyday stories about an

expat’s life in Isaan, Thailand

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. 

To visit my main index page click below.

To read today’s stories please scroll down.

Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many COMMENTS, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.

NEW: Search the blog:

My stories of the day – 6 February 2020

My life in rural Isaan revolves around three main topics of interest. Firstly there is the family farm situated about 1 km from where we live. I love learning about and sharing aspects of farming in a different country. Read my stories and you’ll become a virtual Isaan farmer in time! Click HERE

Secondly is our enjoyment in developing the best private tropical garden in Isaan. We also have a small but still beautiful garden at the farm. In this section I write about any aspects related to gardening in Thailand, illustrated with photos taken in our gardens and locally. Click HERE

And finally I share everyday stories as I see them relating to life in a small rural village. This could cover anything from personal events to festivals and local attractions. Anything that doesn’t fit into the other two headings ends up here. Click HERE 

Or of course read them all in which case just scroll down!

I am a keen photographer and all my photos are shot professionally and edited. The end result is far better than most blogs and social media and I will publish my favourite shots from time to time, which will almost be a fourth topic.

The stories I share here are reflected in my very active social media exposure and you will find me on Facebook as follows:

Tony Eastmead HERE 

Thailand Tropical Gardens HERE

Rural Isaan, Thailand HERE and;

Isaan Photography HERE.

Farm News:

The Blessing of Water:

Heading back home this afternoon we passed an area that had planted a second crop of rice (supposedly banned by the government because of the drought but hey…burning sugar was banned too!) Gaun had spotted that these paddies were being fed with water supplied by a flowing irrigation trench, so we stopped for a closer look. Walking a little way off the road and it was like stepping into a green wonderland. This is just like tourists think Thailand is like everywhere and all of the time. I wish.

Just to show you the contrast. 30 minutes previously we were on a friend’s plot of land with Greg Ledder and this is the view, which is typical of the area this time of year. Bone dry, brown, dusty with not much going for it scenically.

A few kilometres away is this landscape. The difference? Water. This irrigation trench was supplying the water. Where it originated from is a mystery as there’s no large supply in the area I am aware of. Access is via small sluice gates and Gaun tells me that farmers will have to pay an amount of money per hour to access the water.

The slight of running water in Isaan this time of year is almost unique. You could charge admission for this view.

A small farm growing a mixture of crops.

How nice to have a break from drought brown fields.

Compare this to my first photo.

Yuan would love this access to water.

A totally different world from the one we see every day.

Sorry. I had to replace the sky. I am so bored of smoky grey we get so much of the time.

Tropical Gardens News:

When will it end?:

I keep saying that our garden is complete and how could we possibly add yet more plants but Gaun keeps doing exactly that  Four more pots of cuttings scattered around the house garden this morning.

Impossible to kill. If green fingers aren’t your thing stick to growing these plants.

One more in the new shower area.

Thanks Gaun. Very tropical.

These make a beautiful backdrop to shorter plants like in this display.

Village News:

I dropped into the small forest wat 1 km beyond the farm for a change of morning scenery passing yai (grandmothers) watering the new flowers that have been planted alongside the ‘moat’. The monks have been busy extending the Wihan or Buddha hall since I was here last. Always a pleasure to come here as it is peaceful and usually, apart from a couple of monks this morning, I am the only one here.

Ladies getting water from the moat to water these new plantings. The one in a grey top is the mother of the head monk here – who is called Dit. I like the fact one has taken off her shoes to do the watering 

Early days but give this a year it will have softened up a lot. This is the road in from the farm on the right.

Looking the other way towards the entrance to the wat.

Huge new timbers being winched into place to form extensions to the existing structure

A new roofed area added, which I think will house the Buddha statues, to match the structure on the other end of the hall.

Beautiful timbers as always.

The extension from the other side.

Lovely scenes from inside looking out.

Flooring timbers still in their rough state.

Looking towards the new area where, as I said, I think the Buddha statues will sit facing east, which is traditional in Thai temples.

Once again, a way to go, but this will look great in a couple of years. Lots of Gaun’s cuttings involved in this planting.

Always ring a gong three times for good luck.

Massive timbers hand winched into place by the monks.

Work in progress.

I could happily cart these old rice hut/village house columns away. Nice quality and old hardwood. Increasingly difficult to find.

Water being added to the moat from the bore/well. No rain here for months to come.

The original Wihan or Buddha hall. Settled in nicely.

A real rabbit rather than concrete ones here. Rabbits are seen as good luck and the V sign Thais will give with two fingers in photos is a representation of rabbit ears not Churchill.

A timber graveyard.

This is such a delightful Isaan only photo. An Isaan tuk tuk, only seen in this region, against a backdrop of a timber temple. Stunning.

A surprise addition to the local scene. One for visitors that’s for sure. Wat Pa Sup Anun on Google Maps Here: https://tinyurl.com/qoh54nb

Thailand Photography

Showcasing some of my favourite photos taken around Thailand during my time here. Last updated 2 February:

Hand made clay bricks waiting to be fired using rice husks.

A hearty Isaan breakfast.

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment. It’s the only payment I ask for.

Tony

February 2020 – new stories

1 Comment

  1. Jim Busby

    This wat is looking more and more impressive as the build progresses. Lots of beautiful wood and openness to the surrounding area. Quite a step up from the original hall. “Bang a Gong, Get it On” T Rex. That platform structure supporting that water tank looks sort of spindly, like it could collapse any minute now. So, there are differences from region to region with tuk tuk decor? You will have to show us photos to help enlighten us in the future.

    Jim

    Reply

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