Index of Posts 251 – 300

A listing of posts 251 – 300 covering everyday life and some specific attractions and events. Mar 2017 – Oct 2018

300. TM30 Residency Reporting

  • Published 2 Oct 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

This is a post that at least informs you about a subject that you might not be aware could apply to you. Do with it what you will but from my reading this is an updated law that is being more rigorously enforced and might catch you out at some stage. The extent of more enthusiastic enforcement struck home when I had a reader of this blog wrote to me recently detailing a situation he found worrying:

299. Australian Expats with a Home to Sell

  • Published 27 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

WARNING FOR AUSTRALIAN EXPATS, who have a family home in Australia they might want to sell in the future.

I received this information from Angelo, a reader of the blog who keeps in touch with tax issues relating to Aussie expats. You might already know of this new ruling but if not it is a potentially devastating blow to retirees living abroad. Angelo published this as a comment on my post relating to the inequities applying to Australian expats HERE but I thought the topic was so important I would make it a stand-alone post.

298. Respect for the Past

  • Published 24 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Today some of my Isaan family visited the local temple in our village of Si Bun Ruang to pay respects to deceased relatives and give them a good feed. I so enjoy these sort of events, which are totally  part of the natural everyday life here and don’t involve anyone dressing up for the occasion for the tourist buses (a la northern hill tribes). Someone wrote on my Facebook page that it’s the  difference between the reel life (like the movies) that tourists see and the real life I enjoy. I am usually the only farang at these events but have been here long enough that I’m no longer seen as particularly unique or strange (still a little bit odd and always will be) in the landscape!

297. Living in Isan – Edition 17

  • Published 16 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Included are topics like flying ants, the discovery of a couple of new garden centres, buying 6,000 handmade bricks for paths, my 5th anniversary in Thailand and work happening at the farm especially around planting the new rice paddies. A couple of videos I know you’ll enjoy too.

296. Living in Isan – Edition 16

  • Published 16 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

This is a particularly mixed bunch of stories that I am sure you’ll enjoy because of the variety. They include a market day, Happy Birthday Gaun, a turtle lottery, building a boat jetty, thanking the spirits, two newly discovered wats (temples), stocking the farm pond with fish, Elenna Pizzeria, pots, pots and more pots, some mixed photos with small stories attached and a mushroom farm.

295. Coffee, gardens and eating

  • Published 15 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

This collection of small stories has ended up being quite garden orientated so for those of you who aren’t into that sort of thing I will be publishing a back issue of some other stories soon to make up for this biased post 🙂 There are some other topics here so don’t just ignore the post – just jump to the bits that interest you.

Topics include a few garden stories of course but also a local house for sale, some tips about painting in Thailand, a day with the family, eating out at Good View, more bricks and the family help out.

294. Days of our Lives in Isan

  • Published 7 Sep 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Another mix of stories covering activities the last couple of weeks. A medical scare with Gaun’s mama, my rant on why be an Aussie citizen, an evening at a forest wat, out and about with friends, a guessing competition (with no prizes) for a colourful local school event, a return to one of my favourite wats in the area, cacti and yet more cacti and breakfast on the move. As always a broad mix of small stories reflecting the varied life we lead.

293. Two Wats and a Pink ID card

  • Published 29 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Information, Wat
  • LINK: HERE

We were on the road to look at a house friends of ours have built south of Si Bun Ruang using most of the team that constructed our home in 2014/15. As always I never see a trip in Thailand as directly from A to B. If you see something that looks interesting go for it. If you don’t you will end up missing out on so much. Two wats to share as a result and you couldn’t get more different styles.

292. Living in Isan – Edition 15

  • Published 26 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Lots to enjoy in Edition 15 of my small Isaan stories including mangos (again), useful Tips and Tricks for the newly arrived, a garden update, an update on the build of a small Thai house, a funeral ceremony, a return to Noi’s Kitchen, a house blessing and as always a few extras at no additional cost!

291. Living in Isan – Edition 14

  • Published 26 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

These stories happened over three weeks early to mid April 2018. Songkran, Thai New Year, happened in the middle of this period and as I have written about this festival already I excluded it here so that you only got new happenings and not a repeat of older stuff. A broad mix of small events as always starting with three maybe more aimed at locals but still giving ‘outsiders’ an insight into life here – farang comfort food shopping in Udon Thani, tips for driving in Thailand and car insurance. Parties, a wedding, extending the farm pond, building a small Thai-style house, visiting a local eating place plus a few surprises gives you plenty of other material to read in this edition.

290. Living in Isan – Edition 13

  • Published 23 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

We are heading back into the archives with this update to the Living in Isaan series based on stories published in late March. Here I cover dancing girls, temples, my stepdaughter’s 18th birthday, an update on the farm in March as well as our developing tropical garden. Lots to enjoy so jump into Isaan life.

289. Boats, Mother’s Day and temples

  • Published 23 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Another mix of stories covering activities the last couple of weeks. Masses of coconuts in the garden has got me thinking about Malibu cocktails. Mother’s day had the ladies in my life making flower garlands, covered previously as well, but here specifically to present to mama on Mother’s Day. We have a striking addition to the garden, a small piece of Isaan history to complement the rice hut that you can read about HERE. Septic tanks aren’t something you read about too often in blogs but I prove to be the exception. Upgrades at the local village wat provided a couple of interesting stories. A morning at a medical centre provides an insight into the system here.

300. Isan Variety – Never Boring

  • Published 9 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

One of the concerns I had about retiring to a small rural village in the northeast of Thailand 600 km plus away from the more farang orientated places like Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok, was how would I fill my days. Visiting out of the way places like where I live might be interesting as a change in scenery for a few days on holiday but for a lifetime?????? Sometimes even a brief spell in Isaan can be too much for some. How will the time be spent?

299. Living in Isan – Edition 12

  • Published 1 Aug 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

298. Mushrooms and Monks

  • Published 28 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

We are in the wet season here a period that covers May/June through to September/October. Although still warm, in the low 30’s most days, it is cooler than the period that precedes it and with the moist soil it combines to cover the treed areas of our area and elsewhere with mushrooms. Isaan people have a fascination with mushrooms, maybe because it is a seasonal treat, a bit like ant eggs in the dry season. Mushrooms are collected at night, so the hills are alive not with the sound of music but mushroom hunters with miner’s lights strapped to their heads searching for this free crop of yumminess.

297. Wat Pa Keson Sin Khun Thamma Chedi

  • Published 21 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Wat
  • LINK: HERE

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to join some of the villagers and the abbot of our local forest wat on a trip to a temple that’s being built about an hour and a half drive east from us. The main purpose of the expedition was a monk feeding ceremony, for both resident and visiting monks, and to raise money for yet more construction. As the meal happens very early I gave that a miss and we turned up later to an almost empty wat! I wasn’t too concerned we had missed the ceremony because on the way we stopped off at one of those totally odd and surprising wats being built in the middle of not much, which has now been added to my visitors to-do list.

296. Living in Isan – Edition 11

  • Published 19 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

295. Living in Isan – Edition 10

  • Published 18 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

294. Living in Isan – Edition 9

  • Published 16 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

I have got SO behind in these posts I call “Living in Isaan”, which are a series of small stories I have recorded that make up my everyday life in a small rural village in the northeast of Thailand, a region called Isaan/Isan/Esan. It has been a busy year establishing a new tropical garden, writing a book and filling in time with far more than I ever thought would happen day to day as a result of retiring to “boring” Isaan. I am on a mission to catch up so although the timeline is a bit out of date the material is still relevant sharing what life looks like here. I will now give you my standard introduction for these posts, so skip if you are a regular and head straight to the stories:

293. A Thailand Tropical Garden – Update 3

  • Published 16 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Tropical Garden
  • LINK: HERE

I was looking back at the photos I took for A Thailand Tropical Garden – Update 2 HERE, which was written at the third month point after we started this project and things have progressed so much that I thought a further update might be of interest. I know not everyone is as focussed on gardens as we are but from feedback I have received in various forms I also know that a lot of my readers are. We have now just passed the six month anniversary offrom when we started work, so that in itself is a milestone worth sharing. I have probably added far too many photos but that’s the problem with enthusiasts on any topic. I hope that the words I have also added make a story of it all and show that I’m not not just posting photos for the sake of it.

292. Wat Pa See Vichi

  • Published 8 Jul 2018
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Topic: Wat, Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

As Thai/western spelling is based on phonetics, meaning how a Thai word sounds in English, you can end up with lots of different variations for the same thing, all of which are basically correct. It is why search for places in Thailand using a GPS can be frustrating because where you want to go MAY be there if only you could work out how it is spelt 🙂 This wat comes under the same category. On Google Maps it is only named with Thai script and my “translation” is based on my wife Gaun’s pronunciation and my interpretation of those sounds so I could be close or not!

291. Dan Sai Ghost Mask Festival

  • Published 8 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals, Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Every year in the small town of Dan Sai, in the hills of Loei province, a three-hour drive from us, a unique festival is held called Phi (Spirit) Ta Khon or Ghost Mask festival. It is an event I have been wanting to attend for several years but each time something else was happening that prevented us getting there. Last year was looking good and then my stepdaughter Peng had major surgery scheduled for exactly that period. I fully expected something to come up this year but we actually made it so I thought I would share the vibrant colours of the day.

290. Renovating an Isan Rice Hut

  • Published 6 Jul 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

I have always loved the timber rice storage huts you see in the garden of just about every rural house in Isaan. Somehow they are essentially Isaan and each has its own character and history. In the days when everyone grew their own rice this was where it was stored to provide essential food for the family over the course of a year. My own Isaan family still use theirs and our supply of rice comes from their hut. These days rice farms are being converted to sugar and less people are growing rice, although it is still an essential part of the seasonal crop cycle for many people. As a result some of the huts now stand empty and I have heard of them being used for firewood. Part of my plan for the new garden we have been developing this year was the installation of a rice hut, which I wanted to renovate to make it like a mini-example of the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok.

289. Bun Bang Fai – Si Bun Ruang 2018

  • Published 31 May 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals, Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

We had a great Bun Bang Fai in our small part of Isaan this year. Bun Bang Fai is an Isaan rocket festival that happens every May/June with the vague aim of encouraging rains to fall for the upcoming rice season, and just by chance also includes a lot of drinking, dancing, rockets (of course) and generally having a good time (snuk/สนุก). The street party usually happens first and the second day is when they let off the rockets, with bets being made as to their performance. If you want more information about the background to this occasion, which is only held in Laos and the northeast of Thailand a region called Isaan/Esan, 

288. Udon Thani – A Few Hidden Surprises

  • Published 22 May 2018
  • Place: Udon Thani
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

With lots to photograph during the Bun Bang Fai festival period I decided that we’d see if the camera shops in Central Plaza, Udon Thani, a 90-minute drive from us, could help. I combined this with our Nissan pickup’s 20,000 km service and a visit to my favourite garden centre in Thailand. I also discovered a wonderful timber shop that has to be included on any local farang’s list of useful places and a mini Ban Chiang (a world heritage site south of Udon). Join us for the day and we will show you a few hidden surprises, plus provide some generally helpful information for both locals and visitors.

287. Living in Isan – Edition 8

  • Published 24 Apr 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

286. Songkran 2018 – Si Bun Ruang Part 2

  • Published 20 Apr 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals, Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

I ended up with so many fun photos from this year’s Songkran that I thought I would publish a second post, which is mostly based around day two of the water fights on the main street of Si Bun Ruang. In my photography I try to capture the atmosphere of each occasion with special emphasis on faces and action, rather than just have lots of the same sort of scenes of people throwing water around. I hope that makes the inclusion of so many photos on basically the same topic interesting enough to keep you engaged.

285. Songkran 2018 – Si Bun Ruang Part 1

  • Published 20 Apr 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Festivals, Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

Songkran is the Thai New Year held early April a time of parties and good fun in the same way our New Year is celebrated. It is also a family time so for the many people who have jobs that take them away, especially here in Isaan, a region in the northeast of Thailand, this means travelling back home in a huge twice a year migration (our New Year being the other).

284. A Tropical Garden in Thailand – Update 2

  • Published 10 Apr 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Tropical Garden
  • LINK: HERE

On the third month anniversary of us starting work on building a new tropical garden extension to our land in the northeast of Thailand, I thought I would give you a photographic update. I find it hard to believe the progress that’s been made in such a short timescale. The garden looks as if it has been established for much longer helped by the beautiful displays of flowers, all grown from seed and cuttings, that is in bloom after the cool season. I believe this is going to turn into a stunning feature garden in a couple of years and only get better from there. As always all credit goes to my wife Gaun, who has worked tirelessly to create this beautiful setting we enjoy every day. She has single-handedly planted or grown from seed or cuttings, every single plant you will see in the following photos.

283. A Private Hospital Visit in Thaiand

  • Published 30 Mar 2018
  • Place: Udon Thani
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

One of the major concerns and topic of interest for us retirees in Thailand is health insurance and the medical cover it provides. There is endless discussion of the benefits of having insurance or not, the costs and exclusions. I am not going to make this post a medical one-stop reference point because my blog only deals with aspects of Thailand I have experienced directly and I am not about to offer specific advice on such a complex subject. However, what I can share with you is a recent stay I had at a private hospital in Udon Thani, in the northeast, for minor surgery and how that experience went for me including the performance of my Pacific Cross Thailand private health insurance. Obviously, every medical treatment process will be different but I will focus on the administrative and hospital process I experienced, which I think will have enough similarities across the board to make this a useful read for those of you interested in this important subject.

282. Living in Isan – Edition 7

  • Published 26 Mar 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More small everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

281. Living in Isan – Edition 6

  • Published 9 Mar 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More small everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

280. Living in Isan – Edition 5

  • Published 26 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More small everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

279. Living in Isan – Edition 4

  • Published 22 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More small everyday stories about the real life in rural Isan.

278. Three Days in Bangkok

  • Published 22 Feb 2018
  • Place: Bangkok
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

We have just returned from a couple of days in Bangkok and were incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to visit the memorial site for the late king’s cremation ceremony in the Grand palace precinct. What a magnificent credit to Thailand for the artistry and workmanship that went into building this structure and surrounding pavilions as a tribute to their much loved king. The structure is being dismantled this month so our timing was a once in a lifetime. For once I won’t add much in the way of words because the photos really says it all.

277. Living in Isan – Edition 3

  • Published 22 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

I am going to be including the following standard introduction to these posts for those people who come across them for the first time as it gives some background as to why they read the way they do. For regular readers (a huge thank you to you all) you can skip this bit and get stuck into the new happenings. Well actually they are a bit of a catch-up so not that new but as of this week with three months off doing anything physical after some minor surgery they will become newer the more bored I get with being inside 🙂

276. Living in Isan – Edition 2

  • Published 18 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

More small stories of everyday life in Isaan, Thailand this post covering September and some of October 2017:

275. Living in Isan – Edition 1

  • Published 18 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

I haven’t been very active with the blog in recent months apart from a burst with three new posts in the last few weeks. I thought I would try to catch up with some of the small stories that make up everyday life here. None of them are spectacular and will never be found on the search results of tourists looking for adventure. However, most of the readers who have followed 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 and ziplining. For them these little insights help maintain that connection to village life, if they are living elsewhere, and for those who are newer to the scene maybe help with understanding what a life in rural Thailand might look like if that ever happens for them.

274. Australians Moving Overseas Beware

  • Published 8 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

I have to say that we Australians must rate as one of the most poorly treated citizens of any country in the western world when it comes to becoming a non-resident and I will set out to prove that statement as we go along. As you can tell from this opening sentence I have some strong feelings about this subject and that may shine through in the words I write! This post will therefore have two benefits; you may learn something and I will get it out of my system – a win/win for everyone 🙂

273. A Thailand Tropical Garden Update

  • Published 7 Feb 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isan
  • LINK: HERE

The main focus on the new 1,000 sq mtr block of land we bought in December last year was the main pergola seating area and upgrading the landscaping for the rest of the land, especially getting hundreds of new plants into the ground to fill up the empty spaces. This post covers the week’s progress from 29 Jan to 5 Feb:

272. Buying More land in Isan

  • Published 24 Jan 2018
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Building in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

In a funny coincidence it was almost the fourth anniversary of the original purchase that we agreed to purchase the other half from our neighbour. Her husband decided to sell a taxi in Bangkok and return to work the family farm instead. The debt on the taxi required the land to be sold and so it was unified under one owner yet again after seven years. We don’t need more land but with a total lack of planning standards, which can work both for and against you, I wanted to ensure we didn’t have the uncertainty of a possible new development next door especially as I designed our house to have living areas opening in that direction in the hope that one day the land would be ours. 

271. Driving in Thailand

  • Published 21 Sep 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

Driving in Thailand is one of those hot topics on expat forums and the sort of thing that is often raised in conversations whenever farang get together. The statistic that Thailand is the second most dangerous country in the world to be on the road is sometimes quoted and examples of situations seen here that defy the traffic laws in western countries are exchanged. So what is it actually like to drive here?

270. The Best Local Wats

  • Published 16 Sep 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Isaan Attractions
  • LINK: HERE
That is a bit of a misleading heading because I will only report on those temples that we have personally visited and get my tick of approval. These are mainly in the area close to where we live, which is in the northern part of Isaan, and therefore they obviously only form a small proportion of the choice available in all of Isaan, a region covering the whole northeast of Thailand. Having said that of the thousands of wats on offer, even if I had seen them all, only a very small number would be worth mentioning.

269. The Timber Temples of Nong Bua Lamphu

  • Published 27 Aug 2017
  • Place: Nong Bua lamphu
  • Topic: Isaan Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

I can’t believe that having told you in yesterday’s post that you can find HERE, that I had run out of new things to write about I am sharing the discovery of two wonderful timber wats just down the road from us a day later. Both of them are hidden away (neither are on Google Maps) and I would never have found them other than through the recommendation of locals. I would rate both temples as a must see if in the area of Nong Bua Lamphu/Si Bun Ruang.

268. A Day in Nong Bua Lamphu

  • Published 26 Sep 2017
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Topic: Isaan Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

I have had a number of readers write to me asking if things were OK as I haven’t updated the blog with new entries for a while. This has been the result of a number of factors. My stepdaughter Peng has an operation recently, which I wrote about HERE, and we have been more home based than normal supporting her during her recovery (she is doing great). I have also come across that time, which was bound to arrive at some stage, that no matter where we live and how different and varied it is we will eventually most likely run out of new discoveries to share with others. My life in Thailand has allowed me to write over 300 posts over a four year period, which is amazing, but I find that to do more now would be to repeat topics I have already covered. The farming and seasonal cycle continues as do the many festivals I have written about. Life has become more everyday and will remain so unless we do some more extensive travel away from our immediate area, which I do plan on doing once Peng is fully recovered.

267. Deadly Diet

  • Published 8 July 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
I only add this brief post because I know many of my readers have family in Isaan, the north east region of Thailand, and this article could be of interest to them and their Thai families. Traditions die hard here as anywhere but maybe if the eating of raw fish applies to the people we care about we can have some influence on their behaviour. Thankfully my Isaan family don’t eat raw fish but you might have a different scenario.

266. Ten Days in a Thai Hospital

  • Published 3 July 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
We recently spent ten days in the huge Srinagarind Hospital, which is the main teaching hospital for the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University in the north east of Thailand. I thought I would share my impressions of the experience, not as a comprehensive guide to the Thai medical system but as a personal insight into one brief involvement (thank goodness). Having said that I am sure there are aspects I will write about that can be applied to living on the wards of most public hospitals here I am sure.

265. More Hidden Temples in Isaan

  • Published 12 June 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Wats
  • LINK: HERE
Yesterday I had the urge to go for an explore and I picked out two wats (temples) to visit about an hour’s drive from our home in Si Bun Ruang. Having now seen both of them  (and one we didn’t plan on seeing) they stand out a little from “normal” temples and one of them has made its way onto my must do list for visiting friends and family.

264. Bun Bang Fai Part 2

  • Published 11 June 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
Bun Bang Fai is an exclusively Isaan (a region in the north east of Thailand) rocket festival held in June every year to encourage the rains to come for the rice season. I say exclusive in a Thai sense. The festival originated in Laos, which explains why it now forms part of Isaan culture as the people here came from Laos in one of those historical  movements of population.

263. Isaan – the Small Stories 31

  • Published 8 June 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
This is a very short edition of “Isaan – the Small Stories” and in fact will be the last edition under this name. In future I will be writing a monthly update of life here in the same format with small stories that give glimpses into the life of a farang living in a rural village in the north east of Thailand.

262. The Wats of Loei

  • Published 6 June 2017
  • Place: Loei
  • Topic: Attractions & Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
This is the second post relating to a family day out in Loei province close to our home in Si Bun Ruang. The first post titled “A Day with the Thai Army” can be found directly below. Having farewelled Game (Gaun’s nephew) and seen him back with his army mates we moved into the afternoon with three Buddhist attractions to visit.

261. A day with the Thai Army

  • Published 6 June 2017
  • Place: Loei
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
Yesterday I enjoyed the slightly odd combination of spending the morning hosted by the Thai army and then the afternoon wandering through some of my favourite wats (temples) close(ish) to the army base. I started out thinking that both topics would fit into the one post but since then I have split it in two with the army experience in this post and the next one called The Wats of Loei to be published shortly.

260. Fighting Fires in Lampang

  • Published 30 May 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
Peter Ferdinand is an Australian who bought my eBook “Building a House in Thailand”, and since then we have exchanged a few emails on various topics. In the last few days Peter has shared one of the most unusual and inspirational stories I have heard of a farang in Thailand and I thought you might be interested to read about his experiences.

259. A House Update 2017

  • Published 23 May 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Building in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE
Today I thought I would write a warts and all update that summarises my experience of living in the house for over two years. It is a very personal list of pluses and minuses that may have no relevance to any building project you have in mind for Thailand but there may just be some aspects that will get you thinking and may influence some aspects of your final design.

258. Bun Bang Fai 2017

  • Published 15 May 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
Bun Bang Fai (rocket festival) is an event held in the north east of Thailand, a region called Isaan where we live. The origins of this festival can be found in Laos but presumably was imported into Thailand along with the historical movement of population from Laos, some of it made voluntarily and some in the 18th and 19th centuries being forced.

257. A Birthday in Isan

  • Published 13 May 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

The 12th of May is my wife’s birthday (Gaun), which in itself isn’t of particular interest to anyone outside our family, but each year I try to organise something different to do that breaks routine and our day yesterday was no different. I hope you’ll enjoy the varied mix of stories in this post.

256. From Chiang Khan to Nong Khai

  • Published 11 May 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
We recently had a friend from Canberra visit us for a few days and I planned a road trip from Chiang Khan to Nong Khai following the Mekong River to shown him a few of the sights away from our home base. The timing was perfect because we had bought a new pickup the week before and I was dying for a chance to try it out on a trip.

255. Isaan – the Small Stories 30

  • Published 28 Apr 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Wow. Who would have thought that I would discover enough new material to keep this series going for its 30th edition. Well I have and here it is 🙂 If you are new to these posts they are extracted from the entries I write almost daily on Facebook, which is why they are in chronological order. Many people are sensible and don’t use Facebook for whatever reason, which is why I duplicate the entries here. Enjoy my February in Isaan.

254. Two Days in Isaan

  • Published 22 Apr 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
This is a bit of a unplanned post as I was going to make it a Facebook entry only. When I started to collect all the photos for the story I realised that there were a few topics covered and that a small blog post just to remind people I am still in the writing business might be the go. Also it is 38 degrees (100 degrees F) outside so staying inside with a glass of cold Aussie wine (I know – the things I have to put up with to keep the blog alive) looked like an attractive proposition.

253. A Day in Nong Khai

  • Published 31 Mar 2017
  • Place:Nong Khai
  • Topic: Places and Attractions – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
My stepdaughter Peng has started her long summer holidays and she recently asked if we could spend the day in Nong Khai on the river Mekong as a holiday treat. We have been to Nong Khai many times over the last three years and you will find attractions I share in this post are also in several previous posts in the blog. But for new readers this will be new information and I hope there’s enough fresh material for the oldies.

252. Buying a Car in Thailand

  • Published 30 Mar 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE
I am not writing this Buying a Car in Thailand post as a “how to” entry for the blog. In my stories I mostly just pass on my experiences based on actual events and there will be aspects that might apply to others and some that won’t. There were other things happening around the purchase to make it an interesting few days rather than a bland list of do’s and don’ts.

251. Living with a Thai Lady – Feedback

  • Published 21 Mar 2017
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE
The story of Living with a Thai Lady HERE has proved to be my most popular post. My words seem to have resonated with a lot of readers and I have received many comments over time, most of them pretty positive about their own situations or asking for further clarification or answers to questions either about relationships or other varied topics. I thought that I would extract some of this feedback and place them in a separate post that made for easier reading than in the format at the bottom of the original.