2015 Daily Blog

A Visit to My Farm.

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I spent a lot of the day working on the Visa process for Phai’s son and daughter in law. The agency we hired has been super responsive. We filled out all the worksheets on Saturday. Since I do not have a printer/scanner I rely on my iPad. The owner of the agency didn’t think I could use an iPad to get the forms to him. …

An interesting trip to a "Mountain Temple”.

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It was hot and sunny but that didn’t deter us (five family members plus me) from a little trip to visit a Temple located on a small mountain (large hill) about ten miles away from where live. We met with a Monk and also looked around. It was midday which is absolutely the worst time for photography because of the harsh sun and the shadows but hopefully I captured a few interesting photos. …

Another Sunday in Isaan. Got some work done on the restaurant and house. 

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The restaurant was busy today but Ning still found time to work with Phai to make new curtains to hang in the opening between the wall and the new room on the restaurant. When the sun is setting we can block it now. Also got the wall painted and touched up the paint inside our house. It rained hard several times today and the new gutters worked perfect.

My sore back finally got the best of me. I bought a new mattress.

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Saturday in Isaan. Mostly cloudy and definitely the coolest day so far. It only reached 88 today. even had some short rain showers. I kept telling them that I wanted to wash the umbrella in the front of the restaurant. It has advertising on it and was given to Ning for free for selling the companies products. …

A lot more dirt, a group of young Monks and a lot of paperwork and new gutters.

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Today we had more truckloads of fill dirt brought in. Twenty truckloads in total. The total cost including the tractor with operator spreading and leveling was $180 dollars. 

This morning Ning spotted the guy who did all the gutters around our house two years ago driving by. She flagged him down and we had him do the gutters for the new roof over the restaurant. …

A Dirty Day Today. Literally.

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Today the neighbor’s dirt started arriving by the truckload along with a tractor to help spread it. So, as long as he was getting dirt, we decided to also get some which gave us a discount. We had 15 truckloads of dirt put behind our house and the vacant lot next to us and the same tractor helped spread it. …

Interesting Meeting in Udon Thani Today

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I mentioned yesterday that we set up an appointment with a company in Udon Thani that specializes in getting U.S. visas for Thai citizens. We met with the owner (Jim) and his wife at their house today for an hour and a half. He is an american with his Thai wife. They have a beautiful home in Udon Thani and were super nice people. …

Big day today. My trip to the local temple and the neighbor works on his house. 

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Phai and I and her granddaughter rode motorbikes to the local temple. While Phai and Fa Sai had lunch with the head monk I walked around taking pictures. Then the head monk came out and gave me an amulet with his photo in it. He speaks no English but has always been very kind to me. He told Phai before she went to America that she was going to meet a falang there and get married. …

Nong Dan market then a trip to Udon Thani

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Busy day today. First we went into the market in our village. Each month they have a day when the street beside the market is closed and vendors set up shop. Ning bought some material to make curtains with and Phai bought her son some new pants and a shirt. I enjoyed interacting with the locals. …

Saturday and Sunday. Fathers Day celebrated December 5th in Thailand.

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King's Birthday or Father's Day is celebrated on December 5, the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the monarch of Thailand. King's birthday is a national holiday and is celebrated all over the country with great enthusiasm. The event is used by the loyal people of Thailand to express their reverence for their King.

Finished New Roof. Hatched a lizard egg.

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The family got to work putting up the side of the new roof. Sure looks good and makes the restaurant feel bigger. 

My brother in law harvested crabs at my farm. These guys bury themselves in the mud when the dry season comes then when the rains start again they come up. He had a whole tub of them. …

The extended roof for the restaurant now up

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This morning we (I actually helped) tore down the old thatch roof over one section of the restaurant. Once that was complete they guys began cutting and welding the steel support beams. At 3:00 they were close to being ready for the tin roofing material so Phai I were driven into Na Klang where we ordered and paid for it. …

A Slow Day in Isaan.

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Well, I try and post interesting things everyday but some days there just isn’t much going on. Today was one of those days. I thought they were going to work on replacing a section of the restaurant roof. We bought the materials yesterday to be delivered today. But the guys decided fishing at my farm would be good today and besides, the materials didn’t get delivered until this afternoon. …

Phai visited the doctor today and we bought new furniture

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I will keep this short because I have lot to do this evening. We spent more than four hours in Nong Bua Lamphu. I insisted Phai see a doctor because she has been coughing and clearing her throat constantly. I was really worried. She kept buying over the counter medications but nothing seemed to help. …

A busy day today. Everything now working.

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The day started with Phai going to the Buddhist Temple this morning at 6 am for some kind of big gathering. Since it was raining I choose not to go and worked on things here. I do want to go down to the Temple and take some photos but it is better when there is not a crowd. I know they have added some things over the past two years. 

Got the security cameras installed and had huge water urns moved.

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Good day today. I am feeling better each day. The medication the doctor prescribed is definitely working. This morning Phai told me that son in law wants to work on installing the camera system. We got started on it but had to stop for awhile when three guys Phai hired to move some huge earthen water jugs arrived. …

Took the kids swimming and an eight legged visitor

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Actually, the visitor was in the bathroom when I went in to take a shower last night. I called Phai in and together we decided to not kill it since it did not seem to want to attack us and as big as he was I didn’t want to make him mad. So I did the next best thing and grabbed my iPhone and took some photos. …

My Trip to the Doctor - The fishing video is finally on YouTube

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Well, I finally gave in and agreed to go to the see a doctor. They drove me into Nong Bua Lamphu to a private hospital which has a clinic attached. We went into the lobby and they immediately invited us over to the registration desk. All they needed was my passport. Shortly after registering I was seated in front of a nurse who took my blood pressure. …

A bag of coconuts, a frog invasion and the ice cream lady

I stayed around the house today because my back is really sore. It was better this morning after we added an additional mat on top of our mattress but really hurt this afternoon so I took a two hour nap with medicinal patches on my back. The mattresses here are rock hard. It didn’t bother me past trips but I guess as I get older I am not as flexible. …

A haircut and a trip into Nong Bua Lamphu

Those of you who followed us in previous years probably remember my survival motto here. “Go with the flow”. I can never be sure what any given day will bring so when I wake up I simply plan on joining in any adventure that presents itself. I did finally get the haircut I have been wanting. …

A Great Day!

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I have been writing about my not brining the power supply for the security camera system I purchased. Well, this morning I was looking for the microfiber blue towel I use to clean my glasses and iPad screen. I couldn’t find it so I started looking in my suitcases. It was in the big suitcase but the good news is I search my small suitcase first. …

A large visitor today and the results of a mushroom hunting trip

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Phai and many other family members got up at 4 am this morning to go mushroom hunting. They do this at least once every time we visit. I have not been asked to go nor have I offered. They didn’t get back to the house until 2 pm. They didn’t bring as many mushrooms as they usually do but they did bring back several bags of fried beetles and fried silkworms. …

Spent All Day at A Buddhist Funeral

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Two members of Phai’s family on her mother’s side died one day apart in a small village out side of Kon Kean. One was older and husband of a cousin of Phai’s and the other was only 34 years old. They are not sure what happened to the younger one. He was not feeling well, went to the doctors and got a shot. …

Visited a small Thai hospital in Na Klang

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When we woke up this morning we discovered that Phai’s daughter in law Moot had been taken to the hospital during the early morning hours because she was in labor. After breakfast and a shower we drove into town to see how she was doing. The labor has stopped for now but they are keeping her there for a few days. …

A Big Oh Oh today.

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My day started out great. I hooked up the new router we bought yesterday and it fired right up and works great. I brought an additional wireless IP camera from home and it connected right up so we have two wireless security cameras working (one we installed two years ago and it continues to work wonderfully). …

A Day of Shopping

Finally got that shopping trip into Nong Bua Lamphu. First we went to the Bangkok Bank downtown to exchange our US money for Thai Baht. Also took the opportunity to have my bank passbook brought up to date. That’s right, they still use passbooks here. Luckily they simply insert it into their printer and the computer automatically prints all the transactions in the book that occurred since the last update. …

A Nice Cool Day.

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While the day started out warm, a really nice cooling rain moved in this afternoon to make it very pleasant. It is 5:30 pm now and only 84 degrees which feels cool for here. I am hoping we can get out shopping tomorrow in one of the larger stores in Nong Bua Lamphu which is about ten miles from here. …

The Flea Market and My Farm

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About every two weeks the village of Na Klang (about 5 miles away) has a large roadside flea market. It stretches along the main highway for at least a mile. We need a few things so away we went. There isn’t much that you cannot buy, from plants to food, clothes to spices, knives to pillows and huge quantities of plastic bins, tubs, baskets, etc.

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