2015 Daily Blog

The cremation of Cat’s aunt took place this afternoon.

Money Wraps

When Phai’s mother passed two years ago I took a lot of video and photos at the direction of Phai. It was important to Phai that her three sisters in Florida could see their mother’s funeral. This time Phai said I should not take pictures. The woman who died is not our family and I would appear to more of a tourist taking photos. …

The Monk Initiation Video is here.

Cat and Simone noiseless

It is a real challenge to shot video under the following circumstances:

1. It was raining

2. I never new what would happen and when

3. I was video taping while walking for much of the video

4. The girls kept distracting me. I wish I had copies of all the photos they took with their cell phones posing next to me. …

A death in the family and a celebration of a new Monk.

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What a day. It has not stopped raining since early this morning. It has not been a hard rain, just a steady drizzle. Phai told me when I woke up this morning that the woman across the street died. She is the sister of Phai’s brother’s wife. So not a blood relative but still considered part of the family. …

I had the chance to speak a lot of English today.

I had a relaxing day at the house catching up and computer work and learning some new software. I actually microwaved Mac and Cheese for dinner. I bought it frozen at 7 eleven. It wasn’t great but it was a change of pace. Phai’s niece who is the mother of my little pal “Pan” had her boyfriend from Australia arrive in the village today. …

A quiet day at home

Other than a short trip into Nong Dan to visit the flea market they set this morning I relaxed at the house. Had my soup for lunch and then a long nap. Phai has gone to the farm but I stayed back to catch up on some learning. Last night I had to use Skype to call my MasterCard company because they put a freeze on my account when I attempted to purchase the airline tickets for our Chiangmai trip. …

Two major milestones at the Farm today. I planted Sticky rice. I used the outhouse.

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We headed out to my farm about 10:00 this morning and I was there until about 4:00 pm. It was another beautiful day. Before we went, Phai’s son went to a local place near here and bought the largest pair of high rubber boots they had. They were still very tight but I managed to get them on. …

An amazing day at my farm. 

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Phai said I really need to come out to the farm today to see what has been accomplished. I totally agreed. It was a cool (80 degrees) day and completely overcast. We piled our stuff in the Ning’s father in law’s old pickup truck. I rode up front with him  and Phai and his wife rode in the pick up bed. …

Today I feel blessed and lucky. When you watch the video you will see why.

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It rained all night last night and the half of the day today. That is great when you are living in farm country. 

Yesterday I booked flights and hotels for our trip to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai. I had some real difficulty because Nok Air does not accept American Express who knows I am in Thailand. …

A nice day at home. Booked our trip to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai

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Phai and many of the family are spending the entire day at the farm weeding the rice paddies and getting ready to plant more rice. Phai went into town this morning and bought a new pump because the old pump they were using for irrigation has seen its better days. I have a photo below of the new pump. …

Rested up and ready to plan our next trip

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Now with the Bangkok “business” trip out of the way I can plan for a fun trip for Phai and me. We want to go to Chiang Rai. It is about as far North as you can go in Thailand in the western part of the state just below Burma (Myanmar). We will fly from Udon Thani to Chiang Mai and take a three hour bus trip to Chiang Rai. …

We are back. A lot of things to tell you about.

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Were to begin? When we last left you we were getting ready for the trip to Bangkok. We had to go shopping in Nong Bua Lamphu the the morning before we departed to get my step son some new clothes. The only long pants he owned were jeans, he did not own dress shoes, socks , belt or dressy shirt. …

Mobi moves in to our new house. I get a haircut.

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Well, I don’t have any new photos of the baby. She hasn’t changed much from the previous days. I did have a fun time today. Phai gave her to me to hold while they set things up for her and her mother. Well, having raised three of my own I recognized the signs of a red face and strained look which occurred just prior to her loading her diapers. …

Sunday in Isaan. Talked to the Mayor, got all the documents printed for Embassy trip.

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It was overcast until this afternoon and very pleasant. When the sun came out in the afternoon it really heated up with high humidity. 

We drove into Na Klang to a photo shop and got the photos and documents printed for the meetings at the Embassy. Once we get the family members there they are on their own. …

A hot day until 4pm when it was a huge downpour. Mobi gets a bath.

entire family

Spent a lot of the day on the computer getting all the documentation ready for the trip to the American Embassy. I went through and found family photos from eight years ago and took new ones today in front of the their house. It is important to show: 

1. They are a family 

2. They have strong bonds to Thailand so the American Immigration will understand that they will return to Thailand and not overstay their visas. 

A visit to my farm, Phai’s brother visits and Finally I see the new baby awake.

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Lets do the most important first. Every time I walk over to the old house to see Mobi she is asleep. Finally this afternoon I timed it perfect and caught her just beginning to wake up. It took some patients to wait for her eyes to open but she finally opened them and the photos are below to prove it. …

Busy with the new baby and battling the bugs

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The baby and new mother are sleeping in a large area of our old house which is actually used as a garage. It allows them to set up the bamboo platform with the charcoal heat pots underneath which I am now told the new mother spends five days sleeping on. It also has direct access to the bathrooms and shower. …

Our New Granddaughter is home from the hospital.

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Our new granddaughter and her mother came home from the hospital this morning. She was born two days ago. She is really a cutie but since this is my first grandchild (okay, step grandchild but it still counts) I have a feeling no matter what she looked like I would think she was beautiful. …

A great day. Trip to flea market in the morning, rooster fighting, and Phai’s Garden Grows.

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Went with Phai and Ning to the flea market in our village. I actually found a shirt there I liked and it fit me. That is hard to do here. Really having fun interacting more and more with the locals who are getting used to seeing me around. I took a nap before lunch and when I walked out Phai said they have chickens in the backyard, go see. …

A new baby, a good day shopping and a long day in government offices.

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Our new granddaughter was born about 8:44 this morning. I am told she only weighed about 5 ½ pounds but is very healthy. I saw a video of her that Ning brought back and she seemed calm and curious. I hope I get to see the baby tomorrow. I don’t know how long a mother and new baby stay in the hospital in Thailand. …

More rain and some great family fun

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Yesterday morning I decided I would get my own bowl for my cereal (Ning usually sees me walk out and gets a bowl for me). What I didn’t realize until after I had poured my cereal and milk was the bowl was teeming with small ants. I fished as many out as I could with my spoon before I decided, what the heck, this is Thailand, they eat everything so I just started eating. …

Heavy rain today at the house, but not at the farm less than a mile away. The video is live.

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Phai and I were so happy to see a heavy rainfall today. She is very smart, looked at the clouds and said “it is raining here but not at your farm”. When her brother in law came back from the farm a few minutes ago he said they got no rain there. When they went out to work there this morning they took a large number of long PVC tubes so they could irrigate more of the paddies. 

A quick trip into Na Klang for groceries, otherwise a hot, stay at home day.

Not much to report today. Both Phai and retreated to our air conditioned bedroom for naps. I caught up on on watching “Americas Got Talent” on the NBC app on my iPad. 

I did get some comments from readers yesterday that they really enjoyed the Thai Music video I posted yesterday. That video has been viewed 106,638,941 times in the last year. …

Who turned up the heat?

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Well, at 102 degrees I have camped out in my air conditioned bedroom. I am using the time to bring my computer up to date with OS X 10.10.4 and learn the ins and outs of the new music service from Apple which I am really liking. 

I was having a problem getting the video I took at my farm from my Sony camera to iMovie. …

An Exciting day. Upgraded my iPad & iPhone and subscribed to new Apple Music Service.

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I woke up excited because while I slept Apple released upgrades to IOS and OS X operating systems that include software for the new Music Service. I downloaded the updates on all my devices and since it is a three month free trial for Apple Music I subscribed. I do not know how I will be able to give it up after three months which is exactly what Apple is planning on. …

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