Friday, June 30, 2006

Bangkok Life June 06 One Year

I can’t believe it as been one year since I left the UK to start my life in Thailand. One thing for sure is that life can be just as hard over here as it is in the UK. Also the saying blood is thicker than water is very true, my family have kept in touch even when I’ve been slow to reply, so thanks to Mum, Alan, Lisa, Lindsey, Ann, Kevin, Joan, Steve and Paula.

You also find out who good mates are, Phil as usual as turned out to be my best mate. I think I’ve seen him more this year than I ever have done since I worked for him. For everyone who as kept in touch by email thank you, Like I said, I’m not the best myself for keeping in touch. I must give a special mention to Kim; she as been a very good friend to me out here, cheers Lover!

I have recently got in touch with a few people from my past, not in a missing home sort of sense, but a regret at not keeping in touch when I lived in the UK.

The first 3-4 months of my stay were like a phoney stay. More like a glorified holiday than real life. I’m glad to say I have now got that out of my system and realty of normal life is back with me.

Nuch as been a rock, we have had arguments and disagreements, but we are still together, at the end of September we will have a new edition to the family. I’m so excited; I can’t wait for the baby.

The new house was a double edge sword, yes it was cheap. However I think Nuch would agree with me when I say we should have waited, saved some more money and gone for something a little closer to Bangkok, maybe even a Condo and not worry so much about owning land. The house though is looking great and when the garden is completed, it will be our home and I’m very proud of it.

This year as been great for people coming to see me, Phil as been 106 times, Bucko, Dave and friends. Lisa, Alan and Olivia. Plus some old mates from Hull, Chris Cordell and Alan and Jackie Burns. Later in the year I’m looking forward to welcoming my Mum and Alan, Leslie from AMS and Ann and Andy. So I’m going to be busy. I don’t get bored with showing people the sights of Bangkok, whatever they want to see!

I’ve listed below a few top tens that have shaped my life this year;

Things I miss about the UK

Family & Friends
My car
Fish and Chips from Georges
A good pint of bitter
Off road bike rides round Belper
Breadsall Priory, playing golf
Donor Kebabs
Being able to buy clothes that fit
Going to Pride Park to see the Rams
Having the crack with mates

Things I don’t miss about the UK

Income Tax
17.5% VAT
Stamp duty
Poor service
Expensive prices
Political correctness
£1 a litre for fuel
Women with attitude
Speed cameras
Council Tax
Tony Blair

Sorry! That was only supposed to be a top 10, but I got carried away.

Stuff not so good in Thailand;

Bad driving

Err, that’s all I can think of.

My top 10 places visited in this last year;

Hua Hin
Chom Pon Caves
Khao Yai National Park
Kota Kinabalu
Ko Kret
Baiyoke Tower
Grand Palace
Kuala Lumpur

I will try harder to keep in touch this year; hopefully I will be making a visit back to the UK before New Year, but who can tell. Goodbye for now everyone.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Competition

A quick photo of one of my competitors at the recent MTB race I competed in. The Bastard beat me aswell.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tiger Zoo

Last weekend we went to the Tiger Zoo near Pattaya. I wasn’t looking forward to it, much as I’ve never really been into animal welfare, I dint like it when bad animal welfare kicks you in the teeth.

The Zoo was actually quite modern and the animals seemed to be happy, as much as any animal can be happy caged up.

Straight up, I fulfilled a life time’s ambition and got up close and personal with a Tiger. Although it was only eight weeks old, it was very strong and more interested in the bottle I was feeding it. Its fur was super soft; I definitely wanted to take it home with me.

Next to the tiger cub was a strange display, in one pen there was a suckling pig suckling two piglets and two tiger cubs, in the next there was a tigress suckling four piglets in tiger skins. I can see what they are saying, but why not let the Tiger suckle the cubs and the pig suckles the pigs!

In the next cage there was a sign saying “Happy Families” In it where a pig, a golden retriever and a tiger. The dog was trying to hump the pig and the tiger just looked confused. This is not as confused as I was at the next display. A large rock display with around ten tigers sheltering under a cave, but at the other end where an African family dressed in tiger skins. To this day I don’t know what the point of this was?

There were plenty of Deer, Camel, Croc’s, Horses and Pig’s all over the place. Some of the more bizarre shows included Pig racing, a woman with around 200 Scorpions on her and you could for a small price hold a croc egg as it hatched.

Pretty good day out….

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sweden 2 - 2 England

Sweden 2 – 2 England

The usual Anglo-Nordic encounter. With so many of the Swedish players playing or played in the Premiership, it was always going to be a bitter contest.

Owen early injury was horrific; I felt my knee twinge every time I saw the replay. Newcastle will be well pleased.

Joe Cole’s goal was a belter, as in all fairness was the England performance.

The biggest exception was the defence, this defence is supposed to be the envy of all international coaches; they looked very ordinary and had no venom. They have got to do better.

Anyway, it was more or less the result we wanted. Bring on the Ecuadorians.

I'm alright Jack!

Yesterday I received a letter from the British Embassy in Thailand.

Basically it outlined their plan should a Bird Flu pandemic break this is what the Embassy was going to do for me! In short, bugger all!

The Embassy as a plan for their own survival, any unfortunate Brit living or visiting Thailand will be on their own.

I’m surprised at this, recently the Embassy as had to deal with a torrent of abuse from Thai’s and Ex-Pats over its sale of part of the Embassy Compound to a Shopping Mall company. The land was given to Britain by one of the old Thai Kings, so it was seen as a bit of an insult to sell some of it off. They needed the cash for accommodation of the staff and obviously to protect themselves when there is an outbreak of Bird Flu.

Below I have reproduced the letter they sent me;

“British Embassy

8 June 2006 Consular Section

1031 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330

Telephone: (662) 305-8333
FacsimiLe: (662) 255 6051


I wrote to you in December 2005 with information about avian and pandemic flu. The
UK Department of Health has now produced a pamphlet on pandemic flu that gives
advice on how to reduce your risk of infection from an influenza virus. This can be
viewed on their website: That should be read together with an updated
version of the Foreign Office (FCO) avian and pandemic flu fact sheet which can be
accessed through this Embassy’s website:

Although the number of cases of people contracting avian flu has increased, the perceived
threat of a human influenza pandemic remains the same, as the virus continues to show
an inability to pass between people. However, in an effort to ensure you are kept as fully
informed on the subject as possible, you may welcome an update, in particular, about
what your embassy will and will not be able to do in the event of a pandemic.

It is clear that, should a human flu pandemic occur, the virus would likely spread very
rapidly, possibly affecting all countries within a matter of weeks. Given the likely
disruption to transport, health services (including the NHS in the UK) and other local
services, the level of consular assistance and the visa service which we can provide might
be significantly reduced, not least because some of our own staff may be ill. In certain
circumstances we may even have to close the embassy temporarily to prevent the spread
of infection.

We have put in place a flu contingency plan for the embassy so that we can try to
maintain a basic consular service during the crisis. Depending of the seriousness of any
outbreak we would endeavour to continue providing regular updates on the embassy
website. We will set up an emergency call centre to deal with your enquiries and will
keep you informed of developments by e-mail and/or letter.

I would especially draw your attention to the section of the fact sheet headed “British
Nationals living Overseas”. You will note that in the event of a pandemic, we have
concluded that given the potential number of British nationals involved we will be unable
to offer repatriation.

We would also not be able to offer any diagnosis or medical treatment. This, rightly,
should be the duty of your usual healthcare provider. We suggest that you consider this
and make the necessary arrangements, in particular your likely access to anti-viral drugs
and the quality of medical care facilities in the event of a pandemic.

I suggest you visit the Department of Health website at,
which contains a range of information to help you consider your options in the event of a
pandemic. Further information can be found on the World Health Organisation and
Health Protection Agency websites. Please contact me if you have any further queries
about pandemic flu planning.

You should also monitor the FCO and embassy websites for updates. We will
communicate with you again when there are further developments.

Peter Karmy
HM Consul “

Thank you Mr. Karmy, for absolutely nothing!!!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Turn right Clyde

Hear no evil, speak no evil, and See no evil

Do you remember the old Clint Eastwood films from the 70’s? Every Which Way or something like that. He had an Orang-utan called Clyde.

At a Zoo I went to at the weekend I was privileged to have two Orang-utans sit with me and have their photo taken.

Weird creatures, they are very clingy and curious, the larger one seemed intent on pulling the hairs out of my arm with its lips, whilst the smaller one just wanted to be held.

Their skin is like an OAP’s and the hair could do with a gallon of conditioner on it. I’m not sure how the Zoo got hold of the two creatures; they seemed happy and well fed. I will do a post later about the Zoo and my hand feeding of an eight week old Tiger Cub.

England 2 - 0 Trinidad & Tobago

England 2 – 0 Trinidad & Tobago

Up until the 83rd minute, I had expected to write the obituary for the England Football Team. Luckily Peter Crouch nodded one in the back of the net from the usual Beckham delivery. In stoppage time, Gerrard just about validated his being picked in the team by scoring a left foot beauty.

The first half was dire! It looks like Owen is in one of his goal drought fazes and Lampard can’t buy a goal. The second half was not too bad and I guess at the end of the day England deserved the win.

It made me laugh when the T & T defender who Crouch fouled to get to the ball and score moaned about it in the post match press conference. You big girls blouse! You’re a defender, a supposed hard bloke. Stop whinging.

At least I won’t have to stay up till 2am to watch the Swedish game now that England has qualified. Bring on Germany or Ecuador.

Out of all the first round of matches, Spain looked to be the best.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Diamond Jubilee

This weekend as seen huge celebrations all over Thailand. The occasion being the Diamond Jubilee of the King.

The King of Thailand is the longest ruling monarch in the world, it is amazing the respect and love the Thai people have for their royal family. They do stay in the background; they don’t have ex Fleet Street Spin Doctor’s telling what would be best for their public image.

When the King does speak, people listen! Recently he told the two opposing sides of a political problem that as plagued Thailand all year to sort the problem out. Next day they began to get things together.

In Thailand it is illegal to defame or ridicule the King, no spitting image dolls or tabloids running round making Mercedes cars crash in Paris Tunnels. The flip side is that the Thai royal family don’t give them cause to anyway; the worst thing that as happened in the past is the Crown Prince got a divorce.

The King is very well known for his environmental projects all over Thailand, he used to direct most of the projects himself, and he is also an accomplished musician, writing the King’s Song, which always heralds his arrival.

Unfortunately, this last week as been torture if you are a non Thai. The TV coverage as been 100%, all the Thai Station’s showing exactly the same thing with the same commentary. Worst of all, I missed the first twenty minutes of the England Paraguay match for yet another re-run of the days proceedings.

Generally he seems a pretty cool guy, a lesson maybe our royal family should take.

The second picture is a very famous one, showing the King talking to an old woman, it captures what the King is all about.

Monday, June 12, 2006

England 1 - 0 Paraguay

England 1 – 0 Paraguay

I suppose a win is a win, it would have been nice to say we played them off the pitch, but after the first 25 minutes we didn’t.

Beckham played well, Crouch had a very good game despite being kicked all around the pitch. Owen didn’t get the service and the back four thought they were Brazilian. Trying to get the ball away with short, tricky passes that never worked.

The whole midfield played to far back and Gerrard should have stayed in the dressing room for how much good he was.

This is what I would do;

Let the midfield play midfield, let Gerrard have a floating role. Keep Owen and Crouch up front. Feed aerial balls to Crouch and let him either score or feed it on to Owen. The back four should get the ball up pronto! No passing to each over with attackers bearing down on them.

Next up is Trinidad & Tobago, if we win this then we will guarantee going through to the next round.

Come on England!