Monday, March 30, 2009









Most post from Thailand bloogers are about their life upon arriving and about daily living and,traveling in the LOS, but not to many on what causes us Expats to decide,plan, save and finally,make the move to Thailand.So ,I thought I would give it a go. A friend introduced me to Ciejay ,we dated for three months and then we married ,on the fourth of July 2002. A year later Ciejay's father in Thailand passed away and we made plans with her sisters and their husbands who also lived in America to come to Thailand for the 100 day celebration of her fathers life , a tradition in Thai culture.We all flew together and rented a van to take us to their home place , and where the 100 day celebration would be held .We had talked it over and also planned to spend a week ,after all the visiting and family affairs were over, traveling around and seeing the sights .It was my first trip to Thailand and I fell head over heels in love with the country and the people.I ask Ciejay if she would move back to Thailand if we could find a piece of land to build us a house on? ,would she move back to Thailand and we would retire here ?. Being the sweet person that she is,said"YES "which was a total suprise to me because she had just the month before got her green card that enabled her to stay in American ,and being married to me was renewable every ten years with no problem.No every three months visit to immigrations or anything and she could work pay social security and taxes and retire at 62 just like anyone else in America ,a dream of a lot of Thai people.What a surprise answer. Well we spent the week traveling a lot, and visiting relatives and really looking for land and a house that we liked and the place where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives . Well, we could not decide where or what , but on the last evening of our trip before flying out the next day, we decided to visit her brother in a little village called Wang Pho in the providence of Kanchanaburi,right on the famous River Kwai.As we turned off the highway 321 and started driving down the 5 kl. and I do mean down the mountain, into the little village , my heart soared within me and I said to Ciejay "if the village is pretty and we like it , and can find a little piece of land , this is the place ". Well we visited her brother and a neighbor had a small piece of land out of town , with no road to get to it , or water and power was not close at all ,we said thank you ,but no thanks. It was getting dark when we got back to her brothers and we said "well we will have to plan another trip sometime when we had time to look around for land" . We both agreeded that this was the place , I loved the small village and it just had the right feel to both of us.Disappointed that we could not find something we liked, as it was getting late, and we had a three hour drive to Bangkok and were flying out at 6:30 the next morning, I told Ciejay to ask her brother a simple question , if he knew of any land with a empty house on it , and to our suprise he pointed 100 yards up the road and said "yes my friend and his wife divorced 8 years ago and the house is not quite finished inside and the bathroom roof has fell in , but it was for sell ", but because of bad Karma and Thai's belief in ghost and bad spirits no one would buy it, Me and Ciejay being Christians Karma and ghost ,didn't scare us at all. The house was all locked up and all the windows had security bars and screens and they were all tinted to keep out the hot sun, so as dark as it was outside and inside we could not even see inside thru the windows. we looked at each other and said lets do it . We ask her brother if he had the friends phone number, and after a while he found it ,and called . He ask if it was still for sell and how much and the friend said 400,000 baht , my brother -in -law said to him this my sister give her a discount , the friend said ok ,300,000 baht , we said we'll take it.We didn't have any extra money on us and it was night time and we ask if we could send money when we got back to the USA. He said "mai pen rai " I give you 6 months to pay me all at one time,no want payments . We said ok and told Ciejays brother to look after it for us and we would send him money every month for 6 months to pay it off and for him to keep the money ,till we had sent it all, and then pay his friend , He said ok "I keep in bank for you" ,all was settled, we now had a piece of land and a house in Thailand . Located within 1/2 mile of the town square , the high school , the hospital , the city hall, and the local police station, at the foot of the mountain and I mean right at the foot and 1/2 mile from the River Kwai, What a dream come true. We could not believe it .Our other American, brother -in-laws and their wives thought we were crazy , and maybe we were crazy , but we had a dream . We went back home , I had one more year before I could retire (62) with 75% my social security , 100% if I worked till 70. but I was ready to retire, and we had a house in Thailand .Remember I am just a worker bee in America not CEO or owner of a bussiness , no,401 K plan and no monthly retirement pension coming from years of service with one company. Just my monthly S.S.check . So I worked one more year and in 6 months we had sent money to pay the house off and we planned to move over in March of 2004, but we knew that we needed money to remodel the Thailand house and buy furniture and everything else we would need to make the house a home . We sold our cars , everything we had acumalated since we were married 3 years ago , I personally had nothing as I lost it all in a couple bad relationships before Ciejay,if you know what I mean. So when a friend suggested that we sell produce with and for him and we would split it all 50/50, we said ok and changed our plans to leave on Oct the 6th for our house in Thailand , hopefully with enough money,to do what we needed to do ,to make the house a liveable home .We sold produce from June the 1st, till Oct the 1st ,7days a week rain or shine and on the 6th of Oct. 2004 we arrived in Thailand with 11 suitcases of cloths and pictures and important papers , and our dream.

If you liked reading this post (short story) and a little about our lives ,as well as our retirement , please let me know with a comment ,I've got a couple more stories that, I think you might enjoy too , let me know what you think. Malcolm

Sunday, March 29, 2009










Ciejay, showed me envelope a man brought by and said his nephew "TO BE MONK". I guess this is a very important time in a young mans life , for himself and also for his relatives ,I'm not sure of all the Buddish benifits of monk hood , but Ciejay told me that one thing it does is to asure Mom and Dad a place in Budda heaven.And the envelopes is a way to get money to help pay for the party , it seems to me that everything that they celebrate , birth , weddings , engagements , cremation, monkhood , house dedication, that there is aways a envelope to put money in to help pay for their party, and then when you have a party or important event in your family they will put money in your envelope to help you, sounds like a share and share alike thing to me . I ask Ciejay what if you put money in their envelope and then they don't put money in your envelope , next time , she said they lose face and everyone not like them no more , I guess it a important function of the social events (the envelopes) of village life. Have you experienced any of this , married or living with a Thai wife ,or just being a expate in a village ?

Well, we got ours ( THE ENVELOPE)and we put the money in ,and off to the TO BE MONK party we go, and you know a Thai party, for the living or the dead it's lots of music, dance, food and fun , and lots of good stuff to drink , and always in the end a little karoke of course. We had a great time as did , at least 1,000 folks that attended this one , if you get one of the Almighty Envelopes , put the money in and go , you want regret it , and if you loosen up a little you just might have as much fun as the Thai's do .

I took a few pictures of this one ,hope you like them. Malcolm

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


While on one of our visit to the small village where Ciejay grew up and raised her family , we went by the old homeplace that her younger brother and his wife live in now, and we were talking and I was listening to stories of the family and eleven people living in a bamboo hut that use to be there before the house that is there now.Before they put dams on the canal in front of the house ,the family use to take a boat to Wat Sing the local village to go to school and to do their shopping for all the necessities of life .The Tha- jeen river, ran all the way to Bangkok and meet up with the big river Jow Praya, that ran to Bangkok , and was the life line or connection, between many small villages before all the roads were built .Ciejay was telling stories of seeing a dead body float by one day on the way to school and how they would stop along the way to check the fish traps that Pa made out of bamboo in hopes of catching a fish for dinner that night and ,her brother would check the trap he had set in the rice field to see if he had caught a field rat ,that would make a good meal for the family.There was a story about the time they all decided to take a swim before rounding the bend near their house as the parents did not want them swimming in the river. Ciejay says that when they got out they were all covered with leeches and were the girls were crying and they had to go and have Ma get them off, of course Pa found out they were swimming in the river and that meant a couple swats with the ole bamboo rod in the corner ,just for that purpose. They had so many stories of their childhood,and they seemed (the stories) to have a bonding effect on them and the sweet childhood stories kept them close to each others hearts with fond memories. I loved hearing them and it brought me closer to Ciejay ,hearing about her as a child and some of the good times and hardships she had growing up, it has helped me to understand how she thinks ablut things , and how she will relate to certain situations even today. The highlight of the evening was when her Brother said "do you want to see the old boat we traveled in" of course I said" yes "and grabbed my camera for a shot of a rotten wooden boat on it side laying under the trees , but to my surprise there it was almost as good as new and Koom told me he still uses it to fish from and to cross the canal to visit sister Tui from time to time .I have learned so much about how Thailand use to be before all the western influence from Ciejay's little stories, and am writing down all the little stories for our Thai grand-son to give him when he grows up .I hope you hear lots of stories too and save them to pass on.If this generation does not preserve them they will be lost. Malcolm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I was taking a ride in the country yesterday ,looking for a couple of wild flowers to plant in a little area I have set aside for wild flowers in the back of the house, and came across this coral in front of and beside a couple of houses. I could smell it before I could see it, and now I am more gratful than ever ,that neither of my neighbors are into being cowboys. I think the folks must start each day with a prayer to Budda that the wind blows toward the neighbors house .
Looked around for the gunslingers and cowboys, seeing none I suppose that all is peaceful in Cow Town. If you have seen the movie" Gunfight at O K Coral" you will know what I mean. Malcolm

Friday, March 20, 2009

National Maritime Museum of Chanthaburi

On one of our recent week-in trips we visited the city of Chantaburi on the way to Pattaya. We were told there was a nice museum off the beaten path towards the river , so off we went in search of this museum.Well after driving thru several small villages and up a curvy road we found it. We were not disappointed at all as not only was there a museum, but we had also found Fort Nuenwong , the fort and wall and canons used by King Rama 111 to fight off the Burmese troops invading Thailand ,in ships coming down the river. The fort is located on the bank high above the river,making it was a ideal place to fight them off and sink their ships as the made their way up the river.The National Maritime Musuem is the first and only museum to house thousands of undersea artifacts,located on 3,500 square meters situated within Khai Nuenwong,it is a twin building with six floors. It houses, art and artifact and models and actual collectables dealing with sea life of the local villagers.It has what I believe to be some of the finest displays of model ships and maritime articles I have seen in Thailand.

It's off the beaten path and not so easy to find , ask around and I'm sure you will be glad you took the little side trip to the Fort and museum. Hope you enjoy something a little different ,not just temples all the time , I know I did . Malcolm

Friday, March 13, 2009



I call her Smokey , the neighbors down the road call her Cherrie, and the folks across the way call her Sherrie, she answers to all three.Arriving on our street as a drop off and in pretty bad shape,as you can by the first picture , and all of six weeks old, she looked like" death warmed over "as my Mom use to say. But with a little tender love and care by the three familes mentioned above she got to be so cute even Ciejay took to her. She knows she belongs to all of us and we all think she belongs to each of us and treat her as our own . She is the most even tempered dog you will ever meet, and I mean meet , not just see, she has a personally all her own . She is cross eyed and , before she was dropped off on our road ,she must have been abused as she has a ear that flops over because the vet says the bones are broken, and she has a habit of hanging her tongue out one side and smiles at you .She answers to and can under stand both Thai and English and you talk to her just like a child and she seems to under every thing you say. When she was one year old, I had her spayed and every three months she gets a shot to keep the fleas off , I brush her and the folks across the way bath her about once a month . She will not take garbage out of the cans and scatter it all over. When the grandma down the street has her grandkids for the week-in ,Smokey is right there helping to babysit those kids and keep them out of the road and away from the small ponds around , she will actually pull their pants and make them sit down if they start to get out of sight of grandma , we have all witnessed this many times, when the folks across come home from work she will stand by the car and the lady will hand her the bags from shopping , and her husband will open the door and Smokey will carry them inside for her and will then take her purse and carry it in to and go out side and wait for her snack. all three families have a food bowl for her, and she has her favorites to eat at each different home , down the street table scraps , across the street rice with oyster sauce, and at our place chicken wings and a little dry dog food . She never attacks her food no matter how hungery and eats very slowly never spilling even a piece of rice. she will take each chicken wing out of her bowl and take it to the middle of the road and eat it and then come back for another and then the dry food and then a drink of water from the fish pond.. She will spend most of her day except week-ins on our patio sleeping or in the car port or two huge holes she has dug in the back when the sun is to hot out front. The reason she sleeps all day,or naps , is she is awake all night patroling our street, she will not allow any other dogs to come near our road and if a stranger comes up our road all he-- breaks loose and you would swear she was going to kill , she has never bit anyone , but folks that don't live here let you know they are coming , there are no suprise vistors day or night .
When Ciejay and me go shopping or just to the market , nomatter where she is on the street Ciejay can call "Smokey Jokie" we're going and she will run up and Ciejay will tell her take care of the house and she will go lay on the patio close to the porch ,she knows she is not allowed on the tiled porch and lay down , till we come home, leaving only to eat at the neighbors house and then back on our patio, the neighbors see this all the time ,When we come back ,when we pull in the carport she will run completely around the house and come back and look at Ciejay as to say It's ok you can come in now nobody is here .Ciejay will then say " I love you just a little bit and you not my favorite dog either and you cannot come on the porch . Smokey just looks out of the crossed eyes , one ear flopped over and tongue hanging out with a big smile as to say thanks Mom I love you too. Malcolm


Monday, March 2, 2009

Lunch Time In Whang Pho

Right beside the Hot Dog man is his wifes noodle stand , and it doesn't get any better than this.
Hot coffee, Iced Coffee, a Smoothie fruit drink and ice cold or Pepsi or a Coke

This lady is here every day except thursday and she picks the corn fresh every day, Thais boil their corn till all the taste and sugar is gone , but she will boil mine for only eight minutes for me , just right .And the hot dogs are chicken.

This lady is a great cook and every evening she has a couple choices of Thai food for sale to take home and enjoy.

They line up every day for this fresh corn on the cob and believe it or not she will sell out every day , so you have to get there before to late or you will be out of luck.

This is the pork meat ball and beef Hot Dog man , he grills them to perfection and them dips them in to his special secret sauce and they are to kill for . Yummy.

Ciejay and me made a couple agreements before we got married , having been married before we both knew how much work goes in to making a happy home and each one doing his or her share of the work and chores, to make life and home a happy and enjoyable place to live and love. One of them was that she cooks four days a week and I cook three days , and we pretty much stick to that agreement even after  12 years of marriage. Now I just love when it comes my time here in Thailand and the LOS , I just jump on the old Honda wave and to the market square I go , there is always a lot of vendors selling some of the best food, cooked right there in front of you. Fresh hot off the grill ,or out of the pot. Ciejay never complains that I take the easy way out , since we have moved to Thailand , and the best part is ,I can buy lunch or dinner for the both of us for about 60 baht .Less than three dollars US. Such a deal. Ciejay is a great cook and it is always a treat to sit down to her table , she prepares everything she cooks with love and kindness and always sits a beautiful table , never just throws stuff together and never just throws it on the table . Everything is served most meals , in our collector set of coke cola dishes that our friends brought over when they came over for a visit , we had given them to these folks and they saved them , for four years to bring over to us because they knew we loved them .Bowls and Cups and little dishes for the sauces, all with the coke trade mark and always a napkin, for the fork and spoon A rare sight in most Thai homes, ( I always carry napkins in my back pocket when we go out to eat or to some Thai friends house as it seems like they never set the table with napkins, and most small village eating spots don't have napkins either, most just set a roll of toilet tissue on the table , doesn't clean your hand very well.)
If you ever come over to our house , we'll make sure it's Ciejay's day to cook.
That's just one more reason why we're Retired in Thailand and Loving It

Oh yes, and one of the other things we agreed on was I COOK YOU CLEAN. works out real well in the Burgess  house whole.  Thanks for the read  leave a comment if you enjoyed .