Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why Thailand ---A question most asked by folks we meet or friends

We were in town the other day and we saw a friend or two  that was here in the LOS on a holiday and thinking about retirement, and they ask us the same question many have ask us in the past as to why we chose Thailand as our retirement home and country. Well , it was 12  years in October that we moved here from America," lock stock and barrel "as the ole saying goes and I thought it would be good to repeat a post I posted about a year or so ago , it might help to answer that question, Hope you enjoy the older post and pictures.

                                                             Why Thailand

When we travel on vacation or we are out and about, one of the most ask questions is "Why Thailand."In order to really answer that question , First, you have to know that I am married to a Thai lady , and one of my main concerns in my marriage was what could I do to make her happy .We came to Thailand in 2003 on a vacation and a chance for me to meet her family and kids. I saw at once ,how happy she was to be in her home country with friends and family , and yet have the security in knowing that she had a husband who could and would do anything she needed , with-in reason to make her happy. Not only could I see how happy she was , but I at once fell in love with Thailand , there was lots of things that attracted me to the LOS , BUT the most important one was how happy Ciejay seemed to be .

I knew it was about time for us to start thinking seriously about where we wanted to live out out retirement years , I had always thought about somewhere close to my Brother and Sister, out Tenn. way , and we went for a visit to check things out before coming to Thailand the next year on Vacation , and somehow it just didn't feel right to both of us. Before we came over to the LOS we had mentioned to each other if the opportunity and time arrived that we would look around and maybe think about Thailand (of course it was my first visit ,so much of the decision would be on my shoulders. We looked around and then on the last day when we came to Kanchanaburi and our small village of Whang Pho , We looked at each other and smiled, and knew this was the place. We had little daylight left for this visit to her Older Brother and the next day it was off to Bangkok to catch the plane and head home , Would you believe we found a little house and piece of land and bought it in the dark of night , saying that we would be back next year when I retired and make it our home , Everyone laughed and thought to themselves that they would never see us again, but we fooled them all and you can read about the move and remodel and moving , in a older post , just go back and start from my first ones .

Now that was a long story to tell you the main reason for choosing Thailand. Some of the others are as follows and in no order of importance , all of them to us are important reasons for choosing the LOS.

1.--My small SS check is enough for us here in Thailand.

2.--We were able for Ciejay to buy a house and small piece of land with what little money we had in savings.

3.--The weather is the kind of weather I always thought I would like about a place, when I retired.

4.--The food is out of this world tasty, healthy (spicy mind you ) but plenty and fresh, and growing everywhere , even in your own backyard.

5.--The Thai people,( our neighbors and village folks) even tho it took a while to get use to their way of life and culture and their way of thinking , and for them to get use to me -ha ha ha 

6.-- The almost crime free village and area we live in .

7.--Lots of things to see and do , and a lot of it not far from where we live .

8.--Our Thai family 

9.--Our dogs(our kids ) that can run free and wild .(we have since lost Bok ), but Sabu is alive and well, and a everyday source of fun and companionship

10.--Our home, our yard with all the plants and flowers and the wonderful view of the mountains from our front porch , all these things make up our little  piece of paradise

11.--Our village and the town folks .

12.--And our neighbors

13.--Our Dr's., and health care 

14.-- Our church and church family

15.-- The difference in our health since moving here to Thailand

16.-- And the big difference in me and my thinking about life and living.

17.-- The happiness I see in my wife ,Ciejay,(thai nickname Toon)

That's not all the reasons , I could go on and on , and you might say "well couldn't you find that in your own country ", maybe so , But we didn't. and we have found it here in what we call our little piece of paradise, that , we believe the Lord had saved just for us and all the blessings that go along , with being Retired in Thailand and Loving It .

Saturday, November 28, 2015

INTERVIEW :::: Malcolm and Ciejay

Interview with Malcolm Burgess - an American expat living in a Thai village

Photo of Malcolm Bugess and family, an American living in ThailandMalcolm Burgess left life in the States to live out his Golden Years in a stress-free, peaceful Thai village with his wife Ciejay. He couldn't be happier in his modest environment, and gives us a glimpse into expat life in the Thai countryside.

Read more about expat life in Thailand in our Expat Arrivals country guide to the Thailand or read more expat experiences in Thailand.

About you

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Well that’s a hard one. When I was growing up we moved all over the country, but the last placed I lived with my Thai wife Ciejay before moving full time to Thailand was Salem, Oregon.

Q: Where are you living now?
A: We live in the providence of Kanchanaburi, the Ampour of Sai Yok and the small village of Whang Pho in a beautiful valley at the foot of a small mountain range and on the banks of the famous River Kwai.

Q: How long you have you lived in Thailand?
A: We moved here in 2004, this October it was 12 years

Q: Did you move with a spouse/ children?
A: I moved to Thailand with my Thai wife of 14 years

Q: Why did you move to Thailand; what do you do?
A: After a visit and a holiday in Thailand Ciejay and I decided that this is the place we wanted to live out our Golden years, and I wanted to Bring Ciejay back to her home country and to her Thai family.

About your city
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Thailand, how’s the quality of life?
A: The quality of life is great; it's a peaceful, quite and safe place and I feel no stress.

Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home?
A: Whenever anyone asks me this question, I answer:  family, friends and Taco Bell.

Q: Is the city safe? 
A:  Our little village is so safe, there’s almost no reason to lock your doors and take keys out of the truck, but nonetheless, we keep reminding ourselves, better safe than sorry.

About living in Thailand

Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in the city as an expat?
A: Well I am not an expat, I'm retired and I say whatever floats your boat. Lots of folks chose the city for all the excitement and things to do , but lots of folks like me, like the quite village life, free from the busy “run here and run there and do this and that life”, I left all that behind me when I retired.

Q: How do you rate the standard of accommodation?
A: Our home was an old Thai house that had not been lived in for eight years, we bought it and when we moved here in 2004, we took three months and remodelled it to fit our needs. Be it ever sooo humble, it suits us just fine, we love it.

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A: As we live in a small village, most everything is cheaper than it was in the USA; our small social security check goes a long way to meet all our needs and a lot of our wants. For the most part, it's all according to how you want to live. We're happy with our little home, little village and our low-profile way of life.

Q: What are the locals like; do you mix mainly with other expats?
A: All the locals are shop owners or farmers, all related to each other and it's like one big extended family. As far as other expats, there is only one other in our area and we get along great, amazing enough, we are both from the same area in the USA.

Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends?
A: I'm a people person, so it's easy for me and I always say, ”If you want to make friends, then show yourself to be friendly.”

About working in Thailand

Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit?
A: I'm retired and married to a Thai woman, so I have a visa that allows me to stay to support my Thai wife.

Q: What’s the economic climate like in the city, is there plenty of work?
A: The climate here in Whang Pho is one of the reasons we moved here; it's great all year round, hot, but not too hot with rain, but not monsoons - and no major disasters. Most of the folks are farmers, and thus there is always lots of work, and always a need for workers.

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A: Home (USA) was a hurry up; it was a stressful, work a day world. Here in the LOS, there’s less stress and a slower pace of living, work is on ones list here in Thailand, but is not a top priority.

Q: Did a relocation company help you with your move? 
A: No!!! We moved ourselves, after lots of planning and saving.

Family and children

Q: Did your spouse or partner have problems adjusting to their new home?
A: It took me a while to get used to the Thai culture and customs and the Mai Pen Rai way of life, but I listened, watched and learned. It did take me awhile to learn how to adjust my thinking to the Thai way of thinking though. Of course Ciejay was home, with friends and family and as happy as could be with a house, a little piece of land to call her own, a small bhat gold chain around her neck and a wonderful husband doing everything he can to make her happy.

Q: Did your children settle in easily?
A: No kids here in Thailand, they are all grown and married.

Q: How would you rate the healthcare?
A: The healthcare I have received since I have been here is the best, I've ever had.

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you like to offer new expat arrivals?
A:  Do your homework before you make the move, and then when you get here, go with the flow, don't try to swim against the Thai current and BE HAPPY.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A few things we love about Thailand

All my life,everywhere I have lived, I have always looked for things to be proud of ,rather than looking for things to critize or complain about or find fault with,and here in my adopted home of Thailand I try to do the same. I am proud of the fact that here in Thailand we have to freedom to live and love and enjoy all that life has to offer , as long as we live by the rules.I am proud of the fact that most expat folks who make Thailand their home and realize their dreams come true ,are very decent people. I could go on and on about things that I am proud of here in the Land Of Smiles And Gentle People . I would like to say that the thing that I am most proud of is the little village that I call home ,Whang Pho. All of our local leaders do all they possibly can to make sure that all the people that call Sai Yok their home ,live in the cleanest , safest,and most enjoyable place they can make it . I have even notice that they pay close attention to even the smallest detail to make sure that it looks good and not a eye sore , and the thing that amazes me the most, is that they seen to understand the meaning of maintainence.

This coming year , my goal is to look for all I can be proud of and if at all possible to thank the person or persons responsible and give them a big pat on the back, and to remind myself that  This is Thailand. Lets all give it a try. Just one more reason why We're Retired in Thailand and Loving It.  Malcolm and Ciejay