Thursday, May 28, 2009


The Elvis spirit just got a hold of me and a" Whole Lot of Shaking Going On" Me and bro. in law Bill, trying out a duet of "Blowing in The Wind"

These ole boys singing "Your Cheating Heart"

As the famous once said "I Am the Greatest"



The title says it all. This week a couple friends had a birthday and we got a bunch of friends together for a great party, the food was good and always a fun time with friends , but as always when you get a bunch of expats and their Thai partners together , the Karaoke spirit takes over and all of a sudden, everyone loses their shyness and becomes a wantabe singer,and not to be out done , the spirit of Elvis takes over my body and my legs start to wiggle and my feet start to move and all at once this strange voice comes out of my mouth ,saying"YOU CAN DO ANYTHING BUT LAY OFF MY BLUE SUEDE SHOES",I wonder if those few glasses of wine had anything to do with it . I read that karaoke started in Japan in the early 70's and has spread around the world to become one of the all time favorite entertainment additions to every party , especially here in Thailand . And for a moment in time you are a STAR, just like that Rainstonestone Cowboy, "getting cards and letters from people you don't even know and offers coming over the phone",singing every song you can remember,from days gone by, and then all of a sudden you're off key and missed that high note and everyone is laughing their A-- off and then you come back to the present and realize that you were only dreaming and it's time to touch The Green ,Green Grass of Home, and someone takes your car keys and says we'll give you a ride home . Malcolm

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Ciejay and daughter Nu in the kitchen both great cooks
The two most important appliances in our kitchen

The famous cutting board (tamarinnd) and peppers

The fruit of the gods , Mangos from our very own trees

Lunch at the Burgess's ( notice the pill box ) ha ha

Rice and red curry and fruit for Ciejay my Thai Lady

The story goes like this ,we had been married for about a week and Ciejay was already into taking over the task of changing my house, from a place where a man had lived alone for four years to a home, that could be inhabited by a wife and husband. Well ,she set about cleaning the place from top to bottom , rearranging the furniture and washing all the clothes I had piled in the spare room , one pile for clean and one pile for dirty , they never seemed to find their way into the dresser or put in the closet, on hangers, it was easier just to grab one and iron it or throw it into the dryer if not to wrinkled.She went about cleaning out the cupboards and the stove and all the dirty dishes , well I thought they looked clean. I came home from work after a couple days of this and did not reconize the place , I thought for a moment I had got the wrong house.Ciejay is a great cook,and she had tried to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner , It was ok , but living alone I was use to Mcdonalds, Burger King , and Pizza Hut. I had not had a real home cooked meal in my home in a long time, and it was a real treat. We started talking after dinner about what food I liked and what food I did not like and what would I like for her to learn how to cook for me.She had been living with her Thai sister , and her husband who had already adapted himself to mostly Thai meals , and a few american dishes,every once in a while , well me I had only eaten Thai food once or twice and it was not my favorite , I knew nothing about being married to an Asian person and Asian food. Ciejay ask me if I liked rice and being a meat and potato person ,I said NO ,rice is not something I like . Well a few days went by and It was veggie soup one night , spaghtti, the next. Take home pizza a couple of nights . It was Saturday morning and I walked into the kitchen , because I had not got my coffee in bed as usual and Ciejay was crying her eyes out , I didn't know what was wrong , I thought she was sick , maybe home sick , I didn't know what , so I went over and took her in my arms and just held her for a few minutes , she stopped crying and I said "whats the matter honey" and in her sweet little voice the reply was this "I AM A THAI LADY ,AND I NEED TO EAT RICE." Well a light went on in my head and all of a sudden I realized , that I had said "NO RICE," I felt terrible, and said "ok lets cook some rice for this Thai lady", she said " we don't have rice pot, and I like jasmine rice from Thailand" , all I had in the house was Uncle Bens boil in a bag. I said "ok lets go for a ride ."I had passed a Asian store down the road , so off we went to Wing Wong Asian Store .When we went in , my eyes and mind, and nose ,were opened to all the different kind of foods the Asian folks eat. I told the owner that we need a rice pot and some jasmine rice , well it took her and Ciejay a long time to come up with just the right kind of rice pot , and the right size rice pot, and I bought five pounds of rice thinking that would last a few years ,ha ha . While we were there I ask Ciejay if there was anything elese she needed , ,so we got fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce , hot red and green fresh chili peppers, salted eggs ,and a shopping cart full of stuff that I had never seen in my life and smells like I have never smelt. I thought to myself if that is what it takes to makes her happy, then I guess I will just have to learn how to eat some rice and a little Thai food. Never in my life would I have ever thought ,that just like Ciejay , a meal is just not a meal unless there is rice and fish sauce on the table. Every once in a while tho ,I find myself saying to Ciejay "I AM A AMERICAN" and off we go to the Jolly Frogg, for one of the best burgers and fries ever , or over to the Pizza Company for pizza that taste and looks just like the real thing. We have been married seven years and every once in a while I have to stop and remember that Ciejay still is A THAI LADY. Malcolm

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


At eleven thirty it started to open,and to fill the house with it's wonderful ,unusual fragrance
. A little wider please,it took it about thirty minutes and it was fully opened

Here she is in all her glory, the plant always looks like it is going to dry up and die at any time,and is really not very pretty.

Look how big when fully opened

And she smelt soooooo good to , nothing like any other flower I have ever smelt.

Well it's been one year and to the exact date and The Queen of the Desert bloomed again ,at midnight and only for one night,and then she's gone, just like that. I posted pictures of her last year and was surprised that this time, not four ,but only one flower appeared and bloomed, I caught it at the right time to and was able to get a few pictures again this year . The plant or leaf is really ugly and you would never expect to see the most beautiful and sweetest smelling flower you have ever seen.I could tell it was opening up because at around eleven thirty , it filled the whole house with a wonderful smell, nothing like you have ever smelt before .So I grabbed the camera and headed out to capture it in pictures again this year.I was not dissapointed. Do you have one ? or have you ever seen one ?I hope you enjoy the pictures, and as I said before , I'll give you a start for your very own , but you have to come and get it . It will be a great addition to you garden area, and a great converstation piece.Next year if there are at least two I am going to try and press one in a book to preserve it , I will read up on how to do it right in the meantime, what do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2009


RAILCAR # 2512



There has been lots of books and articles written about the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and the Thai-Burma Railway built by POWs and a lot of Asian slave labor , during the Japanese occupation of Thailand during WW II , or as the books and the tourist call it the Death Railroad .After the war the Thai government assigned the officials of the Thai railways to explore the possibility of using what was left of the Thai -Burma railroad for use during peacetime as a means of transportation for the Thai people. One of the little know facts is that it was a death railroad in war and in peace, as some of the inspectors were killed in a tragic accident while inspecting one of the viaducts, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves . I hope you remember these folks too ,when you think of the railroad or when you take a ride or visit the site. Just a little know fact your information . Malcolm

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This is one of the most beautiful Budda's I have ever seen I have never seen a image of Budda as a young boy , and here pointing up

This is a huge wheel ,whitin small wheels each with a different number ingraved in them and on golden colored balls, the thing on top, that looks light a old lighten rod ,has a glass ball filled with green liquid.

I thought for a minute he was real

Budda on a snake or dragon with lots of heads,pretty scarey sight

A traveling Budda which I have never seen

Another image of Budda , I never have seen so many different ones in one place .

I don't know what this is suppose to be or it's importants in the Buddish religon, May you could enlighten me ?

A beautiful collection of Budda's and monks, and angelic beings. very colorful , and everything is well maintained and cared for.

The Stairway to the sky (I called it ) goes to a huge cave at the top all locked up to keep down theif and vandalism

So, you ask ? What is this unseen Thailand treasure . well, it is not a simple answer, but I'll try to say what I'm posting about . Yesterday me and Ciejay decided to explore a couple of roads that lead off into the mountains behind our house , living here five years, I had never drove down them . Well we drove for about 10 kls. thru valleys and hills and up and down winding roads and all of a sudden there was a huge Thai temple in front of us , Now I have come to the conclusion , that there are Wats and there are Temples in Thailand, each one with a different purpose, ( no research here) just my thoughts, I think the Wats are for the local people , cremation, making of a monk , marring , and feeding and taking care of the local monks . The Temples,are not as often, visited (by tourist and sight seers). are for the Thais to come and pay respect to Budda , to study about Budda's life and teachings, to relax and meditate, and to offer tamboon and to make merit. and to display Thai treasures and artifacts from old times , and I think a lot of these are for Thai eyes only and not for the tourist to goggle over and snap photo and walk over places with no respect for Budda and his teachings.Such was the Temple that we found yesterday , I was in awe of the beauty and care and solitude and quiteness of this place , I found out that there were forty people (Monks and Nuns ) and labors paid for by the temple to keep and preserve the natural beauty and and splender that I was beholding.Does that sound a little hollywoodish, well thats just the way I felt being there , like it was a national Thai treasure , and I had the pleasure and experience of getting to see it with my own eyes, I showed great respect to everything and after a while the Nun that spoke english said to me "you can take a picture if you like, just show respect."I felt very privileged to have found this wonderful Thai Treasure. This is amazing Thailand and you never know what you will find off the beaten path or around the next bend,I hope you take a little time out to explore you area , there is a lot more to see than you know. I will post a few pictures this time and a few more next time around , I took lots of pictures some quickly as I did'nt want to impose on the Nun showing us around. the stairway you see leading up goes to a cave that they keep locked, as the artifacts in there are hundreds of years old , and years ago they had some of them stolen, one of a kind treasures never again to be seen. She gave me the key to the door and told me where the light was and said she was to old to climb all those stairs , I told her" thank you", but, I'll come back another day if I may , she said I would be welcome.Ciejay was glad for my decision as she did'nt want to climb the stairs too. I hope to return again soon for another adventureous day in the LOS, and take lots of pictures to share with all of you .Also if you want to see more I will be posting them in Malcolm and Ciejay's pictures on our web site at hope you enjoy Malcolm

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Well, I have to do one more post about elephants , I hope you will enjoy this picture post as much as I have enjoyed looking at these old pictures . Ciejay and me were doing our wine business the other day and at one of the resorts I saw these old pictures and ask if I could photograph them , and did they have a story to go with the pictures . They said I could and the story was told them by the owner of the resort.Now the man that owns the resort ,which is managed by his daughters and their husbands, is the same man that owns the Sai Yok Elephant Park that I visit often and took the pictures of the previous post of the babies learning to swim.Fifty plus years ago there was a elephant fair , held in Surin, up north in Issan country where all the elephant owners and trainers would bring their animals to show them off and to have different contest and to see whose was the strongest and smartest and best looking ,and all the other elephant stuff. these pictures were taken by his father and have been enlarged and framed and are now proudly displayed in the resort lobby.I have never seen so many elephants in one place at one time in all my life. Have you ?

I have decided to dedicate a small(maybe not so small) area on one wall in our home and frame and display my many pictures of elephants that I personaly have taken and also some given to me by friends and ,I have been told that I could include these too. I hope you enjoy them. Malcolm

Saturday, May 2, 2009




As you know if you read my blog ,that the thing I love a lot about Thailand is the abundance and variety of birds , and of course my all time favorite ,ELEPHANTS. This is maybe a short post , but the other day when Ciejay and me were coming home from church and crossing the bridge over the River Kwai in our village of Wang Pho , she saw the elephants in the water and Ciejay said"STOP" and I did and , we found out that we were watching the trainers and the mama elephants , teaching the babies how to swim , the trainers had a long rope tied to the baby and they would take them (the babies) in the deep water and they would start kicking and spitting water and thinking they were drowning and then they would bring them back to the shallow water and let them rest and then do it again , after a few times the babies were swimming around like they had learned, it was so much fun to watch that I forgot I had left the camera in the truck and , when I got back I only got a few ending shots . I hope you enjoy them. You know that is just the way I taught my boys to swim , ,I was on a big rock with a rope tied to their waist and they would let go the rock and kick their feet and hands , while I held their heads out of the water, after a few minutes they were swimming around the rock on their own. how I wish I had a picture of that , that was forty years ago in Alaska down on the Kenai Pennsula ,at Daniels lake where we had a little fishing cabin.Wow how that filled my head with memories.
I know you have heard lots of stories of how horrible they threat the baby elephants to break their spirit and will, and make them afraid of the people before they can train them, well I can say for a certain that no baby elephant is poked with sharp stick and caged and starved and given no water in order to train them at our village . I have wittnessed first hand the training and of the babies . the Sai Yok Elephant Camp has about thirty grown elephants and lots of babies and the babies stay right by their mother's side all day , the camp is open every day for the tourist to ride and they have a show of the elephants dancing , and massaging the people while they lay on mats and the little babies run around and pick up the plastic water bottles and bags and put them in the trash can, it is so cute to watch . I have made a few unannounced visits , to the camp and have never seen anything but love and gentleness from the trainers here in Wang Pho. I can't speak for all the camps in Thailand but I can for the Sai Yok Elephant Camp , and for Elephantworld where my dear friend Moll-Lee live in the jungles of Kanchanaburi. Check out their web page and as I have said before come on over and we'll go take a swim with the elephants , you'll love it , and if you can't swim .I'll tie a rope to you and stand on the big rock and hold your head out of the water while you swim. Malcolm