Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Retirement----Why Thailand

 Me and my Valentines Girl
 Our home after  remodel
Ciejay and baby elephant
 Taking it easy
 A visit to a Thai Temple ---- Lots of them in every village
 Me taking a swim with Moll-Lee
Train Station 4 blocks from our home
 Fresh (and I do mean fresh ) fish
 Me and Bok taking a nap
 Sue and Alex

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, even tho it took a while to get use to their way of life and culture and their way of thinking .
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 .
10.--Our home and little piece of paradise.
11.--Our village and the town folks .
12.--And our neighbors
13.--Our Drs. and health care
14.-- Our church and church family
15.-- The difference in my health since moving here to Thailand
16.-- And the difference in me and my thinking about life and living.
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 .                                                                          Malcolm

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fishing for Fun and Family

One of my Favorite past times, now that I am retired, and for the most part, all my life has been fishing . I grew up fishing with my Dad and Grand-pa.  Fishing every week-in on the Broad River in S.C. and my Grand-pa's favorite past Ben Adams fish pond was a way of life and a real treat and a right of passage as a young boy, you paid $2.00 for adults and kids were free under 12 , for all day and the pond was stocked with catfish and carp . On Broad River we fished for fresh water turtles and catfish and I can remember some of the cooters (another name for the turtles) , being as big as a wash tub and big enough for us to get a ride on it's back before it became cooter stew , for which my Grand-pa was famous in our town for making and he also made the best catfish stew you ever tasted , folks use to come to his back yard when he was cooking catfish stew and they bring bowls to take home to eat. Have you ever ate cooter or catfish  stew?? I quickly learned as a young boy that fishing was not only a lot of fun, but it could provide a lot of food for the table. Growing up in the south that was a real plus. Well-- enough rambling about my childhood,I could go on all day about fishing and my adventures fishing as a young boy , and I could fill a volume of books about my fishing days as a grown-up and especially fishing with my boy's when they were growing up , they are fisherman now too, and love it as much as their Dad. Maybe one of these days I'll just sit down and write at least one book on the subjects.
  Today's story started with me mentioning to Ciejay that it looked like a good day to go fishing , and to my surprise she said "let's go", WOW  so it didn't take me but a minute or two to throw everything in the truck we'd need for fishing , and Ciejay quickly packed us a lunch and off we went . We decide to go to a little lake that we had pasted a hundred times on the way to and back from the Bamboo School and each time we pasted  I would say " I'm going to go fishing here some day " and today was the day . The lake sits at the bottom of a huge rock  mountain  with a few small huts around it , and a real nice place to stop the truck and a good place to throw out your line and just sit and enjoy the scenery and peace and quite and hope you get LUCKY and catch a fish , well we saw lots of scenery and enjoyed the peace and quiet , BUT!!!!!! no fish, even tho ,we did see some jumping , way over on the other side , which of course we could not get to. It was a beautiful day and we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves and our time together ( fishing and spending time with Ciejay ,my sweet wife)  It don't get any better than that.

Just as we were getting ready to go , (I had drowned all my worms )  lol , we saw some folks over on the other side of the lake splashing around in the water and looking like they were having a fun time swimming . Ciejay said she saw them put in a net and look like they were herding the fish into it , well this got my attention, because in all my fishing days young and old , , I had never heard of HERDING fish into a net . I told Ciejay we just had to go take a look and see what they were doing and if it was working for them. . They were in the water when we got there , they had gallon jugs tied with ropes around their waist to  keep them a float, and each had a bamboo stick in their hands, and were beating the water as they swam. I just stood there in amazement watching  this family catching fish to feed themselves and  their neighbors as they said they were all related ,so they would share the catch with all. After swimming  a couple of times around the small pond , cut off from the rest of the lake and feed by a small canal, they had dug they came out of the water and Pa got back in and started gathering up the net , then up came the kids Mom and Dad and I was now witnessing  three generations , fishing together for fish to last them a week until the next week-in  and a time to repeat it all over again. I couldn't believe it but that net was full of fish . To me it looked like fun , but I'm sure to them it's just a necessity  of life. To keep from going home with no fish of our own ,I ask Ciejay to ask if they would sell us a couple , and they said they never sold any, they just shared them with friends and family so we ask again how much for 4 nice ones and they said the old Thai  thing "UP TO YOU ". Well ,Ciejay and I agreed that 60 baht( about$1.70 US)  would be a fair price and they were happy to sell them .  Well we were on our way home ,happy and with 4 fresh fish , and Ciejay said "what you want for dinner tonight?". To that I replied "Fried Fish and cole slaw and french fries and a Coke Zero." It don't get no better than that. Hope you enjoyed my rambling and my fish story , and again with all the lakes and streams and rivers here in Thailand , fishing is  just another reason why we're "Retired in Thailand and Loving It."