Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My $2 buck lunch today

Pad Thai Gung at Top's food court for 50 baht.

Add in a medium drink for 20 baht.

Shopping and chores this afternoon after B's doctors appointment.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back in the Mango....

I must be getting old.  I know it for sure.  A few blog posts ago, I said we were not on any schedule to get back to the mango.  I forgot two things - B's Aunt is with us and B had a doctor's appointment tomorrow.  I knew I had one on the 5th of September, but that was a given since it was close to my trip to the States.  Anyway, plans are flexible so that meant leaving the resort this morning and now we are back in the mango - maybe until I leave next month!  I just don't want to make another dash back and forth in the next ten days or so and will let B drive herself back upcountry after I leave for Kalifornia.

Anyway, its time for a quick nap and then maybe some archery tomorrow after B's appointment.  As I was saying, a flexible schedule right?




Monday, August 29, 2016

Raining again this morning......

Raining again this morning so no walk yet.  Might even skip the walk and go directly to the breakfast part of the morning routine.  One day off in two weeks is not bad right?

All we need are some giant bamboos....and they're coming!
The nice thing about rainy days here at the resort is that it has a feel of a Rain Forrest.  Tropical plants, palms, birds, and the warm weather makes it feel like a slice of paradise for me alone.  Far from the troubles of  the world and yet someplace I can call home with family.


Anyway, last night we celebrated Ella's "hello world" and welcome home with a cake that B ordered. We had just core family as most everyone else had started to go back to the mango or wasn't available.  B had bought some restarting candles since she knew that both the older kids liked to compete in blowing out candles.  Turned out to be a riot as the candles kept re-lighting and both soon became breathless trying to blow them all out completely....555  Had to step in when the room became full of smoke!


Marina waiting patiently for the go signal

These stupid candles won't go out!
Ella took it all in stride and slept through it all.  When she is bigger, she will get to see this again in the videos and pictures we took.  Pictures and videos are snapshots of our lives to share in the present and more importantly, to share again in the future when the kids are old enough to appreciate having these memories.


Routine activities planned for today.  A trip to Makro and Big C and some chores.  Still have guests leaving today so everyone will be busy with something.

  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

18 minutes of insight into what is driving world events today

You need to know this.  You should know this before you do something dumb.

If you want to see the 'big picture' of what and why things around the world are happening now and why the US is involved in the Middle East and all over the planet, take 18 minutes to see this video. It will wake you up to why there is likely going to be a world war 3 or some kind of war involving the big players in the monetary world.  When all the financial tools don't work anymore, there is only one thing left..guns, bullets, and bombs.

What anonymous presents is true.  Its what I have believed for years and have tried to convey through this blog.  People fight and have wars over many reasons like religion and political freedom, but the evilest and most vile wars are those fought for financial gain.  Ever since Nixon, the US has been complicit in wars all over the world for its financial benefits - namely hegemony of the Petrodollar.  It didn't matter if the ruling party was Red or Blue...its didn't matter because money was Green, and that was the most important goal of all the players.



America, don't be stupid and send your kids off to war for the sake of Goldman Sachs, the Rothchilds, and the Illuminati bankers.  Wake up, the rest of the world knows what is happening - its time you know as well.


Raining out this morning....

Its been raining since 4am so no walk for this morning yet.  I like to get out around 5:45am and go for my morning walk because I finish just around when the van comes by and picks up my stepson for school.  The van driver always beeps and waves to me and is a good friend of the family.  In fact, she is indebted to me she says, of saving her career as she was having a hard time walking around due to her arthritis.  It was B's mom and I who suggested she take some glucosamine supplements for her joints and we gave her some pills I had bought from Costco to try out.

I guess it worked wonders as she is up and about like a youngster again and re-orders a bottle from me every couple of months. Sometimes we take for granted how easy it is to get vitamins and supplements in the states and how much of a difference it can make here in a remote part of Thailand.

Some updates on last night's party:

Drinks and social area outside in the plaza while tables are being readied

Are you ready to party?


Ella was the celebrity star last night

Guess who came to the party last night...the van driver!

Yep, all the men were huddled around the TV watching the boxing matches instead of football...555
Anyway, the party turned out fantastic.  The food was excellent and we will definitely recommend and use this caterer again for future events at the resort.

They set up a little kitchen and warm up area out in the back carport
My favorite was the deep fried prawns with a kind of pineapple/fruit-mayo salad and their dessert was outstanding too.  The chili-lime steamed fish was cooked to perfection and the dishes were all served nice and hot.  These people know what they are doing.



The evening was a simple affair.  Just dinner for family and close friends to welcome Ariella.   Everyone got to hold her and have pictures taken and people were invited to tie on lucky string or give a gold bracelet if they were wealthy.  In high so families, its gold, gold, and more gold but here in the country we are not hi-so so didn't get any...555.



Its definitely pay to play here....555
The younger kids (teenagers) had their own little section on the other side of the room where they socialized and had their own little party.  Overall it was a fun event and one that was something I wanted to give to Ariella for her future memories and scrapbook.

One of my favorite pictures of the night..Sevenwinds tying the knot with four generations of girls

Now we REALLY have our hands full
Back to the Mango in the next few days, but not sure exactly when.  But whenever it doesn't matter...life is still grand and life is great here in the land of smiles.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Beehive of Activity just started

The simple dinner tonight is set for 6:30pm, but preparations started earlier in the morning.  B and her mom went shopping for the drinks and appetizers and some other accessories.  I went to the ATM for more money...555  Actually, this dinner isn't going to be too bad in terms of cost.  Each Banquet table costs 2000 baht.  That's all inclusive of the meal, the tables, the chair covers, and onsite delivery and preparation.  Essentially it comes down to around 250 baht  (a bit over $7 USD) per person without the drinks.  We got a good deal because we are lining up vendors and caterers for our resort events and some of the local caterers want to impress.

Catering truck arrives with the tables and chairs

The caterers will set up cooking and serving tables outside and will bring the food in one dish at a time when the party starts.  We have a total of nine dishes per the traditional Chinese banquet style, including a whole fish and dessert.

Anyway, just a sneak peak of the activities going on now.  More later or tomorrow after the party.

We have tables outside for drinks and appetizers before dinner



Inside, the banquet tables are all set, waiting for the dishes, cups, and drinks

Friday, August 26, 2016

Booked my trip to Kalifornia


Changed and confirmed by trip back to Kalifornia for next month.  Plan to be there for approximately six weeks to check on the joint venture project, some other business, and attend a couple of birthdays. Its a good time for this trip because Ariella is strong and healthy and is relatively easy to take care of. B will be upcountry at the resort with her family and that means plenty of help for her too.  Will be heading back to the land of smiles on Halloween day morning so I will miss the crazies.  Also gives me a chance to cast my presidential ballot by mail and buy some Christmas gifts for Marina and Ariella ('Ella').



Just don't want to be caught over on the other bookend if things fall apart as it will eventually.  It might get pretty bad and maybe devastating if a war breaks out.  At times, even travel restrictions are implemented so I'll keep my fingers crossed and exit as soon as there is any sign of trouble.  As we get closer to the election and if the trends continue and Trump gets ahead...the possibilities of some kind of false flag or major event happening increases.

If things are going well and plans work out, I will then fly back to Kalifornia for the Christmas holidays and spend all of January in the states.  Want to go to the annual kite trade show and next year's big Vegas Archery Shoot in Las Vegas. Had such a great time there last year that I want to go back.   

All this, is subject to change due to health and other considerations at the moment.  One of the goals of this next trip back is to investigate places to have mitral valve repair surgery if its required.  I could have the operation here in the land of smiles, but it would be at my own cost.  Since I am on Medicare, my insurance in the states would cover this operation if it were to be done there.  I'm just hoping I don't need it, but that might be just wishful thinking.  My cardiologist wants to do a "TEE" test when I get back.  Once that is done, they will have a better idea of the scope of the problem and if I need to have surgery soon.  My symptoms are very mild and consists of occasional bouts of shortness of breath and a heart murmur.   

Ella's One Month Old Party:


Ella's welcome to the world party (Red Egg and Ginger party) is planned for tomorrow.  Its for close family and friends only and will have around 30 - 40 people.  Plans are to book 'dohk Jeen' or Chinese Banquet Style dinner at the resort from one of our caterers.  We wanted a modest party unlike the big blowout when we had Marina's party combined with the resort's opening three years ago.
Way too much last time.  We had around 200 people

There was even a huge sign above the stage and we had live music too
I'll take lots of pictures and post them when I get a chance.

Resort is full today and through the weekend so its back to work helping B's mom.  No rest for the wicked as they say....555





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cool Place to Live

Its 92F in Bangkok and feels like 112F and not a pleasant place to be out and about.  But the graphic below tells the tale of the numbers here in the land of smiles.  Its a very pleasant 76F or 24.5C here at the resort tonight.  Was a little muggy in the afternoon, but we've been having a great wet season with very mild temperatures.  Plus we finally got some rain for the bamboo plants the last few days.  Being here is validation that one doesn't have to always be fighting the heat in Thailand.  A choice of venues are available from the mountains in the North to the beaches all around the country and one can pretty much select any of them.  

We're only a handful of places in the 70s throughout the country tonight

Though we have great weather except for the hottest days of the year, we settled here for another reason.  B's family is here.  From her Grandfather who used to raise fish a few lots away, to her aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family, this place has been their home for a few generations.  Like a little town, everyone seems to know about everyone else, but everyone is also nice and friendly.  Its small town Thailand, very much how I imagined small town America was like back in the 50s.  It has its problem with the local drunks and punks, but its small scale in comparison to the crime in the big cities of Amerika.  

As for fitting in, I'm lucky to be of Asian decent, although we have many other expats from Europe here that do just fine.  One English gentleman is a local hero as he puts on one of the many holiday shows during the year, bringing in a large production company for some Mor Lam music.  Its not like what you read in many online web boards about being stuck in the middle of nowhere downing one beer after another in order to keep from being bored.  If you are bored where you are now, its likely you will be bored here too...changing venues doesn't always change the individual.

There is no boredom in our place.  Being a resort and having lots of space, friends and family come by all the time and visit.  In fact, sometimes, I hide out in the office for some quiet time and to surf the net.  But that's Thai style family interactions...won't have it any other way.

So I will end today's post with a plug to visit upcountry Thailand, especially the north and northeast.  We are not that far from Bangkok and have a lot to offer, from great weather to interesting sights.  Its not the same venue offered by the likes of the reservation, but for many, a break to see the other 99% of Thailand might be fun.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Shrimp off the steamer and not the Barbie

Evening snack at the resort.  Fresh jumbo shrimp /prawns from khlong toei market just arrived with B and her aunt. 

These would cost me $5 apiece in California.  Sold by the kilo here..think she paid around 350 baht per kilo...alive and still scrambling around.

Great way to ruin a diet...but you only live once right???

Posting from the Resort.

Rolled into the resort about 30 minutes ago.  Pleasant drive again after leaving the mango at around 6AM.  A bit of light commuter traffic and one accident, but things were quite smooth.  Came up by myself as B is going to bring the kids and her aunt later in the day.  She is getting the oil changed and some work done on the Beamer before coming up.  We may be up here for a while so having a couple of cars gives us some flexibility when we both need to be somewhere.  Gives me a free day to do what I please...

Had a few raindrops greet me when I got near the resort, but it has stopped.  Supposed to rain today so I'm just chilling out in the office and will like take a little nap after some lunch.  Only about 85F outside so the weather is great.


More later as I get things unloaded and get some nap time.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Just an empty tray today...


Tried to post earlier from my phone at IKEA, but with no success.  By the time I got everything set up, all I had left was my empty tray.  Had a smoked salmon salad, cream of mushroom soup, a roll, and a drink for 195 baht. 

The IKEA Bangna has great lunches for a fair price, but I don't care for their meatballs.



Here today at IKEA to shop for a few things to use at the resort.  We used a lot of IKEA stuff to furnish our bungalows because it was both cheap and had decent quality.  It was especially beneficial that we could buy the stuff in knock down boxes and assemble the furniture upcountry as there weren't any decent furniture stores in our area and we couldn't get stores in the mango to deliver up to the country.  We ended up transporting the stuff ourselves in smaller pickup trucks instead.  The furniture has held up well and is classic in design so it can last a while before we have to refurbish the units.

Visited Khlong Tom Market Sunday for a buffing machine.  Best place in BKK for car accessories

Spent part of yesterday at the archery range with BB.  It was the first time in about 3 weeks due to being so very busy and being out of town.  Felt good and shot pretty well considering the absence.  Amazingly I was not sore this morning, even after about 200 or so arrows.  Having the lighter draw weight bow helped, but also in this hot weather, the muscles don't ache as much even though you do feel them being tired.  Finished the day with some yogurt and coffee at Holly's Coffee at the Street and did a bit of shopping at the Foodland there.  

Tomorrow, its back up to the resort in the morning.  Checked out my weather station from the mango online this evening and it works perfectly.  Even monitored a bit of rain we got this morning and this evening.  Identified exactly when and how much rain fell and the accumulated rainfall in real time. Click on the link above to see the current conditions.

Will post more tomorrow when I have time from the resort.  Baby 'Ella' is doing well, really well as she poops around 10 times a day and drinks mommy's milk like a champ.  Can see she is going to be a lot stronger and bigger than Marina.  Keep kidding B that I am going to have to take out a loan each time we go out to dinner to keep these two kids from eating us out of house and home...555


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why Trump can't lose

“IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I SHALL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.”


The Genie is already out of the bottle.  There is no remedy for controlling the Genie except to tame it or kill it as it can never be stuffed back into that little bottle again.

Trump's run for the Presidency has changed how millions of people view their government, politics, and institutions like the main stream media.  Ripped open like a infected sore, the corruption and stench that is oozing out from the decades of political abuse and deception is waking up even the most apathetic of the masses.  They're mad as hell, and for all intent and purposes, he has already won.


Some are speculating that if Trump loses, he has the core of a new media empire and television network in place to replace the now Alies-less Fox news and continue to fuel and fight for the America First movement until its either wins, is killed or tamed by the globalists.  That is contrary to those that hoped a quick and convincing slaughter of Trump in November will end his threat and make things like it was before he ran.  Whatever the case, once a secret or the truth is out,  only more lying can cover it up. So expect more lies, and deception and even more distrust between the various fractions.  This movement will be changing the political landscape for decades and those that don't take that into account, especially the 'downstream' candidates, will likely regret their ignorance.

Those that benefit from the current status quo are not going to rock the boat.  Why change things if you are getting money, benefits, and perks from the system?  Those perks and freebies are unsustainable and are going to end - we know it, they also know it but refuse to believe it until it actually happens.  

So, the only alternative to halting this movement is to let Trump win.  At that point, it may be such that he gets a gigantic problem, called USA Inc, that is so yuge, that even he can't fix it.  Then all the promises he made will come back to haunt and discredit him.  But maybe he does fix the problems and it would be great for America, but it will be years of  public agony, national sacrifice, and likely very little thanks for Trump when he is done.  Americans can be really cruel and ungrateful when things are not perfect. If I were Trump, I would think seriously about some golf and leisure time at that beautiful golf club his daughter owns in Florida instead of that run down mansion they call the White House.

But Trump is also a successful developer that turns run down neighborhoods into great places again. The White House and all of DC is a cesspool in need of total razing and makeover.  Will he have enough support and trust from the people to make American Great Again?  He'll need them.  As to the Force....he'll need that also...lots of it. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Underwear to go

Want to travel for months with just three pairs of underwear and not stink up the room when you walk in?

From time to time, I've been posting info about great travel clothing for those coming to the land of smiles or to whatever destination your hearts calls out to you to go.  We all want to travel as light as possible nowadays because of airline baggage restrictions and the logistics of moving a heavy bag once you've arrived at your destination.

One of the challenges of the traveler is having enough underwear.  If you travel with cotton underwear, you either need to pack enough for the whole trip or enough to allow 2-3 days for your underwear to dry completely in your room before they are recycled.  I've even heard of people buying disposable underwear (made of paper) as an alternative for washing.  Whatever your choice, it was a hassle to keep enough fresh underwear handy for the trip.


Now there is an answer for the problem.  The next generation of underwear made from fast drying, no stink,  high performance synthetic mesh material makes traveling easy.  Just wash at night, hang to dry and its ready by morning.  Bring an extra pair or two if you are a big lazy that night and you can travel indefinitely and not worry about underwear.  They are also very comfortable because they dry fast, stretch in all the right spots, and feel cool.

The only drawback has been the cost.  Most travel stores sell them for $20 or more per pair or several times the cost of a good cotton pair.  But this weekend, Duluth Trading has them for $18, which is a good deal.  And while its not a alternative for everyone for everyday use, especially if you have access to laundry facilities, having a few pair before your next trek out might be worthwhile.


Link to the sale here.

Note:  I do not have any financial or other interest in this company or website and not compensated in any way to promote their products!  Just like their stuff.

Quiet weekend so far.  Didn't go out last night.  Barnaby out of town and BB wasn't feeling well so it was just me.  May want to visit Khlong Tom market today and look for a car waxing buffing machine.  Time for Vanna to get a nice wax job.  Will do that next week at the resort when I have some time.

Mom and baby Ariella doing fine.  She only wakes up once per night now and is on a 4 hour sleeping and feeding cycle.  Growing fast too so will have some pictures next week at her party up at the resort.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

In the Mango...for the weekend

Just arrived in the mango, cranked up the air in the condo, and getting ready to take a little nap.  Got started a bit late this morning and the traffic was bad once we got to the perimeter of the city.  We have a bunch of appointments lined up and if I am lucky, I will try to sneak off for a dinner or session at the archery range when we are not busy.

It really isn't that bad to be a father here in the land of smiles.  Unlike in the States, there is always someone in the family around and they all want to help.  The only time I need to get involved is maybe as a driver since B can't hold the baby, manage Marina, and drive at the same time.  All the other times, I can just hold the baby when I want to and let all the women change diapers, feed the baby, bathe her, etc.  Its really a man's world here in the LOS and a big contrast to the pressure in Kalifornia when working couples have to contend with baby care and their careers as well - they get no help except from paid sitters.  Guess that is why we turn out such weird kids in the states vs the LOS where there is a large family of parents willing to help without reservation or compensation.

Just started raining hard outside so its perfect time for a nap.  Life is good in the mango - more tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Going back to the mango tomorrow...

We going back to the mango tomorrow for a few days.  B's doctor's appointment is Friday and Ariella's appointment is on Monday.  That means we get to spend the weekend in the mango before coming back.  A party is planned for the weekend of the 28th here at the resort,  so we will be busy hopping around the next few weeks.  After that,  I have a business trip planned for Kalfornia in September/October before coming back to spend the holidays in the land of smiles.

We've also been waiting for rain the last two days without success.  The bamboo plants could use a drink but I would really like to see if the weather station records the proper rainfall amounts and reports it properly.  Guess I will have to wait until I get back next week.  We have a low pressure area right above us now and its dead calm with less that 2 mph winds -- its just too hot out for it to condense and rain.

These are for another tree spirit down the road.  My tree spirit is in the mango....
I went into Ban Khwao today to buy a silk dress for my tree ghost.  I will leave it at that for now and promise to do an interesting story of my experiences with this entity in one of my future blog posts.  For now, just say that I have only partially met her request for this dress.  No, I have not gone crazy with age or going 'country' native here in the land of smiles.  Lets just say there are many things we don't understand in the world around us.

This one near our resort is full of powder of people looking for lucky lotto numbers




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watching the grass grow....


The two shoots on the right are new...only planted about 6 weeks ago

Its not quite that boring up here in the country, but for some, watching bamboo grow is kind of dull, but I personally find  it fascinating.  The fact that bamboo is really a sort of giant grass is why they classify the plant as renewable.  Unlike trees, its a plant that will come back after being cut over and over again just like a weedy grass.  You manage and water it like a grass weed and it has very high resistance to pests.  Its an ideal cash crop if you want something to grow without a lot of maintenance.  

Doesn't look like much at this point, but you can see the bamboo in long rows just poking up above the weeds

Our decision to invest in a bamboo  plantation was driven on economics and circumstance.  The previous rice farmer went broke trying to grow rice on this piece of land.  So we decided on something else to replace rice. After doing some research, I decided on a Bamboo plantation. Anytime you can supposedly get an 18% or more annual return on your investment, it has to be looked at seriously in light of today's yields from banks.  And once the plantation gets established in around five years, the grove will yield shoots, timber, and cuttings for the next fifty years with minimal maintenance.  Naturally, the more you put into maintenance, the higher the quality of output and the annual returns get even higher.  Will we be getting competition?  Likely so, but we will have a five year head start and also not too many are willing to wait 5 years for any kind reasonable income if they are making interest payments on bank loans.

The Weather Station Project
Weather Station local console...sits in office and connected to Wunderground
The weather station is finally up and everything is working as planned.  The map problem required the assignment of a new weather station ID number.  Afterwards the corrected data was re-entered. Our weather station ID is ILAHAN4 instead of ILAHAN2.  Here is the link to our station and conditions via Wunderground.  Its updated real-time on our fiber network so its extremely accurate and already certified a "GoldStar Station" by Weather Underground. 


This is the outside sensor unit = will eventually be moved a lot higher after testing

We only have the outside sensors elevated about 8 feet off the ground for now, but eventually it will be relocated to the top of our front sign.  Keeping it low helps to work our any bugs and make any adjustments rather than to climb 40 feet in the air in order to do so.


The Jungle Market Project
These hedge plants cost us 1 baht apiece.  Planted 3 weeks ago they are doing very well.

Lastly, the Jungle Market is slowly getting populated with plants and trees.  We think its going to take a year before it can provide enough shade and shape for us to do anything with it.  In the meantime, we use it for picnics and a place to hang out while overlooking the bamboo plantation.

After all, it just so much fun watching the grass grow.......

Monday, August 15, 2016

The weather station is UP...sort of

After a few attempts, our weather station is up and running at the resort.  Its still on a temporary bracket as I will have to go into town to get some more hardware to make sure its secure in its location.  All the other stuff such as communicating with the base station, setting up a wunderground account, and WiFi connection seems to be working just fine.  Hopefully in a few days, Wunderground will be showing a local forecast for our site and you can check out the weather at our resort 24/7 from anywhere in the world via the Wunderground network.


The big problem I am  having now is that the attached map is showing that we are located in Atlanta, GA, the default home of Wunderground.  All the other info is correct and I just re-entered the proper coordinates so hopefully its just an update cycle issue and it will be picked up and modified during the system's next db cycle.  Else the only other alternative is to delete and add it again.  

Will try to post some pictures of the market and bamboo plantation in tomorrow's post.  Want to document these projects and compare them to how they will look in the future.  



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Special Paleo Diet tonight


Getting a special reward tonight for being such a great dad.  Told everyone I was pre-diabetic and needed to cut down on my carbs so I was treated to this surprise dinner by B.  Australian/New Zealand beef,  local pond harvested morning glory, and apples for dessert.

Big windy storm blowing outside and heavy rain, but I don't care....dinner at home with good food and family, is priceless.  Supposed to be a big storm aimed at the Land of Smiles the next couple of days. Gives me a good excuse to work on that weather station I've been putting off for so long.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back on the resort for a few days.


As planned, we left early this morning from Bangkok and got up here to the resort just after 9AM. Made great time because the traffic was light and there were very few trucks on the road.  Being in the middle of a big holiday weekend, we were concerned that traffic would be bad - it wasn't at all. Things are all settled in and little Ariella is doing just fine after the long trip in the car.  Seems to like the surrounding too - will all the green trees and plants.

Ariella opened her eyes about an hour after she was born.  She can now follow people and faces and seems to recognize people by their voices and shapes.  Knowing voices I can understand as she has been hearing B, Marina, and my voice for months from inside the womb.  But she seems to recognize other voices too.  From all indications, she will be a great baby and very smart.  And for B, this is the easiest time as babies this age only do three things:  eat, sleep, and poop.  B is nursing and we've got lots of diapers so it should be just fine up here for the immediate future.

You have likely heard by now that there were several bombings in Hua Hin and around Phuket. Definitely something that was planned to hurt the Thai economy.  The targets were 'soft' targets and essentially areas that are low profile and popular tourist destinations.  It was meant to hurt and kill...no Thai involved in politics would dare do something that stupid, which is the equivalent of breaking your own rice bowl for a political cause. Timing is also odd that its on the Queen's birthday and after the new charter was approved.  My thought on this is that its the work of Muslin rebels from the south or possibly outside the country trying to create chaos.  The great thing about this is that most of the shops and businesses in these kinds of area have CCTV systems and its likely that the criminals will be shown on video shortly and hunted down.  The Thai police and Army did some amazing detective work in the Erawan Shrine bombings and the people were eventually caught.

BBC Maps of bomb locations

Overall, things are safe in the mango for now although its best to see what develops and to stay away from popular tourist spots for the time being.  Even yesterday, there were extra layers of security put in place at some of the malls in the mango.  Some exits were closed and everyone was made to go thru a checkpoint where guards could inspect any large bags or backpacks.  The guards at Makro even checked under my car with mirrors before letting me into their lot up here in the country.

But its still the land of smiles and the locals are still smiling so don't change any plans to come.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ariella comes home!

Ariella (pronounced AH ree EL la) got released today and is home resting in the condo.  Tomorrow, after a night's rest in the mango, she is going upcountry to the resort.  We decided to bring her up there for the first couple of months because its more roomy and a better environment for a newborn.  The country air and weather is better and we have all the facilities that we have here in the mango.  Its at least 10 degrees cooler up at the resort and a lot less humid than the mango.  For example, its 10PM here in the mango, the temperature is 87F (31C) and feels like 96F (36C).  At the resort, the humidity is lower so the 86F feels like 86F or 31C.  

We will make trips back to the mango for her doctor's and B's doctor's appointments but her life will be that of a little country baby for the immediate future.  Life inside an aircon bubble is not good all the time, especially for young babies - best to get them used to fresh air and warmer temperatures of the land of smiles.  

Marina proudly welcoming her little sister home from the hospital
With all the craziness going on in the land of smiles, the farther away from large crowds the better too.  If the timing is right, we are leaving early morning and should be up in the resort by mid morning.  We have a small window due to the fact that this is a long holiday weekend (mother's day).

For me, it will also be a welcome relief of having so many people in the same room for so long.  It will be good to be in our own little bungalow and do what we want without all the commotion of having all the relatives around 24 hours a day.

More tomorrow.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Three generations

Nice thing about close Thai families.  Everyone is so accepting of our new family member. 

You don't get just a wife, but a whole village to raise your little kids.  More on this phenom when I get to post on my desktop instead of this phone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Came home for a bit today

I got a chance to go back to the condo today since its only about a 10 minute walk from the hospital. Took a long nap and will likely sleep here tonight as both B's mother and Aunt want to stay at the hospital tonight.  They can have extra space I will leave and feel right at home with all their food and soups, etc.  The hospital room is full of traffic all day from visitors - friends, relatives, and staff make it impossible to get any peace and quiet.

Ariella on Day 2 - sleeping like a baby


Marina on Day 2.  Spitting image of her little sister?/

After spending some time with Ariella, I can feel that she is going to be another special girl.  She was given a complete exam and evaluation by the Pediatrician and is in great health and development. Unlike Marina, who had to undergo some bilirubin lights for a bit of jaundice, Ariella is cruising right along with feeding every three hours.  Her eyes opened within the first hour and she seems to be peeking through those half open lids.

A few more days, and likely will be home for the weekend...and wouldn't you know it, its Mother's Day Weekend in Thailand! 

How's that for planning?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hello World

That's the old phrase we use to announce ourselves to the world.  Wether it's a computer, or a new entity, or what ever.

Today, Ariella says "hello world" at 9:15am. 

Welcome my dear child to our beautiful world.

Mom and Ariella doing just dandy....


One hour to go...

One hour to go.  Procedure set for 9am, but both B's mom and Aunt have been here since last night.
Want for baby to come out soon so I can get back to condo for a nap.  Hate to spend time in hospitals - especially if it's just waiting around.
B's Mom and aunt get one last feel 
Marina oblivious to it all as she crashes on the floor, sound asleep.

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