Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good-bye Pattaya - Hello California

Pattaya is a beautiful place to hang out with the warm ocean, great sunsets, delicious food, friendly people and just about anything you could want on a holiday.

To see more of Pattaya just CLICK HERE.

In Thailand, Pattaya is the second most visited city by tourists with Bangkok being first.

Pattaya is about 120 km south of Bangkok. It is very easy to reach and has thousands of hotel and guest rooms starting as low as 300-400 TB ($9.00-$12.00 USD) a night. Mid-range rooms starts around 1000 TB ($30.00). After that the sky is the limit, so to say.

You can find almost everything you could want in Pattaya with the beach, sun, food, fishing, diving, boating , dancing, shows, movies, shopping and entertainment of all types.

I also would say that if you are a single male, Pattaya is a "Must DO". I don't want to spend a lot of words about the "Girls of Pattaya" or "Boys of Pattaya" but there are thousands of ladies in Pattaya to entertain the single male. For more information about the working ladies in Thailand CLICK HERE.

Remember, the best looking girls are probably boys!

We are going to spend the day resting as tomorrow we check out of the small hotel we are staying in. then we take a taxi to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Our plane leaves at 5:50 PM and we arrive in Los Angeles about one hour later. That always messes with my mind and of course causes "jet-lag".

Over the last two months Daeng and I had a wonderful trip and will be back in California Monday night.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sad News - Nancy Kinsinger Passed

Nancy Stoltzfoos Kinsinger passed October 14, 2009. She is survived by her husband, Samuel A. Kinsinger, Son Stevie Kinsinger, Daughter-in-law Malinda Blank Kinsinger. Her son Samuel Kinsinger, Jr. proceeded Nancy on July 31, 2005.

Our hearts are saddened! She was a beautiful lady and a great Amish Mother and wife to Samuel,

If you would like to read more of our visit with Nancy and her husband, Samuel, just "CLICK HERE".

We will always remember her! God bless us all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RED Shirts & YELLOW Shirts

First, I want to state that I try not to get political as I am just an invited guest here in Thailand.

If you have watched or read the news over the last two years regarding Thailand I'm sure you have asked: What are those RED and YELLOW Shirts?"

I would like to spend a minute just to let folks know about the RED SHIRTS and the YELLOW SHIRTS.

The RED SHIRTS are the massage girls from the massage shop on Soi 13/2 closest to Beach Road just above the Post Office.

The YELLOW SHIRTS are the massage girls on the right side of the picture from the shop next door to the girls in the RED SHIRTS. It is the massage shop closest to 2nd Road here in Pattaya.

They both have the same goals: Better Economy and Enjoyable Life.

If you have any more questions about the RED SHIRTS or the YELLOW SHIRTS please let me know and I'll do more research. (I wonder it that research is tax deductible?)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back in Pattaya with the FLU

We took a Tuk-Tuk to the Airport and flew on Air Asia to Bangkok. When we arrived at the Bangkok airport we called the taxi driver, Su-chai. We had used his taxi service in the past.

By the time we got our bags and walked to the upper deck Su-chai pulled up to pick us up. It was great timing.

We spent the next hour and a half relaxing on the way to Pattaya. Pattaya and the Jomtien Beach area is some of the nicest beach area in Thailand. Because of this, many long-term expatriate live here, also.

We checked into a very old hotel, named "Honey Lodge" at the end of Beach Road where it meets Walking Street. It is old and very inexpensive even though it has a fresh water pool that they keep clean and sparkly.

We also like it because it is in the middle of everything and easy to get anyplace in the Pattaya area for 10 TB on a Baht Bus.

We stopped to ring the bells with the school kids at the Temple just north our our hotel.

As the day went on Daeng and I both felt tired, bodies started hurting, we have runny noses and a slight fever. We turned in and stayed in bed for the few days.

The only reason we got up was to use rest room and have something to eat. We took turns going out to get food and eat in room. We figured we need to eat well in order to recover even if the food does not taste good while we are sick.

And chicken soup is always a good thing. This is one of our favorites, chicken soup cooked in big copper pans.

I like the "kabab" sandwiches that the guy on the corner makes, too. As you walk by he always says: "Hello Kabab". He told us he hoped we feel better, too.

We also like the food at this local place a little ways up the road on the right hand side of the street across from the Temple.

It is a local place so the prices are really low. As you can see Daeng in the background, we have been careful not to get to close to anyone so they don't get sick, too.

Then the air conditioning in our room stopped working so we did go through the process of moving into the room next door. That was all about all we could manage.

We don't know if it is the H1N1 or just the regular Flu but it kicked our butts for the last couple of days. We think it is just the regular old FLU as it only lasted a few days.
We will be sure and get the H1N1 shots next week when we get to California.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

BNE is Alive in Chiang Mai, too

Back in May of this year I wrote a little story about the BNE in Bangkok. CLICK HERE for the story.

I just wanted to let everyone know that the BNE is still around.

Here are two pictures that I took in Chiang Mai to prove it.

It has been said CLICK HERE that it is only one (1) man, named "Benet" but how could he get all over the world?

CLICK HERE for more pictures.

Here is a news cast by ABC World News: CLICK HERE

If anyone knows the REAL Answer to who or what BNE is please let us know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trip to Chiang Mai

Tuk-Tuk to NEW Bus Station and VIP Bus for the 2 hours and 40 minute trip to Chiang Mai. Then Tuk-Tuk ride to the guest house we had planned on staying in.

We found the Guest House was partially torn down so we went over to the "All-in-1" Guest house to spend the night.

On Monday we had to move as the guest house was already booked full. That was interesting as most of the other hotels and guest houses are still complaining of no business. We moved over to a nice, little, family owned place called "Phada's House" for 450 TB a night. Air conditioned, quiet, clean, sit down toilet and hot water; what else could a person need?

On Tuesday we rented a motorbike and drove to the north-east part of Chiang Mai to see our friends, Brian and Noochy. All thought they live in an area that does not show on our Gamin GPS Map, we found their house after two telephone calls.

Brian is in the jeweler business. His website is One of his specialties in un-treated Burma Rubies. Noochy has a sewing business that makes high quality clothing items ranging from hats to tie-dyed, long-john underwear.

After visiting a while the girls went shopping for hair products and us guys went for an lemonade.

The place we went for a lemonade was quite interesting. It was a 1971 International Harvester Bus set up on blocks. The engine had been removed and an air conditioning unit has been put in place of the engine.

To help keep the bus cool they also had water running over the roof of the bus and they cascading down over the sides of the bus. Thai ingenuity.

Later that day we also saw a sign for dental implants with the price of 36,000 TB (about $1,090 USD). It noted that the dentist is a UCLA graduated Dentist.

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand. Bangkok is first with about 12 million people. Chiang Mai is second with almost 1 million folks. According to Chiang Mai is 49 times smaller than Bangkok.

I will add that it is two different worlds. All of the people in Thailand are very friendly but northern Thailand is still the friendliest.

The cost of food is a little higher here in Chiang Mai then it is were we live in Mae Sai. I would say maybe a third higher. Here is a menu to give you some idea of food costs in a local resturant. Remember 33 TB to the USD.

Daeng loves to shop in the outdoor fruit markets were she can buy apples for 15 US cents a pound and China Pears for 60 US cents a pound. Pineapple is around 20 to 30 US cents a pound, too.

The Thai girls, and some of the guys, like gold better than any other form of jewelry. Maybe because it is also used as a commodity. There is a gold shop on just about every corner. You can buy and sell gold in any of these shops.

They usually have a buy price and a sell price written on the wall so there is no question about what you will pay or what you can get if you sell. It does pay to watch the scale.

In this picture the price in Thai Baht per Baht of 96.2+ percent gold is 17,850. A Baht of gold is a hair over 15 grams.

Tomorrow we are on the plane to Bangkok and then on ward to the City of Pattaya.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trip to Chiang Rai and Water Fall

It's time to travel, again. We got up, walked down the road for coffee/breakfast and stopped to talk with the cock raisers and parking lot fellows. They have a big empty lot that they change folks 40 TB a day to park. People drive here to cross the Myanmar (Burma) Border to shop.

They also raise fighting cocks. They were cleaning them and rubbing their black feathers with the black from the bottom of the frying pan to "make them look beautiful", as they say.

It was a sunny mid-day as we checked out of the Yeesun Hotel and loaded our bags in the tuk-tuk we took to the bus station. Tuk-tuk's are small three wheeled vehicles that are make by many companies. For Thailand CLICK HERE.

The air conditioned bus was comfortable but about half way to Chiang Rai we were told that this bus goes to the new bus station about 7 Km south of town. Daeng told the lady we wanted to go to the old bus station as we were staying at a little guest house by the bus station in town.

Well, when we got to the turn off to town the bus stopped and left us out with our bags. We flagged down another tuk-tuk that took us into the old bus station for 60 TB. We did not know there were two bus stations as the new one only opened last month. Oh, the life of a traveler.

The Orchid Guest House is small but clean and cheap, 350 TB ($10.50 USD) a night. It is also in the middle of the Night Bazaar. What that means is fun for shopping but noisy until after 11:00PM.

When we went for our evening meal we ran across our friends, Jan, Charlie and Charlie's son, Arron, who had just arrived from Canada a few hours ago. We ate with them and enjoyed their company. We made an agreement to meet at Jan's coffee shop in the morning around 9:00 AM.

On Saturday, we met Charlie and Arron at Jan's Coffee Shop. We had Joke, a rice breakfast dish similar to oatmeal but made with rice, baht-a-go which is a Thai donut. We talked for some time and then said good-bye until next year when we return.

We took it easy for the day and went shopping at the Night Bazaar. I took three pictures of the Night Bazaar area; one in the daytime when it is just a street like any other street in town, one during the set up of the bazaar in the late afternoon and one at night when it was all set up and operational.

It is pretty impressive to watch the people do this every day and every night. They have everything including a purple dog.

On Saturday we had coffee at Jan's and walked over to rent a motorbike for the next 24 hours.

The first stop was to see Daeng's son, Boonreang at his school room. We also wanted to see his grades for the fall semester. He was in pretty good spirits and had a grade average for the first half of the year of 2.8.

We congratulated him and told him we are raising his allowance due to him raising his grades from the year before. Here is his school picture.

We they drove over to Daeng's nephew, Kit. We decided a little trip to the Huai Mae Zayi Waterfall would be fun. Five of us jumped on two motorbikes and made the 18 Km trip. We did stop to buy some food to go on the way.

We arrived at the parking area and no one was around. We parked and walked up the path to the water fall through the jungle area.

The walk was not to bad for an old guy. The area was very clean but you could tell from the path that a lot of folks come here.

As we got closer to the water fall you could hear the noise of the water. We walked along more to reach this beautiful water fall.

The kids swam and then we ate. There were a few snakes and everyone was afraid of them. I did not realize but most Thai folks are afraid of snakes.

It started to get cold as the sun moved to the west so we called it an afternoon.

Daeng and I headed to the dentist for our appointment at 5:00 PM. Yes, 5:00 PM on a Saturday.

The dentist had good news and bad news. The good news was that the work of tooth "planing", that she did last month, was of some help. If I do what she shows me to do I can keep infection away.

The bad news is I need to spend more time each day cleaning two of my teeth with some special brushes to keep the area under the teeth clean. If I don't I'll have more trouble.

The other good news was no charge except for the special brushes and tips, 330 TB ($9.90 USD).

Dinner and a good nights sleep as it is onward to the City of Chiang Mai tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Price of Gasoline in Thailand

We just thought we would let you know what the price of gasoline is here at the Myanmar (Burma) Border.

Gas is priced by the liter. 91 octane is 42.23 TB x 3.8954 = 164.5027 TB @ 33 TB per USD is $4.98 USD a US Gallon.

That makes three dollars a gallon sound cheap!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trip to Ban AYO

We left Mae Sai around 1:30 PM and headed south on route #1. We stopped about 5 Km south of the check point and had Som Tom Papaya Salad and a small barbecued chicken.

We then continued south turning west on the Doi Mae Solong turnoff. We then went up the hill about 20 Km and stopped at two resorts on top of the mountain.

We decided to go back down and stay at a place by the market on the road to Mae Salong.
We had stayed here before and found it a very comfortable place with nice folks running the place. It is off season so our room was only 350 TB ($10.50 USD).

After we put our two small packs in the room we hopped back on the motorbike and went back about a kilometer to the open market. We had some food and called it a night.

We woke up about 7:00 AM and traveled back to the market area for some coffee and breakfast. Then we checked out of the hotel and headed up the mountain to BAN AYO.

When we arrived at Chom-nom's wife's Mother's home, Chom-nom was not there. That was strange as Daeng had talked with him yesterday and he said he would be there all day.

We spent two hours talking with the family and eating Chinese Pears. They are a cross between an apple and a pear, sweet but crunchy.

We said good-bye to the family and drove down the road to the children's shelter.

When we arrived my heart dropped as it looked like nothing had been done since the last time we were here in the Spring.

My head tells me all kind of things happened. My concern is why didn't Chom-nom show up after we talked with him yesterday? Is he okay?

As far as the shelter goes, Chom-nom told me he had enough money to finish it when we were here in the Spring. What happened?

Like people always tell me: "More will be revealed."

We headed back to Mae Sai stopping to take a family picture. I'm just kidding, it's only a pig. By the way, the word for pig in Thai is "moo".

We also stopped and had some ice cream on the way. The word for ice cream in Thai is "ice cream". See, I can speak some Thai.

Tomorrow, we are packing everything up for storage as we will be heading south to Chiang Rai on Thursday, then onto Chiang Mai the 15th. After visiting there a few days we will be flying to Bangkok and on ward to the ocean.

Ten days by the sea and then to California the 30th of November.

We will keep you updated.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday & Cock Fights

Well, it's Sunday and we skipped church to see the cock fights. Daeng or I have never seen what cock fighting is about so we wanted to see what was the big deal.

We need to be a little careful writing about this with the pictures as we're not sure if cock fighting is even legal in Thailand.

We were told where a big fight was happening today. We hopped on a motorbike and headed to the area along the Myanmar (Burma) border that the fight was to happen.

We stopped a few times to ask directions. When I say "we" it was actually Daeng that stopped. You know men never stop to ask directions until we're out of gas.

Everyone that we asked knew exactly where the big cock fight was and just pointed us up the road.

Then we got to this area were a lot of motorbikes were parked. A man showed Daeng where to park in the shade and charged 10 TB to park.

He pointed up the way and to the left so we walked up the little path. There was a lot of noise with people screaming.

When we rounded the corner there was a covered area with maybe fifty roosters, each one under what looked like an upside down basket.

There was also this concrete arena type structure that was in a circle with four tiers of seating.

It was covered with a metal roof that had water spraying on the roof to keep it cool. In the picture you can see the water running off the roof.

We walked into the arena and it was full of men watching two chickens battling each other. (Daeng said there was one lady besides herself.)

I tried to get some video but could tell that the folks around me were not happy with my camera being out. The only reason I got away with getting some pictures was everyone was interested in the fight.

I did load the videos I was able to get onto I had to do it in two (2) parts.

To watch them just click on the parts you want. PART I or PART II

Part II shows the winner but we don't know which one won! The guys with the white towels have something to do with the cocks, maybe the owners.

Myself, I did not feel that I wanted to be part of this so we just slid out the entrance and moved along up the road. I now can understand why cock fighting is illegal in most countries.

On the way out Deang showed me a plant that recoils when you touch it. I was able to get video of that plant. CLICK HERE!

Tomorrow we are going to go up into the mountain and part way to Ban AYO. We have been having trouble getting a hold of Chom-nom, the man that is building the shelter for the kids.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Daeng made it home over the border around 3:30 PM. I was extremely happy to see her.

She spent the next few hours filling me in about the trip. We had only talked on the telephone once as the area she was in has no cellular or land line telephone service.

The electricity that runs the lights and the television was made with a paddle wheel in the stream which turned a generator. They did have TV with satellite reception.

Daeng said that she did not encounter any problems with the military or the police except she had to pay 1500 TB ($45.00 USD) to a policeman at the first check point after the bus left Tachilek.

They told her that it was for reservations for three nights at a guest house as she told them she was going to be there for three nights due to friends death. Of course they did not give her a receipt or the name of the Guest House.

When they arrived Daeng's Uncle was laid out for viewing in the home's living room. Daeng calls him her Uncle but he is really Daeng's Sister-in-law's Father's Brother. I think that is correct but don't know if I should have used three hyphens for three possessives. Oh well, you get the idea.

Part of the grieving process for the family is being together, crying together eating together and laughing together.

Things moved along pretty fast that day as they don't do any embalming. Everyone eat and they started to move Daeng's Uncle in a processional to the area he was to be cremated.

After loading his casket onto a truck the oldest son is in the lead holding a string that everyone else holds along the way.

They traveled quite a ways up on a hill where his wife's ashes was already entombed.

I am told the man with the coconut is going to wash Daeng's Uncle's face with coconut water before he is cremated.

A platform of small logs were in place to put his body on and a tire was put on top of him to be sure he burned well.
It is my understanding that he picked out this tire himself and told everyone that it was for his cremation so don't throw it away.
It was time to start the fire. Everyone prayed, cried and hugged wishing him a safe journey.

Back at the house they had bought a pig and a small cow to feed everyone.
They had to butcher and start cooking as there are no refrigerators.
There were a lot of people to feed.

Everyone stayed up late talking, playing cards and games like BINGO.

Daeng said she couldn't play BINGO as she didn't know her numbers in Burmese.

Next morning, up early, wash up and brush your teeth at the river and eat.

After eating it was time to go up the hill to where he was cremated and put the bones that are left in a masonry entombment.

Daeng said the ground was still very hot but everyone helped find all the bones that were left.

They placed them into the start of the entombment next to his wife.

After that Daeng left this family and travel by car to another village where she was told her Aunt had died the day before. She was greeted by the family, spent the night and then traveled back to meet the rest of the family at her deceased Uncle's home.

Well, almost three days without a shower, it was time for a bath. the girls all made the trip to the river.

It was quite a trip for Daeng but she is safe now in Thailand with me.

We are going to rest tomorrow and go to Ban AYO on Saturday if we can get ahold of Chom-nom.