Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mother, Us and the Kids in Ban AYO May, 2015

Please forgive my spelling and punctuation, I'm a plumber and not an English major. Just read and have fun.
May 1st, I was really tired last night as we worked until dark.

Yesterday, the girls masked off two of the security gate openings and I spray painted the first coat on one. 

We did really well today. We put the first coat on the second set of security door/gates and the second coat on the first set of security door/gates.

Tomorrow morning we can put on the second coat of paint and then in about four hours remove all the masking from both set of door/gates openings.

Then we can tell how good a job the girls did at masking.

After that we can move over and do the other two openings.

By the way, we are using about a gallon of paint an opening. That is a lot of metal to cover.

May 2nd, We put the second coat of paint onto the security door/gates and I went to Chiang Rai to buy three more gallons. 

Today, I had a first in Thailand. I went to buy 3 more gallons of semi-gloss enamel for our other two security door/gates.

When I arrive at the paint/hardware store in Chiang Rai the owner told me he only had one gallon left. 

I explained to him when we bought the two gallons two weeks ago we ask if we need 3 or 4 more did he have them. He said yes, he always has lots and not to worry. Now we need them.

Most Thai store owners would just say: "Sorry." if that.

He got on the telephone and told me he would be back in about a half hour with the paint, please wait.

We'll it took him about an hour but he did return with the paint and it was already mixed to the color he had on file.

I was impressed!

While waiting, I made friends with the watchdog and made a new Facebook friend, Ling Aung. 

Daeng had most of the masking done for the other two openings.

We removed all the plastic and masking on the first two opening. The girls did a pretty good job of masking. the couple of spots they missed I can touch up with a brush. 

May 3rd, Daeng finished masking off the other two openings and we sprayed the first coat on these two security door/gated.

She works very quick as she uses her feet, also. It is almost like she has four hands.

The metal gates/doors are looking good but we may run out of paint putting on the second cost. We will see. 

May 4th, I think this would be titled: "Pet Peeve of the Day". As I work on our blog at 4 AM I started thinking about the two girls, I say girls as they are maybe 25 years old, that were in front of me in the check out line at the store yesterday.

We ran out of masking tape, I bought 9 rolls for the painting project but we ran out. I went to Tesco/Lotus to buy more. I forgot it was Sunday and the place was packed with customers. They set up a huge area for a parking lot sale and thousands of folks come across the border to buy stuff.

Anyway, after I found a place to park the pick-up, motorbikes are in the area we have all masked off, I rushed into the store and bought three more rolls of tape.

Every check out register was open but I still had to wait maybe 15 minutes to get to the register.

Now, the pet peeve: The two girls in front of me spent the entire time waiting in line on their cell phones texting. They bought a couple of items which the clerk rang up and then it took them over 5 minutes, seemed like an hour, to find their discount card, decide who was going to pay for what and dig out the money from their purses.

Come on girls, didn't you know you were going to have to pay? Two ladies behind me were talking bad about the two girls as I understood the phrase "my-ten-baht". That means something like a few fries short of a happy meal at McDonalds.

I was proud of myself as I just smiled and moved on with my life. 

We were both exhausted last night but Daeng still fixed me some supper. She loves her new toaster oven, too. Thanks Daeng! I love you! 

We put a coat of paint on both sets of doors but we probably need a gallon more of paint.

We went to Home Mart to see if they had a gallon of semi-gloss enamel that we thought we needed. We said we would not buy from them again after they refused to refund the 150 Thai Baht for the bad quart of varnish we bought there.

Daeng and I also agreed that if we couldn't get it someplace else we would still buy it. In other words we will not cut off our nose to spite our face.

Oh well, they did not have the paint. I ask the fellow in the paint department for a liter of thinner for the oil based enamel and he handed me a liter of lacquer thinner.

Who can you trust?

Anyway, we just made it with the enamel we had. The four security gates/doors took 20 liter of enamel and two liter of thinner.

We called the Chiang Rai paint place and they will hold the last gallon they have for us to pick up on Friday.

We still have more metal to paint but probably not this trip. 

We removed the plastic and masking and our work looks really great. 

Did I mention it was 99 degrees today? 

The painting of the 4 security door/gates rates is the third hardest projects we have done here. The hardest was re-piping all the drains when we bought it. 

The second hardest was the repairs after the 6.9 earthquake. You can read about that stuff on our blog: CLICK HERE

The pictures above are from the next morning as it was to dark when we finished. 

A couple of folks asked my why so much paint. Here is a close up to help with that question. 

May 5th, As I said above, I got up with the Monks to take the pictures with the doors shut. 

Because of all the work we have been doing, I hadn't been to the Ban Pa Mueat morning market in a few days; it was nice to see the gang at the coffee and Pa Thong Ko shop. 

I was late so they were out of Pa Thong Ko so just had coffee, steamed pork and sticky rice.

I then went to Makro and bought glass cleaner and a few things. You can buy just about anything there. Here is a gasoline pump made by Singer. The gasohol pump system is 99,000 THB, a little over $3,000 USD.

On the way home stopped at the Many Hands Shop and looked at some of the stuff they just got in from Japan.

Then it was a trip to the barber.  I took the rest of the day and relaxing.  My body a massage is in order. I called San-la, one of the best massage girls in this part of the world.  

She came to the house and helped me with a two hour massage.

May 6th, If you would like to see some of the countryside here in northern Thailand, this movie was filmed a little over 150 miles from our home. It is the latest Rambo movie.  CLICK HERE

It does have a lot of violence and may be more truth than fiction. Here is a picture of me on that same river. I think it is the Ping River. 

It is 6:00 AM and 81 degrees here in Mae Sai. My body hurts and is saying: "Don't move!"

I know that if I stretch and move around I will feel better.
I folded almost all the clothes that Daeng washed yesterday and I'm going to go to the Mae Sai morning market and eat some Roti and beans for breakfast.

Coffee and Roti at the Big Mae Sai morning market, Myo Thuya, who is Burmese and speaks English says I spelled "Roti" correctly.  That is him in the picture holding up the huge Pa Thong Ko, Thai donut. 

The banana lady was not real happy tins morning. I think because a lot of folks are selling jungle bananas.

Here is a picture with Daeng pointing to some jungle bananas in Ban AYO. 

After the market I took a little ride to the temple on top of the hill. 

It was a little hazy but you can see Myanmar from the Big Scorpion and Mae Sai down the 217 steps. Yes, we have counted them.

I'm also glad to see some new additions to the temple. And I might also add: "Nice Butt." 

Then a little ride along the river. 

In the first picture, that is Thailand on the left and Burma on the right.

Some plumbing pipes caught my eye. Come on, I'm a plumber. 

On the one with the sign, I don't know what it says but under the sign is Mae Sai, in the distance.

On the way back, I stopped and took a picture of one of Daeng's old carts. Her Mother sold it many years ago to this lady while Daeng was visiting in Bangkok.

Daeng has forgiven her Mother for not only selling her cart but for selling her into slavery as a domestic servant when she was 10 years old. 

No further comment on that subject. 

The price of gasohol is down. E20 (20% alcohol) is about $3.04 US a US gallon. Diesel is about $2.95 US a US gallon.

This gas station only sells gasohol and diesel. Only a few stations sell 100% gasoline. We put real gasoline, 95 Octane, in our motorbikes as it is better for them. That is a little over $4.00 US a US gallon. 

The really nice part about our motorbikes is they fill up for about $3.00 USD and we can drive almost 200 miles. 

It is only 101 degrees with a real feel of 114 degrees. I had some forms printed out at our friend, Cola's Internet shop.  It was nice to see and talk with Cola. he has helped us over the years in many ways. 

For lunch, I stopped at a place I like on Mandalay Soi, at the start of the ruby sorting section of town. They make great chicken and cashews. 

This is one of the more expensive meals here, about $3.00 USD. 

By the way, when you think that zit on your nose makes you unlikeable just remember, it could be worse. 

Our friend, Jan Robitaille, told us she thinks this may be a form of "Tropical Elephantiasis Neurofibromatosis.  

The wonderful part about this lady is her upbeat attitude. She should do a standup comedy as she says things like: How do you like my new nose piercing?" or "Do you think this head band makes my butt look bigger?"  

May 7th, It is 5:30 AM and 81 degrees here in Mai Sai. Today, we are going to go visit our Akha friend Meechu in Ban AYO.

It is 8:57 and  is we're off!

We were hungry so we stopped at the last place we could eat. It was in the Doi Mae Salong Nai market.

The lady gave us the heart shaped chili dish as she said she could tell we were in love.

Daeng said the little guy in one picture looked like me. 

It is getting cooler as we go up the mountain. 

It is pretty clear today, too.

We made it. Miss sexy was glad to see us.

Even in this heat, I did get her to laugh but to do it I had to tickle her feet.

Chom-nom came up from the kids’ housing project and got us a bottle of pure honey.

We talked for a while and then Daeng and I walked down the hill to see how the kids housing project is doing.

It was abandoned over three years ago but still looks like a good start. There are stories on our blog. It get up to date on this project CLICK HERE!

With water the kids can start living and sleeping here. After all they are used to living in the jungle.

Chom-nom has been wholesaling fruit and using the money to hire worker to help him.  

Some of the folks in the village also help him without pay 

The walk up the hill was a bitch for me but I made it.

Chom-nom and I talked about the plan. It is basically to take it slow and just make it happen, one day at a time.

The picture with Daeng, overlooking the valley, is the view from the bottom building and restrooms.  

This building will be used for the sleeping and cooking area for the 10 kids that don't have anyplace to stay and are too young to sleep in the jungle. 

We made it safely home. 

We did have to wait for a few cows on the way back. It reminded me of when I was a kid in upstate New York. I always thought it was really cool how the cows just meandered across the road.

Also, here is a picture of bananas growing wild along the road through the jungle. 

On the way home we stopped for milk, bread and distilled water for my CPAP breathing machine at Tesco/Lotus. 

While we were there we had some lunch.  You can get a fair lunch for about 40 THB. A THB is about 3 US cents now. 

The negative is it is very noisy with all the kids playing in the "Kids' Fun Zone" right next to the food court. 

May 8th, I need to say this: I wonder what folks are thinking? They say they want a nice environment but they throw trash in the river and then pollute the air by burning stuff.

Here is close up of throwing trash in the river. In the defense of the Thai folks, that is the Burmese side of the river. 

They do the burning at night as they know it's wrong. 

I did wipe out this neighbor's face as I don't want to personally get him in trouble. When I took his picture he got very defensive. 

He knew he was wrong and maybe just the taking of his picture was enough to get him to stop.

When we see folks doing things they shouldn't we need to speak up. The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

Thank you for letting me share!

It is about 6:00 AM with a temperature of 82 F. Today should reach 101 degrees with a 55% chance of rain.

We are driving to Chiang Rai this morning as I have a 9:00 AM appointment with Dr. Phol. It is a follow up appointment. Using a pain scale of 0-10 with 10 being childbirth, my knees are doing pretty good with a pain level of 0 to 3. Back and leg pain from back is running 1-5 but mostly 1-3. Hip pain is 1-6 but mostly 1-3.

I don't know if we can do anymore at this point without hip, joint replacement and back surgery.

The rest of me is doing well. I have lost 2 more kilograms and only have to lose 3 more pounds to make Daeng's challenge of "Lose 30 pounds and I can be on top."

We will stop at paint store and pick up another gallon so semi-gloss paint for the rest of the metal on front of building.

Here is a picture of what still needs that paint. Painting that metal will be very tricky to do.

We will also stop at furniture store and pick up the night stand we ordered.  
We were hungry so we stopped just below the first checkpoint to eat. 

We got to the hospital; blood pressure was taken right away, without even sitting down and was 142/75 with pulse rate of 57.

We were also told: "NO MORE PICTURES!" Maybe someone saw the pictures from the operating room on Facebook.

We saw the doctor and told him everything we said above. He said if I could ignore the pain just keep on trucking. If not come back and see him.

For the hip, the only other option is hip replacement. The back and knees can still be dealt with using injections.

We stopped into the huge dental department and talked about treating gums for periodontitis with laser. They said they don't do that here.  

The dentist in California says it will cost over $3,000 to use a laser and go deep under the gums. If I understand it correctly that will burn dead tissue and cause the good tissue to adhere back to the teeth. 

We will check with the large dental operations in Pattaya the end of the month. 

On the way to the furniture store we stopped to buy fruit from the wholesalers; 15 kilograms of #1 pineapple for 150 THB, about 14 cents US a pound.

For 80 THB a kilogram, Daeng did buy some Durian fruit aka: smelly fruit. It also is referred to as, per our friend Jenifer Divine, as the "king of fruits", it has been described as smelling of rotten gym socks (an apt description)- but it tastes like rich egg custard "smells like hell, tastes like heaven"

Onward to the furniture store. 

TIT (This Is Thailand). When we ordered the night stand last month to replace the one that was damaged by water, we were told they would call for delivery.

They called last week and said it would be delivered this week and they would call first. That did not happen so we went to the furniture place in Chiang Rai to pick it up and we're told it was already in Mae Sai and would be delivered Monday.

We had a little talk with one of the supervisors, that speaks English, regarding trust levels. He did apologized several times.

We have been looking for a make-up table for Daeng that matches the white wardrobes and bought one. The guys put it all together except the mirror and loaded it in the pickup.

Daeng said: "Good, now you have to drive slowly on the way home."  

She thinks I drive too fast as she relates Kilometers to Miles.  So if you think "miles" the speedometer in kilometers in our truck would make you think you are driving a lot faster than you really are. Now, I'm sticking with that story! 

On the way home we picked up the paint and are headed home. Maybe stop for chicken lunch on way. Thank you Ling Aung.

We were planning on stopping at our favorite chicken place was closed.

On the way back we stopped at our friend Peter's home. Daeng had talked with his wife, Nok, and told me he was sick. 

When we got there he was doing well, just a little cough.

It was good to see them and we were glad he was okay.

They have a lot of beautiful flowers and fruit in their garden. 

We also stopped at a place I had driven by a few times but never stopped. 

Someone had a lot of stuff and time to make these.

If you have Freon bottles or scrap metal lying around here is what you can make.

These are just out in a field about 5 miles from the Myanmar (Burma) border.

No one there so we just walked around and looked at them. 

Daeng says that she thinks they are for sale.

When we got home we unloaded the makeup stand and mirror and went to pick up the night stand.  We will put it together tomorrow. 

Well, the furniture place had lost the paperwork but will come to our house tomorrow at noon and bring it.

While we were there we looked at a set of washer and dryer. When Daeng saw the prices she said she could hang a lot of clothes in the sun for the money.

These are about $2,724 USD for the pair. 

Myself, I like clothes dried in the sun.

In the US, we use a gas dryer and Daeng likes it because it dries really fast. We have looked for LPG dryers here in Thailand and residential gas dryers are non- existent.

I say LPG as there is no natural gas systems in Thailand. The electric dryers take two to three times longer to dry clothes as gas dryers.

May 9th, Here are some pictures of us, Daeng, Sonia Del Castillo and I along with the Queen Mother and the King. 

It gives us warm feelings that we have stood on exactly the same spot as the Queen Mother and the King.

We will be visiting the Queen Mother's Garden next week as Mom wanted to go there and put it on her list to be sprinkled. 

Good morning, the pineapple we bought yesterday is really sweet.

By the way the pineapple is laid out Daeng may be horny or feeling devilish.

I parked our pickup outside so we could touch up the paint area I missed while spraying.

Daeng and I finished putting the mirror on the dressing table.

It looks nice and fits in the room well.

I spent most of the day touching up are area of one security gate that I missed while spraying. 

it was a pretty large area in a hard to do place. 

May 10th, It is May 10th, here on the Myanmar (Burma) border, so we want to wish all the Mothers and Mother blankers in the world a wonderful Mother's Day. 

Actually, we want to wish everyone a wonderful day. 

Our Mother passed away in September but she is thought of everyday. She comes to mind every time I hear the music the ice cream trucks make as she told us kids: "The music the ice cream truck makes is to let us know they are out of ice cream."

Mom loved that dress as Hugh Hefner gave it to her when she was Head Cashier at the Playboy Hotel in

Here is a video of her being funny: CLICK HERE TO SEE FUNNY MOM AT THE IMPROV

It is about 6:00 AM. I set the automatic washing machine last night with a 12 hour delay so all the rags we have been using are now washed.

I hung them to dry on the roof. It looks like it will be a nice day.

It is a little hazy as the farmers are getting ready to plant the new crop. Many still use the "slash and burn" method so the smoke makes the air hazy. 

Because it is Mother's Day in the USA, the 10th here in Thailand, Daeng and I are going to take Mother to the Mae Fah Luang Garden (Queen Mother’s Gardens) below the Royal Villa.

It is in Doi Tung, just south of us. I have Mom in the small gold cylinder around my neck along with her wedding ring and Happy Bears that we always wore together on stage.

Daeng is wearing the Happy Bears of Moms that she received from Mom at Christmas.

We are going to try and make it a fun trip as Mom would want it that way.

Oops, my eyes got watery.

We did stop for breakfast in Huai Khrai. Yes, breakfast does taste like chicken.

Today we are going to use our Nikon Coolpix S6500 as it takes a lot better pictures than our Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 3. 

Wow, what a great day. 

The gardens are so beautiful!

We only gave us a general idea of where Mom wanted to be. 

She had pointed out the area from pictures.

So I went to that area in the flower garden, closed my eyes, turned around twice and slowly walked.

She guided me well and only let me fall twice, both times in the grass.

She is in the purple flowers that Daeng is pointing to in the picture below.

Also, she is in the bright yellow flowers as well is in the shade by a rock sitting area.

Daeng points to her areas in the pictures of the map.

Tomorrow morning we will go up on the hill to the Scorpion at the temple overlooking Burma and Mae Sai as 

Mom still wants to be in the area of the scorpion at the temple on the hill, our home in Mae Sai and Pattaya.

Did we mention that we held up well walking the hundreds of steps and paths in this 27 Rai garden. 1 acre = 2.47 Rai, so this garden is over 10 acres.

Here is a video of the song "Come to Doi Tung"

It was done as a spoof as white boys can't dance. 

It was filmed on top of a huge water tank up in the mountains at Doi Tung. 

Here are some clips of Mom in the video "SoccerFan". It is in Quicktime. 

The ending is very funny.

Mom, we love you. 

May 11th, It is the 11th here but still the 10th in the USA so we are still celebrating USA Mother's Day. 

Here is a picture of Mother, my granddaughter Jasmin and my great-grandson Isaiah. 

We visited 3 places with Mom this morning; in front of the big scorpion under the tree overlooking Myanmar.

This temple on the hill is beautiful and I'm told it was all built by Monks. 

Here is  great spot under a tree buy the scorpion, overlooking Myanmar (Burma). 

Than in a spot that is in the shade overlooking Mae Sai.

Then a trip down the hill and as far north as you can go in Thailand.

The only places left on her list in Thailand are our home and Pattaya.

Daeng liked this picture of me as she says I’m always laying down on the job. 

March 12th, I also wrote a letter to my Mother.

Don't get all weird as I am sure my Mom would laugh. 

"Hi Mom,
With all due respect and in jest, while I was putting your ashes in the gold carrying canister I wondered if you would burn my nose.
Michael T. told me never to pick up the straw again so I'm not going to try.
Yes, your son is still a sicko.

We love you!
Terry & Daeng
P. S. Although Ban AYO was not on your list we may take you there to watch over the kids. HUGS"

I am sitting in the Bangkok Bank while they make me a new ATM card. This beautiful girl walks in; I'm talking drop dead gorgeous.

Then she speaks with the lowest bass voice I have ever heard. She could be a radio announcer.

You know what they say, best looking girls are boys.

I could not get a good picture in the bank as no picture taking allowed. Yes, I'm trying to be a bad boy! 

May 13th, Around 2:00 in the morning we had a bad storm. It took the roof off the neighbor's home and on our home it broke two windows that Aomsin, Daeng's son, did not have latched. 

Mopping up the water was pretty easy as we have all ceramic tile floors in that part of the home. 

We also lost electricity for most of the day.  More about the storm damage later. 

May 14, Daeng and I are going to Ban AYO this morning to investigate the possibility of continuing helping the project for the children's shelter.

We started investigating and helping with this in 2007. I am not a patient man but I keep telling myself: "Good things take time."

Here is a link for many stories about Ban AYO: CLICK HERE!

We had a rewarding trip to the Children's Shelter Project in Ban AYO. As many of you know we have had our hearts into this project since 2007.

Now the good part, Chom-nom is back and working on the project again. 

They have cleared the land as the jungle took it over. You can see pictures in the link above. 

He has been working selling fruit to markets and paying for the help, out of his own pocket.

On two occasions we have visited and talked with Chom-nom. We feel he is back on track again. 

He has not used any mind altering substances since before he went to jail. He said he did drink at a wedding in December so he has changing his clean date to December 10, 2014.

As for the shelter, they have beds set up, the restrooms are workable when they get water and the men are working on the cooking area.

Most important, they need water. We had water to this area a few years ago but now a new set of pipes must be run from the tank in the jungle to the shelter.

 It is a little over half a mile with 980 meters of 1" pipe needed.

I posted a picture of the route from the tank to the shelter. In the picture it shows a straight line but they will have to curse around houses, under the road, etc.

We checked the piping route and there is an approximate drop from the tank of a little over 300 feet so it should work out well. With a water tank to water tank system it can be done with 1" pipe.

The cost of the pipe is 14,750 THB and with valves, fitting and solvent cement along with fuel for delivery, the total materials will come to around 16,000 THB. That is $481.49 USD.

Friends and folks from the village of Ban AYO are going to install the pipe.

We drove our pickup truck down the hill as I was lazy and did not want to walk it.

We also placed Mom just above the water tanks so she could look over the kids and this project. 

Daeng is pointing to her viewpoint in one of the pictures.

The ground is now burnt but will green up and be beautiful at this point in a few weeks.

I did have to try three times to get up the hill as our pickup is for the high road and not all wheel drive. We did make it after three attempts.

Tomorrow morning we are meeting Chom-nom with the money so he can get things going. He thinks he will have water running before we leave for Pattaya, Thailand on May 25th.

We feel very good about Chom-nom and this project again! 

May 15th, We drove to Ban AYO this morning and gave Chom-nom the 16,000 THB to buy the pipe and fittings.

As we were leaving, folks started arriving to work on the shelter.

Thank you to everyone that helped with this.

We also laughed as Akha folks believe in live and let live. 

They believe that birds nesting are a sign of good luck. I think maybe like the coal miners did with canaries.

The bad part is birds poop (khi nok) so here is how the Akha folks deal with that.

Daeng got some limes out of Meechu's tree, also. That made Daeng very happy. 

Meechu's sister is always happy but even more now that the kids will have a place to live and learn. 

I did check and that is tobacco she is smoking. 

Here is a tongue in cheek picture of "Give us water or I shoot!" 

Again, we and all the children what to thank the folks that trusted us with money to help the kids. 

Hopefully the piping will be done before we leave for Pattaya on September 25th. 

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