Wednesday, August 31, 2016

And oldies but a goodie

This is a old post but lots of folks have asked about how we made it to Thailand and our plans , so here is a post I posted when we were here for a bit. Hope you enjoy.
Most post from Thailand bloogers are about their life upon arriving and about daily living and,traveling in the LOS, but not to many on what causes us Expats to decide,plan, save and finally,make the move to Thailand.So ,I thought I would give it a go. A friend introduced me to Ciejay ,we dated for three months and then we married ,on the fourth of July 2002. A year later Ciejay's father in Thailand passed away and we made plans with her sisters and their husbands who also lived in America to come to Thailand for the 100 day celebration of her fathers life , a tradition in Thai culture.We all flew together and rented a van to take us to their home place , and where the 100 day celebration would be held .We had talked it over and also planned to spend a week ,after all the visiting and family affairs were over, traveling around and seeing the sights .It was my first trip to Thailand and I fell head over heels in love with the country and the people.I ask Ciejay if she would move back to Thailand if we could find a piece of land to build us a house on? ,would she move back to Thailand and we would retire here ?. Being the sweet person that she is,said"YES "which was a total suprise to me because she had just the month before got her green card that enabled her to stay in American ,and being married to me was renewable every ten years with no problem.No every three months visit to immigrations or anything and she could work pay social security and taxes and retire at 62 just like anyone else in America ,a dream of a lot of Thai people.What a surprise answer. Well we spent the week traveling a lot, and visiting relatives and really looking for land and a house that we liked and the place where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives . Well, we could not decide where or what , but on the last evening of our trip before flying out the next day, we decided to visit her brother in a little village called Wang Pho in the providence of Kanchanaburi,right on the famous River Kwai.As we turned off the highway 321 and started driving down the 5 kl. and I do mean down the mountain, into the little village , my heart soared within me and I said to Ciejay "if the village is pretty and we like it , and can find a little piece of land , this is the place ". Well we visited her brother and a neighbor had a small piece of land out of town , with no road to get to it , or water and power was not close at all ,we said thank you ,but no thanks. It was getting dark when we got back to her brothers and we said "well we will have to plan another trip sometime when we had time to look around for land" . We both agreed that this was the place , I loved the small village and it just had the right feel to both of us.Disappointed that we could not find something we liked, as it was getting late, and we had a three hour drive to Bangkok and were flying out at 6:30 the next morning, I told Ciejay to ask her brother a simple question , if he knew of any land with a empty house on it , and to our surprise he pointed 100 yards up the road and said "yes my friend and his wife divorced 8 years ago and the house is not quite finished inside and the bathroom roof has fell in , but it was for sell ", but because of bad Karma and Thai's belief in ghost and bad spirits no one would buy it, Me and Ciejay being Christians Karma and ghost ,didn't scare us at all. The house was all locked up and all the windows had security bars and screens and they were all tinted to keep out the hot sun, so as dark as it was outside and inside we could not even see inside thru the windows. we looked at each other and said let's do it . We ask her brother if he had the friends phone number, and after a while he found it ,and called . He ask if it was still for sell and how much and the friend said 400,000 baht , my brother -in -law said to him this my sister give her a discount , the friend said ok ,300,000 baht , we said we'll take it.We didn't have any extra money on us and it was night time and we ask if we could send money when we got back to the USA. He said "mai pen rai " I give you 6 months to pay me all at one time,no want payments . We said ok and told Ciejays brother to look after it for us and we would send him money every month for 6 months to pay it off and for him to keep the money ,till we had sent it all, and then pay his friend , He said ok "I keep in bank for you" ,all was settled, we now had a piece of land and a house in Thailand . Located within 1/2 mile of the town square , the high school , the hospital , the city hall, and the local police station, at the foot of the mountain and I mean right at the foot and 1/2 mile from the River Kwai, What a dream come true. We could not believe it .Our other American, brother -in-laws and their wives thought we were crazy , and maybe we were crazy , but we had a dream . We went back home , I had one more year before I could retire (62) with 75% my social security , 100% if I worked till 70. but I was ready to retire, and we had a house in Thailand .Remember I am just a worker bee in America not CEO or owner of a business , no,401 K plan and no monthly retirement pension coming from years of service with one company. Just my monthly S.S.check . So I worked one more year and in 6 months we had sent money to pay the house off and we planned to move over in March of 2004, but we knew that we needed money to remodel the Thailand house and buy furniture and everything else we would need to make the house a home . We sold our cars , everything we had accumulated since we were married 3 years ago , I personally had nothing as I lost it all in a couple bad relationships before Ciejay,if you know what I mean. So when a friend suggested that we sell produce with and for him and we would split it all 50/50, we said ok and changed our plans to leave on Oct the 6th for our house in Thailand , hopefully with enough money,to do what we needed to do ,to make the house a liveable home .We sold produce from June the 1st, till Oct the 1st ,7days a week rain or shine and on the 6th of Oct. 2004 we arrived in Thailand with 11 suitcases of clothes and pictures and important papers , and our dream.
If you liked reading this post (short story) and a little about our lives ,as well as our retirement , please let me know with a comment ,I've got a couple more stories that, I think you might enjoy too , let me know what you think. Malcolm

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monkeys on the road

MONKEY TOLL ROAD

HERE THEY COME, GET READY, DON'T MOVE TILL THEY PAY UP
LET THE KIDS DO ALL THE WORK , WE'LL GO LATER AND TAKE WHAT WE WANT

I THINK THEY'RE STOPPING


YEP WE GOT EM NOW

GET LOTS I'LL OVER FOR MY SHARE AFTER MY NAP

ONE PICTURE ONE BANANA



LOOKING LIKE A GOOD HAUL

OPPS


TAKING OUR TIME

DON'T RUN SO FAST MOM


Yesterday ,on the way home we stopped at the produce stand at the top of the mountain to buy some older bananas,and papayas to feed the birds and squirrels ,(keeps them from eating my fruit before it gets ripe ) and on the way down the curvy road on the mountain, the monkeys had set up a road block ,demanding bananas as payment before you could go thru , I was sure glad we had plenty to spare as our payment and after a few snap shots and banana and papaya, payment we were allowed to continue on our way .

Really this happens all the time at this one spot in the road when the weather is good the monkeys will come down from the temple up on the mountain and beg for food when they know the tourist busses are coming thru, they are sooooo cute and every female is carring a baby or two. I like them and I am glad they stay in the one area, I have never seen one in our village and we are only 2 kl from where they gather, always a fun place and treat, to take our guest to see.

Do you have monkeys where you live? and if so do they become a pest or do they stay in one area like ours ??? In Whang Pho, you can not only swim with the elephants , but you can feed the monkeys too. FUN FUN . Malcolm

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Soul Food -- Living in the Land of Smiles and Gentle People

There's a saying somewhere , that say's " THE EYES ,ARE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL". Today while I was laying in the famous Hammock , I was recalling different things that I see thru these 74 year old eyes that affect my soul. Most of you know that we are made up of three parts Spirit ,Soul and Body, at least that's the way I believe, Our Soul is where our emotions are located , the things that make us happy , sad , excited ,funny , love, joy, peace ,, goodness and kindness, also hate , envy,strife , and all the other things both good and bad are there , and the way they get there is thru the things that we behold with our eyes and that we let our minds dwell upon.
I said all that to say that as I read different blogs  and post on Facebook daily











, that it is very noticeable to me that one of the things that attract some folks to move ,and live in the LOS and cause many to keep coming back as much as possible are the things that they see with their eyes and that effect their Soul, one way or another, whether it be a pretty girl, a beautiful water fall, a gold adorned temple ,a Buddha image, a mountain range and valley and rice fields as far as the eye can see,or the lack of stress that we see on the smiling faces, and the soothing effect that it has on our souls, I love to look with my eyes at things that make me happy in my soul , I have seen far to much in my life that has made me sad in my soul , angry and unforgiving and yes sometime just down right mean, BUT !!!!!! as most of us that live here or visit , the LAND OF SMILES AND GENTLE PEOPLE the things that we have seen and see every day has brought Peace and Joy to our Souls ,and forgiveness where it was needed , at least it has mine , and I hope it has yours too, I found out a little secret I will share with you my fellow bloggers and readers, if we look for the good in things and situations around us and stop being so critical ,things will look a lot different and that my friend is" SOUL FOOD"

I thought I would add some pictures of the things that I see every day around my little piece of paradise "I KNOW YOU'VE SEEN MOST OF THEM BEFORE " but if you will just humor me a little bit , you might just enjoy them and see a little bit of the Soul Food that keeps me RETIRED IN THAILAND AND LOVING IT . Malcolm

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Benefits of eating Bananas

25 Powerful Reasons to Eat Bananas

You'll never look at a banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet. Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. Here are 25 reasons to eat bananas you might have never considered before.

If You Think Bananas Are Just For Monkeys, Think Again

  1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin -- the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
  2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.
  3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.
  4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
  5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
  6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
  7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
  8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

Eating Bananas Aids Digestion

  1. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  2. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
  3. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
  4. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.
  5. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.
  6. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids. 

Natural Cures From A Simple Banana

  1. Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
  2. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
  3. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.
  4. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
  5. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
  6. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
  7. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
  8. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  9. QUITTING SMOKING Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
  10. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
  11. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Oh, and remember -- bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.