Archive for the ‘From Tom’s Desk’ Category

Isaan Roadtrip, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, June 2016

cremateLooks like I will be commuting between Thailand and the United. States.  for the immediate future,  but Larry and I did manage to get a roadtrip on the calendar. It might have been dubbed the rainy season trip, or the “I don’t  see no dinosaur footprints trip”, whatever the case, we found stuff, did not starve, and never lacked beer, hence another great trip. One thing I did notice is that resorts are still popping up at a pace I  can’t keep up with. You can use Google maps to find what is in the area of interest, but remember this is Isaan and you have at best a 50, 50 chance


From Tom’s Desk, Violence in Thailand

pogoI was told, some years ago, that the atrocities that swept Thailand back in the 70s, pretty much did not happen in Isaan, as Isaan people did not do that kind of stuff. Times have changed, but not as much a one might think. What has changed is the modes of communication. Facebook, Twitter,  the Internet has brought many forms of conduct, both good and bad, out of the closet.


Google and the Geezer, an Android Adventure, Nexus 6p, Huawei

IMG_20160427_071247Samsung meant quality to me for a long time, but now I think of bloatware when I look at my Note 4. That’s why when I decided to try out Project Fi I went with the Huawei 6p. It’s big enough for my old eyes, pure Android, no junk, android Marshmallow, and mighty fast.              While I  don’t like the idea of no microcirculation at 64 gigs and a cloud all is well.


From Tom’s Desk, March Madness, Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

guinnessMarch Madness refers to the Annual Collegiate Basketball Tournament in the United States, but in this case March in Northeast Thailand Madness. At 68 my short term planning includes the next 5 minutes, medium term the next couple hours and my long term planning is the rest of today.
But then there is simple convention and planning for the months ahead has to happen. Looking a options and next couple years the 2 big factors are my age and the situation in Thailand.
After 17 months of dealing with the Veterans Administration I have been granted 100% service connected disability status, which has had a major impact on a number of situations.
Whatever he case I have tonnes of Isaan related projects while in the States.


From Tom’s Desk, on the World’s Most Dangerous Roads

accidentIt’s a jungle out there. Thailand is reported to have the second most dangerous roads on the planet, but I am of the opinion that it is only the reporting methods that keep it from topping the list. I have been quite lucky in my 20 plus years, 14 some on the roads, and the guts of 200,000 kilometers on Isaan roads I have had only 1 “Thought I might’ve bought the Ranch” moments and a couple relatively minor incidents.
I have no way of knowing the real statistics, but in my experience many drivers, both vehicle and motorbike, have neither insurance or Driving Licenses. I do know that many, unable to pass the driving test, still buy one. (more…)

Pol Pot was a Loving Husband and Father, From Tom’s Desk

tuol slengThe title for this post comes from a desana given by Ajahn Sumedho many years ago. He spoke about amongst other thing how Pol Pot’s mother loved him. While in Phnom Penh I visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the talk came to mind. I had also recently read “Pol Pot’s daughter weds” The Museum, like so many places, offers any number of opportunities for meditation and reflection. I guess I’ll let my words tell the story of my visit


From Tom’s Desk, Banking and Business in Thailand

buzzardOnce again, after 18 years in Thailand, I was faced with a new reality. Banking and business in the rest of the world is nothing like banking and business in Thailand.
I have waited at checkouts in Thailand where customers present first 1, then 4 or 5 more credit cards at check out. None of them work because they are all maxed out. Without a credit ranking you are doomed in the West.


From Tom’s Desk, Back in Thailand Reflections 1

pogo enemy1For 18 years Thailand, was my reality. The farthest I traveled from northeast Thailand, Isaan was to Bangkok. Thai banking, technology, government, was what I lived. Returning to America was like entering a foreign country and for 17 months I learned new ways and saw and experienced new things. The Thailand I returned to was not the same. It is now under a military dictatorhip. what freedom of speech there was is now gone. These are my first public reflections since my return a few months ago.


Google and the Geezer an Android Adventure in Northeast Thailand, VuPoint, Magic Wand, Scanner

magic wandI got the scanner back in the States, another Amazon deal. Trying to get away from windows I could use my scanner/printer using the Android wireless application. But I wanted an “on the road” solution and this device does the trick. If I team the scanner up with Google Goggles I can get things into a text file for blog posts.