Back Home?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since March of this year and people are still following me. Thank you all.

My wonderful wife and I purchased a house in South Florida July of last year and tried to settle in to Floridian life. Julee took to it with a smile and a feeling of ownership. One of her goals has been to have her name on property in the States, if only to show others that she is an American. The concept is a bit foreign—no pun intended—to me, but I’ve learned that when she’s happy I’m happy.

After 10 years in Thailand I too was ready to try life back in the States, but not with her zeal. To be honest, it didn’t work for me. Please understand that I love America and the people. One thing I missed in Thailand was the diversity of people that the States offer. I just couldn’t get my head around all the… rules of engagement and so I slowly slipped back into my hole, looking for the day I returned to Thailand. This post is a bit of a rehash of a previous one, but I do hope you’ll forgive me as I learn to blog again.

Well, we made it back to Thailand for three months and it was pure joy for me. For my wife, not so much. The weight of the world—and family— came off my shoulders. But as intended it was only a visit. I stepped off the plane back in the States and the bad leaped at me. I sought my hole, but my wife wouldn’t allow it.

It’s been four months now and I finally have found enjoyment with all the rules of play, family, expenses and those damn taxes, insurance, cable TV and the rest. I’ve also broke my addiction of watching TV too much. The best news is I’ve finally started writing again and it feels good. It may not be good writing but it’s good for me. I’m still an early morning writer which interferes with fishing, but I can do both—just not at the same time.

My first starfish

My first starfish

Big Snook

Big Snook

At the beach with our daughter at the beach

At the beach with our daughter at the beach

My blogging friends and fellow writers have been an inspiration to me and several have published new books that I hope to help promote in the coming days. Eden Baylee and Britt Skrabanek are two writers that will impress you with their talent.

I’m amazed at the people I’ve come to know through social media. All of you who read this simple blog have filled in the hole and I’ve thrown away the  shovel!

sas_2kindle Nola Fran Evie Cover Large

I’ll also be promoting my latest book as well. Not that many readers, so far, but it’s a great story with great reviews, take a look.

I hope those that follow my blog will continue and I’ll try to do my happy blogs.

About a few of the pictures of me holding fish. First, the big one was released and second; it isn’t cold. One friend commented that she didn’t know it was so cold in Florida, ha! It’s my Thai style sunblock. That day reached 95 degrees. I had no idea you can catch starfish with a hook. They’re a bit crunchy as sushi–joke.

THAILAND TIME

Thailand

Thailand

 

 

Our time in Thailand is almost over. My wife and I have been busy at the farm. My plan was to get back to Thailand and take it easy—best laid plans and all that. We’ve both had a great time and can’t decide if we’re excited to go back to the States or not. Time will tell. I’ve made up my mind that if things get crazy or my mind wanders then it’s back to Thailand for us. I may make my way back via sailboat.

My mind and body have been recharging and relaxing. That’s not how it had been in our nearly yearlong stay in the States, but I’ve made some decisions that will hopefully carry over when we return. One thing I did quite early in our visit is stop smoking. Notice I didn’t say quit. We’ll see how it goes in the States, but I’m in the right frame of mind now.

Two of my many projects

Two of my many projects

My wife and I are looking forward to getting back to the ocean and do some fishing. We have two small ponds on our farm where we raise fish. I enjoy watching my wife try and net some for supper, but being near the ocean is what I need.

Julee gathering supper and having fun

Julee gathering supper and having fun

We’ve gotten along with Julee’s family better than we ever have before. I’m not sure if it’s the knowing we’ll be leaving again or we’re just so happy to visit family without the stress. It’s been fun. My brother-in-law is a hoot. He’s in his 70’s and I can’t keep up with him. His fashion sense is impeccable, as you can see from the photo( mine needs a bit of work).  He’ll be looking after things while we are away. We’ve given him a few acres to plant as thanks for helping out. We can’t stop him from working so we thought that letting him plant tapioca will do him good. Not too labor intensive, but just enough to keep you moving. And the profit is all his. He’s a happy man.

Brother-in-law and me

Brother-in-law and me

It will be good to get back to the high speed world so I can watch Youtube without waiting and of course fishing, working on my boat, looking for a sailboat, American TV, Mexican food and well, that’s about it.

Here’s just a few pics from our visit. Enjoy

Nephew and son helping out

Nephew and son helping out

 

Niece and her grandchild

Niece and her grandchild

 

Dream a little dream

Dream a little dream

Thailand Grand Prix

Urban traffic, Thailand by Roger Lemoyne

There are many things I like about living in Thailand and my recent return has brought new joys for me—but not necessarily my wife.

Thailand is filled with exotic temples, fruits, beautiful women and scenes that will stay with you all of your life. Of course I missed many of these things while going back to the States for a year, but one thing I’m finding great joy in is driving.

Now if you’ve ever been to Thailand or most any country with few imposed driving regulations you might think I’m crazy. Can’t argue with you there. The lack of enforced regulations is the thing I like and I believe that it keeps road-rage down to a bare minimum. In fact I rarely hear about an incident of road-rage here.

When I first arrived in Thailand it was pretty much ‘anything goes’ on the speedways and small roads. It has improved to a degree but it’s still fun to watch. There is an etiquette to driving here, but it’s aggressive. If you are timid you’ll find yourself pushed to the side of the road and probably in tears. Drivers cut one another off, make their own lane, use the emergency lane—the rough lane on the outside—as a high speed passing lane and of course backup when they miss a turn. It’s crazy but I join in the circus and have a great time. In the cities a two lane–on your side—can quickly turn into a five lane road and no one seems to be bothered.

Talk about a way to relieve personal stresses! I take to the road and my worries vanish as I concentrate on the business at hand. When driving Thai friends and neighbors they always comment on how I drive just like a Thai. To me that’s a great compliment even if it’s not meant that way. People who come to visit from the States usually close their eyes for the first couple of days and the sounds of prayers are sometimes heard after a trip. I’m pretty sure I’m getting a blessing…

If ever you come to visit I’ll certainly provide a crash helmet upon request. And, by the way, I’ve never had a crash in my pickup truck—the motorcycle is another story.

Even with the political turmoil here Thailand is still a very safe place to visit and you will hardly notice any problems unless you watch TV. The people are beautiful, friendly and forever smiling.

Return to Thailand

Dannie and Julee

Dannie and Julee

I had been in the States for almost a year and fully intended to write about the differences between the States and Thailand. For those that don’t know, my wife and I had lived in Thailand for the previous 10 years.

Love that last

Love that last

I, along with my lovely wife, are now back in Thailand for a visit and to tie up some loose ends. I must say from the moment I stepped off the plane my body relaxed to a point it almost brought tears.

In the beginning of our journey, my wife was not that excited to move to Thailand—the place of her birth. She loves America, as do I, but I needed a change. It was nearly a matter of life and death. I have said this before but my wife has looked after me all our married life and even before. I’m a lucky man to have someone who understands my needs better than I.

I’ll admit I enjoy many parts of life in the States; food; conveniences; the ocean and being able to speak and perceive that people understand me. I do speak Thai but am often unsure if my point is interpreted correctly. But the States also brings back the sucking of the soul feeling I had when I left. Not the people—I do enjoy the mixture of people, but the rules, rules and more rules: from taxes, politics, insurance and electronics that seems to consume everyone. I’ve always felt that a cell phone is for making and receiving calls. That now seems the least of their purposes.

Being near my family—I thought would be the biggest plus. I once again became the head of the family—in my eyes—and it was an obligation I didn’t cherish. In my early life I was a decision maker and now that I can look back I see I put myself at a distance, what with work, caring for my family and providing for their needs. There’s much more that goes on, but that is personal.

One thing that came back to me was the sea. I have a small fishing boat and sitting at anchor or blasting through passes puts my mind at ease. My true love is sailing but the cost of docking is holding me back. I honestly think I am a thing of the ocean. When on the water my cares are far away—no matter the problems I face. Being on the incessant sea gives me the desire to write again. I haven’t written a word towards a manuscript in many months and I miss it so. It’s not writer’s block it’s the lack of desire. I’m still selling books, much to my amazement. I have done little to encourage readers to buy. I love them for helping me.

So, now, here I sit in Thailand soaking up the heat, the smiles, the beautiful people and with a feeling of contentment. My wife is also happier in Thailand than our past year in the States. She went through hell for reasons of her own and others. So we have decision to make.

After being here for over a month we both want to return to the States, but with changes that will benefit us. If I lose it again then I have a home here in Thailand. I went to the immigration office we visited so many times before and the officers were so happy to see us again. The lady in charge didn’t want to give me a 30 day extension—she wanted me to stay and offered another 1 year visa. Hard to imagine how wonderful the people are we come in contact with.

I’m getting old—yes, it’s true—and I still have dreams of crossing oceans. It might not happen but if it does I have to be in the States to make it a reality.

Sorry to drag this on. I should break it up but the thrill of writing, even this little post, is so exciting and I know you’ll forgive me. There are so many people in the reading and writing world that have touched me and I love you all.

Celebrating in Thailand

Fun!

Fun!

While my friend Eden was off in Jamaica having a great time in the sun and the surf we were harvesting fish from our two small ponds on the farm.

Fish gathering12 2912

Most of the village showed up for the fun. Thais love to gather for ‘sanuk’ (fun) and enjoy the day gathering fish. The kids ran everywhere catching baby fish to take home to put in a container to raise and just laugh.

Fish gathering10 2012

The fish in one pond were a bit small but as we are planning a trip back to the States soon we wanted to sell what we could before we leave. And New Year’s is the perfect time for this.

Fish gathering13 2912

The men threw nets for hours. Thais don’t like to leave anything behind when they gather food. I was very surprised to see how any fish evade their efforts a few days later. I hope you can feel the fun with these pictures.

Fish gathering11 2912

We build a small fire and cooked a number of fish fresh from the pond. This all took place during the ‘Pi Mai’ (New Year) celebration and I had a great time just watching the families.

Fish gathering6 2012

A little 'white lightning' and grilled fish

A little ‘white lightning’ and grilled fish

It's all fun.