120225 Thaikarl - New video - ThaiCountrylife YouTube

more shower machinations: 
(click this link http://youtu.be/XshDIcyCamA to view in better size on YouTube)

120225 Thaikarl - bangkok bound, and up


winter season seems to be on the decline here, the days are getting hotter, and the nights warmer.  we've been all busy, Tok is going gang-busters with her tamarind business.  some days, she leaves early in the morning and i don't see her until evening.  i try to help out, mostly loading and unloading 10kg backs off and onto the pick-up.  while she's out in the field, my job is to buy tamarind from people who bring it to the house.  i can usually figure it out, what type it is, what grade and what the price is, get it weighed out and pay people, but sometimes i'm grateful mama is here to talk with the people, as i can't.

i'm really excited to be going to bangkok tomorrow.  one of my favorite guitar players, Sungha Jung from korea is going to be playing in a ukelele festival in Siam Paragon tomorrow.  I was planning on taking the bus down and back in one day all by myself, but it turns out that Teri has to go do some applications for university on monday, so we three are going down.  we'll spend the night at Hotel 99, even though he'll be playing Ukelele instead of guitar, i am still jazzed to see him play in person.  and they are having a "meet and greet" session afterward, so you know i'll be in that line. visit his youtube channel and be amazed at his work:  http://www.youtube.com/user/jwcfree?feature=watch

we went to pitsanulok to get my visa extended the other day.  drove up over the mountains, took some photos of Tok wearing mountain people cloths, (4$ rental)

and finally finding the immigration office about 1:00 pm.  an extended string of problems arose.  i had overstayed by one day.  doh!  i had the 22nd FIXED in my brain as the day to go renew, but my passport stamp said good until feb 21.  whups.  that cost an extra 500 baht (15$).  then we didn't have the right papers, they wanted Toks house book with her address.  she forgot her National I.D., so we were stalled.  there was a lot of discussion i didn't understand, and we went off to find some government buildings to try to get the papers we needed.  Tok was worried about where her I.D. was and forgot the directions, but we eventually found a government complex.  they were able to use her drivers license to look up her residence on the computer, and gave her an official paper document of same.  and we had to make copies of everything, that required going to yet another building.  then back to immigration.  lots of paper shuffling, filling out forms, oodles of rubber stamping and signing and notating and paying a total of 2400 baht (72$) i was all stamped in and ready to go.  we'd planned on doing some sight-seeing and shopping, but this whole thing took all day, so we visited and important temple,

and headed back to Lom Sak.  Didn't get home until after dark.  next time, i'll know what to bring!



120123 Thaikarl - Gallery of photos Phitsanulok trip

forgot to mention in my post that there is a gallery of photos of the trip in picassa:


120123 Thaikarl - a trip to Pitsanulok


we made a day trip to Pitsanulok a little while ago.  My mother-in-law has had some health issues for a while now, so we went to the BIG hospital in Pitsanulok to have some scans read.  we took the roof of the cargo rack to a man in the village, to get some aluminum skin applied to the top, and tied on some netting to the sides to cut down the wind in the back.  Mama and two of her sisters, my wifes aunts, piled in the back with mats and food and drink.  i got to drive.

Pitsanulok is a fairly large city up in a broad valley in the mountains west of where we live.  the road would thru the mountain area, and came down to a flat plain, covered in farm fields.  we've had a little rain in the past weeks, so the mountains were sprouting some fresh green color, where there had been only dry brown grass and brush before.

the hospital was a busy busy place. there were people everywhere, it was like an active station.  there were people camping out in their pickups in the parking lots, and visitors napping on mats in the grassy areas.  hospital staff came out the doors to greet us, and brought out a wheel chair for mama to get around in.  there was lots of running around, getting papers stamped, copied, signed and noted, then upstairs to wait with the hundreds of other people there.  i went out to the pickup in the parking garage (30 baht/hr - 1$ for parking) and read my nook book and had a little nap even though it was pretty warm.  i didn't want to take a seat inside the hospital since there were many people standing, waiting to get seen.  after a few hours everybody came back out to the car, we went around the front and collected Mama, and started back for Lom Sak.

we stopped to visit a couple of chinese temples on the side of a mountain on the way out.  very beautiful, with lots of statuary and decorations.  i wanted to get a photo of a giant jelly fish constructed out of PET water bottles i saw on the way up.  it was outside of a resort restaurant.  i went inside to have a look around - there were tables right in the jungle trees out back.  my friend Mr. Bo from denmark would love it, as he and I would go in search of "Jungle Bars" when i was hanging out with him in Phuket some years ago.

i'm still getting the hang of driving in thailand, and there would be a chorus of screams from the back of the truck whenever i did anything wonky - like back-up into the roadway with trucks on-coming.  nerve-wracking at times.

we have to go back to Pitsanulok in a few days to get my visa extended.  i hope we have time to look around some.

i've posted a few videos on my thaicountrylife Youtube channel
and created a thaicountrylife.tumblr.com  blog for quick posts and pictures  subscribe-rate-comment if you like please!  you can add the tumblr posts to an RSS feed and keep up to date on them.

there is a gallery of photos from the trip on picassa

later i learned the verdict of the doctors who read the scans of mama's lung.  the lump in there is probably cancer.

Onward!  Nu


The Golden Hours

For the past few days, there has been more haze in the air. the late afternoon "Golden Hour" before sunset has been running for much longer than an hour. I went into town by myself to buy some guitar strings and a few other things. coming back on the motorbike i was riding almost directly into the sun. beautiful orange ball hanging on the horizon. the HDR (High Dynamic Range) photograpy app on my iPhone takes two photos and blends them together. they guys on the motorbike weren't in the frame for the first picture, and in frame for the second, which is why you can see thru them. it's about 85 degrees F at this moment. Not bad for february eh?
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