Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today marks one year that I've lived in Thailand. I've had an excellent time so far.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hua Hin

Koong and I took advantage of a rare weekend when she wasn't working and a three day weekend for both of us to boot - Labor Day in Thailand (and many other countries). We went to Hua Hin, a resort town on the  coast of the Bay of Thailand about 3 hours drive South of Bangkok. We booked our room at the last minute and ended up at a staying at a Marriott Resort right on the beach. It was an older property but in good shape and beautifully landscaped. And the best feature: right on the beach!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Warden Message: Travel Alert from the State Department

I signed in with the U.S. Embassy when I moved here and as a result I receive these Warden Messages from the Embassy from time to time, usually related to something happening in Thailand. I received this one moments after Obama announced that Bin Laden was dead.

I am fine though, so don't worry.

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing
abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent
counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.  Given the uncertainty and
volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent
events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit
their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings
and demonstrations.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media
coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all
times.  This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011. 

U.S. Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent
possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation.  U.S.
government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.
These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public
services to assess their security posture.  In those instances, U.S.
Embassies and Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency
services to U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor
the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or

Media coverage of local events may cause family and friends to become
concerned for their loved ones traveling and residing abroad.  We urge
U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends.  U.S.
citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll in the
Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to
receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated
information on travel and security issues.  U.S. citizens without
Internet access may register directly with the appropriate U.S. Embassy
or Consulate.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S.
Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. 

Travel information is also available at
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling
1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers
outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a
Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at  For further information on specific countries,
U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information pages,
Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings at as well as
the Worldwide Caution.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular
Affairs' page on Facebook as well.

Note:  You may be receiving this message more than once.
This email is UNCLASSIFIED

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Playing football (soccer)

About two weeks ago our company had an inter-company football (soccer) game where the factory management played the head office management group. The game kicked off (literally) a few weeks of sporting events between different departments. The games also include foot-volleyball (volleyball played with the feet) and "share ball", a game I've never heard of where the women pass the ball around and shoot at a basket held by one of their teammates who is standing on a chair or ladder at one end of the field. It's like basketball with a moving basket except you can't dribble, just pass and it's played on grass.

Anyway, I played football (soccer) on a reduced field with a team of eight (7 plus a goalie). I hadn't played in over 20 years but did relatively well with and against mostly younger guys except that I missed the defining penalty in the penalty shootout after regular time to break the 2x2 tie , much to my embarrassment. Fortunately the game was mostly about having fun so my teammates are still speaking to me.
But boy, was I sore the next day!