WOW–big rain today–on top of disaster

Sawadee Khrap

Disasters everywhere – Yesterday at 5:30, while I was watching the TV about the earthquake in Italy, I felt like I was hyper-ventilating and rocking but it turned out to be a earthquake HERE – Burma, 6.8.  Team was at his computer and got up from his chair because it was moving – amazing. We haven’t heard a lot about it  – apparently information is slow to get out of Burma.

This morning we got up at 6:30 so Team could go to school – at 7 AM it started raining  – hard  – and rained for about 1 hr. – He left to walk to school and shortly called me to say I have to drive him as the local Soi was flooded. – When I took him the entire Soi was about 2 feet under water and these photos were taken after I got back home – about 30 min later.   Where did the water go – all in the parking basement on the New Condo next door.  Pity those people – must have been at least 15 cars down there – water over the hoods – you can see the water line in the second photo

and also the Soi leading from Huay Kaew Rd past the Huay Kaew Residences going to Kad Suan 1472122746766Kaew Shopping Center.   It took over 2.5 hours DSC00888DSC00886DSC00890for this to go down – This is a great warning to what may be coming later as we go farther into the rainy season – we really haven’t had a big rain yet.  If this is the damage here, I can only guess how bad it was around the city in areas that usually flood.


Carmina Burana Concert

Sawadee Khrap

Last night Mike, Team and I attended the Carmina Burana Concert presented by The Chiang Mai Carmina-1Youth Philharmonic Band and Symphony Orchestra Foundation of  The College of Music, Payap University, at the Kad Theatre – Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center.  

Click on the image above to view the short video

A masterpiece by Carl Orff. Solo trumpetist   Jakrapan Chaiya and conductor Chaipruck Mekara.  Far beyond my level of sophistication but never the less a great evening.

I used the new Sony A7R11 and shot at 16,000 ISO for the images in the slideshow – There was noise but nothing like the older 7D.  It was well attended and the theatre was fairly dark – I did shoot some at 5000 ISO but the shutter speed was too slow – so for the balance of the performance I used the higher .DSC00707DSC00722


Shoot next Sunday – Christopher

Sawadee Khrap

We have a photo shoot planned for next Sunday, Team and I, with Christopher Ryan.   I don’t want to reveal the details yet but it will involve a elephant, river, jungle, nudity, and possible my 55bfc517c64d3Vitara.  You can find out more about Christopher at:


Christopher and I have been talking for some time about doing a outdoor shoot.  I had the stent problem and could not meet the last time he was in Chiang Mai – but he is coming back.

This time we will be able to join him and looking forward to getting some great images.

I’ll explain more after the shoot and when I post some images.


Physical Therapy – not disc problem

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from Sriphat Physical Therapy Center for the second  ultra-sound and lumbar traction session.  Both shoulders and lower back received 7 minuets each of ultra-sound deep massage and then in for 20 min of lumbar traction = total cost  300 Baht    $9.    I was at Tao Gardens 2 weeks ago for just lower back ultra-sound and was charged 1700 Baht.    Quite a savings. 

What I thought was a flair up of the herniated disc, turned out to be a case of aggressive muscle spasm.  The doctor at Sriphat spotted this right away and set me up for physical therapy to cure the problem.   I’ve scheduled 2 sessions a week for the next 2 weeks to bring everything back to normal.  Along with stretching exercises at home I should be discomfort free soon. 

I also bought a pair of new shoes and this really helped too – I tend to wear them down in the lower outside area which causes me to walk off center and aggravates the back muscles and this in turn causes the vertebras in the back to pop out of position causing more muscle spasm.  I don’t usually notice it until the spasms get so bad that they start to affect the sciatic nerve and I get sever pain down both legs.   I’ll be more observant as to how the shoes are wearing down and make sure to get new ones when needed.  

However, at 300 Baht a session,  I definitely can afford a once week, or at least every other week, visit to the Therapy Center in addition to my normal weekly 2-hour Oil massages to keep my back in good shape.  That amounts to 4600 Baht/Mo or  $130/Mo.  And I tip well – you could do the same here for half the price.  Think about it – that’s 4 private (young men) massages in my condo + 2 therapy sessions.  Try that somewhere else.

Thailand retirement is affordable and pampers me like a baby.  Gay heaven with affordable health care and living expenses so that I can exist in style on my US retirement pension. 


2 Hr. Body Scrub & Massage – You must try

Sawadee Khrap

BubblesJust got back from a heavenly body scrub and oil massage at Bubble’s Massage.    Kuhn “A”  was terrific.  One hour body scrub and one hour oil massage = 500 Baht    $14       First the body scrub – using a mixture of::

  • Sea Salt
  • Honey
  • Yogurt
  • Thanaka  – yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark.

WOW – after the hour, which was also a great massage I might add, I took a shower to rinse off the mixture and never felt so clean – amazing.  Skin really smooth and ready for the oil massage.  Next the hour oil massage – “A” is really strong and gives great attention to the real tight muscles – I am real picky but really loved his technique asking if I had any problem areas and then took special interest at them – not once rushing the time.    He deserved the tip I left.

All I can say is – TRY IT


Singaporean Food–Chiang Mai

Sawadee Khrap

Had to get my Samsung phone fixed yesterday and while waiting there I went for a quick snack at the local Shiok About Food restaurant almost next door.  hard to find – check their map but make sure to Check it out.

shiokAboutFood  I had their “beehoon soto with Yellow noodles habis” – very tasty.  

But talking to Gabriel, the owner, I found out about his Goat Shanks, peranakan style. Stewed in beer and herbs and spices with sautéed curried potatoes, grilled broccoli and cauliflower and stewed carrots.   Goat shanks are supposed to be leaner and more healthy than lamb – hope they tasted as good.

I will check with him when its available and go down for a meal – 500 baht I think and post my comments.    Here is the photo – – And their  Facebook Page IMG-20160720-WA0002   Looks delicious.



Speaking of Turmeric

Sawadee Khrap

Thanks Kevin for this info – I haven’t tried it yet but I will try it later and see what I think – love to have some of the readers try it and leave their comments too.turmeric Latti          Turmeric Latte

I have definitely noticed that the Turmeric and Black Peppercorns  I take in the mornings is helping reduce the inflammation in my back and coupled with ice packs and minimal exercise,  most of the soreness, stiffness and pain has diminished.  


Tao Gardens–Team’s school –

Today is Team’s first full day at University for his Masters.  Left this morning at 7:30 and don’t expect him back till about 4:30.  Apparently there are only 5 students in the Toxicology class for Master Degree this year – one is a ladyboy and they have become friends and will be having lunch today  – I’ll show photos later.

Yesterday, I went to Tao Gardens Spa and got a Ultra Sound massage for my back – 1500 Baht – I felt the heat all the way home – 20 KM – and then put on the ice-pack again.   Getting better  – 113937today I walked to Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center and the exercise really helped  – I hope I will be somewhat back to normal in a week. 

Wednesday I will see the Cardiologist at Sriphat Hospital for a BP and stent check up and will ask about their Physical Rehabilitation Center – Ultra Sound treatments and therapy.   I think,  if I can, schedule a monthly session just for insurance to keep my back strong – of course I will have to develop a real daily plan of exercise for the back and using the Elliptical machine for Cardio..  Now that Team is in school I will take on most of the household duties and that will provide something to do and a start on a basic form of exercise.

Everything else seems to be going well –


Turmeric – Does it have value ?

Sawadee Khrap

Over the last few days I have had a very strong and painful flair-up of my herniated disk that got me early retirement.  Pinching the Sciatic nerve, causing pain down both legs and growing ED problems.   Actually I think I caused the flair-up by improper setting while watching TV and not doing my exercises to strengthen the back muscles. Getting lazy and paying for it.

Usually I would apply ice cold packs to the area and take some Naproxen to reduce the inflammation.   But, with my present medicine after the stents – I can’t take Naproxen as a anti-inflammatory. so I tried Turmeric as an alternative.  I have now increased my intake of Turmeric ,until the back problem is gone, to twice a day – 1000 mg with Black Peppercorns (used to increase the absorption of the Turmeric) with great success.   Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and may be even better than Naproxen, at least it is compatible with my other meds.       WOW it works.

After one day – most of the pain and soreness is gone.  I am wearing a elastic belt to offer more support but the healing effects are really noticeable.  Indeed Turmeric is doing the job. Of course I have to do better about exercise and watching that I don’t compound the problem any more. But when I do have a flair up – Turmeric appears to be the best anti-inflammatory medicine to take and hopefully a daily dosage of 1000mg will prevent any recurrence in the future.

I have also eliminated the Bestatin – as I believe that it was causing increased pain in my hips – I’ll let you know if this is correct – but I don’t think I really need it and all I can read is how bad it is and how over used this drug is.   We’ll see.      So now my morning meds are:

  • 160 mg Valsartan 
  • 5 mg Madiplot
  • 5 mg  Folic Acid
  • 75 mg  Plavix
  • 83 mg Aspirin
  • 10 mg  Cialis
  • 1000 mg Turmeric (Curcuma Longa Linn)
  • 5  raw whole Black Peppercorns

I will see the Cardiologist next week for a full check up and blood test and will post the results – but I seem to be having steady BP at 115/58 average and reduced pain in my hips.


The Ultimate Ethnic Joke:

Thanks Paul’s Sunday Funnies – this is a classic.

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Americans (including a Hawaiian and an Alaskan), an Argentinian, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovak, an Egyptian, a Japanese,
a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, a Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, an Iranian, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian,a Syrian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Mauritian, a Georgian, a  Bahamian, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Canadian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian,a Dutchman, an Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and two Africans,

walk into a very fine restaurant in central London. 
After scrutinizing the group, the Maître D says, “I’m sorry…. you can’t come in here without a Thai.”


Friends visiting

Sawadee Khrap

DSC00418DSC00428Last week Charlie came from Bangkok to visit and we took a trip to the Chiang Mai Zoo to see the Pandas.  Here are some of the animals, but the place was crawling with kids so we left early.

DSC_5416DSC00465DSC00485DSC00607And then later in  the week after Charlie had gone back to BKK – Team had 2 of his friends (Film and Ann) come visit DSC00624-Editfor the afternoon – It’s nice to have visitors to the place now – feels more like home now and you can really see Team’s influence on the condo.  I think they made brownies and played on the computer – I went for a massage to pass the time and give them some time alone. Girl talk you know and in Thai so I couldn’t eavesdrop – Devil

This afternoon Team’s aunt will come for a short visit.  We’re starting to settling in very comfortably.  Next week Team starts school and has a very busy course load – we also have to get the tire fixed on his bike so he will have transportation.  Next month we will be buying the graduation gown for his Bachelor of Science ceremony coming up – the Princes will present the diploma. Really looking forward to that  – but no one is allowed to take photos – have to buy the official photos – part of the Royal attendance policy.


Present Meds Update

Sawadee Khrap

Well I hope I don’t jinx the progress but so far I have had very stable blood pressure and feeling pretty good – no  ED to really complain about either.  The two stents seem to have done the trick – coupled with the new pill regime of:

  • 160 mg Valsartan     main blood pressure med
  • 5 mg Madiplot          extra control – BP
  • 10 Bestatian             Cholesterol control  LDL
  • 10-20 Cialis              ED aid – alternating 10/20mg
  • 5 mg Folic acid          Kidney
  • 75 mg Plavix              Blood thinner for stent
  • 83 mg Aspirin            Anti-clotting

This combination seems to be holding everything steady now – last check kidneys have stabilized and BP average 119/60  – getting strength back and will start a daily 20 min. workout on Elliptical machine in addition to daily walking – that should really help the blood flow. As always have to wait and check next month to see if it is still holding – hope so – would be nice to be able to relax now and enjoy my old age.

If you are having problems and looking for a Medical Vacation – I would highly recommend you look at Thailand  – Let me know if you have any questions and I will see if I can find the answer for you –


Doi Mae Salong and Mae Sot trips

Sawadee Khrap

Sorry for not posting faster – last week we went to Doi Mae Salong for a quick 2 day trip to test my new camera and get some needed relaxation. Here are some random shots.  We stayed at the Mae Salong Flower Hills Resort – excellent.  Actually we were the only ones there besides the staff.DSC00098DSC00190 


DSC00254DSC00234And then the next week a short tip to Mae Sot and then to Tak and back to Chiang Mai.  It was really rainy and bad weather so very few shots were taken – her are a couple of them.  I will try to do a better job on outing. DSC00359-PanoDSC00363


New Camera – Sony A7R Mark II

Sawadee Khrap

Sony-A7RM2Here’s a Galaxy phone shot of my new camera – Sony A7R Mark II – 42 MP full frame,mirrorless with a 24-240 mm Sony Zoom.   Sorry for the bad glary shot but in a hurry this morning.  Getting ready to leave to pick up Team at Phayao and then take a short trip to Doi Mae Salong for overnight and testing the new camera.   Team has been visiting his family at their home and farm in Phayao for the last 5 days and rather than come back and then go  – I will meet him half way at the Mae Khachan Transport Station on Hwy 118 going to Chiang Rai. – between the Wiang Pa Pao Hot Springs area and the Hwy 120 turn off to Phayao. 

Got everything except the battery grip which they had to order – need it for my big hands and longer, steadier shooting.  They also gave me the fancy leather strap – Photo Bug Camera  – Chiang Mai.  I’ll write a review when I get back.