Skype calls

Sawadee Khrap

Just got off a 45 min call to my Nephew in San Francisco using Skype – great quality sound – just like he was right next to me – and FREE.  I am really impressed.  Now I have Skype and Yahoo Messenger on most of the time, but I do run in invisible mode as I am not directly in front of the computer all the time.  Send me a chat and I’ll go online –

Get it – You’ll love it

Ciao

Frank

Crisis not over

Sawadee Khrap

Well the air-quality crisis is not over yet – still no rain in site – rained a little in Lampang last night – probably our seeding, just 60 miles South-West but not in the Chiang Mai valley.  Still considered a very bad health risk to go outside without masks.  Apparently the fires in Myanmar (Burma) haven’t been fully put out and our local fires have flared up again.

My other crisis – expiring VISA cards have eased until next month – apparently they send out replacement cards 15 day before they expire  – I have to have mine sent over here when they are received in my post box – so I’ll be just under the wire if the mail gets through on time – to call and get them activated – time now to set some cash aside just in case.

Going to look at another Mira car this afternoon – Tasanai needs a car fro himself and this may be a good deal for us – more insurance costs though – never ends – but if I get the car in Tasanai’s name then the Thai Ins will be far less than if it is in my name.   Farangs (foreigners) are a deep pocket here and so need to have the best Ins. protection.  I’ll get some pictures if we buy it.

Ciao

Partial Solar Eclipse

Sawadee Khrap

About 9 AM today, Tasanai witnessed the partial solar eclipse visible here in Chiang Mai — he couldn’t get any pictures and could only see it by looking through a smoked up a piece of glass he had made – we didn’t have the correct glasses or viewer – but he could definitely see the blacked out portion even though the local smoke/haze is still pretty bad. 

 Here is a link to the NASA Eclipse Page  —– and also a picture from their web-site showing the eclipse path.

SE2007Mar19P

We didn’t plan on getting shots – but I will update the blog as we find more info in the local area news.

Ciao

 

Seeding the sky – Chiang Mai

Sawadee Khrap

Sorry to have the blog so devoid of photos – it’s not been nice weather here in Chiang Mai for a while.  Still not cleared up all the smoke, so the Military is flying special planes around seeding with water to increase the humidly and cause the smoke/dust to settle. 

SeedChiangMaiSo far there has been some improvement but still not a lot – seeding will continue I think for the next few days – the weather people predict that rain is expected in 3–4 Seeding1

days and that should do the trick.  You can see the vapour trail coming from the tubes near the middle of the plane.  I use the best telephoto we have but the distance and smoke make it difficult to really get a good shot.   Hope it works. 

We have been wearing masks every time we go out and have had to keep the windows closed at night to keep the dust out – that makes it very warm to sleep – I don’t like the air-conditioners running any more often than they have too – they really dry out the air and give us sore throats and coughs. We turn them on to cool down the place and then shut them off at night and use the fans.

Crisis may be over

Sawadee Khrap

Looks like the haze-smoke crisis my be over in Chiang Mai – today we finally had a breeze and the smoke cleared – at least to the point that we can see the old city now – that’s about 15–20 blocks. Our air-filter filter is about 20% used up but it did do the job for the apt. Dust at a minimum and coughing and breathing OK. We did have masks to use if we went outside– but hopefully we can put them away now.

I didn’t take any shots of the mess – but there are some great images on NASA’s pages

We will see tomorrow if it holds. It really put a damper on trying to set up model photo sessions – can’t shoot in this weather and gThaiStudio wants it’s photos to show the boys in natural settings – with a few staged studio type shots. Now ads can be put in the local chat rooms to find models. Tomorrow Tasanai will go and contact the models he has lined up so far and set dates to shoot. I get to watch – Nice to be retired and just a spectator – no ulcers or stress here.

Ciao

Frank

Danger Area

Sawadee Khrap

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Mae Hong Son provinces are really in trouble, smoke levels have reached the Haze Disaster point but officials are not ready to declare a full disaster zone. Smoke levels have reached the 300 microgram/cubic meter in Chiang Mai and the surrounding area – officials have been handing out over 130,000 masks so far and more to come – we got ours yesterday – Thai Airway has cancelled flights and delays are also occurring between Bangkok and Chiang Rai airports –

Burning violators will be fined 2,000 Baht if caught starting fires in the North.

Check here for the latest from The Bangkok Post – you can also check the links for “Chiang Mai Mail” and “CityLife Magazine, Chiang Mai” that are listed in the side-bar column.

We are staying inside – not much fun though – and it is really hampering our getting models for the new web-site, can’t take any pictures in this weather and we don’t have the studio set up yet.

Ciao

Public Support Message – of sorts

Sawadee Khrap

When you get up in and around my age you may need (expensive) life saving drugs or you may start looking for something to enhance your love life — don’t we all – Cialis, Viagra – are probably the best selling drugs right now – but be careful:

There are many web-sites that claim to be able to sell drugs, generic and commercial direct from the manufacture and claim to have endorsement from several outstanding associations:

BBBonline

Canadian International Pharmacy Association

VISA ( verified)

But all are, pardon the emphases, Bullshit — they aren’t qualified for any of them – they just post their Logo and claim they are approved.  Most are selling cheap (crap) copies that are made in India – no control, not even sure if they contain what they say they are – in any event – they border on poison – I am really leery of cheap drugs now – I’ve bought some over the web and got crap back – not even close.  I’m glad these were for my enjoyment and not for something like controlling my blood pressure or other life threatening needs. It isn’t worth it – be careful.

Make sure you check them out before making a purchase for drugs you need for life or fun – the web-sites look official – but  check the references – don’t take a chance.

 

Air Quality

Sawadee Khrap

Today, Chiang Mai has the worst air pollution since I’ve been here – reports are 270 micrograms/cubic liter (I think that’s the correct measurements) – 120+ is unhealthy — we are way beyond that —– severe fires in the mountains around us has created a dense cloud of smoke that is just hanging in the Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son areas – no breezes to clear it out.  But now I hear that the majority of the smoke is coming from Burma.
I see that the LA fires are starting again – high dry winds and terrific fires – We don’t have the fire intensity, just the smoldering smoke – and a hell of a lot of it.

We are staying put in the house and keeping our air-purifier running. If you look out our window we can only see about 1 block away – looks like “toolie” fog (is that how you spell it) in the Sacramento Valley – bad. Eyes and throat burn, nose stopped up — Where are the breezes — Let the wind blow.

Just a weather update — updates later

Ciao

Pool Party – first 2007

Sawadee Khrap

Well we went to our first pool party on the 15th floor last night – nice crowd there – relaxed and friendly, although we only knew a couple of the farangs and none of the boys.  Here’s a few shots:

Poolparty1 Poolparty2

Poolparty3  Poolparty4

Not any lighting so the flash was very confined – but you can really see the atmosphere – nice and cozy, dark – just right to meet new friends – I am really looking forward to upcoming parties – as the weather gets hotter and clothing gets less – a night-swimming pool party will be just the thing.

I left the party about 10ish and took Dan (visiting guest) to see a local boy club – went to see the show at “New My Way” — great show, models, dancing and lip-sync’ing lady-boys. Nicely built boys – good show.

Tasanai went with a couple of friends and went dancing at one of the Discos – I don’t like the loud music so he has to find friends who like to dance and can stand the noise – I guessed they danced the night away – I got back home about 1 AM — he didn’t get in till after 3 AM —–  and the cigarette smoke smell – we both reeked of it —– when will they outlaw smoking at these venues – would really be nice – but I ramble now ——

Sooooooooo

Ciao

 

Today’s Saturday — Uhgggggg

Sawadee Khrap

Well today is Saturday and I haven’t got a thing to put into the Blog – it’s 37 C. today – you can convert it to  F. by using the calculator to the right – try it out.

It’s not really hot – or at least I don’t think it’s that hot – but the air quality is terrible – burning in the forest, pollution from cars, it’s really bad today – the official warning is to stay inside unless you have to go out.  I thought I left that in the States – damn.

We are going to a pool party on the 15th floor (top floor – roof) of our condo bldg tonight – it’s a gay venue, pool-side, warm evening, lots of boys – at least that’s what we’ve been told – I’ll try to get some pics and post them tomorrow.

After the party – I am going to take a friend  , Dan – actually Tin’s house mate, ( Hi Tin, if your reading this please leave a comment ) who’s visiting from Oakland, to several of the boy show clubs here in Chiang Mai – that’s in case he doesn’t score at the party. (wink)

Well helping Tasanai with the house cleaning – so that’s all for now

Later,

Tao-Garden Pictures

Sawadee Khrap

Here are some images from Tao-Garden Health Spa & Resort in Doi Saket, Chiang Mai.  I really liked the massage, lunch and just simply relaxing and walking around the grounds. When you come to Chiang Mai be sure a reserve sufficient time to visit the Resort – just visit or better yet get a massage – they offer a full menu of services.  But now the pictures, enjoy:

TaoGarden-Sign2TaoGarden-Frank

TaoGarden-Rest TaoGarden-River

TaoGarden-Cafe TaoGarden-Dinning

TaoGarden-WalkAs you can see from the photos this is International quality Retreat. Check out their website for more info:   

Tao Garden 

Nattapoun’s Soap flower carvings

Sawadee Khrap

Hi – just want to make another plug for Nattapoun’s Soap flower carvings. What a great seat placement decoration for your next party, wedding, business or special event. We have several in our apartment and they really invite the comments from our guests. They love them.

We are also looking for a sales rep to handle large sales in the local areas – great rep discount – so you can build a thriving business – Local flower, wedding, Hallmark centers, craft, and hobby shops are a great outlet – you set up the purchase and use the web to complete – Set up an account and all sales to it will give you a commission. eMail us for particulars.

Well it’s Sunday night here – Tasanai is not back yet from Nan – so I’ll have some pictures to post probably tomorrow.

Ciao