Graffiti – Though I left it in San Francisco

Sawadee Khrap

Thought I left graffiti as I new it in San Francisco. I have several images in the Gallery and at one time I intended to canvas San Francisco, particularly in the “Tenderloin” and keep for posterity – now I find it follows me.  Here are some shots taken near Chiang Mai University.  Now you know there must be students from the US here – at first I though it was Thai graffiti but check it out.




Asian boys, Asian boys, Asian boys

Sawadee Khrap

What a delight to go to any parade here in Chiang Mai – here are some shots from the Loy Krathong parade last year – sorry I didn’t post them eralier.


OptLoyKrathong-dancer2OptLoyKrathong-RoyalFloat and a girl OptLoyKrathong-girls2

I’m starting to process more images and will try to post them along with some video – just setting up to embed video into the posts.


Cremation today

Sawadee Khrap

Yesterday we went to Tasanai’s Uncle’s Cremation in Lampang.  His Uncle died last week after suffering with cancer for quite a while.  I am developing the images and video right now, but it will take several says to complete.

Thai Cremations are similar to Irish Wakes.  For 2 days there is a meeting of relatives, with music and food as they prepare for the Cremation itself.  The Cremation day started off with food and music and about 12 noon they started the procession to the Temple with the casket carriage.  This large beautiful carriage, made of teak and containing the casket is pulled by a long rope by everyone at the ceremony.  The Temple was 1 Km up the road and police blocked off a portion of the highway so we could pass.  At the temple, prayers were said and then the fireworks began – a series of rockets on wires were set up around the Temple grounds ending at the funeral pyre – a open raised pit for the actual burning.  When lit, the rockets travelled around the grounds with a loud noise and lots of smoke – then set afire the casket area.  They also had several fireworks in bamboo columns that emitted coloured smoke and made unique loud sounds like elephants make – these were on either side of the pyre and when lit they engulphed the whole pyre in smoke.  Right after this ceremony everyone left so as to allow the deceased to leave – this was necessary because if they had stayed there the spirit could not leave.

I hope this makes sense – I am not a writer and definitely not a story teller – Comment me for more info – I will try to post some pictures in a few days.





Great dinner in Chiang Mai – “Spirit House”

Sawadee Khrap

We just got back from a great dinner at a new restaurant in Chiang Mai.  The “Spirit House”  Owners, Wanchai & Steve just opened it and we went there tonight for dinner.  The Spirit House is a garden restaurant that surrounds a ancient Chedi.  The bar area has classical music, antiques and a art gallery.  Entertainment consists of classical concerts, opera and ballet DVD’s.  They fly the rainbow flag and have sufficient space for large parties.

We had several dishes, steamed rice, pork & kale, sweet and sour chicken, asparagus with shrimp, shrimp cocktail and Thai salad with soft drinks – total bill  450 Baht = $11 US   Not bad for a full dinner for two – excellent taste, no MSG (that’s my real dread in most of the local shops), and large servings so we couldn’t eat it all and had to leave a lot  – too much for us.

When you come to Chiang Mai be sure and stop by.   They are going to have a web site in the near future and I will put a link to it here on our blog.

We are planning on visiting more local venues and report about them in the blog – I would want to develop a list of the best places to eat, stay and find entertainment in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and surrounding area and post it here so when someone comes for a visit they will be assured that they will fully enjoy themselves without the worry of being ripped off.

We’ll cover more spots as time permits.





Windows VISTA – do you want it ????

Another great article I found.  Actually I have a Alert Newsletter sent to me that everyone should be subscribed to.  Gizmo’s Support Alert.    Sign up here:


Check out the article on the NEW WINDOWS VISTA  Content Protection specs and see if it blocks any of the hardware or software programs, or media like DVD’s you have now – stitching to Vista would or could make your computer life miserable in the future.

Hope this helps


Foxfire tweaks

Hey are you using FoxFire – Do you want to make it behave like you want –  here is a link to a great site for those special tweaks to make the browser work the way you like – try it out.




AA in Chiang Mai

Sawasdee Khrap

Just went to a great AA meeting in Chiang Mai – what made it better than others I have been to is that the members were from all over the globe.  German, Dutch, French, Australian, Middle East, British and so on.   Listening to them share, each with their own problems, but actually the same, really hit home that we all share the same joys, problems, and goals no matter where we are from – just the language is different.  Strip everyone of their Nationalism, Religion and Politics and just talk about their feelings and needs and find we are all the same  – just hiding behind these institutions.  It’s these institutions that fuck up our ability to communicate.  Meetings I went to in the Bay Area were generally limited to locals and so seeing these different views of the same problems was not there.

I’m really looking forward to the next meeting and getting to know the people there –

anyway, my thoughts





Just a Update

Sawasdee Khrap

Boy, have I been busy trying to learn the new DVD video software – finally got it working, fades, crossovers, transitions, slide shows, and full movie preparation. I’m testing out Sony’s Vegas / Architect for Video with Sound Forge for Audio. What great programs and very easy to use – at least it is now that I am over the initial learning hump – it was difficult changing from Adobe Premiere logic to Sony’s – but I think it is a lot easier and I have full Dolbe Sound now. Once I learn it I can teach it to Tasanai. So far he has been using “Roxio” DVD Studio 8 – not that good and he needs to raise the quality of his DVD Video projects to something like broadcasting standards – looks like these will do it – the first one cut was really stable, great clarity and sound.

I will now try to make some small clips to put in the Blog – maybe about the artist we show in the store and later something for the trips I take ———— I am hoping that anyone who wants to see something about a “tour” or vacation area they are thinking about – this would be a great way to do it. We have a lot of footage from videos on the trips we have taken and thousands of snapshots that would make excellent clips – just ask and I’ll try.

We are planning on going to the Royal Flora again at night to film the shows final month – the show was real great the last time we were there but we were not prepared. At least now we know where to set up the cameras – last time we were nowhere near the good site. This time we will get there before the crowd and stake out our seat and vantage point. He will get his video and I will take my still shots and get some for the blog.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve been doing — and Tasanai has been preparing a printed photo project (wedding party) for friends of ours that they went to in the Nan area (city Northeast from Chiang Mai). I told them, Jerry and Art, that I would try to make a DVD slideshow from their pictures that Tasanai has processed.

Promise to have some more pictures for the Blog later –



Panoramic view – Royal Flora

Sawasdee Khrap

Here is a panoramic view of the entrance to the Royal Flora Horticultural Exposition in Chiang Mai. If you click to open it please be patient – it’s a very large file.

3PicPan half2

We took Tasanai’s family there yesterday and I got this 3 shot view from the front.

IMG_9709small The second shot is the fireworks display at the end of the nightly show. We intend to go back and do some serious photography next week now that we know where the events will happen and where the best shooting points are. Hopefully I’ll have some good shots to show you, till then, if you look closely at the panoramic you can see the Buddha in the far left background – thats almost 20 miles away (as the crow flies ). Actually I’m just guessing but it’s really far away.



My turn – Royal Flora pictures

Sawasdee Khrap,    Sawasdee Pee Mai:

Here are some shots from the Royal Flora Ratchapruck 2006 Exposition.  We went there last week, first during the day and the following day with friends for the night show.  I did not get a great deal of shots but hope to get more when we take Tasanai’s family there next week.  Here are a few ( mixed collection ) of the shots I have processed so far:

Main Pavillion  Side of Pavillionflowers - front entrance

Sudan exhibitTasanai(right) & Art (friend)Pavillion night shot

electric parade 2Electric Parade 1Electric Parade 3


I’ll have some more when we get back from next weeks trip – But the main URL link above will take to the official site and they also have a great Photo Gallery – enjoy





Local bombings !!!!!

Sawasdee Khrap

Sawasdee Pee Mai  (Happy New Year) 

   Been watching CNN as the new year went around the world – great shows, fireworks and excitement – however – Thailand was hit by several bombings in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai — someone always has to screw up things somewhere – so we didn’t have a very exciting fireworks display here. 

I did try to get some shots of the show that was put on – small but still very nice, but there was just too much radiant light from the city to take any good shots.  I have to practice more to get some ones I can show you. 

Tomorrow,  I will post some shot of the Royal Flora Celebration we went to last week – nice night light show and pretty busy while we were there.  We are due to go back next week to show Tasanai’s family the place – so if you have any questions or would like to see something particular you read about from the show – drop me a email or comment and I’ll try to get some pictures and post them.

Anyway  – I see 2007 came in very nicely around the world – Hope we keep it that way




P.S.  Be sure and check out the Store and Gallery.




Sawasdee Khrap


And we have the new version of the Store and Gallery online now.  Still plan on making a lot of changes but we think the basic format is there – just tweaking the site now is needed.  Many images will now be improved, and we still need some pricing for “Bird’s” Asian Tours ( trekking & Chiang Rai) for starters.

Well what do you think of the site and store now – Please clique for me – need your opinions, comments and suggestions.

What do you feel when you see the site?  Is is appealing?

Does it convey any feelings to buy?       We were told the old version looked more like a museum than a store.

Has that changed?      Are there some Thailand products you would like to have presented?

Thanks for your help – we really need it.


Frank & Tasanai

What a day !! ??

Sawasdee Khrap

What a day, or I should have said evening — we were robbed last night.  He entered in through the balcony and stoled our laptop – right while Tasanai’s mother was sleeping on the couch.  She did slightly wake up and saw someone but thought it was Tasanai, going to the front bathroom and so didn’t say anything.  Pretty brave, to come in while there are people there – but last month we were missing 17,000 Baht or about $500 US — must have come in the same way.  Security in the building is sure they know who is doing it (happened to about 3 others on our floor this week I found out) but they don’t have actual proof Yet.— we are now setting up a motion alarm and will stop any other attempts, just movement will set off an alarm and lights.  But that’s the excitement for today, Thank God we have the insurance.  Bought it last month – never thought it would be needed this soon.

On another point – our neighbour said he really felt the earthquake we had last week – Tas and I slept right through it – Our neighbour said it really swayed the building and lasted for about a minute – first one he has been in – he said it was pretty scary —





Changes, Changes, Changes

Sawasdee Khrap

Making a lot of changes now – trying to make the Blog, Store and Gallerys easier to use and the general theme of the site more apparent — Your comments are really helping, we just wish we had a better background of web design. Sorry, we are taking so long – quite a learning process. 

We are updating “Tour’s Best” – Bird’s Tours – for better content and photos  — and it will also have next seasons new pricing  – Mock-ups look great – hope you like it when finished.

We are trying to incorporate the “” flash Title used in the Gallery into the Blog, so the sites are more consistent.   That’s not as easy as we thought it would be — again the learning curve — but doing so is also teaching us how to embed “Flash” movies into the Blog and Gallery — that way we can show you movie clips, such as small clips on the different tours offered, short movies about the Artist we sponsor, and scenes from Frank’s travels.  We’re hoping that these will help make the site more attractive. What do you think?

Anyway – it’s your comments that give us the incentive and guidance to make the site more inviting.

Thanks so much,

Tasanai & Frank