Here is a picture of our little Mira. Just got back from a trip to Lampang for Ed’s (Tasanai’s cousin) Spirit Ceremony. 200 Km trip. I have to admit that if we are going to go on long trips I will need to rent a larger car. This one is really too small for me for anything over a 200–300 Km trip. It got about 45 M/Gal – converted – we use only metric over here, but it really sucked up the water – must be a leak in the cooling system somewhere – although I can’t see it. It’s a real pain to make sure to check it after every 150 Km or so, just to make sure it doesn’t over-heat. I have to take it back to the shop and see if they can stop it from leaking. But, so far that’s all the problems we have had with the little beauty. Besides the SHORT leg-room. Definitely wasn’t made for farangs, most Thais, when I pass them, just smile when they see me in such a little car. – haha –
We went to Lampang for Ed’s yearly changing of the Lana Culture Spirit Altars. Each year he has to replace the khantokes (special bowels), flowers and altar setups he has at his house. Tasanai’s house has a similar setup for the Spirits for their family. Ed is one of the special people ( Yok Khan Kru ) who the ancient spirits use to speak in this world. This custom is part of the old Lana Culture and not in Buddhism or Hindu beliefs. In Thailand all three beliefs are intertwined – Buddha, Brahman, and Spirit – in that order.
Tasanai, because he is a relative, was invited to participate in the service and was also hired to take video and digital photos. As one of the services offered by AsianCoOp.com, Tasanai will record special events and then supply a DVD and photos in a portfolio form. I think I mentioned this before – so he was really busy the whole time we were there.
I have more pictures of the car and trip later.
Ciao for now
Here is the first pictures from our new HillSide 4 Condo. This panoramic view is from the front room balcony – (we face the city and not Doi Suthep as in the other place). If you look closely , the brown building at the right of the picture is the Lotus where we had a room before. You can see some of the flowers on the balcony but you will have to wait to see the waterfall we have there too. We have just about finished with the main decorating of the place – just need some mirrors on the living room wall to make the room look bigger and we should be done. – I’ll have the shots for you to see then. Sometime next week.
I’ll also have some shots of the new car we bought. – Small, everyone smiles and sometimes laughs to see a large “farang” behind the wheel. Driving on the left side of the road is getting easier each day. Tasanai has his license but now needs to get some practice before really taking the car out on his own. I got my Thai license so now I’m set. My California license doesn’t expire till 2010 so I’ve got both countries covered. — The cost of gas, or actually benzene here, is about 29 Baht per liter. Our little car gets about 14 Km per liter. That’s with the air conditioning on – but without it I think we will get about 20 Km/L. Let’s see, putting that into US $ would be approx. $2.86 per Gal and we get almost 23.6 miles/gal with air – 38 with no air con on the flat. Not that bad. Thank God Thailand is not that big – so our auto costs won’t be all that high even though we do travel across the country.
Tasanai’s video business is really taking off – 2 more venues this month. Another spirit-dancing event and a ceremony of a new monk “taking his bowl and robe”. Both in Lampang – I’ll probably go and get some shots myself to show you.
Anyway this is just a update – see you next week
Oh Ya, Now with the car, I plan to be on the road again shortly – starting to rain here, at least once a day but the showers only last about 2 hrs. Pours like hell but is over soon and most people don’t even use a umbrella (used more for the sun), they just get wet and it will dry soon when it stops. It is humid though. One large cloud raining like hell and the rest of the sky and area sunny — haha
We just bought a new car – or actually a used car, a Dihatsu Mira – 3 cylinder, heavily customized purple 2 door mini car. Really cute, I’ll have some photos next week. Not made for very long trips but should do nicely for our travels. The paperwork is being done now and sun reflective film is being applied to the windows so we won’t really have it till next Monday afternoon. But then we will test it out with some local trips and photos.
As for the status of the Web-site – the shopping cart software will not be ready for at least another 3 weeks – what a bummer. Delays, delays, delays.
Over the weekend I will try to add some new pictures –
I just checked with the company that produces the Shopping Cart Software we hope to use – still not completed, but should be ready soon – looks like it has the features we are looking for so I hope it works for our site.
Tasanai and I have just moved into our new apartment (condo) and are working on setting up the place. Plants for the balcony (great view – I’ll take some pictures) and rooms, furniture selection, need to get full kitchen stuff – turning into quite a job.
The building we have our place in is actually a “Condotel” a Condo/Hotel. It has units for short or long term rental as well as purchased condos. We have a long term rental lease and in addition when we have guest they can rent a furnished studio unit while they are here – 850 Baht a night ($22 US). We are also looking at available units for sale – we may just buy one.
Almost finished in the computer room so I have no excuses to slow down on my posting – I am getting several posts ready for next week on some of the earlier trips I have taken – some good pictures —- and I will also get some shots of the new apartment too.
Ciao for now
Moving into our new digs, or actually a condo (11th floor – 1brm, 2 bath, lg kitchen, living room, 2 balcony’s) – renting for now just to see how we like it. I am using “WE” as Tasanai and I have reconciled our differences. Thanks God that’s over. But between senility, trying to get the web thing going, travel and culture differences I swear I work harder now in retirement than I did before.
We should be moving in next week, but I won’t consider it accomplished till we actually do – you know how things can rapidly change – I’ll wait till we are in to give the address out – but, it will really be nice to have a separate bedroom to escape to either of our entertaining goes on late. In addition there are several great advantages:
- 1. There are empty studios still in the complex that can be used by visiting guests for about 800 Baht or so – that’s $20 a night – complete privacy and spectacular views.
- 2. On the 15th floor is a private pool , actually for the penthouse area but we will be included – very seldom used, so it is almost like having our own.
Cable TV and ADSL for the internet. Right now we have very limited TV, everything in Thai – so I don’t understand anything – except BBC World and that gets very boring ,very fast. Getting off the dial-up for the internet will be heaven, right now it takes forever to do anything on the web and forget trying to down-load any files —— for that alone I really look forward to the new place.
Well I have to buy another TV (we gotta have a home entertainment center) , dishes, bathroom and housewares so I don’t plan on taking any trips in the near future, but I have a lot of pictures and tales from our excursions so far this year to tide me over. I’ll try to show you some of the “Unseen” places we’ve seen so far – I am sure your will like them.
And If I am peaking your interest about coming to Thailand, we are adding a new section – “Bird’s Tours” to the products we offer — he has some great tour packages in addition to specially designed private tours – please check them out. They should be listed in about a week.
Gotta ge ready to move
Hi Sawasdee Khrap
Just playing around with Photoshop and made a attempt at a photo-merge. This is a view from our apt – facing Northwest, looking at Doi Suthep Temple – made from a spread of 4 photos to capture the whole scene. I am sorry that the Temple is hidden in the clouds, but the rest of the scene looked so pretty this morning I had to shoot it. I hope you enjoy and the enlargement shows how beautiful it is here. Temp is about 76F, and what a lovely day. I plan on going to get a massage this afternoon and then come back to work on the other pictures and videos we have made in the past few months.
I will be posting here regularly, I hope, at least I’ll try. All my post will be kept in the “Frank’s Blog” Category. Looking forward to your comments and suggestions. Please give me some ideas about what you would like to see or visit. I will really try to show you “Unseen” Thailand in my travels – cultural and historical sites that the normal tours do not visit, articles on village life and customs, exciting and beautiful places around Thailand that you could plan your next vacation to see.
We are really looking forward to having the Storefront Shopping Cart working too – having a terrible time getting one that will integrate into this site and offer the options needed to properly present our artist’s products. The makers of the new software have told us that the next version of the program will be available in about two weeks and has just what we are looking for – so we will just have to wait. I hope the wait is not wasted time – the lite version seems to work OK so lets pray it does what they say it will.