In the opinion of this commentator, Thailand is sick and badly broken. I have never seen a place where fuck ups, idiots and loser scum have converged to the extent that is happening to Thailand. The sheer number of lunatics that are escaping Europe and North America….with Spain and Italy seemingly puking out the largest contingent of crazies…with Germany and Britain pissing out the greatest number of perverts, they number collectively in the hundreds of thousands. I’m reminded of a bad zombie movie where the denizens of the asylum have been infected by a pandemic and are running crazy.

The myth of Thailand being a secret destination and rumors of abundant sex sex sex is what really brings these assholes out of the closet. Naturally the cheap living is another factor here. This is why I’m glad to see inflation take hold and drive prices up quickly. Maybe the added expense will drive the losers to another destination….I can only wish. In addition I’m advocating a shame campaign be brought to bear on all social media. If your interested in saving the planet, please do everything you can think of to keep sex pats and crazies out of Thailand. These poor people are at a breaking point.

be nice or leave

be nice or leave

Bangkok has become larger than it’s reputation. Everything you can imagine happening happens in this mega city at the speed and frequency of an eye blink. How many monikers does this town carry…let’s see. ‘The Big Smoke’…The Big Mango’, ‘Sin City’…’The Hip Kingdom’. There are probably others…but I don’t hang out in ‘that’ part of town.

The infrastructure build out of the past ten years is starting to rival and surpass many western capitals. The construction is on an insane trajectory. It ain’t the quiet little ‘Asian Secret’ some people still come seeking. And by the way, what are we to make of those tourists who still show up wearing matching ‘jungle wear’ outfits? Man, talk about a time warp. Seriously people, you ain’t on safari… or anybodies ‘Bwana’ in Asia.

This city is sizzling with mod-cons, the likes of which are a first time experience to many of the Europeans who stumble out of a Finland wilderness or Canadian backwater. The fact that Bangkok has an attractive architectural history, amazing beaches and fascinating Buddhist culture is just ‘the cherry on top’ to suck 30 million tourists a year into the country.

But, as my friends often remind me…”Don’t be complacent about the dangers”. It has, in fact, become far more dangerous to travel in Thailand. The crime statistics are higher than ever, many tourists and travelers bring it on themselves. As a casual observer of the ‘Darkside’ I have definatley noticed the pattern and timing of a majority of crimes against tourists.

Aside from horrible occurrence of road related deaths on weekends and holidays, the worst time to be out anywhere in Thailand ( but especially Pattaya, Bangkok or Phuket) is between 1:30 am and 5:30 am ….when the majority of people on the streets are drunk or those hunting drunks. Simple robbery has many times turned to murder, it’s nothing personal, many Thai’s and related peoples don’t manage violent behavior very well, it’s new to them. Many times the robbers are desperate sex workers and villagers who’ve come to see the big city lights and get the first look at foreigners who seem to drip with a wealth they have never seen .

My advice…’stay out of the infamous wild bar scene’. You’ll say, “What fun is that?” I’ll say, “What’s your life worth?” And people…you simply can’t believe the insane behavior of the ‘Farang’ crowd. Anyone living here will tell you that foreigners are more dangerous than the Thai’s. So , if you want to have a great time in Thailand, stay away from area’s where the greatest numbers of tourists hang out. Tourists attract criminals of all kinds…..there are many criminals pretending to be tourists and hiding among the crowds. That’s where you find the most sleaze and crime.

Street crime is not the norm, but the frequency of people being robbed in isolated places, like the beach, or a historic park is growing. Being robbed by a sex worker is almost a given…these people are not your friends. Sex workers are steeped in the anecdotal tactics of the ‘ladies and gentlemen’ who have gone before them. Even the youngest sex worker can drug and rob you if you slip into complacency for even a second when alone with her/him.

Famously, the airport taxi into the city has been many unfortunate tourists introduction to crime in Thailand. Those guys are sharks…and you should always into that relationship with your eye’s open. Never agree to having the meter turned off in exchange for a flat rate. Try to use some common sense and don’t get into the first cab you see. The idea of ‘queuing’ by cabs is only done in Europe.

Here you want to check the cab and it’s driver very carefully and if ‘number six’ is the only one that doesn’t look like a crackhead…you walk past the rest. But…that’s no guarantee. I only use ‘Uber’…or ‘GrabCar’…you can download either app free after buying a data card from ‘True Mobile’ or any of the other kiosks at the terminal. You won’t regret getting better service if you do. I won’t explain how either system works…just sayin’…that they do good work. So many new arrivals get robbed by taxi driver’s that it’s worth paying attention to.

More to come…just not today.

happy days

happy days

OK, so we were ‘digital nomads’ long before, decades before, anyone had coined a hipster term for it….when it was a lifestyle few people had dared to try…especially with a family in tow. Don’t forget that these were the days before email, Facebook, social media, guidebooks or tourist infrastructure of any kind.

I have been traveling for business for decades. I was not the ‘original hippie traveler’ but….my career did start in the late 1960’s when I discovered that I could manufacture and transport items for trade in the popular culture from one exotic place to the next and finally sell to the ‘wanna be hipsters’ who couldn’t imagine leaving home for a rugged life ‘on the road’.

My inspiration was Adam Smith’s quote in the 1722 ‘The Wealth of Nations’ …” to transport goods from where they are abundant and cheap to where they are rare and dear’. You had to be very tough, open minded and extremely organized to travel in the days when cities like Bangkok only had one long distance phone line.

Hi-Tech communications back then consisted of the Telex system and telegrams. There was a bulletin board at most American Express offices…but those were few and far between. Letters were sent like ricochets from a distant GPO to another Post Restante where a traveler either had to soldier on…or backtrack for a week or more to pick up a single piece of mail that might have been sent months before.

I started in the jungles of South America manufacturing leather products from cattle butchered, tanned and cured in the swampy no mans land between Columbia and Ecuador. I’ve sold and bartered trade goods from one third world country to the next and traded up until finally I had what I wanted to sell into the west for an enormous profit.

I have traded some odd goods…with some odd people…from fresh mint and blue jeans from India for Lapis Lazuli in Afghanistan to rough cut diamonds in Bangkok to exchange for goldsmiths labour to finish my original design garnet and moonstone jewellery…..a process that sometimes started down a muddy mine shaft in Sri Lanka. This is my 43rd anniversary of first arriving in Thailand…and strange to me…I’m still here and sometimes loving it….other times…not so much.

My genius wife Trish changed things up when she came into my life. I was living in a world that was  borderline a thousand or more years years ago. Trisha is a star child…she’s from the future. She was an educator with a beautiful mind at a major university and a computer scientist engineer. Trisha was one of the very first to design functional database technology, and had been recruited away from the university to manage a reorganizing of the worlds largest telecommunications devices manufacturers. At the time they had been communicating between isolated silo’s with post it notes and needed to be brought into the 21st century.

I introduced Trisha to my travel passion within weeks of meeting her. Her first trip was a short hop to get married on the island of Maui where I’d ‘grown up’ stringing naturally produced Puka Shell necklaces from the surfing beaches for tourists in Oahu for ongoing travel money to surf camps along the west coast. She was immediately hooked on the excitement and we began designing a system of personal management and finance for ourselves that would allow us to function as full time travelers.

At the time I thought trading would suffice and keep us ‘on the road’….but I was wrong…there was a new technology and a new way of doing things I hadn’t realized. Apparently I was ‘old school’…and it would be Trisha’s genius that would show us the way to perpetual travel.

Even though we were hi tech digital nomads with electrical equipment that wouldn’t be seen again in some countries for a decade or more…people would refer to us as ‘Gypsies’…because we weren’t ‘dirty hippies’….and we weren’t ‘tourists’….there was no other way to describe us….backpacker tourism hadn’t been seen in many parts of the world…we were something of a hybrid that no one had seen…especially immigration officers.

Trisha would begin to explain the technical specifications of the equipment we carried and that caused the eyes of border officers to roll back as if lapsing into a coma. I had an additional expertise in Emergency Medicine  and carried a portable trauma kit and strange medical devices, pharma and antidotes some of the officers hadn’t seen since their days in the military. I was ready to treat anything from snake bite to gun shot. I was described by friends as ‘The Jungle Doctor’. The moniker culture ‘digital nomad’ didn’t exist yet. Our piles of electronic and household equipage including dozens of  school books, cables, monitors, transformers and including ‘the kitchen sink’ resembled a humpy back camel caravan moving slowly through the airport.

This transition didn’t happen overnight. We had to save, plan and further educate ourselves for several years before taking the plunge. The budding technology of the internet wasn’t quite ready. Personal and financial organization are as important as the latest gadgets when it comes to really making a go of it as a ‘digital nomad’…..more on that in future installments. Big banks hadn’t yet designed the platforms for us to access our accounts by remote allowing us to maintain our trading business wherever we wanted to be. That would come in time.

We ‘practiced’ the art of perpetual travel for a few years, with long months of ‘elsewhere’ during summer vacations, building our skills, fortifying our financial base, before we took the final leap. First it was Trish and I traveling as a couple beginning twenty eight years ago…and then our son came along and his first trip was to Bali twenty five years ago.

We felt it wise to acclimate ourselves and especially our son, as we would literally ‘leaving it all behind’, including all family and friends and the close social infrastructure of school teachers and personal patterning. There is a certain aspect of culture shock creep in when you’ve been away from home for an extended period of time. Trust me, you’ll start craving, favorite foods and comfortable sights.

I remember the day it turned into reality. We’d sold our house, put everything we owned into a long term storage locker and paid two years in advance….including storage for our car…’The Shadow’….and of we three travelers went to the airport ( by then our son West had come along….I know….naming our son West almost 30 years before Kanye and Kim…we really were ahead of the innovation curve) ) to fly away unencumbered for an undefined travel experience without boundaries. Our first stop was the Coral Coast of Fiji. More about how technological change over next almost 30 years would effect our lives coming soon.

End of Part Two… …”Being a Digital Nomad with a child in tow”



the original digital nomads

the original digital nomads

It was the 1980’s and it never occurred to us that we were on the vanguard of a new movement. The idea that we could suddenly do a very rudimentary form of communication and commerce over the latest invention, the ‘internet’ was an idea we picked up on instinctively. Trisha became active in a ‘cyber world’ called ‘Bulletin Boards’, originally reserved for scientists and military…a messaging system that predated email and the World Wide Web, communicating with like minded persons over painfully slow dial up modems that squawked and screeched for several minutes while chewing through the ancient bandwidth of crude telecommunications technology of the time before connecting. The term ‘digital nomad’ wouldn’t be invented for another twenty five years. People thought we were mad for even attempting what we’d embarked on.

‘Graphics’ at the time meant ‘graph’….not pictures. But, we instantly knew how the new medium would free us from our standing constraints….I could still conduct my business in the financial world and we could home school our child through British Columbia Canada’s excellent and still nascent ‘Distance Education System’. The minute we realized how quickly we could cut ties to work, mortgages and schooling….we were gone. Trish would continue to build her own ‘Franken-machines’ from remote locations.

Initially the hardware and wiring we had to carry was enough to fill several large bags and when we went through an airport it looked as if we were moving enough electronics to set up a satellite relay. Thank God for miniaturization. The industrial step down transformer we carried weighed at least forty pounds. For a time my son actually thought we were spies and we still joke about that.

That was the 80’s and the ‘internet’ as a interpersonal communications medium was only a few months old, personal computing was something only a small collection of ‘nerds’ had access to…and like my super nerdy wife, built their own machines from parts gleaned at Radio Shack and a secret coven of back alley electronics stores and mail order. The latest conversations over BBB system were about writing the latest DOS code, floppy disk space, Kilobytes and a mysterious new invention called ‘a motherboard’. The personal desk top computer was years away from being commercially available.

the original digital nomad

the original digital nomad

End of Part One

Thailand is experiencing the most prolonged heat wave in the past sixty five years…..lucky us….yay. Temperatures in the mid forties trick your body and mind into wanting to lay down and die. My national phone carrier ‘True’ sends heat advisories every day, as if we need reminding how freaking hot it is out there.

“Trust me…it’s not the heat…it’s the humidity”…some old hand will say.

“No”, I reply…”It’s both”. I don’t need to be reminded that these temperatures are dangerous.

True adds insult to injury by adding what they call a ‘Humidex warning’….a ‘feels like’ calculation to adjust both temperature and humidity into a warning against spending any unnecessary time outside. Today’s number is one hundred and seventeen degrees. Thanks for telling me True. I’m likely to spend my day cowering inside my air conditioned condo not that I know I could die if I go outside. At this point I mentally run through a checklist of what’s left in the house to eat. The choices I have are… frisk a run to the 7-11 across the street for Lime Smoothie….or die of starvation.

The better acclimated Thai’s are suffering…not at all silently…but barely dignified. People outside wear a well practiced grimace. They grit their teeth , as if bearing down for an unavoidable fight against an implacable enemy. They’re stalwart, waiting it out, like a contest between life and death, the battle played out between the passing of light into darkness. It’s a fool errand to wait for a cool evening respite, it’s as hot at three in the morning as it is at three in the afternoon.

There is a brief half hour pause when the barometer drops as the sun goes down and the pressure forces near gale force winds down the narrow soi’s. It’s then when children and mothers with babies will come out into the street to be blown dry while pushed down the asphalt like earthbound kites in a tornado.

My landlord will hate me this month, I’m running the air-conditioning fourteen hours a day….and electricity is expensive here. We need to keep the windows closed for a variety of reasons. Bangkok air is predatory and seeks silent entry through any sliver of open space. With the air comes a fine blanket of exhaust residue and dust. breath too much and your lungs could look like a coal miner at his wake. Seek ‘a breath of fresh air’ and the condo will become an oven.

Monsoon time is also ‘mosquito season’….and there’s Dengue Fever, Malaria and a deadly brain killing strain of Japanese Encephalitis carried up from the vengeful south this year. Thousands of cases this year alone.  There’s no choice except this self imposed isolation.

Look down any street and see tourist trapped behind sheets of glass like the denizens of a zoo. The heat has caught them flat footed. They weren’t expecting to feel debilitated by the fiery temperatures that have attacked them since arriving. They look bewildered and frightened. Many have been bed ridden with dizzy vomiting from heat prostration having mistaken consuming alcohol as a panacea to ‘beat the heat’….which is the worst thing you can do.

A rain came today, thunder and lightning bombarding a distant suburb….good news as we drift towards monsoon season. Only the Gods know when this will end.


Why has Thailand become a dumping ground for the worlds perverts and socially challenged? We’ve discussed at length on he subject of the ‘who what and why’ of the tourist trade sex pat swarms of retiring viagra-sexulaized immoral losers, but there’s another element also in abundance….the great number of dispossessed psychologically compromised who have also come to Bangkok after falling out with their own societies.

There has been a huge uptick in the number of seriously maladjusted personalities who have come to Thailand for some kind of bolt-hole from the reality of ‘home’. Looking for solace in a hellhole like Bangkok is like a drunk looking for sobriety in a liquor store. How so many tragically insane and maladjusted persons could have found Bangkok on their own is a mystery.

There are many here who are obviously medically insane and you have to wonder when they went insane…before or after they arrived? Otherwise…it begs the question…how did these people get here? Is it ‘Tropo’ as Jung described…the debilitating effects of Eastern culture on the western mind… Conrad described through his character ‘Kertz’ in ‘The Heart of Darkness’?

Because getting here must have taken a semblance of coordination…ie: a modicum of clarity…to get the cash together to purchase an air ticket, to secure a passport, travel and then to arrive with a probable story on why you were arriving in the country while stable enough to be passed judgement upon by the immigration officer. We have legions of absolutely and incoherently insane people from all corners of the western empire.

There are vegetative beggars lining the gutters of Khao San Road speaking either Russian, Swedish , German or Slavic and Hungarian in an incoherent word salad. There have been many cases where Euro-origin women have been picked off various tourist boulevards completely naked and screaming like ravens. There internet examples aplenty of European ladies in zoophilia movies that are obviously shot in a tropical setting resembling a weeping anal fistula also known as Pattaya.

Where are these people coming from, how do they get here, why have they chosen Thailand as a fixation for their fantasy…and worse…..who the hell sent them here? The former are the worst examples..there are plenty of garden variety dissociated kooks of all stripes wandering around…some look fairly normal until you notice the thousand yard stare in their eyes as you pass them in the hall or elevator.

As I said there are thousands upon thousands of really sick and weird people who have suddenly popped into our Land of Smiles. We know that the Russian mob has been importing east European prostitutes by the thousands, but even they couldn’t handle this volume. This invasion is like the event horizon of a black hole dumping it’s cosmic refuse outside a time space singularity.

Many of these socially dysfunctional persons wander around in various states, unable to speak, or make eye contact. I think many of these persons may have fantasized about ‘getting away from it all’ when they chose Thailand, as if it were still a hidden place where the influences that were too great for them to handle at home would be managed by anonymity in a foreign land…only to find that there are thousands of freaks just like them and plenty more westerners to heap scorn upon them for their weaknesses.

This topic has come up in two different forums recently…so it is not one noted only by myself, but by the many other experienced foreigners living here. The first question was raised in a popular Bangkok Ex Pat Blog and trade forum. An ex pat asked an open question about what he had noticed how many farang had lost the etiquette of common decency among travelers…the ability to recognize one another with a simple ‘Hello’…as travelers in foreign lands have always done. The second was when an ex military expat now traveling in a Christian ministry asked me why the foreigners in Bangkok were so especially distant, rude and surly.

Now…this guy had been around during a career in the Army…he knew how things worked. He stated that he had never seen another country with such a huge concentration of foreigners. Naturally I told him my theories of the sex pat retiree demographic and the crazy persons easy access to cheap and easy visa’s that allowed so many nut-bars into the country to reside for long periods of time.

So, dear reader , weigh in if you can. Why has Thailand in particular become a dumping ground for the western worlds worst garbage?

a simple country boy at heart

a simple country boy at heart

Thailand tourism and it’s Asian allure rides on the coattails of a reputation that burned out a long time ago. What once a fascinating kaleidoscope of pristine beaches and welcoming people is now a ghetto of polluted overcrowding by a deluge of alcoholic barbarian euro trash and a local population with a nasty drive to rip off tourists without hesitation.

I drew the line with the on-set of road rage becoming common place, that was never so obvious as it is today, then there’s the homeless Hungarian beggars who litter Khao San Road and the legions of drunk western perverts who arrived like a tsunami on a demographic wave of simultaneous retirement. Don’t get me started on the subject of foreign thugs who’ve settled in tourist ghetto’s like Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and pretty much everywhere else.

The Land of Smiles has degenerated into a rude festering fistula with few redeeming qualities. Like so many countries which were once considered beautiful and have now ‘gone toilet’, it’s time to reconsider Thailand as a destination. Personally I think the degeneration is bad karma coming around from allowing the sex trade to flourish as it has and inviting the worlds worst to revel.

Selling your daughters into blow job parlours to service drunken foreigners, instead of providing funding for technical colleges was never an idea that would end well….it hasn’t. The ‘bad vibes’ have infected the entirety of Thailand and continue to drag the country into an abyss.

aliens have not been a good influence on this place

aliens have not been a good influence on this place