wayneI am a conversationalist.  I appreciate every second  I have this blessing of life in hand. I live as an artist should,  making it up as I go. I have  published  six novels  I am a published travel writer,  active blogger, write a  column for ‘The Travel Itch’ magazine.

My novels are a legacy of my personal journey and  search for deeper meaning. They are  stories that describe my time on Earth, my conversation with the universe. It is my belief that every author leaves a little blood on the page. How could it be otherwise?

– J West –

© 2011 J West Hardin – Poet, Novelist, Travel Writer, Travel Blogger, You Tuber, Columnist for ‘The Travel Itch’ magazine. Contributing member of the ‘hackwriters’ community,

  1. bazers says:

    My wife and I have traveled to many countries but have not been to SE Asia. We are considering living in one locale for maybe 3 months or so and take jaunts to nearby places/countries. We would love to visit Thailand, Mayasia, Indonesia, China and some other places. Any suggestions for a good “base camp”? We’d like it to be pretty, safe and with some expats in the area to learn from and to hang out with from time to time. Low cost of living would be great but that is not the primary focus.

    Our kids will be 8 and 12 and we homeschool. I am semi-retired and just need a good internet connection.

    Any suggestions of cities to consider?


    • Hi Shane. Anyone who can home school two kids has my respect. Pat and I did it successfully with our son through the Distance Education program offered through the Province of British Columbia Canada. We had some pretty interesting classrooms along the way…..and a lot of fun. Our son, now grown, just came to Bangkok for Xmas break from University where he is a Fine Arts major ( designs my covers) going into the Faculty of Education to teach art in secondary school. We also choose to live in one place for at least three to six months at a time. We like to absorb the local culture and really get to know a place….meet the neighbors so to speak.

      We also appreciate the modern conveniences…especially after some of the places we kicked around in our younger days. SE Asia is a proverbial adult sandbox of variety. Thailand and Malaysia are central in the geography of the region, the cost of living can be relatively inexpensive if you choose to do so. Airlines are not taxed in the same way as in the west and flights in and around the region are cheap cheap cheap 🙂 Penang, Bangkok and Singapore are high on the list of offering the offering the creature comforts such as ADSL , English cable TV, good quality accommodation, transpo, hospitals , security, banking ( see our vids at patriciaolson9 on YouTube) … My regional favorite is Bangkok because of the multiple entry visa’s ( a big topic if you want to stay a long time) and low cost of living ( I’m an artist…we don’t make much money).

      If you choose to live in BKK, a nice area the may suit your requirements is the Thong Lo district in BKK…there are plenty of expat teachers living in that area because it is generally where the international schools are is on the transpo system for easy access to the rest of the city. You should be able to find a condo…2 bed….all the modern trimmings…pool etc….for around 25000 Baht….under $800 dollars a month. Where I live , in Bangna, may seem a bit remote for a newcomer…although I love the quiet personally. The food and water are generally clean ( common sense applies) and you shouldn’t have any trouble with the kids health generally….after you teach them not to pat the street dogs and look right when crossing the streets. BTW …Thai’s love kids…you’ll find that the locals will fawn over them whenever the opportunity presents itself.

      If you see an ad on the internet by a company called BKK Realty…we can say that Khun Zin ( Miss Zin) is a nice girl…speaks passable English….try calling her instead of sending a lengthy email ( Thais may speak but not write English). She has some very good listings in that area. I hope this gets you started Shane……if you need more info..just give me a buzz. Best of luck. JWEST.

  2. Mike says:

    I love your life style and can appreciate traveling. Do you have an videos on rentals in Thailand? I am always looking for a good place to retire and Thailand would be a great base camp to explore Asia. Any info on rental prices and location would be appreciated. I notice you have nice place with a pool – .

    • Hi Mike. If you’re free I might suggest you travel around the region for a year or two before settling in to any one area. Monthly rental apartments can be had easily in every country…the cultures are all quite different. I can’t comment on what might be your likes or dislikes… On average you can rent a decent studio in BKK for around 12000 baht….they start at 5000…but that’s very basic accom. Whether you want to live in Thailand will of course be a final decision you will have to make after you get a feel for the place……it’s a very big place to wrap your head around…I’ve been here for decades…still learning. Keep in mind that a multiple entry tourist visa will keep you on the run every 60 days anyway…expire at 6 months max….renewals get complicated and that means added expense, that is your first consideration before committing to the ‘O’ visa… and learn pal…walk slow….good luck…stay in touch….where ever you end up

  3. marj says:

    “Every author leaves a little blood on the page. How could it be otherwise?”
    Beautifully said. How could I not flip over for that?

    J West, so where are you based right now? In Thailand and not in Canada anymore?

    Looking forward to more of your conversations with the universe in this wonderful site of yours.

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