Thailand Excursion

Flying to Thailand

I really enjoyed this film while flying Cathay PacificAirways to Hong Kong

I got to use my Octopus Card again, traveling like a native to go and find
my lodging in the Xi Hotel in Kowloon.
A night stop in Hong Kong really helps with the time zone change.


Sixty is a major birthday and we perhaps only live once, maybe not, but I'm in this life so I feel that I need to make the most of it.

I looked at my decades of life:
1st Decade was not a pleasant experience.
Neither was the second one, but I had been given the boot and was on my own, and fortunately I had rashly gone out and learned to fly.
Surely I should have been more responsible than this?
But I reckon that the necessity of keeping my precious medical has kept me from going off the rails.
Learning to fly meant overcoming a lot of the serious mis-information I'd been fed,
and it enabled me to progress in this life.

Life is about living and the standard procedures for life are often contrary to human needs.
We all have individual needs beyond simple eating, and existing.
I needed to fly to recover from the absolute horrors that I lived with during my first two decades. I learned that I was a lot more capable than I was led to believe.

My third decade was once again subject to rashness... I had tried to work at a factory in a regular job, and several times I'd quit to do my own thing.
Finally after four and a half years at BAe, the plum job I had there came to an end through two acts of fate: Appendicitis and then Jury Duty!
But I'd earned a lot of money in 1982 and so I did what any smart person should do, I bought an aeroplane, then in '83 I bought another one, and so I left BAe for the lucrative (I lie) flying club business.
So at 30 I had a relatively thriving business of my own.

Late in my thirties I became disenchanted.
I'd lost an aeroplane in a fatal accident, and my search for love in this life had left me
with a seriously broken heart.
There were many dramatic occurences which led me to selling off my flying club, and
then I was dispossessed of the beautiful place in which I lived.
I ended up in Canada.
My fortieth birthday found me wandering around Vancouver questioning the reason for my existence, but a German friend found me and we had an European party.

The fifth decade was spent in BC wondering what I should do. Canada had turned
out to be a disappointment and I had a great deal of difficulty earning a living. I spent
a few years working in England to make some money.
My fiftieth birthday was the best I have ever had. I'd met Pao, and she took me to a restaurant on Burnaby Mountain. Then later that year I went to Thailand to see her.
I have never regretted coming to Thailand.

This sixth decade has been touch and go with some good earning opportunities such
as working in China.
I've also developed a reputation which means I am desirable where ever I go.

So sixty, and I made a rash decision to come back to Chiang Mai where I feel most
at home.

I see Canada as a place where I work...
In recent years I have asked my friends what they think of me and for the most part
it is respect for my professional ability, there's no 'personal', and yet this is important
to me as a human being.
Here in Thailand the human person is a little more important or so it seems.
In any case I feel contented here.
I also feel similar in England.

I no longer buy into the 'standard of living' BS, it's not important what I own and earn, it's more important that I live my life meeting interesting people and learning.

Life's journey is largely mapped out, we live in a life cycle where opportunities and risks exist.
It's best to learn to recognise the opportunities and take advantage of them, while
not fighting against a current when trying to do something in a life, that's not for you.

I resisted flying instruction, I tried the 'proper job' route, but inevitably I ended up doing what I do.
I like what I do, though I fret about the paucity of income.
The greatest sadness for me has been the solitude of this life, but I have largely
overcome this now.
Whenever possible I share my experiences, it's why I share with you now, I am not
a natural 'loner'.

Maturity is coming to a realisation of ones' path and 'gifted' abilities in life.
Many people aspire to ideals that are not natural to them, doing what they believe
they should for common success, and they take a long time to find their true selves.

I am content enough.

Flying on one's 60th birthday

The Super Cub, ready to go

Going Flying

It is an SOP for every pilot to go flying on one's birthday.
This is a major birthday for me. I could never believe I would get to this age, bloody hell!

So for my second rash act of 2014 I decided to come back and spend it in Chiang Mai.

I flew on Cathay Pacific CX837 to Hong Kong and spent a night there.
One of the HK students from Sea Land Air, Alvin, met me for lunch on Thursday, and then I caught Dragon Air KA232 to Chiang Mai.

I leave stuff here such as a kettle, a rice cooker (to make my morning oatmeal-porridge), cups and plates, and some bedding.
I arrived at Pada Mansion to find my bed made, and everything ready for my stay.
This apartment/flat costs around 4,500 Baht ($150/month CAD) all in.

Thursday evening I went out for dinner and to see familiar faces...
Jeff was correct, the food at one of my favourite places was not as good as it used to be. As usual the really good cook had left for greener pastures and so the standard had dropped.
I am very familiar with this problem.
I went to John's Place and recognised no-one.
I walked down Loi Khro Road and was accosted four times on the way by prostitutes... They must be desperate!
I went to Anusarn Market, and saw some familiar faces at last.
When I am bothered, I walk, and walk, and walk. I walk for miles. I was bothered, and so I walked home. It takes an hour.

Almost lined up for departure 16

Wrinkly pilot

San Kamphaeng

27th June

My long walk made it easy for me to sleep the night.
I tend to have little difficulty with jet lag especially if I have a night stop in Hong Kong.

In the morning I waited for a sorng taew but none came along... Perhaps it's a sign of the times that the blue sorng taews no longer pass this way as often.
I stopped a red sorng taew and pointed on the map at where I wanted to go. "Fifty Baht the driver said, (if you took a Tuk Tuk it would be 200 or more!). Sorng taews are pickup trucks with two benches (sorng taew) in the back under cover.
I gave the driver 100 Baht when we arrived at Koi's KK Motors.

We went to Pop Rent and picked up a motorcycle... I got on, it is so familiar now, selected first gear and rode off to get petrol and then ride home.
A quick turn around and I was off to Nok aerodrome on the familiar roads.

I stopped for lunch at the little place in the village; kao pad.
People are surprised to see me, or maybe not!

Takeoff was at 14:38 local time (07:38 GMT).
I was cleared to go to Doi Saket, and then to Mae Rim.
I asked for a low approach and go around 18 at Chiang Mai Airport and this was approved.
Landing was at 15:23 at Nok...
Then I forgot one important detail, to phone Chiang Mai Tower with my landing time... Mike had the call from the tower, and reminded me of this in the evening.
Mai bpen rai, I should be allowed to forget something.

It was a nice clear day

Crossing the Ping River, Wat i-Kang

I live in Pada Mansion, the building with the water tanks

In spite of what you read and see in the media Thailand is still a very nice place to visit. It is safe, though I was a little annoyed at the prostitutes on Loi Khro Road, even though this street is known for it.
Flying here is still possible, and ATC were very good yesterday.
My licence is valid until December and I wonder how easy it will be to renew it again... We'll see.
I am told it is business as usual at the DCA.

Flying in Chiang Mai

29th June.

Today's lesson was straight and level at various airspeeds, PAT.

It goes without saying that one must be careful when riding a motorcycle.
I hate traffic lights as they collect the maximum number of vehicles in the
minimum amount of space to create the greatest chance of a collision.
I waited patiently for the lights to change from red to green, I was in the right
lane on the right side and my indicators were operating.
When the lights changed I gently began my turn when another motorcycle
tried to pass me, and he was going straight!
I braked and slid off my motorcycle landing on my mobile phone and my
coccyx. It still hurts!

Last day of June I took a ride down the tree lined Chiang Mai -Lamphun
road to see Mint and then to carry on to visit the Wat and the wooden

There was a 'longan' festival in Lamphun with many stalls selling this fruit and
products that use it.

Some signs you see are not politically correct, but then this idea hasn't been
taken up in Thailand.


Road trip

I was asked if I'd take Kates' mum for a ride if I happened to be going
Happy to oblige I took her for a drive.
The intent was to have lunch at Krisada Doi, one of my favourite places,
but unfortunately it's closed for renovation.

This is a funeral pyre where a monk was to be cremated. His coffin is
behind the elephant head.
The elaborate structure was animated with sound effects.
The elephant head moved side to side and its trunk moved too. The wings
flapped, and the tail wagged.

We drove along the Samoeng Road [1269] and up a side street looking for a place to eat.
There are plenty of signs inviting you to eat here and there.
We came across the house at left where we met the architect, Todd from Colorado.
He suggested a small place besides a Wat with a crematorium where good Thai food was to be had.


I took Thai Airways down to Suvarnabhumi and the bus to Jomtien where
I stayed with Alasdair and Gill.

On startup the GPS screen showed the above image
Is it the ghosts telling us something?

The pussy cat was pleased to see me again

I went flying with Paul in his Allegro, we did some steep turns and stalls, and
then it was din dins with his two adopted daughters and two of their friends.
Always a lot of fun.
This was in the Pig and Whistle English pub where the servings are very


Superb visibility

I've never seen the air so clear.
I saw islands I have not seen before.

I caught the bus Sunday morning back to Suvarnabhumi where I purchased
a ticket on Thai Airways back to Chiang Mai (1,900 Baht).
I was back in time to go flying with Koi in the Super Cub.

On Saturday I flew with Paul to practice forced landings from overhead the
field at Pattaya Eastern, and then after lunch we flew to Pattaya Air Park,
then over Bang Phra, and Nong Khor before returning to do some circuits with
the accent on slipping at Pattaya Eastern.


Blue Diamond Restaurant, Chiang Mai

I take a Frenchman flying

Ed continues to make good use of his Jetprop.

Lamphun 8th July 2557

Chiang Mai

I am an observer of life, and largely this is going to be true for many of us as social interaction is being destroyed by the Smart Phone.
And so it was that I went to the Blue Diamond Restaurant which provides really good Thai and Western food... It's a place full of healthy food including 'healthy' cakes, tarts, and muffins.
On Monday afternoon there were mostly western women eating here, and so it is a place of political correctness and correct attitudes... But I wonder.
Two women were in my vicinity as I sat down to eat a tuna salad, and both were enraptured by their smart phones which produced an invisible exclusion field, meaning: 'don't bother me in my own space'.
One girl had arrived just after me, and she made it clear that she was vegan, and then she asked for chopsticks with which to eat her salad. "In Thailand people usually eat with a spoon and fork" I suggested, and she replied that she liked chopsticks.
I can imagine her asking for chopsticks in the USA...
So I looked at her with sorry eyes, she interrupted her eating frequently to do something on her phone, and clearly she was not interested in speaking to anyone outside of her exclusion bubble... What a shame.
Finally she got up and showed the road muck stripe up the back of her shorts... Why don't people fit mudguards to their bicycles?
My bicycle has mudguards, I wouldn't be seen dead without them.

The other woman had a very nice smile, clearly didn't have an attitude problem, but did have a phone bubble.
She put the phone down and got up to check the cakes and muffins out.
I suggested that the coconut muffins looked very nice... She replied that she agreed and she took my advice.
Very pleasant; who knows what conversation we might have had if she was not enraptured by her Smart Phone.

I finished my salad, and then ordered a lemon meringue which was delicious.
I bought three coconut and one blueberry muffin, as a present.

I had taken a blue Sorng Taew to Tapae Road and had then walked to the Blue Diamond...
Now I walked onwards to pick up the pick up truck from Koi... It was not a short walk.
I spotted my vegan friend riding her bicycle with the rain spray off the the road increasing the stripe up her backside.


I had the pickup truck overnight and drove to Ban Thi Nok in the morning... 19 kilomtres with three traffic lights. It's an easy run.
Ed needed the truck for a Gibbon re-establishment project and so I was going to deliver it to him.
Of course I wanted to get a flight in as well, and it's always better to take someone along ("pleasure shared is pleasure doubled").
So I took a visiting Frenchman for a ride.
He used to fly from Le Plessis which is North of Paris, it's a field I know quite well myself as I have been there several times.

We went for a bimble around the local area and returned to land in a little bit of drizzle.
This is the rainy season in Thailand.

Four days later I flew with Mark in his Maule amphib from Pitt Meadows.
We alighted twice in the Fraser River and then flew to Sechelt where he bought a second hand ambulance... This for a work project he has.
I flew back alone.



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