20 Random TominThailand Facts…

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Hey folks! So, I’ve been saying for a while now that I was going to try to get back into the habit of writing regularly.  It is simply much easier than sitting down for a few hours and putting together a podcast.  I freely admit to being extremely….and I mean extremely rusty at writing off the top of my head, so until now, I just haven’t known where to start.

Fortunately, I stumbled across a good idea/conversation starter on another blog the other day as I was bouncing across the internet thanks to the new found joy of Pinterest. The Hopes and Dreams blog had a list of 30 “conversation starters” about yourself.  Therefore, my goal is to sit down at least once a week and write something random, yet hopefully interesting, down about myself and my life in Thailand.

So, i’m going to try and use the 30 ideas to get my writing skills going once again, and hopefully I can keep on sailing along by the time i get to the end of the 30 things.  Therefore, without further ado….here are “20 Random Facts About TominThailand!”

1. I hate onions…always have and always will. I dislike the smell, texture and above all else the foul evil and vile taste of them!

2. I focus on a task much easier if i’m doing more than one thing at a time. I think this might be because I get bored very easily, so if i focus on one task at a time then my mind tends to drift away. So, if i’m engaged in an activitiy like writing this blog post for example, then I’ll most likely be doing 2-3 different things at the same time as well to keep my mind occupied.

3. I’m an extremely self-conscious sensitive person and generally get my feelings hurt much to easily. However, I’m very good at being able to project a false sense of always being very confident and self assured so people don’t usually detect this weakness of character unless they know me well.

4. I love cats…ok, maybe not as much as the infamous Youtube girl but still….and I think dogs are ok but generally very dirty and gullible animals.

5. I hate talking on the phone, and will make the effort to avoid it at all costs by sending emails and text messages to communicate with everyone i know.

6. I listen much better than i speak…

7. I dislike hot weather/climates and I hate to sweat, so thusly i usually end up taking about 3 showers a day…..now you may carefully consider the irony that i’m living in a tropical country where it feels like summer all year long!

8. I’m very lazy person by nature, and will often find the most efficient way to complete a task in order to finish it quickly to allow myself more free time to do nothing productive at all.

9. I find loud noises extremely annoying and will avoid being in close proximity to loud people if i can possibly help it…BUT prefer life in the big city despite the constant buzz.

10. I detest and have absolutely no patience for rude behavior and bad manners…There is really no excuse for poor social etiquette  as good manners don’t cost anything at all…this may have something to do with my upbringing in a “proper” southern home in the deep South of the United States.

11. I am quite sensitive to smells and have a very low tolerance for the ones my mind considers bad ones. Especially!! people with body odor problems…for example, cause me to become nauseaous.

12. I often wander off to the movies alone, and enjoy it immensely…perhaps it’s because I get the whole tub of popcorn to myself.

13. I don’t eat Thai food as often as people probably think…ok, probably once a day, but after having lived in Southeast Asia for a decade now, I find food items like “Pop tarts” or homemade chocolate chip cookies exotic and only eat them as an occasional treat.

14. My brother and I both are left handed and share the same taste in TV shows.

15. I have never thought of myself as an intelligent person, but I find intelligence to be an extremely attractive characteristic in other people…One might say i’m even drawn to them.

16. I have abnormally large personal space issues and get very uncomfortable if people are to close to me.

17. I wear often wear my Ipod earphones in public (planes, buses, trains) when it isn’t turned on to avoid having to talk to people…and also to cut the noise. (see number 9 above)

18. I HATE, ABHOR, AND DETEST waking up early with a red hot passion, and would sleep in till 9AM every day if I could get away with it.

19. I avoid going to horror movies because I’m a big kid inside, and will generally have to sleep with the lights on for days after attempting the latest shock, thriller, or latest Japanese ghost movie.

20. Last but certainly not least, there are few things in life I take very seriously and think most issues people have with infractions against their morality are mostly subjective to experience weighted against personal belief.

TIT 68: The Necessity of Reinvention…

  • Welcome to Episode 68
  • Room to breathe during Mid-term Break
  • Holiday time in Issan
  • I know…Been a few months
  • Where does the time go?
  • The blur of the holidays
  • Finding spare time
  • A typical day for Tom
  • Work in Bangkok is very demanding
  • The little school that could
  • Did I mention I went to Hawaii?
  • Lives up to hype!
  • Transported back in time
  • Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, and a Luau
  • Snorkeling with the turtles
  • Unpleasant LONG flights
  • Never have good luck on airplanes
  • New Year in Issan
  • Did I mention work is demanding?
  • Duties above and beyond teaching…
  • Let’s do this….and let’s do this…and…
  • Never good enough
  • Contracts…it’s all about the contracts
  • Opportunity vs. stability
  • haven’t seen friends since before Christmas
  • RIP to Whitney Houston
  • What her music meant to Tom
  • Her passing was difficult
  • Got to see her in concert
  • Life goes on….
  • The future of the TIT podcast
  • Wanna do something with the site
  • Taking it to the next level?
  • make podcasting more sustainable?
  • Need to streamline the process
  • Where to go next?
  • Closing remarks and lurve

Music on today’s show:

How Are You (Welcome to Thailand)Pamela Bowden

Step By StepWhitney Houston

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Weekend Trips From Bangkok Made Easy….

Want to get Away from the City for the Weekend?

Hi Guys!!

Firstly, I wanted to sit down this Saturday morning and wish everyone out a very happy weekend where ever you are and however you choose to spend it.  Sooooo, as you’ve noticed already, I’ve decided to start sitting down more often and start blogging again.  It’s something I’ve been kicking around in the back of my head for a little while now, and it would allow me to interact with you guys on a more frequent basis…So, I know (hoping with my fingers crossed) that you’ll just love! :)

The fact is, after a few years now of podcasting and blogging, the blog posts I wrote ages ago still receive more than twice as many hits daily than any of the podcasts I have produced.  I’ve also found that writing is much easier for me and less time consuming than podcasting, so it is really just an easier form of expression to interact with you guys that visit the site.  Therefore, and hopefully if I start writing, I’m going to be able to get on here more often to quickly jot down the random thoughts I might have on any given day. However, don’t fear as I will also continue to podcast as well of course.  So if my little idea works out, then anything I get out is basically a bonus if you are one of the few that enjoy the TIT on a regular basis.

So, what’s TIT up to this week, you may be asking yourself?  Well, It’s the first weekend in October and I’m up in Issan (Northeastern area of Thailand) spending a couple of days with my partner.  One of the best things about being back in Bangkok is the easy access one has to potential weekends away within the country.  Bangkok is the hub of all land and air travel within Thailand, so a minimum amount of planning is necessary to reach most destinations.  The proximity to bus stations, trains and the airport make getting away for a couple of days easily accessible for a weekend after work on a Friday afternoon.

Not the cheapest, but definitely reliable...

Thailand’s has several low cost airlines to choose from, so it is only a matter of doing a little research a week in advance to secure a reasonable flight to just about anywhere in Thailand.   However, this week I opted for Thai Airways to make the journey here on Friday evening, as the last flight for the other carrier I generally use was at 4PM in the afternoon.  Silly right?  Who has time to get to the airport after work on a Friday by 3 o’clock?  You’d think they would offer a later flight to attract more weekend customers, but common sense in marketing doesn’t seem to be a strong point for this particular carrier.

Anyway, so I left work on Friday to make my 6PM flight, and took a short motorbike taxi ride to the Lumphini Station of the Bangkok MRT (subway), which is the nearest station to my work.  I use the MRT daily anyway, so it was a small matter of obtaining my little red token to take a quick ride up to the Petchaburi station.  The MRT Petchaburi station is the connection station you will use if you want to transfer over to the BAT (Bangkok Airport Train) using the subway system in Bangkok.  When you reach Petchaburi station you are going to want to use the exit 3, but be prepared for quite a walk once you reach the surface.  Use the exit, take a hard left and then start walking towards the elevated train tracks in the distance on your left.  The Airport train station is NOT near the subway station, so be prepared to do a bit of walking and sweating to reach the trains.  Also, there is no cover once you exit the station so if in doubt, make sure you bring along your umbrella.  Your going to have to walk down the street, across the intersection AND train tracks, then take another left to walk down the road to the entrance to the station.

Take the Subway to Petchaburi station to link to the Airport Link Train...

Once across the train tracks, you can’t miss the station (Makkasan City Air Terminal).  It is a huge 4-story structure, accessible on the street by elevators located underneath.  You will enter the station and be greeted by a much welcome blast of cold air, as the bulky unused part of the station is air-conditioned.  It is impossible not to gawk and wonder at the vast expanse of cold empty space that exists here at this station.  It strikes me as a colossal waste of money as a result of poor planning, but that’s a whole other story completely for another post perhaps.

The next step to reaching the airport train is that you’ll need to go up to the 3rd floor via the elevator and buy another token to take you to the airport.  It is at this point you will most likely notice that the air-conditioned space abruptly ends when you approach the ticketing booth, and you are again thrust back into the sauna/steam room like environment “cleverly” created at the station. After purchasing your new token, go around the corner through the gate and take the Suvarnabhumi escalator up to the platform above.  Hopefully, you will not have to wait long for a train to come along.  Be aware that the trains currently DO NOT run frequently enough to keep patrons from melting in the heat, but the governing authority has assured the public new trains will be coming along in the near future (near meaning a few years in Thai government language) to make the wait time less painful and inconvenient for travelers.

Getting to the mostly unused Makkasan station will be a bit of a walk from the Subway...

Now you might think, as transportation options currently stand, the airport link really isn’t the most convenient means of reaching the airport given the abundance of cheap taxis available in Thailand.  However, rest assured that it certainly beats getting caught up in the legendary Bangkok traffic jams dependent on the time of the day your flight arrives or departs.  Use your best judgement given the time of day your need to make the journey out to the airport.  I left work at 4PM and the whole trip took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, which would have been impossible in a taxi at that time of the day otherwise.  So, I reached the airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight.

Then, once you arrive keep in mind that upon reaching the airport you must go up to the 4th floor for check-in, made little easier now by the escalators near the glass lift/elevator.  Please DON’T stand there and wait for the elevator/lift as it takes FOREVER to make the journey from top to bottom of the airport.  It was worth the wait previously because getting up and down on the escalators used to be like traversing a maze at Suvarnabhumi, but it seems common sense has prevailed for the time being with up and down escalators located next to each other finally.

Exit the Airport Link and make your way up to the 4th floor for check-in...

I went directly to Thai airways domestic counters to get my boarding pass printed as I’d already checked in online but you can’t print it yourself online for some reason which seems to defeat the purpose to me.  However, there were no long lines so I was quickly on my way to have a quick snack before my flight.   So here I sit enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning up in the Northeastern city of Udon Thani at the regional hospital where my partner works.  He lives at a condo block located on site at the hospital, so this usually where I spend my time with him here visiting Udon Thani.  Today we’re thinking about visiting a local dinosaur bones national park, but time will tell as the day progresses.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my little delve back into the written word, and if so please feel free to leave comments.  I do enjoy writing so hopefully (fingers crossed), I can get back into the habit.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend and fear not as I will talk to you soon!

Bangkok from Dusk to Dawn…

Posted this amazing piece of Video over on the Facebooks, but I like it so much I thought I’d post it here as well. I think Florian Böhm, the creator the video, is an expat here in Bangkok as well.  Have a look for now, and Tom has a podcast brewing in the kettle…..will be recording later today babies! ;)

TIT Podcast 62: Pattaya….A Second Look…

  • Welcome to episode 62
  • The usual hellos
  • Hello LM and thanks for the comment
  • A niece and a nephew in the same week
  • Tom’s not usually fond of babies but…
  • On spring break…yes again!
  • Teacher perks vs. cons
  • Relieved I’m a Teacher abroad
  • GOP going after teachers state by state
  • Surely there are better ways to cut spending??
  • Back in Issan yet again
  • Friendlier folks upcountry
  • Genuine smiles vs. Bkk Botox
  • Big cartoon eyes = disturbing fashion trend?
  • Amusing people watching in the big city
  • Speaking of people
  • TIT get’s a first “shame, shame, shame”
  • Every southerner needs a Julia Sugarbaker!
  • If I don’t care for something does that equal judgment?
  • Other things Tom doesn’t care for…
  • Tom expands on “yucky”
  • Vocabulary degradation and 5-year-olds!
  • Why I podcast….
  • A second look at Pattaya
  • Huge concentration of excellent restaurants
  • Foreigner friendly environment
  • Easy going and relaxed community
  • Some of the finest “attractions” in Thailand
  • Siracha Tigers, Koh Larn, Khao Keaw Zoo to name a few…
  • Huge community of retired western men
  • Prostitution more open than other parts of Thailand
  • Sweeping generalizations to say Thais don’t judge
  • Why my partner doesn’t visit…
  • Tom’s take on the world’s oldest profession
  • Age and love
  • Just because it’s not for me….
  • Carpe Diem my friends…because why not!
  • Much Love and ramblings to close

Music on today’s show:

Go Eat Worms– Soundtrack of How to Eat Fried Worms

Only Girl (In the World) – Rihanna

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

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How Long is Temporary?

Helloooooooooooo!  Anyone still out there?  Given up on the Tom in Thailand?  I sincerely hope not, but I wouldn’t blame you considering the months…yes i realize it’s been months…..since you’ve heard even a peep from me.  Several of you guys have made the effort to send along email of concern and support over the past few months and I really want to thank you for thinking of me and for your caring support in my absence.

A lot has happened since i last talked to you guys in October, and I’ve come quite close to going into the Libsyn a few times to delete the account…..but have never been able to bring myself to go through with it just yet.  I’ve still got a voice….and i’ve still got things to say i guess, so I wanted to sit down today and say that the T.I.T. podcast is not gone away just yet.  The absence is just temporary, and I will do my best to explain the long absence when i sit down over the next few days to clear the cobwebs and dust from the studio.  :-)

Again, thanks for all the support and much love as always from Thailand!

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 59: Beware of Pink Bears!

  • Welcome to episode 59
  • Rain, rain and more rain
  • Afternoon rains like clockwork
  • this much rain and still not handle traffic??
  • 2 accidents in a row in the way home in the rain today
  • 2 weeks and counting…..
  • feeling a tad bored now
  • Tom and the comfort of routines
  • A fabulous new place will help
  • Pics posted online already, so go be jealous!
  • Will miss Bangkok when I leave again
  • Safe to finally spill the beans
  • Tom’s LONG ordeal with a former employer
  • Being between a rock and a hard place
  • Where’s the money gone?
  • Didn’t realize power bills were paid 3 times a month
  • The magic cup game with thousands of dollars
  • Tom’s conscious got the best of him
  • Deep depression at the time worsened by the mugging
  • Begging for compensation for services rendered
  • Employee salary vs. new cars, new branches, and overseas tuition
  • Using our good nature against us
  • When does helping you become using me?
  • Strike? And counter threats…
  • The system isn’t set up to help employees
  • Tom needed the Visa to stay
  • A sliver of hope finally presents itself
  • Tom chooses to bow out quietly
  • Darkest days behind me now…..i hope
  • A lovely email from my listener Rod down on the Gold Coast
  • Podcasts and music
  • Comment from Jens….Hey Jens!
  • Check me on the Facebooks!!!
  • Lurve to all my listeners!
  • The usual rambling closing remarks

today’s TIT musical selection:

“That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain”

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here


T.I.T. Podcast Episode 57: No Cake This Year Please!

  • Welcome to episode 57
  • Yet another podcast from ‘Issarn’
  • The 9 hour journey to the NorthEast of Thailand
  • Avoiding the rain during Monsoon season
  • Being beyond tired just from sitting for hours
  • A post birthday show
  • Thanks sooooo much for all the well wishes!
  • Facebook is amazing
  • What did Tom do for his birthday?
  • Summer break as a gift this year
  • A 5-star cinema experience for Prince of Persia
  • A Bangkok must do!
  • Birthday dinner ‘faux pas’
  • Joined the gym….again!
  • Tom has just lost it….or at least that is how I feel!
  • a long struggle with the weight issues
  • on a lighter note….Pride month in the US
  • Pride in Thailand is in October
  • Tom and gay pride
  • Tom’s own coming out story
  • Coming out to my folks from abroad
  • Not an easy road, but better for it today
  • The World cup frenzy in Thailand
  • Tom doesn’t care for most sports
  • Soccer vs. football
  • World cup dispute prompts axe murder
  • The myth of the gentle Thai
  • Sudden intense outbursts of anger
  • Lack of self control and rules of war
  • Thai rules is about 20 vs. 1
  • If in doubt….always walk away!
  • Interesting discussion on the way to Issarn
  • Feeling more alien the longer I’m here
  • More intense outside of Bangkok
  • Integration not possible in Thailand
  • Why not move home??
  • Life would be easier if I were British or Australian
  • Life in purgatory
  • Making lemonade when life gives you limes!
  • Go check out Tigger’s new vidcasts
  • Check out Cocktails and Creampuffs!
  • Lurve to my listeners!
  • The usual rambling closing remarks

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here


T.I.T. Podcast Episode 56: Hot Fun in the SummerTime

  • Welcome to episode 56
  • A Sunday morning in Bangkok
  • Personal catch up episode
  • Hooray! No more weekends in Rayong
  • Almost summer break
  • No down time at all
  • More activities than teaching
  • Tom’s summer plans
  • Someone has a birthday coming up soon!
  • I like birthdays less and less the more I have them
  • Last birthday was atop Central World
  • A friend’s 40th
  • Brits and their ‘theme’ parties
  • The World cup just isn’t Tom’s thing
  • Just don’t enjoy sports…never have
  • American College football being the exception
  • More fast paced in my opinion
  • A visit to Chang Mai?
  • The Rose of the north
  • Different dialect of Thai spoken
  • Different ethnicity evident….more Chinese influence
  • Doi Intanon, the highest peak in Thailand
  • Stunning beauty in rolling mountains
  • Mountains vs. beaches in Thailand
  • The summers of my youth
  • Family vacations = mountains or beaches
  • Always big ‘to dos’ in my family
  • No big travel plans this summer though
  • Moving expenses are HUGE here!
  • Pattaya bound for sure
  • Hopefully only one more year there
  • New room, new class, new neighborhood
  • Not much of a peep out of the RedShirts
  • The calm after the storm
  • Considering doing an episode on Thai flaws
  • Tom doesn’t like to ruffle feathers
  • Fundamental flaws in Thai culture keep it down
  • Do I keep quite or speak up cause I care….
  • A video link from my friend Ken
  • Hello to a new listeners: Tom, and Arizona Chris
  • Go check out Tigger’s new vidcasts
  • Rambling closing remarks

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here


T.I.T. Podcast Episode 55: We Come in Peace!!!

  • Welcome to a very somber episode of the T.I.T. cast
  • First of all I’m Safe and a HUGE thanks for all the concern
  • Sadly to say….Tom was hugely mistaken
  • Thailand’s Darkest hour
  • The quite after the storm
  • On being speechless in the face of disaster
  • Arson and looting depicted on TV not random violence
  • Premeditated destruction
  • More like a cult than a political movement
  • Hundreds of I.D. cards found in sewers below former camp
  • Stockholm syndrome/indoctrination of hatred
  • Will try to collect some photos and put them up
  • So close to home yet so surreal…is this really happening?
  • Watching from afar and building paranoia
  • My “adventure” in getting back to Bangkok Friday the 21st
  • I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…Thai police are useless!
  • Bangkok owes the soldiers a great debt
  • Misrepresentation on CNN and BBC
  • Why not hire staff that speak Thai…understand the culture?
  • Not a battle between Rich and Poor!
  • Excellent blog article from a Thai that explains the situation
  • Huge arsenal of weapons found at the Temple next to the camp
  • Bad feeling that this is far from over…
  • The man behind the chaos
  • Spotted last Wed. traveling under different name in Paris!
  • Denials in English vs. feeding the flames in Thai
  • Leaders spent 2 months preaching hate
  • Many videos ordering followers to burn the city to the ground
  • Stores and shops in the area robbed and looted before burned
  • City still under curfew, but supposed to lift tomorrow evening
  • Property damaged extensively in my neighborhood
  • The Thai spirit is hard to beat
  • Voicemail from Sean that moved Tom to tears
  • heart warming encouragement from Facebook
  • Rambling closing remarks

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here