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Back from Trip.

Just came back from Keng Tung Myanmar on the 30th. A day later than usual as 29th was my wife's grandpa's birthday. There are tons of things to write on this trip. Weather was much colder in Keng Tung. My throat is a bit burning from the chili and heaty stuff I ate over there.

Meanwhile, wify and her friends are setting up a new year countdown party while I am typing here.

No Christmas in Maesai, no post till New Year.

Hahaha! One thing I really like about Thailand is that Christmas is not a public holiday. (I'm not a Christian) The public office and banks still need to operate on the 25th. I'm not too sure about why the fuss over the intense shopping, gifts, decorations and especially the seasons greeting. In Singapore, I never ever like saying "Merry Christmas". Its just too foreign to me. Prefer Happy New Year Though.

Still, its the end of the year and although Maesai has no Christmas day, they are making up with a New Year party on the 31st. Will write about that once I came back from Myanmar. YES, I am going to my wife's home town to see her grandpa. Its in KengTung and I will be away on the 26th to 29th. Just in time for the New Year Party here.

Finally, as of title, no post till New Year. I had reached my monthly quota of 15 posts and I wish to take more time on my tank model before I leave for KengTung. (hehe) So will not post till 1st Jan 2007.

So to all my readers, Happy New Year and errr ..... merry christmas... ( still hate it :P )

Everything must grab and saliva.

Its been some time since I update on my baby. Now in her seventh month. The baby is becoming a monster!! hehehe. Likes to wave her arms and slap around. Especially on mama and papa's face. She also has the tendency now to grab everything she sees in front of her. Most of the time, she would grab the item and place it in her mouth before throwing them away. My spectacles has been a victim of hers for sometime.

Her insecure phase I mentioned before seems to die down a bit but still more attached to mummy than other people. She could however, at least, sit alone and play with her toys by herself while mummy go grab something or to the loo.

Another bit of nuisance is her saliva. She likes to spew them, going BLLZZZ.... BLZZZZ.... Making a mess on herself or on the bed. Her teeth has sprung (a bit only) so I guess we have to live with the mess for sometime before her teeth is fully out.

She still likes to go out and now, she displays an immense interests on new faces and items not seen at home. Recently we went to a village meeting (something like an AGM) and she was literally staring at one man sitting behind us. For 15 mins of the talk, she was staring at the man non stop (I didn't see her blink though), making us a bit embarrassed. Hehe..

Finally, the biggest update is she could cry Mama when she feels uncomfortable or wants mummy to carry her.... Wonder when she could shout PaPa?? :P

British Scout Car Model

Have been busy and did not complete this model until today. Yeah! This is one of the better ones that I build. Frankly thought, my figurines skill still need improvements. Difficult to hand paint the small figures.

The scout car is a WWII British army Daimler Mk II. The red isgnia belongs to the 2nd Armour Division.

Here's the rest of the photos. The photos may not look sharp overall as I was using a macro lens for this shoot. I opened to f/8 but still, due to marco lens nature, its still has a low depth of view. Maybe I will take another series and post them here later :)

Testing of my new toy (with video!)

Finally got the time to test shoot my new toy! Very hard to describe the operation with words. Photos a bit impossible as I have no free hands to operate the pistol and the camera. So used my O2 mini's video to capture this.

Frankly, the pistol is not very accurate (made in China??) the pellets will stray to the left and right but it might be the wind that causes it but I doubt so. But for the price I paid, I quite happy with the little bugger.

The range of the pellet is quite far. If you hear carefully, the pellets I aimed and hit the wall bounced back to where I stand or even furthur! So better be careful with it. Sure painful if you are at the receiving end.

Another toy not seen in Singapore.

Here's another toy not found in Singapore but most of the other countries has it. Its an air pistol!

I have seen this in Maesai and Bangkok for some time but never really got the guts to purchase one. But the more I see it, the more "gian" (willing) to buy one to try ans see how it works.

So finally bought one here at the market, damage is 450baht (SGD 19++). This one is a electric pistol with a torch. Check out the box! Quite cool packaging.

On the shelves also got M-16, submachine guns and other models to choose from. All of them made from China. First I thought it was all metal, but actually its just hard plastic. Quite solid but light in my hands.

Open the package and it includes a manual, safety glass, the torch light, the pistol, batteries, cleaning rod (for jammed pellet), charger and the pellets (6mm BB) see photo.:)

You could buy these extra pellets at the store too. Not sure the price but I heard its 50baht for one big box.

The gun itself is pretty huge! Check out the scale, (I placed a metal 15cm ruler for comparison). It feels quite solid and there is a safety mechanism at the handle which you need to depress before you could trigger. I have not really tried shooting, but I kind of like the sound of the gun popping and recoiling. The torch light is mainly for decoration. Doubt its usefulness, but the light is blue in colour. So quite cool.

The magazine is small and slides out from beneath the handle. It could hold up to 16 pellets. The feeling is like loading our M16 magazine in SAF lor. The cleaning rod is made of plastic and according to the manual, its for jammed pellets in the chamber. So if the gun is jammed. Just stick the rod into the barrel to remove the pellet. (Like out rifle cleaning kit lah)

Really really interesting toy. There are many variants here. The M-16 really looks like the real one (but plastic lah)and has a laser pointer at the front but cost 1700baht. Got shotguns also, but not sure what ammo they are using. I never really see kids here play with these dangerous toys. Maybe they do. But still, after fiddling with it. I quickly lock it and keep the keys away. Don't want my girl girl next time use this to shoot me :p.

Forgot to add, for those who watch or play games a lot will know the air pistol I bought is a model of a very famous pistol. Anyone care to guess? If you got watch the movie Snatch, it's bullet tooth Tony's gun. :)

Still awake.

Suppose to write about a new toy I bought here. Have to set that aside as I am busy with 2 projects. Both to be completed about at the same time. Which is today and tommorrow. Worked all night to get the first one up and now a bit burnt out. Not sure can complete the second one anot.

It has been some time I done this. My coding is a bit rusty and I have to admit and my mental and physical fitness is not as used to be. Nah ma... being 30 really sucks big time.. body is really going into the decline. Better take care of myself. Weather here in Maesai is getting colder.

Disgraceful Tiger

No time to write a long post. Got caught up with some work.

Anyway, short entry on a news about Tiger Airways refusing a disabled person to board. Disgusting and disgraceful to the Captain of the plane. It may be the staff problem but now the whole company's image has been tarnished. Just like our gahment style. Everything by the book and tons of red tape.

GST Ramblings

As promised my list of things to write. The recent GST hike in Singapore is a storm in blogshpere. Due to the fact that our gahmen wants to use the tax increase to help the poorer. I really like to wait to see (really and sincerely) what packages they will be offering. And to WHOM could apply for these packages?? :)

Thailand itself has a GST known as VAT (Value Added Tax) Quite similar to our GST. But there are exceptions.

According to here

VAT does not includes
  1. Small entrepreneur whose annual turnover is less than 1.2 Million Baht;
  2. Sales and import of unprocessed agricultural products and related goods such as fertilizers, animal feeds, pesticides, etc.;
  3. Sales and import of newspapers, magazines, and textbooks;
  4. Certain basic services such as;
    transportation - domestic transportation and international transportation by way of land,
    Healthcare services provided by government and private hospitals as well as clinics,v
    Educational services provided by government and private schools and other recognized educational institutions,
    Professional services - Medical and auditing services, lawyer services in court and other similar professional services that have laws regulating such professions,
    Renting of immovable properties.
  5. Cultural services such as amateur sports, services of libraries, musuems, zoos;
  6. Services in the nature of employment of labour, research and technical services and services of public entertainers;
  7. Goods exempted from import duties under the Industrial Estate law imported into an Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and under Chapter 4 of the Customs Tafiff Act;
  8. Imported goods that are kept under the supervision of the Customs Department which will be re-exported and be entitled to a refund for import duties; and
  9. Other services such as religious and charitable services, services of government agencies and local authorities.

I really really like point number 4. No tax for medical and educational services. I had paid my hospital bills for my baby here and wife's grandpa. NO VAT. If the list could include utility such as Water and Electricity, its even better.

In short, if the gahmen really want to help the poor or the whole Singapore population, strip GST from utility bills, transportation, medical and education services. You can still raise the 2% GST and forget about the help package as promised. The people will be grateful, I too will vote for PAP if that happens(though I doubt so they will do it) :)

Wide angle view of Thailand

I was cleaning my camera cabinet and saw my Peleng 8mm fisheye. Never really got a chance to use it in Thailand yet. So I mount it and took some photos.

Its wide!! hahaah If its on a analog camera, the photo will be a complete circle. Have to hand it down to the Ukranians for coming out such a cheap but pretty good fisheye lens.

Baby sleeping, check out the huge but cute baby hand. hehe

My House.

Pointing to the sky.

The rice padi field near my house.

A Malaysian in Maesai

Here's an entry of another interesting character I met here in Maesai. We met at the cafe and chatted. He used to stay in Singapore and he's here in Thailand because he run into the law in Singapore.

He has been doing Visa runs for almost 2 years and now due to the new visa regulation, he might be going back to Malaysia. In Singapore, he used to have a start up with a few other Malaysian friends in doing carpentry. And he was making money in early 1990s from Punngol 21 project. But after the collapse of property market in Singapore due to financial crisis. They got piratically no job (very little people want to spend so much on renovations) and as they are compulsive gamblers. Which means he has to find new ways to make more money. "And the easiet way to make money is to make it illegally" he said. So that's what he did precisely, go into illegal business, smuggle cigarettes!

Things was fine when they started as they even got Lobang from the Custom officers to Kua Chui or give them the time(when there will be no checks) for them to come in. Money flowed in and they gambled it mostly away. Things turn sour when one day, the driver got caught and gave them the names of all the accomplices. They fled. My friend here was the first to bail with 2 more of his buddies. He fled to Thailand here as he has a girlfriend here.

So I wonder, is the police in Singapore still searching for him and he said most probably not as his friends already returned. And they did not catch them at the customs.

I have talked to him and he's around my age. He is a very nice and down to earth guy and works hard. (Now he's helping out in his girlfriend's restaurant in Chiang Rai) . He still likes to gamble (though he confide to me that nowadays he's not as heavy as he used to be) but he did told me he never regret his decision in smuggling. "I need the money and I choose to risk it." Importantly, he is the first person to prove to me that our police or custom officers still have people in our law enforcments that are actually corrupted.

The good thing about being in a tourist area like Maesai and working in a cyber cafe. You get to meet lots of interesting people.


Wife's friend got a wedding cum house Bai Bai (pray for good fortune) ceremony last Sat. We went to attend the lunch and skipped the morning Bai Bai. Unlike our Chinese customs, they normally don't wait for all the people to come before they start the meal. What they do is they will be an usher that will squeeze the guests to a table, once the table is filled up, they will serve the food. So my wife called her friends to meet at the same time (all seat together more fun mah) and we prepared one red packet to drop it into a little box at the entrance. Some people gave big photo frames of the Thai royal family or other novelties instead of money.

The meal itself is quite interesting and delicious, 8 person to a table (like our Chinese Chiak Toh) . Got a cold dish appetizer, steam fish in chili, pig's trot, fried rice, chicken herbal soup, stir fried nuts and chicken, mushrooms with asparagus and a plate of fruits. Quite funny thing is that they served all the dish at one go(except the fruit)! Bloody hell, nearly got no room for all the dishes. Anyway, we finish the meal at 1plus and wify chatted with her friends till 2 plus before we left. Other people were still drinking alcohol and singing Karaoke when we left. Not sure how long they will stay... most probably when the liquor is finished. Here some photos. of the event.

Broadband in Thailand

I am suppose to write something about a wedding yesterday but there was an outage of Internet service.

It seems there is something wrong with the gateway in Thailand. I was talking to my mum and sis on skype when the line broke. Quite frustrating as the reliability of Internet here is quite abhorrent. Every month, there will be at least one outage and could last for more than 6 hours. Definitely not as good as Singapore (I'm too spoilt at home). Anyway, the price for Internet is about the same in Singapore. 1000++ baht (50 SGD) for a 1M ADSL line is quite ok. And normally, they packaged it with a modem (on lease). The best is that there is no contract (there is but not much difference) like we have in Singapore. So we could actually terminate the service quite easily and change to another provider.

There are 3 providers in Maesai, CAT which uses a wireless 3G network, TOT and TT&T. I am currently using the TT&T and from my experience at the cafe (we have all 3 lines over there as backups) TT&T is the most stable.


Xinhui has recovered and my wife's mum came yesterday. This means I got my own free time to complete my berge panzer model. Its a WWII German BergePanzer.

This tank is famous as it was suppose to be a contender for the Tiger tank. (Porche's submission for the Tiger). Eventually it failed and was converted to a tank recovery vehicle (thus the chain and rack). You may find more info about the tank here. The kit allows you to build either an early or late production of the model. I chose the early production model as the late production involves applying zimmerit and I feel lazy doing it :P.

Anyway here's the result. I mades some mistakes when spraying the green camo.. but its minor and managed to cover them up.

You cab click on the images to see a bigger and more detail picture.

I hurt my back.

Jia lat. My old backache came back and visit me today. I was carrying some heavy stuffs and mopping the floor. When I stopped, my back hurts a bit. Went to lie down and ask wify to massage me. (BIG MISTAKE)

Wify was carrying baby and she asked girl girl to use her feet to stomp on my back. Aiya, only 7kg, no feeling. I asked my wife to use more force leh. Bloody hell, she step onto my back without asking me. Hurt like hell. Want to kill her on the spot but cannot move liao:P.

Lie in bed, wife still giggling, think I trick her. Then realise her mistake and say sorry. Now got 2 Tiger Balm sticker on my back. At least can sit and walk. But from sitting/prone position to standing is painful.

Never ask my wife for a back rub again. Me scared liao.

Sticky like glue.

Girl girl is now 6 months plus and sticky to mummy like glue. Hehe. This is especially true in the evening time when she wants to sleep.

In the day time however, most people can carry her. So long as mummy's around the vincinity. If wify just disappear from her eye sight, she would cry immediately (actually not cry lah.. just complain with no tears...)

For me, special case. I could carry her at certain positions, her favourite is sitting position with my arms cradling her, her face facing forward. Quite a tough position for me as it tires be quite easily. Normally this could go on forever, but sometimes, she would start looking around and I know she is looking for mummy liao. So naturally, I just rushed to my wife and she would be calm again.

Now let me describe how she behaves without mummy around. She would cry and make a lot of noise (no tears though) and kick around. And she would continue to do this until mummy takes her back. Got one time, I brought her out for a stroll and she started this routine. I have to run back home to hand it back to mummy. For 10 mins non-stop, she was fussing. The funny thing is that once she is in mummy's hands. She would stop immediately! Wat lau...and can smile at you somemore...

School Banding, Another temporary cure??

Since I am a father now, naturally I am worried about my child's education. I have been reading that streaming in primary school is going to be phased out in 2008. See here.

I find it a bit amusing, streaming and banding, two different words yet still the same thing. Separate those who are weak and the elites. Its so typical of our gahment and culture to do this. The smart ones will still be in a special band right? hehehe Oh.. if you read, the GEP (special band) is to mingle with the "normal" ones on other ECA. What a joke.

Why not solve the root of the problem by stopping the paper chase! We could start in the public sector. Good grades and paper does not mean he should be manager or paid higher. Its a simple solution that I believe that our gahment (especially SAF and the police) could lead by example. Allow those with lesser paper qualifications to have a chance in handling bigger and important task. Don't deny them the chance of promotion just because he is not a degree holder. Try that out for a few years and you might find that these people will normally work harder than the smart ones. Since they know they already wasted their time in school, they will not waste more in their work life. Deny their chance of advancement, they would sure be lazy and contempt (why work hard? still the same, kena condemned)
Would our Singapore gahment change??? hahaha.. Doubt so..

btw, some Thai military officers are only primary educated(I met a colonel whol told me this)... they work their way up...not like our OCS fiasco..

Golden Pizza!

Food here in Maesai is quite repetitive and lack variety (small town). Anyway, a new pizza restaurant has opened and its called Golden Pizza. My Internet Cafe boss said its very good and the taste and crust is actually comparable to a real Italian pizza(He's an American Italian heritage). I was a bit sceptic as Asians tends to change the taste to suite their style. Anyway, since wify not around and I lazy to cook, ordered one large Mexican Thin Crust today through phone (They even do delivery to my house leh) and waited a bloody hour for it. Finally arrived in a box. See picture below.

Its huge, I actually wanted to save some for later but end up eating the whole thing by myself. Wat lau. Best pizza I had eaten. Much better than pizza hut or pastamania in Singapore. I think the chef learnt it from someone who really knows hot to cook a pizza. Damage 280Baht for the large one(15"). Cheap and tasty.

The Great old man sick

Wife's Grandpa was sick and came down from Myanmar to see a doctor. Apparently, Myanmar hospital's reputation was not very good. There is often no electricity and sanitation is at the most basic level.

My wife and her family thinks its a common cold or flu. I saw him and pulled my wife aside and told her frankly that I feel something is not right. I am a bit experience in this matter as my own father had passed away with kidney cancer. I have this gut feeling that he might have contracted cancer too.

We took him to the local town hospital in Maesai. The doctor said he had severe infection in his stomach due to an operation 3 years ago for his gallbladder stone.. Alamak.. want to smoke people also dunno how to smoke properly. He's clueless!! His suggestion was to transfer him to the former hospital who operated him. (Taichi 108 style liao) . We obliged happily anyway as he won't be able to help him much anyway.

We took off in an ambulance to a bigger hospital in Chiang Rai. Wife and baby did not go. Only wife's brother and I accompanied Grandpa. At the hospital, he was immediately admitted to ICU (Intensive Care Unit). His blood pressure was only 80/40. The doctor (who speaks quite good English) informed me that as Grandpa has mild diabetes, he needs to be monitored carefully.

After diagnosis with X-rays and blood test. Bad news. It seems that grandpa does have a severe infection in his old operation wound. But the cause is unknown. His condition is worsen as the infection has spread to his kidneys and bladder. The case was more complicated as his kidney is now failing due to his diabetes. Good news is that all this can be controlled but there is one thing in the blood test the doctor said is very bad news. His white blood cells count is way up high. 7 times the normal. He mentioned it might be due to sceptic shock which makes the body produce more WBC. So next day, after Grandpa stabilised, another blood test was taken and again, 7 times the normal.

The doctor informed me that this is a symptom of Leukemia and asked whether I want to give him a thorough check (extracting his bone marrow). I discussed with my wife and decided to say no. Extraction is painful (a big needle is inserted into the lower spine or hip) and I already checked with the doctor. Even if the diagnosis is correct, they aren't able to do much as Grandpa is already 78 and he has diabetes.

So 2 days in ICU, grandpa is feeling better. We told only her sis and her younger brother about the possibility of cancer and we wept a bit. I could only advise them to spend more time with him.

We booked a personal car to ferry them back to Keng Tung. Wife and baby is going to tag along and spend a few days there. Not a very good month indeed. Puppy died and Grandpa sick.....

Some photos

Last few blogs are a bit serious and loads of text. I really prefer a picture or photo. Maybe because I am a photographer?? hehe

Anyway, nothing new but more photos of my baby. Think this is one of the series that has my picture on it (oops). By the way, the little boy in red hat beside girl girl is her cousin Ah Chai (younger sister's son).

No More Unlimited Visa Runs!

This might not ring a bell in most Singaporean friends. I need to explain what a visa run is. :)

Visa run in Thailand is that any foreigners who came into Thailand via Visa On Arrival (VOA) are given a 30 days entry permit. Once the due day is upped. You could just go to a nearby border (like Maesai or Cambodia). Exit the country for a day and come back in on the same day and get another 30 days on your passport.

The thai law used to state there is no limits on this visa run. So basically, a lot of foreigners use this easiest and cheapest method to stay in thailand (I met a few in Chiang Mai who has done it for 3 or 4 years!)

So now the law has changes and was passed. On 1st Oct 2006. All VOA (Tourist Visa) will only be allowed to do a visa run for 3 consecutive times. (90 days to be exact) After this, they need to leave the country and wait for 90 days before they could re-enter the kingdom.

The reason is that they want foreigners to apply the proper visa. But the citeria are strict and the process is a big hassle.

Now my problem is that since my wife is not a full Thai yet(and we can't get married under Thai law) and baby is still not a Thai citizen. I can't get the O Visa which is for marriage and dependent. (Very stupid isn't it? ) That's why I have been doing Visa Runs.

Two options are left for me.

1. Get a B Visa which is for buisness or work. Very tough and if I start my ow business, I need to find a Thai partner and he has to be the big share holder 51% - 49%
2. Wait for wife to get her Tang Dao (90% Thai) not sure when though after Thaksin left :(. while waiting, I just have to exit and leave the country and being forced to leave my baby girl alone with my wife for 90 days. (will miss her dearly)

I will be back in January (thats my max stay for 3 runs) and will try to apply for the O visa again.

Just like the sub-title of the blog "Lots of problems... no solutions...."

Lots of things to write. Previews.

I have many things to write about but currently, I found myself a bit taxed. Got some web projects going on and it take a lot of my time. Anyway, here's a little rambling on what I want to write (so my faithful readers can come back and check often... hehehe)

Here's a list of things I wish I have time to write
  • Heard GST in Singapore is going to be raised to 7%. There were a lot of debates on this topic currently on the blogsphere in Singapore. I would like to comment about it
  • Baby girl now can sit and play. Also got some funny incidents that I want to share
  • Unlimited Visa Run in Thailand is over, I could only stay in Thailand for 90 days and wait another 90 days before I could return.
  • Comparision of politics in Thailand and Singapore (Have a draft but no time to edit it)
  • More food in thailand!
  • Another interesting story about another character.
  • Thai woman and Burmese woman (whoo hoo!!!)
  • and etc
All of the above I will complete them. Now... back to website and global car exports.

I killed my puppy...

My puppy died! F**k myself for being so careless. Pookie (her name given by my wife) was playing on the main road herself(she is small and can crawl through a crack in the front gate.) I caught her and gave her a timeout in their cage. (She share a cage with her mum).

She was then whinning (she always whin when I punish her) all the time for half and hour and I ignored her. Only when she starts to stop, I went to the cage and saw her head trapped between the cage's door. I freed her but she was not as acitve as usual. I thought she was in shocked so I left her alone for a while. 15 mins later I checked on her and she was heaving breathlessly. I called my wife immediately. She went to the neighbour for help. The dear lady checked her and said she's quite ok, maybe in shock as there were no physical wounds. 10 mins later, I went to wash our clothes (the washing machine is just beside the cage) and saw her vommiting blood! We again called our neighbour and she and her husband said she is dying. Apparently, her throat was injured by the trapped cage.

A few minutes later, she passed away (all of us were with her till she left). I found a piece of white cloth and wrapped her remains. We then left to the open field near our house and buried her there.

We did cried a bit. Think Xinhui was crying because mummy is crying... Cindy however is still not sure what happened. A few more days and I think she will miss her baby. Really not in a good mood now.







有兴趣的朋友门不妨到百度去寻找一番。 让您的音乐世界更宽阔点。

My wife's grandpa is a gangster!

Hehe.. Sounds like a movie title but its true. My wife's family is actually in Keng Tung (Shan state of Myanmar). A lot of politcal refugees came from Myanmar in Maesai. Anyway, I will write more about her story in another post.

Her grandpa (mum's side) is now an old and religious man. Very very religious and quiet old man. Every morning and evening on the dot will pray in front of our family altar. He is around 78 years old now, can be plue minus 2-3 years older or less as they do not have birth certificate then. Although he is a bit senile, he's still very dilligent in his daily prayers. Physically, he is quite fit for his age and he always dress himself very well when in front of guest. He is also consider tall among Thai people (1.78m). Very well built man.

I was curious about his faith and his life. So I asked my wife about it.
My wife then proceeded to tell me about stories about grandpa which she heard bit and pieces from her aunt and mum. What an amazing life!

When granpa was 18 years old, the family was so poor that they could not afford proper clothes. In thai tribal customs, wearing clean and neat clothes mean you are good(very materialistic and face value). So naturally, her grandpa was not liked by most common people. His father had died of opium overdose (very rampant in those days) and his mum is the sole bread winner for the family of 6. Grandpa was the eldest of them and was still looking for a proper job to help ease the family's financial issues.

One day, while walking along the street. He was looking at a shop selling stuff and the owner chased him away (as he was not well dressed). On that day, he changed. He actually borrowed a parang from someone(not really a parang but more like a sycth) and proceeded to rob the shop. His first robbery.

He brought the money back to his mum and told her that don't worry about money and proceeded to rob more people. People starts to be afraid of him as he was very big in size and has a very serious face. He also gets into fights but normally is the winner. So after a few years, he actually became famous and was shun by other gangsters in the area. There was a story that 6 hooligans were making a lot of noise at night (apparently drunk) and her grandpa just went out and stared at them. The 6 hooligans left immediately!

At one time, a failed robbery landed him in jail. My wife's mum was only 12 when that happened. At first, both my wife's grandma and mum visit him almost once per week (20km walk leh). But after a few weeks. Grandpa became very good friends with the prison wardens. He was also a very good cook and moreover he was considered a bit more rich in the prison. He actually cooked for the wardens and they actually pay him money to buy ingredients to cook. He was also allowed to leave the prison to buy the ingredients and he actually went back home one day (imagine my wife's grandma face in horror as she thought he ran out). So for his 2 year term, most of the time he was outside the prison walls...

Later in some point of time, he managed to save enough money to start a gambling den! Yes and my wife's dad was actually the manager of the den hehehe(my wife also helped out in the den when she was 6 years old leh). This continued until the death of my wife's eldest brother. Grandpa was extremely sad and became very religious.

I did ask my wife, is it because he felt guilty of his brother's death as he did a lot of bad things. My wife think that is highly possible and also, he is getting old and he kinds of regrets the things he had done in the past. Thus, he could only pray everyday to seek redemption.

Very interesting character, don't you think?

French Hotchkiss 35/38

Its been some time I started to build military models. Here's the first one I had build recently in thailand. Its a French pre WWII light tank. Build from the box and with heavy weathering. (Tracks are muddy and tank is dirty)

You may also wish to read up on the history of the tank here.

Nearly killed by PAP MP.

I was chatting with an old friend in msn messenger. We were talking about politics in Singapore and some interesting observations we have on our MPs. During this little chat, I kind of recalled that I had a near "accident" with one of our MP (cabinet level some more leh)
Promised my friend to blog the details here. So here goes :)

If I remember correctly, it was 2003 or 2004, I can't tell the exact date but it happened in Tampines East Community Centre (or club). Our club, NAAPL was invited (or actually paid) to perform a welcoming lion dance for the guest of honour. Sure enough, the guest of honour is none other than Mah Bow Tan (short form to MBT). We came early as usual and waited for him to come. As one of our member stays nearby in Tampines, he wish to purchase a mah-jong table for us to go to his house to play. We then heard there is some delay and the guest of honnor MBT will be late.

My friend and I decided to go around the neighborhood shop to look for the mah-jong table. Found a shop that sells it and we kind of discuss whether can fit into his car. Hehehe.

We then proceed back to the Community Centre. My friend was walking on the pavement, while I was walking on the road that leads to the lobby of the CC. Out of nowhere suddenly, a Toyota SUV (Harrier I think) suddenly appeared out of the corner, (my back is facing the car and I heard the approaching car) I jumped to one side and the car brake (almost ebrake) He was doing more than 20km/h definitely and it was a curve road. I tried to look who is the rude and reckless driver but he step the gas and took off! My friend look at said, " I think that was MBT!" And we kind of realised we were to welcome him. We took off and reached the lobby and was confirmed that he was the one that nearly ran over me. We did not need to start the performance as he was ushered to a press room and talking to the journalists. I was of course, not very happy with the whole incident.

He should at least open his windows and ask if I'm alright. But I don't think he is gracious enough to do that. Bad experience. For those non-Singaporeans. An MP stands for Member of parliament and here's a link to the joker that nearly killed me.

The same joker is also involved in this Renaming Marina fiasco. :) And the worse thing is that I heard he is give $2billion to be in charge about Orchard Turn.

Breaking down the "Firewall"

I tred to refrain myself from posting technical and computer related stuff here. But recently, I was looking around for articles regarding the Thai's monach (King Buhmibol) and I got blocked by the Thai's firewall. I hate censorship (all types) , it a kind of mockery as no matter "evil " or nonsense is in the blocked site, I wish to read it and give my own judgment (not someone who filtered it and say its not good for you.)

Singapore itself has its own firewall. Basically, most of the sites that are blocked contains pornography materials (playboy, penthouse, etc etc), drugs and religious extremist. (try going into (partially blocked I heard) or watchtower one is rather interesting if not banned)

Anyway, its a stupid idea to block them as you can easily "unblock" them :) Here's how

Get this software from here. Known as TOR and follow the instructions from the website. Dont't worry about spywares or malwares. It has none as I am using it :). You can also download the software from here. What this software do is that it acts as a proxy and tries to resolve the name and ip from an external party (mainly somewhere out of the country). It also involves in privacy protection (you can read up on the website)

Just want to share this to all my friends. Happy surfing... Errr... try not to use this to go to hor... hehehe

Crackers, Spinners, Smokes and many many more!!!

I have already mentioned about firecrackers in my previous post. As there are many varieties of explosives here in Thailand(hehe). I decide to write about it here (since many Singaporeans my age or below may have never seen or play with them before. Surprisingly, crackers here are cheap. But basically its just a one time toy and you are actually burning money (explode and gone liao)
Here's some reviews of the stuff I bought and play with (mind you, these are just part of the armada, there are many many more varieties over here)

The picture on the left shows a rocket and its varient. Both does not create a bang sound but just whizzes when its in the air. The rocket on the left could reach 6 to 7m high hehe. The other one on the right spins like a helicopter and reaches a height of 2m. I saw some kids holding the helicopter in their hand and let it spin forward (which makes it travel much furthur).
Damage: 5 baht for rocket, 3 baht for the helicopter each
Fun Factor: 6/10 for rocket 7/10 for helicopter.

Bangers are basically like its name, it gives out a loud BANG. hehe Bangers are all shaped in long tubes like cigarettes and comes in boxes. One end of the tip has some abrasive ignition material (like a match stick) So what you do is like lighting a match, you struck it with another abrasive material to catch a spark. Then you throw the banger on the floor and it will give a loud bang.

The picture you see on the right, leftmost are 2 little bangers (shortest) , which gives only one bang. The middle is a double banger (2 BANGs cosecutively. And the largest is 5 Bangs consecutive with sparks. The sound emitted is really really loud (like a gun firing). The kids here love to play this as it is the cheapest.

Damage : 5 baht for a box a small banger (20 sticks!!), 5 baht for box of double banger (6 sticks), and 10 baht for the largest (box with 5 sticks)
Fun Factor: 4/10 for both banger and double banger, 6.5/10 for the large one as can see sparks...

The little bombs in plastic bag are cracker bombs. They make loud crackling sounds and a lot of sparks. The green big one is a smoke bomb. No sound but a lot of smoke (in this case green colour smokes) There are many colours to choose from actually. Both are places on the ground and ignited with a match or lighter. Some kids here (dangerous) likes to hold the cracker bomb in their hand and wait for the fuse to almost go out before thorwing high up in the air (to simulate a firework)

Damage: 5 baht for a bag of 5 cracker bombs, 3 baht for the smoke bomb each.
Fun Factor: 7.5/10 for cracker bomb, 4/10 for smoky

Spinners are fun to watch. You place it on the ground and ignite it with a match. It will goes spinning in circle with sparks (like a sparkler stick we play) but with much intensity. It also gives off a loud whizz. In the picture, the only one which looks like a string is another variant of spinner and more expensive. It is a spinner cum cracker! hehe Besides giving off sparks and spins, it crackles like a cracker bomb (very hard to describe with words)

Damage : 6baht for a pack of regular spinners, 3 baht for one crackling spinner.
Fun factor: 7/10 for regular, 8/10 for crackling

Magic shotguns are mentioned in my previous post before. A long tube which you hold in your hand, the other end of the tube consists of a fuse. you light the fuse and point the tube up in the air. Shots of colour sparks will shoot up into the sky and explode(like a mini flare) In this picture, you see shotguns with different amount of payload. (The metal ruler is a 15cm scale to let you gauge how long is the tube. The amount of payload is (from shortest) 5, 10, 20 and 60shots Whoohoo!!

Damage: 5 baht for 5 shots, 10 baht for 10 shots, 15 baht for 20 shots and 30baht for the 60!
Fun Factor: Overall 8.5/10

Last but not least, Basic Fireworks!

I bought the cheapest among the fireworks. This is the rocket firework or in chinese, 冲天炮. Basically, you plant the stick on some soft soil or ground, light it up and RUN.. hehehe the fuse will go 5 sec and a loud whistle will follow. The rocket with fly off into the air and explode into mini sparks and crackles. The little ones already pack a punch, could fly up to 15m and as loud as a normal banger. The bigger one also flys about the same distance but the whistle is much louder and will give our a bang and mulitiple crackles. (combination of a banger and crackler bomb). There are bigger ones but errrr.... wify not very happy liao...hahahah

Damage: 10 baht for a bag of 10 small ones. The big one cost 10 baht EACH (ouch!)
Fun factor: 8.5/10 for small one (especially fun with you manage to consecutively ignite 3 of them in one go) 9/10 for the big ones.

Loy, Loy Krathong! (Part 2)

After making our lantern. We went back home to rest as it will be very hectic in the night. Evening arrives and we had a simple dinner. I took some time off to take some pictures of our village party while my wife and baby prepares for the night. Click on picture below to see a photo blog.

Came back and we took off to the main road for the parade. Wife was with her friend's car. While I took the bike. Freaking crowded and we spend more time navigating through the roads rather than watching the parade.

After the parade, we went to collect our Loy Krathong from her friend's house and set off to the canal. At the canal, we took some time to walk around (there were lots of makeup stalls selling food, lanterns and other novelties) and bought more firecrackers and a big balloon lantern. After the final shopping went down to the bank to release the lantern. Before we release, we are suppose to close our eyes and say all the bad things (like confession) that we had done to the river or water into the lantern. After that, we release the lantern into the water and look at it till it leaves our sight.

Reached home and set the balloon off. Quite fun actually, have to wait for the hot air to fill the balloon up. After that is firecracker time! Yeah. Set loads of them off and Girl girl was transfixed by the lights and sounds (never cry leh!) hehehe.

Loy, Loy Krathong! (Part 1)

First, if you wish to know more about the festival. Check out here.

Xinhui woke up early as usual and we prepare ourselves for the day. Normally people already built their lanterns a few days before, but as wify promised a friend to build it together on the actual day. Thus the last minute rush. hehe. After dressing up, we proceed to the market to get the materials.

The usual lantern is made up of a round base (trunk of a palm tree). With flowers and leaves decorating it. We bought one medium size base (cheap cheap lah), flowers, pins, plastic pegs, candles and banana leaves. Its also in the market that we found the firecrackers (hehe).

We arrive at her friend's house and the whole household was involve in building their own little lanterns.

The base was covered in banana leaves and we folded little triangles of banana leaves to decorate around the circumference and top. Pins and decorative plastic pegs are used to hold the decor in place. Simple handi-craft. But loads of fun when you do it together. Sharing tips and comparing styles. Girl girl at first, seat quietly on Mama's lap before started to throw her temper. (干打雷,不下雨). Both of us have to take turns carrying her and make the lantern.

Anyway, here's the final product.

There are also lanterns made of cakes or paper oragami. But the one above is the traditional northern thai Loy Krathong. More to come in Part 2!

Toys you don't see in Singapore. (updated)

Its Loy Krathong in Thailand. Every kids here are playing with crackers or building their own lotus shape lantern floats to be released in water. I will cover more on the festival in my next post. This one touches more on firecrackers. Hehe

As you can see in the picture, there are 3 common crackers played by people here. For those around my age or older. You should recognise the sparklers and "Pop Pop".

The longtube (like a pencil) is the most shiok one. Its called "Magical Shotgun". Once lit, you held the end and it will shoot 5 sparks (or flares) up into the sky. Each shots comes with a different colour. Wife told me that she used to play a 30 shots (bloody long tube) when she was a kid. hehe .. Would really want to get hold of that!

Cost of the Sparklers and the tube of magic shotgun is 5 baht each. Pop Pop whole box is 10 baht. Dirt cheap and there are more varieties. Will buy more and test all of them. Haha. Too bad Singapore had banned these harmless explosives.

It also makes me wonder whether the new generations of kids in Singapore will ever know about these toys beside their TV or computer games. To me, all toys are a bit dangerous in certain areas. Firecrackers can be safe too if the adults are SUPERVISING. The thing is most parents just buy a toy and shove it into the kid's hands and forget about it. Things happened and they blame the product.


Went to the market this morning and found a shop selling all the firecrackers (see above pic) can see the round shape thingie and boxes on the top shelves?? Those are real fireworks!! Price range from 180 to 300 baht (the big fat one cost 280 though). I drooling with glee liao. But wife stare at me (give me the look) so did not buy any of those big ones. :(

Anyway, stock up on the mini "explosives" heheh.. Will post more pictures and maybe review them in another post. Back at a friend's place to work on our lantern.

Its Getting Cold!

One thing I really like about staying in Maesai is the weather during the autumn
and winter season. I woke up this morning at 5.30 am (my norm is 6.30am though) and check the tempreature.

hehehe. Shiok man! Its still humid though but it will get dryer once it hits late December. The best time to come to Northern Thailand is actually in late January till March. This period, the daily tempreature should be 24 degrees in the afternoon (now still hot, about 30 degrees in the afternoon).

Anyway, the sun was dawning when I woke up. So took a photo of the dawning sun in front of my driveway.

And here's one photo with my house properly exposed. Can spot the satellite dish??? hehe


I have a dog (type is Si Shi). Actually, its my wife one lah. I never agreed with her on that purchase (long story) but now since wife got baby. I took most of the time taking care of her. (Bath, Groom, Feed and of course, clearing the poo)

My dog got pregnant recently (see this old post for more info) and we had no idea who is the father (see here for some explanation too)

Anyway, Cindy gave birth to 4 lovely black puppies (3 girls, 1 boy) on 26 Sept 2006 on her own. Here's 2 photos of the event. Could not catch all 4 puppies at same time as Cindy was very very protective of them. She would growl at anyone near her newborn babies.

After a month, the puppies are a bit nuisance. They cried a lot and shit and peed everywhere. So I told my wife we better start giving them out. We had an argument about that as I wanted to give all the pups away while my wife wants to keep one. My reason is mainly I do not have the time to take care of 2 dogs. Moreover, 2 dogs means more shit for me to clean.

At first, my wife relented and decided to give all the dogs away. On 28th Oct (recently only). My wife's friend took 2 of the pups away. So now only left 2. Cindy was quite upset for the next few days. And my wife keeps nagging me that we should keep one. I relented after feeling quite bad for Cindy and decided to keep the male. The other female is going to be taken away soon by the Ah Ma next door (the one with 12 dogs), she said her friend is looking for one and would like to keep it.
I kind of regret not taking some photos of all 4 puppies while they are around (no time really). So I quickly snapped the last 2 as a momento that the boy (still no name yet) has 3 sisters.

Puppies are fun to play with, but their shit and pee is really a nuisance :P

Present from Chiang Mai (photos)

Two days ago, I went down to Chiang Mai to settle some stuff. Apparently the tenant of my condo in NaKornPin has left and I decide to take a trip down to check out my apartment (anything missing anot) Luckily, its a lady and she actually maintained the apartment quite well. Too bad she did not continue to rent my place. I would even reduce the rent a bit (she's a good tenant).

Since Chiang Mai is a bigger city (second biggest in Thailkand) decided to shop for some gifts for wify and girl. Wife easy lah, she has been asking for some make up stuff. Girl girl however headache leh. Looked around and this little pillow caught my eye..hehe. Really like the vibrant colours and the big smile. Cost about 350Baht. Quite resonable as the material is something like the LOFT Ball or Mogu in Singapore.

Packing this little bugger was a bit pain in the a** though. Anyway, manged to carry this back to Maesai and show to my baby.

Here's her reaction..
and a bit RA one hehehehe...

Nom Jing Bah Tu

This is a dish my wife loves to eat. See picture above.
Basically, Nom Jing stands for Chinese noodles. Bah Tu , is Mackerel (I think).

How you eat is simple, you grab some vegetables, normally lettuce or cabbage. Then you grab some fish and noodle, wrap or roll them all up in the vegetable, dip the chili sauce and munch in. Very easy dish to prepare as most of the stuff is raw, except the fish is deep fried.

The chili is the most important part for the dish as usual in Thai cuisine. Normally shallots, garlic and onions and some roots of a vegetable (must ask my wife on that root thingie) are pan fried and later pounded into a sauce.

My wife really likes to eat this... quite healthy actually but after some time, you might get sick of it (me sianz liao)... :P

By the way, can see where's the baby in the photo?? kekeke

Some old blog entries...

I was going through my old blogs in and stumbled on some entries that are worth mentioning here. Of course, most of the post are actually quite boring to read.

Here are some noticeable ones that I linked here for future references. Feel free to click to view the entries.

How to make Mac Fatt Choy - silly entry (recipe) on our favourite NAAPL joke

Hong Kong Trip - super long entry of my trip to HK (no pics though)

My reasons for blogging - as of title

Games I play - some games I enjoy playing and experiencing

A Reflection - a reflection on me on controlling heated debates

Very Funny Dream - funny dream of the kids at NSP with BC and others

Joy, anxiety and a lot of mix bag feelings - about being father soon

Tuk Tuk Incident -interesting encounter in Thailand

Maesai Violence - another interesting event in Maesai Thailand

GE 2006 Fatboy version - politics

Let's move on Part 2 - even more politics!!

A week on Fatherhood - first week experience of Xin Hui

Things you will never see in Singapore - one of the better blogs showcasing Thailand's creativeness in using their motorcycle

there are many more... if you are interested, you can go here and visit my old blog. :)

Girl girl likes poetry!!!

Xinhui enjoying my recitation of a classic Cantonese poetry

My Complications (BIG BIG PROBLEM LEH)

Some background. I first encountered my wife in Bangkok in year 2002. A friend introduced me to her and we have been in touch for years through phone conversation. I visit her quite often during 2004 in Maesai when she lost her job.

She is a Thai Yai. A politcal refugee from Myanmar who escaped into Thailand during an internal civil war between the Shans State and Myanmar Military Junta. She is holding a Green Card which states that she could not leave the state of Chiang Rai unless with proper papers from her district office in Mae Fa Luang.

When we found out she is pregnant with our baby. We were worried.

First, my wife current status does not grant my baby full Thai citizenship on birth. My girl will be granted only when she is 15 years or more and she studies in Thailand plus proof from other Thai citizens that she is indeed born and studied here.

Second, we can't get married. This is due to the fact that there are no laws in Thai legal system that allows a Thai Yai to marry a foreigner. The law states she could marry another Thai Yai or even a Thai national. But no laws were in place for her to marry a foreigner like me. So we could not register under Thai Marriage Law.

The above 2 problems gives me a situation that I could not apply for a type 'O' dependent visa for my stay in Thailand. An O visa is that I could stay in Thailand for a year and report every 3 months. All I need is a marriage certificate with a Thai or a birth certificate of my baby (which should be a thai national) to apply for one. Both citerias not met, which means I have to stick to Tourist Visa and do a visa run every month to Myanmar. Luckily, Maesai is just next to Myanmar. But now, Thai Law has changed again. Visa runs might not be possible anymore.

So my wife and baby are currently stateless. I tried going back to Singapore to get my baby a citizenship or even a PR. The immigration too, rejected my application as we are not married. I explained my situation to them that we could not get married due to the laws there and I could not bring her out to another country to get married too as she is stuck in Thailand. What a joke, I thought they want us to have babies but they are just as ruthless.

Anyone can help?

Why the title Singaporean[Quitter]

`Fair-weather Singaporeans will run away whenever the country runs into stormy weather. I call them "quitters".' Former Prime Minister Goh Chock Tong of Singapore at National Day Rally 2002

Think the above link summurise why the title. Hahaha. Anyway, if any of you bother to read the whole speech, 2 more paragraphs from the line above, will find that I might ber a "stayer"?

Number of people leaving and becoming quitters are of course, is still rising according to here.

I am not sure about myself as still I am on Tourist Visa in Thailand (more reasons on that later).

I like Singapore, I do and mainly because I grew up with my family and friends there. Every living memories of Singapore are still within me everyday and time over here in Thailand. But there are certain realities that I must come to terms with if I wish to stay in Singapore.

First, I have a baby and financially, I could not afford my wife and baby to be in Singapore. (EVEN if my wife and baby could come.)

Second, Education in Singapore is still stick to papers qualification and I do not want my baby girl to start competing so early. Kids over here are genuinely happy even without the fancy computer games or toys. I want my children to be in such environment.

Third, the amount of money I earned now in Singapore does not garuntee that I will retire early and have a easier lifestyle when I am old.

Fourth, I like Maesai, its peaceful and quiet. And of course, I have a big house here that I could never dream I could own one in Singapore.

In short, 10 or 20 years down the road, I most probably will find myself settling in Thailand for real . Unless there are some major changes in Singapore that suits my needs, I will be a quitter for sure.

A New Beginning

I have started blogging quite sometime ago under NAAPL website. Recently, it comes to me that the website is more of a communtiy portal for my Lion Dance Troupe rather than my own personal website (a lot of posts and stuffs totally not related to Lion Dancing).

Some friends of mine who are interested in only my posts and photos got lost under the NAAPL site. (Kena Complained) Thus, it has been in my mind to move my personal stuff out. This really helps in keeping both site organised.

Its also nice to learn that blogger is coming out this new beta version which allows more customisation and features. Moreover, I do not need to create another user account (can use my current gmail account). One less password for me to remember. Yeah!!

I will blog more often about my new family in Thailand, personal philosophy, social interests in Thailand and Singapore(Comaparison and Differences) and maybe some other nosense that do not fall into the above categories.

A New Beginning (Like Star Wars hor..... :P)