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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.