Monday, 30 September 2013

Travel, Sex, and Train Wrecks


What does one do when they’ve suffered a bad break up, and are trying to “find” themselves, but aren’t quite ready to deal with reality? Travel, of course.
And so begins the adventure, or should I say misadventure? Seven months taking on Southeast Asia trying to find the answers to life, God, relationships, and sex."
I'd spent the last five years overseas teaching English and was currently living in Taiwan. I was thirty three. My ten year marriage had fallen apart and I suddenly found myself single with no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had questions with no answers and a divorce I didn't want to deal with.
So, I ran. To Thailand. To Cambodia. To Vietnam. To India. To Sri Lanka. I mean really if you're going to go on the lam can you think of a better place than the exotic beauty of Southeast Asia?
In Travel, Sex, and Train Wrecks I present the whole sordid story of my journey. Just to give you fair warning it does involve sex, hot men with accents, Pad Thai, and bizarre travel situations. And it will probably leave you with an uncontrollable urge to travel to Thailand.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Storm Warning

Typhoon Wutip is forecast to hit the Vietnamese coast tomorrow morning and head for Nakhon Phanom.  Heavy rain is forecast for North East Thailand, including Udon Thani, over the next few days.  

From the Thai Meteorological Department
At 7.00 a.m. LST on 29 September, typhoon “WUTIP” centered 480 kilometers east of the Vietnamese coast or latitude 16.8 degree North, longitude 112.5 degree East, is moving west-northwest at speed of 10 km/hr with sustained winds about 130 km/hr. It is expected to make landfall over Hue, Vietnam during 30 September - 1 October. Thereafter, it will quickly decline before travelling to Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. Over the joint of both the North and Northeast, the storm is expected to decay, bringing more rain, isolated heavy rain and gust over the eastern and upper Northeast and the eastern North. Provinces include Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun. Tomorrow afternoon, an outbreak of rain is expected in the eastern Northeast.

Udon Thani FC - Regional Champions League Fixtures

The Regional Champions League starts October 6th and, for some reason known only to the planners, Udon starts with two away fixtures, and ends with two home fixtures.  Udon are in Group B

October 6, 2013 5:30 pm Bunsom Mardin Stadium, Sukothai Physical Education Institute
Sukothai F.C. – Udon Thani F.C.
October 13, 2013 5:30 pm Ang Thong Provincial Sports Stadium
Ang Thong F.C. – Udon Thani F.C.
October 19, 2013 6:00 pm Udon Thani Physical Education Institute
Udon Thani F.C. – Nakon Nayok F.C.
October 26, 2013 6:00 pm Sompot 700 Anniversary Stadium, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai F.C. – Udon Thani F.C.
November 3, 2013 6:00 pm Udon Thani Physical Education Institute
Udon Thani F.C. – Paknampo NSRU F.C.
November 10, 2013 4:00 pm Nakon Sawan Provincial Sports Stadium
Paknampo NSRU F.C. – Udon Thani F.C.
November 17, 2013 6:00 pm Udon Thani Physical Education Institute
Udon Thani F.C. – Chiang Mai F.C.
November 24, 2013 4:00 pm Nakon Nayok Provincial Government Stadium
Nakon Nayok F.C. – Udon Thani F.C.
November 30, 2013 6:00 pm Udon Thani Physical Education Institute
Udon Thani F.C. – Ang Thong F.C.
December 7, 2013 6:00 pm Udon Thani Physical Education Institute
Udon Thani F.C. – Sukothai F.C.

Bangkok Exit: Seized, Stung and Stripped in Thailand

Cover for 'Bangkok Exit: Seized, Stung and Stripped in Thailand'

Buy and Download

Teachers College didn’t prepare him for this! Stung by a scorpion, coerced into singing an 80’s Karaoke love duet with his tearful boss - twice, performing military drills under the guise of teacher development and living in a desolate, eerie house surrounded by swamp and jungle are a sample of Ryan Humphreys’ amazing but true experiences during his first year of teaching in a Thai school, traveling throughout Thailand and adapting to life in a new and exotic country. This good life abroad story is filled with suspense, travel, romance, and most importantly, lots of humor. Join Ryan on his stimulating journey through exotic Thailand as he reveals a side of this fascinating country and its people you have never seen. 

By Ryan Humphreys
Published by booksmango
Rating: Not yet rated. 
Published: April 16, 2011 
Words: 66,150 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9786167270418

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Thailand News.......

Three giant modern-trade operators - Tesco Lotus, Big C Supercentre and Makro - have agreed with the Commerce Ministry to freeze or reduce the prices of more than 2,000 consumer goods and foods until the end of the year, as part of efforts to rein in the rising cost of living.

The Energy Ministry is soliciting bids from households and businesses keen on investing in rooftop solar panels to generate electricity for sale to the government.

The Royal Thai Army has declared war on pad kaphrao. A sign banning the spicy stir-fried basil dish appears in the canteen at the Office of the Army Secretary in Bangkok. Evidently senior officers disliked the odour created by all that garlic and chilli commingling with basil.


The American arrested in Phuket on drug trafficking charges led a group of former military snipers who killed people for money, US officials say.


Ministry of Finance says it will stimulate a “Shopping Paradise” tourism campaign with a planned reduction of taxes on luxury goods from 30% to 5%.
Ministry permanent secretary, Areepong Bhoocha-oom, said on Tuesday that the new tax package would be wrapped up by next month to help generate more revenue from foreign tourists during the year-end shopping campaign.


My Thai Eye

Cover for 'My Thai Eye'

A wry look at Thai life by British ex-pat, Edwin Tipple. In his many extended visits to Thailand, he never ceases to be amazed by ordinary Thai people: the way they organise things - like the way they travel - their kindness and outlook on life. All, except one, of the twelve short tales in this book are amusing experiences you're unlikely find in any travel guide. 

By Edwin Tipple
Rating: Not yet rated. 
Published: Jan. 05, 2012 
Words: 9,410 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465997494


Friday, 27 September 2013

Travel News

Nok Air cuts fares on domestic routes for travel late October to the end of November this year.
The promotion sells a one-way fare, inclusive of taxes, departing Bangkok (Don Mueang) at Bt1,100 to Phitsanulok, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.


Qantas is offering “premium economy” promotional fares to Australia and New Zealand on its Boeing 747-400 aircraft, available for sale until 15 January 2014.
In line with an increase in services over the upcoming holiday season, Qantas has assigned a Boeing 747-400 aircraft to operate between Bangkok and Australia for two months from 1 December 2013 to 31 January 2014.

The swap from an Airbus A330 to a Boeing 747-400 will give the airline 4,588 additional seats on the route travelling from Thailand to Australia over the Christmas and New Year holiday season.


Thai AirAsia offers cheaper fares for passengers who travel to China from October this year to January 2014.
The promotion sells a one-way fare inclusive of airport taxes and fuel surcharges, ex-Bangkok (Don Mueang), to Chongqing and Kunming at Bt1,990, Shenzhen and Wuhan at Bt2,290, Guangzhou at Bt2,490, and Xi’an at Bt3,400.

A Bt2,690 fare is on offer to Hong Kong and Macau.


Thailand Travel Tales

Cover for 'Thailand Travel Tales'

Have you been to Thailand? Are you planning to go to Thailand? Then Thailand Travel Tales is a great book to get you ready for your first or 15th trip. Thailand Travel Tales is jam packed with solid information that you need to know as well as great stories about Thai culture, Language and humorous stories about learning your way in Thailand.

There are also many trip reports on some of the biggest attractions in Thailand such as Wat Pho, Bangkok's floating market, The Sanctuary of Truth, Bangkok's Chinatown and many more.

You won't want to miss the Illuminated boat festival, Loy Krathong ( festival of lights) or my personal favorite Songkran, the world largest and longest 3 day water fight.

And don't forget about the wonderful Thai food or Beautiful Thai women, it's all included in tales that are sure to make you laugh, sigh and think about booking your next vacation.

Thailand Travel tales is also chock full of photos of the beauty that is Thailand with links to galleries where you can look at over 12,000 Thailand photos.

By Timothy Bull
Rating: Not yet rated. 
Published: Aug. 01, 2011 
Words: 60,740 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465754028


Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Interpreter’s Journal - Stories from a Thai and Lao Interpreter

Cover for 'The Interpreter’s Journal - Stories from a Thai and Lao Interpreter'

Sometimes a brilliant lawyer just isn’t enough…

Benjawan reveals the story of her experience as a professional Thai and Lao interpreter, graphically showing how she works in legal settings including courtrooms and jails. She demystifies the conflicts that many Thai-Western couples face after moving to the US. Find out what happens when individuals who don t speak the language end up in criminal, civil and family courts. But this story is also a personal one, relating the author's journey from humble beginnings in rural Thailand to become a professional interpreter in the San Francisco Bay area.

Read Benjawan’s true life stories about...

* Her childhood growing up in Thailand

* How she acquired her language skills

* Her path to becoming an interpreter

* Why Thai women are interested in marrying Westerners

* Thai-Western relationships after couples move to the US

* Differences in culture, language, value and personality

* Story of the author's personal Thai-Western relationships

* Her life and work in the US

* Lao and Thai people in the US

* How interpreters work in legal settings

* Difficulties and challenges interpreters face

* Studying foreign languages

* And a lot more

This book is an entertaining and informative read for legal professionals, those who work with interpreters, expats living in Thailand and Laos or anybody who simply enjoys a good read.

By Benjawan Becker
Rating: Not yet rated. 
Published: May 21, 2011 
Words: 67,300 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452431178


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Thailand Old Hand

Peter Jaggs has the unerring ability of being able to blunder into a good story wherever he travels in Asia.Whether perusing the bars and brothels of Pattaya and Angeles City, meeting up with an archaic spirit doctor in the wilds of the Isaan countryside, losing his way in the war-time tunnels of Cu-Chi in Vietnam, becoming embroiled in a punch-up with the local tough-guy in a Philippine backstreet or encountering an ethereal ghost on a deserted, moonlit beach in Thailand, he tells the tale....

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Motorbike Accident

Cover for 'Motorbike Accident'


Have you ever seen Thai people ride bikes on Koh Samui? If not, then you're missing a lot. They drive around the island with children and dogs on their laps or with bird boxes and flower tubs in their hands, or with fired up stoves or six-meter boards and bamboo tables. What is remarkable and different is that it is mainly «farangs» who fall (name for foreigners in Thailand). And this happens quite often.
Motorbike accidents are certainly a tragedy, but everything that happens in Thailand is somehow funny. Therefore, this book is written in the genre of "black comedy". 

By Olga Skvirskaya
Published by booksmango
Rating: Not yet rated. 
Published: April 13, 2011 
Words: 20,200 (approximate)
Language: Russian
ISBN: 9786162220647

There's a Gecko on My Wall

Canadian Carmen Bourcier accepts a teaching job in Thailand. The initial one year contract becomes a five year stay in a world where everything is new to her. Her search for adventure ultimately becomes a journey of self discovery.Growing up in government housing and being painfully shy, she found it difficult to fit in. She befriends Veronica, a neighborhood girl three years older than herself.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Quick trip

Quick trip into Udon today.

Only one problem, Tiger insisted on following me when I left the house.  Six attempts later got the Baht Bus to Nong Han, and for once an Udon bus was waiting.

The purpose of the trip was Immigration for an extension of stay, accomplished in under five minutes including queuing time.  Now it's time to plan a Laos trip

Followed it up with a breakfast at Seaside.  It could based on this morning become my new favorite haunt.

Back at the resort.  Next trip penciled in for Thursday if Roger gets his bus ticket from Pattaya

This is Thailand

“This is Thailand” is the riveting real-life account of Marek Lenarcik’s blind leap from the safe, comfortable and utterly bullshit, corporate world of Dublin to the charming, exotic beaches of Thailand.With rose-tinted glasses firmly in place, Marek fully expects to find a land of exotic fruits, beautiful women and an easy-going tropical lifestyle. Which he does. At first.Traveling from Phuket to Bangkok and throughout Thailand’s exotic locales, Marek’s desire to experience all the forbidden

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Missing Presumed Dead

Robert Rockingham a homicide detective and his girlfriend Holly, a missing person’s detective, spend Christmas skiing as Robert’s estranged family vacate in Phuket.In Thailand, Marie, Robert’s ex-wife, his brother, his family and Georgina, Robert’s daughter are caught in the mayhem of the 2004 Tsunami.Towards the end of Christmas Day Robert receives a phone call from the precinct Captain telling him to turn the TV on.To his terror he watches a news programme covering the Asian Tsunami.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Congratulations to Thailand - Asian Women's Volleyball Champions

Thailand v Japan - Asian Women's Senior Volleyball Championship Final

Thailand got off to a good start against Japan backed by a noisy home crowd that packed the arena in Korat, standing tickets were added to help accomodate the large crown that had descended.

Thailand entered the final with two advantages, the partisan home crowd and the knowledge that they had beaten Japan earlier in the competition.

I didn't need to watch the TV to know progress, the shouts and screams from Nit and family told it all.

Thailand took the first two sets and set up a 10-5 lead in the third set.  They stretched their lead to 15-8, powering on to 20-13.  Thailand closed the third set, and championship out at 25-17 seconds ago

The Thai Way of Meekness

The Thai Way of Meekness is a commentary on a thesis by the Thai academic Dr Ubolwan on the reasons Christian evangelism failed in Thailand. That the early missionaries did not understand what she classified as the 7 main Thai characteristics is her conclusion for their failure to make even one conversion. This book concludes that understanding the native culture is a prerequisite to success.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Thailand through to the final beating China in five sets

Whatever the plan that was hatched it worked as Thailand won a tight semi final against China in the Asian Women's Volleyball Championship being held in Korat.

On to the final tomorrow.

Thailand Travel News

Airports of Thailand says it will build a third runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport within two years as a backup to prevent air traffic congestion in the event one of the main runways needed to be closed.
AoT chairman, Sita Divari, said on Tuesday that the new 2,900-metre runway will be built on the western side of the airport, to serve only in an emergency.

The AoT Board of Directors approved the  proposal after a Thai Airways International aircraft skidded off  the runway earlier this month, forcing AoT to close the runway for four days.


Bangkok Air Special Offers

Bangkok Airways has introduced a promotional fare for passengers travelling to Cambodia’s Siem Reap until March next year.
The promotion sells a round-trip fare at Bt7,450, exclusive of airport taxes, departing Bangkok to Siem Reap.

The fare is valid for bookings until 30 September for travel through to 31 March, next year. Passengers can save around 7% off standard fares.


Bangkok Airways sells discount fares on routes to Samui island one of Thailand’s top holiday destinations.
A one-way fare to Samui, exclusive of fuel surcharges, insurance and airport taxes, sells at Bt2,490 ex-Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) and U-Tapao (Pattaya).
Passengers can book the fare until 30 September for travel 1 November to 30 December this year.

The fare saves around 25% off standard fares.



Cathay Pacific sells discount fares to passengers travelling in its premium economy class from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket to selected international destinations through to 15 December this year.
The offer promotes its recent remake of cabin features and services.

Round-trip fares, exclusive of taxes and surcharges departing Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket to Manila cost  Bt14,940, Bt22,560 to Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, and Bt24,210 to Tokyo.


Thais hatch plan for mighty China

World No 16 Thailand powered past Taiwan to set up a meeting today with defending champions China in the semi-finals of the 17th Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship at Chatchai Hall.

Yesterday Thailand defeated Taiwan 25-13 25-14 25-23 in the knockout quarter-finals. It was the second time in a month that the AVC Cup winners had beaten their ASEAN arch-rivals, after a straight-sets win in the World Women's Volleyball Asian qualifier in Japan.

Read More in The Nation

Last Bus To Korat

While vacationing in his wife's small hometown in Thailand, Bob Swift, a crass, overly opinionated, somewhat dimwitted, nearly retired, beer loving good old boy, takes a solo bus trip into the treacherous big city. Swift is a likable American whose outspokenness and simplistic take on the strange culture leads him into bizarre situations, weird encounters, and odd friendships.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Thai Cruz by Robert Bell
Thai Cruz, the second part of the Cruz series is now available from Smashwords and Amazon.
It will shortly be available from Kobi, iBookstore and other online bookstores
Simon arrives early in Manila to surprise Cruz and his friends, to find they have surprises of their own. But the reason for the visit is to get them away, get them to Thailand for a break and let them compare cultures. Simon hopes for culture shock, and succeeds with what he shows them. It helps them put Luke into perspective. In Nut they find a soul mate as they find the similarities between their lives. Thai Bars aren’t what the guys were expecting, and in many they aren’t comfortable as Simon starts at the rough end.

Of course, Nut doesn’t have a ‘Luke’ to deal with. As the holiday passes, Simon realizes that something has to be done about Luke. He devises a permanent solution if everyone agrees

The story concludes in Cruz Control when Simon and Nut arrive in Manila, and Luke is dealt with before the weddings. Or so they think.

What happened in Filipino Cruz -

Simon wants to put things right with Ace. Except Ace is really Cruz. Simon travels to Manila in the hope that he can meet Ace, and Leonardo. And Leonardo is really Matt. Welcome to the world of stage names. Simon wants to talk, and put aside the ill feelings; part as friends, or learn he had been right a year earlier and leave for ever. He wasn’t sure why, but it seemed the right thing to do.
It was Ace who had kept him coming back to Manila. He had met him in a macho dancer bar. He was new, young, naive. Fresh from the provinces. Shy, always kept his underwear on. Maybe that’s what intrigued Simon. And with very little English. That’s where Rey had come in. The staff had brought Rey over to help translate. Simon had tried to ignore Rey, but he kept butting in, and asking for a drink. He was about to tell the staff to remove Rey when this other guy walked over. Tall, handsome. He introduced himself. He was Leonardo, Rey’s cousin. If he hadn’t found Ace, Simon would have gone for Leonardo.
There had been something about Ace. Simon couldn’t place it. He tried a few times in the early days to get Ace alone, but he seemed too shy. But all that changed.
Now, Simon’s return starts a chain reaction. Brothers and cousins, parents. All realise it’s time to be true to themselves, and find happiness. Except Rey. For Rey, there will be loneliness unless he can accept things. It turns out that he can’t and that despite having sex on stage with boys, he can’t accept that his brother and cousin are gay. Or that they have boyfriends. He hates that his attempts to cut Cruz out of the picture with Simon have failed, and that Cruz and Matt are now boyfriends, living together.
Rey, who is really Luke, can just about cope with the fact that his mother is remarrying, Tim isn’t that bad. But his brother John, and Cruz’s brother Paul as boyfriends. It’s all wrong. He can’t see that they are being honest, and true to their feelings. To him what he does to earn money, and what they do in their personal lives, however similar, are totally different.
A series of battles follow as Luke sinks into the state where he’ll do almost anything, with just about anyone to repay his debts. Money he’d borrowed and frittered away. Debt that is mounting when he misses payments. In the process, he’d lost his family. But if they were going to against everything the bible taught, then he didn’t want them. He knew his work was wrong, but it was only until he got some money, and he did go to church every morning to ask forgiveness and make penance.
The climax of Filipino Cruz is a meeting between Luke and the others, where Cruz and his friends take their pound of flesh, and Luke feels he walks away the stronger, even if a total outcast.


More Rain On The Way

A tropical depression in the South China Sea is threatening to hit Thailand today and tomorrow, raising concerns over flash floods, especially in Ubon Ratchathani and the lower Northeast.

Read More at Bangkok Post

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Crystal Hill Garden Resort - January 2010 - The Beginning

Actual construction started a few days later

Ice Delivery in Nong Han and Ban Chiang

Ice Delivery Service covering Nong Han and Ban Chiang.

Daily Delivery Service

35Baht per large bag

Ice Box Provided Free
[subject to minimum consumption levels] 

Warning - Due To maintenance Work Your Train May Arrive On Time

Rail passengers in Phitsanulok are being warned that trains stopping there will be more punctual during the 45-day track maintenance period for the far northern railway, and should ensure they arrive at the station on time so they don't miss their train.

Read More

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Food Shop At Crystal Hill Garden Resort - Now Open

Our new food shop is open daily and we are slowly expanding our menu.  However if you do have special requests, talk to Lak in advance and give her enough notice to get ingredients from Nong Han, if necessary.

Life in Inspiring Isaan Mirror Site

This site is now mirrored at

Monday, 16 September 2013

Crystal Hill Garden Resort - The Rooms

Bangkok Air add Udon Thani

Effective November 29, 2013 Bangkok Air will introduce a twice daily flight between Bangkok and Udon

PG351 leaves Bangkok at 0725, arriving Udon at 0830.  The return PG352 leaves Udon at 0915, arriving Bangkok at 1020

PG355 leaves Bangkok at 1845 arriving Udon at 195.  The return PG356 leaves Udon at 2035 arriving Bangkok at 2140

And of course Bangkok Air use Suvarnabhumi so offer an alternative to Thai Air, whilst Nok Air and Air Asia use Don Muang.

Bangkok Air's best fare is quoted at 1,790Baht one way for bookings until September 3 and travel between Nov 29 and Mar 31, 2014

Tourist Courts

Pattaya Tourist court has resolved it's first case - READ MORE

Meanwhile AOT gets in on the act with a court office at Suvarnabhumi airport, accepting complaints 24 hours a day - READ MORE

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Crystal Hill Garden Resort - Contact Details

Got questions?

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Crystal Hill Garden Resort - Directions

The resort is easy to find on the edge of Kokthawon village, 9km south of Nong Han Town.
The Thai Diamond series of books by Robert Bell tells the story of a group of Thai bar boys who hit it big with the help of some Farangs, a bit of luck and a lot of hard work.
Robert has based a lot of events, particularly in Rough Diamonds, closely on things that actually happened to him, or his close friends, since he moved to Thailand.  A lot of the stories ring true as Robert maintained the core of the sequence of events, but maybe changed the final result.  Many of the more surprising happenings, such as Kenmg’s death and funeral, are closely based on real life experiences.  The characters are fictional.  In some cases, a mash up of boys, and Farangs, he met in Thailand.  The same with locations.
The story revolves around Rot and his friends as they start from humble beginnings.  They are helped emotionally, and financially, by a small group of Farangs.  Chance meetings play their part as does a willingness to never say never.  What gets the Farangs on board is the guys desire to improve life for the bar boys.


The story of the Thai Diamonds starts in ROUGH DIAMONDS.  Somrot Weangmakham, Rot, is persuaded by his brother, Rit, to go and work at Diamond Boys when it opens.  Rit has the job of organising shows and Rot agrees on condition that he only does the shows.  He told Rit no go-go dancing in his underwear and no going with customers, unless they were young, hot and female.  Rit told him that going with customers was not compulsory, but that he really needed some help to get the shows started.  Rot wasn’t worried; he just did not want his brother to know about his distant past.  He knew the rough end of the trade, but that was a secret.  Rit could never be allowed to know what had happened in Bangkok.
There is something about the Diamond guys, whether it is fresh faced Run, straight from the village; Cap who had done his round of the bars or Keng who had at nineteen already spent a lifetime in the bars.  A bond would tie them.  They endure all that Pattaya has to throw at them, including death and rape.  They come through it all stronger, harder and more determined.
Cap and Run use every tool at their disposal to save enough money to escape Pattaya and build a new future in Udon.  But their friendship with the other Diamonds continued.  They have moved on, but there is unfinished business.
Two Farangs, Michael Barnard and Geoffrey Shotton befriend the guys and help them along their way.  Geoff supports Cap and Run in their battle to move north, whilst Mike befriends Rit and Rot.  When Rot leaves for the army, Mike and him grow closer as Rot starts to decide on his future path, one that will surprise many.
Keng dies and guides their futures from beyond the grave; their guardian spirit will only rest once they have accepted their fates and built a future, but they have to work out his riddles.
The pivotal event is Rit’s night at the Hilton, and it’s aftermath.  That one night that Rit spends with a young Farang causes him to evaluate things, and force a fight with his brother.  A fight that will lead Rot to make the decision that will set the future for all the Diamonds.


The guys are back and on a mission in DIAMOND FELLOWSHIP.  Keng continues his task of helping his friends find their futures.  As friendships are renewed, the Diamonds set down a path that will see them change the face of Diamond Boys, and Pattaya.
They gain revenge on some of those who crossed, exploited and abused them in their youth.  To get there they have to work undercover for the police to expose a side of Thailand that most of them were once part of, the side the Thailand where some lost their innocence at a young age.  In many ways it was all for Keng, their soul mate, who started young and died at 20.
Not everyone is destined to be a Diamond, some are on a route to self destruction.  In sorting them out they make some unlikely allies, who in time will become Diamonds even though Thailand is not their home country.
Rot finally declares his feelings, ones that he has hidden from everyone but Mike, and together with Run, leads the Diamonds towards the bright future.  Now that Mike has bought Diamonds they have a secure future, but also a debt to repay.
Robert reveals eight faces of the Thai Diamonds in the concluding book of the Thai Diamond trilogy, FACETS OF THAI DIAMONDS.  They put their former lives behind them and take on the best, and worst, that Pattaya has to offer.
We finally discover what happened in Bangkok when Rot went to work there aged sixteen and how he met Oot.  This first facet is a story of innocence lost.
Mike’s family arrives for a Christmas that will lead to life changing events, particularly for Mike’s nephew, Scott, who comes out in a spectacular way back in England, determined that his future lies elsewhere.
But for some of their number, the future is not with Diamonds.  Some guys just seem to self destruct.  And changes are afoot which strengthen, and expand the fellowship.  Keng finally achieves his goal, and his spirit moves on, but not without drastic effects to the fellowship.
They face new challenges, and when Scott, his brother and cousins, spend the summer working in Pattaya on college projects, it seems destined that the Diamonds will have even bigger success.
Decisions are taken and lives change for the young Diamonds, now not just Thai, but Russian and English.  With the help of their elders, who see the potential, they take on the world.
Peter and Ivan reveal how their innocence was taken from them in Russia, and how they came to be living in Thailand with Tim as yet another facet of the story is revealed.
In the four and a half years we have followed them, the Diamonds, whether Thai or Farang have matured and grown in stature.  Whether it was chance, or fate, that brought them together, what they created as a team is an unstoppable phenomenon.  They know what they like.  They know what they want.  They know when action has to be taken.  There are two ‘F’ words that aren’t in their vocabulary.  ‘Fear’ and ‘Failure’.  They built their businesses on a firm and stable footing, and look forward to a future that does not involve revealing their bodies on stage.
The trilogy is concluded, but life continues.  Thanks to Tim and Mike’s family, and with hard work they now control their future.  For some, life becomes more of a routine.  For others there are new challenges.  Not everyone who crosses their path is destined to become a Diamond, but those who do form the ultimate brotherhood.
New faces appear on the scene, and with them new challenges.  Rot, Run and Scott lead the Diamonds, as they work together with one goal, that of improving life in Pattaya and making a success of their business.  Sometimes there is a fear that the former may have an adverse effect on the latter.  But if the former means cleaning up town, then that takes priority.
In FINAL CLOSURE, Paul Swift retires and plans a peaceful life in Thailand.  He soon finds Soi Opal and the bars become a regular hang out.  He wants no pressure, no faces from the past, and no more snow!  Then he recognizes someone.  A face from the past that represents unfinished business; a face that brings his time working in Germany back to the fore; but a face that makes him reconsider retiring to Pattaya.  He enlists the help of Jeng, one of the dancers at Run Coyote that he has befriended, and they start to investigate.
As he digs deeper, he finds his foes from Germany are back up to their old tricks, and some new ones.  It’s time to put a spanner in their works.  It’s time to try and finally finish what was started years ago.  He calls on old friends to help.  In the course of his self imposed mission, he makes new ones amongst the Thai Diamonds as they help to close down the operations, but this time they need assistance from lawyers and the police if they are to succeed.  Colonel Wichai, ‘Chai’ from Bangkok is given the job.  A job considered by many to be too hot to handle.
They face challenges and situations that once again, for some, bring back their early life.  To understand what happens in Pattaya, you need to understand what happened in Germany almost twenty years earlier.  Paul was looking for closure on events in Germany.  Could he finally get to the truth that had eluded them?  And will closure, if obtained, be what he expects?
No one was expecting the explosive happenings that shook things and caused them to evaluate their involvement.  And whilst the fictional Pattaya, and characters that Robert created in his earlier books may be familiar, Final Closure is about retribution and revenge.  It is about Paul’s journey to put demons to rest.  But for the Diamonds it is another clean up job.  In the end they get closure, Thai style.  Not the closure that Paul expected; not the type of closure Paul ever expected to experience.  He’d have preferred justice for his foes to death.


Or did they get closure?  Did they finally get the prove they looked for so long in Germany.  Paul and Frank thought at first that with the death of Matthias, they had closure.  But they realized they were missing someone, the mastermind.  In THE FIFTH MAN they resume their search.  They didn't believe they had everyone, and no one was talking.  There were too many loose ends.  Paul and Frank look for the puppet master, the person who controlled everything, now and twenty years ago.
Meanwhile, Chai has his new job and sets up his new undercover team recruiting Jeng and some of the other guys who had helped.  They find that their first cases are not only linked to each other, but linked back to the Matthias case, and to early Thai Diamond History as Run is forced to relive his rape yet again.  It seems someone wants operations closed, and the police to do the job for them.  But Chai isn’t playing that game.
Diamond Detectives cut their teeth on these new cases, but as it becomes clear that everything is linked, everyone wants the Fifth Man.  The problem is, even though they become certain of who it is, how do they prove it in a court of law?  They didn’t want to go down the Matthias route.  Karen suggests the Bratislava solution.
They play a risky game through to its conclusion, and everything about Germany finally becomes clear.
Life is not over for the Diamonds and Robert is currently working on the sixth book, POLISHED DIAMONDS.  The group face new challenges and witness arrivals and departures.  The core of the group remains and the focus of everyone is on the weddings of the three Barnards, and Peter and Ivan.  But Pattaya is Pattaya, and the life of the Diamonds is never straight forward.
Tim and his friends have to deal with shock news and a death at Barnies is not what it seems.  Sebastiano arrives determined that he can renew his friendship with Paul, and show his family that he can succeed alone.
Despite various road bumps along the way the weddings pass off as planned, well almost.  Diamond Detectives get involved in investigating scams, on Thais and Farangs whilst others see an opportunity to invest.  Peter and Ivan face their new life as married men whilst facing the prospect of a future without Tim.
The older Farangs keep trying to get back into retirement, but there is always something to disturb them.
POLISHED DIAMONDS is scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter of 2013 by Thai Diamond Books and will be available through Amazon, Smashwords and other online retailers of eBooks.

Thai Football

Udon Thani face Roi Et later today in the final game of the Thai League Season.  Roi Et are already champions of Division 2 - North East, and Udon are guaranteed second.  Of course the season isn't over with play offs to come.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

TV Transfers

The decision was taken.  As True no longer had English Premier League, we'd change to CTH, if we could find out who provided it in Udon.  It turned out to be simple.

We saw a installation van in Udon and noted the phone number.  Called mid afternoon and, after taking details, we were told someone would call.

Except someone didn't call.  An installation crew turned up at ten the next morning and by midday we had a CTH satellite dish and service.

One month on and having been through the English Language channels, there is nothing much I miss against TRUE, with the possible exception of the BBC Channels.  And in fact I am more likely to find something to watch if I am bored on CTH.  And the bonus, we are saving money against the TrueVisions subscription.

We have more service interruption problems due to weather conditions, but we are pointing at a Vietnamese Satellite dish!

Thai Diamond Books

Thai Diamond Books has a new site with information on all books by Robert Bell, including those published by Bangkok Books. Books by other authors are also featured.

Visit Thai Diamond Books Here