Blog Newsreel

Blog Current Updates: 5/1/16
Heading back to New York City late May or early June. Since I'm trying to get back into blogging I hope to be able to supply a play-by-ply on the way. This trip I will be stopping at some exotic tourist "traps" I've bypassed in the past. This will be my last trip to the east coast for a few years. I plan to venture to Northern California and possibly British Columbia next summer.

Hyperactive Humor of the Day: 5/1/16
Yes, I've been a "weasel" and ignored my blog over the past year. I'm afraid I've been cheating with Facebook. Facebook goes straight to my many friends and it does make it very easy to post pictures, text and movies on the go. I'm looking into adapting to a format where it will be easier to post updates in a timely manner. I've been a little busy living life than posting about it. But look on the bright side. More content! Thanks to my readers who keep checking in. Obviously I'm not doing this for money. Yea! No Ads!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Tahn's Tour De Thailand, Part 2"

Chilling' street side outside our hotel in mid-town Bangkok.  People watching is always fun in a town that runs on tourism.  We had such a large number of people we had to pick our groups and then arrange transportation.  My kingdom for a motorcycle....or scooter!

The same area in the evening.  That is a huge modern mall across the street.

We had 4 days in Bangkok.  I wanted to hit all of the common tourist spots this trip so I can say I've seen them.  Temples, The Golden Palace and an extravagant buffet to celebrate the Moon Festival was on the schedule!

A banquet in Tahn's honor at a large Military Golf Complex in Bangkok.  These are are friends of Tahn's
from grade and high school.  He's been away a long time but who could forget him!

No trip to Bangkok would be complete without a visit to the bautiful Golden Palace.

The Golden Palace's main Temple.  

I'll include a collection of buildings.  Can't say I can give a proper description of each building but they were breathtaking.

The craftsmanship is amazing!

It must be good to be the King!
The Golden Palace was amazing.   It's definitely a national treasure.  The comment was made by our host that so many tourists were damaging the Palace.  I agree.  It is inconceivable to me to have such a treasure be used simply as a cash cow and not be protected.  They were squeezing as many bodies as they could through the place.  I can't even imagine the revenue it must bring.  I was told there was an outcry from the Thai people to take measures to limit the damage from tourist.  I hope they succeed.


Next we took a road trip to the coast to catch a water taxi for a 45 minute ride to the island of Koh Mak.  My host's old friend owns a lavish resort on the island.  So we were on the road again!

Waterfall we visited on our way to the water taxi.  

And yes the beer did make us jump off the rocks!

I just wanted to take a picture of me before I crossed the "Bridge of Death"!

View from our Resort.

Our humble abode on the resort island.
View on the beach at our resort Plubpla.

The rooms have two showers!  The out door shower could accommodate a baby elephant!

One of the bungalows facing the beach
The beautiful backdrop of our resort.
Our hosts at the resort.  Very gracious hosts.

My transportation for a week.  I can't ride an automatic!  My feet feel like they need to be doing something.

Our favorite watering hole on Koh Mak, the "Big Easy"!

View from the beach at the Big Easy.  At low tide you can actually walk out to this island!

Off on snorkeling adventure

Walking the plank to board the snorkeling charter.
Poy's butt.  
Wicker and Caj watching out for pirates as we head back to our resort after snorkeling.
My host Tahn's family cooking hot pot for us.  My favorite!
Last feast on our way back to Bangkok and the airport.

Tired puppies getting ready to leave Thailand.
A great trip presented in pictures.  It's much better to show you than to describe the trip.  I'll try to post some videos of the trip once I get a faster internet connection.
Hope you enjoyed the trip!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tahn's Tour-De Thailand Part 1

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand - betw...
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
between the C and the D gates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who's Tahn you say?  Be careful what you ask for!  Tahn and his "crew" are my adopted family from back in my college years.  His brother Tuey is my kind host in New Your every summer.  This November I accompanied Tahn and members of his family, mutual local friends and friend's of Tuey to their native Thailand.   This trip was primarily a long deserved vacation for Than and his family.  Tahn and Rennee, his wife, work long hours in their restaurant.  For them to close for a few weeks and is a challenge.  Then there's the logistics of taking his son and elderly mother as well as niece "along for the ride."

This trip was masterpiece of planning, transportation and logistics only made possible by Tuey's travel skills and Tahn's network of old friends in Thailand.  This was evident as we arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.  As our exhausted bodies exited the plane there were several young people holding signs that said "Rittiluechai" printed on them.  Thanks to Tahn's connection we had several golf carts pick us up right off the plane and take us to a private customs station.  What service!  It made me think Tahn must owe them money!
Thanks to Tahn's friend we made a smooth transition from the airport to our hotel.  His friend Kwang  took very good care of us and engaged an excellent chauffeur.  

Arriving at the Bankok airport.  Meeting Tahn and family's friends waiting at the airport.

The Arnoma Hotel in mid-town Bangkok.  An oldie but a goodie in an ideal area of central Bankok

Tired travelers checking into the Arnoma with our "butts" 12 hours behind us trying to catch up!

Gate with the King's image leaving the airport in Bangkok.  You become VERY familiar with the King's image since it is displayed prominently all over Thailand.  Mine is too, unfortunately it's on a "WANTED" poster!

We stayed about 4 days in Bangkok hitting the common tourist sites and visiting with Tahn's old friends.  Once again Tahn's friend Quang escorted us.  I takes a hero to take visitors to places you've seen a thousand times!  
The Arnoma Hotel was also the home of the $15 massage.  That's a "legitimate" massage.  
It's also great to just sit on the patio and watch the city drive and ride (scooters) by.

How many people live in Bangkok?

Always a busy street.

Food?  Yes that have that in abundance.  Just breakfast would fill you up until dinner.
Any time is a good time for dessert!

Oink! Oink!
The Arnoma was great to people watch from.  Across the street was a huge ultra modern mall.  But the action was at the local mall next door.  They sold more local products and food.  It was clean and modern too.

I only buy fresh tentacles!

But you know what takes the edge off a busy day of eating and walking...a beer garden of course.  And there just so happened to be right across the street.  

Chongo gets all the attention....but he lets me watch!

The waitresses even put up with Tahn the "Evil Elf".

Here's the whole crew in a group shot.  
Bangkok is great and the people polite and friendly.  But, since I know people only read for 3 minutes, I'll break this up into three stories.  I took so many pictures that are as interesting as any wisecrack I could say.  I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Escape from New York 2015 Part 2"

As promised I'm continuing details of this summer's motorcycle trip to NYC.  Each year I try to pick something different to do.  This year I wanted to attend a Broadway play.  My friend Tuey suggested going on the infamous "Cyclone" roller coaster in Coney Island (Video in previous post.) I had also decided to go to the Intrepid Museum on the Hudson River.  Other than those three things I just decided to spend money indiscriminately throughout Manhattan!

Did I mention I like Knoxville, TN.  Don't know why....
The play.  For months I tried to get my host to tell me the name of the play we bought tickets for.  He declined.  I knew there must be a catch.  Being the "progressive" he is I knew he had a big surprise for me.  I wasn't wrong.  Tuey chose the play "Fun Home".  The story was about the childhood of a cartoonist that had an unusual home life.  She grew up in a funeral  home with a father living a "closeted" existence and she coming to grips with her sexuality.  The play was actually nominated for a number of Tony's.  I believe it won a few.  It was a very good play and I enjoyed the experience immensely.

Entrance to "Fun Home"

Stage setup before the play.  The "Play Nazi's" were looking for cameras so
I had to be quick with the camera!
Actually, although I have devolved into a cave man, I did enjoy the play.  It was very well done and we sat on the FRONT row!  Attending this play taught me something.  There probably is no such thing as a "bad" play on Broadway.  Another friend of mine jokingly commented I was seeing an "Off-Off Broadway" play.  I might never know the distance but always trust my good friend's judgement.  I wasn't disappointed.  I should also mention that my NY friend said he had to "urbanize" me.  This mean shopping for "skinny" clothes.  At least I can fit into skinny clothing!   He must have been right because I noticed the street peddlers harasses much less after my fashion overhaul.

Another interesting visit was to the Ink 48 Hotel rooftop bar.  It had a magnificent unobstructed view of the city.  I don't think there could have been another public vantage point with such a great view of the skyline.

View from the rooftop bar Ink 48.

Myself after the police helicopter caught me in the search light!

Lighted pool and part of the interior of the Ink 48 rooftop bar.

The rooftop bars were fun.  And once again I thoroughly enjoyed mixing with the diversity of the city.  Meeting people from other cities, countries and backgrounds is the reason I travel on my motorcycle.  There's also the food!  Lubbock, Texas is said to have more restaurants per capita than almost any city in the country.  Too bad most of them aren't any good!  It's always a pleasure when Tuey takes me out to some of the more popular dining establishments.  The city is fluid and businesses come and go.  It just so happens most of them happen to be within walking distance.

Dinner at the Sojou House in NYC.  Awesome!

Daily fare at my friend's favorite lunch spot.   
After all of the eating, Tuey was determined to get me healthy and took me on the High Line Urban Park.  The High Line was a re-developed railway that had serviced a series of warehouses along the river front.  It has an elevated track that was turned into a walkway where you could walk, jog, or just enjoy the view.  It was a great project utilizing a unique feature of an older industrial period long gone.

Picture of the High Line Urban Park in NYC.
One thing I must say.  People are much slimmer in NY.  That's because you WALK everywhere!  Can't say that's a bad thing.  We in Texas are certainly spoiled when it comes to having vehicles.  Pick-up trucks rate up to the top of country songs.  Right next to dogs, ex-wives and tractors.  Older country references would include trains but we're moving into the "Bro-Country" era!

My friend lives in a nice quiet (for NY) neighborhood.  Despite being in Hell's Kitchen.  For someone that lives on a farm, it is always a change to see what walking out onto a busy street every morning looks like.

The "hood"!  West 53rd Street.  My temporary home.
Next we decided to try the movie thing again.  After last year's debacle "Godzilla", I was a little hesitant but we decided to see the next installment in the Avenger's Series.  Tuey favors an old theater from the 1920's called the "Ziegfeld Theater".  It was actually a great old restored theater.  The movies was a little over the top but it was much better than our experience last year.

Outside the Ziegfeld
Sot of the lobby and staircase of the Zeigfeld Theater.

Who doesn't love a grand staircase.  

Chandeliers, 'nuff said.

The inside seating of the Ziegfeld.  No, it wasn't sold out.

The balcony seating.  Ah the memories of all the evil things
I did in balcony seating came back to me.

The experience was better than the movie but again that's what I'm in NYC for!  I have so much more material and a hundred pictures which would overwhelm one post.  So I will break my trip into another post.  Part III!  Having a short attention span myself I don't want to overwhelm my readers!  Plus, I'm on my third beer so I might start inserting some weird commentary!