Thursday, September 9, 2010

Permission Granted!

September in Thailand is a very important time for me. It's the month I go to Immigration to renew my Non Immigrant-O (Retirement) Visa.

This Visa allows me to stay in in the Kingdom of Thailand year round without having to exit the country. The requirements for obtaining a Retirement Visa are pretty straight forward.

Today, I submited my paperwork and have been granted permission to reside in Thailand until Dec 2011.

I've been in Thailand since June 2006 and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A GREAT Time to Visit Thailand

Despite what you may have heard in the news, now is a great time to visit Thailand.

It is low season (May - Sep) and hotel rates are inexpensive. You can find great rooms for as low as 500 Baht a night ($16 USD)in resort areas such as Jomtien Beach & Pattaya.

Many airlines are offering lower fares to encourage the return of tourists.

Additionally, the Government has exempted all fees for Tourist Visas until March 31, 2011.

The eastern seaboard of Thailand was never affected by the political unrest that befell Bangkok.

So book a flight and enjoy amazing Thailand!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dave Carroll is my Hero!

Having been a travelling musician for the better part of 30 years I've seen my fair share of abuse levied on my Banjo by uncaring airline employees.

I try to hand carry my Banjo whenever possible but that is sole at the whim of what ever airline employee is standing in front of me at the time. No rhyme or reason...

A couple years ago folk musician Dave Carroll had his guitar destroyed by United Airlines. After going through the standard claim procedures (and being denied) he decided to do what musicians do best...sing!

And sing he did. On Youtube. To over 8 MILLION HITS!!!

Dave YOU are my hero!!

Happy Birthday Vince Eager

June 4th will be my good friend Vince Eager's 70th birthday.

Vince was a pioneer of 50's Pop / Rock in the UK along with Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Adam Faith etc.

I wrote an extensive blog about him in Feb 2009 here

Vince does a monthly radio show in England and tonight (June 3rd) he will be doing a very special show. Here's his note to me about it.

I've decided on a little self indulgence on my radio show this week which is on Thursday 3rd June. As it's my 70th birthday on Friday I'm gonna play the sound track to my life, well, the highlights! Hope you can join me at 9.00pm (UK time) on

I will be up at 3am Thailand time to catch it for sure. If you can't get it, here are a couple vintage Vince tracks from Youtube..

Wishing you a VERY Happy Birthday my friend!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Troubling Times in Thailand

For those of you who follow International News, undoubtedly you are aware of the ongoing political problems besetting the Kingdom of Thailand.

As a long term resident, I am saddened by the events but I must say I am not especially worried about my own personal safety. Not yet, at least.

The confrontations (so far) have been limited to Bangkok and to a lesser extent Chiang Mai.

Here is Pattaya, life goes on pretty much as normal.

There are decidedly fewer tourists in town than usual but otherwise you'd never know there was a problem (unless you watch the news).

My hope is that cooler heads will prevail and Thailand will again become the welcoming travel destination it has been for many years.

In the meantime, I go about my daily life and I'm thankful to wake up every morning in the land of smiles.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Downloading My Second Childhood

As my 56th Birthday rapidly approaches, I find myself drifting back to memories of my my youth. Having been born in 1954, I am of a generation who doesn't remember a time when there wasn't Television.

Today, with 500 channels of News, Entertainment, Music , Sports and Information at my fingertips, I find myself longing for a simpler time when there was only three choices and the world was (almost always) in Black & While.

Fortunately, the Internet can help me relive my youth.

By clicking on the above link, you'll be taken to Archive.Org, a video repository of Classic TV that is now in the public Domain. You'll find Ozzie & Harriet, Richard Diamond, My Little Margie, Our Miss Brooks, The Lucy Show, Roy Rogers, Pinky Lee, Bonanza,Howdy Doody, Life Of Riley, I Married Joan, Space Patrol, Studio One, Thriller, This Is Your Life, Medic, Dragnet and the list goes on and on...

You can watch them online or download them to your computer for later viewing.

But, because Man cannot live by TV alone, there is also a Feature Film Vault as well containing 100's of films. I especially enjoy the Sci-Fi from the 1950's that were a staple of my youth. Sure, they were low budget and quite often corny but who could resist The Giant Gila Monster, The Brain From Planet Arous or Earth Vs Flying Saucers!

So far I have about 100 Gig of Old TV & Movies. Using 512K MPEG4, That's about 500 Hours of viewing!

For the story behind the story, I heartily recommend the blog, Masters of My Public Domain written by my brother Mike Coston.

Now excuse me but Annie Oakley is coming on....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seven Days In March

Once again, Thailand holds it's breath as political divisions brings the country to the brink.

The "Red Shirts" have vowed a million man march in Bangkok starting this weekend to bring down the current government in 7 days.

Police have been mobilized and the ISA (Internal Security Act) has been invoked to give special powers to the government in times of crisis.

Many foreign governments have issued travel warnings to their citizens to avoid areas where demonstrations are likely.

So far, there are no outward signs of government preparation in my area (Jomtien Beach) and life goes on as normal.

As a foreigner living in Thailand, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on which side should prevail. That is a decision for Thais only.

As an American, I wouldn't want someone from Thailand (or any other country) telling me how America should run their government either!

Regardless of how this turns out, my prayers are with Thailand. I truly love this country and it's people and regard Thailand as my home.

Let's hope cooler heads prevail and Thailand returns to being "the Land Of Smiles"