Archive for the ‘From Tom’s Desk’ Category

Scientology, Clearwater, Florida, and the Seperation of Church and State

I wonder what would happen if a local Catholic Bishop, or senior Jewish Rabbi were part of these headlines.
Clearwater Council defends meetings with Church of Scientology
Editorial: Clearwater officials should not surrender to Church of Scientology

Scientology (look at wixipedia, or elsewhere is big, buildingwise in Los Angeles, Claifornia it is HUGE relative to the population. Downtown Clearwater is a ghost town. There is no shortage of empty buildings.


From Tom’s Desk, From the USA February 2017

I arrived back in the States after 18 plus years in Thailand June of 2014. The pupose was to get my Veterans Administration disability reviewed and to sort out Social Security and Medicare. During my time in Thailand I maintained occasional contact with friends in the States I returned to Clearwater in Florida as an old friend put me in contact with a friend of his who had a place to rent at a reasonable price. Having a credit rating in the states is essential, without it one is powerless,
Anyhow the point of this post is to reflect differences in life in the states as it differs from life 20 some years ago, from my eyes.


2017, New Year,From Tom’s Desk My opinion on Life, The Universe and other miscellany

To make a not so long story shorter IMHO ingeneral the people that govern the United Staes have done a pretty crappy job over the past 50 years. The qualityof education has certainly fallen. The infrastructure is in definite need of repair and upgrade. Health care is expensive annd confusing. Only about 50% participate in elections, but it seems that 90% complain, apathy run rampant. Technologically there have been many advances, but much of it is nit affordable to many. Although most peoiple now have healthcare, high deductibles and premiums impose economi pain on many. Sure, there are many things “good” about the States, but a lot needs to be done to make thing better for the average Joe.


Holiday Hello, From Tom’s Desk


Best wishes to all and thanks to Sean Sullivan for sending the following. I had never seen it before. Best to all

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . .


From Tom’s Desk, Mourning the King of Thailand, and Isaan Update

kingThe Thai people are finding many ways to mourn the loss of the man who was their king for 70 years. When first visiting a number of the King’s and Queen’s Projects here in Northeast Thailand, Isaan I was amazed that so few people were aware of the existance and location of these sites. When I first stopped in Sawang Daen Din in Sakon Nakhon searching for the project in Kut Na Kham I had the name of the place and project name in Thai. Okay it is actually in Charoen Sin District adjacent to Sawang Daen Din, but a project of this size I thought District Officers or school teacher might have some knoewledge.
Same with the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Center, a few kilometers outside Sakon Nakhon town. Few people have ever heard about it and even fewer have visited.


Tampa, Florida to Sakon Nakhon, Thailand, and Along the way.

guinnessTampa Airport, except for it’s location is a treat. I usually score TSA precheck so secutity is shod.
The problems with airtravel in the States are; hordes in wheelchairs. O;der folks have learned that there is no paperwork necessary to request a whellchair at the airport so many “lambutory” seniors (Lambutory= lazy ambulatory) get free rides to the plane. 20 or more wheelchairs lined up at a gate is not unusual. Another problem is the amount and weight of “carry on” luggage. Bags for the overhead bin are at maximum size, and their is no tonnafe limits on domestic flights. Retailers now sell kits, or sets with the maximum size upper bin cases as well as the maximum size underseat bags. All of this makes bording the aircraft s slapstick comedy. Considering the girth of many Americans,their lack of exercise and coordination bumps and bruising at boarding are not uncommon.


From Tom’s Desk, Social Media seems quite Antisocial, and More

googlemapsThe more I look at social media the more aggresive perople seem to become. Over the years I have shared, retweeted or whatever, articles I found interesting in some way. In no case to I only share items I agree with, simply things that might be of some interest. Lately more and more people take umbrage at things they disagree with. More and nore travel stories appear that have no similarity to the subject matter on the ground. More places are improperly located on maps. And more and more foodies don’t seem to have a clue about the food they are talking about. I do though take pride in that fact that my photos in Google Maps have had  more than 5,000,000 views, helping people see what is actually at a location. And I have been spending quite a bit of time corrcting errors in Google Maps, mostly in Northeast Thailand, but in the U.S. as well


From Tom’s Desk, 17 August, 2016, Don’t miss this


If you clicked on and are seeing that you are at

Say goodbye to created 17 years ago. and and com August of next year will be retired. is the New Site. It more describes my present state,commuting between and posting from the United States and Thailand. Watch the “Senior Moments” video and get more news. And follow my social media posts both on twitter and facebook for my on the road posts, I be heading out Sunday the 21st with Nuiy the Naen.


Isaan Roadtrip, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, June 2016

cremateLooks like I will be commuting between Thailand and the United. States.  for the immediate future,  but Larry and I did manage to get a roadtrip on the calendar. It might have been dubbed the rainy season trip, or the “I don’t  see no dinosaur footprints trip”, whatever the case, we found stuff, did not starve, and never lacked beer, hence another great trip. One thing I did notice is that resorts are still popping up at a pace I  can’t keep up with. You can use Google maps to find what is in the area of interest, but remember this is Isaan and you have at best a 50, 50 chance


From Tom’s Desk, Violence in Thailand

pogoI was told, some years ago, that the atrocities that swept Thailand back in the 70s, pretty much did not happen in Isaan, as Isaan people did not do that kind of stuff. Times have changed, but not as much a one might think. What has changed is the modes of communication. Facebook, Twitter,  the Internet has brought many forms of conduct, both good and bad, out of the closet.