Archive for October, 2011

Thai Days: Ghost Town for Halloween

October 31, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s Blog received an SMS this morning from the UN security guys ordering relocation to avoid floods. ‘Order’ wasn’t an order exactly – more of a technical term enabling my wife, who works for the UNDP, to honestly claim allowances should she decide to relocate to a fancy hotel with lots of floors and generators and fresh water. Or bunk off to a flood free island in the Andaman Sea.

We’ll hang on where we are. Our part of central Bangkok is still dry. We’re reasonably well prepared, all our furniture is upstairs, and Rodel has promised to swim down his canal, which links to our canal, with supplies should the need arise. Knowing Rodel, he will.

Most of our neighbours and friends have relocated and our compound is a bit quiet. So quiet in fact that anybody who is still here is happy to see each other or has seized the opportunity to do a bit of solitary topless sunbathing at the pool.

Today is Halloween and last year it was marked by great festivity. People converted their houses into sppok centrals, there was a party on a platform overlooking the shrine pond (I was given the unenviable task of awarding prizes for best costumes to a bunch of children and parents who will never forget that I only had the option of First, Second and Third – the losers hate me still!) and there was a pet parade that really got going from minute one when a dog shucked its leash and ran off with the guinnea pig that was leading the parade.

This evening I suspect that Annabel will cut a rather solitary figure, an eight year old girl in a less than terrifying ghost outfit trudging from house to empty house with an unfilled candy basket.

I’ve always been a soft touch. And before you bring out the Kleenex and weep bitter tears over this sad little wandering ghost, I should add that Annabel has effectively employed the currently sombre atmosphere of deserted houses, and no kids to argue with, as a crowbar to extract a pet dog. I fought my ground, but, predictaly lost. I managed to negotiate terms. One hamster to be delivered in December 2011. Dog to arrive 2012. November 30.

“The floods have done their work”

Thai Days: blowing up roads has been called off

October 29, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s Blog promised to let you know about the cunning plan to blow up roads in downtown Bangkok to create canals to divet floods. The cunning plan has been shelved.

Thai Days: strange

October 29, 2011


Whodunnit? Thai military officers dunnit. They shot all those Chinese in the Mekong. Quite where this story is going to go I can’t say. The Chinese were gagged blindfolded and strangled and after being equipped with complimentary handcuffs were bunged overboard. Drugs were involved.

China is waving sabres and has mobilised gunboats. The Thai authorities have arrested a lot of their army officers.

Things are going to become stranger and more dangerous.

Hugh Paxton Travel Advisory: Stay away from the Golden Trangle

Brigitte’s Pick: Best of De-Motivationals

October 29, 2011

More great stuff sent in by Brigitte. For more see, and

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With great sadness I must tell you that Steve Hollier is dead.

October 28, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s blog has just been informed by Mason that Steve Hollier has died. I’ll put up a post – a tribute post – when I’m feeling steadier. Just now I feel like blubbing. He was a friend. There’s a hole in the world that won’t be filled. I’ll keep his link. Visit it. See his happy smile. Read his words.

We will always remember him and if there is a heaven I hope it is fully stocked up with Bombay blue and tonic.



Thai Days: Welcome To Hell

October 28, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s blog has read a few books describing prisoners’ experiences in the Bangkok Hilton. Welcome to Hell is an Irishman’s account. Absolutely grisly. Every page is more harrowing than its predecessor. The author is understandably less than impressed with the Thai legal system and quite frankly I’m amazed he’s still alive. If you are feeling lousy and life’s not strewn with roses Welcome to Hell will put things in perspective.

Reviews on Amazon are mixed. Some reviewers don’t like Colin Martin (the author).

“At best the author is a naive fool and at worst a complete moron. If there was a mistake to be made he made it.” One rather crushing verdict.

Other reviewers feel that he did commit murder and suffered eight years of torture as a result.

Me? I haven’t been to the Bangkok Hilton. And I’m not planning on booking a reservation. Some of this book may be untrue but a lot isn’t. From time to time it’s a bit confused but if you spend five hours getting smashed on the head by a policeman wielding a telephone directory clarity is not enhanced.
Give it a shot.

Thai Days: Blow up the roads!

October 28, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s blog notes with confusion the latest plan to save Bangkok. Dynamite five main roads that are preventing flood waters reaching water pumps that are currently not doing anything because they were erected in the wrong place. The roads after they’ve been blown up, it is suggested, will form canals that will hurry floods on their way to the Gulf of Thailand. I’ll let you know when this scheme doesn’t work.


(head still above water)

Andy Inadvertently Photographs a Sea Monster!

October 28, 2011

 Hugh Paxton suggests you check our sister site Wildopen Eye. Andy seems to have accidentally photographed a sea monster in northern Scotland. Annabel did a bit of a search on Google and found an identical mysterious squiggle. Eek!

She also found a site called paranormal creatures part two. If you’ve time on your hands check it out. The basking shark isn’t remotely paranormal. It’s a basking shark. The crocodile with a human head? Ingenious.

Thai Days: Useful Local Information On Flooding

October 27, 2011

Here is a charming communication with local advice about how to cope with the floods. Beware the whales.

PS Midi just SMSed us. She’s in a boat in a mangrove swamp surrounded by flying fish. She sounded thrilled!

Message begins:

Dear all tenants,

I would like to convey message to you as precautionary measure and what we are going to do if the compound is flooded.
1. If the main road of the compound is flooded more than 1/2 m., there will be electricity blackout along the road in order to prevent electric leakage.
2. for each house, it will be up on tenant’s judgement wether to cut out the circuit breaker or not if the first floor is flooded high enough. However, the breaker is separated for each area (downstair and upstair). The tenant may choose to cut down the supply of electricity in the risk or flooded areas.
3. I attaches herewith the VDO clip of the basic understanding of flood situation in Thailand with the English subtitle. So, you will have accurate basic understanding about what’s going to happen not by the bombarding miss leading information from press and internet.


4. The district area of Huaykwang which our compound is located, is higher than the level of sea 0.5-1 m. So, according to the flood map released by the credible scholar on water management. Huaykwang area (the red zone) will be flooded from 50-70 cm. (pic as attached).

Thai Flood Map

Thai Flood Map

Any concern or problem that may occur, please contact directly to you landlord. Thank you very much. Wishes everyone stay dry and safe.!;)
Sincerely Yours,

Toung Bunnag & Mek

(Not Suitable For Children) This Reminded Me Of Homunculus

October 27, 2011

These links were recently sent to me by a friend. The Vice Guide To Liberia reminded him of my novel, Homunculus.–2

Yes, indeed! This site has been nominated for twice for a Webby. I think it’s got a very good chance of sweeping the prize.

Back to Liberia, this picture is pretty incredible.

Yes, that does appear to be a drugged up drag queen toting an AK 47.
They say truth’s stranger than fiction, in this case they’re about equally strange! Visions of hell, both.
Thank you, Mason

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