Archive for the ‘Importing Goods To Thailand’ Category

What An Amazing Day – I Have Never Accomplished So Much In One Day

Wednesday 7th May, 2014 (yesterday) is a day I will always remember. Such a huge change in my life and so much achieved it’s (as Kanyah says) like a mountain being lifted from my head.

The bullet points:-

  • Container loaded with my model engineering workshop and household effects and sent to the port for shipment to Thailand
  • Booked the carpet cleaner for next Tuesday
  • Booked the decorator for next Wednesday
  • Bought my air ticket to return to Thailand on 7th June
  • Cancelled Sky contract
  • Ordered the Gauge 1 LMS 2F Tank Engine Laser-Cut parts
  • And I already had the new carpets ordered for fitting next Monday

Now for some details…

Container Loaded And Sent To The Port For Shipment To Thailand

You can’t begin to understand what a relief this was to both myself and my wife Kanyah.

We have both been working flat out 8 – 10 or more hours a day for five weeks to get all our stuff in our nottingham (UK) house packed up for shipment to Thailand.

Even our son, Alex, came to help for a few days.

We had planned to spend four weeks to pack our things but we had to delay collection by the shippers by a week because we weren’t ready in time.

This would be a fairly simple job for most normal people but I’m not ‘normal’ as you may know. My model engineering workshop and all the tools and machines was in a first floor bedroom. It all had to be dismantled, taken downstairs and packed or wrapped.

We’re taking heavy stuff here, 30 to 100 kg per item.

Not to mention the half sized traction engine castings which alone must have weighed a half a  ton.

Rusting Traction Engine Castings

By the way I decided to give our shiny brand new traction engine castings a brown patina (ie rust) to make them look old. This was interesting (for an engineer) and you can read the story on the Rusting Traction Engine Castings Page on the website.

To summarise we ended up with 158 individual boxes or packets some containing up to 20 items.

The whole lot would only just fit into the 20 foot container we had ordered. I took a look when it was all packed and there wasn’t an inch to spare!

A Tip For Packing Containers

If you ever have the need to pack a container to ship your personal effects to Thailand (or to ship anything anywhere) I can give you some good advice.

This is what I did to estimate how much space our ‘stuff’ would need to make sure it would all fit into the container:-

For each box or individual item if it wasn’t in box I took the measurements (Length, Width, Height) and calculated the volume.

(At first I measured in cm but the container company uses feet and ft³ so I switched to measuring in imperial units)

Then, I filled out a spreadsheet recording each item with a total volume calculated. Here is a small sample from my huge list:-

Image showing Extract From My Container Shipping List

Extract From My Container Shipping List

What is important is this:-

  • A 20 foot container has an actual volume of 1,170 ft³ but the usable space according to the shipper is only 1,050 ft³. (More on this in a minute)
  • I calculated the total volume of my items to be 632 ft³ ie 60% of the declared usable volume. But our goods only just fitted into the container!

So beware if you have a lot of items to ship in a container since unless everything is perfectly rectangular you won’t have the space you may think you have.

New Life Begins

So, now that the workshop is on it’s way to Thailand and I have booked the tradesmen to smarten up the house here in Nottingham so that we can let it out for a decent monthly income I can start to dream about the new life that awaits me ahead in Thailand.

As you should know my one single ambition in life is to build a large scale model steam traction engine and to drive it from our house here in Pak Chong, Thailand, to the local ‘pub’.

In fact I have chosen the model traction engine I want to build and as explained above have bought the castings and they are in the container on the way to Thailand. I just hope the Thai Customs God is having a nice day when that container arrives!

A simple statement but there are so many other accomplishments that must be achieved to allow that ambition goal to be realised. For example:-

  • I must live long enough in Thailand. This traction engine project is likely to take up to three years.
  • Living Thailand for three years is a challenge in itself. Not only must I remain healthy and fit I must make sure my visa is not invalidated for any reason.
  • I must have the skills and machine tools to be able to make the traction engine parts.
  • I must have the money to be able to live in Thailand for all that time.
  • And last but not least I must maintain my commitment and enthusiasm to complete the project.

And it’s this last point that excites me. I don’t want to wait three years before seeing the results of my efforts manifesting themselves into a real live working model.

So I will build other smaller models in parallel with the big traction engine so that I will have a series of little models completed every few months alongside building the big one.

Other Steam Models To Make

There are so many models I want to make but first I must complete the one I am currently (when I get back to Thailand that is) building which is the Stuart Turner Victoria Mill Engine.

Then I have to build the boiler for it.

Following that I want to build a Garden Railway and a Gauge 1 LMS 2F Tank Engine to run on it.

Here is a movie of a typical Garden Railway of the king I’m talking about:-

And here is a photo of a model LMS 2F Tank Engine of the type I want to build:-

(Click on FS to see a bigger image)

So I think now that you can see with so many enjoyable projects in mind that I can totally forget about ‘working’ and devote my life to what I have always wanted to do – making models of steam engines.

Back To Decorating

But we’re not quite at that stage yet.

Before we go back to Thailand to start our new life we have to prepare this house here in Nottingham to let it out. I said I hade arranged for a carpet fitter and a carpet cleaner and also for a painter to spruce up the walls and woodwork.

Even so there’s still a lot myself anf Kanyah have to do like cleaning, a bit of tiling in the toilet and generally making the place look nice.

Also I have a load of admin to get through all associated with extracting myself from the UK and retiring to Thailand forever!


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