Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

Does Anyone Know Where I Can Buy Guinness Foreign Extra Stout In Thailand?

Following the success at opening my Thai Bank Account and obtaining my Thai Driving License I’m hot on the heels of my next challenge on my retiring in Thailand journey:- Finding some decent beer.

Many years ago somewhere on the coast just south of Bangkok around the area of Samut Sakhon I enjoyed a few delightful bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout sometimes also called Guinness Export.

Now it seems to have disappeared completely from the Thai market.

Can anyone please help me to get a pickup or two full of crates of the stuff?

Its The Real Guinness Foreign Extra Stout I’m Talking About

I’m not talking about the normal draft Guinness (but I will be a bit later) but the special Guinness brewed for export. It has a lovely real-ale flavour and is possibly bottle-conditioned. It’s around 7% alcohol by volume (ABV) but this varies from country to country.

I have had it in England and also in Nigeria where it’s very popular.

This movie shows you what Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is:-

Where Can I Buy Normal Draft Guinness?

Since I’ll probably draw a blank on finding supplies of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout I’ll ask if anyone can tell me where to buy normal draft Guinness as sold in the bars in Bangkok and other holiday resorts.

I’m really looking for a keg of it that is dispensed with a tap and a bottle of CO2 (or Nitrogen?)

Failing that where can I buy a few cans of the stuff?

Nearest big Tesco to us at Saraburi doesn’t sell Guiness of any sort.

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Yes, It’s Finally Come True – On 29th July 2013 I Will Be Retiring To Thailand… Maybe!

A Major Unplanned Event Forced Me To Retire To Thailand Earlier Than I Would Have Chosen Otherwise

Forced Retirement

As you will know if you have read a few of my posts I have doubts about retiring to Thailand (e.g. see
Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand) and this retirement decision was forced on me not my preferred choice.

I know it sounds weird - most people would jump at the chance to retire to Thailand – but Thailand is not the country of choice for retirrment for me. Retiring, and in particular retiring in Thailand, just isn’t my activity of choice right now.

Nevertheless because of the reasons I’ll explain in a minute I am retiring in a weeks time (subject to receiving the multiple re-entry visa) to our retirement house we built in in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

It’s for real!

What Is Forcing My Retirement To Thailand?

The short answer is money – or rather not enough of it.

As I explained on a previous Post I want to Retire properly and to be able to do the things I want unfettered by worrying if I can afford it or not. To be in that situation you need a LOT of money.

Sure, I have a modest pension already and some decent savings, but I was aiming for a much bigger pension pot.

The Big LU Clear Out

I am self employed and have my own consultancy company, Dataway Ltd. I do consultancy work in the building and construction industry and have several big-name Clients, including London Underground (LU), part of Transport for London (TfL).

I had a very lucrative contract in London with LU until a week last week, when LU suddenly, on Tuesday 9th July 2013,  announced a massive clear-out of some 150 Project Managers and Engineers. I was one of them. I had a day to clear my desk and on Wednesday 10th I said my goodbyes to LU and headed for home here in Nottingham.

So, overnight, that income stopped. (And it was a very large income by any normal people’s standards)

This put my immediate managers at the time in a spot of difficulty because there was no one available with the ability to continue the specialised work on the project I was engaged on. (Called the Heavy Maintenance Project, or HMF)

 Cunning Plan Devised – But Will It Work Out?

Since someone had to continue with the work I was engaged on, the managers devised a cunning plan to re-engage me via another company. I won’t go into detail but what is intended is that my company, Dataway Ltd, will enter into a Contract to complete all the work on a fixed-price lump-sum basis. (My remuneration previously was per day)

So if that can be arranged, I will be able to continue with LU and build up my pension pot as planned. If not I will retire to Thailand.

4 Weeks To Make My Mind Up

I gave myself and LU four weeks to get this new Contract in place otherwise I would retire to Thailand for good.

Dataway Ltd  has other clients, as I said, including Takenaka Europe a Blue Chip company I had been engaged with on various projects for the last 14 years.

So I could start looking for further consultancy work outside of LU but my experience over the last 10 years or so as self employed tells me that I could get by but it would be unlikely that I would not make the same as an LU contract. After there is a severe recession on and there is very little building and construction work except in the Rail Sector.

Also I could get a ‘proper job’ but that pays even less and it’s too late for me to go back into being an employees.

So, knowing how long LU takes to arrange any for of Contract I gave myself and LU the 4 weeks window.

4 Weeks Reduced to 2 Sees Me Out To Thailand on Monday 29th September!

Of course my Thai wife Kanyah – living in our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong) – was delighted with my retirement news. She is very lonely there and want me to stop working and be beside her.

Talking all the above over with a friend at my local pub, the Plough Inn, and explaining that it seemed stupid to sit around here in the UK waiting for that LU Contract to appear when I knew I only gave it a 50% or less chance of it ever happening.

 

Image of The Plough Inn St Peters Street Nottingham
The Plough Inn St Peters Street Nottingham

My friend made a very valid point. Why not go out to Thailand now and if the Contract does materialise then return to the UK. There would be plenty of money in that contract to support another return air ticket.

So taking that suggestion on board I changed the departure leg of my existing Christmas trip ticket and booked myself on the Thai Airways International flight TG917 departing from Heathrow on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2130.

Image of my Thai Airways London to Bangkok Flight Confirmation 130729

Thai Airways London to Bangkok Flight Confirmation 130729

Visa Woes as Thai Embassy Changes the Rules

Beware If You Are About to Apply for a Non O Multiple Re-entry Visa (Or any Other Kind of Thai Visa?)

Today is Friday 19 July 2013 and I have just visited the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK to get a multiple re-entry visa for my retirement rip to Thailand.

Previously, as reported at How I Got My Thai Multiple Journey Visa In UK obtaining this visa was a breeze taking just a few minutes and no fuss.

This time though, there was a problem. The Royal Thai Consulate representative told me that only just this week the rules had changed.

The Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham could no longer issue Thai multiple re-entry visas without reference to the Thai Embassy in London. They had to scan all the documents from each applicant and email them to the Thai Embassy in London for a decision.

Since this is a new process there is no knowing how long this will take. The Royal Thai Consulate representative also told me that Monday and Tuesday was a Thai holiday and that the Thai Embassy in London would be closed until Wednesday.

Bearing in mind that my flight to Bangkok is booked for a week on Monday, it only leaves three days (Wednesday to Friday) for them to make the decision, process the application assuming I am accepted and to get the passport back to me.

All a bit tight so although I’m assuming everything proceed satisfactorily so I’m organising everything for a Monday flight, I’m also prepared to have to delay it a few days.

Things to Do Before Leaving for Thailand

There are many, many issues to be sorted out before I can travel to Thailand.

It’s not so bad if you are going away for a few weeks but if you are leaving your house in your own country empty for moths or even as long as a year, then there are a whole host of issues to sort out mainly dealing with security.

I have made a huge to-do list and am steadily working through them:-

Cetegory Jobs to Do July 2013
House Cut Lawn
House Throw Bin Bags
House Beer Barrels
House Clear Office Shelves
House Hoover
House Mail In Kitchen
House Steel Everywhere
House Boiler Service
Workshop Motor On Mill
Workshop Lathe Saddle Stop
Workshop Lathe Leadscrew Handle
Workshop Lathe Suds
Workshop Clean Up
Money Amazon First Course
Money Amazon Brown Bag Course
Money Article For Model Engineer
Money Dtw Vat June
Money Daily Balance Sheet
Money All Monthly Sos & Dds
Money Utility Meters/Bills
Money LU Contract
Car Blood Test
Car Battery & Start
Car Driving License
Thailand Visa – What Is Required
Thailand Change Air Ticket
Thailand Stop Mail
Thailand Paperless Ltsb Statements
Thailand Paperless Utility Bills
Thailand Second Front Door?
Thailand Luggagle Lables
Thailand Pack Luggage
Thailand Weigh Tools For Luggae
Thailand Tool Tips
Thailand ER Collets In Thailand?
Thailand Tool Holders Thailand?
Thailand Backup All Computers
Security See Security Sheet

Where We Are Now

A Quick Summary of My Thailand Retirement Plan Situation

  • Booked on the Thai Airways International flight TG917 to Bangkok departing from Heathrow on Monday, July 29.
  • No Visa – Awaiting news from the Royal Thai Consulate on my Multiple Re-entry Thai Visa application
  • Awaiting news from London Underground on a possible Contract
  • Working trough a massive do-do list in preparation for leaving for Thailand

See you in the next Post!

What More Can They Get Wrong With This Thai House Build Project?

How They Covered Up The Ugly Electrical Wiring By Trashing The Concept For The Vaulted Ceiling

What are those idiots up to? They have a set of construction drawings produced my our Thai Architect in Bangkok which they are supposed to be following. But – yet again – they choose to ignore the drawings and do what they feel like. At the expense of the lovely high and open feel the house would have had if it had been contructed as designed and also at the expense of thousands of additional Baht for the wood they used which is not needed by the design.

How The Ceiling Should Look

If you are a regular here, you will know the picture below which is the design concept for the house ceiling (i.e. there isn’t one):-

Bamboo Wall Mat Between The Rafters Of Our Thai House

Concept For The Vaulted Ceiling

Above, the concept for the vaulted ceiling in our retirement house under construction in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

You can see what a lovely ‘airy’ feeling you will get as you walk into the room. It’s beautiful.

And They Have Ruined It

Look at the same picture below, where I have marked up what they have done with the ceiling:-

Image of Where They Put A Flat Bamboo Mat Ceiling

Where They Put A Flat Bamboo Mat Ceiling

All that lovely high level space thrown away. And the detail of the vaulted ceiling (like the above photo) was clearly shown on the Thai Architects house plans we commissioned.

Extracts From The Thai Architect’s House Plans Clearly Showing The Vaulted Ceiling With Bamboo Mat

Below is one of our Thai Architect’s house plans for the retirement house now being built in Pakchong (Pak Chong). This drawing is actually a cross section through the house and I have marked a rectangle in red colour that is shown in close-up in the next image.

Image of Thai Architectural Drawing - Check Out The Detail Indicated On The Next Image

Thai Architectural Drawing - Check Out The Detail Indicated On The Next Image

Below is the close-up taken from the construction drawing above and you can clearly see the text “4mm Thk. Plywood finish with bamboo mat” together with an arrow from the note to the ‘herring-bone’ cross-hatching that represents the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling.

This is a clear description of the requirement for the house to have a vaulted ceiling and not a flat ceiling as the builder has now installed.

Image of Thai Architectural Drawing Clearly Showing Bamboo Mat on 4 mm Plywood

Thai Architectural Drawing Clearly Showing Bamboo Mat on 4 mm Plywood

In case you are thinking that the above note is only in the English language and perhaps the builder can’t read English (which is true, but Kanyah can) I’ll refer you to a Thai language note on another construction drawing made as part of the set by our Thai Architect in Bangkok:-

Image of Thai Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

In the image above (an extract from the Thai house plans made by our Thai architect), note the Thai language note circled in red colour and the arrow clearly pointing to the ‘herring-bone’ cross-hatching that represents the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling.

Below is  a close-up of the Thai language note:-

Image of Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Thai Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Above, I think this refers to the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling. I’ll get it translated and put the English language translation here.

Now For Some Photographs Of  How The Bamboo Mat Ceilings And Bamboo Mat Walls Were  Actually Installed On Site In Our Pakchong (Pak Chong) Retirement House

The first photo (below) is a photo of the bamboo mat flat ceiling I drew attention to in the marked-up photo above.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling 08

Bamboo Mat Ceiling 08

Above, I must admit that the bamboo mat installation is very neat and clean. I like the wooden trim in the corner between the wall and ceiling. What a pity they didn’t follow the vaulted ceiling concept.

This Is How They Hid Away The Ugly Domestic Electrical Wiring

In the Post “Don’t Let Them Wire Your House In Thailand Like This I showed photographs of how the builder’s electricians had installed the domestic electrical wiring and electrical conduit in areas where it would be visible. I complained of this to Kanyah and after talking to the builder she gave me a list of reasons why “I was talking rubbish and the Thai builders know best” or words to that effect.

Well now I know why they weren’t concerned about the wiring being visible. Look at the photo above or below and behind that flat bamboo mat ceiling lies hidden the ugly electrical wiring.

Next is a photo showing the bamboo mat ceiling and bamboo mat walls.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling and Walls

Bamboo Mat Ceiling and Walls

Above, this is a view inside the house in the Kitchen looking out onto the Balcony. In the corner the concrete column is exposed. This was supposed to have been painted before the bamboo mat was installed and failure to do this was one of the reasons why Kanyah sacked the previous builder!

Next picture shows the bamboo mat walls and the wooden floor.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling Walls And Wooden Floor

Bamboo Mat Ceiling Walls And Wooden Floor

In the photo above you can see the bamboo mat walls and the wooden floor. At high level are the wooden joists to support the flat bamboo mat ceiling. Also visible is the unpainted concrete column in the corner of the room.

More detail on the wooden frame to support the bamboo mat ceiling in the photo below.

Image of Wooden Support Frame For Bamboo Mat Ceiling 01

Wooden Support Frame For Bamboo Mat Ceiling 01

In the photo above you can see the wooden frame they have installed to support the flat bamboo mat ceiling.

This was never intended, never in the design and never in my budget. I have had to pay the full cost of this wood on top of the cost of the original house just to get something I don’t want!

One thing to notice is the white concrete beam running left to right above the ceiling. With the vaulted ceiling this would have been visible. Perhaps that’s why Kanyah decided to go for the flat ceiling – to hide this beam.

I should add that the provision and position of this beam was an oversight by the original Thai Architect, in my view. (He would no doubt have a different view)

The beam is not shown on the Architect’s house plans, but is shown on the structural engineering drawings. Of course, I checked the Architectural drawings quite carefully, but paid less attention to the structural drawings expecting them to be in harmony with the Architect’s Drawings. Big mistake.

Don’t Expect The Thai Architect To Check The Work Of His Sub-Specialists!

By sub-specialists I mean the other engineering disciplines who contribute their expertise to the overall house design and these are mainly the structural engineer and the electrical and mechanical services engineer.

There are several instances where our Thai Architect did not show or check the detail of the structural engineers drawings and these were not spotted either by myself or by the previous builder. Also, there were items in the electrical and plumbing drawings that were incorrect and had to be put right by the builder.

I’ll not go into the detail here – this page is about the bamboo mat ceiling and walls – but maybe make a feature page of all the design errors separately.

Next, a view looking towards the bathroom doors from the Dining Area.

Image of Red Brick Bathroom Walls 02

Red Brick Bathroom Walls 02

In the above photograph above the two white rectangles are the door frames to the two bathrooms.

In the foreground where the worker is standing, this is the Dining Area. Again, you can see the flat bamboo mat ceiling instead of the vaulted ceiling.

Next, a  close-up of the bathrooms.

Image of Red Brick Bathroom Walls 01

Red Brick Bathroom Walls 01

In the above photo, you can see my shower room where the worker is standing and Kanyah’s bathroom to the right.

Notice the grey coloured vertical strip to the right of the picture in the red brickwork and then look at the photo below.

Image of Hidden Electrical Wiring Near The Red Brick Bathroom Walls

Hidden Electrical Wiring Near The Red Brick Bathroom Walls

Above, the grey coloured strip is where they have cut into the red brick wall of the bathroom to bury the yellow conduit for the electrical wiring.

At the top you can see the yellow conduit rising past the concrete beam. As it happens, I had agreed with the previous builder that this half of the house could have flat ceilings (as a cost saving measure – but obviously now its costing me more than the vaulted ceiling if they are putting in the flat bamboo mat ceiling requiring the wooden support frame).

How The Flat Ceilings Were Supposed To Save Me Money

The vaulted ceiling concept was originally applied to every room in the retirement house except for the bathrooms and the small lobby outside of the bathrooms. These were to be flat ceilings made from gypsum board suspended on steel wires.

The original builder’s quotation was above our budget and so before we signed the construction contract with him we went through a ‘Value engineering’ (VE) exercise to get the cost down. (VE – AKA Cost Cutting)

The original builder offered a considerable cost saving if the bedrooms could also be flat ceilings made from gypsum board suspended on steel wires.

I don’t think that Kanyah was up to speed with this, although the previous builder was supposed to mark up the original drawings to show all changes agreed as part of the VE exercise.

So we might have flat bamboo mat ceilings in the bedrooms with the expensive wooden support rafters that you have seen in the photos above.

By the way, strange that Kanyah has not sent me any photos of the bedroom areas. Wonder what she’s up to in there….

In The Next Post We Move To Photos Of The Outside Of The House

I have today received a whole stack of photographs of the external of the house, and oh boy has it moved on. Now you really can see the end in sight.

The photos include:-

  • Massive beautiful (and expensive) Teak double doors to the ground floor workshop (another change I wasn’t asked about)
  • Bamboo mat applied to the underside of the balcony roof. (Despite me telling Kanyah I didn’t agree to the builders price she did it anyway)
  • External views showing the finished wood walls – and how nice it looks.
  • The steps up to the balcony (including a departure they made  from my very detailed design that they should not have made)

And of course you get my usual complementary (not complimentary) commentary!

Don’t Miss it.

Domestic Electrical House Wiring Safety In Thailand- And Why I’m Backing Off Kanyah

Is This Not The Most Ugly Electrical Wiring You Have Ever Seen?

(Although the electrical wires and conduit are visible here, I’m not suggesting that this domestic electrical wiring installation is unsafe.)

Image of Electric Wiring In Retirement House Pakchong (Pak Chong)

The Most Ugly Electrical Wiring You Have Seen?

Actually, it’s not, you can see worse-looking electrical wiring in just about any street in Bangkok or other big city in Thailand – just hanging from the electrical posts in the street. Here’s an example:-

Image of Photo Terrible Ugly Birds Nest Thailand Street City Wiring

Photo Terrible Ugly Birds Nest Thailand Street City Wiring

Above, photo of a ‘bird’s nest’ of electrical wiring in a city in Thailand.

But that’s not in my house. This is!

Image of My Questions In Ugly Thai Electrical Wiring

Why Are They Making The Electrical Wiring So Ugly Like This?

Above, I sent this marked-up photo of the ugly domestic electrical wiring the Thai electricians are installing in our retirement house to Kanyah and asked her all the questions you can see on the picture.

Note that the red arrow on the comment “There should not be any wires on the concrete” is actually pointing to the yellow electrical conduit, not to electrical wires.

Let me be clear about one thing here. This is the second floor. Those concrete beams you can see are at ‘ceiling level’ except that our house has no ceiling.

No, in our retirement house now under construction in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, the ceiling is at roof level. (Except for bedrooms and bathrooms)

How The House Is Intended to Look

This is how the ‘ceiling’ is supposed to look in  the living room:-

Image Showing Bamboo Wall Matt

Bamboo Matt on Walls & Underside of Roof

Notice, in the picture above, that there is no ceiling and no visible electrical wires or conduit. This is how our retirement house is intended to look.

The above photo shows high level lights and ceiling fans needing wiring (which would be hidden behind the bamboo panels) but in our house there are no ceiling fans or lights, all the lights are on the wall. (Uplighters)

So there is absolutely no need for any cables or wires to be above the level of those concrete beams!

The Answer That Came Back From Kanyah Made Me Boil With Rage And Bad Temper. (Sorry!)

Instead of answering my questions (why were the wires there, why wasn’t the concrete beam rendered) she came back with non-answers that completely missed the point. I thought I was dealing with artisans and they turn out to be slippery eels befit of Thai politicians.

But before I get into that, here is the opening gambit from Kanyah:-

“Don’t ask me to send you any more pictures. Wait until it’s finished then I will send them.

If I send them before it’s finished you will just complain and make trouble.

Thinks: ‘The idea is that if I see the pictures early before it’s finished I can catch any problems and get them sorted out before it’s too late’

“If you want to check it (the house build) you come out here and do it!”

Replied: “Sorry, I have to stay here to make the money I keep sending you”

Now on to the ‘answers’ she gave me to my questions:-

“They are laughing at you” she said…

Thinks: ‘She’s doing it again – believing the builders and taking their side’. I thought all that had finished when she sacked the previous builder.

“They have been doing this for 40 years

Thinks: ‘With that much practice and still getting it wrong there’s no hope for them’…

‘So how come the electricians are only 20 years old?’

‘Have you seen my CV? I have been doing it correctly all round the world for 35 years’

‘Yeah! They’ve had plenty of practice learning how to make that bird’s nest wiring like in the photo above’

“They say that this is a three wire system with an earth wire and that it is a very safe system. You don’t have to worry about electrical safety”

Thinks: ‘I’m not talking about electrical safety. I’m talking about how it looks. None of these conduits and wires should be visible in the finished house.

Anyway, it was me who specified a three wire system (i.e. plus earth wire) for electrical safety and it was my Architect’s Electrical Engineers who designed the system (electrically) not you installers.’

And “Don’t worry”

Thinks: ‘Don’t worry? That’s my money you’re spending. That’s my dream house you’re spoiling.’

On The Phone Listening To Kanyah As I Grew Ever More Angry I Just Decided To Keep Quiet And Back Off (Maybe)

Why would I do this? Choking on my words I said “O.K. you just do it your way”

The fact is that Kanyah is getting ever more stressed out with this retirement house build project. It’s all too much for her as I described in an earlier post discussing the type of construction contract we should have – all-in or labor only.

Look…

This Should Be Just About The Happiest Time In Her Life

All her life with me (we have been married nearly 30 years) she has dreamed of having her own house in Thailand. And now it’s coming true right before her eyes.

She should be very, very happy. And I’m sure she is – but it’s coming at a price…

Stress.

As the days go by and the pressure mounts on Kanyah – making decisions, buying materials, managing the builder, the stress has been building up day be day.

I’m told by people who should know that Thai men don’t like taking orders from Thai women. But that’s what Kanyah s doing daily.

She has never built a house before – who has – and it’s not at all easy.

Remember that since she sent her newphew, Jalan, back to his home in Kamphaengphet (Kamphaeng Phet) for being ineffective as an inspector she has been on her own, with no family or supporting person near her.

So I have decided to back off and let Kanyah get the house finished in her own way.

As a wise young man and a good friend of mine, Steve W who is building his house up at Si Khiu Korat said “It’s not worth losing your wife over a house, you can deal with all the re-does when you go out there”.

Well, Steve, thanks for the advice. There is no chance of losing Kanyah over this house build, but I am worried about her mental health. She doesn’t do stress at the best of times and I just want this whole retirment house build project over with so that she can relax:-

Image of Project Manager Supervising Thai Retirement House Construction

Project Manager Supervising Thai Retirement House Construction

Above, a photo taken when we had the other builder. She wishes she could relax like this now…

O.K. On With The Other Photographs From This Stage Of Our Retirement House Build Project In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

Now look at the photo below. See that electrical box, and the red and black short wires coming out of it? Those red and black wires are going to some king of electrical outlet. Like a socket outlet, a light or fan.

But as I said, there is nothing electrical at that level.

By the way, why three wires? And what do the colors mean?

I have to admit I’m not sure about that. The colours look like two black and one red. I would have expected: Live – black, Neutral – grey and Earth (also called Ground) – green (or yellow and green striped).

But it seems that Thailand does not have and does not follow any standard electrical wiring color system. I’ll just be wary of making any changes to the domestic electrical wiring installation in our retirement house for the reason of electrical safety.

Image of Electrical Wiring In Thai Retirement House 01

How I Could Have Caught The Wiring Issue Early

The photos here bring me to another point that I have explained before.

If I had the photos from the building site in Thailand early enough I would be able to spot the problems – things going wrong – and let Kanyah know in time for them to be corrected before things had gone on too long for there to be an effective correction. In Other Words:-

“A Stitch In Time Saves Nine” – Not On Our House Build Project In Thailand

Kanyah Deliberately Delays Sending Me Photographs

But, no. Kanyah deliberately delays sending me photographs because when I spot something wrong and tell her about it it becomes a problem for her. She waits until it’s too late for anything to be done about it. I’m sure – and I’ll prove this in the next post – that she makes changes to the design as set out by our Thai Architect drawings and specification, doesn’t tell me about it and doesn’t send me the photos until it’s a ‘fait accompli’.

I’m also sure that some of these changes are initiated by the builder to make his life easier and to make himself more profit.

Image of Electrical Wiring In Thai House Above Ceiling Level

There Are No Electrical Outlets Here So Why Are They Wiring It?

Above, the caption says it all.

Image of Thai House Electrical Wiring How It Should Be Done

How Electrical Wiring Should Be Concealed In Our Thai Retirement House

The photo above shows the conduit for the wiring passing within the wooden frame for the dividing wall between living and bed rooms. Perhaps you can see that they have drilled neat holes in the wooden frame to carry the conduit? A very neat installation. When the electrical work is finished the wooden frame will be covered with bamboo mat and the electrical wiring will be hidden. Perfect.

Let me make a clarification. I’m loosely referring to ‘wiring’ when I actually mean electrical wiring and conduit. ‘Conduit’ to the layman is the tube (or pipes) put in to contain the real wires. In these photos the yellow ‘wires’ you can see are actually plastic conduit. The real electrical wires will be inside this conduit system.

Many (especially low cost) Thai houses do not have the electrical wiring in conduit. Often is is run on the surface of the walls and is visible. That is ugly and why I insisted on conduit to hide the wires. But the conduit itself is supposed to be hidden, not exposed to view!

A Quick Word About Electrical  Safety Relating To Domestic Electrical Wiring Installations In Thailand

Also, as I mentioned before I had specified a three wire system for the sake of electrical safety. Thailand is now moving over to the three wire system – years ago it was all two wire and there were no three wire  receptacle (socket outlets) or plugs available. A three wire electrical wiring system has a live and neutral wire carrying the electrical current and the third wire is an earth (often called ground) wire. by the way, this is not supposed to be a lesson in safety in domestical electrical wiring installations in Thailand. If you are interested in the subject I suggest this web page: http://www.thailandguru.com/electricity-220volts-thailand.html

In the photo above and below you can see the conduit is withing the width of the dividing wall. When the bamboo mat is placed on the wall framethe conduit (and wires) will be hidden from view. Exactly as it should be and as it is specified on the construction drawings.

Image of Close Up Of How To Conceal Electrical Wires And Conduit With Walls

How To Conceal Electrical Wires And Conduit With Walls

The photo below is in the bathroom and bedroom areas. here there will be a flat false ceiling jut below the concrete beams so that these conduits will be hidden from view.

Image of Electrical Wiring Above The Ceiling For The Bedroom And Bathroom

Electrical Wiring Above The Ceiling For The Bedroom And Bathroom

Above, this is OK because there will be a flat ceiling in the bathroom and bedrooms to hide the conduit and electrical wiring.

Next Post: Another Major Change From the Drawings And Specification Made On Site Without Asking Me Sends My Blood Pressure Into Orbit!

They’re at it again – changing things without asking me. And here they have ignored a major feature of the house that was intended to give it the ambiance and character that you can see in the “How The House Is Intended to Look” photo above. This is serious stuff going wrong – again. And Kanyah and the builder are in cahoots together over it.

Perhaps I’m going to abandon my softly-softly policy when dealing with Kanyah in future. Let’s see in the next post…

Thai Retirement House Construction Leaps Ahead Again With New Thai Builder

House Build Starts Again In Earnest Under New Builder – A Report From A Happy Project Manager

Kanyah just phoned me from Pakchong (Pak Chong) in Thailand where she is now supervising the new Thai builder as the construction work on our retirement house starts up again. She is now the Project Manager and the Procurement Manager for the house build project.

On the ‘phone, Kanyah was laughing and sounded very happy as she told me that she was delighted with the new builder and that his work was 20 times better than the previous builder.

Purchasing Materials For The House Construction In The Pakchong (Pak Chong) Area

There are four labourers on the site and Kanyah is very busy purchasing the construction materials.

These are some of the house construction materials she has purchased or taken delivery of today:-

Nails, Teak wooden door for my workshop, two large wooden doors for the second floor, red bricks for the bathroom walls.

She buys most of the materials from the large industrial outlets that lie on the Mittraphap Road in Pak Chong in the direction of Bangkok. There is also a Home Pro warehouse in Pakchong, but it’s more aligned to providing house fit-out materials and fittings such as lights and sanitary ware, rather than heavy building materials.

Kanyah hasn’t sent me any photographs yet so I can’t post any details of the materials she has purchased nor of the construction works on the website just yet. I was puzzled when she said that she had bought two large doors for the second floor. The main doors are supposed to be folding doors, as specified by myself and detailed on the Thai Architect’s construction drawings. I don’t have any idea if Kanyah is looking at the house plans or not as the new builder progresses the construction works. It seems that the builder tells her what to buy, so I hope that he is looking at the drawings and not making changes to the design and specification like the previous Thai builder did.

It is very worrying that I don’t know what she is doing out there in Thailand on the building site in Pakchong. (Pak Chong)

Taking Control Of The Costs Of Building The House

Kanyah did say that she had read my last two emails, one of them being the the email I posted on the last post “Thai Retirement House Build Project Starts to Get Finished Under A New Thai Builderabout several issues and the construction program. She just told me “don’t worry” and I have no way to know what action she is taking from the emails.

She asked me to send her 100,000 Baht because she is spending so much on materials. She has already paid the new Thai builder the first 10,000 Baht progress payment.

The other email I sent to Kanyah a few days ago was to explain to her that we had to get control of the money we were spending on the house build and I gave her some examples of how she should be recording the costs by making a list of all expenditures I also asked her to send the list of invoices to me every two weeks. She didn’t mention that she would do that and as soon as she told me what she wanted to she closed the call, as usual.

Progress With The Construction On The Building Site

On the construction side she tells me that the red brick walls to the bathroom built by the previous Thai builder have been knocked down (the new Thai builder told her that he couldn’t work with the rubbish bricklaying left by the previous builder) and a new wall is half built already. No photos to show that, unfortunately.

Also, she says that he columns are painted already. Whether she means ‘painted with cement’ i.e. rendered or painted with paint (which should only be done after the cement rendering is complete) I don’t know.

Are We Getting Back On Track to Retiring In Thailand In Our Own Retirement House In Pakchong (Pak Chong)?

However, on a good note, after all the problems we have had with our previous builder it seems that our dream of retiring to Thailand in our own house has started to come true once again.

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