Saturday, 24 May 2008

Phuket Island Radio

Huwy has started his new job as a radio presenter. It is a great result for him and I do hope it works out. Phuket is a great place to live if you have the money to enjoy it but it is not an easy place to make money. Huwy has tried running bars and working offshore but it just hasn't worked out for him. He doesn't really have many job skills so it was difficult to see how he was going to make a living here. Then out of the blue, on a night boozing in Patong he gets the offer to present a radio show. Huwy has no experience of radio presenting but the owner is confident he can pick it up in no time.

The owner actually has no experience of running a radio station but got drawn into it after he helped some Thais set up their station, only for them to drop out. Since then he has got serious about it and is making a serious investment in setting it up properly. Apparently the rules have recently been relaxed on foreigners running radio stations in Thailand so he is now free to do it. It is Phuket FM on 91.5.

There have been a few attempts at English language radio in Phuket but they have been pretty poor efforts and did not last long. I have always thought there was a market for a good English language radio station on the island so hopefully this guy can make it work.

Huwy has been learning the ropes as 'teaboy' on a couple of the afternoon shows. Basically the DJ calls on the teaboy (Huwy) for his opinions on whatever subject. Their afternoon DJ is an experienced radio presenter and you can tell he has that happy DJ voice. In comparison, Huwy still sounds a little wooden but as he gets confident he should improve. Huwy is a big rock fan so he has been given a rock show and a sports show. Today he records his first rock show. Once he gets confident they will start letting him play live.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday. We had a little party. It was bad timing in a way because today is Ben and Jenny's first day back at school. I promised myself I wouldn't get too drunk and I would get to bed early. I was kidding myself. Time does funny things when you are drinking. Last night it magically became 5am and I have no idea how it happened. This morning I pushed the kids into school at 10:30am and was quite proud of myself for only being two and a half hours late.

In a way, it was also bad timing for Gil and Huwy because they are both starting new jobs today. Still they are good jobs for both of them so they were in good moods. Gil has got his first offshore job in the north sea which is something he has been hoping to get for a while. And Huwy has a job with a radio station. For Huwy to find a job that actually suits him is quite a result. He doesn't really have many job skills and he doesn't like working for people (who does?). I really wondered if he would ever find work but we were out in Patong last week and a guy offered him a job as a radio presenter. It could be ideal for him. He has got a sports show and a rock show. Today he is doing 'tea boy' while he learns the ropes.

In the meantime, I have had quite a bit of work coming in from England. The project I have been working on is going live this month. I'm not sure what is going to happen after that but I suspect that is pretty much the end of the work they have for me. It has been a great deal while it lasted. It is five years now that I have had part time work from them that I can do remotely from Thailand. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. My finanaces are okay but I would really like to get an extra income stream going to keep my books balanced.

After our recent visit to Nakhon Nayok, I decided to knock up a little website about the area so I have been doing that in my spare time over the last few weeks. This is it - Nakhon Nayok. The area is massively popular with Thai tourists but almost unknown to westerners so I figure it deserves a bit of promotion.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Rain is Back

Marco has gone home and Gil is away for a week in Singapore. Good, I need a break from all these boozing sessions. I just don't recover the way I used to. We did a final session in Patong on Thursday night to see Marco off. He loves every minute while he is here and takes full advantage of everything Patong has to offer. He is that sort of character, but also it is the difference between being on holiday or living here. He so quickly catches up with so many of the characters and stories that make Patong such a colourful place. It reminds me that the place can still be fun, even though I am a little bored of it.

In the meantime another friend is back in town. Nick is another guy who works offshore for a month and comes back for a month. I seem to have quite a few friends who come and go. Nick lives on the same estate as me, enjoys his sport, likes a few beers. We naturally have quite a bit in common so we go out for a few beers now and then. Last night we went for a few in Phuket Town, only to find that everywhere was closed for an election - damned democracy. So it was back to Nick's house for a couple of beers.

And in the meantime, the rains have well and truly arrived. Burma has been absolutely battered by a cyclone with tens of thousands dead. Thailand never seems to be hit by storms to that extent but the long periods of rain can be a bit demoralising. I enjoy a really good thunderstorm. They are so moody and spectacular to watch and they usually pass in an hour or two. It is the times when the rain settles in for days on end that drag you down a bit. We have 6 months of rain to look forward to but fortunately there are usually plenty of bright spells between when you can get out and about.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Marco Back

So with old friends Marco and Gil both back in town, we all went out for a big night out in Patong on Tuesday night. It is good to see Marco back. He lived here for a couple of years until he had to go home for health reasons. He's an entertaining guy and was in good form. He loves it in Thailand and is keen to move back so he is working on putting away enough money to set himself up out here again.

It was Champions League night, Man U v Barcelona, and they are all Man U fans, including Huwy. How cliche is that. They are all good guys but I can't help feeling some disdain for Man U supporters. In all fairness, Marco is actually from Manchester. Gil and Huwy, the same as 99% of Man U fans, have never been to Old Trafford but still claim to be the most passionate fans in the world.

Man U won 1-0 so they were all very happy. Not surprisingly, they were not put off by my disdain for the Champions League and opinion that it was actually a boring game. Unless Spurs ever qualify for the CL, I will continue to look down on the competition as just the money making machine for the top 4 clubs that makes it impossible for anyone else to break their monopoly on the league. That is what the CL was designed for and it has turned the English Premier League into a predictable closed shop. Of course, if Spurs ever qualify I will be really happy we are getting a slice of the money.

We tuk-tuk'd home about 4am absolutely hammered. I felt crap the next day but wouldn't you know it, I had a load of work to do so I had to grind through it despite my a massive hangover. I'm just about recovered now.

Turns out I won the gym challenge. However, I can't really claim it was any great achievement as only 3 people entered. Strangely, they are not rushing to give me my prize shirt.