xylophone

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About xylophone

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  • Birthday 11/23/1947

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  1. Yes Schlog I think that's the key (for me anyway) because every time I have travelled out of Patong/Phuket I have enjoyed returning to the place. I do like going back to New Zealand to catch up with folks I know and to visit old haunts, however after about 2 to 3 weeks I am ready to get back to Patong and am really looking forward to it. Despite all of the moaning that I (and others) do about the place, it does have that certain draw to it, whether it be the sheer craziness and sometimes stupidity of certain sections of the population or even the government, or the fact that it can sometimes feel like a "crazy pirate island". Having said that the sheer scale of the corruption I do find hard to put up with, but I have MY life to live and I can't change it, so I ignore it whenever I can. In summary, for me, getting away from Patong/Phuket for a while is the cure for becoming tired of it.
  2. Decided that a visit to Bangla would be on the cards so did exactly that last night and for the report, well read my report #1877 because except for the bit about the restaurants, everything else was the same apart from there being fewer people all round. That of course doesn't apply to Tao because at 10 p.m. there were four people listening to the band and at 1:30 a.m. there were five people listening to the band!! Behind the "resurrected Tiger" bar complex I counted 20 bars which were empty and two which were occupied by bar staff, though with no customers and of course there were the six large bars fronting it which did have punters in, though none in any great numbers. I was told by a bar owner friend that Taipan had been shut down for a few day and word on the block seems to be that it was for after hours trading?? Don't know quite what the story is, however this would seem very strange if it was for this reason because Taipan has always ensured that there have been enough funds to supply the powers that be with "Tea" so that they can stay open late, so maybe the amount of tea which was needed to be bought was excessive? Or something else is in play and knowing a little about what happens here, it could well be that they were shut to be taught a lesson and to teach others a lesson. In a while of course, the affected establishments will be approached with regards to staying open late and having to pay the necessary tea money in order to do so, but probably greater amounts. Rumours abound that the transfer of the governor out of Phuket was because he had advocated a later closing time, and of course this would have reduced the tea money income quite markedly. On to other things and the Italian style restaurant at the south end of Nanai which I think was called Baoli has reopened as something else, but without a name and also seems devoid of customers as does the other Italian restaurant which has been closed for about a year now, Santa Christina, which after a short flurry of activity seems to have changed hands/cuisine and is now open, but serving what sort of cuisine? There are some blurry pictures on a sign above the entrance to the "restaurant" but quite what they are it is hard to determine. And speaking of Italian restaurants, Lo Scoglio also at the south end of Nanai continues to underwhelm with nary a human in sight in the restaurant although small four-legged furry creatures are often seen running around just outside of it! Cheap food and cheap rooms abound at the moment with Thai meals at 90 baht just off Bangla and at 80 baht in Nanai and rooms to be had for the cost of a few beers. Chinese nowhere near as abundant as before, so let's hope that continues and on a purely selfish note, I look forward to the low season, however I do feel for the genuine small business owners who are trying everything to make a go of it, but not so much for the incompetents who open small businesses for no other reason than they can – – reminds me of the old saying, "why do dogs lick their d1cks; because they can".
  3. Context.............the poster was wanting to make a decision between a not too expensive Shiraz or drinking a cask fruit wine, hence my suggestion, because although Gossips is just an everyday "swigger" it is better than drinking fruit wine, IMO. Sure we would all like to drink quality Shiraz, and as luck would have it I do, buying some fabulous Shiraz wines which originate from South Africa and Australia. Wine can be drunk in any climate and Australia which produces some very fine Shiraz wines is not exactly what you would call "a cold climate" country with temperatures in the Barossa Valley, which produce some very good Shiraz wines, often up in the 30s in the summer.
  4. Thanks for replying, but I did run the Malwarebytes prog after trial install and it seems to have (or Advanced Systemcare has) disrupted something (see attached) so do you know how to go about fixing it???? Please........... No image.docx
  5. I quite liked Siam Reap when I was there last and I do have friends who have relocated to Sihanoukville and to quite like it, so there are two options. I have been to Singapore and it is not for me and I thought about places in Malaysia, however I have a friend who has a family there and who spends quite a bit of time in various places there and he doesn't recommend it. Spain could be an option for a short while until I got my bearings and Myanmar doesn't appeal on the face of it, however I have yet to visit. Obviously the Philippines looms large and although I have visited Manila a couple of times and didn't like it, I don't really know what the likes of Cebu could offer? I suppose I could always journey back to NZ and find a nice place in the country, but then again it would be boring, so for the time being I have to hope that Patong (and Thailand) doesn't implode!!
  6. I received notification that an upgrade to Malwarebytes was available on a 14 day free trial, so I downloaded it and from what I can see, it looks like a good program and even includes an antivirus component. After I downloaded it and ran it, it uncovered hundreds of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs – yes you know that anyway) and most of those were as a result of my Advanced System Care 10 program and its associated Uninstaller and Malware finder. It seems that Malwarebytes sees these programs as PUPs, however I find them to be very useful and I have used them a lot more than Malwarebytes in the past. Not only that when I tried to play around with the programs, Advanced System Care recognised some elements of Malwarebytes as PUPs!!!! Now I have paid for the Advanced System Care programs and find them useful as I said, and I only occasionally use Malwarebytes, but the new upgrade looks great and could well replace my bit Defender free antivirus program (which I occasionally have to disable when loading programs) as well, so I have a dilemma because they both cannot sit on the same computer by all accounts and when I tried this, despite overriding the Malwarebytes program to recognise the other program as a PUP, it still kept flashing up green warning flags all of the time. Seems there is some bad blood between these two companies and the customers are those who are suffering. Has anybody got any info on the new Malwarebytes program or indeed my Advance System Care programs because I have to choose one, and for the moment the Advance System Care programs are winning because I've forked out money for them and find them very useful indeed for picking up fragments of programs left behind when I am uninstalling them, whereas others don't seem to.
  7. Whilst we are on the subject of attaching things to a post, how on earth do you post a picture, not an attachment, as I've tried many times and nothing happens. Let's say I wanted to post a photograph of my daughter (for example) and not as an attachment but as a picture, how would I do it?
  8. Probably too late now Simon as you will be winging your way back to Myanmar shortly, however I took the train from Bangkok down to Hua Hin and found that pleasant and was able to view some of the countryside on the way down as well as enjoy a few days in that city. As another poster has mentioned, going to see the River Kwai and associated memorabilia could be on the agenda and on a personal note, I do like Chiang Rai and a cheap flight to spend a few days up there would also be an option for me if I were in the same position. I did like driving around in the hills outside of Chiang Rai and visiting the tea plantations and flower gardens and I found the city to be rather quaint. Anyway next time maybe............?
  9. Agree with the "Plan B" scenario and that's why I have also investigated Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, because anything can change in this country, from attitude to xenophobia to governments to military and there could be no rhyme nor reason as to why it happens – – and of course us "visitors" may well be the 1st to have to go! Closer to home, sure the powers that be on Phuket are only interested in lining their own pockets and that becomes blatantly obvious the longer you stay here and know a little bit about it. As regards Patong, well IMO this is a place which could have well turned into a tourist's delight and a high-class destination, but again greed has prevailed and Patong has been absolutely ruined by this, lack of planning, lack of strong governance and the inability to see past the easily available "baht/dollar/whatever". I choose to stay here for the time being because I have gotten used to it and I have my own routine, friends and acquaintances and enjoy the restaurants and the occasional night out and who knows maybe I'll see my time out here because I have the ability to see past its shortcomings and enjoy what I enjoy. Having said that – – – – –because of the TIT factor I will always have a "Plan B/bolthole" lined up!!
  10. Hotel in Nanai now has rooms at 549 baht with breakfast included and a friend is staying at PS Hotel on Rat-u-Thid for 800 baht a night and this is walking distance to nightlife, shops and restaurants.
  11. Had another thought Tony.........Tesco sell a range of Aussie wines under the "Vineyards world wines" label, priced around 349 baht a bottle and it is an ok drinker. Don't ask me how they price it so low as not sure about that, but it doesn't seem to contain fruit juice.
  12. Actually Simon I do find that the motorbike taxis drive in a reasonably safe manner and I always say to them that I am an old fella and would they take it easy and believe it or not they do, sometimes going a little too slow! As is typically the case here in Patong, not many of them wear crash helmets and they certainly don't provide them for passengers like me (or they haven't up till now) but I feel fairly safe with the speed they go which would be probably around 30 km per hour or thereabouts. I've never really asked them the cost, I just give them what I think I should and for example from Soi Nanai six to the top of Bangla Road I give about 60 or 70 baht depending upon what I've got in my pocket and they don't seem to mind. On the way back from Bangla I give them 100 baht and they seem to accept it and as I said before, they are always interested in my welfare and I can't say a bad word about them. For what it's worth, if I'm going out for an evening to spend about 3000 to 5000 baht then I have absolutely no problem with paying a total of 170 baht to get there and back. I would do the same with a tuk tuk if I had to!
  13. I'm not sure where all this is going with regards to Phuket transport and baht buses in Pattaya, however for the record I think the baht buses in Pattaya are a good idea and an easy way to get round for locals and tourists alike. I also believe they would be good in Phuket (Patong) but with the situation being what it is with regards to the taxi Mafia/transport Mafia and everyone else who has their snouts in the trough here in Patong, I doubt whether that's going to change any time soon so we just have to put up with what transport we can get. If a group of friends went out then we would allocate one alcohol free driver and the rest of us could drink as we wished; there is also the availability of motorbike taxis and that is now my chosen mode of transport from my place to Bangla and it serves me well, and not only that when I wend my way back from Bangla I catch a motorbike taxi at the bottom of Sansabai and they have got to know me now and they always greet me cordially and seem genuinely concerned about my welfare, which I like. It's not likely to change any time soon here, so we just adapt accordingly (in my book) – – and as it is not going to change, there is no real point in arguing about it, surely??
  14. Also good on you for trying to do the same Simon, but then again that's all you can do, and if they don't want to realise what you're trying to do for them and their future, then "up to them" – – you can only but try.
  15. Good day NKM, felt I needed a break from Patong so decided upon Vietnam because it's a place I had always thought I'd like to explore for a number of reasons, one of them being that it could act as a potential "bolthole" should I decide to leave Patong/Thailand. Went to Da Nang and also visited Hoi An and wasn't impressed with either of them! Obviously Da Nang is the biggest and although supposedly the third largest city in Vietnam, it was pretty well dead as regards tourists, with just the occasional party of Chinese and Koreans encountered. There is certainly a lot of building going on in Da Nang with new hotels going up everywhere you looked, so obviously they are gearing up for the tourism trade? Hoi An was a disappointment because supposedly the prettiest part of the town and one which is said to be the drawcard, the area alongside of the river, was actually just full of small, cheap souvenir shops and the occasional pub/restaurant. Not only that this place was full of tourist buses and one can only assume they came from Da Nang, which will have easily swallowed up this amount of tourists without anyone noticing (I certainly didn't). People are friendly however pubs and bars as we know them here are few and far between – – did find a couple of great restaurants though, one French and one Italian, so that went some way to making up for the disappointment of the visit. I think it also cemented in my mind the fact that I am a small town person and I dislike cities. All in all, nothing to go back for!