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Hello from Thailand

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  • Hello from Thailand

    Sawat-dee-kap, or hi guys (and gals)from NE Thailand.
    Thought i'd finally post an intro. been reading this site for the last couple of years, posted a couple of times, find it by far the most enjoyable and interesting of all the machining/machine tool forums on the web. Check it out 2-3 times a week. PM about once a month for the antique machinery section and the SB lathe section. My Yahoo groups about once a week; Triumph twins, Bonneville owners, Moto guzzi owners, Boxford lathe users, Shapers, Tom Senior owners, Toolgrinding... Gives you some idea of my interests.
    I'm 52 this month, and from England. Been a motorcycle mechanic pretty much all my life. Had my own well known Triumph m/c shop in the UK from 1988-2003. Had enough, sold up and moved out here. Live about 50 miles/80kms from the Mekong river and the major border crossing with Laos. Built a farm house, bought up about 25 acres over the years of land, now have a rubber plantation, with 5000 trees, a 1/3rd of which are now earning money. Not quite self sufficient, but getting there. Got a lovely Thai wife and two kids. Speak the lingo, and Laos too, as that is is what is mainly spoken here in the NE.
    My motorcycle interests are anything OHV; all olde British, olde BMW, pre 2000 HD, and especially Moto Guzzi. only got bitten by the Guzzi bug about 15 years ago; as a mechanic, there is no easier, well put together, well thought out design than the big twin Guz vintage early 70's to 2000 odd. Do'nt like electronics, not a fan of fuel injection. I like to fix things myself, and without the aid of computers and diagnostics. Hence new stuff is a no go for me. Keep it simple, do'nt make it complicated. Ca'nt fix it on the side of the road - not interested.
    My workshops comprise of two 20' insulated shipping containers shipped over from England in 2005, with a separate roof over them and a large open spaced outdoor work area for working on bikes, my old Ford tractor and fabricating, welding etc.
    Walking through my L/H container in a U, is a small US made b/blast cabinet, degreasing area, degreasing solvent bath, bench, another bench with vice, bookshelf, filing cabinet with special workshop service tools i've purchased or made over the years, Snap-On tool cabinet, 20 ton hydraulic press, and my dolly stand on wheels with dummy fuel tank, m/c battery charger, carb synch devices.
    Walking through my R/H container in a U, 1983 Migatronic (made in Denmark - fantastic quality), 180 mig welder purchased new, 1973 Tom Senior mill with the quill feed vertical head, 1978 8" Boxford shaper (actually a late S200 metric version, but with the very rare power vertical feed), 1969 Boxford VSL vari-speed lathe, fully tooled, 4.5" x 22", or 9" x 22" in US measurements, bench, with Taiwanese pillar drill owned for 30 years and still going strong, long bench with 24" x 36" surface plate, vice, Denbigh vintage WWII power hacksaw, another bench with just purchased and unfinished s/h Stent T&CG project bought off e-bay by my dad, Wolf 8" bench grinder, Creusen belt linisher and polishing spindle.
    When i'm clever enough, i'll post some pics, but computers are not one of my strong points. You WILL love my two bikes, a 1979 bored and stroked very non std Triumph Bonneville, owned from new, featured in numerous magazines back in it's day, and a 1989 Moto Guzzi California III, 950cc and again, very non std, with not one piece of plastic left. I hate plastic so much, that every knob on every machine tool is now either alloy or brass.
    Will post about this great country, and super-nice people if anybody is interested, it aint that third world anymore, "Detroit of the East" etc, and it aint cheap anymore, but still beats the hell out of living in the West. Since i've lived here permanent in 9 years, fuel has trebled to 43 baht for 1 litre of petrol/gas, 33 baht for diesel, daily average wage doubled from 150 baht per DAY to 300 baht for average workers, ie building labourers, car and m/c mechanics, shop and restaurant staff etc. 1 USD = 31 baht, 1 Pound sterling = 49 baht. But, hey, i can still eat great street food or sit in a restaurant and have a 1$ great meal. And the beer is good too, drunk with ice. And as for the weather... no regrets England.
    Best regards,

  • #2
    Welcome! Very interesting post. I had a '69 Bonny & loved it. Pics will be great, just read the sticky on posting pics & ask if you need help. Thanks! Eric
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison


    • #3
      Greetings from one of the colonies - Canada

      I'm waiting for the pictures of your shipping container/workshop as it has me very curious.
      I'm in the process of restoring a charming old Raglan 5" lathe and as a rank beginner in machine tools at 53 I'm finding it one of the most rewarding hobbies I've ever become involved with and learn something new every time I sit down to pick another piece off of it and document with pictures. Without these forums I'd never be able to tackle it.



      • #4
        Awesome to have you! As stated though,we do have a nitch for pictures and loved the walk through,so lets SEE where a master does his work.


        • #5

          Thanks for the nice intro. Thailand does sound like a decent place to live nowadays. The advent of the internet has made a lot of third world countries a little more mainstream to the rest of the world.

          As others have said, we love pictures. It is pretty easy with photobucket to have them host them and then post a link here. Once you have done it a couple of times it will be a snap.


          THINK HARDER




          • #6
            Thanks for posting. I LOVE Thai food. YUP!! The street food is the best there is IMO... JR
            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



            • #7
              Living the dream, congrats Sir, looking forward to the pics.
              James Kilroy


              • #8
                Where was your bike shop ? Although why I lower myself to talk to anyone who rides unit construction I don't know !

                Richard - SW London, UK, EU.


                • #9
                  Well, a somewhat belated welcome to the group. I guess if you have been tuning in for a couple of years and you aren't fed up with us yet, you will probably stay.

                  Seriously, this is one great group. I enjoy it a lot and it is my home page on the internet. And has been for many years now.

                  I look forward to more posts from you.
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

                  Make it fit.
                  You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


                  • #10
                    Many thanx for the warm welcome guys.
                    Alright, give me a week or so and i'll try some pics. Being semi-retired i am so damn busy these days.
                    # Eric - yep as stated before the 68-70 was the pinnacle of Triumph Bonneville design, still a great looker, reliable points ignition finally, great chassis, especially the '70 only with removable front engine plates, '71 on and it all turned to sh*t.
                    # Lewis - funny, out of all the SE Asian countries, Thailand was the only one never colonised. Britain had Burma and Malaysia, France had Indo-China (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos).
                    # Richard - shop was in Hoveton, Norwich, Norfolk, called PSP Engineering Services. we specialised only in 650-750 twins, inc pre-units. Had full machine shop facilities, metal finishing shop, spares and retail, imported fancy US engine parts like Megacycle cams, Carillo rods and Joe Hunt Magnetoes, and made some of our own stuff too, the most well known being the PSP hydraulic clutch kit for unit 650-750s. When i sold up, the PSP name and PSP products rights were bought by LP Williams who still sells them now i believe.
                    Also built the RLT (Rather Large Triumph) 1060cc drag bike, but never developed it enough.
                    Kind regards,