We moved to Thailand permanently about three years ago to escape the so-called Rat Race. The goal was to spend more time with the family specifically the kids. Yes, I am supposed to be retired. But who can sit in a rocking chair all day, sipping coffee and surfing the web amongst other mundane tasks? Fast forward to today, and I can tell you that I slash we are busier than we have ever been throughout our careers. So much for retirement. I have friends stop by on the occasional weekday morning to have a quick cup of coffee and to catch up on the local grapevine news. Those conversations tend to recenter me for the day’s activities. These friends who seem much more retired and relaxed than myself, always ask me what I am doing the rest of the day. So here is a small sampling of a typical day here on the farm which could include multiple events and distractions to take me off course completely. You never know what is going to happen on any given day. I will try to fill in a few of these examples for a little humor or in some cases scary stuff. Wake up between 6-7:30 am depending on how well I slept or didn’t. The first task of the day after drinking a quick cup of coffee is to feed the birds. We are up to about 120-150 Turkeys, Guineas, Ducks, Quail, Silkies, and Chickens. If they are all okay I move on the the next task which is checking on the Tilapia and Koi Ponds, and feeding them. Sidetrack…. The water pump is broken and must now be fixed to keep the oxygen supply to the fish. Then cut the grass, cut wood, or clean up the workshop. Sidetrack- The chickens are going nuts because a cobra has found its way into the pen. ( removed and back on schedule. It’s about 10:30 or 11: a.m. now. Now on to the main project of the day which could be building a greenhouse, setting up a hydroponic system, and adding irrigation somewhere on the property. Sidetrack waterpipe busted and is gushing water all over the backyard. Possible quick trip to the hardware store if parts are needed for the fix. It might sound crazy but these things happen way more often than you might think. Between all this, there are conversations with the kids about homeschool and chats with the wife about what the day’s events have been or The Plan! Sidetrack lawnmower won’t start. The new spark plug fixed it, and back in business. Folks the list goes on and on and there is really never a dull moment or a project that is not in the works or about to be in the works. At the end of the day, the feeding of both the birds and fish takes place all over again. Luckily, my oldest son helps with this quite often. We do all these things and prep food and products to sell in our shop that we only open on the weekends. we literally have to spend Monday through Friday preparing for the weekend opening. Since we pick, process, and roast all our own coffee for the shop, that leaves little time for recreation. However, we try to make time for road trips to tour around Thailand with the boys. ( trying to keep that promise we made before moving here) My wife handles the vanilla cultivation and drying process which on its own can take a full year to produce a single vanilla bean. I then as another of our jobs, make homemade vanilla ice cream for the business from our very own vanilla beans and extracts. Rinse and repeat with the occasional wild critter interruption, urgent repair, or timely processing of some farm product and that’s how my days usually go. Never a dull moment! That’s enough for today, if you have questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line.
My wife, I, and our two sons own and operate Siam Vanilla & Spice Trading, near Tat Ton National Park in Chaiyaphum, Thailand.