Faces of Thailand Dec 13, 2014Blog
Everyone gets down to the business of dying but not everyone gets around to the business of living. Pop Darryll's Last Case is about how Pop chose to live his life. And how some people live on, whether they like it or not. For readers looking for a good action packed thriller with plenty of Chinese influences and cinematic qualities that reminded me of the 2002 movie, The Scorpion King I highly recommend Pop Darryll's Last Case by Dean Barrett. - Kevin Cummings
Faces of Thailand Dec 11, 2014Blog
The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne is my Book of the Year. A compelling read about a psychotic gambler set in the high stakes casinos of Macao with fascinating ferry boat trips to Hong Kong. It comes with a supernatural twist. Sentence by sentence, Lawrence Osborne is a writer discerning readers will want to experience at a tempered pace.
Faces of Thailand Dec 4, 2014Blog
This week's Faces of Thailand contributor is author, Court Merrigan. Court lived previously in Japan and for a five year period in Thailand. He is the author of Moondog over the Mekong and is a contributing author to the recently released crime fiction anthology, Trouble in the Heartland; a series of stories based on the songs of Bruce Springsteen.
Faces of Thailand Nov 26, 2014Blog
“Americans In Thailand” begins by describing the arrival in 1818 of the first pioneers and diplomats and traces the subsequent encounters with unfamiliar customs that every visitor to the country can relate to. In time order the burgeoning influence of the growing American community is documented with colorful and candid tales about the characters and personalities of each era.
This week's Faces of Thailand contributor is Alasdair McLeod. Alasdair comes from Scotland and went to High School on the Isle of Skye. He is a writer, photographer, videographer and adventurer among other things. Alasdair has written a story about a most unusual tattoo collector by the name of Jaidee. The sacred sak yant protective skins are Jaidee's favorites. The story comes complete with Naga serpents and the upcountry Naga Fireball Festival as a backdrop. It's a tale of good, evil and the supernatural.
Faces of Thailand Nov 17, 2014Blog
The smart and sane one in the family, Jimm Juree, finds romance in this murder mystery in the form of expat author Conrad Coralbank, who coincidentally or not has the same initials as the author and has also published a popular fictional series set in Laos. No one is spared from the acerbic wit of Cotterill, including the publishing industry, sex scenes in literature, technology users, authors and perhaps even readers of mystery fiction?
Faces of Thailand Nov 12, 2014Blog
Janet Brown discovered Thailand in the middle of life and considers it her second home. She lived in Bangkok for many years. When not traveling she lives in Seattle, Washington where she writes, follows her Seattle Mariners and visits frequently with friends and family. She is the author of Tone Deaf in Bangkok, Almost Home - The Asian Search of a Geographic Trollop and two titles for children, The Prince, the Demon King, and the Monkey Warrior, and B is for Bangkok.
Maxwells Nov 11, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Nov 11, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand is pleased to introduce you to Timothy Hallinan's recently released sixth in the Poke Rafferty thriller series, FOR THE DEAD. Tim and his publisher, SOHO CRIME have graciously permitted the use of the beginning of Chapter One titled simply, The River. The Poke Rafferty series is about a family living in Thailand. I hope you enjoy the first 1,200 words of FOR THE DEAD by Timothy Hallinan.
Where Else But The Company of Poets? - Muzak and Murderers Poetry Night - Tonight at Toot Yung Art Center
Faces of Thailand Oct 29, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand is pleased to announce an event to be held this evening at Toot Yung Art Center in Bangkok, Thailand beginning at 7:30 p.m. "MUZAK AND MURDERERS" will include Poet Noir, John Gartland a poetry reading by Gabriella Moriarty, musical accompaniment by Ted Lewand and a photo screening by Eric Nelson.
Faces of Thailand Oct 28, 2014Blog
Declan Power is a good old boy in a Mike Hammer kind of way, with a better personality, no tie or hat, a keen sense of humor and a positive outlook on life. Declan is a newspaper man, working for the Chiang Mai Chronicle. He's always looking for the angle of a story or the right curves for his second gig, a night life oriented column featuring the red light district of Chiang Mai.
ENCIRCLED - An In Depth Book Review and Analysis of the Dave Eggers Science Fiction Novel THE CIRCLE
Faces of Thailand Oct 22, 2014Blog
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," announced Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in what was either an unserious, off-the-cuff remark or a chilling insight into his vision of the future. Dave Eggers is going for the latter. Hence The Circle, a novel which worriedly points to the direction Eggers suspects Mr. Schmidt is taking us. - Mithran Somasundrum
FOR THE DEAD by Timothy Hallinan - A Triple Thriller - Sixth in the Poke Rafferty Series - A Book Review
Faces of Thailand Oct 21, 2014Blog
In FOR THE DEAD, Poke is happy, financially secure for once and learns that his family of three will in nine months time become four. Daughter, Miaow helps her nerdish Vietnamese boyfriend replace his second lost iPhone with a used model during a skillful negotiation process with a Sikh merchant in India Town. They learn later the phone contains pictures of some very dead policeman. FOR THE DEAD drops on November 4th, 2014.
Faces of Thailand Oct 16, 2014Blog
John Fengler studied film and psychology in California, before returning to his native NYC to make documentaries and attempt to save the world. Having fallen just short of that goal he wound up making commercials to pay the rent. In the early 1980s he went to the 'Far East' to find himself. There he got a job working in a refugee camp on the Cambodian border in 1982 where he learned about emergency medicine. John has returned to Thailand regularly ever since, and has been a permanent Chiang Mai resident for the past 5 years. He writes mostly for fun and not for profit.
Faces of Thailand Oct 9, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Oct 1, 2014Blog
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” ― Dalai Lama XIV - Melissa Ray, a four time Muay Ying Champion with a Ph.D in Neuroscience, writes about her visit to the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders. Later she finds herself in a room alone with a blood thirsty female. The results are not pretty. Enjoy our inaugural Faces of Thailand post, which you can find here every Thursday at Chiang Mai City News.
Faces of Thailand Sep 20, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Sep 16, 2014Blog
Maxwells Aug 22, 2014Blog
Maxwells Aug 12, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Aug 11, 2014Blog
I felt that critical perceptions of [Henry Miller] placed too much emphasis on his sexual content, and not enough on his spiritual content, and many critics failed to see the connection between his interest in sexuality and his spiritual quest. For all of these reasons, I felt he was "unknown" and I decided to make him more visible through my biography.
Faces of Thailand Jul 22, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Jul 18, 2014Blog
Recently Philip Coggan asked me if I could run an interview he did with one of my favorite authors, Timothy Hallinan. Tim's a great author and an all around good guy who splits his time between California and South East Asia. He has a new book out called HERBIE'S GAME. Later this year the sixth in the Poke Rafferty series, FOR THE DEAD, which is set in Thailand will be released.
Faces of Thailand Jul 4, 2014Blog
Two expats in a car along with their adorable dog explore Northern Thailand and capture its fascinating beauty with breathtaking films and photographs. Passionate about their work, they share their daily experiences of Thai life filled with magnificent nature, delicious food and spontaneous adventures - read all about these passions here.
Faces of Thailand Jun 7, 2014Blog
Cambodia, anyone? John Gartland, Christopher Minko and Krom to Perform on May 31st and June 1st, 2014
Faces of Thailand May 25, 2014Blog
Anyone looking for a respite from the lock down in Thailand might want to consider the relative tranquility of Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 31st and June 1, 2014 respectively. On those dates poet noir, John Gartland will be reciting his original poetry. On May 31st he will be part of a lineup that will include the man in black, Christopher Minko and his Khmer vocalists in Krom. On June 1st he will appear with Christopher Minko at the renown Meta House in Phnom Penh. Click to read original poetry from noir poet, John Gartland:
Faces of Thailand Apr 27, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Apr 20, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Apr 10, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Apr 7, 2014Blog
As a non-Thai writer, I challenge myself not to only expose Thailand’s seedy underbelly but to also showcase the beauty of the country. Chiang Mai was the setting for my first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar, because it has both. My Australian expat PI character, Jayne Keeney, alludes to this towards the end of the novel when she reflects that, “while Chiang Mai might have an ugly side, the light that afternoon was at its most flattering.”
English Defense League White Supremacist in Chiang Mai says the ‘Lads’ are coming up North from Pattaya – No Shame at ‘Whites Only Bar’ Policy(This was an April Fool's Joke)
Dying Apr 1, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Mar 31, 2014Blog
Without doubt, the books that most influenced me growing up were the pulp and crime novels read by my father. Along with a lot of men in the fifties and sixties, Dad loved Carter Brown and Larry Kent. He also had a thing for Mickey Spillane, John MacDonald and Ian Fleming. I still have his collection of early James Bond paperbacks, saved from what would no doubt have been one of Mum’s frequent op shop culls. I’ve read them all several times.
Tom Mar 27, 2014Blog
'As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.’ Often the values of the influences imposed on us by our mothers and fathers, our teachers and certain friends, are not realized until years later, when we, as a sailor does, look back at our wakes to determine the course we have steered that got us to where we are. - Buddy Ebsen, April 2, 1908 - July 6, 2003
Follow Alice while she explores the food scene in Chiang Mai, and navigates her way through Thai, Japanese, Italian and more cuisines in the city. Her blog is filled with helpful information for hungry tummies with empty or bulging wallets, with honest recommendations for everything from cheap eateries to expensive restaurants. The lack of websites, menus, or prices are now a thing of the past, because Where to Eat in Chiang Mai has it covered!
Faces of Thailand Mar 24, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Mar 20, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Mar 10, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Mar 9, 2014Blog
Author John Burdett blends his imaginary world with the real one in cynical fashion as good as anyone. Told with a Buddhist slant, through the narrative of Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Vulture Peak is about organ trafficking run by identical sultry twin Chinese sisters. I’d tell you their names but like Burdett’s imagination and his accurate commentary on the global world, it really doesn’t matter much what your preference is...
Faces of Thailand Mar 6, 2014Blog
If you look up, SEX, DRUGS, and ROCK N ROLL in your Urban Dictionary you'll read the term is a nickname for the lifestyle of rock stars. You'll also see that of the three rock examples used, Elvis Presley is #1: Died of a drug overdose. I learned from Jerry Hopkins that Jim Morrison's drug of choice was alcohol. Jim telling Jerry once, "It's suicide, one drink at a time." As for Jerry's own lifestyle, it has been comfortable.
Travel writer, Richard Barrow gets my nod as the Big Kahuna of Bloggers in Thailand. Google him if you are one of the few who is unaware. You will be glad you did. In times of hate and mean spirited rhetoric, it is good to know the Richard Barrow's of the world still find a way to enjoy Thailand, share it with us and remain positive.
Dying Feb 25, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Feb 17, 2014Blog
As I sing in Tango Traffic Tango – these are nations that quite willingly sell their daughters into the sex industry. As nations they are not yet mature enough to confront the tragedy that they impose on their own people – that requires real courage – and real change – unlike the ego and profit driven political charade currently taking place in the streets of Bangkok…
Faces of Thailand Feb 16, 2014Blog
The more you learn about the Christopher Minko and Krom story, the more you are drawn to it. Christopher Minko was born and raised in the country that rightfully has earned the moniker of, "The Lucky County", Australia. Music was emphasized at an early age; his mother being a concert pianist. He now lives in what could easily be cast as one of the unluckiest countries, working with people who were not born into fortune but have found ways to make their lives a success, despite enormous obstacles.
Faces of Thailand Feb 14, 2014Blog
Faces of Thailand Feb 12, 2014Blog
Miller saves his risque, erotica for the last two chapters, recounting a flash back episode that takes place in New York’s Central Park, which leads to a 36 hour sexual romp with not one but two wholesome neighborhood women, despite being flat broke. It seems every young man’s fantasy of the 1960s summer of love actually took place for Henry in the summer of 1928.
Faces of Thailand Feb 8, 2014Blog
The Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand, by Jim Algie, has something for almost everybody. If you're the one with the Thomas Kinkade painting above your couch you'll probably want to give it a pass. But if your tastes run closer to an oil painting by an artist with a severed ear, a Henry Miller watercolor, a Dali pen and ink, a Chris Coles acrylic or even a thumbtacked poster of Dogs Playing Poker, these thrilling tales are framed beautifully and make for a great read.
Dying Jan 24, 2014Blog
Now I notice something else. “No blood?” “Somebody cleaned up meticulously. They even used some chemical that neutralizes our tests. I tell you, whoever did it were professionals. There were certainly more than one.” I nod. “Any ideas?” the doctor asks when we have replaced the sheet. “You mean whodunit? Only in the more general sense.” She raises her eyes. “Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, Margaret Thatcher, Adam Smith. Capitalism dunit. Those organs are being worn by somebody else right now.” John Burdett - Vulture Peak
Faces of Thailand Dec 31, 2013Blog
Cara Black fans will have an opportunity to meet the New York Times best selling author and hear her read from her Anthony and Macavity Award nominated novel, MURDER IN MARAIS when she appears along with numerous other authors for the literary event, BANGKOK NIGHT OF NOIR to be held at Check Inn 99 in Bangkok, Thailand on January 5th, 2014 starting at 6:00 p.m. Check Inn 99 is located between Sukhumvit 5 and 7.
Faces of Thailand Dec 22, 2013Blog
"This time the tough guys beating up on Vinny are the very ones his longtime friend, Royal Thai Police Colonel Pratt routinely diverted him from. Pratt is still Calvino’s friend but no longer his protector. And Calvino is beating himself up too. Just two reasons you know straight away, The Marriage Tree is different from any previous Calvino novel." Author, Christopher G. Moore is appearing in Chiang Mai on Saturday, December 28th, 2013 at Suriwong Book Center on Sridonchai Road from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
"POST HUMAN" Chiang Mai University Fine Art Professor Chatchawan Nilsakul has solo exhibit at Koi Art Gallery in Bangkok
Faces of Thailand Dec 21, 2013Blog
Dying Dec 16, 2013Blog
Dying Nov 28, 2013Blog
Dying Nov 1, 2013Blog
“Child, in Chiang Mai we were five people in a house. Five individuals with nothing in common but a surname. We were hemmed in by traffic and breathing soot. We floated in noise and aggression and other people’s troubles. We were all so inside ourselves we stopped living for each other. I hoped coming here might pump life into us as a family. I wanted my children and my father back while I could still recognize them, before it was too late.”
Maxwells Aug 1, 2013Blog
Dr Stephen M Jul 31, 2013Blog
G.E. Jul 21, 2013Blog
April saw the death of Britain’s most divisive former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. MP Chukka Umunna’s take on what it means to be a man of the people was revealed. And UKIP received endorsement from the EDL, which if nothing else suggests whom their policies and identity appeal to no matter how hard Nigel Farage tries to re-brand their ambiguity. www.gesimons.co.uk
Dr Stephen M Jun 16, 2013Blog
G.E. Mar 16, 2013Blog
I can imagine the phone conversation between the Thai and Indonesian tourist authorities ending in a coin toss for superlatives. Indonesia got ‘Wonderful’. Result! Cambodia is ‘The Kingdom of Wonder’, which I think is fair enough, and ‘Malaysia – Truly Asia’ has a nice ring to it. ‘Vietnam – Timeless charm’ is a bit fusty, and ‘Mystical Myanmar’ is lazy alliteration, and wrong, because the country is called Burma.
G.E. Mar 6, 2013Blog
February saw David Beckham evade his £160,000 weekly wages but was it really all about avoiding 75% French income tax rates? Julian Assange continued to lock himself in a building in London to avoid being locked in a building in Sweden. The Tories were likened to the bust HMV chain. And Audrey Hepburn was brought back from the dead to hawk chocolate. www.gesimons.co.uk
G.E. Jan 24, 2013Blog
2013… A new year begins and could be another very lucrative one for David Milliband. Those who view the Royal Family as vampires, receive more ammunition to back their view. Cherie Blair is honoured with a C.B.E, Ha! Ha! Ha! Yet David Bowie reminds us that humanity can still soar. www.gesimons.co.uk
G.E. Jan 18, 2013Blog
The Britogram end of year annual: The best, or is it the worst, of the year and a new December stocking filler…
G.E. Dec 24, 2012Blog
G.E. Dec 2, 2012Blog
The menu was truly appetising with hot juicy corned beef, Romanian pastrami, hot brisket of beef tongue, and all sorts of barbecues like ribs (the farang on the table next to me had this and it looked soooooooo good! – next time!), beef short ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, pork chop, spaghettis and even pizzas
G.E. Oct 22, 2012Blog
G.E. Sep 28, 2012Blog
This weekend, when the two teams meat at the Medinah Country Club in America's sporting capital, Chicago, the Europeans are arguably the stronger team on paper and include all four of the last number one golfers, the current world matchplay champion and also the only Chicagoan on either team in Luke Donald. However, the American team boasts the current US Open and Masters champions, a certain resurgent Mr. Woods
G.E. Sep 4, 2012Blog
G.E. Aug 26, 2012Blog
I asked the guy sitting next to me on the VIP bus (Very Irritating Percussion) why the music was always played at such an ear-drum perforating decibel when nobody is high, or dancing, or really up for a party on the ride to another country’s border. He answered that it was just the way things are. Fuck me, Chris de Burgh is still touring, that’s the way it is, but that doesn’t make it right. Does it?
G.E. Jul 9, 2012Blog
G.E. May 22, 2012Blog
Chiang Mai has been voted one of the world’s best cities to retire and is a popular choice for gay people to spend those pink twilight years. Northern Thailand’s natural beauty, friendly people, great climate, low cost of living, good transport links and low cost healthcare are all factors, but the ability to openly live a gay lifestyle and interact freely with like-minded people is often the biggest attraction.
Sun May 8, 2012Blog
G.E. Apr 30, 2012Blog
Chiang Mai’s four male Go-Go bars are best described with the cliché “same same but different”. Many gay visitors to Thailand will likely have pre-conceptions set by the decadent go-go bar scene of Bangkok or Pattaya , yet everything they read about Chiang Mai informs them of an ancient city of culture, temples, natural beauty and a laid back, peaceful lifestyle. So when it comes to the commercial gay scene what will they find here?
Santitham was once known as a run-down red light district. Now it seems hardly a week passes without the demolition crew tearing down another piece of Chiang Mai’s forlorn heritage to replace it with modern concrete and glass. With two new gay orientated guest houses opened recently and new coffee shops, contemporary restaurants, bars and cafés springing up, Santitham is undergoing a renaissance.
The Gay Community, whatever that is, has become so complacent its nastiest skeleton has been pushed way back in the closet. Let’s shout about gay rights, gays in the military, gay marriage, gay adoption, gays in politics and gays in pink dresses but one subject has become distinctly un-cool and un-mentionable.
When I was promoted to be regional manager, my head office in Texas can not have realised how isolated Chiang Mai was. Unlike today, with all these new fangled electronic communication devices, someone in Texas took the time to buy a bottle of Quink ink and bring out from the back of the bottom drawer their old Shaeffer pen to send me a letter.
I got an email. This always excites me. So I opened it. ‘Need a blog done, will you?’ it read. ‘Yes. Err, what?’ was my reply, and apparently, it was the correct way to reply as I am now doing a blog. Blogs are brilliant because they are the thoughts of ranters, philosophers, angry people, bored souls and those who could benefit from a bit of trepanning, all on one handy page available to anyone with a computer device. Now, I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but not being one who likes to buck the system, it will probably end up with an element of all the above. I want the blog to grow organically, not sure what that means, but it seems like the right thing to say. And I like the word organic. Its one that CEOs of companies always use to describe their latest business model just before everything goes tits up. I’ve been told I need to do an introduction though, so I’ve copied what I usually put on dating sites: I’m Tom. I’m 26 years old. I own a large real estate portfolio, and a small disappointment. I like long walks in any country, and a glass of red wine by the mantelpiece. Soft furnishings confuse me, but I like to write poems about them anyway, when I’m not losing my mind to dubstep. I have a Golden Lab called Ernst and I read a book. Right, let’s give this thing a go, as JR Oppenheimer once said.
Drinking is a popular pastime for many gay people and the ex-pat community and visitors to Chiang Mai seem no exception to that concept. So where do gays go to drink? This post suggests a few of the most popular places across town that are good for a drink in a pleasant environment where the music volume is moderate allowing conversation and socialising to flourish.
Outside of Bangkok, there is nowhere else in Thailand that offers great value for high quality international cuisine like Chiang Mai. I dare to claim this because I have visited all the major destinations in Thailand many many times and in each place my personal passion is in discovering great places to eat. I love food from all over the world and all my friends who know me, know that if they are about to visit anywhere, all they have to do is call me and I will tell them exactly where to eat and even what to eat once they get there. This is why I enjoy writing about food...
It was back in 2007 when I was first approached by a friend to help make a website for a new gay bar and restaurant in Chiang Mai. My initial solution was a couple of basic pages about the place, some photos and the inevitable unfathomable location map; all of which, to me, seemed a little boring. For fun and to enhance the site with extra content, I added a couple of pages listing some of the other gay venues in Chiang Mai. It was thus that my new hobby of writing websites and blogs about gay Chiang Mai was born.