Dining Out Group – Casa Diverso

Last night 12 of us from the Dining Out Group enjoyed a meal at Casa Diverso.

Khun Oh, recently opened a Mediterranean and Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai’s Old City. Khun Oh and his partner, Chef Lek have a lot of experience in the hospitality industry.

Inside Decoration

There’s a large outdoor dining area in the garden, and also a rather stylishly decorated indoors area, giving the restaurant a classy, but still relaxed and warm feel.

Some very nice bread with herbed and garlic butter was served.

Grilled Prawns & Bacon

Sea Bass

For a starter I ordered grilled prawns and bacon and for a main course I had sea bass on mashed potatoes with other vegetables. Both were delicious!

An evening of fine food and good company.

Verdict: I’ll be back!

Paul with Oh (Chef) & Lek (Waiter)


Coup d’état

Thailand is under military rule following a coup d’état. The Caretaker government and the Senate have been dissolved, the Constitution partially repealed, and a Junta established, called The national Peace and Order Maintaining Council

Here is a BBC report. Since that report the Senate has been dissolved also. Here is a report from City News for Chiang Mai residents.International leaders have Condemned the Thai Coup

Well how does it affect life in chiang mai. Not that much for me!

There is a curfew between 10 PM and 5 AM, I’m usually in bed by 9 PM. Passengers arrivng at or departing from airports are exempt, as are people going to hospitals, farmers delivering produce etc  At first all TV was blocked, but some stations are now operating. Others carry the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council Logo and play patriotic music with the occasional Junta announcement. The statelite carrying The Australia Network TV signal is blocked as is the BBC, CNN, Fox, Al Jazeera, etc

Meetings of more than five persons for political purposes are banned. The monthly Expats Club meeting however was held yesterday as normal.

We must remember that we are guests living in someone elses country and show maturity and understanding of Thailand’s problems.

The has been a candle light peace vigil at Thapae Gate and some skirmishes at Chang Puak Gate, but the police closed the road to prevent more people joining in. All in all Chiang Mai has been fairly peaceful, with residents obeying the curfew. Red Shirts however are upset about the coup and unrest is there just below the surface. I feel sorry for bars and restaurants that are losing money because of the curfew, but many tourists are enjoying the photo opportunities provided by the army presence.

Candle Light Vigil for Peace

Tourists (Chinese?) enjoying the Show

Another Tourist

Travel Club – Scotland

Scottish Flag

Scottish Coat of Arms

Last night at the Travel Club meeting at the Sangdee Gallery, popular Scottish expat Stuart, presented  a detailed and at times humourous account of his home city and country, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The meeting was transferred fom April 14 due to songkran celebrations.

He opened his presentation with a short travel video.

He then explained the long, turbulent, and sometimes bloody history of the county and how the clan system worked.

He spoke about the geography of Scotland – how most of the population of 5.3 million lives in Central and Southern Lowlands and not the rugged Highlands. A distuubing fact is the low life expectancy of the people, males 76.9 and females 80.9. In fact in some parts of Glasgow the life expectancy for males is a low as 54.

He was obviously was proud of his country’s achievements, especially in science where the nation punched above it’s weight.

Inside the Scottish Parliament Building

He explained Scottish politics and also referred to the referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country which will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014.

All registered residents over 16 years of age are entitled to vote. A close result is expected.

He finished his presentation with a rousing version of Scotland the Brave.


Proud Phu Fah

Toy and two of his friends took me to a resort for my birthday. It was the Proud Phu Fah Resort (means beautiful shining mountain, or something like that) located at 1150 meters above sea level on the picturesque mountain range on the Mae Rim – Samoeng Road.

We arrived at about 10AM and spent the day eating, drinking (non alcoholic), and lounging around. It really is a beautiful spot.

Nop, Glid, Toy, & Me

A Beautiful Outlook

On the way home we stopped off at the Beatles Cafe at Mae Sa, for more food of course! Owner Kitiwat Leelayut, aka Jiab, was a professional rock guitarist for 30 years and has built his restaurant as a tribute to The Beatles.

The Gardens


The Gardens

Toy, Nop, & Glid

Improvised Birthday Cake - Banana Pancake & Chocolate Cake



Today is my 75th Birthday

The “Magic” Bank A/c

I Imagine that you had won the following **PRIZE** in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules. The set of rules: 1.. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you. 2.. You may not simply transfer money into some other account. 3.. You may only spend it. 4.. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day. 5.. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “Game Over ! It can close the account and you will not receive a new one. *What would you personally do?* You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all people you love. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, right?

This GAME is REAL!* Each of us is already a winner of this PRIZE. We just can’t seem to see it. This PRIZE is **TIME**!! 1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life. 2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. 3. What we haven’t lived up that day is forever lost. 4. Yesterday is forever gone. 5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time *WITHOUT WARNING*…. SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in pounds. Think about that, and always think of this: Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think. So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life! Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start spending…. those 86,400 seconds.