T.I.T. Podcast Episode 36: Go Ahead…As You Do!

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•    Welcome to episode 36
•    Lots and lots of rain
•    The rainy season has come early
•    Global warming?
•    I’m not P.C. regarding global warming
•    What’s worse than waking at 6 AM?
•    Tom has never been a morning person
•    Mom used to wake me up with the vacum
•    My mind works better late at night
•    Tom’s first full time job was 3rd shift
•    Most people don’t seem to be night owls
•    Comments and emails
•    A little love from Zilla
•    Sometimes the accent still shows itself
•    I have another friend that strongly dislikes the British
•    Social anxiety
•    Wanting to be social vs. being uncomfortable
•    Old coping mechanisms
•    Alcohol eased the anxiety
•    Tom over did it one to many times
•    I say “As you Do!” instead of cursing at people
•    Picked it up from my dear sweet Ozzie friend
•    Closing remarks and love to my listeners!

**special thanks to Kiko over at Visitronix for the P.S.A.**

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T. Episode 23: Happy New Year

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•    Welcome to episode 23
•    Happy New Year in Thai
•    My Christmas presents and dinner
•    Go listen to the latest episode of Pocket Talk
•    Thais give New Year’s gifts
•    Special emails from my listeners
•    Voicemail from my Mom and Craig of the Royal Pains
•    This is why I podcast…
•    How do you celebrate new years?
•    Big parties or intimate gatherings?
•    Tom’s favorite New Year in Taipei 2006
•    Why do we even bother making resolutions?
•    Yes, of course I have them, and they are….
•    How Tom will spend his New Year
•    2008 just sucked!
•    A New Year’s wish out to you.
•    Closing remarks and love
•    Be safe if your partying and see you next year!

Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com, comment on my page or call my voice line and leave me a voice comment for the show!

A very Happy New Year from me to all the Rainbowpodsquad and the Freak Network members.  I’m so very honored to be among such a fine collection of unique and talented individuals!  Happy Holidays!

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T Episode 4: Bush in Bangkok

• The T.I.T. Intro
• Welcome to episode 4
• Comments…one from my “Nee Nee”
• Shout out to Craig and Leslie at The Royal Pains
• Work would be better if…
• Another Step towards a goal
• Procrastination and stressing myself out
• Touch football in Thailand
• Bush in Bangkok
• I’d hate to work at the Embassy today!
• American Thai relations for 175 years?
• Abraham Lincoln and Elephants
• Restoration of democracy? Really?
• The old ball and cup magic trick..
• What are your thoughts on free trade?
• The first lady shipped off to the border of Burma
• Military governments
• A little more American/Thai history
• My first “free” weekend
• Consistency in podcasting
• My new email, so please comment and email!!!

Always please feel free to question or comment and let me know how I’m doing. Any and all emails and/or comments will be addressed cause I care what you think!

For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

VideoBlog number 2: A little catch up on my week…

Hey guys,

I know it has been about a week, so I should apologize first i guess. I thought i’d make it up to you by recording a video blog today, so go ahead and have a watch. I’d like to send out a special thanks to ZillaFag for suggesting blip.tv as it worked much better for uploading than youtube. Thanks so much, and you guys make sure and go over to check him out! Hope you like it!

What another coup ‘detat? Yawn….

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the wide world this happens to find you.  It is a steamy rainy Tuesday night here in Bangkok, and I’m sad to report that I’ve come down with a bit if the Bangkok belly once again.  I usually get it twice a year or so, but it gets less and less severe the years I continue to make my home here in South East Asia.  When you first visit Thailand you are warned not to eat food off the street, not have ice in your drinks, and never to eat peeled fruit from vendors.  However, as the years roll by the temptation is to great and so you start to become adventurous and tempt the fates from time to time.  This type of tempting catches up with most ex-pats eventually and we all succumb to usual few days of extreme non-comfort of food poisioning.  It’s almost a right of passage here I guess.

However, enough of that unpleasantness and on to the topic i wanted to talk to you guys about today.  I received an extremely nice email from Craig and Leslie over at the Royal Pains today, and thought I’d talk about their question in my post.  Those two never cease to inspire my writings, so if you’ve a bit of free time make sure you go over to their website and check them out.  I guess the rumors of another possible coup de’tat here in Thailand have reached you guys at home, so I’d like to let you know I’m all safe and sound with no worries about unfolding events.  I remember that I did panic during the last coup that we had here, but when soldiers were presented with flowers and garlands my fears soon turned to amusement.  The elected government was overthrown over night and the constitution was ripped up, and to my surprise the local population seemed over joyed as events 2 years ago.  However, in a very short period of time the exact same government has been re-elected once again and so coup rumors have been non-stop since the last election ballot was counted.  However, you may ask, if people are so very unhappy with this group of politicians then why give them back the government again?  Why did they win again if they are such terrible and corrupt leadership?  I am by no means defending the current leadership, because if you do a tiny bit of research you will see that they are in fact an extremely corrupt group of leaders.  Watching and reading the local news is very often like an episode of the Sopranos, as the leaders of the country act like thugs and mob bosses you see in old gangster movies.  They do and act as they please without a single interest for the wants of the people, but i guess the same could be said of governments the world over…including my very own.

I think a large part of the problem here can be traced back to flaws in the country’s education system.  I read a short article today in the newspaper and a professor in the top university here in Thailand was quoted as saying “Thais lacked discipline, are not punctual and prefer light work, jobs in the service industry or those involving religion or philosphy would be the most suitable for them.”  He went on later in the article to say that problem was that “the Thai school system was unnecessarily developed and based on Western doctrines.”

Shocking isn’t it, but keep in mind this is coming from a supposed expert in Education here in Thailand.  I had the opportunity to travel upcountry last year to visit one of these ‘over developed’ village schools and I think the students sitting on the floor in open air classrooms doing their best to achieve some semblance of learning might disagree with the esteemed professor.  If they were any less developed they would sitting under a tree scratching in the dirt for their daily lessons.  Now…take some time and think about this.  You see, when election times come in Thailand It was the villages and members of Thai society outside Bangkok that elected the previous and current government, so I don’t think it is fair to say we are dealing with a problem of “over developed” school systems and the “evil influences” of western society.  If anything, these members of society need their system of education developed further in the worse kind of way and then in time, as an adequate education system takes it course, they can perhaps learn what their votes really mean beyond a 200 baht hand out.  This cycle of election-coup-election-coup could be corrected with advances in education in the country at large, for as the education level rises in the general population the elite that maintain control would begin to loose their grip.  Individuals like this Education Expert would lose their mass of locals only suited to the service industry, and the country could move forward.  However, it is in the best interest of the ruling elite here to keep the general populace blissfully unaware.

So, could there be another coup ‘detat?  Maybe.  Am I concerned?  Not in the least.  Hope you have a great week ahead and will talk to you in the next few days.

Could you take the mirror away now?

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when this finds you in the world.  It is Thursday evening here in the “Big Mango” and I’m relieved that there is only one more day to go till the weekend.  This year the fates have given us a mid-term break in our third term at work, so I’m looking at another whole week of vacation time off work again next week, yet again.  However, I’ve loads to do with my Graduate studies and helping a friend move, so don’t go getting jealous just yet.  We’ve had such a yucky wet week here in Bangkok, and I think it is safe to say that the monsoon season has started early this year in Thailand.  I’ve had the misfortune of getting caught out in the rain each and every day this week coming home from work, and I must tell you that I enjoy getting getting rained on as much as cats do.  The intense storms come rolling through the city like clockwork every day around 4:30, so I’ve managed to arrive home drenched every single day.  Fun times, right?

Anyways, I want to get on with my train of thought I had planned for this post so let me get it underway.  Do you consider yourself to be a friendly person?   Are you good at making new friends?  Do your friends consider you to be friendly and amicable?  Well, believe it or not…I don’t consider myself to be a friendly person.  I prefer my own company most of the time, strangers and new people make me uncomfortable, and I avoid large social gatherings like the plague.  My “real” life personality is not half as friendly as I come across, but a lot of that is just being from the south and raised in a culture of good manners.

I often wish i could learn to be more friendly and sociable but I have such a hard time overcoming my intense shyness.  Unfortunately, this all to often comes across as me just being a snob but nothing could be farther from the truth.   Until very recently I always have used alcohol to overcome my social fears, but my drinking has done more damage over the years than good.  I have found myself not able to interact socially at all now without the aid of alcohol and for the first time in my life I clearly see the problem that it has become.  I have become an alcoholic.  No, I don’t or didn’t drink every day but I am definitely a serious binge drinker.  It got to a point where the alcohol was negatively affecting my personal and professional life, soooooo…..it is time Tom said goodbye to the booze.

Well, that went in a direction I didn’t expect but I’m glad I put it all down just the same.  I don’t think I am at a place yet where i can share more about this issue, but I’ve been trying hard to take steps in the right direction.  I’ve been working out many things in my head lately and I just wanted to share with you and all my readers a little deeper into what makes Tom in Thailand the man he is.  Thanks for stopping by today to have a visit to my blog, and I certainly hope you will come again.  It is usually much more light hearted than this.  Take care and speak to you over the weekend!

Career Oportunities For Bullies…

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Why are there bullies in the world?  I have read that bullies act the way they do to get attention, or they are trying to make themselves feel more important by intimidating or belittling others.  They seem to always be able to home in on people they perceive as easy targets or easily intimiated.  I was plagued by bullies all throughout my teen years, and I can remember living through most of my high school years in daily fear.  I often felt so very afraid to go to school, or I would avoid them by walking the long way around the school to get to classes and thus avoiding places where I knew certain bullies might lurk.  I remember one year eating my lunch alone with the teacher in the classroom to avoid contact with them.  Sure, I was different and unfortunately for me there were people perceptive enough to realize my differences even before I did.  I lacked so much self-confidence as all teens do, but that was compounded by the fact that I began to “notice” boys instead of girls.  Other people seemed to sense I was gay, though I didn’t realize It myself till later in my teens.  That coupled with an interest in computer games and Sci Fi made me an easy mark, a geek, or a nerd.  The bullying I experienced was rarely physical, but the psychological torment I endured through my high school years affected me well beyond my eventual graduation day.

However, life goes on and we all grow up.  As an adult do you ever wonder what becomes of those that seemed to delight in the torment of their peers?  I have learned over the years that they are still among us.  Some have fortunately grown up physically and mentally, and most often completely forget the hurt they once caused.  I can remember running into bullies at home and they would speak to me on the street in passing like we were old friends.  Then there are those that never grow out of it.  They move on in life to take careers in law enforcement, managerial positions, and school principles.  Some make life time careers out of making others feel bad or exercising their power over others.  These are the bosses that use intimidation to get what they want, and scoff at others ideas and questions.  Wikipedia defines Bullying as the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.  Sound like any bosses you know?

Fortunately, I did manage to grow up just the same as the bullies and I’m no longer afraid of their type.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not as strong of a person as I would like to be but I have learned to be proud of who I am, and my accomplishments in life.  I’ve come a long way from the fearful little boy I used to be, and fear no longer paralyzes me when this sort of behavior shows its ugly head.  I have learned to be strong for others, and sometimes you just have to stick up for those you care about in life.  A situation occurred recently and though it was hard, I stood up for myself and my friends.  So if you are out there, and you have been victimized in some way then please know you are not alone.  I promise life will get better!

P.S.  A good friend has started a blog of his own so make sure you go over and check him out!  I’ve also added him to my blogroll so you can check him out anytime, as I hope he will be updating frequently.  Have a great rest of the week where ever this finds you, and remember to never be afraid to stand up to them!