The 21st Century Up To The Present Day

After leaving P.N.G. In Late September 2000, and Going To Thailand With The Idea Of Settling Down With My Wife I Thought My Traveling Days Were Over. I was wrong again.


My biggest mistake was actually made in Kokopo, before I left. I knew that I had to get a 3 month Thai visa before I arrived in Thailand, which, as I was over 50 years old and married to a Thai could be upgraded to an annual visa after I got to Bangkok. This I did, by post, from the Thai Embassy in Canberra. However, being so busy, I still hadn’t done enough homework. Soon after arriving in Thailand I discovered that accountancy was a “Thai only” profession and there was no way that I would be able to get a legal accounting related job in the country, which was more than a bit of a set-back to my plans.

I managed to live in Bangkok for about 2 years. I did work, albeit illegally, for 9 months or so with a Spivy Welshman who operated as close to my “line of ethical behavior” as I have ever been before, and so that didn’t last long, although I did get in some more practice in using Excel’s Visual Basic.

After my money ran out I returned, alone to Cairns in 2002. Tim and I had grown apart and were living only as “friends” and, anyway her Australian visa had long since expired and new rules would have made it very hard for her to get a new one.

I still had the unit in Cairns, but I was broke and I had to borrow money from my older sister. But within a week of arriving back in Cairns I was walking from the Centrelink office, which is the Australian name for “The Unemployment Office”, where I had just signed on, to a nearby employment agency, when I bumped into a guy I knew in Rabaul. He was an entrepreneur, based in Port Moresby, who had been an external director of our largest cocoa growing client. The one that went bust after the troubles in Bougainville, causing Tim and I to return to Scotland and then to Perth in the early nineties. He asked me what I was doing, I told him and he offered me a job looking after 3 small companies he had in Far North Queensland, all involved in growing plantation timber. I also helped him get his PNG companies’ tax affairs, which were up to 10 years behind, up to date. I used a very simple “off the shelf” accounting program and some very basic spreadsheets that I devised, so my computer knowledge did not improve during that period.

That continued for about 9 months before Roger, my original boss who took us to Rabaul contacted me by email and asked if I was free to go to Indonesia for a year. On hearing the salary and conditions, I jumped at the opportunity.


In Indonesia I headed a team installing a US$3.5 million computerized accounting system for a large company based in Medan, Sumatra. The company dealt mainly in oil palm but grew other tropical crops as well. I was earning US$10,000 tax free a month, when the exchange rate was 60 Australian cents to the American Dollar, plus 15.5 million rupiah a month spending money (over US$1,500, when a barman’s wages was 1 million a month). Plus of course all living expenses, utilities, a car and driver. However, I never got to grips with company politics, and although one director extended my contract to 3 years another one sacked me after the original year. Anyway my money situation still improved remarkably, and I was able to pay back my elder sister what I owed her.

I did travel to Bangkok a couple of times during my year in Medan to see Tim,and again on my way back to Cairns at the end of my contract. We were still good friends, and she had taken responsibility for a little girl, who the nephew she still lived with, had fathered on a drunken one-night stand. (Medical problems had always prevented Tim and I from having children of our own). However, we decided to stay apart, although we did not rule out the possibility of getting back together one day.

When I got back to Cairns I started working for the same guy as I had before going to Medan. In fact nothing had been done to the books in the year I had been away. I also met a girl, Vera who had a 6 year old soon, Ashly. They moved in with me and, at first we lived happily together, almost as if we were a real family.

However, the magic did not last for long, although we managed to stay together for 2 ½ years, but in early 2010 I found myself living alone again.

However, two days after Vera and Ashley left my apartment to live in another one just across the street, suddenly lady luck shone upon me like she had never shone before. The telephone rang. I had completely lost touch with Tim, but I knew that she had left the house I owned in Bangkok. But I had no forwarding address for her, or telephone number.

I had thought of going back to Bangkok to try to find her, but it all seemed so hopeless. But two days after Vera and Ashley left, Tim, in a run-down old apartment, surrounded by noisy small factories on the outskirts of Bangkok, a quarter of the way around the world from where I was, she was going through some old papers, and came across my telephone number scribbled on the back of an envelope or something. She says that she nearly just threw it away, but on the spur of the moment she rang me.

Amazingly I was home, and not in the pub where I would normally be at that time in the evening. To cut a long story short, exactly two weeks later, Tim met me at Bangkok airport, and immediately my hand has grasped by the most beautiful 5 year old little girt you have ever seen. Tim was 63 but looked 43. I only stayed for two weeks on that occasion, but it was as if we had never been apart. It was great.

To cut a longer story even shorter 6 months or so later, Tim and “Ning” met me at Bangkok airport again, but this time I had a better visa, which I could upgrade to one which would allow me to stay. I had sold everything I owned in Australia and paid off all my debts. Six months later I bought a lovely little detached house where the air is fresh and clean, yet Bangkok is only 20 Kilometers away. I do enough accounting and spreadsheet work, through the internet for my Cairns client and a few other old acquaintances to keep Tim and Ning in food and me in beer.

At the time of writing this, February 2016, I’ve been here permanently for almost 5 1/2 years, but, even with the “mammoth” pension of just under 85 Pounds Sterling a week, that the U.K. gives me, (Australia gives me zero), my sources of income are not going to last forever.


I hope you have enjoyed this series of blogs, and now realize that my 35 years experience with computers, together with the ingenuity and initiative I had to show when working on my own, especially in Papua New Guinea, is the perfect background for helping you with your Internet Marketing endeavors. In the next series of blogs, I will explain how and why I got into Internet Marketing and, tell you about the many mistakes I made, so, hopefully, you can avoid them.

Bye for now.


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