Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mukdahan Community College

Image Courtesy of Mukdahan Community College
For the past several years I have had a very fulfilling relationship with the Mukdahan Community College. MukCC is one of 20 Community Colleges in Thailand. MukCC also has 7 branch campuses in Don Tan, Kamcha-I, Dong Luang, Sanwaa - Nagokgoong, Nikom Kham Soi, Nong Sung and Wan Yai. They serve a valuable service to the local community by presenting courses directed to the needs of the community. For example MukCC had a course for its Sky Lab (Tuk Tuk) drivers to help them improve their ability to conduct business with their tourist customers and how to act more professionally. There are courses in IT and traditional cloth-making among many, many others.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thai Food Pics

I got this pics from a thread on that my friend Jah sent to me. Just hilarious. Some of the others you have to read Thai to get the funny!!! The menu translations are pretty funny. I remember a friend of mine was looking at a menu and we saw "prawns fried in whore dust" or goong pad pong garee. Goong = prawns, pad = fried, pong = dust or powder, garee = prostitute. The problem with google translate is the pong garee also means yellow curry powder. Hence the hilarious menus. - Khun Rut
Nice holder for the food!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mukdahan Fish Story

Villagers near Mukdahan claimed to have caught a fish weighing over 40 kilos. It's pretty big but 40 kilos.... I don't know about that. Its a hell of a fish though. Check out the video. - Khun Rut
After you click the play button another play button will come up with the words click to play below it. Just ignore that, cuz it will take you to another page your video will start in about 5 seconds.
Mukdahan 40kilo fish -

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Cobra Man Video

This is a guy in definite need of career counselling. Just check him picking up and tossing those cobras around like they were stick or something. You can bet he is getting paid like 200-300 baht a day too. Amazing!!!!
- Khun Rut Note: when you start the video the screen will give you another flashing button with the words "Click to Play" just ignore it and in about 5 seconds the video will start!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mares vs. Agbeko

Being a fight fan I love a good boxing match and there was a good one yesterday. It was for the IBF Bantamweight belt and the winner of the Showtime Bantamweight tournament. Abner Mares was challenging champion Joseph Agbeko at the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel in Vegas. During the fight Mares continually hit Agbeko with low blows (Al Bernstein estimated about 30)  culminating with a devastating left to the balls in the 11th round (that Agbeko was winning) referee Russell Mora counted it as a knockdown. This gave a 4 point swing to Mares that one him a majority decision. Check the podcast for a rant and look at the You Tube videos below for the last 3 rounds of the fight and Jim Gray's epic post fight interview with the ref.
My Rant on the Abner Mares vs Joseph Agbeko Fight

Mukdahan Mayoral Election Preview

Posters for the Mayoral Election October 28

For those in and around Mukdahan who have seen the big signs like above all around, we all know that it is election time again. Voting will take place on October 28th for the local Mayor and his City Hall (Tesaban) team. The current mayor, Samrit Jo Poksawat of Glum Pattana Mukdahan has reached retirement age and is getting ready to step down. The 4 major candidates to replace him will be quickly detailed below.

#1 Peenit Charoensuk - Khun Charoensuk has previously served as a provincial elected official with the title Nayoksupa Obachaw. He is a member of the Glum Pattana Mukdahan (the same as the incumbent). This group includes a former mayor (I know him as Pee Kio) and include many local business leaders. Khun Charoensuk, himself, is a business owner of a rock and sand building products business.

#2 Triyaret  Kultangwattana - Khun Kultangwattana is a prominent local businessman who owns a business ferrying trucks and merchandise across the Mekong River to Laos. The family also owns other transportation related businesses and are prominent in local affairs. I know him personally as Tooey. He has studied abroad at the University of Washington in the USA. Previously he has held the post of Deputy Mayor at the Mukdahan Tesaban. He lists no party affiliation.

#3 Suwanee Tangpanitanon - Khun Tangpanitanon is currently an elected member of the local political staff at the Mukdahan Tesaban. She is a member of the Glum Rao Rak Mukdahan team and is affiliated with the Puea Thai Party (PTP). He husband is the current newly elected MP for the province of Mukdahan (PTP).

#4 Chalad Tusiri - Khun Tunsiri is an ex-vice mayor of Mukdahan. He lists no party affiliation though, I am sure that he does have a team around him to support his candidacy. I know the least about this candidate and will update this post as I find more information. As an aside his first name means "clever".

I talked to my political analyst (the boss) about who she thinks has the best chance to win. She thinks it comes down to a horserace between #1 and #3. But who knows? What you DO KNOW is who to blame when the truck with the speaker rolls by your house at 7 am imploring you to vote for their numbered candidate (at volume 10 always.) and what day you have to stock up on alcohol for. - Khun Rut

Friday, August 12, 2011

Where is a resolution of UN Security Council on imposing a no-fly zone over Britain?

Link to article.
Image Courtesy of
Using the same criteria I think it is quite reasonable for the UN and  NATO to come to the aid of the poor beleaguered opposition just as in Libya and Yemen and elsewhere. Get that no fly zone goin' boys. Time's a wastin' - Khun Rut
August 11, 2011

On Saturday, August, 6th in the suburbs of London, a rebellion of democratically minded progressive young people dissatisfied with the dictatorship of ruling for about a half of a century, Queen Elizabeth II, broke out. They demand respect for their rights, democratic freedoms and reforms in the UK. The international community expressed support for their heroic struggle against the dictatorship of Queen Elizabeth II. The countries of the UN General Assembly require an urgent convening of the Security Council on the UK. EU leaders have expressed concern due to the fact that thousands of people have become the victims of the dictatorial regime in the UK. The police and army are using the force against the freedom fighters disproportionately. There is an evidence on the use of aircraft in the areas densely populated by the freedom fighters. The world community is concerned that officials of law enforcement agencies of the regime will continue to use force. The government and the Queen of Britain are obliged to provide security for the democratic insurgents, which are implementing nonviolent acts of disobedience; they must reform the royal government and carry out the elections for the post of a Queen of Britain. The European states are standing for a no-fly zone over Britain to ensure the safety of civilians from the troops loyal to Elizabeth II. The Queen of Great Britain has lost her legitimacy and should go. She is responsible for the crimes committed by her regime for over half of a century, the evidence of these crimes announced by the world media and Queen Elizabeth II is liable to judgment by an impartial and fair trial of the Hague Tribunal. International Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the UN Security Council that in a few weeks he will present in the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber a case of war crimes committed in Britain.

If Britain took place of Libya in the minds of those who consider themselves as masters of the world, we would see these lines in the media. After all, people who participated in riots in Libya, did the same thing that the insurgents are doing now in Britain. But in Libya the thugs organized from the outside also were destroying police stations and seizing the weapons storages, they were slaughtering police officers, soldiers and officers of the Army of Libya, they were cutting alive the ordinary citizens to pieces. These "rebels" were beating those whom they suspected of commitment to Gaddafi, they were hanging the half-dead people upside down on the squares and cutting off their heads and hands with swords and knives. The rebels from areas of London and other cities of England, burning cars and stealing food from stores, are just innocent babies, compared to the militants of al-Qaeda. Police in Britain is using the entire arsenal against the rebels, the army was ready to intervene. Police officials say they will not tolerate violations of public order and assault on the peaceful life of citizens of Britain.. Police violates the rights of some citizens of Britain to ensure the rights of others. Do the British authorities have a power to impose the rights and freedoms on others that they violate in their country? By all democratic norms they do not have that power, so why we don't hear condemnations of non-governmental organizations which are designed to ensure an observance of human rights around the world? Go Here for the rest of the article.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Carnac the Magnificent

From the Johnny Carson show 1981. Carnac divines the answers to questions without knowing the questions. Pure comedy gold - Khun Rut

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Update!!!! Mukdahan Flooding Report

The rain has stopped but some residents still face real problems.


Wednesday August 10- 
After quite a bit of rain last night, it seemed that things would be really bad this morning. For the most part it was to the contrary. The bridges over the creek were in much better shape from yesterday the water had receded a great deal. The water in and around Wat Pa was much lower and not going out onto the roadway. The wat is still flooded but not as bad as the past 2 days. The locals were out fishing with nets next to the wat in hopes catching a fish of some sort. The worst part was the Indochina Market. The Mekong continued to rise and now the vendors are starting to remove their display racks and everything out of there. Its a mess. The rain eased off today with just a few sprinkles but its still cloudy and who knows what tonight will bring. Today I just added a few images of the aftermath... for now.

Tuesday August 9 - There was a lot of rain last night and I went out today to check out the damages. The water is rising steadily on the bridges over the creek, both behind Mukdahan School and on the Don Tan Rd.
The new drainage system is keeping the downtown area pretty clear of standing water, but the canal behind the Ploy and running behind the Krung Thai Bank is near full. If it over flows then things could change rapidly.
The lower level of the Indochina Market is closed and the vendors have removed their goods because of flooding. The local Fire Department is filling sandbags for those who need them and would welcome volunteers. Stay tuned for further updates. - Khun Rut

Monday August 8- Yesterday the rain broke for a while in the midday an I had some business to take care of. When I drove into town I noticed the creek the road crosses was quite high. I went to check where the flooding normally starts in Mukdahan, by Wat Pa. Sure enough the creek had jumped its bank there and run into the wat and then jumped the road. I looked down some of the side sois close to the Porn Phed Market and they were getting full of water.  I had been told that the level of the Mekong was almost into the lower level of the Indochina market. I went to take a look and sure enough the water was at floor level and being held back by sandbags. This was yesterday afternoon. Well as I was writing this story last night at around 9pm it started raining hard and by 930 the power was out so no story til to day. Anyway its still raining I am going to post the pictures from yesterday and get a quick map up of the flooded areas and then go out and see what happened over night. Check back for updates.

As always click the thumbnails for a large image.
Images from Monday August 8
Water Crosses the Road by Wat Pa Flooding in Wat Pa Water Fills Field Across the Road
Mekong River Level High Water Level Indochina Market Water High at the Market
Tuesday August 9
Water Very High on The Creek Bridge Flooding Increasing Near Wat Pa Tough Day for Motobikes
The Canal Behind the Ploy Palace is Almost Full Firemen and Volunteers Filling Sandbags at the Fire Dept. The Lower Level of the Indochina Market is Now Closed
Water Rising at the Bridge on the Don Tan Road

Images from August 10
Local out with nets next to Wat Pa Some still need boats to get to their homes. Flooding still bad at the Indochina Market

Check back for map updates of flooded areas.

View Mukdahan Flooding Aug 2011 in a larger map

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cool Find at the Morning Market

Found this cool candle holder at the Morning Market
Slide the Glass Up to Put in Candle
 The Mukdahan Morning Market is quite a place. This large open air market opens daily at around 2 am and services the local and provincial restaurants, groceries and citizens with a wide variety of produce, eggs, fish, meats and many other products. There are plenty of small shops inside and around the market that sell all sorts of goods.
My wife and I went to the morning market early today to get fruit, veggies and some meat for the dog. I stopped and had my normal cup of coffee, cafe bolan, which is a thick strong Isaan style coffee with condensed sweet milk at the bottom of the glass. The missus continued shopping and I was assigned my typical duty of lugging out the booty which I really don't mind.  When we were walking out I saw a stall that was selling a few of these lamps like the one in the pictures. The are made of cut up tin cans bent and folded, a piece of wire for the handle and some cut up strips of glass. To put in a candle you just slide the glass part up and put the candle on the base. Total cost 50 baht. This is really coool we will give it a try on our patio tonight!
- Khun Rut

View Mukdahan Morning Market in a larger map

Friday, August 5, 2011

Update!!!! On finding someone to work on my video camera, I went back on Friday and sure enough the guy told me that he was able to fix it and that he would call back when he knew what he had to do to repair it. He called yesterday on Sunday and told me it needed a new head and it would cost about 2500 baht. I thought about it and called back authorizing the order.

Later on I was checking on the web and found there is a niche of equipment called pocket camcorders. They are priced in the under 200 usd range. They can shoot hours of video and save it to an SD card. Sounds great to me. I had the wife call him last night to have him hold up on the order but his wife said he had already ordered the part. I thought that unlikely but stopped by today to see him and he told me that he ordered it yesterday from Sakon Nakon and had it brought in by bus. Anyhow we asked him if he wanted to buy the camera and sell it or something but he told me he already had a buyer for it and when it was done he would put us together and we could make a deal. My fantasy is that it will be enough to cover repairs and buy a new camera too. It is looking good for now.
- Khun Rut

Got a new podcast today about Finding Stuff in Muk. Have a good time with it.As always click on the play button by the link to launch the player or right click the link and save it to your PC.
- Khun Rut

Finding Stuff in Mukdahan

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ball and Chain

How I got there I don't know.... Janis doin' Ball and Chain at the 1st Monterrey Pop Festival in 67. Everyone wasted on Owsley's Monterrey Purple.... anyway here it is... just wow. - Khun Rut

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Foghorn Leghorn and the Chicken Hawk

It's cartoon time again. This time my favorite Foghorn Leghorn   My daughter mentioned on Facebook today that I loved Foghorn Leghorn. Well I still do. You got everything you need for laughs a Chicken, a Chicken Hawk and  a Dog. Enjoy,
- Khun Rut

Update!!!! The Top Charoen Mystery

What is going on with Top Charoen in Mukdahan????
Update!!!! I found another location hiding in plain sight just down the hill from Mukdahan School. Don't know How long its been there but that brings the grand total to 8. Note: there are only 6 7/11 stores in Mukdahan. Guess there are a lot of people with a lot of money that have bad eyes here. - Khun Rut

Original Story....
There is something going on in Mukdahan with Top Charoen. Let me start by saying that Mukdahan is not that big of a city. Probably the population is about 50,000 or less. This will give you some perspective. When I first moved here there was one Top Charoen Optical franchise in town. There were several other places where you could get eyeglasses made but Top Charoen was the most well known brand in all of Thailand for this service. For a long time there was just this one location. When Tesco/Lotus opened there was a small Top Charoen shop inside of Lotus. Then about 3 years ago a new branch opened near the main entrance to the Indochina market. Things stayed like this for a long time.

Then rapidly, within the past year, more branches started opening rapidly all in a very close area. Just down the street about 70 meters from the original location another store opened in an old magazine shop and about 50 meters further on is another shop on the other side of the street. so within about 150 meters there are 3 branches on the same road. if you stand at the top of the street you can see them all. Two blocks south of the branch near the Indochina market on the two more locations are once again on the same road. One is on the Indochina Market itself and the other is on the Mukdhan - Don Tan Road.

I don't know what is up with this but there are way more Top Charoen stores than this city needs. I have my ideas but an not sure. Is this happening in any other cities? I would love to hear it until then I will just chalk it up to a mystery. I have included a map of all the locations so you can see how close they are together. There is also a gallery of all the locations. I included every one but the one in Lotus since you aren't allowed to take photographs in their stores.

As I find more locations I will update the page in hopes of unraveling the mystery.

View Top Charoen Mukdahan in a larger map

Below is a gallery of the Top Charoen Branches in Mukdhan. Click on a thumbnail for bigger images (I hope you like shocking blue and white.)

Top Charoen # 1   Top Charoen # 3   Top Charoen # 4

Top Charoen # 5   Top Charoen # 6   Top Charoen # 7

Top Charoen # 8

Monday, August 1, 2011

Yum Yum Eat Em Up

I was talking to my friend John today while we were playing chess and some how it got around to Yum Yum Eat Em Up... I think it was the dog eating something. Anyhow he couldn't remember the classic Our Gang clip about it. I told him I thought it was a drunken indian chasing the kids around. But I remembered wrong it was the Wild Man from Borneo. This isn't the full episode but its about 9 minutes of comedy gold.
- Khun Rut