Categories
Photos Thai Society/Culture

Photos of the “Elephant Cage” in Udon Thani, Thailand

Pages like this one and this one and this one got me interested in the cold war antenna array known as the “Elephant Cage.” It was built by the US military in Udon Thani province, northeast Thailand, at an air force base used for signals intelligence back in the day, and suspected of housing a CIA black site in more recent years (although it is now apparently a mushroom farm/museum open to the public). Wikipedia describes the Elephant Cage as thus:

The AN/FLR-9 is a type of very large circular “Wullenweber” antenna array, built at eight locations during the cold war for HF/DF direction finding of high priority targets. The worldwide network, known collectively as “Iron Horse”, could locate HF communications almost anywhere on Earth. Because of the exceptionally large size of its outer reflecting screen (1056 vertical steel wires supported by 96 120-foot towers), the FLR-9 was commonly referred to by the nickname “Elephant Cage.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/FLR-9

None of the Elephant cages exist anymore, although parts of the one in Udon might still be found around town, if local stories are to be believed. I just wanted to compile all of the photos I’ve bookmarked in a single post.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1528890/ex-us-base-not-secret-prison
Source: https://disabledveteransthailand.wordpress.com/ramasun-station-thailand/
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254318616/
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254433519
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/Maps/Non_Sung_Mueang_Udon_Thani_Thailand.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html
Categories
Around Mahasarakham Oh, baby! Photos

Mahasarakham University Demonstration School (Elementary)

Max and Mina’s school moved to a new campus/building within the old MSU campus.

Oh, and yes, their school is abbreviated as “MUDS.” They all wear athletic shirts that say MUDS on their backs once a week on “sports uniform” days.

Categories
Our New Thai House Photos

View from our front porch, 1/1/2020

If you live here long enough, power lines become invisible.
Categories
Around Mahasarakham Photos

That's where they went!

Over at the Bangkok Post, I just stumbled upon the reason why Play Bar, De Loft, and Image club in Maha Sarakham shut down at the same time a few years ago – they got busted for serving minors: 11 pubs ordered closed for 5 years in Maha Sarakham

Memories, yo.

One day, Play Bar was just gone. Like, knocked down and smashed into rubble. We heard the guys running it opened another place, but it just didn’t have the same history as Play Bar… That was one of the first chill outdoor places here, and it all started less than ten years ago. Now there’s twenty places like that.

RIP.

Categories
Photos Thai Society/Culture

Two-wheeled Uranai

Driving down a main street toward Mitraphap Road in Khon Kaen, something caught my eye…
It was a broken down bicycle with trailer (or maybe a tricycle with a bed?) being used as a mobile fortune telling booth!

Little things like this still blow my mind every day in this country – it’s part of the charm.

Fortune telling is still a huge part of the culture, and for some reason, tarot cards seem to be getting very popular from what I see online.

Categories
Cars Photos Work

One of these is not like the others…

She’s older than all the others combined, and will probably still be running after they have all gone.

This is my parking lot at work. Our building used to be the administration building, which is why we have a flag pole in front. A military reservist comes to raise and lower it every day.

Categories
Photos Toys & Tech

Starting 2020 with a Seiko Snow Monster

Last year, my trusty Citizen fell casualty to careless banging on steel door handles when rushing out of classrooms, so I decided to replace it with something a little more fun.

I like it so far.

Categories
Japanese Society/Culture Photos Web

Conquistador and Castle

This guy’s photos are so good, they don’t look like photos.

Amazing!

Categories
Food Photos

Grilled Pork Neck

This is a regional delicacy for the everyday people. I am perfecting the chili, tamarind, and toasted rice dipping sauce. The pork is fine.

Categories
Around Mahasarakham Photos Thai Society/Culture

Tawan Dang, Kaew Kant, Hiso Club – Blue Lighting Rules in Maha Sarakham

These are actually the most popular type of tourist attraction in Maha Sarakham, after dark at least. During the day, I would say SermThai Plaza shopping mall wins first prize.

Categories
Exploits Food Photos

Khon Kaen, two months ago

It takes me so long to put things up on this blog these days. There’s posts I’ve been wanting to publish for more than a decade lol. Anyways, since another trip to Khon Kaen is coming up either tomorrow or this weekend, I wanted to put up some more photos of another back in August.

Artemis Archery, Khon Kaen
Mina getting lessons from the Thai Robin Hood
My favorite passenger seat pursuit is snapping photos all the way until we arrive.
Found a curry resto in Khon Kaen!
Oh lassi!
At KK airport dropping someone off, I think.

Categories
Food Photos Thai Society/Culture

Breakfast from Pon Yang Kham

I threw together a bunch of leftovers and it turned out real fine… Pon Yang Kham beef is the best in Thailand, from a Thai/French cattle hybrid. It will never be world class, but it’s the best of what’s available in Thailand.

Categories
Around Mahasarakham Photos Thai Society/Culture

Let me tell you about my day

Tropical Storm Podul (North Korean for “willow”) has been dumping on us since around midnight and I spent the day trying to prevent everything we own from being flooded including vehicles, property, and cats, as well as preparing to sign a lease for our new juku and organizing teaching materials for a seminar at a vocational college in Roi Et city tomorrow (which just got postponed until next week).

My home:

My work:

The highway we were supposed to take:

The area we were supposed to go:

A new skyscraper being built in the shape of a wot (alt spelling: wode; the circular pan flute of Isan):

The newly-created Roi Et Coast Guard station:

And finally, a common sight in the countryside that always brings a smile to my face:

That’s the road to Max and Mina’s school, a couple minutes from our house on the old Maha Sarakham University campus. Nam also found a big pla salit (gourami) stranded in our driveway, and I pushed his armored side along until he could swim back down into the flooded street. When she told a friend about this when we went shopping later in the day, he asked quite seriously why we hadn’t eaten it!

Note: Most of the photos on this page are borrowed from social media and were forwarded multiple times before I used them here. Please let me know if you’d like attribution.

Categories
Photos Thai Society/Culture

Bad Company Names in Asia (part 2323)

I always mean to stop by this car dealership and ask them about the name, but I only pass it on the way to the Khon Kaen Airport, when I’m in a rush.

It’s quite possible this is an alternate spelling of “Nick.” But somebody should talk to them about it. Maybe their website is a bit more low key? Nope.

Categories
Around Mahasarakham Photos Thai Society/Culture

Khon Kaen to Maha Sarakham

When Nam is driving, I like snapping photos from the passenger seat. Up here in Isan, this type of photo is defined by capturing the camera in the side mirror and long green fields of rice when it’s the right time of year. Otherwise, it’s just a big, hot, dusty expanse.

Categories
Food Oh, baby! Photos

Noodle baby

Kimchi and Corn Tonkotsu Ramen

Categories
Food Photos

Decisions, decisions.

Instant noodle conundrum, yo.

UPDATE: Indo Mie FTW.

Categories
Photos Work

Teaching the New Generation of Chinese Students

I’ve been teaching the new freshman classes of Chinese students from various forestry and agricultural universities on exchange programs with Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University (my workplace and soon to be alma mater) for several years now. They keep getting more and more open-minded about the world, and the most recent group of 35 from Honghe University was the best yet…

The groupthink is slowly disappearing and real independence is just starting to show. I used this as an opportunity to accelerate their learning with memrise, YouTube, IG, and Facebook.

I’m thinking about writing a paper about how to most effectively stimulate their natural curiosity and independent thinking with only online tools, although it may be not looked upon so kindly by their minders… We have talked in class extensively about what will happen after they leave Thailand the day after tomorrow – their online profiles outside of the great firewall will become stagnant and wither… or will they? It’s said there are cracks in every wall.

Anyway, one of the kids just posted this on FB and sent me the translation, and it made me happy.

“Our English teacher is an American Japanese and I like him very much. The way of class is too humorous. When the teacher is in class, he will give us a game. It’s too exciting. Although my English has gone backwards after the college entrance examination, I just want to take English classes. Because the English class will make me very happy. The teacher also asked us to go to his house to cook. There are three kittens in his family. It’s so cute, I sometimes go to tease the cat. There is also a teacher’s daughter who is super beautiful. The teacher also said that he wants his daughter to marry at the age of 50. Absolute daughter slave haha “

Rad.

Categories
Mosquitoes Eating Fruit Photos Site News

New Host Test Post

We were down for approximately a day because I was coordinating the change while on a trip to Laos last week.

A pox upon whoever bought JaguarPC and ruined a once-great webhost. My new host is much, much better, and I’m paying less than a quarter what I was to JaguarPC. I was with them for over twelve years – the last few years, their service got worse and worse and finally, they tried to double their fees on my yearly invoice, so fuck them. Want an honest webhost review for Jaguar PC? They are dishonest. They are slow. They suck. Great, hope that helps someone makes a decision.

Here’s a test photo of a mosquito eating apple slices:

Click to see the entire Mosquitoes Eating Fruit Series.

Categories
Oh, baby! Photos

Mohawk Max and Ken Ken