Construction in Thailand is usually difficult in the best of times. We have to deal with the rainy season, the heat, workers not showing up, workers showing up drunk, workers with no idea on what they are doing, no materials, wrong materials delivered, language hiccups, nosy police, official and unofficial Thai holidays. Not enough electricity or no electricity. Toss in some red rice, bad spirits, snakes, insects and fishing and well, you get the idea.

Then there are the time-frame learning curves. Today, does not always mean today. It could be tomorrow or later in the week. If the boss of a project says a month, double it. And don’t hold your breath.

Much like building a barn in Missoura there are no building codes where we live in rural Thailand. Ultimately, it is the owner’s responsibility to make certain everything goes according to plan. Plans change. We were and still are the general contractors.

 

                          Time to go to work…

Digging out a bamboo root in Thailand.

Bordering our place was a massive bamboo tree. It had to be removed in order to build the fence. A villager and his son worked on this project almost four days to dig it free.

Using a crane to remove a bamboo root in Thailand.

A crane had to be brought in to remove this bamboo root ball. If any part of the bamboo remains, it will grow back.

Digging for insects in Thailand to eat.

While digging foundation holes, a worker kept a plastic bottle handy. Why? Not for water.

This insect will be fried for dinner in Thailan by the workers.

These insects were gathered and put in the plastic bottle for dinner later that day.

A daily worker digging  foundation in Thailand.

This is the lady we bought the land from. She is shown here earning B50 or $1.50 per hole digging a foundation footing for the fence.

Cutting rebar in Thailand.

Cutting Rebar

Breaking concrete to recycle the steel rebar.

The general contractor (me) had placed part of the fence foundation in the wrong place.  So it had to be dug up. One of the locals asked if she could have it. She broke the concrete off in order to sell the rebar.

Using a water filled hose to measure the level.

The boss (straw hat) of the fencing crew is measuring for the fence. Plastic tubing filled with water makes for a simple but accurate level.

Thai women taking a break during a hot day.

Many of the ladies from the village were hired to build rebar forms for the fence wall.

Laying out forms for a fence in Thailand.

Laying out foundation forms.

Mixing concrete in Thailand.

For the big jobs, a concrete mixer was used. For smaller jobs it was done by hand.

Unloading sand for a construction project in Thailand.

Sand being delivered and unloaded.

Setting front gate posts in Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Placing the front gate.

Planing teak logs in Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Planing teak logs for planks.

A handicapped worker in Thailand building a house.

Workers building the front deck of our Teak House. Notice the wooden crutch. This worker had lost his leg in a motorcycle accident as a youth.

Red rice in Thailand is considered a bad omen.

The Red Rice incident. Many rural Thais enjoy having sticky rice with their meals. The chef of the fencing crew had prepared some, but it turned out with a reddish tinge.

According to ancient folklore, this meant bad spirits were around. Work was stopped. Monks were needed. But not the local monks. Special soothsayers from the worker's village was needed to dispel the mean spirits. Several days later, they arrived and chased the bad guys away. Work started back up.

Thai construction workers enjoying dinner and drinks.

Workers enjoying dinner and drinking Thai whiskey.

And old photo showing a pavilion along the banks of the Nan River.

My original office. The fencing was used to keep the local dogs from setting up home.

A Teak house in Thailand begins to become a home.

Our Teak House is slowly taking shape.

Taking a shower during a rainfall in Thailand.

Taking a Shower