Today marks the first anniversary of the blog.
On March 22, 2010 I opened a Blogger account, re-sized a photo of the floating markets in Amphawa and made the first post. The photo above is that first image, made a bit larger. Since then there have been close to 900 more, and we've got a lot more to go. I tell friends and family here if they have a problem with insomnia they should come over for a few hours of Thailand photos...
The blog was started because I'd finally gotten disgusted enough with what some like to call the "spirited and lively" atmosphere of some Thailand forums and decided it was time to pull my photos and stories and start the blog, naming it after my online persona. It has its faults, but it's home. One glaring mistake is the use of a Lao-style font instead of a Thai-style one in the title photo, but I'll get around to changing that some day... or not.
Today's post is the 333rd entry, so although there haven't been as many real stories as I'd envisioned there would be we haven't missed seeing each other here one way or another all that many days over the past 365. I hope all and sundry have been entertained on some level; maybe planning to visit Thailand, learning something useful, being inspired to do further research or just sharing a smile - and I personally feel that's really the best part of most social interactions in this life.
To those who have taken the time to comment here on the site or via email: thank you. While some of these posts may look as though they were just thrown together most take time and thought, and that's a commodity I find dwindling on a daily basis. The photos are cropped, re-sized and sometimes adjusted for you, and that takes time, too - so I truly do appreciate the input from everyone. You're a largely quiet bunch, you know; there are now over 7,000 views per month, and I hear from a very small percentage of readers, but that really just makes what I do receive all the more appreciated.
A few questions received deserve a public answer, so let me try to address them here:
1) Why do you put a watermark on the photos?
Because people choose to ignore the simple request to the right in the "Standard Legalese" notice and early on began lifting images and using them on their own (sometimes commercial) sites. The watermark at least slows them down a bit.
2) How do you have time to do this?
The flip answer would be "sometimes I don't", but I'm a writer and have the luxury of working at home, so that helps. Two of the five books I have in progress are about facets of Thailand, so as I mentioned in the first post some of what I've published here will appear in different/expanded form at some point. Past that, I have the same obligations and commitments in life that many of you do, and that leaves precious little time for this, even as entertaining as it is for me to do it - and I may need to cut back to, say, four or five posts per week.
3) What's been the most popular post so far?
The post that's received the most hits in one blast since June of last year was the September 2nd post "The BBQ Boys Of Udonthani", which received nearly 400 views in a single 24 hour period and continues to be popular.
Other posts that have continued to receive an enormous number of hits have been "To Squat Or Not To Squat" (about using a traditional squat toilet), "My Time In A Thailand Prison" (making a charity visit to Nong Palai in the Pattaya area), "Pre-Show Free Show" (street side promo dances for a club, with links to other stories related to gogo boys), "Out In The Rice Paddies" (showing farm work at a friend's home in Isaan) and "Where The Wild Boys Live" (my first visit to a room shared by some gogo dancers).
4) Do you take all of the photos on the blog?
Yes, unless I note otherwise.
5) Where were you for the headline photo behind the blog name? Is there more to that picture?
That's a favorite spot near Udonthani outside of the village a friend lived near. His family is still there - but sadly enough, he's not. The full image is at the end of today's post.
So, that's a year, folks. Thank you for riding along, and as one of my favorite journalists wrote me once: "thank you for reading my stuff".
See you tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.