The Author

Previous entries

Returning Home - Again

The God Illusion

Going Home


A Change of Direction

Dogs and Pandemics

The Forgotten tenors

Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand


Just Do It

Ayr on a Shoestring

Oh Lonesome Me

Tipping Point

Movie Reviews

Putting Pen to Paper

A Year to Remember

A Year to Forget

10 Reasons I Cannot Go Home

China Girl

The State of Play


Mind Your Language

New Horizons



Taxes and Death



Grey is the Colour

Beating Myself Up

Nothing More to Say

Better Late than Never

Staying Put

Musical Chairs


A Dog's Life

A Sabbatical

A Welcome Diversion

A Guide to Business Ethics

Remembering the Austin Allegro

Our Lords and Masters

In Transit - Part 2

In Transit - Part 1

Nagging Doubts

While Bangkok Burns

An Evening to Remember

Thai Business Malpractice

The New and the Old

Christmas Lights

Groundhog Day



Adventure is Out There


Grabbing it While You Can

A Few Ups and Many Downs


Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag







Ate Two Caesar

Swine Pie

The Thai Rollercoaster

Stuck in the Middle

There's no Regrets

Profit and Loss

Running on Empty

Getting it out Your System

National Mistrust

Bring in the Old, Out with the New


I am Reviewing, My Situation...

Wat Phrabhat Nam Poo

Today I will Mostly be Eating...


The Thai Experience

Wat Khaowong

Reality Bites

Wat Simalais

Amazing Thailand

He Must have a Big Wand

Right Place, Wrong Time



And it does go on


Bring Him Home



Listening to my Reader.



Diary Archive 18.

Diary Archive 17.

Diary Archive 16.

Diary Archive 15.

Diary Archive 14.

Diary Archive 13.

Diary Archive 12.

Diary Archive 11.

Diary Archive 10.

Diary Archive 9.

Diary Archive 8.

Diary Archive 7.

Diary Archive 6.

Diary Archive 5.

Diary Archive 4.

Diary Archive 3.

Diary Archive 2.

Diary Archive 1.



Beating Myself Up


Two months have passed.

It is good to have standards. As we run our own company it helps that we impose our own quality strictures on the products we sell. But it can also mean you can make a rod for your own back, become inflexible and rigid; to not go with the flow. The events of the last two months illustrate perfectly why Ploy and I came to within a whisker of parting. At one point we nearly had one million dollars in the bank. Just a few days later I am being shouted at by a CEO over dinner in a hotel restaurant and being called a 'fucking idiot who will come crawling back to us' in an accidentally copied e-mail I received.

The best thing about the last twelve months has been the purging of the hangers-on and the exploiters. We have good ideas, ideas we can turn into products that people want. That is best illustrated by the China company that copied our idea (even down to its acronym) and then tried to patent it. This company, the third biggest security/CCTV company in China, actually have done us a favour by promoting our idea, helped by the fact they haven't actually been able to realise it properly. But their marketing has opened people's eyes up to another way of transmitting video, a way we 'invented' if you like. And so this year much time has been spent listening to overtures from those who wanted our idea but would not give us the money or respect that it deserved. And so we turned them all down, largely because we didn't like them. They did not pass our quality test.

I say all, but in fact we have made an agreement with a Korean company. Even that is not going as smoothly as it should, but we can still sell our idea outside of Korea and that is what we will do starting January 4th culminating in an exhibition in Taiwan in March. Neither Ploy or I think much about the million dollars. We have some money from the Korean company and we should get orders from them too. They have a product launch on Boxing day and we should start to see production orders by February or March.

Last year we sold a whisker under $100,000 of products. And we have a product ready that we know there is a huge market for plus lots of other ideas. For the first time in a long time I have started to enjoy my work again, helped perhaps by having to do some travelling, but without having to worry about the money so much, and also with the knowledge that we can make a success of the business. For the first time the business does not have to be the first thing on any New Year resolution list. It will just happen and we have the confidence now to turn away potential suitors that just waste our time and that we know wish to take advantage of us. A secret pleasure of the last year has been the uncomprehending look on these company's faces as we turn down their offers. In their bottom line driven worlds they cannot comprehend why we did not sell out.

So for the first time the New Year's resolution can change a little. The business is there and we just need to carry on doing what we are doing. No new premises, no new staff, just more of the same. So for the first time we can resolve to do some other things although these also have a familiarity to them.

  1. More time to ourselves. Having made those decisions, to have put some money in the bank, immediately de-stressed our relationship. Ploy came with me to Korea and we had nearly three days there with no work, with just a chance to explore Seoul by ourselves. Tomorrow we leave for a short break in Bangkok; to recharge our batteries and pamper ourselves a little. We bought ourselves a new car, partly prompted by our old one starting to fall apart, but rather than just buy another pickup, we indulged ourselves our little. We have been here over four years now and have had almost no breaks at all. We have changed that and feel better for it. We have another dog, another pitiful stray puppy that Ploy found who, when she is not destroying our garden, gives us huge pleasure. We find ourselves smiling a lot more.
  2. Yes, those books. Sat on that laptop, their icons staring back at me every time I log in. 2014 is the year to do something with them.
  3. And yes, learning Thai. There it is again. I did buy some new books this year and they are good. But they have not been opened enough (or at all in some cases). This year they will be. One huge step forward is I do not regard learning the language a chore anymore. I actually do enjoy it as I am at the point where lots of things start fitting together. I still have some blind spots but I just ignore them rather than fret over them. Yes, this is the year I will get some fluency in the language.
  4. Despite my neglect of this website it is still only going to be just shy of half a million hits for 2013. But this coming year I will try and add lots of new material. I have realised I do have quite a lot more to say. Sorry.




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