Thai Life Update: The Beach Condo and a Second Restaurant

I’ve been remiss, time to get back to it.

It wasn’t laziness, just a series of things that consumed my attention and focus. Plus, in some measure I’m just on-hold, waiting to see if the November election results just might constitute a cure or vaccine for the current global stupidity and insanity (the only and real virus in play).

  1. Took the family to the beach for a 4-day holiday. In total, it was 11 of us in two cars, to Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, and back. 500 Km each way.
  2. Made plans and executed to locate with my motorcycle and rent a condo there at Jomtien as a 2nd home—to split my time for work and focus and a place to bring the kids during vacations.
  3. We did a weekend over on Koh Larn, 30 minutes and 30 baht ($1) by ferry.
  4. Got my Thai drivers licenses.
  5. Returned home to the village and started a second restaurant after the first has done so well in its first six weeks.

Let’s do some photos to mostly show and less tell, the story. Each one can be clicked to open a larger, higher-resolution version.

Family trip to Pattaya.

Condo search and acquisition.

Koh Larn Getaway.

Drivers Licenses. Yea, for some reason you get two, one for the car, one for the motorbike. Good for 2 years (temporary), renewable thereafter for 5 years at a time.

Took about 4 hours time, no tests required—thanks to a very good agent and “grease.” Driving without licenses is no big deal. I’ve been popped four times in nine months, $15 the first three times in Chiang Mai, $6 the fourth time here in Pattaya. The rather laid back part of it is, you get a receipt that constitutes a temporary permit for four days, in case you get popped again.

Random life around Jomtien Beach, Pattaya.

The visit back at home.

I wrote about the restaurant here, and here.

I’m pretty happy tonight. Middle of May I came to the village and within a few days decided to build a house. 7 days, 12 hours per day, 3-4 workers every day, and blew through it in 2 1/2 months.

Took the 2 girls, Chili and Wasabi—plus boy nephew Ninja—from about poorest in village to the nicest house. Put a price tag on that.

I didn’t stop. How do they make the monthly income necessary so mom doesn’t have to go work in the city, gone for months at a time, or be dependent upon me? So, I financed a restaurant, run by sister. It has done so well that I began work on a second, this one to be run directly by Yui, the GF. She was holding out for a clothing store but came to understand that people here eat every day, but don’t buy clothes every day.

It opens tomorrow, right next door to the first one. Final preps underway now.

This is how it’s done. Get them making their own money so they’re not dependent on you and…who knows what the future holds?

I’m really and solidly building a firm permanent foundation in my new home. In interesting ways, I feel what it must have been like to be an immigrant to America back when it was the Land of the Free and you didn’t have to ask any permissions. There has been zero permission asking, permits, or fees, in building of a house and starting two restaurants.

Let that sink in, children.

…Scenes from the restaurant front lines, today. First day in business. Packed house early afternoon. Sold out by 4pm.

Selling out is common in Thailand because the micro restaurants specialize in all fresh food, which Thais are obsessive about. So, you buy every day, sell every day and hopefully, don’t end up with much waste. It’s a balancing act because if ALWAYS selling out early, you’re leaving money on the table by being too concerned about losses when you haven’t sold everything.

It’s the same for all businesses, especially lending. If you have no loan losses, then you’re likely letting good-performing loans slip by and your criteria are too tight….For me, it was my OMAD (One Meal Per Day) over 40 minutes. I ate three dishes: Pork Rad Na (also available in seafood version), Khao Man Gai (chicken), and Seafood Suki Nam (Thai Sukiyaki…also available in pork version). Total cost: 120 baht ($3.87). Yes, even though I financed it all, I pay and admonish them: “EVERYBODY PAYS. NO FREE!”

…OK, so that’s about it for this update. Hope you at least find some of the photos likeable, inspiring, or whatever.


  1. Bret on October 13, 2020 at 08:00

    Looking good, brother man. How are you enjoying the short haircut & smooth baby face?

    Glad to see you are happy & doing well.

  2. Big on October 13, 2020 at 22:34

    First time I have seen you refer to “the family” – nice. Good to see you doing well and enjoying life too.

  3. Chris on October 13, 2020 at 23:54

    I was wondering about the food and restaurant.
    If I remember correctly in south east asia a lot of food has added or is fryed in vegetable oil.

    Do you mind about this?
    Change recipes?
    Or recipes do not have vegetable oil added anyways?

    • Richard Nikoley on October 14, 2020 at 02:16

      They don’t add fat to anything. They do use it to cook, and mostly what they deep fry is whole fish with skin. If you avoid eating the skin, you’d get hardly any fat.

      The traditional oil is palm, good fat profile. Most of the supermarket shelves are still palm, but cheaper soy is making inroads and of course, Thais no know nothing but the price difference.

  4. Lynn Wright on October 14, 2020 at 09:17

    Why that glum head shot? Looks to me like you have a most awesome life there in Thailand!

  5. RON PADOT JR on October 15, 2020 at 12:12

    Were the photos taken with your A51?

    • Richard Nikoley on October 15, 2020 at 16:25

      Some. It’s definitely not as good as the iPhone X. Majority taken with my Canon SX 730 HS.

  6. Chris Highcock on October 24, 2020 at 00:39

    This life is treating you well – you look younger and healthy.

  7. Yui on December 21, 2020 at 20:54

    Richard, Chili and Wasabi miss you darling. They want you to take them on more trips like Koh Larn and Koh Chang, more swim and snorkelling. They will always love you for teaching them how to swim so patiently. They are not afraid water, anymore.

    And eat spaghetti and meatballs!

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