Renovating an old rural village home in Thailand.

Faz

Well-known member
For the last 3 months in particular, I've been working under the duress of constraints.

A left ear where the drum constantly gets blocked by unusual looking wax. The only positive being if I stand to the right of my wife, it's quieter and more peaceful. :D
3 different doctors later, and I think the latest has determined the cause and given the appropriate medication, as it's been much improved the last week.
Stereo sound surround has returned.

A frozen left shoulder, for which I've been receiving physio treatment.
Much improved, but still not quite there yet.

Ingrowing toenails, which I've known about for months but don't hamper me when wearing flip-flops, but I do need to tend to them.

A cataract of the left eye. I was booked in to have it removed on 7th Feb, but after receiving some poor reviews of the surgeon, cancelled.
The search is still underway for a different eye surgeon.

Then a few weeks ago, I was suddenly woken up at 2am in the morning by a pain in my butt and shooting pains down my leg. Immediately I thought sciatic nerve.
Some days I can be in agony, other days just an annoying constant pain in the butt, whilst other days it seems to disappear.
The most common cause of sciatica in 9/10 cases is either a slipped disc or herniated disc.
If it was a slipped disc I'd know about it, but an x-ray couldn't confirm it was a herniated disc either, so now awaiting an MRI scan.
In-between, the doctor has prescribed medication such as muscle relaxants and painkillers, which absolutely knock me out for the day and physio twice a week.
I skip the medication on Sat and Sunday otherwise I'd fall asleep at the wheel.

With some bigger tasks yet to complete at the house, it's all about timing.
I'd like to get the external wall fence completed and the wife's eldest son is home from Uni next week to give a hand, but the builder has only made 3 frames in 4 weeks, out of the 15 needed.
First a nephew passed away in Bangkok, and then last week it was his brother's friend that passed away.
I've been made aware that after the cataract is removed, I need to chill out for 4-6 weeks. Bending up and down increases pressure on the eye.

I'll just have to play it by ear from now on.
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
For the last 3 months in particular, I've been working under the duress of constraints.

A left ear where the drum constantly gets blocked by unusual looking wax. The only positive being if I stand to the right of my wife, it's quieter and more peaceful. :D
3 different doctors later, and I think the latest has determined the cause and given the appropriate medication, as it's been much improved the last week.
Stereo sound surround has returned.

A frozen left shoulder, for which I've been receiving physio treatment.
Much improved, but still not quite there yet.

Ingrowing toenails, which I've known about for months but don't hamper me when wearing flip-flops, but I do need to tend to them.

A cataract of the left eye. I was booked in to have it removed on 7th Feb, but after receiving some poor reviews of the surgeon, cancelled.
The search is still underway for a different eye surgeon.

Then a few weeks ago, I was suddenly woken up at 2am in the morning by a pain in my butt and shooting pains down my leg. Immediately I thought sciatic nerve.
Some days I can be in agony, other days just an annoying constant pain in the butt, whilst other days it seems to disappear.
The most common cause of sciatica in 9/10 cases is either a slipped disc or herniated disc.
If it was a slipped disc I'd know about it, but an x-ray couldn't confirm it was a herniated disc either, so now awaiting an MRI scan.
In-between, the doctor has prescribed medication such as muscle relaxants and painkillers, which absolutely knock me out for the day and physio twice a week.
I skip the medication on Sat and Sunday otherwise I'd fall asleep at the wheel.

With some bigger tasks yet to complete at the house, it's all about timing.
I'd like to get the external wall fence completed and the wife's eldest son is home from Uni next week to give a hand, but the builder has only made 3 frames in 4 weeks, out of the 15 needed.
First a nephew passed away in Bangkok, and then last week it was his brother's friend that passed away.
I've been made aware that after the cataract is removed, I need to chill out for 4-6 weeks. Bending up and down increases pressure on the eye.

I'll just have to play it by ear from now on.
Having ear issues really screws you up
You just feel off all the time

I would get it every winter for a few years then just went away one year


I had a severe sciatica about 15 years ago
Could barely walk home 2 sois from work

Went on for about 6 months


I now feel it coming on here and there but then do good stretches and it seems to go away
 
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kaptainrob

Administrator
I'll just have to play it by ear from now on.
Which ear?

Those big pot planter storage jar thingys are likely for brewing bpla ra, stinky fish guts and stuff. They fill the pot and half bury in soil to maintain an even temp while fermenting .... the rotten stench is disgusting.
 
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Quarky

Well-known member
Which ear?

Those big pot planter storage jar thingys are likely for brewing bpla ra, stinky fish guts and stuff. They fill the pot and half bury in soil to maintain an even temp while fermenting .... the rotten stench is disgusting.
And yet it tastes nice in the end?
 
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Faz

Well-known member
Saturday 17th February.

Apart from fitting a couple of barrel bolt locks to the doors on the front room cupboard, The interior of the house is literally completed.
The wife wanted to go through the house, dusting, vacuuming and mopping, so the day was spent cleaning.

Saturday evening, as we were leaving, we called to see how the builder was progressing with making the frames for the exterior walls.
The weekend before, he'd only welded 3 of the 15 required.
We were surprised to find 8 frames now welded together, and he was welding the 9th as we called.
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
Saturday 17th February.

Apart from fitting a couple of barrel bolt locks to the doors on the front room cupboard, The interior of the house is literally completed.
The wife wanted to go through the house, dusting, vacuuming and mopping, so the day was spent cleaning.

Saturday evening, as we were leaving, we called to see how the builder was progressing with making the frames for the exterior walls.
The weekend before, he'd only welded 3 of the 15 required.
We were surprised to find 8 frames now welded together, and he was welding the 9th as we called.
Apologies
I am sure you have said it

But how often will you visit this house?
 

Faz

Well-known member
Sunday 18th February.

My wife's eldest son, who's just turned 21, arrived home yesterday for his 3-week end of term break from Suranaree University in Nakhon Ratchasima and was eager to see the progress made since his last visit to the old village house and to help with anything he could.
When we arrived, I intended to sand down and give a first coat of stainer/varnish to the front and rear door frames, which are under the shade of the porches, it being too hot to do anything outside.
I got as far as sanding the front door frame down, when the wife suggested she and her son could bring the completed welded frames over and start fixing them on the top of the boundary walls.
Although hot, we were fortunate that low cloud was blocking the sun and with the extra pair of hands it seemed a good idea.
So the wife and her son carried the 9 x 6metre x 90cm frames over from the builder's house, which is only 50 metres away on the other side of the soi, 2 at a time, whilst I prepared all the fixings.

If you recall, I'd already drilled 6mm holes through the steel frames.
I used a 7mm multipurpose drill bit which would widen and go through the existing holes and straight into the concrete ready for plugging.
I was using 7mm plugs and 2 1/2" roofing bolts with washers to fix the steel frames to the top of the boundary walls.
Where the frames met each other, I fixed them together for extra strength using 1 1/2" self-tapping screws with washers.

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Viewing from the front of the house, half the boundary wall on the right-hand side is under shade, so whilst we had cloud cover, it seemed common sense to make a start on the left-hand side boundary wall.

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Faz

Well-known member
The wall on the left-hand side isn't exactly the best built wall, the top being uneven, and it snakes inward then outward, so we had to fix the frames with the ends being in the centre of the wall and not worry to much about the overall length of the frames being dead centre.
With the extra pair of hands and working as a team, it was easy to fix the frames. The wife and her son, one at each end, would hold the frames in position whilst I drilled through the frame and into the concrete.
It was just a case of then plugging and screwing the roofing bolts down.

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We knew beforehand that the side boundary walls were roughly 40 metres long.
Each frame being 6 metre long, it would take 6 full size frames (6 x 6 = 36 metres), then the remaining distance would need to be measured, and the last frame made to measure, so to speak.

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6 frames in place.

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The remaining difference to meet the rear wall fence is 4.67 metres, so the side boundary walls are actually a little over the 40 metres in total length.
 

Faz

Well-known member
We were very fortunate that it was an overcast day, otherwise I'm sure I'd have melted and dropped before lunch.

After a late lunch at 1400, we started on the rear wall, fixing the remaining 3 frames in place.

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A close up of securing the frames together where they meet with 1 1/2" self-tapping screws.

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All in all, today was a good day and we exceeded expectations.

Next week's activities depend on how many more frames the builder has managed to make, and the weather.
I can fit 3 frames on the right-hand side wall, whilst in the shade, and I'll have a further 3 frames that I need to measure and cut the steel to size for the builder to weld, but failing that I'll go back to getting the first, maybe even second coat of stainer varnish to the front and rear external door frames.
 

Faz

Well-known member
Apologies
I am sure you have said it

But how often will you visit this house?
We started renovations back in May 2022 and travelled almost very weekend since to work on the house.
The internal work is completed and for the last 3 weeks we've been in a position to stay over Saturday evenings, but due to one factor or another we haven't stayed overnight as yet.

Long term, the wife was born and raised there and has many friends she went to school with still living locally.
She's always stated that when she retires or should something happen to me, her wish would be to move out of the city and back to her family home in the countryside.
Obviously, though, we can take weekend breaks and treat it as a holiday home in-between.
 

Faz

Well-known member
I have to mention this.

Our village house is directly facing the local Medical centre, which is next door to the Community centre located on the corner.
This month, there's been a lot of activity at the Community centre over the weekends for older teenagers and into the younger twenty, I'd guess from 16 - 22-year-olds.
Lots of loud music, a DJ, and dancing.
The youngsters come from surrounding villages and total anywhere from 30 to 40 in numbers.
Actually, in difference to the usual 'boom', 'boom', 'boom', the music has been quite mellow with many a female artist being played, however one afternoon a particular record caught my attention and I looked to find them all dancing in a circle to the tune, which tickled me pink and made me laugh.

Now according to the wife, this dance is part of the Thai culture and amazingly at the end of this month, the teenagers actually have to take a test performing this dance at the local Amphoe in Patumrat.
Thai culture my backside, this song originates from British folk dancing and twice made the charts back in the 1980s.
Of course, I was overruled, and dismissed, after all what would I know about Thai culture!

The song and dance!
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
I have to mention this.

Our village house is directly facing the local Medical centre, which is next door to the Community centre located on the corner.
This month, there's been a lot of activity at the Community centre over the weekends for older teenagers and into the younger twenty, I'd guess from 16 - 22-year-olds.
Lots of loud music, a DJ, and dancing.
The youngsters come from surrounding villages and total anywhere from 30 to 40 in numbers.
Actually, in difference to the usual 'boom', 'boom', 'boom', the music has been quite mellow with many a female artist being played, however one afternoon a particular record caught my attention and I looked to find them all dancing in a circle to the tune, which tickled me pink and made me laugh.

Now according to the wife, this dance is part of the Thai culture and amazingly at the end of this month, the teenagers actually have to take a test performing this dance at the local Amphoe in Patumrat.
Thai culture my backside, this song originates from British folk dancing and twice made the charts back in the 1980s.
Of course, I was overruled, and dismissed, after all what would I know about Thai culture!

The song and dance!
Kind of like my wife insisting that KFC is a Thai restaurant/company 555
 

Faz

Well-known member
Saturday 24th February.

We managed to fit 9 of 6m x 0.9m steel frames on top of the boundary walls last week and expected to find the remaining 6 full size frames welded up ready for fitting. A further 3 frames (one at each side and one on the rear wall) need measuring and steel cutting before welding up, once the full frames are in place.
My wife had spoken to the builder on Wednesday, who assured her the remaining 6 full size frames would be ready for fitting.
Unfortunately, on arriving Saturday morning, we found only 2 single full size frames welded up, nobody at home and the neighbours informed us the builder was at a party that morning. He turned up at 1100 and gave the excuse he wasn't well that week, hence only two of the remaining 6 frames were ready.

We fitted the 2 full size frames to the top of the right-hand side wall, then proceeded to start painting the welded joints with red oxide paint.
The wife's two sons came to give us a hand.

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Faz

Well-known member
Sunday 25th February.

This morning, the builder advises his mate is coming over to weld the remaining frames as he's not well enough, unless it's a party!
We also take delivery of the fencing wire. 2 rolls of 50m x 0.9, 2mm gauge, 4" square pattern.

As each frame is welded, we are fitting it, then waiting another 10 minutes for the next frame to be welded.
By lunchtime, we've fitted all the remaining full size frames and 2 made to measure frames with one frame left, which I can't measure precisely until all the other frames are in place.

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Just a single frame left to complete the corner.
 

Faz

Well-known member
The builder's mate has now left to go to another job, with just one frame left to weld, which I've now been able to measure exactly, and cut the steel to size, ready for welding, but I guess that will have to wait for another day.

The 50m wire rolls are deceiving and are far heavier than they look.
We roll one out the length of the garden, then temporarily hang it by tying it off on the top.

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Faz

Well-known member
With the wire temporarily held in position, starting at one end, we start to permanently fix it in place on the frame by twisting 1mm gauge wire around the top and bottom.

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Twisting the 1mm gauge wire with a pair of pliers is hard on the fingers and easy to get blisters on blisters.

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Faz

Well-known member
By 1530, we're only halfway down one side of the fence twisting the 1mm gauge in place, when we receive a message that despite the builder's illness, he's managed to weld the final frame. We drop what we're doing to fix the final frame in place and finish the final corner.

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With that, I've had enough for this week, and we start to pack up.

Next week, which I'm not looking forward to, will be a case of fixing the remaining wire fencing to the frames and a few more blisters no doubt.
It's taken half a day to fix half the wire to half a length of one side wall, (roughly 20 metres) and it will probably take the full weekend to secure the remaining 80 metres.
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
By 1530, we're only halfway down one side of the fence twisting the 1mm gauge in place, when we receive a message that despite the builder's illness, he's managed to weld the final frame. We drop what we're doing to fix the final frame in place and finish the final corner.

View attachment 10180

With that, I've had enough for this week, and we start to pack up.

Next week, which I'm not looking forward to, will be a case of fixing the remaining wire fencing to the frames and a few more blisters no doubt.
It's taken half a day to fix half the wire to half a length of one side wall, (roughly 20 metres) and it will probably take the full weekend to secure the remaining 80 metres.
You could do with a Wire Twister tool > https://www.lazada.co.th/products/tie-twisting-twister-puller-i3684555281-s13917826555.html? 69bt + delivery but check what gauge and strength of wire they handle.
 
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