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  1. #951
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    Ugggghhhhhh!!! It looks like the leak is from the solar hot water heating system. They've been trying to trace it and I think they found it.



    It took them a few days to find the replacement flooring. I wonder how long it will take to find the wall pieces and get it all put back together again (on PD House's dime) ?



    But on a positive note. I bought a 2.2 m pre-wired fake Christmas tree at Costco, back in the USA (yed, I did check for power compatibility). It was a pain bringing it over (EVA only charged me an extra US$100 for being oversized box), but we finally set it up yesterday and my wife has been working at decorating it. I think she did a very good job and it looks great, especially with the reflection off the granite floor.




    They've been busy painting the rails on the wall. I'll post a pic or two when that is finished up. Right now, I'm really missing my shower in the master bathroom.

    Steve

  2. #952
    Member Hoops's Avatar
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    I was searching the web for gutters and came across Maxxi Building products that do a big half round gutter, which suits my purpose, but what impressed me was the strong looking cast brackets they have. Not some tinny thin brackets stamped out of gal sheet. They have a web site and show prices. Maybe some of you are interested in saving water as I am.

  3. #953
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    Nice tree Steve. We brought one over in our container some sixteen years ago. It will go up next week.

  4. #954
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    The Christmas tree looks good, even form the outside, as seen through the main entrance. Another reason why I wanted that big entrance.






    Steve

  5. #955
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    Well, as much as i wanted to make that big expanse of the outside wall a revenue generator, we decided to install a mural. Originally, it was going to be the Thai standard of something elephant related. We saw several nice ones, but then we saw this sailing ship and it really appealed to the wife and I. So this is what we picked. However, it still looked a little small and lonely. So, while I was away in Queensland last week, the wife went and picked out these fish to go on each side.
    What she doesn't know is how similar they look to the "dolphins" one earns when serving on board a US Navy submarine. So, it was a nice touch and pays honor to my background.

    I think she may also add (glue?) some flying birds along the top.




    And the wall is basically finished, except for the lights, main gate and side gate.

    This is the exteriod, west side:



    And then some inside wall shots. I'm not happy with the pink color she picked. i think a yellow, similar to the house would have looked much better. But we won't repaint it now. I'll wait a few years, and then when it's looking shabby, we'll redo it.




    This is the inside wall of that large expanse where the mural is located on the exterior. I'm thinking this is begging for a nice fountain feature. I'm thinking some dark colored stone, with water dribbling down from the top. I've already sourced a solar powered pump on eBay that can lift water to 3.5 m. Maybe stick a couple of flower pots, or similar in the pool as well, with smaller solar powered pumps.




    Piles of dirt were delivered while I was away. These are to fill in all the low spots of the inside wall, so the ground is fairly level. We are a good meter + above everyone else in the area. We should never flood.




    The tractor came yesterday to spread all the dirt around.









    Filling in even that really low spot, over in the southwest corner:





    And then the carnage started. In order to access and fill the south wall, my beloved banana tree (outside my office window), had to come down.





    But, we noticed a shoot coming up by the concrete skirt running around the house. He is spared. I shall call him "Groot", but I don't think he dances.



    Steve

  6. #956
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    The wall looks really great Steve, the colour ( even if you don't love it ) makes it a feature. I will show this to my wife and we will probably copy it or something close. Thanks for sharing.

  7. #957
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    My will not

  8. #958
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    We had an interesting experience the past few days.
    It seems my wife left some water running all night Thursday night. This pretty much drained our 2,000 l water tank, but then I noticed our pump was not working properly. Sometimes it would start or I could hear a humming sound, but the motor would not start. I also noticed the motor casing would get very hot, in a short period of time. This would sometimes trip the motor out on a thermal protection. Plus, after the pump would shut off, it would lose suction and have to be primed.
    So, I got to know my Mitsubishi pump. I figured that it could be the flow switch mechanism in the discharge check valve. But that didn't explain the hot motor casing.

    My wife's brother had a couple of his friends (fellow workers at Home Pro) come over last night to take a look and they pretty much did everything I did, except disassemble the flow switch/discharge check valve. They also noticed the hot motor casing. They then concluded that it must be a break, somewhere in the house, that was causing all the problems. I was astounded by this, since this would mean we would have to have a leak somewhere in the house (which we don't have).

    By this time, I had had enough and decided to bring the pump inside, away from the mozzies, and really tear it down. So we did. In doing so, I took apart a little box that sits on top of the motor and has the leads going through it, with a shielded smaller little box inside. I had looked at it the other day, not really seeing anything that stuck out at me in there. But this time, one of the HomePro guys said something about it being a capacitor and that set off a bell in my head. Quickly checking the internet, I realized the capacitor was the problem. If it fails, it can't get the motor turning properly and can lead to overheating of the motor.

    So, myself, my wife and a family friend, who knows the shops around town, took the pump assembly out this morning and got the capacitor replaced (300 baht). The motor now works fine and all is restored to normal. Yay !

    So, for you non-electrical engineers out there, if your water pump makes a funny noise while trying to start and fails to actually start and/or you notice the motor casing is very hot, after a short run period, then you should check the capacitor. It may well be the source of the problem.

    In our case, I think having let the pump run all night (in the vendor supplied box/cover) cooked our capacitor.

    I'm still not sure why the pump, when shut down, would continuously lose prime though. Now that it's cycling on/off normally, it does not lose the prime.

    But now I know my water pump very well, even if the electronics still mystify me.

    Steve

  9. #959
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    Thanks for the tip Steve

  10. #960
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    The wall people were back today, filling in the low spots along the back wall. They did a good job, except someone killed little Groot.





    They also filled in the southwest corner:





    While some were filling the back wall, some others were building forms and rebar cage for the "foundation" of our sliding gate entrance:








    The concrete truck came by mid-afternoon to fill the form:





    The excess concrete was dumped inside. This area (plus outside by the road) will need to be filled up and (hopefully) compacted:




    Steve

  11. #961
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    Some fill was added the next day and the entrance, while a little rough, is not bad getting in and out. The driveway is on the TDL.

    We had a nice, albeit Thai version of a Christmas Day party for friends and family. I bought a 12-13 kg turkey (named it turkey-zilla) at Tops that pretty much filled the oven. Almost 7 hours later it was out and sat for an hour before being carved.

    The Christmas tree was dragged out through the main doors and the whole area was decorated.









    In front of the guest suite was a cooking area for all the Thai food. Everyone wanted to try the turkey, but wanted to eat their Thai food as well.




    And here we have Turkey-zilla !!! The damn thing barely fit in a pan, kept overflowing with juices and fat, and pretty much filled the oven space. But still, it was quite tasty !





    And then a brief night time shot. Much whiskey was consumed, including 2 bottles of moonshine that we had been saving.



    Steve

  12. #962
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    Yay ! They fixed our shower tiling yesterday. It's only been 3 weeks now.

    But, being Thailand, they forgot to re-install the soap holder (THAT IS SITTING RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN SIGHT !!!). I'm waiting for an answer from PD House as to when it will be corrected.




    Happy New Year to everyone !

    Steve

  13. #963
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    The War of the Roses...

    Well, not really a war. More like an interesting competition to see which one thrives the best.
    It turns out that yesterday, 3 of us got roses for the house.
    The first was my wife's brother. he had actually bought one the night before and planted it yesterday morning, along with some other flowers. However, I'm not sure how well it will do as that west wall gets the strong afternoon sun.




    We went out yesterday afternoon. While we were out, a family friend, who's been helping with gardening, landscaping, etc. came by with some roses and other stuff to plant in the planter in front of the guest suite. He knew I wanted some roses in the planter, so he placed one on each end, with the jasmine plants already there. He also planted some salad greens! LOL




    The little porcelain figurines are a nice touch of color as well.




    While we were out at the large Chedi that Nakhon Pathom is famous for, I spotted several vendors selling beautiful flowers (I really want some orchids), including 3 roses for 100 baht. Since I didn't know about the other roses placed in the planter already, I bought some. Needless to say, when we got home, I was pleasantly surprised by the roses in the planter. But then I had to figure where to put the ones I bought. We've got several large rectangular shaped holes in the concrete, in the front of the house. A couple of them have shrubs already, but one was just covered over and filled with plastic bag garbage. So I cleaned it out, added some fill and compost stuff and planted my roses. I also added some stones, to help cut down on dirt splatter when watering. The only problem with this location, that I can see for now, is that my roses could get hit with heavy runoff of water form the roof. So I'm going to have to see if we can fashion some type of cover to protect them.



    The "war" is that I am curious to see which roses will fare the best. Both my roses and the guest suite roses, face north and don't get much direct sunlight. The one my wife's brother planted, faces west and will get blasted by the afternoon sunlight.

    This will be interesting to see unfold.

    Steve

  14. #964
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Happy New Year Steve

    Good Luck with your Rose horticulture.

  15. #965
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    Aarrrrggggg !! We get back to the house, this late afternoon, only to find the water pump is not operating. I pull the cover off and find nothing but little ants all over the place. I'm not sure what was so appealing to them, but they were everywhere.
    I figured that maybe they shorted out the fuse or messed up the pressure switch.

    I'm thinking we might have to buy a new pump and fix this one at some time later, as I can't stand not having a proper shower. Ultimately, I would like to have two pumps, one supplying each end of the house with a closed ball valve as a cross-connect. That might help with water supply pressure problems, if more than one person is taking a shower. And, we can always open the cross-connect if a pump fails, for what ever reason.

    My wife's brother convinces me to pull the pump and take it to a shop to get looked at. So I take it out and off we go.

    We get to the shop and am told that no-one is available tonight, but to leave the pump. My blood pressure is starting to go up. Just in the nick of time, the guy shows up on his motorcycle. I explain about all the ants I found inside and hope he understands.

    He pulls the cover off the discharge valve, where all the electronics are. he then pulls the pressure switch cover off and sure enough, there are still some ants in there. He gets an air line and blows everything out. And sure enough, the pump starts. The ants must have blocked up that pressure switch somehow. No charge he says, Yay!!!

    Get back home, hook everything back up, prime the pump and start her up. Took a little bit to vent all the lines and get everything back proper, but it's done.
    I also sprayed some ant killer around and on the pump. I'll go back in a day or two and spray again, just to dissuade the little buggers.

    I enjoyed a large bottle of Singha beer with my very late dinner. I should have bought a beer for my wife's brother, but I forget what beer he likes.

    Steve

  16. #966
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    They seem to like the Leo up that way. Can stand it my self though.

  17. #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    They seem to like the Leo up that way. Can stand it my self though.
    LOL, Terry I think you are mixing me up with someone else. Nakhon Pathom is only about 50 km west of Bangkok.
    Although, I think he does like Leo.

    Cheers mate !

    Steve

  18. #968
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    STEVEFARANG 1 - Ants 0

    An honourable effort from the ants though .




    Wasp

  19. #969
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    OK, I got tired of the water, from our washing machine, just draining out next to our house and onto the east end of our lot. It makes a muddy mess, gives the ground a funky tinge and it's really not what I want, especially after we finally get some sod down. I don't want that area to be perpetually swampy.

    So with the cooler weather, I decided to borrow a wheelbarrow and some hand tools, left behind by the wall contractor (we will most likely use them to do the driveway, so I think it's more in anticipation). We've got a small pile of gravel, also left over.

    So, I dug out the hard clay like stuff that is in the general area of the drain. I was hoping to get 2 feet (~66 cm) down, but I hit some type of concrete shelf about 18 inches (46 cm), if that. It sounded hollow, but I didn't want to risk breaking it. So I expanded the hole.

    I raided our little gravel pile and made a couple of trips to fill in the hole. I've arranged the soil I dug out around the gravel for now, just to give it a neater appearance. I will probably tweak things, as I intend to do some more minor landscaping in that area. It sits at the end of our covered car park and I picture some paver stones, making a low wall, and some bushes of some sort planted in that area.

    Anyway, I'm rambling.
    Here's a view of the "drainage yard". You can see that wonderful sheen that the laundry soap, softener, bleach, etc have given to the ground. Sorry for the blurry pic.





    And here's a view of gravel hole. It's not much, but it works like a drywell.





    I've tested it and it works fine with a single load of laundry. I don't know how well the "soil" will percolate the laundry waste water, if we're doing 2 or more loads in a day, or if it's raining outside. But it's certainly better than what we had before.

    Steve

  20. #970
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    We have a gate !!!

    We finally had the gate installed today. We'll install the electric motor remote at a later date.

    They are also installing the 2 doors as well. I guess that gate was pretty substantial as it took most of the day to get it in place. They also hung one door on it's hinges. They will come back tomorrow to finish things up.

    So anyway, here is at the start of the day. I'm sure it was a lot of fun bringing the gate over in the back of that pickup.





    A gratuitous shot of classic Thai electrical work. Something everyone has seen here before. Some friends on Facebook, who've never been here, were ummmm...(pardon the pun) shocked !!




    And then some shots of them working on the installation:











    A close up of one of the doors:




    Getting close to finishing the gate:







    And finally, at the end of the day. They will be back tomorrow to finish things up.




    Steve

  21. #971
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Smile

    Steve, now THAT is a gate. What motor ere you getting for that thing? I recall someone on another thread talking about an Italian brand being very good, but I can't recall the name though.

  22. #972
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    Quote Originally Posted by terp80 View Post
    Steve, now THAT is a gate. What motor ere you getting for that thing? I recall someone on another thread talking about an Italian brand being very good, but I can't recall the name though.
    I wrote here once about one, however, not about an Italian brand but Chinese named "Foresee".

    It is available at GH for 10,000 B (plus installation, I did it myself). I have been having 2 sets at different locations, for over 4 years without any problem. One with some hundred operation daily. Small remote controller(s) can reach it over more than 50m. A pushbutton connected by wire can also initiate the movement. The same model has been sold in UK.

    There are few more other products in other construction shops, most of them at least twice so costly. If they work twice better?

  23. #973
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    Quote Originally Posted by terp80 View Post
    Steve, now THAT is a gate. What motor ere you getting for that thing? I recall someone on another thread talking about an Italian brand being very good, but I can't recall the name though.
    I haven't the foggiest idea. This has been all the work of my wife. I will most likely be back stateside when they get the motor and remote set up.

    Thanks very much. I was teasing the gate guys, towards the end of the day. I came out and was pointing out how the rails on the wall are all straight and the gate profile has those curves. So I said it was no good. You should have seen the looks on their faces.

    I'll probably buy them a round of beers tomorrow. The gate and doors require working in the direct sun all day, no chance of shade.

    Steve

  24. #974
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Beautiful gate Steve.

  25. #975
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    OK, I was wrong. It turns out the motor was installed today.

    It is Italian, although "Roger" doesn't sound very Italian...




    Straight tooth gear drive. No chain.




    Back when we laid out the electric plan, I wanted an external wire, in a box, at each corner of the house. At the time, my wife thought I was crazy. Turns out I wasn't so nuts. Beats having to drill a hole into the walls of our house to tap into an outlet.









    They ran the wire, in the yellow tubing, along the base of our west wall and down to the gate.




    Some views with the plastic cover removed. Looks pretty sophisticated for a motor that just opens and closes the gate. I'm surprised that it doesn't have any auto-reverse if it hits the side of a car/truck. In theory, someone could get pinned as it closes and it won't auto-reverse.






    Finally some views of the wall doors.

    This is on the west wall. We have some mango trees over here and there is an ample area for excess parking.




    And then a view of the front (north), road facing wall door:




    They also mounted our mail box.




    Steve

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