Retired in Loei.


I am from the San Francisco Bay area in California, retired the day before Thanksgiving 2020 then moved to Thailand on Thanksgiving Day. I have been happily living in Loei Thailand since then. My wife built a house for us to live in that includes a "hobby shop"  on the bottom floor. I moved all of my machine shop and woodworking equipment from the USA into that area. That includes a 4500 lb CNC mill, metal lathe, band saws, table saw, etc. I have spent the past year getting that area set up to do things in.

I have not been able to do any traveling within Thailand as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

So, if anyone has any questions on moving items to Thailand or anything else please feel free to contact me: [email moderated].


I'm also from the San Francisco Bay Area. And would love to talk to someone about our lives then & now. We live in Nonthaburi, about 10 miles from downtown Bangkok. In a 2 bedroom condo with a great view. But till Covid came we were going back & forth to California. 6 months there 6 months here because we have so many friends there.  We are in our 70's and we met each other in California 40 years ago, but my wife is Thai and we spent many vacations coming to Thailand & we ended up planning to move once we stop working. That was in 2013. We packed up everything we wanted and moved it over here by shipping container to our condo which was already paid for. We live here without a car for a year. Not easy for me. But cars are so expensive here & her family wouldn't let us by a used ones because of so many scams out there. So we ended up by a Subaru XV crossover and we kept that little car for 8 years. That car got us though river beds, off road driving. Lots of creek's many Thai winters of flooding. But it was to small for us. So recently we bought the bigger Subaru and we really love this car, it has so much more room. And is much more comfortable for me to drive. So much about us tell me about you and your wife. What kind of things do you make in your shop? How old are you both?  Do you have money to travel, take cruises, see the counties?  Hope to hear from you. Patrick
Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the message!

I'm 72 years old and was born in Albany Ca. Then spent most of my life in San Leandro. I've lived in Dublin, Ca for about 28 years prior to selling our house then moving to Thailand at the end of 2020. I am a Mechanical Engineer and have had a variety of different jobs since getting that degree. One of the companies that I worked for had a manufacturing facility north of Bangkok in Bang Pa In. The company made components for the hard disk drive industry. That is where I met my future Thai wife at the end of 1992. She was one of the operators there. She is almost 21 years younger than I am and have been married for almost 26 years.

We had always planned on retiring to Thailand. We decided to do that after both of my parents died over two years ago. My wife moved to Thailand just before we sold our house to get things ready for me. I spent about 4 months  getting the house ready for selling and spent almost a year trying to figure out how to get all of my shop equipment moved to Thailand. The container and shipping part was not hard. Finding a shipping company that knew how to handle, load and secure my heavy equipment was a nightmare.

We bought my wife's brother's house + the lot in back of that house and the lots on either side of that back yard lot. My wife built a place on one of those. She has built several houses in the past for sale so she knew what she was doing. The bottom part for a "hobby shop" and the upper part to live in. There is another story involved with that but I'm probably already boring you enough.

My shop is almost finished being set up. All of the equipment is in place and powered up. I just have a lot of organization details to complete it. To be honest I do not have many solid plans on what I want to build in there. My job has entailed a lot of electro-mechanical design devices. I've done that for 12 years up until I retired from a medical device company. I also like working with wood. I recently built a Teak burl table for my wife. She likes to collect wood and collected a lot of Teak and some other woods that are names that I cannot remember. She has collected a lot for me to work with. I am in the process of designing a CNC Laser etcher that can also be used as a CNC router. I almost have all of the materials gathered for that. What I really miss most from the Bay Area is that you can get anything that you want for any project that you want to do, either on the same day or within one or two days. Thailand can be a real challenge for that. I have a few friends in the US that I can video call and talk to but I only have one person over here that I can converse with. That is my wife. I do miss having someone to talk to in English. I think that it will be a very long time before I will be able to communicate in Thai.

We do have the money to travel but I am not interested in cruises or international travel other than where we can drive to. We would like to do some traveling around Thailand and maybe some of the adjoining SE Asian countries. Right now we have two older model used trucks that do fine for all of the local places that we go to. We will get a new vehicle once we start doing some more long trips. We are not sure what type yet.

That is a lot more about me than you probably wanted to hear but it is nice to converse with someone from my area in the US. Have you been able to learn Thai and, if so, how did you learn it?

Thanks again for contacting me,

Randy, thanks for getting back to me. We are going to be up in Chiang Mai on May 1st for a few days we are coming with Thai friends. And we are renting a Airbnb. How far are you from Chiang Mai?  I don't speak much Thai. And I don't think I ever will. It's just to difficult.  But I used to be a Chef and had my own business for 30 years around the Bay Area. I drive in Thailand and get around, shopping etc. on my own. People know me in our neighborhood so they keep a eye on me.  But I feel very safe and comfortable getting around on my own. It's much safer to live in Thailand than it is to live in the Bay Area. We went back in 2019 and I was surprised how mean people could be to each other. I had gotten use to people being so nice that I was shocked to see the anger people had toward each other. We went out to lunch with our friends who are vegetarian and they ordered the Beyond burger, when the waitress came to take our orders I said I would just take the cheese burger and she said that the beyond burger was much better and I should order that. Even I said I didn't want it she brought it to the table instead of the cheese burger. At the end of the meal I didn't leave her a tip of more than one dollar and she followed us to the parking lot to ask why she did not get a tip. I simply told her for what there was no customer service. Being a Chef most of my life I know customer service is very important if you want to make good money & keep people happy too. And get return customers.  Then we were booking a cruise though AAA auto service in Oakland and this women was telling me what deck I should be on and what room I should choose. Even though I had already given her my requests. She wouldn't take no for a answer. So I canceled that cruise and went to Costco to book the same cruise and saved myself more money. It seemed to me like you had to fight for everything you wanted to do. So I stopped going out to eat. Cooked my food at home instead and only ate at my friends restaurant. We had a good time on the cruise with our best friends. The ship was really fun. The Caribbean was very pretty & we returned to Thailand just when the Covid virus hit Thailand.  November of 2019. Don't apologize for long letters I like them. I hope you do to. Take Care. For now.  Patrick

Hi Patrick,

Sorry that I took so long to reply. I was getting notices of replies but now I'm not. I will check my phone settings. Loei Province is a long way from Chiang Mai, about 470 km. I left for Thailand on 28 Nov, 2020, Thanksgiving day. The only flights available were special flights for Thai citizens or if the traveler has Thai family in Thailand which in my case was my wife. The logistics of getting the VISA, all of the paperwork, special flight, 72 hour COVID testing, physical exams and the quarantine hotel was a nightmare. The gate agent in SFO had a difficult time understanding the requirements when I got there. They almost denied me getting on the flight because I had printed my name on the wrong line on one of the forms. This was on a document that was not even required. Landing in Bangkok was great!! They were very well organized and several people were there to guide us through the airport even though there were several steps to go through. I was very impressed.

I have been very happy here. It was rough at first as I retired from a job that I really liked. Going from working every day for most of my life to suddenly not having to work was difficult. We do intend to start doing some traveling around Thailand. We will most likely start at the beginning of the cooler season. According to your response it looks like you are in Chang Mai right now. I hope you have a nice time.

Take care and let me know how your trip was.


Randy. Thanks for the reply. We are having a really nice time in Chiang Mai.  The house we are staying in is in Hong Dong area. Way out of the city limits. In the countryside.  The property is huge. 4000 square foot house on a huge chunk of land with a saltwater pool. We been touring. But today we stayed home to relax and enjoy the pool. We found out from the maid that the house has been sold and the new owners move in after we leave.  This happens a lot in Thailand. But it's scary. I will write more when we return home.    Patrick
Hi all,

I'm considering retiring and starting a new life adventure. I'm hoping to get some advice on places on Ko Sumai. I'm a 50 yo solo traveller so looking for safe and reasonably priced locations. And places to meet like minded expats.




I grew up in Marin (last few years lived north of Bay Area in Lake County).  My Thai wife and I are moving to Loei in April.  We will be in Loei for a week starting on October 27 to finish paperwork on the house.  Let me know if you are interested in meeting up, I'd love to hear more about the area from somebody who's lived there.



Hi Sam,

I would be very interested in meeting up with you. I sent you a private message with my contact information.



Hello, am from California also. The San Francisco Bay Area. We lived in Point Richmond at Brickyard Cove area of condominiums. Because our friends had a place out there that they didn't use & they had a sailboat too. We lived there 3 years getting ready for retirement. My wife is Thai also but we met in the Bay Area and lived & worked for 35 years before moving to Thailand. We spent every vacation in Thailand and when the day came to leave the US we had already bought & paid for a 2 bedroom condo on the top floor 19th corner unit. In Nonthaburi, which is a quiet area, away from noisy Bangkok. But close to a Mall & many restaurants. We love the location. Also near to all my wife's family. But I don't have any English speaking friends. We spend time in Hua Hin when we can, I have a few American friends that live down there. Covid changed everything down there all the little places we liked to eat & shop went out of business. We really like that area because it's quiet and no Tourists. Many expats own businesses down there, restaurants & bakery's. Lots of expats live quietly with there families, children go to private schools. Sometimes they have live music on the beach with barbecue seafood. From one of the Hotels.  I have noticed a few people moving to Loei, so I would like to find out more about the area.  Is it rural?  Farming area?  Are there in cities nearby? Can you send some pictures. We were going to build a small house on some family property, I can send a picture if your interested. Would love to meet someone from the Bay Area. How far away are you from Bangkok? Can we drive up there? Many questions.  Thanks for reading.  Patrick

Hi Patrick,

We live in Mueang, Loei. According to Google Earth it is 533 Km from Bangkok. It is a rural farming area. Mostly rice with some sugar cane. I would not consider Mueang a city so much as a small town. I think that the largest city would be Khon Kaen. Mueang does have three decent home improvement stores. They have most of what is needed for home projects.  So far the only down side is the poor air quality that comes during the sugar cane harvesting season.



@rzugnoni   Can you send some pictures of your house & Land.  What made you chose this area to live.  Patrick


Moderated by Cheryl last month
Reason : Contact details
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Hello thailand4me,

For security reasons, contact details should not be posted on the forum.

You can use the private messaging system to share personal information.


Cheryl team

Randy, our email is *****. I would still like to see pictures of your houses.  Patrick

Hello Patrick,

Kindly share your email address in private with Randy.

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Yoginee team

@Yoginee how do I send a private message.

Hello Thailand4me,

To send a private message, click on the member's photo > a page will open and you will see the Send a message option....



@Bhavna thanks. Thanks