Welcome to Thailand

Well, sawasdee krab everyone…

Here are the photos from my first trip to Thailand back in March – April 2004. It was a long flight into U’Tapao from Okinawa, Japan (6 hours on a C-130). I had no idea what Thailand would be like, actually, I had barely even seen any of Japan the short time I was there.

So there we were, packed tighter than…well, I can’t think of an example to compare to the C-130 flight’s tightness. Off the plane and onto some buses we went and then we were off to a hotel somewhere in Pattaya, I believe it was the Royal Twins. We only stayed overnight, but believe me, in a town as crazy as Pattaya, that is all the time some of these guys needed. Early the next morning we loaded the buses again and we were on our way to Nakhon Ratchasima. It was Operation Cope Tiger, a multilateral military exercise pulling together the forces of the Singapore Air Force, the Royal Thai Air Force, the USAF (F-15’s/16’s), and the US Marine Corps (F/A-18’s/ EA-6B’s). It was scheduled to last around a month. Well, with two ruptured fuel bladders in a jet these things can be extended, and luckily for me, I got the option of being the only guy from electric shop staying behind. I guess we were about 2 or 3 weeks into the exercise and I ran across this beautiful lady named Tik out in town…

We’ll get back to that later 😉 …I ended up staying two whole months and loved every minute of it. The work was hard, the food was spicy, and the flightline maintained a nice 120 degrees in the day time. I’ve since been back twice and leaving soon to make my fourth round. Most of these photos were taken in or around Nakhon Ratchasima, some at work, some at play. Others were taken near Pattaya. Also shown are the Grand Temple and Royal Palace in Bangkok and one shot on the river Kwai.

…But what am I babbling about? You all want to see some photos, right?! Right…more to come later folks. Next time we’ll see photos from my trip to Phnom Rung…La-gorn na krab!

-Lance D

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