The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Birthdays weddings funerals

July 10, 2014 by David Herd

Birthdays weddings funerals in 2007, plus another hectic year of travel resulted in one of the best years for me in this century. Even though my beautiful mother passed away it was a relief for myself and my family as she had deteriorated to an almost vegetable state due to advanced dementia.

Travel in 2007 took me to Tokyo & Kyoto in April, my first trip to Japan, I loved it so much I went back to Tokyo in December as the first leg of a world trip which also took me to England, Lisbon & Rio De Janeiro. Thailand in June, August & November including Koh Samui in June. In January I was in Sydney for one of the seven birthdays.

This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from 2007.

Beautiful Sydney

Birthdays weddings funerals

On January 3rd in Sydney was Peter Hesky’s 60th birthday, we had lunch at the very upmarket Doyle’s restaurant at the Rocks.

Peter Hesky, David Herd & Richard Blair.

Birthdays weddings funerals

I have known Peter for 30 years so I was glad to be at his 60th, these days in 2014 he seems to have turned into an eccentric recluse, he does not keep in contact with me anymore but I hear from some of his fiends he is doing ok and enjoying his life.

Richard is an interesting fellow and a successful businessman, yet in 2004 in Koh Samui I gave him the nickname “Mr Stingy” so I guess that explains his character. I often daydream about winning lotto, I would be traveling the world first class instead of cattle class. 🙂

One thing with Stingy however, he does enjoy life with his long lunches at Bar Reggio in Sydney and visiting Thailand 5 or 6 times a year & to his credit he is a very successful businessman.

Peter Hobbs, Joyce Weir & Steven Bates.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Three more old friends were at the celebration, I have known the guys since the early 80s & Joyce since 1972 in Adelaide. In fact I stayed at Steve’s home in Singapore only 2 weeks ago in June 2014.

Ken Shelly, Steve Bates & I at Bar Reggio.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Bar Reggio is a very well known restaurant in Crown St  Darlinghurst in Sydney, good low cost Italian food, and bring your own wine.

Nick & Sharron

Birthdays weddings funerals

My friends Nick & Sharron stayed in my home for several months, they looked after it while I was in Brazil for 2 months from December. They often visit Thailand and will be here again July 21st 2014.

A couple of critters around my home.

Birthdays weddings funerals

A couple of these guys swim past many times each day.

Unexpected visitor looking into my office.

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These stingrays often cruise up and down my beach, and this cheeky little lizard was peeking in my office window.

Talking about wild animals

Birthdays weddings funerals

Her name is Danny, a very wild lady, I’m not sure what chemical substance she was sampling this night, but whatever is was it certainly worked its magic. For once I’m going to say no more on the subject. 🙂

The Beast on Chevron Island.

Birthdays weddings funerals

I can’t recall what the promotion on Chevron Island was all about but I do remember the gorgeous girls that were helping with the task.

Very cute indeed

Birthdays weddings funerals

All I can say is…………….

Birthdays weddings funerals


Craig aka “Sudzi” & gorgeous Chrissy.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Sudzi has worked in most of the popular Surfers Paradise bars & restaurants for year, he is also quite a talented photographer. He currently works at Waxy’s Irish Pub in Surfers Paradise. Chrissy also works in hospitality, last time I saw her she was at “Shuck” in Main Beach.

Drinks at Melbas

Birthdays weddings funerals

For many years Melbas in Surfers Paradise was our local drinking hole, here  I am with Noel Smith, David Robertson & Greg Craig. Noel & Greg were great friends for many years & sadly Noel passed away around 2010.

Tammy Brazel has her 40th Birthday

Birthdays weddings funerals

Happy birthday Tammy.

Tammy & Cate on Tammy’s 40th.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Another one of the seven birthdays on Chevron Island for Tammy’s birthday, last month we were relaxing on Koh Samui.

On a sadder note

Birthdays weddings funerals

Simon Markby, sadly passed in July 2012, RIP. Originally from Melbourne before moving to the Gold Coast, Simon was a guy who loved life, expensive cars & boats, not that there is anything wrong with that. 🙂

Asuka from Osaka

Birthdays weddings funerals

Asuka was a lovely Japanese girl staying in my home, she lives in Osaka and we sometimes stay in contact through Facebook

Phil Thomson’s new toy

Birthdays weddings funerals

My great mate Phil splashed out on a terrific cruiser to park outside his Runaway Bay home. Sadly the excitement soon wore off & he sold it a year later. 🙂

Drinks at the Rowers

Birthdays weddings funerals

The Rowers was only a 4 minute walk from my home, very convenient indeed. 🙂

How do you like this number plate?

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Trying very hard to be noticed.

This is one great looking car.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Great looking car owned by Ken Lowry. 

Sadly Ken passed away in 2017 after a short illness.

But this one is better

Birthdays weddings funerals

Aston Martin Vanquish owned by one of my friends Lloyd Ross.

At Labrador looking south to Surfers Paradise.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Looking south towards Southport.

I got caught didn’t I?

Birthdays weddings funerals

I was at Melbas having drinks with friends and this lovely girl was there on her “Hens” night before getting married. She said buy me a drink please David, so I did & it cost me $50. 🙁

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Another of the seven birthdays Lars Shitterer 60th

Birthdays weddings funerals

Lars Shitterer, Juergen Ulitzer & I at Lar’s 60th.

How quickly things can change

Birthdays weddings funerals

I couldn’t resist showing this photo from Lar’s 60th birthday, the three on the left including me are all on Lar’s black list for various social infractions. One of my many bad habits is rattling peoples cages, Lars & his wife Smokey did not react well to my last effort. 🙂

Another birthday for my good friend Ross Kennedy.

Birthdays weddings funerals

We are at Riviera Trattoria Sorrento

I lost 7 kilo before leaving for Brazil

Birthdays weddings funerals

Trim, taut, terrific, if I say so myself. 🙂

Three lovely Japanese girls having lunch at my home.

Birthdays weddings funerals

Megumi on the left has been a friend since since 1988 when she rented a room in my home at Sorrento. Asuka is in the center and the gorgeous girl on the right was a golf pro at a local course.

200 meters to the middle of the lake.

Birthdays weddings funerals

I asked her to hit 5 or 6 balls into the lake and she certainly had a smooth swing.

My lovely niece Elyssa

Birthdays weddings funerals

Elyssa was single & fancy free in 2007, now in 2014 she is the proud mother of a gorgeous little girl called Isabel.

Bye bye my beautiful Benz.

Birthdays weddings funerals

After 17 wonderful years I have sold my beautiful yellow canary to a nice lady in outback Queensland. She is a dentist in a mining town and I’m sure she will turn many heads when she drives down the main St in this wonderful car. This was my first step in downsizing my treasured possessions with a view of moving to Thailand. Little did I realize because of the GFC it would be four years before I could move to Thailand.

Gorgeous German waitress at Melbas.

Birthdays weddings funerals

One of the many gorgeous girls at Melbas.

One of the Seven birthdays Smokey Shitterer’s 55th

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Average age 55 at Smokey’s birthday. 🙂

Grahame LaRoche & his bride Sheena

Birthdays weddings funerals

Grahame LaRoche aka “BIff” decided to tie the knot again, if I remember correctly the marriage only lasted a year or so. 🙂

“Biff” a colorful character to say the least

Birthdays weddings funerals

Grahame LaRoche aka “The Biff”, how did he get that name you may well ask? In his younger days he used to travel around the countryside with the Jimmy Sharman boxing troupe. They visit country towns set up tents and offer to fight all the local lads for a cash prize. Biff was a light heavyweight and legend tells us that he was never beaten. He is a lovely bloke and I’m very glad to have known him for many years. In fact he was on of the main characters on my boat on NYE 1981 when we were peppered by falling skyrockets.

Another Xmas lunch at Melbas.

Birthdays weddings funerals

The yearly tradition continues with a group of guys mainly from Melbourne gathering for a Xmas lunch at Melbas restaurant.

Noodles, Chocolates & Rocket, aka the verbal battering ram.

Birthdays weddings funerals

These three reprobates have been drinking buddies for many years in Surfers Paradise. Chocs is famous for never buying anyone a drink, Rocket is known a “the verbal battering ram” & Noodles is famous for just being Noodles. 🙂

 With John Sinclair & Ian Pettifer in Chinatown Sydney.

Birthdays weddings funerals

In March 2009 sadly Ian passed away after a long battle with cancer, he was a gentleman.

Drinks on Chevron Island for my birthday on July 7.

Birthdays weddings funerals

 One of the seven birthday rolls around, here I am with Greg Craig, Lars Shitterer, Dave Hosket & Nigel Treliving celebrating mine.

Time to paint my roof.

Birthdays weddings funerals

My original roof color had faded somewhat so it was time for a paint job.

My beautiful home looks brand new now.

Birthdays weddings funerals

I designed and built my beautiful waterfront home in Surfers Paradise. I moved in July 1st 1990 and sold it 21 years later in October 2011 and moved to Thailand.

At Melbas with Dave Hosket & Alan Jones

Birthdays weddings funerals

Alan Jones of course was 2 times world Formula 1 world champion. While the American Dave Hosket was a shocking sycophant. 🙂 Dave did have a claim to fame however, for a number of years he was Bob Dylan’s back up drummer on tour.

My families saddest day

Birthdays weddings funerals

 My beautiful mother passed away in 2007, although it was terribly sad, it was really a relief for myself and my family, she had deteriorated to an almost vegetable state due to advanced dementia. It’s a terrible sickness, however the family suffer much more than the patient as they are oblivious to everything around them. The worst thing for me was seeing this wonderful lady as a shadow of the beautiful woman and wonderful Mother I knew and loved all my life. RIP Mum.

1943 with Mum & Dad

Birthdays weddings funerals

Iris & Arthur Herd, RIP.

 What a wonderful World

Ok, that’s all for my Birthdays weddings funerals photo blog, many thanks for dropping by.

Have a look at my life on the Gold Coast in 2006     


 Here are some more posts to check out

         Life 2015                     Family history                   Life 1982

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  Adelaide 1972                 Iron Bar Freddy               Sydney 2006

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Thailand 2008                Gold Coast Babes               World trip 2003

Fun in Pattaya-116         92bfa275-a122-4078-9970-1e24188a5917        CopacabanabeachNov2003-124

             Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
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Surfers Paradise Party Animals
A-One hotel on Beach Road

Seven deadly Songkran days

For a great room rate at the A-One hotel opposite the beach just book through THIS LINK.               


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