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.

Life changing year 2011

November 20, 2014 by David Herd

Farewell drinks at Melbas

Life changing year

life changing year

Life changing year 2011 saw me sell my beautiful home and move to Thailand, now I’m writing this post 3 years and I couldn’t be happier with my life.

Looking back the whole year was frantic, two trips to Thailand in January and July before moving there permanently on October 20th. Including visits to Krabi & the River Kwai. A few days in Langkawi Malaysia with my brother Warren. Sydney twice in September and October, then 3 weeks after settling in Thailand I was off to England for 3 weeks which included a road trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Fort William in the north of Scotland. All this coupled with clearing out all my worldly possession from my Gold Coast home before settlement on October 11. I am weary just writing about this frantic life changing year. My Thai trip in January with family & friends was one of the best holidays I have ever had, check out my Ten Thailand Travelers post.

Koi at Broadbeach with Greg and Julia.

life changing year

Greg Craig has been a friend for 20 years & Julia stayed in my home for a few weeks.

Lets see more of Julia you ask?

life changing year

Did I mention how much Julia loves to surf?

OK, here is the full length shot, now lets move on shall we? 🙂

life changing year

No doubt Julia is one very fit lady.

Dinner at home with friends

life changing year

Oh no! Not Julia again? Sorry folks I really tried to move on but I do really like this photo with Chris Lockwood & Don Wenham the kiwi.

Don on the right sadly passed away on 30th May, 2016 after a long battle with cancer, RIP buddy.

Peking Duck Hope Island

life changing year

With Mumbles, Warren & Chris at the Peking Duck Hope Island which in my opinion is the best duck on the Gold Coast.

 Chris and the Peking Duck

life changing year

Chris Lockwood aka Dr Evil is a good friend of my brother Warren, they both live in Port Macquarie on the NSW coast and travel overseas regularly together. They have both recently retired after many years working with TAFE.

Chris Lockwood at Colonial golf course

life changing year

Chris is also a reasonably good golfer which stems from his days as a first class cricketer in Sydney. He was an opening batsman who played with Tony Greg in club cricket.

Great clubhouse at Colonial

life changing year

Part of my life changing year included playing golf in Australia and when I arrived in Thailand I played regularly for the first two years. There are some magnificent courses at reasonable prices. Now however I have almost quit the game, I find the weather far too hot, by the 14th hole even with a golf cart I am totally stuffed.

Old friend Bob Martin

life changing year

I have known Bob for about 40 years when we both lived in Sydney, he is one of the truly great characters. One of the funny stories I remember about Bob happened when I was working in Adelaide & Melbourne for Sanyo Office Machines. Bob ran an office cleaning business and he discovered in some of the offices he cleaned he could make un-traced long distance phone calls from the handset in the elevator. So at all hours of the night my phone would ring and a laughing Bob Martin would be on the line from some companies elevator, priceless. 🙂

Newly opened Surfers Paradise Hilton

life changing year

Beautiful looking buildings however the hotel is not a patch on the Pattaya Hilton.

Metricon stadium at Carrara.

life changing year

Home ground of the Gold Coast Suns AFL team.

Drinks with Sean Tomlinson and Greg Craig

life changing year

Greg “Noodles” Craig is a long time drinking buddy of mine.

The Shitterers, The Murphys and the Kennedys.

life changing year

One of my farewell dinners at Riviera Trattoria Pizzeria

A rose between two thorns

life changing year

Well that’s my story & I’m sticking to it. 🙂 Carolyn & I went out for a year or so around 1994, we had a lot of fun and I’m glad to say we are still good friends today.

 Deborah Holliday and Jodie ONeill at Little Truffle.

life changing year

Deb, Jodie & I had a terrific holiday last year, we were in the South of France & Cinque Terre Italy.

Bangkok Thai on Chevron Island

life changing year

Dennis, Chris & Don at Bangkok Thai on Chevron Island.

Don on the right sadly passed away on 30th May, 2016 after a long battle with cancer, RIP buddy.

Bangkok Thai on Chevron Island

life changing year

My brother Warren and I just can’t recall her name, she worked for Ray White in Broadbeach and was trying to sell my home. She actually purchased a number of Garden Pots & Mayan wall hangings from me.

Melbas drinks with the boys

life changing year

Over the years Melbas on the Park has been our main drinking hole.

Stephanie Hanie from Dresden in Germany

life changing year

Steph is living back in Germany, I sometimes see her on Facebook.

Chris, Steph and Warren.

life changing year

Certainly a rose between two thorns. It is now July 2016 and Chris & Warren are currently visiting Pattaya.

Dennis  aka “No friend of mine”

life changing year

I have known Dennis for 30 years & like myself he now lives in Thailand. He like a couple of other people has placed me on his black list for various infractions mainly involved with rattling his cage.

My life is so much better without him in it.

David Devito at Koi in Broadbeach

life changing year

We would often go to hear the wonderful voice of David Devito, he always sang one of my favourites, Hallelujah.

My driveway at home

life changing year

My friend Phil Thomson called in with his beautiful Boxter, it certainly dressed up my driveway. 🙂                 

Noodle House Chevron Island

life changing year

I guess it is a nice way to finish my life changing year post with a nice photo of my lovely nieces Elyssa & Laura, thanks for visiting life changing year photo blog, please click on the photos at the end for more of my adventures.                      

   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

417091_10150704751043594_62315468_n          Susies home Newport 1 (1)        April24FreewayHotel-33 (1)

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
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
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 That’s all folks
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.               


 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad


2007 was also a big year.



Here we jump forward to November 2014.


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