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.


Home extension budget blowout

Doubling the size of my home

home extensionHome extension budget blowout  was due to the many changes I made to my original plan. I wasn’t satisfied with just adding a 2nd floor. The photo above was taken just after my home was built in 1990.

Day one the job begins

home extension

From here on nothing will ever be the same.

Laying the slab

home extensionMy builder Ari is the guy with the shovel, one of the hardest working guys I have ever seen.

Dad’s army take a coffee break

Gold Coast

Ari and his guys were the hardest working tradesmen I have ever seen.

Seeing some progress with home extension

home extension

Starting to see some progress with my home extension, these guys really work fast.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Surfers Paradise

I really wanted to give the home “street appeal” something it didn’t have in its original form.

Brickwork & a fancy door.

home extension

Painting the door was one of my jobs. 🙂

The tree has gotta go

tree chopped

It was like losing a friend, I had planted it 14 years ago.


home extension

There goes my beautiful tree.

Starting to look terrific

Gold Coast Australia

This is the point it’s all starting to look fantastic.

 Laying the floor

home extension

There is no job these guys can’t handle.

The kitchen takes shape

kitchen home extension

It’s easy to be wise after the event, on the original plans a stairway was supposed to lead from that wall to the main house downstairs, for some reason we left it out which later proved to be a mistake.

Laying Terracotta tiles

Terracotta home extension

The finishing touches.

The downstairs studio $250 pw.

home extension studioThe jewel in this home extension is this fabulous little studio completely self contained with a private entrance.

Beautiful private courtyard for the studio apartment

private courtyard home extension

Quite a beautiful peaceful area for the granny flat.

Upstairs lounge & kitchen

David Herd

When I look at this home extension which cost me double the original quote of $120,000  I feel it was all worth it. Uptairs consists of 3 bedrooms & two bathrooms and downstairs a separate private studio apartment.

Bedroom & en-suite

106 Upton St Bundall

OK, so the chair should really have been dumped.

Beautiful courtyard

courtyard home extension

Quite spectacular at night.

Courtyard & front entrance

home extension

I was very happy with the entrance to my new home.

I really love the front gate & entrance

home extension

Now how good does that look?

The fabulous finished product

home extensionOne of main main goals with this home extension other than creating rooms I could rent to students was to give my home more “street appeal” to help when the time came to sell. I think I certainly achieved that.

My dream home

106 Upton St Bundall

The finished product was wonderful however I made some big mistakes in my overall scheme of things. I did not do enough research on council regulations regarding student rental, secondly I never anticipated the reaction from my feral neighbours who were always complaining t council about anything & everything. These people the Ryan family at 108 Upton proved to be cowardly & malicious. I often wondered why until a policeman friend of mine pointed out the increase in complaints from neighbours always increased after major renovations due to their uncontrollable jealousy.

Finally my biggest mistake was building such a large home which made it very difficult to finally sell. It was just far too big for the average family, without realizing it I had placed myself in a small range of under 10% of buyers. Apart from all that I was very proud &  thrilled with the final product, it also gave me a great sense of achievement to design & create my dream home.

Click here for a flashback to my home in 1991.

Jump forward to 2007 just click here.

 Here are some more posts on my wild wicked ways. :)

                   Life 2015                  Family history                   Life 1982

fivestarvagabond          David Herd          David Herd Sydney

  Adelaide 1972                 Iron Bar Freddy               Sydney 2006

David Herd Australia          Big Tim Bristow          Lobster mornay at the Freeway photo April24FreewayHotel-33.jpg

  Thailand 2008                Gold Coast Babes               World trip 2003

David Herd Thailand         David Herd Gold Coast          Copacabana beach

                 Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                    through these links below. Book now & pay later. ?
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
Pattaya webcam

 That’s all folks

Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan

Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets.

I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington.

Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for “long term relationships” so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand.

What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :)

I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit.

Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ????

Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia.

Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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