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.


Travel plus danger in 2010

My Gold Coast home 1990 to 2011

travel plus danger

travel plus danger

Travel plus danger in 2010, first the travel, I’ll talk about the danger later. Travel included Thailand, Cambodia & Europe plus two visits to Sydney. 

Some English & Italian visitors were guests in my Gold Coast home. Bill & Joan from Wiltshire met up with me in Thailand in January & we flew to Australia in February, this was their first trip “down under”. We drove down the east coast to Sydney before they returned to the U.K.

This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from 2010.

Bill Austin & Joan Baptiste

travel plus danger

Bill is the brother of my friend Alan Austin who is a guest of Her Majesty, Bill & I met when I first visited Alan in 2007. Joan was an Olympic runner who competed in the 200 meters at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Bill was a Para Military man who served time in Ireland & many other countries.

Alan finally regained his freedom late 2018 after 11 years in the slammer.

Mt Tamborine on the Gold Coast.

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Hang gliders jumping off Tambourine mountain.

Byron Bay

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One hour south of the Gold Coast is Byron Bay the most easterly point of Australia.

My beach & Jetty

travel plus danger

I sold my boat last year so I was able to rent my jetty to moor a houseboat.

Cold beer on the houseboat

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You too can have a body like this if you abuse it. 🙂


Roberta, Mikie & Alice from Italy

travel plus danger

I did a house swap with this lovely Italian family, I stayed in their ski chalet in northern Italy in July & they came to my home in August.

Roberta loved the pelicans at Labrador.

travel plus danger

Roberta was the Italian champion kite surfer, in fact if I remember correctly she was ranked 4th or 5th in the world.

Lovely Alice from Italy

travel plus danger

Is this a cute little gal or what?

Charis seafood in Labrador

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Wonderful seafood market on the Gold Coast. I moved to Thailand in October 2011 and apart from some friends & family the fresh Aussie seafood is the thing I miss most.

Roberta, Mikie & Alice from Italy

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Playing on the beach in front of my home.

Fresh prawns & avocado

travel plus danger

While on the subject of fresh Aussie prawns, there is no better sandwich in the world than prawns & avocado on fresh white bread.

Dinner with Deb & Jodie

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Planning our trip to Italy & the French Riviera in July at the Garlic Clove restaurant.

Melbourne Cup at Surfers Paradise

travel plus danger

The track is adjacent to my home.

Tania Zaetta at the Melbourne Cup

travel plus danger

Tania was a well know celebrity, I think she may have been in a couple of TV shows & a Bollywood movie.

Melbourne Cup at Surfers Paradise

travel plus danger

A little eye candy at the track, talk about travel and danger, well I would love to travel with her & accept whatever danger that may bring. 🙂

Dressed to the nines & feeling no pain

travel plus danger

It is always great entertainment watching the crowd at the end of the day, some find walking rather difficult. 🙂

Travel plus danger in 2010 “Dueling baseball bats”

I spoke earlier of travel and danger, well here is the danger. It was May 2010 and I had only returned from Asia 48 hours ago & was still a little jet lagged. It would have been far safer staying in Bangkok or Cambodia than my home on the Gold coast, as I was the victim of a violent home invasion & robbery at 1 am in the morning. I took a very solid hit from a lunatic with a baseball bat, but luckily was not badly hurt, I managed to fight the bastard off, & when I finally got through to 000 5 cop cars turned up within about 7 minutes. It may well have been the most terrifying experience of my life. There was an 18 year old girl renting a room in my house so when I heard some strange noises in the early hours of the morning I thought it was just her banging drawers etc. Then a loud male voice from outside my bedroom door said “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY AND YOUR JEWELRY OR I WILL SHOOT YOU” I jumped out of bed, put on a pair of shorts, grabbed a baseball bat from my wardrobe and opened my bedroom door, I was only halfway through the door when this wild man rushed me swinging his own baseball bat straight at my head. It all happened so fast, and bear in mind I was half asleep, luckily I came awake fairly quickly and held my bat at a 45 degree angle in front of my head, the bat took the main force of the blow. His bat bounced off and caught me on top of my right shoulder which made my whole arm briefly go numb. Needing to gain a little time & to get the feeling back in my arm I slammed and locked my bedroom door & called 000, (I also hit my house alarm button and the bloody thing did not work) as soon as I reported to the police I knew I had to go back out and front the bastard again because I could hear the young girl sobbing in her bedroom, my biggest worry was that he was not alone. Luck was with me, the coward had bolted with only Alison’s old laptop, her new iPhone and $15 cash. On the same night he robbed at least 2 other places near my house, mine was the only one that included violence. Across the water a couple were asleep on the lounge downstairs while the intruders went through their upstairs bedrooms, one of which contained 3 children under 6 years old. I have absolutely no doubt had I not been able to block the vicious blow aimed at my head I would more than likely have wound in hospital or the morgue.

Family dinner in Port Macquarie.

travel plus danger

Two of my brothers Warren & Ian, Warren’s wife Kerry & family friend Chris Lockwood.

Warren & Ian with our Uncle Allan.

travel plus danger

Allan Herd our uncle was without a doubt the toughest bravest Herd that ever lived. We travelled to Port Macquarie to present him with a family history photo book I had just finished. His 2nd World War experiences were absolutely remarkable. My brush with violence as I previously described is almost embarrassing compared to the horror he experienced. The title of this post Travel and danger fits Allan to a tee, I have never heard of anyone who was exposed to as much danger as this brave man.

Well into his 90s Allan was as sharp as a tack.

travel plus danger

Allan had a terrific sense of humor, describing the English soldiers on the Burma railway he remarked “those pommies had no stamina, they started dying within a week”. Please note I mean no offence to the thousands of brave British soldiers, this was just a comment from an old Aussie warrior.

Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

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The fabulous Surfers Paradise skyline.

Alan Kendall from Sydney on his catamaran

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Alan is a nice guy who loves his sailing.

From the Sea wall on the Gold Coast

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A fascinating view of the high rise buildings.

Bondi Beach with Joan Baptiste

travel plus danger

I travelled to Sydney in February with Bill & Joan, check out the photos on this post.

Nikki & Tony Murphy

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Tony & I have been friends for nearly 30 years, here he is with his lovely lady Nikki.

Lloyd Ross

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Chinese food and a few drinks with my good mate Lloydy.

Melbas on the park

travel plus danger

lloyd’s 2nd office and my favourite bar. On July 10 2019 Melbas celebrated it’s 38th anniversary, I was lucky enough to be on the coast at the time. Check out THIS LINK.

Peter Hesky & his children

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Another friend of around 33 years, Peter is almost a recluse in Sydney these days with his Labradors, sadly I never hear from him any more.

Ettalong Central coast of NSW


Driving up the NSW coast to Port Macquarie I travelled through Ettalong for a dose of nostalgia. As kids we used to always spend our annual holidays here and Booker Bay.

Celebrating Xmas at the Shitterer’s house.

travel plus danger

In 2013 Lars Shitterer & his wife Smokey placed me on their blacklist after many years of being friends. Now in 2018 I must admit my life is better without them in it. 🙂
Thanks for visiting my Travel plus danger in 2010 photo blog.
Glen Frey says it better than I can.


 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

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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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