I took this rare self portrait in about 1980 when I was living by the Ping river in Chiang Mai at a guest house run by a sleazy bunch of Chinese Kuomintang heroin dealers…it’s a long story. I had survived typhoid, hepatitis, dysentery, armed bandits and corrupt cops but I was soon to plunge into a more dangerous realm of life-threatening extreme adventures. I wanted to build a guest house in the heart of the Golden Triangle on the Thai-Burma border, but I was broke. I think it was Janis Joplin ( those of us who lived through those hazy times, and outlived Janis, might understand my uncertainty…maybe it was Dylan?) who sang that inspirational and succinct line “when you aint got nothin, you’ve got nothin to lose…” and helped me get over my John Lennon-like “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans” existence. Anyway, I squatted on the nicest block of paradise in the north of Thailand, built my illegal Lodge and, amazingly, lived through an unbelievable sequence of events and disasters. I am still there.
The images in my portfolio offer a glimpse of some of the things that I have been up to over the past few decades but pictures only tell a small part of the story. So…if there are any publishers out there who want to publish ‘Wild Times: 30 years on the Thai border’, please contact me so everyone can read the story. It would make great movie!