Thailand: 'The nail that sticks up gets hammered down'

Asbestos innards and a stomach for gov repression required

The eXpat Files Last time we chatted to an expat in Thailand, our secretive subject stayed schtum about his identity because he was working illegally.

This time around, Eddie Croasdell had all his paperwork in order, but after spending a decade in the country has decided the political climate was getting a bit hot so recently came home to Blighty.

His time in Thailand taught him plenty and gave him asbestos innards, but let's not spoil the story and let Eddie get on with it.

The Register: How old are you and where's home?

Eddie Croasdell: I’m 49. Home for now is London, I’m originally from Ireland but left there many, many years ago.

The Register: What kind of work do you do, and with which technologies?

Eddie Croasdell: I’m a senior sysadmin for one of the UK's biggest ISPs, a household name but I’m not really free to say.

The Register: Why did you decide to move to the Thailand?

Eddie Croasdell: I’d just finished a fairly lengthy contract in London and really needed a break. I decided I wanted to move somewhere pretty different – I loved London but I was starting feel an urge to be somewhere more exotic.

It was a grey and miserable March so I also wanted somewhere sunny. I hadn’t any plans to come back to the UK so I needed to go somewhere with an easy-going visa regime just in case I decided to stay for longer.

Thailand fit the bill even though I’d never actually been there before.

The Register: How did you arrange your gig?

Eddie Croasdell: I landed in Bangkok and, after a few weeks, headed north to Chiang Mai. I enjoyed myself for a few months and began to settle in, building up a circle of friends and getting to know the place. I decided I wanted to settle down there for a while.

I’d always worked with ISPs but most ISPs in Thailand are government-owned and not very open to foreigners, especially foreigners who didn’t speak the local lingo.

Eventually, after firing off about 300 emails I got a job as a sysadmin for a software house in Bangkok. I worked there for a year and settled down with a girl I’d met up in Chiang Mai.

A baby on the way made us decide to move back to Chiang Mai, a much nicer place than Bangkok, and so I got work there as a DevOps/NetOps admin/engineer with a Thai/Farang (foreigner)-owned ISP.

This was primarily a Linux/Cisco based operation and provided commercial ISP services to organisations such as hotels and universities rather than directly to end users.

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