Reed in Asia - Asian Diaries
One problem solved and another starts
At the dome the next day, there was very little for me to do really, I just ran through some training sessions with the RTAF operators, but now I really needed the other weapons in there to run through multi-weapon engagement training. Dumrong arrived at the dome just before lunch and he gave me all of the details about the gun barrel that was available and told me the price of it, I had to contact the company to send extra funds for this and to cover the cost of the engineering modifications required. So I then told Dumrong that I would have to go back to the hotel and send a telex to GQ to get the funds for this. Dumrong followed me to the hotel and we both sat down in the lounge, I ordered beers for us and then I started writing the telex, it was quite a quick telex and I finished and sent it within ten minutes. After our beers we went to the coffee shop for lunch and I phoned the room and asked On to join us in there. When we had all eaten lunch, I asked Dumrong if he knew of any good engineering workshops that could work on the gun barrel for us and turn it into a counterweight using parts from the original counterweight, he said that he had some ideas of places to do this, but that he would spend that afternoon trying to find somewhere good to do this for me.
I spent all of that afternoon just sitting in the hotel lounge with On and drinking beer, there was nothing for me to do at the dome until I had the new counterweight and that could take a few days yet. Time was not really on our side now, I now had just a little over one month left to get everything finished and ready for the RTAF acceptance committee inspection after the New Year on the 6th January, 1985. We were still sitting in the lounge when Dumrong returned to the hotel a few hours later and he was not looking very happy. I thought that maybe he had been unable to find a suitable engineering workshop, but what he told me next was much worse than that. He had found many suitable workshops that were capable of doing the job required, but under Thai law they were not allowed to work on armaments. I then said to Dumrong that as soon as they cut the longest part of the barrel off, it was no longer an armament, he told me that he had already used that argument with them all, but under the law they were still not allowed to work on it without having a specific signed agreement and waiver from a senior member of the Thai armed forces and Dumrong said that we would need the assistance of Group Captain Chiloey to do this and where was Chiloey? He was commanding a now quite major armed battle in defence of the country on a hillside near the Laos border, so there was nothing that we could do until he returned and nobody knew when that would be .
After Dumrong had left the hotel later, I said to On that I wanted to go out that evening, I needed a diversion to try and clear my mind from the problems at work, so we drove to Patpong later and went to the Tavvern. On worked as the cashier that night just to help out and I played a few games of darts with Phet and tried to watch a video, but the now big problem at the dome was distracting me. I tried to concentrate hard on playing darts again with Phet and to my surprise I threw three treble twenties (180), I had only ever done this twice before in practice at home. Phet then informed everyone in the bar and they all came to see it, a chair was then brought over to me to stand on and I was given a marker pen and asked to sign on the wall above the dartboard next to the other two names that were already on there and this I did for them. So the darts had proven to be a good distraction in the end for me . When the bar closed later, I drove back to the hotel and we went into the disco there and spent the rest of the night dancing and drinking until it closed, I had no work to do the next day now, so why not enjoy yourself a little?
'And so it goes On!'
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Me - Ian Reed / John McMiken (The Legless Fool)
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