Back in mid 2017 I contacted Don, HS0ZEE in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. During our various exchanged emails, I asked if it was possible to pay him a visit when I was next there in February 2018, and he agreed.
After arriving in Bangkok mid February, myself, my girlfriend and several other friends and their partners travelled to Myanmar for 3 days for a short holiday. After flying back to Bangkok and a couple more days there with friends, we travelled up to Chiang Mai, northern Thailand where my girlfriend lives. I contacted Don once again to tell him I had arrived and we made arrangements to travel to his QTH a couple of days later. It wasn’t far to go, around 8-10 miles from where we were In San Kampheng. It took us a while to find him, but after noticing a rather large tower with a quad antenna on it from the main road, we guessed it was Dons tower!.
Don made us feel very welcome, after entering his shack, we had a good chat for several hours, over some beer of course!, and he showed me around his shack. The walls were covered in various awards he has gained from Amateur Radio in the past, some from when he lived and operated in Bahrain, and some since he has lived in Thailand.
Me at the controls.
Unfortunately now days Don suffers with a lot of QRN and static noise, so it’s not possible to use voice communications often, so now he uses mostly FT8 and I believe some other data modes and CW only.
I asked about his tower and he told me it was around 38 – 40 meters high (yes meters, not feet!)…it was huge!. He has several wire antennas around his garden for the lower bands too. He told me he also does a few repair jobs on friends radios as working in the electronics industry was his career when he lived in the UK. By the way, Don is an ex-pat from the UK, and after him and his wife visiting Thailand for a holiday some years ago they decided to live out there, fair play is what I say!.
So after spending around 2 or 3 hours chatting mostly ‘radio’ we said our goodbyes, and travelled back to San Kampheng.
I will contact him again on my next visit to Thailand to see if we can arrange another meeting, and I’m sure have another beer or two!
For those of us that use data modes and CW, please have a listen for him and have a QSO, a really lovely man and very knowledgeable.
Thanks Don, and I hope to see you again next time!
73 Dave G0VTU