Thanks for checking out my work. I appreciate the kind words shared by people visiting this site and try to post new caricatures every week.
I have been drawing all my life, but in 2008 I found the International Society of Caricature Artists
and fell in love with caricatures. I work everyday to improve and hopefully you can see improvements from my first posts here on this blog.
Within the last months (as of August 09) I have stated working on commissions for private parties and corporations. I hope to continue to grow and produce works of art for magazines and other publications.
If your interested, please contact me.
I also do dj and karaoke work. You can also find me on facebook.

Monday, May 7, 2007


It is April 2007 and this blog is about my adventure to Thailand. It started about 4 years ago while surfing on the internet. Being late Thirties and single, I was using a modern way of finding company. I was looking on the internet. I was looking at Yahoo Profiles. I had said hi to several people. One of them returned the hi. It was a woman from Thailand. Her name was Paew. Not her real name but her short name. She ask me not to use her real name here, so I will not. I talked to her online a lot. Maybe more than many married couples talk. We talked almost everyday. I was working at a radio station at the time. I would chat with her while i was working and at one point bought a camera so she could see me work and I could see her. I introduced her to the people i worked with and even though it would be two a.m, she would stay awake to talk to me.
After I stopped working at tha radio station, we still kept in contact. When I say that. I mean everyday. We talked while i worked on web sites. I grew very fond of her.
The first year we talked She ask me if I would come to Thailand. My friend Joe traveled there, because his mother was aised there. I believe she is half Chinese and half Thai. At that point they were planning a trip and i also looked into it. The travel agent couldn't get things arranged and that trip did not happen.
As we continued to talk Paew continued to ask me about coming to visit her. I wanted to do it, but there was some fear involved. Fear of flying was big, fear of leaving the compfort zone of the USA. I had never been out of the country. I had rarely been out of the State of Pennsylvania.
2007 rolls around and Paew has been asking me for a date when I will go to Thailand. I didn't have one, but things at my job were not going so well. I knew my steady job would be ending soon. So i started to tell Paew that I would come April 18th and started looking for flights on that date. Time was passing and I was still looking but never booked a flight. I had a man tell me he would give me his airline miles to travel so I was trying to make that happen. At one point I just decided his airline miles were his and I should move on. I started the paperwork and got a passport. I finally just said the heck with it and bought a ticket for March 11th.

First Flight - State College to Detroit

It is a Saturday night, March 10th 2007. My flight will leave at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. It is also a night that the time changes, so i am confused already. Actually because we change the clocks in the spring and i wasn't sure about what time my plane was leaving, I called the airport and ask. Good thing i did, because they wanted me there three hours early to check my bag. yes, 3 a.m. to check my bag. I figure they must be going to unpack my bag and go through every thread. So I had a dear freind pick me up at 2:30 ane I was off. It felt kind of sad as I left, I remember looking back at my living room and it being so empty. Weird huh?
So we got to the airport and I thinkI was the only person there. Then i see a security guard, and then a man laying on a bench. Turns out that this guy broke in to the airport and he was drunk. Passed out on the bench. Soon the State College police showed up. They took the man to the far end of the airport and questioned him. I was not feeling this was a great way to start a trip.
So, my bags were checked and i found a seat next to a guy who works for the military. He was calm, cool and relaxed. I was nervous. We talked, but i forget his name. He had me somewhat relaxed by the time we were boarding the plane. My seat was near the back of the plane and as I walked to the back of the plan, man did I feel cramped. That plan was small. I couldn't stand up straight. When i sat down my knees were touching the back of the seat in front of me.
The compartment over my head felt like it was only an inch over my head. I was not liking this so much. I felt like i was in a can. We must have sat on the runway for an hour. Actually only a few minutes but it felt like an hour. Then we were off. Things didn't seem so bad when we were in the air and i watched the lights of State College fade away into the black.
We landed in Detroit on Schedule and I remember it was beginning to get light outside. I walked straight from my plant to where I would board the plane to San Fransisco. In order to get to that spot, I had to go down and under part of the airport. Through a tube with lights flashing and music thumping. I posted a photo of that here.

Detroit to San Fran While waiting for the plane that would take me to the left coast, I got out my sketch book and begane to draw. There was a man sitting on a bench across from me, so i decided to draw him. He was sitting still and I think he knew i was drawing, but didn't seem to mind. He looked to be in his mid-thirties, and was traveling with his wife and kids. About 10 minnutes into the draw, another man and his wife walked past and sat down next to me. The woman was attractive and looked to be Italian. They were both nice and the woman complimented me on the drawing. At that time the man i was drawing knew what was happening and I showed him the pictuure. He also liked it. I was going to give it to him, but thought I should hang on to it to show Paew.
Boarding time and this flight, to my surprise, was going to be a bit worse than the first, only because of the time involved. It would be about 5 hours in the air. The only good thng I could think of, was that I would get to see the Rocky Mountains. I did see them. About 3 hours into the flight. By that time, i could have cared less. I just wanted to get on the ground. It was cramped and they sat me next to a guy that was my size. It was not a comfortable ride, and it seemed a bit more than five hours.
San Fran to Tokyo
This was where I started to think, "maybe i should just keep my feet on the ground". So far the plane rides were ok. They were just uncomfortable. I thought to myself that a ride this far, USA to Japan, it had to be one of those big planes that you could stretch out in. A flight where the kids could run up and down the isle. Play ping pong and arcade games. I was so wrong!
Here is a picture that i snapped. I kept the photo small so you could get the idea of how I felt. Sure there was a tv in the back of every seat, but that didn't make up for the knees that were into the seat in front of me. The overhead was a little further up than the previous planes, but as the plane loaded I was getting that "I'm locked in a small box and can't get out " feeling. THe plane was getting full and so far no o ne beside me. This would be cool. I could stretch out and relax. Then as I thought all things were good, a Chinese woman walked up and sat down. No problem for me. She looked to be in her early twenties and smiled. I am sure she was freaked out, having to sit next to me. She sat down and i nodded my head. I didn't say a whole lot at first. We buckled in and was ready to go. The pilot gave his speach and we were minutes away from take off. I asked the girl is she spoke english, and she said a little. I made a little talk with her while we waited to take off.
We started our trip down the runway and I could feel the enjines kick in. It sat me back in my seat, which was next to the wndow on this leg. As we were off the ground and in the air, the plane started to turn. I looked out my window and there I had a beautiful shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. I reached for my camera, but remembered I was not aloud to use it at this altitude. I tapped on the girl and showed her. She smiled and I hope was beinning to relax sitting next to someone that had to be at least 18 inches taller than her. In case you might be wondering, here is a photo of her.

So the plane is going along, I's sitting next to an attrative woman. (half my age) Noting to worry about. Just sit back and relax. So i tried, but on this plane they had a little mad on the screen in front of me. On that mapped showed where we were and where we were going. It said how long we had been in the air and how long we had to go. I watched that thing and we NEVER seemed
to be getting anywhere. It said we were flying 50000 miles and hour (not really) and we seemed not to be moving. I could finally see where we were making some progress, but we were not headed for Japan. We were headed North. What was going on? "Don't worry rick" I said. So I didn't and decided we were staying close to land in case we had to crash land on land. I am not sure how many hors it was into the flight it was, but i would guess five. I looked out the window, sow we were above the clouds and out from the clouds peaked some beautiful mountains. I looked to the screen that was tracking our flight and saw, it was Alaska! I grabbed the point and shoot and took a few pics, you can see them here. First the clouds then the mountains.
Three hours later I am still looking at that little plane on the screen at the front of the cabin. I tried watching a few movies, but nothing seemed to interest me. I watched part of Rocky Balboa. i think they put that on the plane in case anyone started trouble. It was courage in a movie. Then i watched part of a Wil Farrell movie, one with Robin WIlliams, a Walt Disney one and maybe one more. Looking at the information on the screen, I couls see I still had six ours to go.
Ok, this is crazy. No plane ride should lst more than 9 hours. This one was 12. I kept thinking to mysel, this is the worst of it. Once this is over, it is all downhill. You'll be in Bangkok in no time and enjoying the company of Paew. There is not a lot more to say about the plane ride to Japan. I just sat there. Tried to sleep but couldn't. Watching that little plane on the screen get closer and closer to Tokyo.
So the pilot comes on and tells us we will be landing in about a half an hour. I look for lights, it was dark. I had no idea what time it was there. I had no idea how long i had been awake. I saw the lights of Tokyo and felt the plane start to head for the airport. We landed and people started to stand and get ready to leave the plane. My new friend was ready to leave, and i said thank you for the conversation and flor the photo. I gave her a business card so, if she wanted she could look at my web page.
Off the plane and looking for my next plane. I was so tired, but found where I needed to be. One more plane ride and I would finally get to meet Paew.

So I am thinking this is going to be a short hop just across an ocean. Not so fast. When I boarded that plane, that little plane graphic was on the screen in front of me again. This was not a short hop across the ocean. It was another eight hours! The good thing about this trip was that the plane this time was not full. I actually had an empty seat beside me and I was able to stretch out, a little. This part of the fight was un eventful. I think I may have even gotten a little sleep. Very little.

Seven and a half hours after we took off, the captain came on and told us how long it would be until we landed. The captain said it in three different languages. Chinese, Thai and English. FInally I could see lights of Bangkok. We started our decent and landed without any trouble. My flying was over for a week, but I was still nervous about actually being in Thailand. I follow a man off the plane and we start to walk through the airport. It felt a little warmer now, but i could still feel some air conditioning. The man I walked off the plane with and I jumped on one of the moving sidewalks and were moving down the airport. We were talking and he ask me about where I would be staying. I was not sure i should tell him that I was in Thailand to meet a woman that I met on the internet. I did tell him and to my surprise, he was there to see his girlfriend, who he had met on the internet. I told him that I had been talking to Paew for four years. He told me he came to Thailand after just six months of talking to his friend. He gave me some advice and i stuck with him until I got my passport stamped.

The Meeting
I walked toward the exit of the airport and got to feel the real climate of Thailand for the first time. It was humid. It was 23:00 and still hot. I had a long sleeve shirt on and from the walk through the airport I was quite warm, starting to sweat. That was something I think I would do for the next ten days. So i get to the exit of the airport and there were a lot of people waiting for other people. I started looking for her and even though there were hundreds of people there, she was easy to see. She was smiling and waving her hand. I was actually thinking she would be there holding a sign that said waiting on homo, since that is something she had called me, as a joke, for a couple years. When i walked up to her, I knew not to hug her, it is bad for her culture and Thai people are not to show that kind of affection in public. She said "sawadee" and we started to walk out of the airport. I then met her brother Tong. He doesn't speak much English. Paew gave im one of my bags and she took my other. I was now only carrying my sketch book. We went down an escalator and Pew found a bathroom. I waited outside with Tong. When Paew came back we went outside. The air of Bangkok hit me like a wall. I guess the air conditioning inside the airport was working a little harder than I thought. It was hot outside, and the humidity felt like I was walking in water. We made our way to the curb, and waited for a cab. There was a line of people waiting and you were to walk to a table where you would tell the people where you are going to go and they would find a cab that would take you there.

In the cab we start to get to know each other and she is smiling the whole time as am I. It was hard to believe that after four years of chatting online i was actually sitting next to her. The cab ride was about half an hour. We had to go on a toll road and then the taxi driver took us back through winding streets filled with sudden starts and stops. We stopped in one part of town and Paew's brother, Tong, jumped out and grabbed something to eat from a sidewalk vendor. Something i noticed right away was all of the vendors on the sidewalks. It was close to midnight and there were still dozens of people with stands set up selling food. To beat that, there were always people sitting at the stands eating. After Tong got his food he jumped back in and we traveled about ten more minutes, to a dark alley. We jumped out and Paew lead me down to a gate which I think she opened. Maybe there was a man there to open it. In any case my legs were still not working right after the 24 hours in the plane and the taxi ride. Paew walked to an office type building and then we went to a building where she had rented a room for me. She wanted me to be in the air conditioning while i tried to get some sleep. There would be no trying to it as tired as i was. I say that but after we got to the room and I took a shower, we stayed awake talking for about four hours. Before i get to that, I have to back up to the shower. This was my first, umm, realization that i was not in the USA. I went in the bathroom and there was a wertern style toilet. Thankfully. There was also a western stule shower on the wall, but unlike the USA there was not shower stall to stand in or no bathtub to stand in. It was a shower head on the wall. I was confused but did not want to trouble Peaw, so I turned it on and tried to adjust the tempature to my liking. I turned it to the left and it was cold. I adjusted to the right, thinking that would be hot water and nothing. Still cool. I waited and waited and waited, but nothing still cool. Culture difference number two. No hot water! So if I didn't mention before, Thailand was warm, even at midnight. I got off the plane wearing a long sleeve black shirt. I was sweating and now I was about to climb under a stream of cold water. I did it and I made it fast! Washed the hair on my head even faster. Didn't climb out of the shower, because unlike here in the USA, I didn't have to. I just shut off the water and i was out of the shower. I put on a shirt and some pants that Paew had bought me. They were a really light material and I believe they were clothes made to sleep in. When i got out to the room she was unpacking some of my clothes. She held up a pair of my pants and they almost totally covered her. I have a picture of that but I promised her i would not post any of the pictures of here i have. So there were two beds in the room. she had pushed them together, exhausted I laid on one and she laid n the other and we talked. Finally she ask me if i knew what time it was. Five am she said, with a big groan I said we need to get to sleep. I am not sure who was asleep first. In fact, I don't even remember falling asleep.
I remember getting awake and the first thing i did was go to the window. I wanted to see Thailand in the daylight. I got to see my first palm tree and a parking lot. Not much of a big deal, but I took a photo of it anyhow.
I am not sure how far we were from her home, but it was nice in the room and i was not sure what to expect when I went outside. I Put on a pair of shorts, something I rarely do in the USA, picked up our things and headed outside. WOW! It was hot. At least from my perspective it was. Remember when i left the USA it was cold. Snow on the ground. Now it was hot and humid. Paew told me we would walk to the corner and she would go get a taxi. So thats what we did. We walked to the corner and then she had to walk further to a larger street to get a taxi. She left me standing in front of a small store. There were people walking in and out ot the place, looking at me standing there with a suitcase and a computer. Several men on scooters ask me if i needed a ride. I had learned just from standing there that the scooter was the main way people got around. If i would have counted, I bet i could have counted a thousand going by. Another cultural difference would be the way people in Thailand ride scooters. SOme with helmets some without. The passengers almost never had a helmet on. Women would sit sideways on them, sometimes. Don't think that the scooters didn't get people where they were going fast, because they did. Really fast. Maybe faster than the cars. After about ten minutes of me waiting, Paew came back with a taxi. A taxi and air conditioning. We put the bags in and headed for her house. The driver, almost right away started asking Paew about me. He seemed nice and said hello to me. Paew and the driver talked for the short ride to her house, as far as I know everything they said about me was good. We arrived at her home and I am not sure what i had pictured. I would compare it to a city in the USA. Having small side streets with apartments on eah side of the road. Heach home had a steel gate in front where some people would keep cars, some would decorate and use as a place for watching tv. Paew and her brother Tong had a motorcycle in that section of their home. We went inside to the first floor. I took off my sandles as did she and we went upstairs. I looked like the downstairs was not used for much other than storage. There was a bathroom downstairs that I would visit later, for a shower. We went upstairs and it got warmer as we climbed. We dropped my bags in her room and I think I colapsed on her bed. Her bed was not the same as my bed. It was close to the floor. It had a coushon on it but not like a mattress here in the USA. Also there was no need for a blanket. Remember as I was told in one of our online conversations "two temperatures in Thailand, Hot and HOTTER!!"
After we talked a while and she showed me her apartment, where Tong's room was we watched some tv and just took it easy. Resting. We stayed that night in her apartment. We both slept on the floor. It was a floor with no carpet on it, but I didn't mind. I think i was just that tired. The next day we got awake, and got ready to go. Our first stop was a restaurant. Not like most here in the USA. This was more of an open air place. I believe from what i saw, most of the restaurants or places to eat are outside. We sat and Paew ordered for both her and I. There was already a couple of bottles of water on the table.
I opened mine and poured it on to a cup of ice a lady had
brought to me. Soon out food had arrived. Mine was chicken with rice and a lot of herbs and spices. It was great. I wish i could descrip it better, but can't so here again is a photo!

Paew took me to her office where she worked. I was getting to know what it was like to be the stranger in a strange land. When we got to where she worked, everyone wanted to meet me. I think it was because Paew had talked about me for a long time and i was finally there. That or because i was an American. I remember meeting the two people that are in her office, but i am bad with names and don't remember theirs. They were nice, as was everyone in Thailand. he girl in the office had actually written my friend Joe a few times by e-mail. There was also a man in the office who sat next to Paew. He was younger and also very pleasant. He has a large tattoo in his leg that i thought enough of to take a photo. You can see it here. While we were talking to her co workers in her office, we had a lot of visitors come to meet me. Again, I do not remember many names. I do remember one man that came in and started talking to me. His English was not great but I could understand him. He ask me how it sounded, his English. He wanted me to teach him how to speak more clearly. He was only there a few minutes and then went back to his job. I was enjoying the conversations with the people in her company. She then wanted to take me and show me what king of work they performed and manufactured. We were walking to another building when she pointed out a man coming the other direction. It was her boss. She had tole me a lot about him. They have been friends for years. She introduced me and she talked to him in Thai for a few minutes. I am not sure what was said, but I believe he is a busy man and shortly he went to work and we walked to the other building. Once we were at the other building Paew again introduced me to co-workers. One gentleman in particular was eager to show me the products the company made. He took me on a mini-tour of the facility. He was talking to me in English, but it was hard to understand. I just said yes to everything and hoped i was not making a jerk of myself.