Greetings from Malaysia

Posted April 21, 2016 by Brian
Categories: Uncategorized

I might start posting here again. The last time I did, I was getting ready to retire and find another country to live in. Since then, I moved to Cambodia (a great retirement destination for expats) and lived there for 2 1/2 years in Phnom Penh. I just recently moved from there to Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

I actually preferred Cambodia but I was flying to Singapore and back every month to spend time with my gf and those flights just finally got the best of me. Now, I’m only about an hour away from her by bus.

Cambodia is primarily a Buddhist country while Malaysia is almost exclusively Muslim. There is a difference in many ways.

I’m posting this to simply offer my experiences and advice for anyone who is considering retirement overseas. It’s a big world out there and much more affordable and easy in many locations. I haven’t lived in the US since 2003 and have had time to travel around Asia, investigate visa requirements, etc. and to see many other places and cultures.

Given the economic and political climate in the US, I don’t expect to ever live there again. And having to manage on just my social security, I probably couldn’t if I wanted to. But over here in southeast Asia, I get along just fine. Any questions?


Another One Way Ticket

Posted March 13, 2013 by Brian
Categories: Common Sense, hope, Travel

Been so long since I posted anything on this poor excuse for a blog. Singapore life has been hectic, fast paced and busy.

That’s all about to change.

I’m retiring in May and, after a few weeks back home visiting my kids, I’m off to Cambodia. Been there twice in the last 3 months and I think I’m going to like it there.

Over the last 2 years I have been researching and investigating many different places that have large expat communities. The Philippines, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand and Bali to name a few. All have there advantages and disadvantages. One big disadvantage is they all have requirements. Deposit a certain amount in the bank and leave it there. Prove monthly income of a certain level. Provide results of a health screening. Provide a police report. Etc, etc, etc.

Cambodia requires none of that. Phnom Penh is a booming, bustling city and is obviously doing everything it can to attract expats and their money. It will cost me about $270 a year for visa renewal and that’s it. My expected cost of living, including everything, in a two bedroom two bath serviced apartment, should be about 1,200 per month.

I’m just starting the process of setting up my Social Security. That’s interesting as I don’t deal with SSA in the US. Any Americans living in Asia go through the SSA office in Manila.

Anyone interested in the process or how to really get free of the US, its taxes, etc. just let me know.

Got a one way ticket when I moved to Singapore. Gonna be getting another one soon.

O Level students get ready for exams

Posted August 10, 2012 by Brian
Categories: Uncategorized

The O Level students are working hard to get ready for the Singapore exams in October. Part of the English exam involves narrative writing. Here is an example of the quality of this writing from one of Ms Jane’s students, Aris Li Lu.

Write about an event that changed your life for the better.

 Written by Aris Li Lu


“You have advanced lung cancer. The chance of a successful operation is very slim, almost non-existent.” I blundered out of the consultation room with downcast eyes as the doctor’s sentence lingered in my mind. I tore the report and threw it on the ground. Hiding my face, I wept, not believing such a terrible thing could have happened to me.

 After my mother passed away, I became an anti-social person. My mother died due to our family not having extra money to support her medical fees. To take my revenge on this society, I had reached the notorious level typical of seasoned gangsters and was involved in all types of crimes such as robbery, theft and fighting. That was until yesterday. My cousin, who is the only relative in contact with me, sent me for a medical examination and told me to get a checkup. Then I received this report.

 I walked aimlessly on the street feeling that this world is strange and cruel to me. In my eyes, the whole world is grey and black. Suddenly, I saw an elderly woman struggling to drag a box and I gave her a hand, helping her home. She thanked me and her eyes filled my heart like the brightness of the moonlight. At that moment, I knew what I could do with the rest of my life.

 I devoted my days to being a volunteer in the nursing home and orphanage. At night, I found a part-time job which did not pay well, but I enjoyed it as this was my first job. Spending my time at these places, I acknowledged that this world is not as bad as I thought. Everyone was trying their best to live in this world, even these elderly people and children who were abandoned by their parents. From them, I learnt a lot.

 One week later, dusk fell. I was sitting on the beach watching the sunset. The setting sun cast a deep red glow over the city. My heart had never been peaceful, but now I know the essence of life. I felt that my previous life was a failure and meaningless. If I had one more life, I would not live it like my previous way of life. Suddenly, my phone chimed, “Hello, this is Dr Tan. I’m calling to inform that you haven’t got lung cancer. I am terribly sorry as your report was mixed up with another patient’s …” I hung up the phone and looked at the sunset far away with a smile.

 5 years later, as a phenomenally successful businessman, I am sitting in my easy chair. Recalling my previous life, I think getting ‘cancer’ was the best thing that ever happened to me. It really changed my life for the better.

 [464 words]

Great work and good luck!


We’re gonna get what we deserve…..again

Posted February 10, 2012 by Brian
Categories: America, Lying Bastards, Politics

Just a short note. Is there really anyone out there who believes that Romney or Gingrich or Santorum is the BEST person to be the next president? Has anyone noticed that ALL they do is try to smear the other guy? Can’t they do better than, ah, tell us what they do that is good and why they are the best?

I know we go through this every 4 years but doesn’t anyone get as sick of it as me?

Can’t the Reflublicans, with all their money and power and contacts come up with anyone better than these three jokers?

I really don’t mind them ridiculing each other. I’ll be voting for Obama again. But it would be nice to have a little competition. Then again, the Reflubs have ballot box tampering on their side. Almost forgot.

Anyway, on a more personal note, I’m still living happily in Singapore but have started looking at other places to retire. Need a nice second or third world country where my dollar will go a lonnnnnnng way.

Un Bali Vable

Posted November 9, 2011 by Brian
Categories: Just For Fun, Travel

Just got back from my second trip to Bali this year. This one was for relaxation and a little snorkeling. We stayed at the Laguna Resort and Spa which is right next door to the Hotel where all the big wigs are staying for the ASEAN Summit which starts next week. Even Obama is going this time.Its a 5 star, which I couldn’t normally afford but got a great deal on

The snorkeling trip was great…private boat, driver, photographer for about 3 hours for a total price of about US$75. If you ever get a chance, Bali is worth the trip. If you wanna see more video, look up Bali Snorkeling 2 and Bali Snorkeling 3 on YouTube.

Catchin the next stage to Bali

Posted October 28, 2011 by Brian
Categories: Just For Fun, Travel

Fell in love with Bali when I spent a few days there with my daughter in August. Going back next week, this time to the five star Laguna Resort and Spa in Nusa Dua.

It’s only a 2 hour and 30 minute flight. One of the advantages of living where I do.

Viva Asia!

Dali in Singapore

Posted October 17, 2011 by Brian
Categories: Just For Fun

My daughter and grandson spent a few days here at the end of their two month jaunt through SE Asia. While she took a side trip to Bali (I later joined her) my 16 year old GS and I visited the Dali Exhibit at the new Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino. Great stuff. Thought I would share a few pics and a couple of the artists quotes.

This last quote was one of my favorites.