Well it’s been over 6 months since I returned to the UK from Thailand and have now settled in Sheffield England with my son Matthew who is currently attending school here. I must say that things haven’t been easy and there’s been a lot of stuff to sort out as I have been away from the UK for so long. Ringmania has been relatively dormant while I’ve been concentrating on a new business selling hair accessories at my new website, hairmania.co.uk
Apart from getting accustomed to the change in climate we have had to make many adjustments to our lifestyle. No more random trips to the beach or other tropical places and we’ve had to get used to walking everywhere and using public transport to get further afield. One unexpected bonus is that the UK is a much cheaper place to live compared to Phuket. When I first moved to Thailand in 2004 the exchange rate was much better than recent years and many products worked out a lot cheaper than the UK equivalent. As tourism rocketed after the 2004 Tsunami, so did the prices of accomodation and food in Phuket. Before I left, I was paying up to 5 times more than RRP for some western products in the local supermarkets.
A new School
The main reason for my relocation was to find a good school for my son Matthew which I have now achieved and at no cost whatsoever. An equivalent education in Phuket would probably cost in excess of £10,000 GBP/year at an International School. Even then, there is no guarantee that the tuition would be close to a similar standard to the UK and as there is only one chance, I was not prepared to take the risk.
So here we are in “sunny Sheffield” and looking forward to the warmer weather to arrive. We were planning to visit Phuket during the school holidays at Christmas, however as flights are expensive at that time of year I’ve decided to wait until the Easter holidays at the end of March 2020. It is also just before Thai New Year (Songkran) and although good weather cannot be guaranteed it’s still a lot warmer than it will be in England.
Hairmania A new business in Sheffield
In the meantime, my current goal is to concentrate on/build up my business, Hairmania here in England and perhaps incorporate Ringmania during the later part of 2020. Being based in the UK, it is now much more viable to stock physical products rather than rely on affiliate marketing alone. I have complete control over the general running of the business and can interact with customers during every step of the way. I plan to get out in “The Real World” soon and get more involved in selling my products to the general public while at the same time, promoting the new website. For the geeks among you, I decided to move away from WordPress in favour of Magento which seems to be much more professional although much harder to set up. This meant using a different server and I chose Siteground on a UK server as they seem to have a good reputation. (More on that later)
Since being a UK resident again, I have been supplementing my income by carrying out various assignments for market research companies. The money’s not great but every little helps and I have rent to pay now. My wife Koy, returned to Phuket after a couple of months in the UK while we sorted Matthew’s education out. Here she is pictured on the left below now running Seaside Cottages in Phuket, Thailand with the help of some new staff.