Royal Thai Navy / กองทัพเรือไทย

I began teaching English in Thailand in late March 2007. In recent years, many of my classes have been in non-traditional situations rather than regular in-school classrooms. Currently, I am attached to the Third Naval Area Command Headquarters of the Royal Thai Navy (กองทัพเรือไทย — Kong Thap Ruea Thai). This has been a very busy week teaching 6-hour lessons per day in English conversational skills … Continue reading Royal Thai Navy / กองทัพเรือไทย

Tokelau #83 (1982)

Tokelau is an island country and dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean. It consists of three tropical coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo), with a combined land area of 4.2 square miles (10.8 km²) and a population of approximately 1,500 people. Its capital rotates yearly between the three atolls. Tokelau lies north of the Samoan Islands, Swains Island being the nearest, … Continue reading Tokelau #83 (1982)

Norfolk Island #286 (1981)

The Territory of Norfolk Island (Teratri a’ Norf’k Ailen in Norfuk) is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, 877 miles (1,412 kilometers) directly east of mainland Australia’s Evans Head, and about 560 miles (900 km) from Lord Howe Island. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Together with two neighboring islands, it forms one of … Continue reading Norfolk Island #286 (1981)

French Southern & Antarctic Lands #2 (1956)

The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, TAAF) is an overseas territory (Territoire d’outre-mer or TOM) of France. It consists of: Kerguelen Islands (Archipel des Kerguelen), a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa, approximately equidistant between Africa, Antarctica and Australia; St. Paul and Amsterdam islands (Îles Saint Paul et Amsterdam), a group to the north … Continue reading French Southern & Antarctic Lands #2 (1956)


Janis Lyn Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on January 19, 1943. In 1967, Joplin rose to fame during an appearance at Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of the then little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. After releasing two albums with the band, she left Big Brother to continue as a solo artist with her … Continue reading Janis!

James Cook Finds the Sandwich Islands

On January 18, 1778, James Cook became the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands during his third voyage. On this, his last voyage, Cook again commanded HMS Resolution, while Captain Charles Clerke commanded HMS Discovery. The voyage was ostensibly planned to return the Pacific Islander, Omai to Tahiti, or so the public were led to believe. The trip’s principal goal was to locate a … Continue reading James Cook Finds the Sandwich Islands

Benjamin Franklin, Hugh Finlay and the Birth of the Canadian Post Office

Renowned polymath and “First American” Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, on Mill Street in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He campaigned for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies and was … Continue reading Benjamin Franklin, Hugh Finlay and the Birth of the Canadian Post Office

Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles

On January 16, 1547, at age sixteen, Ivan the Terrible was crowned with Monomakh’s Cap at the Cathedral of the Dormition (Успенский Собор — Uspensky sobor) in Moscow. He was the first to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias, hence claiming the ancestry of Kievan Rus’. Prior to that, rulers of Muscovy were crowned as Grand Princes, although Ivan III the Great, his grandfather, … Continue reading Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles