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“Right about now life is beautiful”

Car enthusiasts discover Lampang and Phayao


“Right about now life is beautiful”

Family and friends bid farewell to Tomas Jeffery

The Jeffery’s family
Tomas Milton Jeffery was born in Sturgis, Michigan to Pauline and Charles Jeffery in 1933. Aside from being a local high school football hero, his life was fairly typical of any boy raised in the Midwest at this time. However, unlike the majority of his peers, with the assistance of the love of his life, Joyce, he was able to overcome his early small town conditioning to become a world citizen.

Tomas Jeffery – 1933-2007 – A husband, father and friend.
At the age of 21 he and Joyce opened a small grocery store in Mendon, Michigan. Both of his sons, Scott Thomas and Tobin Dean were born in Mendon. Despite his early programming to the contrary, by diligent effort at keeping an open mind, he eventually reached the conclusion that all men were indeed created equal. This process was greatly enhanced by moving away from Sturgis to Scottsdale, Arizona starting, what would become the pattern of his life, travel. In Scottsdale and his first daughter, Julee Dawn was born.
He and his family then moved to California where he became he became a talented bakery chef, an executive chef and restaurant manager while living across the freeway from Disneyland. Here his second daughter, Tomisanne M. was born. It was here that Tomas was exposed to a plethora of new people and ideas that broadened his scope and understanding of life. It was also during this era that Tomas and Joyce became interested in and adopted certain aspects of Asian culture. This led to the creation of his and Joyce‘s ‘Dragon House’ residence in a Silverado Canyon in the Southern California foothills reflecting their admiration of this culture. Tomas and Joyce raised their four children in the canyon for the next nine years while beginning their exploration of Mexico. During this period Tomas and Joyce explored upper Baja California including Tijuana, Ensenada, San Quitin and San Felipe. Once their interest had been piqued they and their children continued exploring old Mexico including Bahia Kino, San Carlos, Guaymas, Mazatlan, San Blas culminating with Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. While continuing this exploration they survived a number of the natural disasters to which California is prone, including Santa Anna winds dropping a 100 foot Sycamore tree on their home, the floods of ’69 washing away a portion of their home as well as experiencing various forest fires and earthquakes over those years.
At age 35, Tomas & Joyce packed up their kids and headed for Guadalajara, Mexico to live. They opened the successful “La Posada Antigua” restaurant in the Zona Rosa of Guadalajara and worked and lived there for the next several years. After closing La Posada Antigua, Tomas and his family returned to the US to manage the Lake James Country Club and Golf Course in Angola, Indiana followed by the Sturgis Elks Club back in his home town. After a year or so in Michigan, his wanderlust reasserted itself and the family returned to Arizona to manage the Americana Hotel in Nogales living there while his children finished school. Then he and Joyce were off again, moving to Hawaii which became home to the whole family off and on over the years. Tomas and Joyce did a brief stint in the San Francisco area, returning to Hawaii for awhile, before moving to Saipan for several years. After returning to Hawaii, Tomas entered the nautical phase of his life. He and Joyce moved aboard the Sea Rover, a 42 ft Ferro cement Ketch that he spent several years refitting. After Joyce retired, they moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They were living there when their daughter Julee asked them if they would be interested in living in Bali instead and helping her with her import business. They jumped at the chance for a new adventure and spent the next 4 years living in Bali. It was during this time that they discovered Thailand on a “Visa” trip out of Indonesia. They came to Chiang Mai and fell in love with the place and the people. However, they decided to live in Australia for awhile where their daughter Julee resides. They lived in the Cairns area for a year and then decided to move to Chiang Mai. They came for six months, but it felt like home and they stayed. During their time in Chiang Mai they continued to trip around the world, living in Argentina for a time, making some great friends and exploring other South American countries while they were there. They also fulfilled a lifelong dream of exploring Europe on two separate trips in the last couple of years.
Tomas and Joyce were surrogate parents to many over the years, Mayla, Bla and Aoy were much beloved by him and were great friends and daughters to him. He said that he felt the reason he had come to Chiang Mai was to meet Bla and Aoy. Tomas and Joyce were on a trip to Bali with Tomisanne, Nick, Bla & Aoy to celebrate Tomas’s 74th birthday, they had a wonderful time. Two days after his birthday, Tomas passed away gently. He was cremated in Bali, his ashes to be scattered in Chiang Mai, Australia and Michigan.
Tomas is survived by his much beloved wife Joyce, his children Tobin, Julee, Tomisanne, Mayla, Bla and Aoy, his grandchildren Nik, Scott, Jesse, Sierra, Taran, Cristofer, Nicole, and his sister Connie Ritter. Cynthia, Nick and Tony, the spouses of his children were also very much fathered and friend to Tomas.
The way he lived his life has been an example to us all. He extracted each sweet drop of enjoyment from every moment possible, and then later savoured each again with laughter and smiles at remembered joys. “Right about now life is beautiful” was ever on his lips. If it is possible to sum up Tomas in a few words, they might be “Love, laugh, and live!”

Nick, Joyce, Howard and Lawrence along with Bart (seated)

Scott, Tobin, Aoy, with Tomi in the background.

Lawrence, John and Mark.

Tobin, Joyce and Mr Too.

Sao and Chap during the celebration of Tomas’s life.

(l/r) Julee, Tomi, Nick, Joyce, Jesse, Tobin, Scott and Aoy - the family came from around the world to join in a celebration of his life.

Ong, Joyce, Oh and Joe.

Paddy, Ronnie, Stuart and Mike.


Car enthusiasts discover Lampang and Phayao

Rex Baggaley
The Classic Cars of Lanna monthly run last month was something of a different ride. The enthusiasts met at J&N Autos where member Jimmy laid on breakfast treats for everyone prior to starting out on the group’s first two day rally that was organized by CCL member Derrell Hilgers.
Promptly at 10.30am ten classics accompanied by two modern support vehicles took off on the first stage to Lampang where lunch was enjoyed at the Riverside Guest House.
Those returning to Chiang Mai that day then took leave of the long distance travelers as we set off towards Phayao, enjoying some wonderful scenery en route. Arriving mid afternoon, members checked into the comfortable and reasonably priced “Northern Lake Hotel” before preparing for the evening celebratory dinner - all the cars had arrived without a mishap.
The next morning took us on a tour of the lakeside after visiting a typical wooden Thai home and restaurant of a fellow classic car lover based in the city of Phayao.
Returning over the mountains and emerging back onto the highway, most members would have recorded the 320 kilometer trip of pleasant motoring together with good conversation and plenty of fun. For further details visit: www. classiccarsoflanna.com

The Saturday evening celebrations included some of the Classic Cars of Lanna members releasing lanterns by Phayao Lake.

Rex Baggaley at the wheel of a 1970 Toyota Fire Tender originally used by the Phayao Fire department a few years back.

An elaborate traditional Thai house serving noodles also acted as a museum of various antiquities, including bottles, radios, motorbikes, cars and this vintage tricycle.

Rex Baggaley’s 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV on the road trip to Phayao late last month.

Derrell Hilger’s 1973 VW Type 3 Notchback prepares for the Phayao road trip.

A 1939 Fiat 1100 owned by member Cleve Reinhard cruises down towards Phayao.

Russ Barnes drives this beauty, a 1939 fiat 1100, chopped as a 1934 American Ford Street Rod.

The members of the Classic Cars of Lanna met at J&N Autos where member Jimmy laid on breakfast treats for everyone prior to starting out on the group’s first two day rally.