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In our continuing quest to find out who is living here in Koh Samui, where they come from, what they do here and what they think of island life the Samui Times caught up with Tony Hayes a popular long term expat on the island known to his friends at T-bone.
How long have you been in Koh Samui?
I first came to Samui in 1999. I intended to spend a month here but ended up staying for seven months! For the next two years I spent Christmas in Koh Samui and then spent most of the year here after that only going back to the UK to work for three months of the year. Five years ago I made Samui my permanent home and have not been back to the UK since.
What is it about Koh Samui that made you want it to be your home?
I was backpacking around Australia in 1999 then decided to visit Thailand for month. I immediately fell in love with the place and when I stumbled across Koh Samui I knew it was where I wanted to be. What I love most about Koh Samui is the people. I fell in love with the locals as soon as I got here and everywhere I went on the island I met friendly ex-pats. I love the fact that every day here is different and you never know where you are going to end up. In the UK it is routine, working and eating at the same time each day, and seeing the same people in your local pub. OK, in the UK things may run a bit smoother but I love the lack of daily routine here, being able to eat or sleep when I feel like it, being able to constantly meet new people as well as the unpredictability of my daily life.
What line of work were you in before you came to Thailand?
I was a boat builder and an upholsterer
How do spend your time here?
After running a busy bar for several years for the last couple of years I have just been taking it easy and relaxing. However, I am a very keen pool player. I play in both the Monday and Wednesday night leagues and really enjoy the sociability of the sport. I have met so many great friends through playing pool. After re-covering a few tables for friends I decided to start my pool table re-covering service called T-bone’s Tables. My aim is to offer a professional, reliable and affordable service for everyone who has a pool table on the island and, of course, to keep myself busy doing something that I love.
How long does it take to cover a pool table?
Normally around four hours, but we are very flexible with our hours so can cover tables during the least busy hours, causing minimal disruption to customers.
How far in advance do you need to book?
If you are looking for a fairly standard colour cloth, green ,light blue, dark blue or aqua that I have in stock then really only one day. If you are looking for something more unusual ,or a cloth with a logo it can take up to ten days to order.
Where can somebody with a table find more information about your service?
They can call me on 0861063901
Is there anything about Koh Samui you would like to see change?
I think Samui is a fantastic island. It is a great holiday destination and I am fortunate enough to live here. I have a lot of friends here and a lot of my friends from overseas visit. The only things I would like see change are the prices of flights to and from the island and the price of taxis. Although these prices do not affect me directly I do think they hamper visitors to the island and that in turn affects tourism. I would like to see all my friends and everybody on Koh Samui succeed and I think reducing flight and taxi prices would make a big difference to the visitors of the island and encourage more to come, which would be great for all businesses here.
Do you have any plans to leave Koh Samui?
Not for longer than a couple of weeks holiday. Samui is in a great location and is a great base from which to explore Asia. Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam . All are in easy reach and it’s great to discover new places, but always lovely to come back home to Koh Samui.