About me

I was born and brought up in Miri an oil town in Sarawak (Borneo). I attended Pujut Chinese Primary, St. Joseph's Miri and Tanjong Lobang School. (I was at Tanjong for two years as a boarder doing 6th form, 63/64) I worked for Shell Lutong for 23 years and have lived in NZ for 15 years. I am married to Christine Wong. We have 3 grown children: Kevin, Pearl and Eugene.
I retired from full time work at age 58 in Hamilton (2002). After a few months, the prospects of looking at 20 years of annual leave got to me (I became bored with doing nothing). I enrolled as an English tutor, did a short course in Hamilton and taught English to new migrants for 3 years (2-hour/week) During this time I was also involved with working for the Salvation Army (5 hrs every morning on Mon, Tue, Wed). During this initial retirement period, I also played golf in the afternoons. There was a gap of 25 years during which time I have not touched a golf club. I took up sailing as a hobby in the early 80's and played some tennis.

Soon, in NZ I became a serious golferagain, playing 3 or more rounds a week. In the end, I found that the volunteer work interfered with my golfing schedules and it was also too warm in the afternoons to golf. I stopped doing all volunteer work in the mornings and decided to play golf full time. I found that golf was not enough to fill all my free time. I intensified sailing as a second hobby and took part in regattas every Sunday and exploring the many lakes and harbours in the North Island. When the weather was not suitable for golfing and sailing, I blog. I became a very active blogger with more than 50 blogs.
Missing the volunteer work and the human interactions, I have now replaced that with cyber volunteer work on the internet helping new bloggers all around the world. I am now a blogging guru. This work is less demanding; but just as satisfying as the previous type of volunteer work. The interactions with different bloggers were very rewarding for me and satisfied a deeper need inside all of us to make contact with other people on common ground. I am also an active participant on the extanjong forum (human interactions) and have formed another Google group for ex-Shell employees (SSB). I have recently started a group on Face Book for Overseas Sarawakians. I am constantly looking for new ways to fill my time. I have even considered taking up photography seriously as a hobby.

Sharing my own retirement experience with you, will hopefully help some of you, who are my friends, during this difficult transition period from full time work to no work. Please remember that it is a fact that you do not need money to retire. The secret is in keeping busy and learning to phase out the extravagant life  style (5 stars hotels) and begin to live within our reduced budget and accepting our new identity as a retired person.
The simple truth is this: No one is able to save enough money to maintain the same standard of living for retirement because we do not know exactly how long we will live. There is no bottom line. It is therefore impossible to plan financially for our retirement. For this same reason we must retire now, today; and not work until we die. This can happen tomorrow or even sooner, tonight, in our sleep! :)

a very retired person
(according to Chang Yi, a friend)


  1. Thank you for all your helpful tips on blogging.
    I am sure to visit your page to learn more.



    1. A truly beautiful photo of your sail boat; it doesn't look like you are retired except for playing golf so often in the morning. I will also retire from teaching at the end of this year and I know I will keep busy with my blog and tutoring students. Your volunteer work speaks volumes of your generous personality. Let us keep in touch across the Pacific that unites us.

  2. Hello from Montreal, Canada.
    Thanks David for writing this blog. I'm relatively new to blogging and there's so much to learn. I will be back often to seek your advice !
    My blog: http://montrealphotodaily.blogspot.com/

  3. Hi David I hope you had a very blessed day 2day.
    I am writing to tell you how much I like the style of your blog.I love the mini paragraphs at the bottom with jump breaks ,icons,etc. Can you send me a post on how to get this particular style?

  4. Patricia,
    Please post this question on the Blogger help forum. I am sure that some one will be able to help you:

  5. Hello David.
    I stumbled across your blog from the Google Help Forum. Your tips have already helped me solve an issue I had with adding clickable links to comments on other blogs. I am so impressed with your knowledge and simplicity in explaining technical issues that I am your newest follower. I shall definitely be returning.

    Thank you so much.


  6. Hello David!

    I too stumbled upon your amazing blog through the Google Help Forum.
    You have a very useful and inspiring site - thanks for sharing your knowledge!
    I have added you to my "helpful sites" bookmark!

    Cheers, Jenny
    PS - I think you should jump into the world of photography - I think you would love it!

  7. Jenny,
    Thank you. I have been trying my hand at photography too. It is so time consuming and the equipment so expensive!

  8. Hi David,

    Here’s my take on the time and cost element of photography!

    I use a small Canon Digital ELPH. It’s old, I’m in the process of replacing it.
    Tough decision - but I’m going to stick with a pocket sized variety as I take my camera everywhere with me and the big professional style cameras, while absolutely amazing, are just too much camera for my lifestyle. (noticeable cost difference too)

    I am a “manual” reader and I highly recommend getting well acquainted with whatever camera you have or get. It’s well worth the time (which isn’t a lot) to play with all the setting until you fully grasp your cameras capabilities. It really shows in the photos.

    I take photos of just about anything in any kind of weather, indoors, outdoors, day and night and what I have discovered is that knowing my camera’s manual settings makes for less “cleanup” of the photo later, thereby eliminating the need for costly programs such as Photo Shop and the like.

    My sweet daughter has been the subject of much of my picture taking these last few months as she has become quite a local celebrity here in Vancouver as the first official mermaid on the West Coast! Please feel free to check out her site and see the photos a small camera can take!

    Here is the link to the photo page on Courtney's site:
    All the photos here, shy of one or two, where taken by me and my trusty little camera!

    With all the advancement in technology the small cameras are quite stellar and worth a look - I’m hoping to have a new camera by end of Aug or early Sept. I can’t wait! (I'm still busy researching)

    I hope you have fun with your camera and that you enjoy playing around with all the settings too!

    Cheers and Happy Shooting,

  9. Jenny,
    Thank you so much for your valuable tips on photo taking. I use a point and shoot Sony Cyber Shot, 7.2 mega pixels. Most of my blogs photos came from this camera and there were quite a few. 53,000 to be exact! haha!

  10. Thank you for you blog! you have helped me solve my blogger problems! =)


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