NONG SUNG, THAILAND
The name Ramasun comes from the mythological Thai "God of Thunder". According to the story, Ramasun is in pursuit of Mekhala, the Goddess of lightning. He attempts to capture her by throwing his axe. It is blocked by a magic gemstone emitting magical rays held by Mekhala. The rays are lightning and the axe hitting the stone is thunder. This is to continue until the earth is destroyed by fire.
Ramasun Station began as a temporary site in 1966 under the auspices of the 5th RRU in Bangkok. It was located 18 kilometers south of Udorn. It rapidly progressed from a temporary site to one of the busiest facilities in the world. Only Augsburg, Germany surpassed it. The installation of the AN/FLR-9 system was completed in the early '70's. Much of the Comm Center (where yours truly hung his hat) remained in a "temporary" state until it was finished in 1973! Until then, there were bundles of cables strung through doorways. The cost for this facility ran in excess of $50 million. Regardless of its ongoing transition, it more than fulfilled its mission until it was closed in 1976.
It is truly sad to lose a facility like this. It was among the finest in the world. All structures were permanent and climate controlled. It was completely self contained from power generation to waste disposal. The only thing brought in from the outside was food and diesel fuel for the generators. Beyond all of this it was located in an absolute paradise. But, due to the changing political climate, all U.S. forces were forced to leave. When it closed in 1976 it brought about the end of an era. It was one of a kind and will remain forever in the hearts of those of us who served there.
The streets of Udorn looked more like what I expected to see. According to what I had watched in the movies, that is. In addition to the "comventional" shops and stores, the streets were lined with every type of vendor that you can imagine. Along with some that you most likely wouldn't have thought of. The picture on the left is that of a typical sidewalk scene. On the right is an electroplating stand. Plating while you wait. Not exactly something you are likely to see in the good old U.S. of A. The bottom picture is anyones guess. My first thought is something to do with astrology, but who knows?