Nostalgia, am I right?

Hey, everybody!

Thought I would pop in just to say hi - it’s been a while. I was getting a bit nostalgic recently, thinking of the many incredible projects I’d made and how it’s been over two years since I had access to a laser full time. Not only my own projects, but the hundreds upon hundreds that I’d seen here and that had inspired me, but more importantly, I was happy to see some familiar faces still commenting here after all this time. I began lurking on the forum back in September of 2015 shortly after preordering my original machine, and I saw that I recently got my 7th anniversary badge, which kind of spurred me to go down memory lane.

What an incredible community this has always been, I wanted to thank you guys for being pillars of this community for so many years. It was always fun interacting with the staff of Glowforge, especially when @dan would chime in on a project, or when somebody in the community would start a new hot trend like tile engraving or jb’s puzzles. I’ll always be grateful for the support and inspiration that was shared here. When I ordered my first forge I had never even seen a laser in person before, outside of a plasma cutting table, and if weren’t for the original marketing stating that this was a “3D laser printer”, I may never have stumbled upon it in the first place. It was all due to me seeing a 3D printer in person and becoming interested in that.

This product and community changed the trajectory of my life, and I’ll always be fond of the memories. I only ever met @Aloha, and I legitimately thought you were a woman for a very long time (no reason for it, please don’t take it personally! I did figure it out long before us meeting though!), sorry for the sidetrack, anyway, I only ever met him physically, but interacted with many of you for years. While I may have never known any of you personally, I’ve known the beautiful creative, helpful, and fun sides of you, and you’ve made me a better person, and shown me a side that I’d hoped was in me.

Not much has changed in my life, still living in Thailand, with no access to a safe laser :pensive:(emphasis on safe), but we did recently welcome our second kid into the world in July, and I can’t wait to get back my lasers some day to engrave his little baby face on some wood. Our current soft plan is to come back stateside summer of next year for a couple of years, and so long as long storage hasn’t affected my lasers, I’ll be posting new projects when we do come back. Plans change all of the time, though, so no guarantees as we tell our family and friends!

I figure throwing this in everything else is the only logical place for a post like this to go, and I know you die hards who have to have read every single post will see this, you’re the ones I’m hoping to catch with this anyway, but I do hope you engage and comment on this post to catch up a little! Would love to hear from you all, and if you don’t want to comment or be seen associating with me, shoot me a message, I won’t tell anybody :wink:

Oh, and because I know some of you enjoyed my drone photography, I’ll throw in some pictures from here in thailand.


I just mentioned you last night and was wondering if you were still in Thailand. I miss your Hawaii photos, but these are fabulous as well.

Congrats on the new baby!


Wait, you left HI two years ago?! Wow life moves fast, I would have said it was much more recent than that.

Spectacular drone photos, and congrats on the growing family.


Woot woot! Welcome back @raymondking32 !!!

Congratulations on the new baby!!! So awesome.

Thank you again for all of your wood and acrylic. I still have some left.
Beautiful photos!

Do you have access to an unsafe laser there?

Would you like us to engrave a baby photo and mail it over?

Great hearing from you!


Your drone photos are one of the reasons I so want to get one! Goat you’re enjoying Thailand :slight_smile: Do they have the Aloha spirit there? :slight_smile:


Awesome pics!


No kidding, it seems like last fall.

It’s good to hear from you @raymondking32 and I’m glad you are doing well. I do think about you moving like that. You just pick up and go, and I admire it. (This is coming from someone who’s always lived within 15 miles of the hospital I was born in. :slight_smile: )


Oh welcome back @raymondking32! So good to hear you and your family are doing well, and growing! Congratulations on your new son!! I like your drone shots. Very interesting to see such a view of another country. What a difference between the coastal and city areas! Like other countries, sure, but still great to see. And hey, so you can’t laser right now, but glad you can still pop in to say hi. Just try to do so a little more often! You’re missed!


Oh my word…what a great post…and stunning photos. I’m with the others who are in disbelief that two years has already passed. Wonderful news about your new baby…and in general, really nice ‘catch-up’ on how your life has been going.

Hope you keep posting…it’s nice to see you here again.


Welcome back!

I experimented with drone photography waaay back in the day when quad copters were barely a thing. And what I found was that it was no fun, and my photos all sucked. Then I realized… Like with conventional photography, it’s much easier to take neat pictures when you do neat things. There is no view of my own back yard that makes for an interesting photo, but I bet there are a lot of opportunities in Thailand!


Good to hear from you.

You don’t mention if you’ve ever lived elsewhere (perhaps I missed it?) but I’ve lived on three continents and traveled to all, and there is so much of the world to see. My daughter lives in HI for now, but has the travel bug - good upbringing! :rofl:

Thanks for sharing, nonetheless.


So true! I made the brilliant choice of buying a drone during a global travel lockdown. If I didn’t have a good reason to keep looking at my lawn from above, I would never use it at all.


Hey there!
It really doesn’t seem like 2 years, but it does seem like time is accelerating! Great post Raymond, well said. I love the ancient karst topography, thanks for those pictures!
Congratulations on the expanding family, so good to hear from you again!


My brother just came back from Thailand. I should probably visit soon. I’m now in Japan…my glowforge is sitting at the port awaiting customs inspections Monday… hopefully there won’t be issues and it will be delivered next week along with my other household goods and car…had a short, 5 minute visit with it yesterday when we went to port to help the importers find the car key.

I have yet to take my drone out. I just finished getting it registered in Japan. And im debating whether i should get the license here. I should, but i have to take the classes and tests required, and they aren’t cheap.


Oh, I miss them, too! We have some friends here, actually 2 sets of families, that had wanted to move to Hawaii, so I used to show them my pics from there all the time to try to convince them. The fist family is an embassy family, so they had a choice of Hawaii, or Taiwan, unfortunately for them, like us, the price of Hawaii was just more than they were willing to pay, so they’ll be going to Taiwan later this year. We’re already making plans to visit them after they get there, so that will be a nice trip!

You all are telling me! Initially when I had typed it out, I thought, wow, it’s been almost two years, wait, no, it has been two years! Such a strange feeling, even more so when I started to realize the amount of time that Glowforge as a company has been around. If I say out loud, that I started looking into GF back in 2015, it sounds about right, but if I say that it’s been 8 years since that initial viral marketing video, that doesn’t seem right, but is!?

I do, but have so very little interest in using it, that I don’t even consider using it. The Glowforge spoiled me, and honestly I haven’t had the desire to laser anything for a while. I almost had imposter syndrome the other day when I looked at old projects, wondering if I had actually designed and made them :sweat_smile: I’ve been busy with subbing, coaching basketball, helping raise a nearly 5 year old, and now a newborn, so the creativity bug has gone into hibernation. I took up journaling earlier this year, which is a different form of creativity, and also coloring, which is fairly therapeutic, probably because I don’t have much access to other creative outlets.

Which is funny, because potentially, some of that is as old as my first laser coming in in 2018!

Oh, and don’t worry about sending me things, the price to ship things here is insane! I was also just realizing the dreadful process of packing and moving to another part of the world, I don’t know how we’re going to get all this junk packed up, especially now that we’ve added a baby to the mix!

A very similar spirit, they say “sawasdee” sort of pronounced as saw wah dee, which is similar to aloha, being both hello and goodbye. The wealth gap in Bangkok is massive, much like Waikiki or Honolulu, but I’d say that it’s even larger, and more people are at the poverty level. This leads to a lot of humble people, and I was quite surprised at how many people speak english here. Very rarely have I ever felt like I wasn’t welcome, and the only time has been due to bad taxi drivers, which could be because of the substances they take to work long hours of the day, or their experiences with other foreigners. We’ve loved the people, and they’ve been very welcoming, and when you get out of the city, the people are even more friendly and they’re pretty friendly already!

When I was little, growing up in San Diego, I had access to a lot of different cultures, then when I got to middle school and had a World Cultures class, something clicked, I reaelized that the world was a lot bigger than what I was used to. Didn’t have a fabulous upbringing, so this realization was quite a revelation. I knew I wanted to travel the world, just didn’t know how I would get around to it. The trick was marrying somebody who is a teacher, and also wanted to travel. Combined, international teaching is a loophole that I don’t think very many people are aware of. The school paid for our flights here, and will continue to pay for a single roundtrip for my wife every year, gave us a moving allowance to be able to pay for furniture, and also pay a stipend for our rent every month. While there are lot of different ways to get around the world, this has been a really fun way to experience it. We haven’t been outside of Thailand to any of the neighboring countries, but hope to do so befoer we leave! I’ve only lived in the mainland states, then Hawaii, which I always said was like a second world country, and now here. There are still a lot of places I’d love to live, more than just visit, there’s something about living somewhere where you can absorb that culture a bit better than just visiting through it.

Oh, also wanted to share this picture from our spare room, I believe I may have shared a similar one a while back, but I am still surprised quite often at how interesting of a view I have. Over the last year I started to really notice that although Bangkok is a city with over 10 million people, there are still a decent amount of trees and a lot of greenery when you look for it.


When I got my first drone, it was a lot like the GF - I’d never seen one in person, only saw what they could do. I was, as far as I know, the first of any of my friends to get one, and it wasn’t long after where I started to get questions from people about what it was like to own one, and whether they should get one, too. I’ve been blessed enough in life that I’ve been able to go placces and do things that make owning a drone worth it for me, and the unique views that come with that are what I love the most. Along those lines, you guys are absolutely correct here:

This is what I tried to warn every single person that asked me about drones to be wary of. A drone is just an expensive toy that also happens to be able to take pictures. I should have asked them if they were willing to go out and buy a thousand dollar camera, and if they said no, then they probably wouldn’t use a drone all that often. Like I mentioned, I enjoy traveling, and we had a trip planned for shortly after we got the first drone, then not long after that I took shots of fireworks, and that’s when people were really noticing what I was doing with the drone. Unfortunately, the friends who did get one didn’t end up pursuing it as much as I did. They also just used theirs a few times for backyard pics or for the occasional camping trip, meanwhile I was going all over Utah, then California, and eventually moving to Hawaii, so the contrast was quite stark!

Even still, I think it takes an eye for it, at least that’s what people tell me I have, so like any other hobby, admission is low, but results are earned. I had a mind for it, and am always willing to bring the drone around, especially now that they don’t need an entire backpack and weigh 20lbs+ with all the gear :sweat_smile:

This was the case for me for a while, and still is the case fairly often. My problem is that once I’ve been to a location, I’ve probably already got the shot that I wanted, so it becomes difficult to use it again.

I still have yet to do any of the official things for my drone here :face_with_peeking_eye: I have a Thai friend who told me not to worry about it, and that to feign ignorance if somebody ever does talk to me about it. As far as I know, unless it’s explicitly posted, it’s not so bad to fly the drone around. Now, am I completely aware that when I fly it inside of the city from my balcony that I’m probably not supposed to? Definitely, but I’ve almost been run down by buses, taxis, and motorbikes going the wrong way, so I’m confident that I’m flying safer than what the average person deals with. I also do the research for the tourist locations we go to, so that I know I won’t get in trouble. Tourists have a lot of bad manners, and I’d hate to ever add to that.

Also, Japan is on our list, so we may run into you someday, I don’t know how serious we are about that being the next country we go, but it is one of the top three we’ve talked about!


Oh yeah, and at full speed. Quick way to pick up another language.


I am slightly ashamed to say that due to many Thai people knowing english, I’ve done very little studying of their language. My problem is that they use tones in their speech, so one word can mean different things! You are right, though, being steeped in a culture you pick up on words much easier than through an online course!


The ‘eye’ you have is that of an artist. A different perspective.


I was trying to tell my wife what it’s like to have that eye, when I was really heavy into lasering and making things, I couldn’t walk outside without lookingat the world through that artistic lens. I started noticing the way things work together, leaves on the trees, wind blowing through those leaves, the design language of the world. When I take drone shots, I look for what I think is appealing, like the contrast of green water in the shallow areas compared to the tan sands of the beach, or the way the world changes colors at sunset. I often think about the time that I learned why the term “purple mountains majesty” is a thing, and it was because I watched the sunset change the desert mountains from that light brown color, to a full on lavender color, and how it’s easy to miss the majestic nature of the things around us.

Again, I have to contribute to the members here for nurturing this side of me, I’m happy to see the years of experience you all have and think that I too will hopefully inspire other creative minds when it seems like the default is to work and live such black and white lives.