At the end of 2003 I moved to Thailand, not knowing how long I would stay. It's now 2015 and I'm still there, but now I have a house, a wife, two children, and two cats.
With new experiences to write about I started using my site to write about my new life, providing information for visitors, and writing tutorials on how to read Thai, etc.
For the first five years or so I made no attempt to monetise the site - I just did it for fun. When I did eventually add advertisements it was still fun and I managed to earn a small income. This never made me rich, but it paid to host the site.
Just as my life has changed beyond recognition since 2002, so has the Internet. In a world that is run by government and big business it was so refreshing at first to have a medium with a level playing field. It was easy for small website owners to get visibility and in that sense fair and democratic.
That has all changed in recent years as governments have blocked websites and huge search engine companies, one in particular, have come to dominate the on-line world. If we want information now we are presented with information that search engines deem to give us. At the same time, search engines hide sites that they do not want people to see. In addition, so-called 'Social Media' has been another game changer with so many people these days spending all their on-line time looking at Facebook.
For several years this site suffered at the hands of Google and in September 2015 it was dealt a mortal blow that will result in its closure sooner rather than later.
My advertising revenue dried up and a short foray into affiliate marketing, that was successful at first, then went the same way. These things require a decent amount of website traffic and once that Google decides not to provide that traffic the game is up. In addition to my income disappearing, the fun also started to disappear.
After working so hard in the past to try to keep Google happy I have now reached the stage where I can no longer be bothered. For example, in 2014 Google started putting a lot of pressure on website owners to provide sites that were suitable for mobile phones in addition to desktop computers. This entailed a large amount of work and my reward from Google was just to receive even less traffic.
I am not sure what I did to deserve the punishment that was meted out in September 2015, but it is irrelevant. In battles with such rich and powerful opponents you can only accept defeat.
My current plan is to keep the site running until midway through 2016 when this year's hosting plan runs out and then it will die a natural death. I can't deny having a degree of emotional attachment to the site and I can't deny feeling a little sad, but there's not much that I can do.
Recommend this on Google