Living as I do in southern Thailand, the only stamps I can buy locally are new issues from the local post office.  There is not a single stamp shop on the island where I live.  While there are still a few stamp shops remaining in Bangkok, along with at least one large show each year, neither my schedule or budget offer many opportunities for travel to the capital.  Thus, the vast majority of my my collection is built up through online purchases, primarily via eBay auctions.

This means that I am constantly having to take into consideration the shipping costs of whatever stamps I want to bid on.  This is also the reason that I rarely purchase much-needed supplies such as catalogues or album binders and even things like mounts and stock books fall by the wayside.  While my inventory records only the base purchase price for each stamp, my philatelic-purchasing budget needs to factor in costs with shipping included.

Continue reading “The Shipping Dilemma”

When I thought about creating a stamps only blog, I knew I wanted a design I could be proud of.  However, I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination and tend to put together half-realized ideas using cut-and-paste methods that would make Photoshop users cringe.  I have nothing against Photoshop per se, it’s just that I’ve never been able to master even the simplest of tasks using it.

The rotating banners on “Philatelic Pursuits” all feature a similar design which started with a scan of a stamp in the 1946 Peace Issue omnibus, in this case the 2p gray black issued by Turks & Caicos (Scott #90) on 4 November 1946.  Basically, I erased most of the design using Microsoft Paint keeping only the perforations and border.

Continue reading “In Pursuit Of A Banner I Can Be Proud Of”

There are basically four types of stamp album pages — commercial pages in a variety of styles and sizes with pre-printed spaces, blank commercial pages, the print-your-own variety available online, and those you make yourself either via software (dedicated or adapted) or by hand.

Most of us started out collecting by filling spaces in a commercial pre-printed album.  A beginning stamp collector’s goal is usually to “collect the world,” attempting to fill all of the spaces in such an album.  But with time the challenge of filling the album eventually becomes too daunting and the collector begins to look elsewhere for inspiration.  Often, they then start to “specialize,” perhaps purchasing a pre-printed country album with the stamps of their own country often being the focus.

Continue reading “Stamp Album Pages”

Welcome to my “Philatelic Pursuits.”  Allow me to introduce myself and this blog.

My name is Mark Jochim and I was born in Texas.  For the first 40 years of my life, I lived in the United States where I collected stamps off and on from the age of ten.

A decade ago, I made a very big change in my life. I became a teacher of English As A Second Language (ESL) and moved to Phuket, an island in southern Thailand.

Continue reading “Introducing My Philatelic Pursuits”