The Phuket News spoke to Brandel after one of his morning shifts, to learn more about the new arrival here.
“Born and breed in Sydney. But later I lived and worked in Darwin and Cairns; somehow I find myself feeling very much at home in Australia’s tropical cities.”
And did this have a connection to his arriving on this tropical island. “I think so, yes. At 41 I decided to try and live overseas, but in a place that met three criteria; the place had to warm, be near good beaches, and offer scuba-diving opportunities. Phuket ticked all three boxes. And here I am!”
Brandel brings to Class Act Media formidable experience in radio broadcasting.
“Previously I managed and did the programming for four Darwin stations. And so have a wide ranging skills-set. You name it; programming, announcing, music scheduling, broadcasting solo, broadcasting as half of a duo, and interviewing, among responsibilities.”
So who’s he interviewed? Anyone we’d know? “Well, Nicole Kidman and the late Sterve Irwin, there are two instantly recognizable names. And also many lesser-known but interesting and engaging personalitlies. One of these I consider to be Peter Garrett, who used to be the singer for the Austalian band Midnight Oil, a group I’m personally very fond of.”
Talking of music … “My musical preferences? If I was to be put on the spot I’d say: Queen, Matchbox Twenty, Nickelback, Pearl Jam, and AC/DC. And plenty of others. Above all, I like live music. In any case, for me, it’s mostly rock’n’roll”
When he’s not working, Brandel likes to socialize more than most, “I’m a highly social animal, so I’m most likely found after-dark in some bar or restaurant, chatting away with friends.” [You can take the Aussie lad out of Australia, but you can’t take Australia out of the Aussie lad: “I enjoy a good barbecue too.”]
But Brandel has set himself some perimeters. “I’m a bit too old for clubbing now”. Phuket might put an end to that perception, though!
Brandel has adapted well in the two weeks since he arrived here, his first time in Thailand, bar a brief trip to Ko Samui for a wedding, several years ago.
“I love it here! The warmth here, people, food, ambience, the fact that you can be as relaxed or as busy as you want to be.”
Any culture shock? “Not really. But I am often surprised at one game that the Thais seem particularly good at. It’s called something like: how many people can we fit on this motorbike!”
He also become quickly accustomed to his new place of work. “I really like it here. Good friendly people but also thoroughly professional and amazingly hard-working and driven. I like the multicultural aspect of working at this company too. Among my colleagues are Thais, Brits, Americans, and fellow Australians. That said, it doesn’t matter where you travel in the world, there are bound to be some Australians around! We are great wanderers.”
Is there anything Phil misses? “I do miss my 18-month-old niece. And watching Aussie football while the sun is down, rather that watching it while the sun is blazing overhead like I have to do here. And my mates of course.
“But no regrets about relocating here at all. Besides I can’t wait till I start exploring the beaches, diving, doing all the things that Phuket is famous for!”