First and foremost I want to thank Neo and Thailandrun.org for doing this run and raising funds for my cause, and everybody else that has helped me during the year. I hope with the help of Thailand Run and your support I can be here a bit longer and inspire some of you to inspire others now and in the future.
My name is Gerry Thomas Rasmus aka KOTO, K O T O Keeper Of The Ocean, I’m 75, was blessed with that name KOTO, around 30 years ago, on beautiful Maui Hawaii, where I lived for 24 years, from 1977 to 2001, then moving to Thailand.
The name KOTO was given to me because I was cleaning beaches, boat harbor’s, streams, creeks, bamboo forest, camping areas and storm drains with my dog, sometimes sons, I had them move over to Maui after I got my life together, also friends helped, removing man made dangers from children, wildlife, waterways and our soil…
Before Maui Hawaii, I lived in California in the San Francisco area, straight A student, then at 15, started smoking, drinking, girls, dropped to a C average, pretty much wasted the next 25 years
Always made enough to support my addictions, owned operated used car lots, went from drinking too hard drugs, never paying into social security, thinking I would never reach retirement age, due to addictions and seeing most of my friends dyeing at early ages…
Brought a live-aboard boat, lost it after several months, due to high-seas and stupidly, almost drowned.
My dog Prince and I lived on the beach for a year, 40 yrs old, releasing how to appreciate a hot shower, healthy meals, a bed, becoming clean and sober while being homeless, I would recommend it to everybody with an addiction.
Realizing the most important things in my life was health, outlook, giving back, starting with clean air, water and soil also making life safer for children and wildlife, by removing man-made dangers, that can choke, kill, also contaminate air, waterways, soil.
I’m honored to say, I lived long enough to win, everyday is a priceless blessing.
Once I got clean I became a tour guide, rented 7 houses, then rented rooms, (40 tenets) had fruit stands, gift shops, brought, fixed, sold boats, all types of land transportation, real-estate salesmen…
One of the many reasons I became so aware of litter and it’s dangers was around 40 years ago, in California, I heard a mother screaming, her year and a half old daughter, was choking, picked her up, turned her upside down, padded her of the back, still choking, reached into her mouth and was able to remove a “Toxic Cigarette Butt” (made her quite ill) from that day on, I quit flicking or leaving behind my “Toxic Cigarette Butts” told every smoker what happened, explaining the dangers of leaving, “Toxic Butts” behind, that take up to 12 years to decompose.
I Have also helped 3 babies, with their mothers in Thailand, choking on “toxic cigarette butts” also one, on a bottle cap.
In 1999 doctors told me, I had Hep-C and Cirrhosis of the Liver, which I got back in the late 60’s, 70’s heavy drugs, drinking, they told me I had 2 years left to live…
Shortly after the bad news, new rules and regulations came to Maui, (California law) Everything I did for the past 21 plus years, became illegal, they wanted me to get a million dollars insurance, used car, boat license, hotel license, I was considered a Pirate
A friend of mine had moved to Thailand awhile back, told me it was a great place to live, 42 baht to the dollar, nice people, weather much like Hawaii…
2001, Met a girl got married, built two homes, swimming pool, 30 rai, farming equipment, lived in Buriram Province for almost two years, taking Hep-C medicine, helped some poor family’s, also cleaned around village including creeks, received an award 2003, ran out of money, divorced, moved to Jomtien, living on twenty thousand baht a month, started cleaning beaches, gutters, putting up posters, giving water, food, first aid to homeless people, stray dogs, taking to vet, getting donations…
Received an award 2007 from the Governor of Chonburi, for my efforts and contribution
Received an award 2011 from Pattaya City Hall forfor my efforts and contribution.
I am now Living a dream by random acts of kindness is giving me priceless inner-wealth, everyday is a total blessing…
Diet, Exercise, Outlook, Giving Back has kept me alive, I count my blessings daily, living on a shoestring, realizing things are just things, ones health, outlook, reason for living, inner-wealth, random acts of kindness daily is what really matters to me…
Again Kop Khun Mak Mak Krup, Mahalo Nui Loa, Thank You Very Much for Thailand to have me.
Gerry Rasmus aka KOTO presented with Award Pattays’s Expat Greatest Contributor 2013 from Central Department Group
2011 Award from Pattaya City Hall for protecting the Gulf of Thailand.
2007 Award for waste management and Recycle by Chonburi Province
2003 Award from Buriram Province
The personal Appeal for KOTO is now closed we kindly ask you to donate to the clean water project.