Peter Robinson was a British Citizen, who in his mid-40s left the UK and a successful business career to become a monk in Thailand. He ordained as a monk in 1993 and soon after moved to a remote forest area of Thailand in Nakhon Sawan district. Here he was asked to teach English to local school children which he happily embraced. Peter was known as Phra Peter Pannapadipo during his time as a monk.

In 1994 Phra Peter created a charity to support poor Thai children and The Students’ Education Trust (SET) was established. Since its inception SET has supported more than 8,000 long term students at school, vocational college and university. SET has also provided thousands of welfare grants to those students with one-off financial needs. In 2005 Peter established SET as a registered foundation in Thailand - The SET Foundation - and disrobed from the monkhood to voluntarily administer the foundations’ work. Sadly, Peter passed away in 2019 but the work of SET continues.

Peter Robinson's Books

Phra Farang

Phra Farang published by Post Books Thailand in 1997 and republished in 2005 by Arrow Books, part of Penguin Random House UK Group, still in print. ISBN 0099484471

Little Angels

Little Angels published by Post Books Thailand in 2001 and republished in 2005 by Arrow Books, part of Penguin Random House UK Group, still in print. ISBN 009948448X

One Step At A Time - this is a primer on buddhist meditation for absolute beginners

One Step At A Time - published by Post Books Thailand in 1998, republished in 2009 by Bamboo Sinfonia, all rights reverted when Bamboo Sinfonia closed in 2018;

Peter updated the text shortly before he died. This second edition is available for publication, all Rights are available.

In Grandmother’s House

In Grandmother’s House by Peter Robinson as told by Sorasing Kaowai

Sorasing’s Granny was born in 1921 in a village called Ban Lao Pa Sa in Uttaradit Province close to the Laos border in the Lower Northern Region of modern-day Thailand.

Sorasing was born in 1980 and only visited Uttaradit City 2 or 3 times before he left to be a novice in a distant monastery in 1993, when he was 13 years old. As was often the case, Sorasing was mostly brought-up by his Granny while his mother worked as a labourer in a big city sending money home to support Sorasing and Granny.

The village was totally isolated and self-sufficient as a matter of necessity, with journeys out of the village being very challenging. The initial buffalo track out of the village was 12 kilometres before reaching a more permanent track to Uttaradit City some 25 kms away. Granny only made this trip once or twice in her life. Granny died in 1990 at the age of 70; her husband died of cancer in 1971 at the age of 50, hence he doesn’t feature in Sorasing’s memory.

In Grandmother’s House is essentially an account of Thai village life that has now largely disappeared. Granny started work full time in the rice paddy fields in 1930 at 9 years of age. Granny later became the village midwife, matriarch and healer, at a time when there was no modern-day style medicines or specialist help available, indeed the village didn’t have electricity until 1984.

The book falls into three parts, the first being about Sorasing’s family history and their roots in their village. The middle part is his time growing up in the fields and forests that surrounded his village, learning from nature and from Granny. There are chapters on medicine, snakes, spiders, superstitions, ghosts and ghouls, with Granny telling stories of the Maeng-an-low, an elusive pygmy tribe who lived in the nearby forests. The story then flows into the final part as the dangers of village life, the animals and insects come to the fore.

Finally, as we approach the end of the book, it is time to say goodbye to Granny. The final chapter, Saying Goodbye, is beautiful without becoming excessively sentimental.

Initially published by Monsoon Books in Singapore, all rights reverted in 2012;
Peter updated the text in 2019 just before he died.

All rights are available, this would make an excellent Netflix or similar streaming series.