Farmer Joe loses water-tight 30-year lease in Thailand

In Flying Sporran, General News, Uncategorised by Andrew Drummond23 Comments

Bangkok August 22 2011
His children are in government care in Britain and his land has all but already been gobbled up by his Thai wife.

Legendary turkey farmer Joe Stanyer, who used to supply Thailand’s best hotels with their Christmas bird, has now been told that the last patch of land he has in Hua Hin, which he acquired on a 30-year lease, was also obtained illegally.

This story could suspend one’s belief so much so that even social workers from Redbridge Council in Essex want to check it out.

And to do so, while Britain seems to be plummeting into a double-dip recession, they say they have announced that they are sending over a case officer to investigate.
They may be suspicious that ‘Farmer Joe’ far from being impoverished ‘Farmer Joe’ is making hay in Thailand, so social security sleuths are expected any day from the land of Wayne and Sharon.

Once Joe Stanyer, 58, was a prosperous business man.  His turkeys sold every year under the ‘Farmer Joe’ brand in Bangkok and he continued to expand until the giant CP group, to cut a long story short, put him out of the running.

His wife left him and then sold most of the 22 rai turkey farm – bought in 2000 for 2 million Thai baht and held in her name – and did not pay him a penny. That left him with a small 6 rai patch of land on which he had built the family home.  To safeguard this he took out a 30-year lease from his wife at a cost of 436,000 Thai baht.

But now his wife wants this land too and has taken him to court to prove successfully, it appears, that the lease he signed is void.  Joe Stanley insists that another land-use clause was illegally added to the lease prior to the hearing.

Now Mr. Stanyer has had to sign a new lease, and pay up another 300,000 baht plus 12,000 baht each month for the 6 rai on which his only remaining asset in Thailand – stands.

‘Actually I signed a new  lease but I did not know what I was signing. The lawyer, whom I had known for 25 years, just told me to do it,’ said Joe.
“I thought the original lease was water-tight, but it was tampered with”.

The courts have yet to look at the fact that even under Thai divorce laws he is entitled to 50 per cent, but worse, it seems, the land on which he built his house, could be still taken from him, because his wife built up a debt on a car in his name on which, he says, she refused to keep up payments, and the company has a lien on the land.

During the middle of this saga Stan fled with his kids, Stanley, 11, Rick,5, and Nanilee, 10 back to Britain and he had no choice but to leave them in council care, while he returned to battle for his livelihood.

At the moment with new lawyers he is suing his old lawyers for malfeasance and his wife for his share of what is due from the marriage.

Social services officers, who seem not to believe this sort of thing could happen in a real world, might perhaps take a dip in the Sofitel, to soothe their nerves after hearing Joe’s tale.

Meanwhile Joe’s wife Nonkarn Yanachot (left with daughter from previous marriage) claims: ‘Joe never took care of the children and I’.
I am not going into he details of claims and counter claims involving meat cleavers.
But Britain’s Social Services want to visit her too and the former farmer’s wife will be able to show a strong portfolio.
 Meanwhile any chance of Joe getting anything soon are unlikely. He went to Prachuap Khiri kan Court today to say that he did not know what he had signed (the lease).
You will have to go to the appeal court said the judge.
Farmer Joe – the original report


  1. Andrew Drummond

    Oh dear Richard, I guess Joe came a cropper and locked the stable door after the horse had bolted,reckons his wife is mad as a march hare, but soon he'll be put out to pasture, etc. Still..fair sky at night…..

    By sheer coincidence today I had a ploughman's lunch, pork pie, cheddar cheese, French bread, Branston Pickle.

  2. westerby

    Mmmm…so, the local authority is of the view that his claim to be have been dispossessed by a scheming, venal, avaricious wife might be a ruse to obtain benefits?
    Rather than send an investigator(who would do what exactly?) why on earth they don't simply pay the FCO to undertake a field trip and report their findings?
    Britain is just so hopeless these days. They allow hundreds of thousands of bogus asylum seekers to settle at public expense costing millions without so much as a twitch yet they are actually considering an investigation 6000 miles away into a Brit whose family life has been shattered? You couldn't make it up.
    Thank God I don't live there anymore.

  3. Huckelberry

    Sad storry. But Joe should of known that Thailand has no law system. Its what ever here and if you fight it you even mke yourself vaunrable to get murdered and the police will then say it was suiside because you were depressed. I would say cut your losses. Sell your storry to a British tabliod and an other other reason to conclude that Thailand is a criminal state.

  4. Stephen Leather

    Great article. Should serve as a warning to any foreigner who thinks he can own land in Thailand. The law is clear – foreigners can't own land. Any foreigner who thinks he can get around that will find that one day his chickens will come home to roost….

  5. Sefton Hanley

    Any chance in the details of 'why' he lost ??

    Because it was a lease between husband and wife ?? and thats nullified ?? Or another reason.

    Theres hints of another clause ?? Usufruct ??

    Some clarity to the whys would be helpful.

  6. Caruncle Snood

    What is this magic spell that Thailand has over foreigners?
    Anyone who enters into any legal agreement in Thailand with the expectation of a fighting chance if it ends up going to court – well, the sun must have got to them.
    Don't invest what you can't afford to lose – simple. Don't throw good money after bad. And if it comes to court, pull down the anti-red mist visor and have the white flag ready.
    Farmer Joe's situation is what return tickets are for.
    Once Joe can show he's habitually resident back in Blighty – usually six months – HM's benefits cup will runneth over. Having a child under the age of seven he's quids in.
    Some might see it as Social Security – it can just as well be interpreted as Get Yourself Back On Your Feet and Start Over money.
    I'm not sure Thailand operates this scheme, nor looks after your kids while you take on the unfathomable Thai justice system.
    Westerby may thank God he doesn't live in the UK anymore but I bet he's grateful for the choice, option of free medical care (and his pension?)
    Britain and Thailand are both broken – just in different places.

  7. Mike Thomas

    Do you have an email for Farmer Joe? If so would appreciate it.

    Mike Thomas

  8. Andrew Drummond

    Michael: I have forwarded your email to Joe.
    On the other matter Joe says another clause was added to the lease AFTER he signed. Can it be done? Seems so.

  9. Joe Stanyer

    The lawsuit filed against me was 90% lies, which were not challenged by my lawyer. I have known the lawyer 25 years, and considered him to be a ""trusted friend"". He was in a unique position to cheat me…TREACHERY!
    The day the case opened, I was not in court; it would have been dangerous if I was present. He told me you give evidence next time.
    He failed to tell me that the next court date was for ""Compromise""….the lease had already been declared void.
    I went along, expecting to give evidence, and the judge tells me, your lease is void, and so you must negotiate a new contract right now in the court. My lawyer said ""sign it, or you will lose your home"" The horror of that day will haunt me for years to come.
    Next day I told my lawyer that I wanted to appeal. He said I could not (A LIE) and wasted a lot of time before sending me a copy of the contract. By the time I got all the details, the 30 day appeal period had expired.
    Yesterday I went to court to attempt renegotiation, because I had not properly understood, and was pressured into signing. The same Judge denied my request, despite the fact that I complained my lawyer had cheated me.

  10. Sam

    If a clause was added after he signed, then his signature is either a black and white copy…or forged. If forged, then it is important to have a witness sign things for you that you can rely on to be on your side in the future and if at all possible, a reliable and trustworthy Thai person…stop laughing, I met one once…as a Thai witness would I imagine be better in court than a foreign one. Most agreements, leases, usufructs etc are considered null and void in marriage I have been told, especially if a 'real' commercial rent and proof of payments cannot be seen. If it is possible, best thing to do here is squirrel away cash when you can, buy a Condo, concrete in a safe behind a false wall and keep as much as you can hidden in there. That is of course if you have one of 'those' types of marriages. I do not, mine is different.

  11. YanYan

    The lesson from this sad story is ""don't believe your wife, don't believe your lawyer, don't believe anyone….sometimes they will all come together like a pack of sharks"".

    (This post was edited….heavily)

  12. Andrew Drummond

    I have received a letter from a woman claiming to be the daughter of Farmer Joe's wife – from a previous marriage.(pictured in the story) Because of the nature of the letter it is not legal to publish. Nor am I am in the business of reporting why the marriage failed or taking any side in that issue. I have asked her to re-submit her letter with specific allegations relating to the property.
    It would however be safe to say that the divorce was acrimonious with allegations on both sides. Most readers here will already know that and may safely assume this is why Mr.Stanyer is in his present predicament.
    In the same respect any name calling by Mr.Stanyer should it happen will also be edited.

  13. Joe Stanyer

    I must correct Caruncle Snood's rose tinted illusion of the UK government.
    1/The Habitual Residence act is widely abused by government agencies. Technically, ""intention"" should have a heavy weighting in determining HR status, but unless you employ a good lawyer, this is not the case. I arrived in the UK broke, with 3 young kids, on one way tickets purchased with borrowed money, hoping to get a job in UK agriculture. Not much doubt here about my intentions. Both Jobcentre Plus, and Redbridge Housing messed us about mercilessly for 4 months. During that period all four of us slept on the floor in a very small room, and my sister was obliged to support us.
    Finally Social Services were obliged to house us, and we ended up in a tiny 3rd floor flat, with no safe play area for the kids. There was no escape from this ""prison cell"", we were stuck there for almost 12 months. By this time I was suffering form Stomach Ulcer and Severe Depression, and came close to suicide.
    About 3 months before I left the UK, Jobcentre Plus abruptly cut my Jobseekers Allowance, and so Housing Benefit was also cut, and suddenly I'm over 3,000 Pounds in debt, and no way to clear it.
    I applied for over 100 farm jobs without a single interview. The only work offered was agency (temping) which was clearly not possible with 3 young kids in tow.
    I applied for a visa for the childrens mother (cost over 400 Pounds) and it was turned down flat, without even interviewing her. My sister acted as sponsor, but to no avail, and so these bureaucrats prevented me from returning to work.
    We appealed to the Immigration Tribunal…what a crock of shit!
    Our case was dismissed by a judge of Pakistani origin.
    BRITISH IMMIGRATION failed my family in every way. They not only denied my kids access to their mother, preventing me from finding work. They have also incompetently allowed UK farm jobs to be taken over by east europeans (cheap labour) putting native Brits out of work.
    Finally, I should mention that my sister's MP is Iain Duncan Smith, who put in a valiant effort on our behalf. Without him, our abuse at the hands of Jobcentre Plus would have been even worse.

  14. Andrew Drummond

    Immigration state on what ground refusal is made. What was it in the case of the mother of your children?

  15. Andrew Drummond

    Don't understand that Joe. Isn't the Home Office right in assuming that the mother would want to be with her kids and NOT return to Thailand.

  16. Joe Stanyer

    Immigration were not convinced that the mother would return to Thailand. A pathetic response, considering the fact that my sister was sponsoring her, and would be liable for any government costs arising from an overstay.

  17. Mustava Mond

    This is what trust buys in this country, aparently. But honestly, not knowing what you are signing is simply no defense in a court of law. Not getting an independent, certified translation is inexcusable.

  18. Caruncle Snood

    Farmer Joe – I sympathise with your experience of Britain's DSS, honestly I do and despair accordingly. And I don't disbelieve a word of your account. I hope Thailand remains stable and hospitable to ex-pat Brits because many are in for a short, sharp shock should they fall back on returning to the UK and think it's the place they left behind. Things are much changed, and changing rapidly in order to to strip away and punish our spirit of adventure. And don't even think of bringing your wife back to Blighty unless she's either ""Hi-So"" or has worked in a bar – the english language test will be tougher from the Autumn, so ""what your name?"" and ""how long you stay Thailand?"" will no longer cut it. Farmer Joe has probably stolen a march on a legion of returnees destined to find themselves strangers in their own land. Good luck on mastering Thai should The Kingdom follow Britain's example and make fluency in the language a condition of stay.

  19. Andrew Drummond

    Charlie Farnsbarns: Thank you for your letter. I am not sure if it was for submission or not. If so please can you get his wife to confirm this with me

  20. Julian


    You have been most unfortunate and you have my sympathy, not all marriages are supposed to work out.

    Being in UK at the mercy of the Jobcentre and trying to get a roof over your heads and food on the table should give all the ranters about immigrants pause for thought. UK is not a nice place if you are destitute, only marginally more so if you earn a shed load of money.

    As to leases, lawyers and greed, that is what Trink used to call huMAN natURE – MANURE.

Leave a Comment