Patreon Reboot + SubscribeStar

The morning view at home. The temple is in honor and remembrance of family who have passed on. I think that’s wonderful. It’s treated by all with reverence and respect.

In November of 2003 I started this blog, named a few different names until settling on its current inception since the Paleo-Diet days of 2008 and onward. In total, as of 2020, I’ve published 5,000 posts and readers have submitted 120,000 comments.

My Patreon page—DigiCash—began in mid-2017 in order to teach the intricacies of getting into crypto: buying, trading, and safeguarding. But by early 2018 I felt like that task was complete and I didn’t wish to continually publish posts with no real value—I can’t fake it, especially if getting paid directly. Ironically, Bitcoin had just hit an end-of-year high of around $20,000 that has yet to be revisited. Had it continued, I likely would have stuck with it and who knows where I’d be.

My position on crypto is pretty simple, now: I buy and hold only Bitcoin. I liquidated all of my ~50 altcoins for Bitcoin—mostly at substantial losses—in early 2020 and I’ve never sold a bit of it. End of story. And I’ve done well, having made a substantial buy when it “crashed” to about $4,000 in mid-March (now at about $12,000).

The Patreon presence has remained mostly idle for a long time and attrited itself. Here’s how it looks, for the sake of transparency.

So…I get this totally wild-ass idea in September, 2017, whilst sitting outside on the deck at my mountain abode in the Sierras. Indian summer at 4,500 feet. Delightful, but with the knowledge that fall comes fast and furious at that elevation and you’ll soon be cold and colder.

I already knew a good bit about crypto, both the theory and the technology. I first bought Bitcoin in 2014 at $618 a pop. Plus, I’d run a company in the financial space and was an options trader for a time. I quite literally got up to speed in an afternoon, even learning about altcoins (everything but Bitcoin, though no one cares to admit that) and which handful of them were the better bets—if you hold them at all.

Within hours, I’m tapping at the keyboard and produced this: YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO JUMP INTO CRYPTOCURRENCY, which doubled as my Patreon sales pitch (there’s a new pitch, now, but don’t head over just yet). I set one single subscription level: $5 per month for the whole enchilada. And I immediately began getting subscribers, over 20 in the first 24-hours. Beatrice was amazed. And it continued. Most amazing was reaching 200 subscribers by the end of October was just the beginning and subscription growth accelerated so that by the end of December, I had 565 subscribers for monthly income of $2,825, less Patreon’s small cut and minimal transaction fees.

I’ve put up only 26 posts since January 1, 2018, to now. Patrons were very good to me about it. Of course, the long-tail down began in January, the same month Beatrice and I split up, so I had two things working against my amazing bouts of enthusiasm-driven productivity and stand-out effectiveness. But I never promised to kick it back on in earnest and I never induced anyone to stay. Out of all 565 Patrons, exactly two asked for refunds of $10, which, of course, I readily granted. Many contacted me to apologize for canceling, and a number of others contacted me to say they’d keep the pledge active because of all the stuff I’ve delivered over the years.

I’ve got the fewest haters of anyone on the net—in fact, I can think of only one hater-stalker who’s still trying, after all these years, to get a comment past moderation on this blog. In reality, he’s my biggest “fan.”

There’s not much to do here in rural Isan—Sisaket Province, Khukhan District, Sano Subdistrict. No movie theaters, no substantial nice restaurants —tiny bamboo-shack-tin-roof Mom & Pop noodle and soup houses are the norm)—no shopping centers, sports arenas, fast food, pizza parlors, bars, night clubs, or any of the hosts of consumption-paraphernalia we in the urban and suburban West have come to seek as replacement for natural boredom. Until, that is, you realize that boredom is simply willful shallowness.

Boredom, in effect, is one emotional response emanating from reliance on pleasure. The problem is that our lizard brains don’t not know the difference between easy pleasure (junk food, booze, smokes, video games, Netflix bingeing, promiscuity, etc.) and hard pleasure (focussed work, shouldering responsibility, building, planning, executing, managing, cultivating love and relationships, etc.). The former is made possible by personal dishonesty and laziness while the latter, discipline, thought, and control.

During the 2 1/2 months of the home build, activity was constant and progress hard-won every day. Workers needed materials, and materials needed to be sourced for the best deals, purchased, and then delivered on-time to avoid idle time—and funds were coming from US bank accounts and the US banking system is the slowest, most archaic, most over-regulated, most crony-vermin infested banking system in the world; but I digress, and will leave it to future posts in comparisons and contrasts.

…Seven days a week, 10-12 hour days.

Finishing it up left a void, of course, and it took a while to work out what I really wanted to do next. Plus, the kids started back at school so suddenly, no workers making beautiful music, no neighborhood children creating joy through just being children at play, on display. I also stopped drinking altogether and am quite past the point of any return. And things just started falling into place and clicking as if to signal locked in, not locked down.

I’m going to revive Patreon again. The Reboot. And this time, with a SubscribeStar “mirror” option. That is, both creator sites identical down to the last bit of punctuation. Why?

  1. Some people hate Patreon, and for good reason
  2. Patreon is your typical pip-squeak and clown-run tech operation with its amusing “woke” leftist bias, strutting its “virtue” through the censorship of ideas and opinions that make them cry. I’m a #NSFSJW phenomenon, so it’s possible the commissars come for me one day

I realize how ill suited I was to do a specific thing like crypto when it’s easy to see that my biggest “shortcoming”—that I can’t devote an entire life to one single special little thing—is also my greatest asset—that I can’t devote an entire life, or even a year, to one special little thing. I have to be free to roam. Free the animal. And even inside the diet and health sphere, I always bounced around from one thing to the next and even still, managed to integrate lots of other interests into my daily posts (flying, music, philosophy, religion, travel, camping, and so on…).

I tried to think a lot about what differentiates me from most others. The foregoing is one thing: there’s almost nobody who can do such wide-scope-general, dot-connecting, synthesizing-and-integrating like I can. It’s just the truth. The other thing is that I so often like to frame what I write in stories, usually personal ones. Doing this makes lots of bloggers—really, website writers—uncomfortable and they seem awkward when they try.

So, you can get dry and stale “facts” and “commentary” in a million places. I maintain the original, true spirit of a blog: it’s about me and how others might learn from airing my laundry (clean, dirty, stylish, or mundane) within the context of lessons worth learning—successes and failures.

Plus, I’m now an expat living permanently in deep rural Thailand with a million story lessons already. Thus, the tagline:

Stories of an American expat living in deep rural Thailand

How exotic is that?

How’s it going to work, since both creator pages are about this blog? Well, simply, early access and live action. With each post I write, I’ll subjectively decide when they go public here on FTA, probably in increments of 1 week to 1 month for the really good stuff. That goes for podcasts and videos, and i intend to do a minimum of 2 of each per month.

So, it all started today, the first subscriber post, available immediately. In 2 weeks, it will be published here. So, that’s basically how things will work. i have zero issue with anyone who doesn’t mine waiting and they’ll eventually get everything. So, I’m selling ealy access is all (except for the top 2 limited subscription tiers involving one-on-one communication and formal consulting).

I’ll bet you want to read that right now!

My own on-the-scene expat photos, stories, podcasts, and video adventures, currently from exotic Thailand

Or, if you prefer, here’s the SubscribeStar mirror site

There are reasons some shouldn’t subscribe.

  1. If you don’t really like my stuff; we won’t get along

That’s about all. Except for one final note. I understand it can appear as though given my previous iteration, my trustworthiness is questionable. Valid critique. The problem in the context of the time was that I fully expected to be firing back up, and I did put up posts occasionally. Now crypto is on the move again, so why not fire back up, now? Because I accomplished what I wanted: to teach a lot of people how to get it, encourage them to keep it, and insist they safeguard it. I have nothing more to sell and if new folks want to learn that, all those crypto posts are still available on the Patreon site.

Crypto was very specialized and I’m the furthest thing from a specialist. but I am a producer of stories, insights, lesons, and integrations that run the gamut of the human experience.

And I’m good at it.

And I have a passion for it.

That’s why this blog has 5,000 posts. About just about everything.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Dave on August 17, 2020 at 11:33

    Have always loved your storytelling, which is why I’ve subscribed again.

    Just keep being you. Warts and all.

  2. JD on August 17, 2020 at 14:52

    Have you considered as your platform? Dave Rubin built it out to be a safe haven for those who might otherwise be targeted by vindictive SJWs (but I repeat myself).

    • Richard Nikoley on August 17, 2020 at 15:49

      Thanks for reminding me. I did look at that once, and yea, Dave Rubin is excellent. I love it when a leftie gets a brain like that and turns on his own. The most effective kind for making people feel stupid, which is absolutely essential for transformation.

      I’ll check it out.

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