Jason Schoonover—writer, adventurer, expedition leader, ethnologist, archaeologist, paleontologist, canoeist, naturalist, photographer and Fellow Emeritus, Stefansson Medalist, Citation of Merit awardee, and on the Honor Roll of the prestigious Explorers Club—was brought up on farms, and in villages and small towns in Saskatchewan, Canada, and cities like Saskatoon and Vancouver. This explains why he feels equally at home canoeing in the remote north of his homeland, one of his passions, and living in mega-cities like Bangkok. Following university (Burnaby’s Simon Fraser, English and History, 1970), he launched a multi-media career as a disk jockey, and expanded into writing, directing and producing in radio, TV, stage, newspapers and magazines, including stints as a columnist. His largest stage production was writing, directing and producing Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 80th birthday party gala in 1975, an extravaganza involving over 300 performers and personnel. He founded Schoonover Properties and invested everything in Saskatoon real estate.
Since 1977, he’s been gainfully unemployed and began traveling in earnest. On his first solo around the world in 1978-79, stringing travel to Canadian and U.S. dailies, he discovered a fascinating career in South and South East Asia—anthropological collecting for museums. He moved to Bangkok in 1982. This exciting lifestyle led to the hardcover publication in 1988 of his first adventure-thriller, The Bangkok Collection, which became the Bantam international bestselling paperback Thai Gold the following year.
Since then his curiosity has led him into more interesting nooks. He’s been team leader on several 17-18 member dinosaur bone prospecting expeditions in Alberta with renowned paleontologist Phil Currie as his Field Leader—one of which resulted in a major find; dug in Thai caves for Paleo and Neolithic tools resulting in the building of a museum; led numerous canoe expeditions with Capt. Norm Baker, Thor Heyerdahl’s First Mate on the Ra voyages across the Atlantic, as his own First Mate; fixed shoots for Les “Survivorman” Stroud; and explored Thailand’s abandoned WW-II River Kwai Death Railway with Sir Rodney Beattie. He’s also been charged by a bull elephant, dived on shipwrecks and been around the world several times.
His consort, the Imperial Dragon Lady Madame Su Hattori, has kindly been enduring the unendurable since 1988. They split their year between Bangkok and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. You can guess which seasons they spend where.