I have been to Thailand several time even before that, and although I have seen his flag and photo, I paid no attention as we Indonesians has the photo of our President (Suharto) at the time every where.
Fast forward, after being here for a long time (10+ years), I slowly realized what good he had done for the country. Planning for natural defenses against disasters, planning for green energy, focusing on the well-being of the people, of course, there are other things which obstruct his plans such as people wanting power and those who tried to use his influence for their own right.
As an expat living in Thailand, I do regret not knowing who he was nor do I have the chance to meet him personally. His Highness is a great King.
Talented ever since early young age, he had done researches on many things that would later benefits the Thais. He became a Fatherly figure to most of Thais, and with all great respects, had contributed a lot to farming. He personally visited and stopped the opium production at the Northern Thailand Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Sod and Lampang. This causes significant chance in the area, no more opium production.
He has grown very old, very ill over the long decades. His son and families were in a power struggle while the King himself tried maintaining balance and being "passive."
It's for the many reason why the Thais loves him deeply.
The West spread false propaganda that he holds the Kingdom's riches, where else that is false. Microsoft's overall value isnt Bill Gate's. Bershire Hathaway isnt entirely Buffett's, and so is Facebook does not equal to Mark Zuckerberg. His Highness's riches does not equal to his National Treasuries. His Highness himself is not a spendthrift. His people knows better, yet it's funny how the Western media and some of them thinks that they know best.
This is sad, but his legacy will crumble throughout the new generation. There are too many false propaganda from the West. There are people in Thailand who would like to seize power themselves, and whoever reign next would require great charm to preserve the country.
Seizhin expresses my deepest condolences.