A simple model is proposed for the buckling and coiling instability of a viscous "fluid rope" falling on a plane. By regarding a fluid rope as a one-dimensional flow, this model accounts for only the axial and shared viscous forces. Our model successfully reproduces several experiments with no adjustable parameters, such as the existence of three distinct coiling regimes reported in Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 214502 (2004). Our model allows for the discussion of unsteady motion. An expression for the critical fall height at which the coiling frequency changes from a decrease to increase was phenomenologically derived. It was found that the coil-uncoil transition shows remarkable hysteresis only for weak gravity condition.