Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pattaya Expats Newsletter March 17, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club. Est.2001

Founder of Association of Thailand Expats Clubs (A.T.E.C)

E NEWSLETTER 17 March 2005

Dear Pattaya Expats Club Members & Friends

19 March 2005.

For all Pattaya’s Expats, come and join us at our new venue at THE GRAND SOLE HOTEL,
Second Road, Pattaya. (Mid-way between Central Road and North Road, on the right hand side going towards the Dolphin roundabout.

GUEST SPEAKERS LINE UP 19 March 2005. Supplied by Denis Laurin. This Saturday, we have the
pleasure of having Mr. Barry Kenyon as a guest speaker. Barry is Honorary Consular Officer of the British
Embassy in
Bangkok. As such, he has been for the last 8 years a helping hand to the British Community in greater
Pattaya. He provides assistance and services to those who are either hospitalised, have committed criminal
offences, or whenever in distress. He will talk to us about the different aspects of his functions in is own
humorous style. It's also a good eye opener to all of us concerning the service provided by most Embassies
and gives us important points to remember
Don't forget our weekly draw. This week we will have a lucky winner of a dinner for two at the famous 
Art Café, in Naklua in Soi 16.
Don't miss your chance.

Cheers see you Saturday.


It was another full-house as 135 people visited the Grand Sole hotel for this week’s Pattaya Expats Club-meeting, among them both founders of the club Peter Mills & Preben Hansen. While today extra seats needed to be carried in yet again, Pete took us back to the early days in the Sportsman Inn, where one table was sufficient. He told us it was gratifying to see how big the club has become (today again 15 new club-members signed in) and informed us about the loads of e-mails the club receives and that already 2000 e-newsletters are send to all corners of the world.

This month’s guest speaker from the Pattaya-Bangkok hospital was the praised eye surgeon, Dr Somchai. His lecture focused on the super sight surgery. Supported by professional animations on a big screen, which sometimes made you feel like lying in the surgery-room already, he splendidly explained to us how to get rid of glasses or contact lenses forever. The multifocal lens exchange is a painless, immediately functioning, eye-surgery with very little risks. You get hospitalized for only one night and it takes 30 minutes of operation for each eye. Usually this surgery costs 180.000 baht (for both eyes, which is recommended), but till the end of April 2005 the Bangkok-Pattaya hospital offers this treatment for only 135.000 baht. They will also provide after-care to cope with possible side effects. An examination, to find out if this surgery is suitable, costs 1000 baht. Dr Somchai answered various questions of the very interested crowd and mentioned that 30 Swedish successfully underwent this surgery by him, as did meeting-manager Dennis, who is highly satisfied with the result. Khun Somchai got a well deserved big hand for his eye-opener.

The very useful legal handbook (in English or Dutch) of house-lawyer Khun Ponthep, about foreign ownership and marriage with a Thai, will now also be translated in German by a member of the club and a French version is about to follow. The book is available at the meeting for 200 baht; 50 baht for the expenses and 150 baht for the club, which therefore will be used for charity.

The German member who will translate the legal handbook got immediately rewarded by Lady Luck and won the weekly free lucky draw. The prize was a dinner for 2 at Patrick’s Belgian restaurant in the Central Shopping Arcade next to Soi Diana Inn, at the opposite of the Second Road-entrance of Mike shopping mall. Patrick serves delicious frites and other Belgian treats but also all kinds of great European and Thai food in a pleasant atmosphere.

As the Grand Sole doesn’t host us for free, we’re looking for sponsors who, in return, can promote their business. For now John and Linda of the Dok Krai Lakeside Resort helped us out. John informed us about the resort, 45 minutes out of Pattaya, an ideal hideaway in the countryside to escape the city-life. It is located close to the Dok Krai Reservoir-Lake, but has also a big swimming pool. A great place to dine, swim, croquet, walk, bike or fish. He offers us the first night for only 500 baht. Call him for taxi service (06-8387841). There’s also a party/conference venue.

The spouses came! For the first time, after breakfast, there was a separate get-together for the spouses and quite a few ladies did join. Khun Ajarn Adisak, from the Jittapaew Buddhist College (Sukhumvit Road Banglamung) was there and will be present next week. He teaches all kind of things, ranging from painting, cooking, flower-art and cosmetics to mechanics. So ladies, do come!

Long time expat Bruce asked the members to support a charity-activity for children in need. In relation to that on March 28 there will be a pool-party at the Jomtien Condominium Complex. All kids will undergo eye-examination and - as super sight surgery is too expensive- glasses or contact lenses will eventually be bought for them. Call 09-2934847(Bruce) or 06-8244701(a German friend).

After Niels told us that the immigration police will open a satellite-office at the Pattaya-Bangkok hospital on March 23, the open microphone forum started. This corresponds to the very heart and soul of the club, expats helping expats. As always there were many questions about visa-policy and Brian again proved his knowledge. But there were also questions about property owning, residence permits, taxes and even speedboats. Finally we got some language-lessons and learned how to pronounce Pattaya and Jimmy Carter properly, while another member won a t-shirt because he knew the Thai word for ID-card. Great day again, join us next week.

OUR CLUBHOUSE THAI LAWYER….Pattaya lawyer Khun Ponthep Werachon is a Board Member of Pattaya Expats Club, and attends regularly in the Saturday Club Meetings to give advice and answer general questions on Law. Khun Ponthep also appears on the weekly news programme “Legal Vision” on Pattaya People Television on Sophon Cable TV and has valuable information about Thailand’s laws.


WEEKLY EMCEE Hi, I'm Brian Maxey

~ 12 March meeting - It's getting to feel like 'Home' now, this 'function room' up on the mezzanine floor of the Grand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road (north), and what a nice home!

~ Dr Somchai of the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital gave a superb presentation on eye surgery. It is more fully covered in the article by our new 'volunteer contributor' Peter Visser.


Bangkok Pattaya hospital, - Tel. (038) 259936,

Email address :

Doctor Somchai has his own website:

~ If you feel you would like to offer your services and 'volunteer' to assist our Club in any way you choose, please tell us what you feel you could offer. We need at least a second person for each of the many aspects you see at the meeting, and many more in the background. It may only be a couple of hours a week - please come forward.

Right now we are looking for a couple of people to fill/share the MC slot while I go on holiday.

~ I wanted to mention all those who sit out in the foyer area and make our day easier - the membership folks, the ticket issuers, the VIP meet & greet people, those who guard, etc. They regularly give up their social meeting for the sake of running the club. Unpaid, and often un-thanked, but mostly un-sung!

our thanks to each and every one of you - you must wonder sometimes if it's all worth it. It is, believe me - you make us successful.

~ Dtac mobile phone operator is offering a 'promotional discount'. From now until the end of December 2005, you can take advantage of around 1baht/min anywhere in Thailand. If you have Dtac, or Dprompt, or Happy sim, dial *1003 and follow the instructions. I did it, it works. It's also handy to top-up your time with this carrier from an ATM or via internet-banking. Again a promotion exists - 900 baht of time for 800 baht cost. It's getting better!

~ I've just returned from the annual trip to renew the car windshield discs out behind the School of the Regents. A numbered arrival system + full computerised printing allowed for an 11 minute complete process - great. Upstairs still looked crowded though!

~ Khun Ponthep Werachon (our own Legal Professional) sold out AGAIN of his excellent brochure of advice on 'Expat Ownership' - & - 'Expat Husbands'. Just 200 baht per copy - available in English or Dutch (and soon in German or French) this represents excellent value, and after a 50 baht deduction for expenses, the proceeds go to the club's charity recipients. Available at the meeting, or from his office - 200 baht. Ponthep's office in Pattaya 038 300967.

~ Is Roger Speranza still in Pattaya? (email from a member in California) Roger Speranza used to live in California but later moved to Pattaya Beach. This was roughly 7 years ago. We thought Roger had bought the Las Vegas Club (?). A few years later an email said 'look me up when next in Thailand'. Do you know Roger Speranza? My name is Thadd Coates, I live in Oklahoma. If you do please give him this message, or, if you have an email address for him, would you be kind enough return it? Thanks. Best regards, Thadd Coates Afton, Oklahoma USA. Email to: or

~ The Bangkok Pattaya Hospital staff were on hand to support Dr Somchai, and brought with them many brochures on the various procedures. We hope to see you all on 23 March for the opening of the new Immigration Office in the hospital complex. This is a new initiative by the Immigration Office (Soi 8).

On the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each Month (starting 23 March) they will open an office for visa extensions. This service is advertised as available for Out Patient, In Patient, Care relatives, Pregnant women, new birth Moms, AND THE RETIRED. Office hours are initially 1pm - 2pm, but will be adjusted according to demand.

~ Michael Catalanello of Asian University sent an email of thanks for our canvassing for help with his psychology requirement for certification in USA. He was contacted by a few members and suitable candidates were found. Always happy to help, Michael.

~ This Newsletter is always available on our website, and is also available as a 'BLOG' on which you can access direct.

~ The Club's 'Chat Forum' link is: you will need to set up a username the first time you visit, but the forum is an excellent place to 'talk' to people worldwide about anything you want to know - try it.

~ The 'Open Microphone Forum' each Saturday is sometimes criticised by 'old timers' as boring. "We've heard it all before." they say. Well, isn't that just what the 'open forum' is supposed to be about? New-comers, who haven't heard it all before, know they can come to ask ANY questions. I just hope they don't find us 'old timers' boring too. We can usually find someone who has 'been there - done that' to provide the answer. If you cannot attend the meetings why not try our 'website-forum' - same idea. ( or via the website. You can always email me direct - see above for email address.

~ Liverpool Consulate (UK) no longer issues the relatively new O-A visa. All UK consulates now point you in the direction of the London Thai Embassy. However, the very popular 'Multi-entry O visa' is still offered by all UK Consuls, as before.

~ If you don't know what your passport 'stamps' say, you could be in for a 'shock' when asked to show it to an Immigration Officer. Please check your passport today - better to be 'shocked' in private, than down at the precinct house. Do not overstay, it WILL be very uncomfortable between the time you are arrested, and deported. If you cannot figure out what it says, bring it to the next meeting & we will try to decipher.

~ A brief explanation of the rules for entry to the meeting room. No smoking in the room. There are two balconies available for you to smoke. Entry to the meeting is by buffet ticket.

The various tickets available are: - YELLOW ticket for Full Breakfast or Thai Lunch 75 baht - PINK ticket for Light Snack 50 baht. There is a 10 baht discount for either ticket if you can produce a current PEC membership card. Tea & coffee is available as part of the meal. A bar is on hand with 'Happy Hour' prices (60 baht for a small Heineken, 25 baht for a small Chang).

A BLUE ticket is occasionally offered to current members when a 'free lucky draw' is available.

~ Keep the emails coming, tell us what you think of our club in it's new venue, tell us what you like, tell us what you think is missing, always happy to know someone's listening.

~ Plenty of 'parking' at the new venue.

~ See you next Saturday 11:00am (1130 program start) at the Grand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road (north) (between Central Road & Big C) - introduce a friend.


One of our members has offered his help:

The What If Helpline is here to support you in times of difficulty.

If you are at the end of your tether and need to talk. CALL NOW!!

If you are just feeling: Frustrated, Confused, Worried or Angry. CALL NOW!!

If you have relationship issues that need dealing with. CALL NOW!!

If you want to learn how to make better life choices. CALL NOW!!

If you want your children to learn how to make better life choices.

Don’t leave it until it’s too late!! CALL NOW!!

Talk to James Lane in complete confidence.

Call the helpline between 11am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Helpline number 01 398 7346.

Email: James Lane



The Pattaya Expats Club is honoured to have the following


General Chatchai Tammaraksah,

Personal General to His Majesty King;

Khunying Tidarat Tammaraksah,

Assistant to Her Majesty the Queen;

Khun Niran Wattanasasatorn,

Mayor of Pattaya City

Khun Somchai Manothavorn,

Advisor to the Mayor of Pattaya

Khun Sansak Ngampiches,

Advisor to the Minister of Tourism & Sports.

Khun Poramate Inthornchumnom

Chief Prosecutor of Pattaya Court

Khun Sanga Kitsamrej,

Owner of the SK Group of companies and President of SOS Rice.

Khun Surat Mekavarakul,

Owner of Mike business group.

Khun Sopin Theppajug,

Owner of Diana Group of companies.

Khun Paisan Bundityanond

Founding President of the Real Estate Brokers Association of Thailand and owner of the Rabbit Resort in Jomtien

Dr. Prasan Stianrapapongs,

Specialist in Preventative Medicine at Bangkok and Pattaya Hospital

Kru Yodthong Senanan,

Most respected teacher of Thai Boxing in Thailand


Club President & CEO, Niels Colov

Club Founder & Web-Master, Pete Mills.

Honorary Co-Founder, Preben Hansen

Club Vice Presidents, Pete Mills & Richard Ravensdale

Club Secretary (Memberships & Speakers), Denis Laurin

Board Secretary & Newsletter Editor, Bernard Leach

Club Treasurers, Michael Mayne & Paul Sinclair.

Board Members – Herman van Gucht, William Hurndell, Colin de Jong, Brian Maxey, Peter B. Piedferme, Khun Ponthep Werachon, and Khun Laddawan Yingyong.


F. Moret, M. Withers

Here is a calendar of World Events.

~ Sun-27-Mar-05 UK BST - British Summer Time starts

~ Sun-27-Mar-05 Easter Sunday

~ Sun-03-Apr-05 US DST - Daylight Saving Time starts

~ Wed-06-Apr-05 Chakri day - festival for King Rama 5 Thailand

~ Fri-08-Apr-05 Total Solar Eclipse

~ Wed-13-Apr-05 Songkran festival starts - and goes on & on! - Thailand

~ Fri-22-Apr-05 International Earth Day

~ Sat-23-Apr-05 Passover (Begins at Sundown*) - Jewish holiday

~ Sun-24-Apr-05 Penumbral Lunar eclipse



Saturday - The Pattaya Expats Club - meet at The Grand Sole Hotel each week at 11.30

Saturday - UK Club of Pattaya meet each week at a different location at 1:00pm (1300). Call 038-426098 for venue

Saturday - The PRILL (a classical music trio) will be performing in the Lobby of the Bangkok/Pattaya Hospital 10:30am to mid-day (1030-1200). Performances every 1st Saturday of the month in the Lobby.

Saturday - Free Masons, Lodge Pattaya West Winds. Every 2nd Sat of the month. Call Jon Morgan 012999574

Sunday - The Scandinavian Expats of Pattaya - meet at Soi 4 Tower Condo every second Sun. Call John 015236080 or Per 070833834.

Monday - Rotary Club of Pattaya - meet at Town in Town hotel each Monday from 7:00pm (1900)

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 13.00 pm

Diana Inn, Second Road, between Soi 11 and 12

Tuesday - Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) Morning coffee meeting every 3rd Tuesday of the month. Also PILC Lunch meeting every 1st Tuesday of the month. Special meeting for 'newcomers' 4th Monday of each month. Contact Patricia Cromwell for locations and speakers, or email

Wednesday - Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, Royal Cliff Grand from 1830. Call Judy Hoppe 099302004

Wednesday - Lions Club of Jomtien - meet at Town in Town hotel each 2nd Wed of the month. Call Peter 038303072.

Thursday - Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya meet each week at Woodlands Resort 1900. Email

Thursday - Lions Club of Pattaya meet each 3rd Thursday of the month at A-One Cruise hotel.

Friday - Dutch Expats Club meet last Fri of every month at Sea Breeze Hotel Jomtien Beach Road (near Soi 10), email

Friday Night - The Pattaya Motorcycle Club meets at the "Old Speckled Hen" pub, Soi 9, Jomtien Beach from 8 p.m. Meet new friends and enjoy "Bike Club Happy Hours" 8 till 10 with 10 baht off all beers and soft drinks and 15 baht off all spirits. New runs to be organized from day trips to the beach to 2, 3 or 4 day tours to?? Contact Martin 09 9909342 or Az 09 9356011

Every Day - Alcoholics Anonymous meet every day of the week to help. Call Jim 038303285, Craig 019967852, Tony 068403055, Hanns 019849501, Christain (German) 018634581

CONTACTS & CONTRIBUTIONS to our weekly E NEWSLETTER. Bernard Leach is the editor of our Club Newsletter, members with NEWS OR ANNOUNCEMENTS should email in by Wednesday 12 noon at Club Members seeking advice on practical topics such as Visas, work permits or services needed, please send an email direct to our MC and Open Microphone Forum specialist Brian Maxey at If Brian cannot answer your question from his own knowledge of Pattaya he'll forward on to someone who can. Member's emails on club business and policy issues please send to either Club President, Niels Colov Club Founder & Vice President Pete Mills on or Vice President Richard Ravensdale

ADVANCE SPEAKERS PROGRAMME. Please think of offering the Club a speaker of your choice on a theme you think members may find interesting. Contact Pattaya Expats Club Secretary, Denis Laurin with the details.

MEMBERSHIP CARDS. We produce our Club's laminated photo ID cards in just a few minutes at the same Saturday meeting in which you join or renew your membership. So if you are a past Pattaya Expats Club member and you can bring in a past ID card with the words 'Pattaya Expats Club' on you will get a new membership FREE of charge to expire 31 Dec 2005. The cards identify our members to staff at many shops and businesses around Pattaya where Club Members can claim our discounts. There are two membership options one expiring 31 December 2005 for 150 Baht or a Life Membership for 600 Baht. To get a new card please bring in two small driving licence style photos and see Paul Sinclair, Michael Mayne or Denis Laurin

PATTAYA EXPATS CLUB ….ON SOPHON CABLE TV. 5 times per day. Watch Club news during the week. President of the Club, Niels Colov, who is the Chief Executive of 'Pattaya People News Channel' on Sophon Cable, Pattaya City's cable TV operator, has very kindly provided a regular segment of each show, devoted to Pattaya Expats Club news. This is a wonderful regular 'free gift' to our Club of highly valuable TV time! This is a 60 minute local News bulletin five times per day at the following times:
On Cable Channel 5 showing at 0800 hrs and 1200 noon
On cable Channel 2 at 1600hrs and 2400 midnight
Plus peak evening bulletin at 2000hrs on Cable Channel 4.
(These are the channels which show English language movies on Sophon Cable.)

Best Regards to all

From Pattaya Expats Club


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