Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club Meeting of April 9, 2005

E NEWSLETTER 13 April 2005

Dear Pattaya Expats Club Members & Friends


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 16 April 2005. Supplied by Denis Laurin

Here it is, another worthy Saturday coming up at the Grand Sole Hotel, the Meeting place of the PATTAYA EXPATS CLUB. The menu will start with the our guest speaker the Unique Landlord Kim Fletcher, of the Jameson's Irish Pub open since only January of this year but already a landmark. Of course, Kim has a lot to do with it. He is a versatile and proficient talker with lots and lots of experience. He is also very active in the Pattaya Community participating in many charitable events such as the Jester's and SOS Rice. He may share some of the hilarious and comical happenings as a landlord and Host to so many.

Brian Maxey will be on holiday for the next two weeks, therefore we have none other than the matchless President of our Club, Niels Colov, who will be the M.C. To make it a memorable day, we have an encore from Khun Sombat, the associate of James Lane from the "What If" program. This Thai gentleman has a remarkable philosophy in life especially from the view point of Thai/Farang relationships. For some of you that heard him on the 2nd April then you know it is a “Must Hear Event”.

On the weekly Draw, the Jameson's Irish Pub will offer a dinner for two directly from the Landlord, Kim Fletcher.We will also have a dinner for two from the "Globetrotter" and Subway's located in Carrefour, will give us 4 vouchers for use at this great restaurant.

As usual, we will have a few surprises appearances for the benefit of YOU, the attendees. Don't miss it, bring your friends. Customary to our habit of making it the best meeting in town, we will have the pleasure of hosting a separate Thai meeting for the ladies in their own incomparable corner with all the frills included.

Cheers, see you any Saturday, but make it for the 16th April next.


As always many expats lined up for the fine buffet breakfast in the Grand Sole Hotel, as a starter for the weekly Pattaya Expats Club meeting. MC Brian Maxey asked if there were any first timers and several hands went into the air, holding the new yellow admission ticket with the expats logo, the sort of thing you want to let drop out of the pocket of your shirt with faked carelessness. Brian mentioned the great website of the club – – that contains loads of updated information, including extensive information about the visa regulations. The Expats Information bulletin was handed out again; this third version has14 pages of information about upcoming events and what’s going on in the club, and gives sponsors an extra possibility to expose themselves to the expats.

The main theme today was health insurance. First Jeff, the owner of a company called FAST, Farang Aid & Support Team, told about his bright new service, that offers immediate help to people who suddenly get hospitalised, arrested or die. By reading an e-mail, that told the story of a foreign man who was found unconscious on a Thai Soi and after a few days died, but all anybody knew was that his name was Freddy, Jeff convinced us of the value of such a service. Often enough people are taken by surprise, especially when an accident happens, and not much more than their identity is available. But information about medical background, insurance company, bank account, relatives and so on, are missing. If you subscribe to FAST, experts in the field of Thai laws and customs, they will effectively help you in these situations, which can be life saving. The people who attended the meeting could fill in a small card so Jeff will visit them next week to explain how it works. There are three service-levels ranging from 2.200 baht to 3.400 baht a year, but members get discounts and partners can join for less. FAST is not a health insurance company, although they can get you in touch with some good ones. They can also save or back up valuable documents or computer files for you. As a club sponsor FAST is also present for questions at the desks outside and next week Jeff will bring a health insurance expert who can give useful advice.

Then Monica Rottman, from the International Department at the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital (where club members get a discount), came to talk about the policy of the Thai hospitals regarding to health insurances. Especially when you have insurance in your home country, situations can get complicated. If the hospital is not sure that their aid will financially be covered, treatment will not be given. It can take valuable time to sort things out. Best is to have something on you that immediately directs the hospital to someone who can help them quickly to get the guarantee that payment will not be a problem (subscribing to FAST might be a good way to do so). Other tips, pre-register yourself in a hospital so they know your personal and medical facts, always carry the hospital card with you, and have at least one good Thai friend who they can call and who knows a lot about you. Having a bank account in Thailand can also speed up the process, as a Thai health insurance will also, but aging farangs with health problems will often be excluded. Insurances that will not pay after treatment, its Monica’s job to follow up these cases, will be banned. The International Medical Rescue (IMS) is not accepted in Thailand and US war veterans are (not yet) sure of treatment because of their status, where the active US military is.

Club President Niels Colov introduced a surprise guest, Khun Revat Phonlookin, vice-chairman of the Chonburi council. He wished us happy Songkran and thanked the expats for having chosen Chonburi province to settle down. He offered everybody his help and advice, especially people who want to start a business. He expects much economic growth when the new airport is opened and told us that we don’t have to fear that attacks, like in the southern provinces, will happen here. But that might have been expressed wishful thinking rather than an undisputable guarantee.

From the stage Niels announced yet another tremendous step forward the club will take. From some of the revenues of the club sponsors and entry tickets, in the near future a clubhouse will be funded. It will be a place where on daily basis members with their families can meet. It is hoped that there will be internet, a swimming pool and a library, a sort of place where you can feel at home.

He also announced that from now on the club will place charity boxes all through the town to collect money for people in need. He then reminded us of the Dinner with the Pattaya Police Chief on April 24 and could tell us that from next Saturday the immigration police will open the helpdesk at the meeting. There will not only be visa experts but also the labour department will be present for questions about matters like minimum wages or firing people. A great extra service.

After this Brian paid some attention to 2 National Days and taught us how Hungary shook off the communist regime to become an European democracy and Senegal shook off Gambia to be an independent state in Middle Africa, the Weekly Lucky Draw was held. A lot to win again. Mr. Roger from Haus Munchen, a nice restaurant in Naklua, Soi 18, brought vouchers for a dinner for 2. Today Andy from Subway, the shop in Carrefour that sells not only big quality sandwiches, but also breakfasts (and has a delivery service), offered free subs for the winners and last but not least 2 valuable tickets for the sensational extravaganza show of Alangkarn were won.

In the heart of the meeting as always was the Open Microphone Forum. Much information was exchanged and plenty questions were answered. Among the items: wanted services like dive watch battery replacement, a gardener, hand made shoes, and dentists. The service of private post offices in the big shopping malls, the Five Star Visa Run (on discount for members) and the 99 baht vegetarian buffet every 2nd Tuesday of the month, were recommended. The waste of water at Songkran (mainly by farangs) was discussed and valid addresses regarding to bank accounts abroad, and much more. Then time was up and the German section of the club gathered for their meeting.

Peter Visser

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 (

9 April meeting - Each Saturday just gets better & better. I don't know if we are getting better at what we do, or just the audiences getting more sophisticated, but I tend to sleep a lot Saturday evenings! Don't forget to retain the large part of your entry ticket as your proof of purchase & verification for the Lucky Draw Winner to claim the prize (please also have your membership card handy).

Ticket prices are 65 baht for members on production of a current PEC membership card (75 baht for non-members), and include the buffet and tea & coffee. There is a Bar with 'Happy Hour' prices (60 baht for Heineken, 25 baht for Chang).

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, or just help out in general. We need at least one back-up person for each of the many aspects you see at the meeting, and many more in the background. It may only be a few minutes on the day or a couple of hours during the week - please come forward. Don't let what we have stagger to a halt due to lack of 'hands', it's too good to lose!! Denis is desperate for an assistant. The people outside the meeting room need a chance to catch up on a meeting too - why not stand in for them for a day - what a nice gesture. Come on, this is our club - please help oil the wheels (email the 'Meeting Manager' Denis:

Check out our website for tips to cut your phone costs -

Bruce would like to thank all those who so generously contributed to his appeal for the 'Street Kids Home' project, and those who took the time to assist with the 'Poolparty' for those same kids.

This Newsletter is always available on our website, and separately on our 'BLOG' site (where you can also post your own articles and comments) as well as a 'direct delivery' email if you give us your contact. You can sign up for an email on our website 'home page':

The 'Open Microphone Forum' had its share of 'first-time' subjects this week. Do you know where to get a DIVER'S WATCH maintained & pressurised? Anyone know of a 'good' gardener? We always have to cut short the Q&A no matter how early we start. Come and join in!

(Please note the German speaking group will follow us at 1315)

If you attend the English speaking meeting, you are welcome to stay on for the German Language group. Your entry ticket covers both events.

We get far fewer questions relating to visas these days. Many folks comment that the website - visa section - answers many of their questions - if only you have the time to read it carefully a couple of times.

William wanted to share a soft scam that we probably have all been caught with at some time. If your house has a 'Septic Tank' waste system, emptying it can cost between 300 baht & 4,000 baht. 300 baht is the standard fee that City Hall charges to empty your tank. The other, higher, charges are the opportunists that roam the housing areas looking to score a hit. Secondly, it is unlikely that your tank will need more than 'once-a-year' emptying, unless your house is 'full' of people. Pattaya phone 038 429374, then respond to the computer by dialing extension 311.

I'm afraid a Vegetarian option is not available at the Buffet Table, and also the hotel cannot serve Decaffeinated Coffee at the meeting, although they do provide 'low-fat' & 'low-calorie' sweetener. Hot water is available for your own sachets of choice.

There is NO SMOKING anywhere in the Auditorium. There are two balconies available for smoking, private conversations, and telephone calls.

Keep the emails coming, tell us what you think of our club & it's many aspects, in it's new venue. Tell us what you like, tell us what you think is missing, tell us anything you want - always happy to know someone's listening.

Songkran starts soon! Whoopee!

Plenty of 'parking' at the Grand Solé.

Why not join us next Saturday 11:00am (1130 program start) at the Grand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road (north) (between Tops & Big C supermarkets) - introduce a friend.

Your MC, Brian. (


The Pattaya Expats Club is honoured to have the following


General Chatchai Tammaraksah, Personal General to His Majesty the King

Khunying Tidarat Tammaraksah, Assistant to Her Majesty the Queen

Khun Niran Wattanasasatorn, Mayor of Pattaya City

Khun Chanyut Hengtrakool, Member of Parliament

Pol. Col. Somnuk Changate, Superintendent of Pattaya Police Station

Khun Sansak Ngampiches, Owner of Grand Sole Hotel and senior politician in Pattaya

Khun Revat Pholookin, Senior politician in Pattaya

Khun Sanga Kitsamrej, Owner of the SK Group of companies and President of UPE

Khun Surat Mekavarakul, Owner of Mike business group

Khun Somchai Manothavorn, Advisor to the Mayor of Pattaya

Khun Sopin Theppajug, Owner of Diana Group of companies

Dr. Prasan Stianrapapongs, Specialist in Preventative Medicine at Bangkok Pattaya Hospital

Kru Yodthong Senanan, Most respected teacher of Thai Boxing

Khun Porramate Inthornchumnom, Prosecutor at Pattaya Court

Khun Paisan Bundityanon, Owner of Rabbit Resort Pattaya

Khun Suttikorn Jearpaitoon, Owner of Alangkarn Pattaya


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.

Tue-12-Apr-05 THE VEGETARIAN CLUB OF PATTAYA - 2nd Tuesday of the month 1800. Cost 99 baht. For further information call: Niels Colov: 01-8154580

Wed-13-Apr-05 Songkran - Thailand's traditional New Year 'cleaning festival'

Fri-22-Apr-05 International Earth Day: April 22

Sat-23-Apr-05 St George Day - England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice

Mon-25-Apr-05 Australia's ANZAC Remembrance Day

Sun-01-May-05 Visakha Bucha. Important Buddhist festival - Thailand

Sun-01-May-05 Labour day - worldwide

Mon-02-May-05substitute Labour Day - worldwide

Thu-05-May-05 Coronation Day - Thailand

Sat-07-May-05 Royal Ploughing day

Sun-08-May-05 Mother's Day: Sunday, May 8

Tue-17-May-05 Norway's National day & Children's day

Sun-22-May-05 Visakha Bucha Day Public Holiday - important Buddha day

Mon-23-May-05 substitute Vasakha Bucha day

Mon-30-May-05 UK Public Holiday

Mon-30-May-05 USA Memorial Day

Tue-31-May-05 Earliest sunrise in Pattaya for the year


Saturday - The Pattaya Expats Club - meet every Saturday morning 11:00am (start 11:30), at the "Grand Solé Hotel" (in the Teppraya Room, up on the Mezzanine level), 370 Pattaya 2nd Road (north), near the Tourist Police office. PEC information call (in Thailand) 0 1815 4580.

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). Contact: 018154580.

Monday - Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) Special meeting for 'newcomers' 4th Monday of each month. Contact Patricia Cromwell email

Monday - Pattaya Bridge Club. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 13.00 pm Diana Inn, Second Road, between Soi 11 and 12. Contact

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

Tuesday - Lions Club of Naklua Pattaya, meet Green Park Hotel 4th Tuesday of the month. Contact Sathawat Senapan 038222288

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 Wednesday 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. Contact Yongwith Kiewthong 038249162

Thursday - Lions Club of Phratamnak meet each 2nd Thursday of the month at A-One Cruise hotel. Contact Surat Permwallop 038421782

Thursday - Computer Club meet at DCO shop Central Road 1600. Contact email

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 1900 at Soi Skaw Beach. Call Jim 038303285, Craig 019967852, Tony 068403055, Hanns 019849501, Christain (German) 018634581

Every Day - Pattaya Sports Club meets at 3rd Road clubhouse every day 0900-1800. Contact 038361167.

Nordic Society Pattaya - all Nordic citizens welcome. Contact Ingemar 098244997.

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 WEDNESDAY12 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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