Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club Newsletter June 15, 2005


For all Pattaya's Expats, come and join us at our new venue at THEGRAND SOLE HOTEL, Second Road, Pattaya. (Mid-way between CentralRoad and North Road, on the right hand side, going towards theDolphin roundabout.


On Saturday 2 July 2005 at 11.00 am. The Pattaya Expats Club weeklymeeting will be in this theme to honour the American IndependenceDay. Many interesting activities will take place but you will notmiss the popular Open Forum and all the other valuable informationof our regular weekly Saturday meeting.

Planned Club Meeting Programme for June 18, 2005

This coming Saturday our meeting has a travel & tourism theme. Ourlong booked main speaker was to be the Director of the TourismAuthority of Thailand for the eastern seaboard region but he hasbeen called away for a visit to China and we now hope to featurehim in a slot at the end of July. Stepping in at short notice, Asian 'adventure' tours will be thefocus with a colour slide show on the Himalaya's. This featuresNepal treks around Annapurna, Lhasa, the mysterious capital ofTibet and the Dalai Lama's Indian home in exile.

Our speaker will be Richard Ravensdale who has been a mountainguide and a UK tour company owner for 30 years. The focus is on howtourists can put back something worthwhile into the country theyvisit, by active participation in small aid programmes. Richard, now retired from business, has Chaired an Internationalaid project assisting refugees, called Trek Aid, for 12 years. Heis an award winning photographer with solo museum exhibitions ofhis Himalayan work in San Francisco, New York and the BritishMuseum in London. So this will be a travel theme you will neverforget. It also includes a film clip of the world's mostspectacular mountain flight - around Mt Everest - with UN SecretaryGeneral Kofe Anan, amongst those 'doing' Everest.

The upper foyer has a large take-away information centre withleaflets on many services available in Pattaya. Also, one on one advice is normally available with Khun Ponthep onlaw queries, Peter from Immigration on visa questions, Dr Lim onnutrition, complimentary therapies and diagnostic testing, SteveDickens for computer questions, Geoff Paxton of FAST, Peter Smithon Insurances, and Board member Peter B on club charities.

This week our MC Brian Maxey will host an extended open mic forumfor your questions on life in Pattaya, as last weeks packedprogramme of three feature items ran late. Club Members - please contact me to suggest guest speakers for ourprogramme. My mobile is 04-135 7010 or email We have vacant dates after 20 August.Richard Ravensdale

Report on our last Meeting of June 11, 2005

An inspirational presentation by a Doctor about living healthilyuntil you are 100 years of age, advice from our in housephilosopher on how to make Thai friends with just 1 baht and eyeopening legal advice from our in house lawyer on the consequencesof causing an accident.

Quite a few newcomers again as MC Brian Maxey welcomed the packedhouse and invited them to join the boat trip to Koh Larn on June15. This has been organized by our Club to raise funds for HEARTT2000, helping aids victims. Brian recommended the book "Living and working in Bangkok",covering important expat issues, and another useful book, withdetailed maps, is "Living in Pattaya & Rayong", by the PattayaInternational Ladies Club (PILC).

Meeting Manager and Vice President Richard Ravensdale mentioned the services outside the Meeting Room where you can consult insurance,computer and real estate experts, an alternative therapist will be present on August 6, to talk about his new novel. Then a very interesting Open Forum Special entered the programme asRichard mentioned an article in a local newspaper about a farangwho is in serious trouble after having a traffic accident. He must appear in court and faces imprisonment and deportation. In house lawyer Khun Ponthep Werachon shone his light on situations like this. Besides a valid driving license you need third party insurance, which will cover up to 50,000 baht of caused damage. Ifyou rent a vehicle, Thai law forces the company to obtain thisinsurance. When an accident happens you had better consult a lawyer. Often you can come to a financial agreement with the other party. You only face criminal charges when the other party has serious injuries, which means hospitalisation for over 20 days. Financial agreements however normally cause the judges to rule mildly. KhunPonthep also explained that police are not allowed to hold yourpassport, but sometimes do so to keep you from leaving the country.When in jail, police should give you the opportunity to contact a lawyer.You will probably be detained for overstaying your visa, but not charged.

Richard then - on behalf of the Pattaya Expats Club - presented a well deserved thank you gift to Bernard Leach who will be leaving the Board of the PEC. For over a year he was the Board Secretary and later also the editor of the popular newsletter. In his speechBernard said that the club must be doing something right, asattendance has grown from 30 people in the Green Tree Restaurant to a full house at the Grand Sole Hotel.

Only 2 weeks ago an anti aging research scientist told us how to stay young forever. Today, Doctor Alongkorn Chutinan from theBangkok Pattaya Hospital, gave an inspirational presentation called How to live long and healthy to 100 Years. Seems like the friendly folks of Thailand all want us to enjoy theparadise that is Pattaya for as long as possible.

The Doctor gaveus some facts about life expectancy nowadays, which is the highestin Japan (90 female, 83 male) followed by the Western Countries,that beat Thailand by about 10 years. Eskimos, who eat only animals, die the earliest. Good health is the sum of genetics + daily routines + personalities+ attitude towards life + environment (no Thai lives beyond 100 inBangkok) + exercise. You must take good care of yourself. A survey on Thai people over 100 learned that they were religious, liked to work, were well tempered, had a sense of humor, good family relations and ate fresh Thai style food.

Pattaya is a good place to get old because of the clean air, good temperature and sunshine, with no earthquake or tsunami risks. But next to that, good hygiene, frequent dental care and physical checkups are necessary. Not to underestimate though is the way you live. Set yourself goals, surround yourself with the right people,create a good (financial) background, enjoy hobbies and broaden your view of life. As you are what you eat, the doctor gave us a lot of advice on healthy food.

You should eat 70% fresh fruits and vegetables, 20%rice and bread and 10 % fat (rather eat fish than meat). Breakfastis very important, but eat moderate lunch and dinner portions. Chew well, sleep adequately, don't eat before sleeping, don't smoke, don't drink alcohol and make sure you exercise; 30 minutesof aerobics 4 times a week will do you fine. A high quality of life is not possible without a good working brain. So you must also train your brain. Learn another language, do mathematics without a calculator, make drawings, dance and make music, do sporting activities, have many conversations with other people but also talk with yourself, reflect and do self evaluation and finally know about nature (visit a zoo, go trekking). With quotes of Einsteinand Buddha he ended the presentation saying you must also feed your mind and soul, enjoy emotions and be good and generous - this will pay back whether you are rich or poor.

There were many questions and the Doctor was rewarded with an extended round of applause. About living healthy! James Lane starts Thai Chi classes on Mondays and Thursdays at 18.00 on Soi 53, Sukumvit. (tel. 0-1398-7346 oremail James can also help when you're in some kind of mental distress. About you are what you eat! Club President Niels Colov invited all members to a special vegetarian buffet (only 99 baht) in Café NewOrleans on June 14, organised by the Vegetarian Club of Pattaya..He also looked back on the successful Bingo event, where over 200 participants brought in 121,300 baht for charity. He thanked thepeople who organized it, offered their helping hand and came to play.

Then it was Khun Sombat's turn, the witty and popular in housephilosopher. Today he taught us how we can make Thai friends with 1 baht. You can win the heart of a Thai when you give him some extra money unexpectedly, like when you have bargained and agreed on a price but still give some extra. Waving money around will be seen as trying to buy friendship - and you will spoil them! He also told us why Thais don't like to say goodbye, that their eyes and body language say more than words and why they hesitate to help injured farangs. A member though came up with a great oneliner to finish: "You get out of Thailand what you put into it".

The ladies took stage to tell about their get together. They had enjoyed the first English lessons and demonstrated the result. They had talked a bit about the men too, and wondered why they get so hot tempered when ladies talk about money.

The Lucky Draw had many prizes in store: a dinner for 2 at Jameson's and Haus Munchen, a ticket to Alangkarn, Subway sandwiches and ceramics from BUPA. It was almost 2pm by the time the Open Microphone Forum started - time flies when you're having fun - but many stayed to ask questions and exchange experiences.
Peter Visser, PR Coordinator for Pattaya Expats Club

From our Master of Ceremonies:

Hi, I'm Brian Maxey ( 11 June meeting - at one point we had to ask for more seating - wow- and there were about 8 -10 newcomers along with us old timers -the open forum didn't start until 1335, and finished around 1400.Overtime? What Overtime? - slept well later!Khun Ponthep, our in-house lawyer (free consults during themeeting) rode the stage again this week to answer questions asked(see elsewhere in this newsletter) , and we again sold out hisextremely popular 'Expat' book. More copies available next week -200baht. Khun Ponthep Werachon contact 014234255, office 038300967,( Richard Ravensdale, the Meeting Manager (,is available at the meeting venue to take your questions, comments or offers of help. In particular he is looking for suggestions for speakers at our Meetings. Dates are available from August. We're also looking for a replacement MC for June 16th. Open forum questions & information arising from the meeting More on the mobile phone registration - a member found not allphone-shops will register your sim ownership if you're not buyingfrom them! One that will is Telewiz, in both Carrefour and ITcentre (south Pattaya road) - needs to be completed by July 31st.As a foreigner you will need to take your phone, your passport & anote of your address, and get a copy of the registration document.Folks report a quick & easy process. Failure to comply will resultin the phone number being blocked. Peter B, a Board Member, suggested an evening Dinner, to be held onthe 2nd Thursday of each month at a venue of choice, tospecifically aid the HEARTT 2000 charity. Please talk to Peter atthe next meeting or contact the club e-mail. (Peter does not havean email address) The suggested start is August, venue to beadvised.The fishing trip for 15th June. If a minimum of 25 people cannotattend this time, it will not happen, a future date will beplanned. Again see Peter at the meeting. A member requested information on a Hearing Specialist. We know ofthe 3 hospital departments, but I discovered another. The info istoo long for here, but I will bring the brochure to the meetingnext Saturday. Contact is Dusimed Co Ltd, Bangkok phone numbers,026681300/1/2/3, 022417080. We are still looking for a member who would like to group togetherthose UK Nationals whose pensions are/will be affected by the UKgovernment's stance on cost of living increases. Please contact me,or better still, stand up at a meeting, and ask for volunteers. The situation is that when a UK National pensioner re-locatesabroad (not ALL countries, but most), he will most likely neverreceive any future increase to the level of pension - it will beFROZEN. This has been the situation for many years, and is thoughtby all to be unfair. This, despite the fact that all have paid intothis 'contributory pension' for all of their working lives. If thepensioner returns to live in UK he will 'upgrade' to receive the'current' pension, but will not be eligible for any back-payment. Attention was drawn to all UK members that the Offshore BankingRules will fall into line with the EU regulations on July 1st. AllUK offshore islands, with the exception of Guernsey, will introducea 'withholding tax' of 15%(?) from this date. If you are registeredas 'non-resident UK/EU' you can apply for an exemption.The PEC shop is open at the meeting each Saturday. A range of 'PoloShirts' (various sizes), 'T-shirts', 'Base Ball Caps' (adjustable).Red & Dark Blue. Many of the shirts could be seen around the room,worn by members. CANADA DAY 2005 is officially celebrated on July 1st each year, butthe annual Canada Day picnic will be held at the Royal OrchidSheraton Hotel Bangkok on Sunday June 26th, 2005. This is the 16thyear the Canadian national day celebration has been held inBangkok. Ticket prices for entry to the event, dinner and GrandPrize draws: Adults 1000 baht, Children (5-12) 500 baht, Children 4and under free. Doors open 13:00 ( 1:00pm), Dinner 17:30 ( 5:30pm).Contact Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 139 Pan Road, SethiwanTower, 9th Floor, Tel: 02-266-6085-6, email at book on-line at There is a choice of buffet food at the Saturday Meeting. Westernor Thai - your choice - same price! Tea & Coffee is available fromthe Drinks Table, although Vegetarian options & DecaffeinatedCoffee are not possible. There is 'low-fat' & 'low-calorie'sweetener. Hot water is available for your own sachets of choice. Please offer your services, and 'volunteer' to assist our Club insome way, contact Richard our 'Meeting Manager'( If you would like to "Guest MC" - simply a 'one-off', or more ifyou wish, email me. Two members have already offered - the more themerrier! This Newsletter is always available on our website, and separatelyon our blog The Club's on line Chat Forum link is: You will need to setup a username the first time you visit, but the forum is anexcellent place to talk to people worldwide about anything you wantto know - try it. Please note the German Language Group has now moved to a new time,at the same place - 10:00 on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month -e.g. 18th June, 2nd July, 16th July, 6th August) Grand Solé Hotel,2nd Road. If you attend the German Language group, you are welcome to stayfor the International event. One entry ticket covers both events. There is NO SMOKING anywhere in the Auditorium or Foyer. There aretwo balconies available for smoking, private conversations, andtelephone calls. We always have to cut short the 'Open Forum' Q&A no matter howearly we start. Come and join in, it's great fun! We love to hear from you by e-mail, tell us what you think of ourclub & its many aspects. Tell us what you like, tell us what youwant - always happy to know someone's listening. Please retain the large part of your Saturday Meeting entry ticketas proof of purchase & verification for the Lucky Draw Winner toclaim the prize (you'll need to show your membership card too).Remember this draw is for Members Only. Why not join us next Saturday 11:00am (1130 program start) at theGrand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road (between Tops & Big C supermarkets) -introduce a friend. 'free parking'. Bring pen & paper. MC, Brian. (

Wherever you are in the world today, we wish you a great upcoming weekend, and if you are not already enjoying life in Pattaya - then come back soon.
Best wishes from all of us at the Pattaya Expats Club


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