Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club Newsletter June 22, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club.
Any current news itemsPlanned programme for next SaturdayReport on last meetingWeekly Emcee Column Founder of Association of Thailand Expats Clubs (A.T.E.C)
E NEWSLETTER 22 June 2005
Dear Pattaya Expats Club Members & FriendsSATURDAYS at 1100 A.M. PATTAYA EXPATS CLUB PresentsSATURDAY LUNCHTIME KEYNOTE SPEAKERS & CONVERSATIONFor all Pattaya's Expats, come and join us at our new venue at THEGRAND SOLE HOTEL, Second Road, Pattaya. (Mid-way between Central Road and North Road, on the right hand side, going towards the Dolphin roundabout. NEWS...A DAY OF STARS AND STRIPES
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 25, 2005
This coming Saturday our meeting has a complementary medicine and good nutrition theme. The Medical Manager of the Scandanavian owned rehabilitation centre ‘Baan Sabaijai’, Dr Homer Lim, MD is our featured speaker.
Dr Lim graduated in conventional western medicine in his native Philippines, rotating in all major specialities including surgery, Obs-gyn, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, Community Medicine, Psychiatry and Radiology and became a surgical resident, later specialising in Geriatric medicine.
He speaks five languages and has led a 20 doctor medical information research unit. He has been a medical writer, and a private ‘company physician’ caring for company employees health. He became interested in traditional Chinese medicine and became a medical spa consultant, researching in alternative medicine supervising alternative therapies such as detox, Chinese medicines, biofeedback, diet and exercise.
At Baan Sabaijai he uses hi-tech alternative diagnostic tools usually only available to the worlds top sports people. Diagnosis examination tests by computer give a prognosis of a patient’s all round health. Acupuncture treatments – also hi-tech, without needles, and developed for the space programme are just a part of the interesting therapies available through Baan Sabaijai centre. Dr Lim’s talk theme to the Pattaya Expats Club will centre on nutrition, anti-aging techniques and alternative therapies. This holistic approach to medicine through non-intrusive alternatives is gaining vast popularity worldwide.
Our upper foyer exhibition displays, with the club greeting, programme details and memberships area opposite the staircase is shared with in depth information from regular contributors. Microphone prompts at 11.10am will confirm who is available to consult before the meeting starts – perhaps Board Member Khun Ponthep on Thai law queries, Peter from Immigration on visa questions, Dr Lim on nutrition, complimentary therapies and diagnostic testing, Steve Dickens from Liberty Computers for computer questions, Geoff Paxton of FAST for emergency help to expats, Peter Smith on Insurances, Board Member Peter B on club charities and our large take-away information centre with leaflets on many services available in Pattaya.
Our MC Brian Maxey will host the show, with club news items from Niels Colov, our Club President, from myself and from our Ladies Group leaders. I have an item for you on getting a laminated ID of your passport/visa to carry in the city - a free service from our club. Brian will also host the famous Pattaya Expats Club ‘open microphone forum’ for your questions on living in Pattaya. Our Advance Speakers programme is now full until mid-September, but please contact me if you know a good potential speaker for our Club.
Richard Ravensdale, Vice President / Meeting Manager
During today’s Saturday Meeting in the Grand Sole Hotel we were taken on a flight around the Himalayan peaks, learned how tourism can be combined with helping the poor, heard news about the Immigration Police, had the chance to win the Lucky Draw or the extra prize a Club Sponsor threw in and at the Open Forum got some homework from the Ladies Group.
Master of Ceremonies Brian Maxey was able welcome many people once again; long time members, attendants of the German Section that had just finished their meeting, and some newcomers. He mentioned there were free copies of the latest Pattaya People Newspaper and recommended the legal handbook of Board Member Khun Ponthep Werachon. This is available in English and Dutch – a German version is on its way – where our resident attorney enlightens us about foreign ownership and marriage with a Thai etc.. The book costs 200 Baht - which he donates to the Club’s charity fund - but buying it can save you a lot of money.
The main speaker today was Meeting Manager and Vice President Richard Ravensdale himself. For 30 years he has been a mountain guide and a UK tour company owner. For the last 12 years he has been Chairman of a charity organisation called Trek Aid. He stays in Nepal 5 months a year to assist in their many projects. Richard started his presentation with a video, made from within a Buddha Air- plane (Nepal), showing spectacular sights of the many peaks of the Himalaya, like the Mount Everest and the Annapurna fish tail peaks. Nepal is only a 2.5 hours flight away, an ideal “just a bit different”- visa run.
With thanks for the technical support of Club Sponsor Liberty Computers, he then showed us many pictures to prove how amazing Nepal is. Richard is also an award winning photographer. He told us how in a few days you can experience all kinds of climates and environmental beauties, green pine tree areas, a desert, waterfalls, lakesides and of course mountaintops and snow.
Then he focused on the Trek Aid projects he is involved in, not only in Nepal but also in Tibet and India. The organisation offers “ethical tourism”. You are going to put something back in the country that you visit. Before people come over they must do some fund raising back home. Once the tourists arrive they will not only trek, climb, walk or fly to enjoy the beauties of the country, but will also match up with locals and refugees and help them in every possible way to improve their conditions.
Richard told that often doctors from the West give up their job for several months to come over and work for these poor people for free. Richard guided us through the many aid projects of Trek Aid. They offer medical help: hospitals, medicine, manpower. TB is a major problem and refugees from Tibet suffer severely during their escape through the mountains from frostbite, often resulting in amputated legs.
They set up orphanages, occupy the children’s time and form family-like groups. People can sponsor an orphan and later visit the child. Trek Aid helps the elderly, builds community halls, start sports and music projects, trade projects, tree planting projects and also helps out with spiritual needs. In Nepal there is a visitor’s centre where “normal” tourists can walk in and learn about all the activities and some might get encouraged to participate later. Trek Aid works with small and effective budgets as we can see on the leaflet that was handed out. The crowd was silent till the end, not that they fell asleep, but they were impressed by the images and the inspirational presentation, which not only focused on the good work of Trek Aid, but also covered the cultural, political and religious aspects of the area. The silence was broken when people got the chance to ask questions and gave Richard a big round of applause. When you want to visit Nepal, either as an “ethical tourist” or a “normal” one, contact Richard.( Brian asked for an extra big hand to recognize Richard and all the other dedicated ones who so unselfishly commit themselves to make this world a better place for everyone.
As Richard’s presentation also was a bit spiritual, in house lawyer Khun Ponthep gave away a black polo shirt with the Club logo - the latest haute couture item available at the Club Shop outside the meeting room - to the one who knew where to find Shangrila, Nirvana or the Kingdom of Heaven. The man who thought he should try Soi 6 got the shirt, but Khun Ponthep didn’t seem all that convinced.
Club President Niels Colov took stage to announce that Pattaya Immigration Police, as the first in Thailand, is now open on Saturday’s, from 8.30 AM till noon. The staff will now also change to a lunchtime schedule to keep the service counters open during the lunch break. Soon, as part of the meeting, the Pattaya Expats Club will officially present a computer server to the Immigration Police – who have a Helpdesk outside the room at these Saturday Meetings - which will be installed in their new office in Jomtien and will be paid for by the revenues of the Club’s successful Charity Bingo on June 5.
Then Richard informed us that he has received the presentation from Doctor Alongkorn, who told us how to live healthy and to train our brain. Those who would like to review this interesting info can ask Richard to email it as an attachment to download and read the doctors Powerpoint programme on their own computer.
In addition to the Weekly Free Lucky Draw, Geoffrey Paston, the owner of Farang Aid & Support Team (F.A.S.T.), offering immediate help when you are in hospital or jail, organised a raffle among the people who visited his stand outside. The winner got a free subscription to their “Platinum” Service, worth 3.400 baht. By chance he was rewarded by winning a dinner for 2 as was the owner of restaurant Globetrotter, who sponsors free dinners frequently. Other prizes: 2 dinners for 2 at Lagoon Restaurant in the Jomtien area, a dinner for 2 at Jameson’s Irish Pub, a ticket to the Alangkarn Extravaganza Show, Subway sandwiches and ceramics donated by BUPA.
During the Open Microphone Forum expats helped expats immediately, even with questions about transporting a yacht (don’t underestimate the class of the members). Other items: a hearing specialist, motorcycle insurance, well drilling, internet connections by phone and the appeal against the UK pension policy. Brian mentioned that people can ask him questions by email too ( . Those who want to write in German language can use
Then the Ladies Group took centre stage to brief us about their get together. Khun Laddawan and one of the new ladies told us that girls should become a Club Member; they can benefit from the many discounts and will find friendship. The girls plan a trip to the popular Elephant Show in Surin in November. Finally they wanted to ask the men some questions. Why did they come to Pattaya (Brian did because it’s so close to Thailand), what do they think of the town, what do they know of Thai culture and would they like to know more, and what do they think about Thai girls? Homework guys! The ladies expect answers next week, so train your brain.
Peter Visser, Press Officer & PR Coordinator
From our Master of Ceremonies:
Hi, I'm Brian Maxey (
18 June meeting - fairly light day for me today. A very full & informative meeting with an excellent 'Speaker' presentation by Richard, our own Meeting Manager. We ran late again, so as to give time to many Q&A. Our Door Prize Draw had three winners, each receiving a voucher for 'Dinner for two' - well worth the 150 baht for membership. I had to rush off to attend a novice monk's pre-initiation gathering - another 'first' for me. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Khun Ponthep, our in-house lawyer (free consults during the meeting) was in attendance to field those 'legal' type questions, and handed out a free 'PEC Sweatshirt' to a correctly answered 'light-hearted' question. We again 'sold out' his extremely popular 'Expat' book. Maybe not a good idea to wait until the end to purchase this 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. He is in particular looking for suggestions for 'speakers' at our Meetings. Dates are available from September.
We're also looking for a replacement MC for July 16th.
Open forum questions & information arising from Saturday:--
Immigration at Soi 8 are now open Saturday mornings 0830 - 1200.
F.A.S.T., one of our Sponsors, announced their scheme application draw winner. George Martens gets a 'FREE' Platinum membership.
More on the mobile phone registration - I registered my phone at Telewiz in IT Centre (south Pattaya road). I tried a few other outlets first, just to judge the reaction, and none could do it. The phone counter next to Telewiz had no idea where I could get this done, and suggested Sri Racha!
Unregistered phones after 31 July are threatened to be 'blocked'. As a foreigner you will need to take your phone, your passport & a note of your address, and (try to) get a copy of the registration document (I couldn't).
Peter B (Production Team & Board Member) has suggested gatherings for members on other days/evenings. If you have any suggestions as to themes, events or venues please see Peter at the meeting.
No one volunteered to coordinate a UK Pensioner's Group to protest the unfair treatment of 'off-shore residents', which was so enthusiastically debated at several meetings. Maybe it's just the 'debate' that's enjoyable?
The topic of 'EU offshore bank account withholding tax' came up again, with a member pointing out that only people 'officially' designated as 'resident in EU' would suffer the new taxation. A lightening 'poll' showed that most EU nationals were 'off-shore for tax purposes' anyway. The new tax starts July 1st.
As you can see from the two previous topics, the first only effects 'off-shore' people, the second only effects 'on-shore' people. It's 'make you mind up' time.
Father Ray's legacy will be celebrated at the Alangkarn Showground 15 August 1,000 baht tickets.
A list of participating 'Members Discount' outlets around Pattaya is available at the meeting. Our Membership card gets you a Discount - 150 baht until December 31st 2005, or 600 baht for life.
The PEC shop is open at the meeting each Saturday. A range of 'Polo Shirts' (various sizes) red or black, 'T-shirts' & 'Base Ball Caps' (adjustable) red or dark blue. Many shirts could be seen around the room, worn by members.
Next Saturday we hope Jim Cox from Chiang Mai will visit us on a fact-finding mission to enable him to start a similar venture as ours, up in the frozen north.
CANADA DAY 2005 is officially celebrated on July 1st each year, but the annual Canada Day picnic will be held at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel Bangkok on Sunday June 26th, 2005. This is the 16th year the Canadian national day celebration has been held in Bangkok. Ticket prices for entry to the event, dinner and Grand Prize draws: Adults 1000 baht, Children (5-12) 500 baht, Children 4 and under free. Doors open 13:00 ( 1:00pm), Dinner 17:30 ( 5:30pm). Contact Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower, 9th Floor, Tel: 02-266-6085-6, email at or book on-line at
Are any members interested in a 'Club Discount' on a range of Golf Courses in the Chonburi/Rayong area. Please see Niels.
Father Ray's legacy will be celebrated at the Alangkarn Showground 15 August 1,000 baht tickets.
A list of participating 'Members Discount' outlets around Pattaya is available at the meeting. Our Membership card gets you a Discount - 150 baht until December 31st 2005, or 600 baht for life.
The PEC shop is open at the meeting each Saturday. A range of 'Polo Shirts' (various sizes) red or black, 'T-shirts' & 'Base Ball Caps' (adjustable) red or dark blue. Many shirts could be seen around the room, worn by members.
There is a choice of buffet food at the Saturday Meeting. Western or Thai - your choice - same price! Tea & Coffee is available from the Drinks Table, although Vegetarian options & Decaffeinated Coffee 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 in some way, contact Richard our 'Meeting Manager' (
If you would like to "Guest MC" - simply a 'one-off', or more if you wish, email me. Two members have already offered - the more the merrier!
This Newsletter is always available on our website, and separately on our blog
The Club's on line '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.
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 stay for the International event. One entry ticket covers both events.
There is NO SMOKING anywhere in the Auditorium or Foyer. There are two balconies available for smoking, private conversations, and telephone calls.
We always have to cut short the 'Open Forum' Q&A no matter how early we start. Come and join in, it's great fun!
Keep the emails coming, tell us what you think of our club & its many aspects. Tell us what you like, tell us what you want - always happy to know someone's listening.
Please retain the large part of your Saturday Meeting entry ticket as proof of purchase & verification for the Lucky Draw Winner to claim 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 the Grand 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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