Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club Newsletter for June 29, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club. Est.2001


Any current news items
Planned programme for next Saturday
Report on last meeting
Weekly Emcee Column

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

E NEWSLETTER 29 June 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.


On Saturday 2 July 2005 at 11.00 am. The Pattaya Expats Club weekly
meeting will be in this theme to honour the American Independence
Day. Many interesting activities will take place but you will not
miss the popular Open Forum and all the other valuable information
of our regular weekly Saturday meeting.

Programme for 2 July 2005 Club Meeting

This coming Saturday our meeting features a special.. DAY OF STARS AND STRIPES. The meeting room will be decorated with American flags (Stars and Stripes). We will celebrate the American Independence Day (4. July) and recognise our second biggest national group (USA) among the members in Pattaya Expats Club. The US Ambassador to Thailand has wished us well and hopes to attend the Club on another date as the Bangkok U.S. expats and embassy staff are all involved in celebrating Independence Day in events on 2 July too.

Our Main speaker: Donald "Don" Ratcliffe, Commander of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 9876 (Pattaya Chapter). His Topic: The American Independence Day and what it means to an American living in Pattaya.

Second speaker: Lt. Skip Barrett former New Orleans police officer who also worked with the NYC P.D. after 9/11. His experiences in under cover operations, crowd control and chemical warfare body guard duties will feature in his talk. He graduated in Sociology from University of Carolina and from the Louisiana State College for Fire Fighters. He is a Vietnam Veteran now living in Jomtien.

Then: "Dynamite on stage" Thai lawyer Ponthep Werachon who is a PEC Board Member and American lawyer Steve Burke will hold a talkshow about differences between Thai law and American/western law, with our Club President Niels Colov as their moderator and the audience actively participating with questions and comments. This knowledgeable trio will be rather exotically dressed for the 4th July celebration. Steve Burke is the owner of Café New Orleans and several go-go bars on Pattayaland 2 and soon to be a TV chef, hosting a cooking programme on Pattaya People Television, featuring simple recipes for expats filmed at some of Pattaya’s finest eateries. Steve practiced law in California and has been married three times to ladies from the Philippines – which he mentioned at a recent Philippines Cuisine festival we attended in his restaurant.

Plus "Elvis in the Building". Our own Pattaya Elvis, Colin de Jong, who is also the Charity Chairman of Pattaya Expats Club, will sing a couple of Elvis Presley numbers to put us in the true American atmosphere.

Our upper foyer exhibition displays, with the club greeting, programme details and memberships area opposite the staircase has display tables with in depth information from regular contributors. Microphone prompts at 11.10am confirms 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 or Chris from Liberty Computers for computer questions, Geoff Paston of FAST for emergency help to expats, Peter Smith or Khun Wine on Insurance, Board Member Peter B Piedferme on our club charities plus our large take-away information centre with leaflets and publications from many services available in Pattaya.

Our MC Brian Maxey will host this weeks show with Richard Ravensdale, plus our OPEN FORUM…. For all other nationalities, don't worry we will not abandon the popular Open Forum, where you can ask questions about nearly everything !

Our Speakers Programme is now full until September 23, but please contact us if you know a good potential speaker for our Club.

Niels Colov, Club President
Richard Ravensdale, Vice President / Meeting Manager


Over 150 people in the Grand Sole Hotel enjoyed a highly entertaining programme, featuring a guideline to improve the quality of life, an invitation to a unique charity event, the Lucky Draws and a lively Open Forum.

At the door all visitors received the latest Expats Information bulletin. After breakfast 15 newcomers got a special welcome from MC Brian Maxey, who told them that you can be a member for only 150 Baht (through 31-12-2005) or 600 Baht (for life). He announced that Club Sponsor Liberty Computers offers 5 one hour computer lessons for beginners. There are 5 subjects for 4,500 Baht. Brian thanked the sponsors who also have stands outside the room – near the Helpdesk from the Immigration Police - and the 20 volunteers of the Production Team who make this Saturday Meeting possible.

Meeting Manager and Vice President Richard Ravensdale then offered yet another free service for members. As both Thai and farangs must have an ID-card with them, you can take a credit card size copy of your passport (the photo page) and visa stamp with you to the meeting, where it will be laminated for you. It’s wise to add a phone number of someone who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

The guest speaker was Dr. Homer Lim from the Philippines, who graduated in conventional Western medicine, rotating in all major specialties ranging from surgery to psychiatry and later specialised in geriatric medicine. After leading a medical information research team and working as a company physician he became interested in traditional Chinese medicine and is now the Medical Manager of the rehabilitation centre Baan Sabaijai in Pattaya, where alternative medicine is practiced. The Western focus medicine is on curing the disease while alternative medicine from the East seeks to prevent and catch the disease before it hits you.

With a Powerpoint presentation the Doctor taught us about alternative medicine, which is based on the Rasayana and Yin-Yang theories; find the right balance in everything you do. It’s all a matter of a proper diet, moderate exercise, meditation and the use of herbal medicine, which has few side effects. (Drugs in Western countries often cause death). He zoomed in on how to live a healthy and productive life. First there is the nutrition you choose. Watch your caloric intake, use optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals, eat fish instead of meat – because you eat the steroids and hormones they have fed them too – and try to eat unprocessed food. The second important thing is detoxification, as we are frequently exposed to environmental and internal toxins, which can damage our major organs. So not only eat healthy food but use safe cooking equipment, do colon cleansing, exercise, visit a sauna or think of other things that make you sweat, undergo body scrubs, body wraps and drink a lot of water. he third factor is the exercise.

A quote of Hippocrates he showed us says it all: “walking is a man’s best medicine”. 2 times a week for 20 minutes will do. Lose fat. Better even; don’t give it a chance to develop.Finally mind and body integration is an important element. The human brain is powerful and complex, tap into it as much as you can. Your brain and emotions affect your physical condition. So train your brain by meditation, chanting, doing Thai Chi or Qi Gong or autogenic and biofeedback training. The doctor then answered many questions from the interested crowd, about chemicals in food, the danger of estrogen for women, too much caffeine and he endorsed green tea and chillis. When asked about alcohol he first looked around him for protection and then said there is no such thing as a healthy level, but eventually came up with a compromise: a bit of red wine should be OK. Dr. Lim, who got a big hand, is every week available at the Club Sponsor’ stands.

Club President Niels Colov then took the stage to tell us that we were invited to a free rock concert of a US marine band later that day. He also announced a unique Charity event that will take place on July 30, organised by the Karoonyaves Foundation, who support a home for 400 disabled people in the Chonburi province. The event will feature famous artists, like the top class drama puppet show of Joe Louise with highly skilled actors, a dancing show of Thida Chang (the Elephant Lady), and a mini concert by Lew Varissara. A movie star will be there as well as well known MC’s. It would be great if many members support this very good charity project.

The Weekly Free Lucky Draw had some fine dinners for 2 in store again, this time at Jameson’s, Globetrotter and Lagoon. There were also vouchers for sandwiches at Subway, a cocktail at Opsinjoor and the beloved mugs from BUPA.

The Open Microphone Forum turned out to be another highlight. Brian, who was in top form, threw in stories of things that happened to him last week and passed the test as a stand up comedian.

Richard jokingly complained about the fact that somebody won the black polo shirt from the Club Shop for suggesting Shangri-La can be found in Soi 6. He explained us that Shangri-La is a fictional 20th century story, from the American author James Hilton, called ‘Lost Horizon’ later a famous Hollywood movie. It is about a plane crash in the Himalayas which lead the characters to a fictional monastery called Shangri-La where the inhabitants are hundreds of years old. He joked that Soi 6 is not known to add to long life.So this week’s shirt was awarded to the first hand which went up agreeing Soi 6 was not the long life location Shangri-La. Well, the Himalayas are Richard’s territory which he proved again by helping out a member who wanted to know how Mount Everest got its name.

In house lawyer Khun Ponthep Werachon, today also acting as a guest MC and guest in house philosopher, told us funny but meaningful stories about legal matters and mia noi’s. He also told about his legal handbook available at the meetings, not telling his story but that of expats who lost huge amounts of money because they were misled.

But a lot of info at the Open Forum came from the members themselves about a change in visa policy for those married to a Thai, health insurances for US-veterans, banking, money transfers and more.Brian informed us of an Alangkarn show on August 15, honouring Father Ray and mentioned that Jim Cox was present, who wants to start an expats club in Chiang Mai and came to learn from this Club’s successful formula.

In the room also “Roger Rabbit” a 70 year old charity runner, who wants to do the Pattaya marathon (July 17) to raise funds for leukemia research and looks for sponsors. Finally the Ladies Group told us about their get together. They are learning English and told us why this is so important for them. un Laddawan warned us about vendors that rent you a vehicle or boat, then try to charge you for previous damage! xt week’s meeting promises to be even more exciting, as it is “a day of Stars and Stripes”, celebrating America’s Independence Day. Please join us!
Peter Visser, Press Officer & PR Coordinator for Pattaya Expats Club

From our Master of Ceremonies:

Hi, I'm Brian Maxey (

25 June meeting - busy day today - good speaker, lots of feedback. Today we again finished at 1350 - so many Q&A - good stuff!

We were delighted to welcome back Denis Laurin to our 'family' unit. He has received some excellent news on his medical situation, and smiles a lot. Great!

Khun Ponthep, our in-house lawyer (free consults during the meeting) was in attendance to field those 'legal' type questions, and handed out another 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. We have been asked from afar, 'where can I get a copy of the booklet'? At the meeting, or at his office is the answer, this is not available commercially.

Khun Ponthep Werachon contact 014234255, office 038300967, (

There were a couple of 'anti-lawyer' jokes recounted at the meeting this week. I would like to state for the record that Khun Ponthep told me one of them himself. This guy has a good sense of fun!

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.

Sorry about the problems at the 'membership station' this week. Three unavoidable absences threw us into disarray. Better luck next week, I hope!

Open forum questions & information arising from Saturday:--

Can anyone confirm the amount of capital required to qualify for an 'Investment Visa' for those under 50 years, I think it's 3 or 4 million baht in a Thai government sponsored bond.

Can anyone recommend a tailor for a man's suit for office work, around Pattaya.

Can anyone suggest a maker of Spiral Staircases in the province - either metal or wood.

Someone has 'found' a very old Triumph motorcycle, and wishes to own it for refurbishment. It has no licence tags/plates. How can he check for, and establish ownership?

'Roger Rabbit' is looking for sponsors to back him to run the 'Pattaya Half-Marathon', 17 July, for children leukaemia research. See him at the meeting next week for details (Derrick will not be in full costume).

How can someone outside Thailand register their phone before end of July?

An answer to: how do I get a 'water well/pipe' bored. K Prajak is a Thai man who does this - 019403637 (Thai language only). Thanks to Big Ron's wife for this.

Peter, our Immigration specialist told of a 'scam' involving land out by lake maprachan. It seems plots of 10 rai are sold for a maximum of 15 dwellings (a local regulation). The scam involves building 15 dwellings on 8 rai, and then selling two rai separately. The new ownership is legal, but when someone tries to 'plan' for a property it is refused, you own 'restricted use' land.

eoff Paston would like to remind everyone that his name IS Geoff Paston.

Immigration at Soi 8 are now open Saturday mornings 0830 - 1200.

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.

A 'lightening poll' at the meeting sighted two members only who were interested in golf. I guess that sub-group will not become established.

Father Ray's legacy will be celebrated by a special presentation at the Alangkarn Showground, Highway 3, Jomtien. Monday 15 August, tickets 1,000 baht, all proceeds to the children's foundations.

Our Membership card gets you a Discount at many outlets in, and around, Pattaya. Membership is a snip at 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 available on both our website & blogsite:

The Club's 'Chat Forum' link is an excellent place to 'talk' to people worldwide about anything you want to know or say. A simple Q&A site - try it. You will need to set up a username & password the first time you visit:

The German Language group now meet prior to the International Group on the 1st & 3rd Saturday in the month (2nd July, 16th July, 6th August, 20th August), 10:00 am. email address: (

The International Group meeting is every Saturday at the Grand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road. 11:00 am. One ticket allows entry to both meetings

There is NO SMOKING anywhere in the Auditorium or Foyer. Two outside terraces are 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 & it's 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 entry & 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 - you can join on the day.

Why not join us next Saturday 11:00am (1130 program start) at the Grand Solé Hotel, 2nd Road, between Central Road & North Road - 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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