Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pattaya Expats Club Meeting of July 9, 2005

Programme for 16 July 2005 Club Meeting

This Saturday our meeting features a hard to miss illustrated talk on the big screen on what’s available FREE to improve your PC, given by our resident club ‘computer doc’, Steve Dickens of Liberty Computers. Steve has been involved with the IT industry for 30 years, as a senior manager for Cognos Corporation before relocating to Pattaya in early 2004. His Liberty Group is a proud platinum sponsor of the PEC.

We have not had a main speaker cover the subject of IT for quite a while, so I invited Steve, as it’s such a feature of our everyday lives now to live with and communicate via computers and the Internet. Under the title: “Nothing in Life is free … ?????” his topic will explore what is available genuinely for free that will help you get more out of your PC. There is a lot of ‘freeware’ and ‘shareware’ on the internet, and Steve will highlight some of the best ones for our Club members and tell you how to get them ! In many cases this free software is comparable to software you pay lots of money for !! So, not only might you be able to save money, but also improve the effectiveness of your PC !!! A subject not to be missed I am sure you will agree.
Steve Dickens will also spend a few minutes illustrating a new project ‘Pattaya Support Services’ – an introduction to a service now available in Pattaya, aiming to make everyday life easier - from paying a utility bill to organising a corporate function!

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. Our Microphone prompts at 11.10am confirms who is available to consult before the meeting. Our large take-away information point with leaflets and publications from many services available in Pattaya is open until the end of the show.
Our MC announcement roles this week will be shared by Pete Mills and myself. Pete, our Club Founder and Webmaster since 2001, is just back to Thailand. We also hope Roger Carino will lead our famous OPEN MICROPHONE FORUM…. for all your questions and answers about nearly everything for living safely and legally in Pattaya !
Richard Ravensdale, Vice President / Meeting Manager

Report on the 9th July, 2005 Club Meeting
The Grand Sole Hotel was once again the right place to be, as the programme featured a speaker who can make the water in swimming pools more safe, silky and cheap, a Lawyer who told us how a divorce can taste less bitter, a Lucky Draw with a baby elephant to take home, invitations to adventurous events and an Open Forum with a lot of valuable information.
The meeting started on a somber note. Meeting Manager and Vice President Richard Ravensdale talked about the disgusting terrorist attacks in London on July 7 and gave the attendants the opportunity to share their feelings about this tragedy. Many the members are British. Club President Niels Colov then condemned this act against mankind and - on behalf of the Pattaya Expats Club – expressed his condolences and wished the many injured strength. Everybody rose for one minute of silence.
MC Brian Maxey welcomed many newcomers again – they keep floating in - and he made clear that you don’t have to wonder if you are expat enough to join. Everybody is welcome. There was a special warm welcome for Vice President Pete Mills, a Founder of the Club and now also Webmaster of the great website ( Pete just arrived from Australia. Brian explained how to sign in for the newsletter and Pete mentioned some of the many Countries that receive the newsletter.
Also from Australia was guest speaker Steve Johnson from Water Technologies Co. Ltd., who taught us about a revolutionary way of anti bio water treatment, which has proven to be very successful Down Under. Though first developed to clean beer lines, this new technology is now being used to improve the quality of the water in swimming pools. Electromagnetic fields and sweeping sound frequencies break down bacterial substances in the water and stop them from breeding, which means you can reduce the quantity of chlorine and chemicals and it makes the job of the filtration installation less frequent.
This saves a lot of water, which saves money, the environment and Pattaya’s limited reserves. Another advantage is that swimmers are less likely to pick up infections the water will be soft and silky. Some top hotels in Thailand now have adopted their system too. The water treatment technique can also be used to clean up sewage, grey water, marine anti foul or pipe works. There were many questions, also regarding using the system in a backyard pool. For those who weren’t there, you can call Steve on 0484-28317 or email:
The next guest speaker was Thai Lawyer Khun Poovong Posai from Bangkok. He talked about the legal consequences of divorcing a Thai partner. It won’t harm you to know these up front. The Thai law – which was made after a lot of international laws were studied – differentiates 10 main reasons to justify a divorce. Some of them are: misconduct, long term insanity, disappearing for over a year, broken written promises, not having the money anymore to take care, or not being able to make love anymore (sounds to me like a good reason for a lady to stay with you though). Some members were relieved that Khun Poovong confirmed that butter flying was not included in this Top 10.
The Lawyer wanted interaction and there were many questions, mainly about the financial heartbreak a divorce can cause, but also about having a relationship without being married or gay relationships. He made it clear that in all situations, a partner might claim her or his share of money or property gained while being together. If you want to take no risk, register your possessions before you start a relationship.
The topic was very appealing and after the meeting people stood in line to ask Khun Poovong burning questions. He told us that members of the Pattaya Expats Club can always call him and he will not charge them for his advice. His number is: 01-803-4797. Everybody agreed that it would be great to welcome him back every now and then and that it was not so bad that the ladies were enjoying their own get together outside the room.
Then Niels made some announcements:
- On July 12 Café New Orleans will host a vegetarian adventure. It’s only 99 Baht, a bargain, as this restaurant will guarantee top class food. Only 35 people can join. You don’t have to be a vegetarian, but you might become one afterwards.
- On July 20 in Jupiter on Soi Pattayaland 2 you can witness how many true brown eyed girls will compete in a Blue Ice beauty contest
- On July 30 there’s the Charity mini concert at the Town in Town hotel, to support many disabled. Famous Thai artists will perform, like Joe Louise with the puppet show, Thida Chang (the Elephant Lady), Lew Varissara and movie star Thammasak Suriyon, who was present at our “stars and stripes” meeting last week to promote this unique event.
- On August 15 there will be a commemoration of the good work late Father Ray Brennan did for Pattaya. Alangkarn will as always produce a spectacular show, now also featuring video footage of Father Ray and “his” orphans will take part as well. The revenues will go to the Father Ray Brennan Foundation. Niels encouraged all members to visit the show (tickets 1.000 Baht) to support this very good initiative.
Last week a lady wanted to change the prize she won at the Lucky Draw for a baby elephant. It seemed an out of reach wish, but members were asked to see what they could do for her. And today she got it, thanks to “Derek the Balloon” It is a kind of elephant that doesn’t eat 24 hours a day and she will not be fined walking her pet down the Pattaya Sois. More prizes: guest speaker Steve Johnson offered a bottle of Australian red wine, there were Subway sandwiches, a cocktail at Opsinjoor and dinners for 2 at Jameson’s, Haus München and last but not least, Globetrotter restaurant off Soi 7. Richard thanked owner Lasse of Globetrotter for constantly sponsoring these dinners and for the nice evening he recently hosted for the volunteers of the Production Team of the Club, who were stunned by the quality of his meals and the many specialties on the impressive menu card.
Brian mentioned some upcoming events, like the Pattaya Marathon on July 17 – you can still sponsor charity runner Roger Rabbit - and then went on with the Open Microphone Forum. Although there’s the Immigration Counter outside the room, many visa experiences were exchanged (surf to the Club’s website for much updated info) and a lot of information about buying computers. Talking about that: next week Steve Dickens of Liberty Computers will be a guest speaker. He is available at the Club Sponsor stands just outside the room every Saturday, together with the other sponsors, who are all experts in many different fields. Drop by next week!
Peter Visser, Press Officer & PR Coordinator for Pattaya Expats Club
From Our MC – Brian Maxey
Hi, I'm Brian Maxey (
9 July meeting - Good solid meeting today, with lots of audience participation, to both speakers, and the open forum.
We would like to remember 'Bastille Day' for the Republic of France July 14th. 1789 to 1799 saw a 'revolution' that transformed France from an absolute monarchy to a republic of theoretically free and equal citizens.
On July 14 crowds of citizens assaulted the Bastille, a large fortress on the eastern edge of Paris. They believed that it contained munitions and many prisoners, but in fact, the fortress housed only seven inmates at the time. The storming of the Bastille marked a turning point at attempts at reform by the monarchy. A full-scale revolution had begun. Faced with this insurrection, the monarchy backed down, and ultimately devolved into the present day government style. Vive la France!
Richard Ravensdale, the Meeting Manager (, is available at the meeting venue to take your questions, comments or offers of help.
Denis Laurin is looking to you for suggestions for 'speakers' at our Meetings. Dates are available from end of September. (
Open forum questions & information arising from Saturday:--
Poovong Posai, our guest speaker Lawyer last Saturday can be contacted: ( Siam International Law Office, Bangkok, Mobile: 0-1803-4097
'SWIFT CODES' are a method of identifying Banks (and currencies) around the world, and is an efficient method for transferring money internationally (but not the only method). A member asked for details, so an article should appear on our website, soon.
For money transfers, your 'home' bank will want to know the following:
Your Thai bank's name and address.
Your Thai banks' SWIFT code. e.g. BKASTHBK (Bank of Asia)
You account full name e.g. George Bush
Your account Number e.g. 012-3-45678-9
Websites that give bank IDs are: ( or (
Some confusion occurred when a member referred to an O-A visa, and an O visa. He stated that both allowed one year stays. The room was roughly divided as to who agreed with him.
1. an O-A visa allows 1 year stay, and is annually renewable. (often referred to as 'A Retirement Visa')
2. an O visa allows 90 day stay - then expires unless upgraded.
3. a Muli-entry O visa allows 90 day stay - repeatedly for 1 year - then expires unless upgraded.
4. an O visa that is upgraded (extended) for retirement purposes, becomes the same as 1. (it may not actually say O-A, but in effect it becomes one)
Another member stated that he had successfully 'changed' a 30 day 'stamp on arrival' to an 'O' visa in 'room 303' in Bangkok. He is referring to the Immigration Bureau Headquarters (room number 303, 3rd Floor) Soi Suan Plu, South Sathorn Road, Sathorn District, Bangkok 10120 Tel. 02.287.3117
This office may allow changes to your existing visa to suitable applicants, for compelling reasons. Our members tell us that this process is certainly not always successful, but may be worth a try. The alternative would be to go to a Thai Embassy outside Thailand.
I must say, the level of informed membership continues to amaze us. It seems, no matter what subject we encounter, someone has a way of giving the answer - finding the answer - or telling where the answer can be found. I often say the room is 'full of experts' (as well as Expats), and it usually is. It's a privilege to stand in front of such a distinguished group of helpful people, week after week.
'Roger Rabbit' (Derrick McCarrick) was again in attendance, looking for sponsors to back him to run the 'Pattaya Half-Marathon', Sunday 17 July - 0400, for children leukaemia research. Both Bangkok Pattaya Hospital & Pattaya Mail will accept sponsorship money for Derrick.
The 'Phone Registration Saga'. According to AIS central office, the registration period is being extended until the end of this year, for all.
I took my wife to register our phones to a D-tac office in Big C supermarket. They opened the phones, recorded the SIM numbers, asked for her ID, & my Passport (a Thai drivers licence will do), entered the details on a D-tac computer, and said "Thank You for Registering". It felt a lot more authentic than the previous experiences. Just goes to show - when you take a Thai person with you - it flows easily.
For sure, Telewiz in IT City (TukCom) WILL register 1-2-call networks.
D-tac offer 5 baht per SMS (text) message to 154 countries from 1st July. See
Also I am enjoying 1baht/min currently on my D-tac phone, to anywhere in Thailand, until the end of the year!
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. (hope she enjoyed her 'baby elephant' gift)
A connection for those requiring 'hearing' equipment. Senso Diva: D MED Hearing Center Co,.Ltd. 326/ 3-4 Sukhothai Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Phone +66 2668 13003. ( (
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. Peter is the tall Belgian usually greeting you at the top of the stairs.
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 can 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.
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 (16th July, 6th August, 20th August, 3rd September), 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 allowed 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 come along 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. (