Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pattaya Expats Club Newsletter Sept 19, 2006

Dear Pattaya Expats Club Members & Friends

Our planned Club Programme for Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our guest speaker this Sunday will be Khun Wichai Punnoi, who will be addressing us on Thai law regarding libel, also child custody, inheritance between Thai relatives, and ATM bank fraud, topics requested by our club members.

Khun Wichai will be introduced by his associate and friend, TV advertising producer Gary Bruton, who will illustrate Khun Wichai’s experience over the last 28 years in
Thai law.  After graduating from Ramkhamhaeng U. Law School in 1978, Khun Wichai started as a very successful criminal lawyer, and moved up to become a “jack of all trades” in the legal profession.

KhunWichai’s  “Scolding, Defaming & Libel”, is his latest legal article for Ex-Pats, and his fifth one to date. In his latest article, Khun Wichai has a lively interpretation of Thai customs and attitudes, and writes, “Samples in comparative or contemporary Thai scolding words that are insulting by law are like when you call somebody animal, Dog, Buffalo, Monitor Lizard or put the word “Face” in front of those animals.”

FM 103 every Saturday from 12 noon to 2PM

Our very own PEC Ken Bowkett is hosting a radio show every Saturday, on FM 103. Santa Ken talks to guests, makes a few suggestions, and spins a few hot discs…enjoy the show!
Ken will also be hosting a guest in his studio, along with the great music.  Tune in the “Kuddly Ken Show” on FM 103.

This week Brian Maxey is your M.C. and will lead our Open Microphone Forum, so come and listen in this Sunday morning, at 2nd Rd’s Grand Sole Hotel and participate with questions and answers about nearly everything for living safely and legally in Pattaya !
After our members Open Forum we also have Lucky Draw prizes of dinners for two at fine restaurants around the city, such as Jameson’s and The Globetrotter, another great reason to be a member and to come into the Pattaya Expats Club this Sunday 1130 am at The Grand Sole Hotel, 2nd Rd.

We will have our late-morning start time of speakers programme from 1130 am, with the optional brunch from about 1030 am till after 12 noon. The meeting entry cost is 80 Baht and for non-members 100 Baht. For that cost we enjoy the excellent technical presentation facilities of the Grand Sole Hotel conference room.

Our foyer exhibition displays, throughout the meeting period from 1030 are worth a visit for practical advice from experts. In the club’s greeting, programme and memberships area you can get Club memberships at only 300 Baht expiring 31 Dec 2007 or 600 Baht for Life Membership. (Bring two very small 'visa' photos and your card is laminated and ready at the same meeting.) Display tables have in-depth information from regular expert contributors in their field. Our Microphone announcement at 11.10am confirms who is available to consult free of charge. For example The Pattaya International Hospital table usually includes regular FREE testing of blood groups, blood sugar, blood pressure and lung function to help you stay healthy.  Advice on Insurance policies is available from AA Insurance – including the club member's own low cost 'group' health policy, now in its second year and with premium at under 11,000 B – please show your members card to apply. They also have a range of Insurances such as property, house contents and motor cover available. Club sponsors the Key Visa Co Ltd, represented by Darren McGarry and Stephen Wilson, offer our members free advice, in the club house foyer, on personal Thai visa and immigration queries – please show your members card.
Plus, our large take-away information point with leaflets and publications from hundreds of member to member services available in Pattaya is open until the end of the meeting.

Our Meeting Entry cost, now set by the Hotel at 80 Baht, are sold as tickets from 1030 am when hall doors open for seating. The table plan is usually in friendly format tables for eight or ten – so please allow the ‘gaps’ to be filled by new arrivals at your table.

Here's the report from our MC on the September 17th meeting:

Hi, I'm Brian. MC at the Sunday meetings of PEC  
17 September 2006 - Meeting Manager:- Richard Ravensdale (ably assisted by Paul Moore).

Had a ‘day-off’ from the big kids last week, and instead visited the Jesters and their younger kids. A nice cool cloudy day, provided a good backdrop to ‘all the fun of the fair’, Jesters 2006 9th Annual Children’s Fair, once more at the great free venue of Diana Garden Golf Driving Range, North Pattaya. Many of the items on offer are free to the young, and fairly priced for the olderly. This annual event has outdone itself each of the previous years, let’s hope it can do so again. Well done ‘Woodie’ & all the crew who make this a very successful and pleasant day.
I was invited to speak on local radio on Saturday. TRS 103 transmits to greater Pattaya and the host ‘Cuddly Ken’ charmed his way through another couple of hours of great ‘western’ style music – good old ‘Rock ‘n Roll’. The station is expanding and looking for more budding DJ’s who might like to present a variety of music to sooth the savage expat. We spoke of PEC, expats experiences, phone tips, visas, and how we all come to be here in paradise! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience – good on ya Ken! Three of our members are already DJs!

Sunday saw a large group at our meeting (250+) eager to hear the latest from the Immigration Police regarding some changes to the visa rules. Darren McGarry (Key Visa Co.) presented a very detailed review of the ‘Proposed Changes’, and the latest news on those proposals. First, it must be said that these proposals have NOT been finally ratified yet, but a report from a very high level meeting within the Immigration Police tells some of the story. Here it is: (1) No change to the current rules for ‘Retirement Visa’. (2) No change to the current rules for ‘supporting a Thai national Visas’ (often referred to as a ‘marriage visa’). (3) No change to current 3m baht ‘Investment Visas’ – but after 1 October no NEW 3m baht ‘Investment Visas’! (4) From 1 October for ‘no-visa’ entries (30-day stay), a maximum of 90 days in a 6 month period (number of entries not mentioned!) will be allowed. After that entry by visa only. The aim is to stop the possibility of ‘living’ in Thailand by using 30-day border runs from 1 October 2006. Of course, the officer at Immigration entry still has discretion on enforcement of these rules, and the aim is to target repeated 30-day stays in Thailand. There are more than a dozen different visa categories under which you may visit Thailand, you just need to identify the right one for you. Visas cannot be obtained in Thailand!

Darren McGarry & Stephen Wilson, Key Visa Co, have two large offices – Jomtien, near the Hanoman Statue call 038303735 – Pattaya, in Soi LK Metro call 038422131. The hotline is 010045397.

Please remember these are ‘proposals’ not yet ‘ratified’.

Niels Colov gave very clear insight to the members who may be disappointed at the changes of Immigration rules, and explained that Thailand has to do what it thinks is best for the country’s future. I agree that the current visa situation has been unacceptable in international security terms and this is definitely a step in the right direction (MC).

Richard, recently returned from UK, related his experience of trying to get UK onshore Bank interest ‘tax-free’. It was more complicated than he thought! Basically if you are resident in UK, you can get the bank to pay ‘gross’ (if authorised) by filling out a special tax exempt form. But if you are non-resident they cannot do it this way, you have to reclaim any tax paid direct from the IRS. The UK tax, national insurance and pension website is very comprehensive: (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk)
AA Insurance have updated their information relating to the PEC Annual Group Medical Insurance. Visit our website for the latest. Their contact details are: Pattaya Central Road, just east of Carrefour, on the south side of the road. 503/3 Pattaya Klang Road, Banglamung. Office: +66(0) 38 415 795(&6), Fax: +66(0) 38 374 251. Email: .
(http://www.pattayaexpatsclub.com/How_The_Scheme_Works.doc) (http://www.pattayaexpatsclub.com/Scheme_Benefits.doc).  (http://www.aainsure.net).
Also ‘FAST’ (Farang Aid & Support Team). A scheme whereby your essential information (both medical & personal) is recorded on a central secure database. A simple call (24/7) to the emergency FAST number (on your photo I.D. card) gets a response. Someone not involved in your problem has the essential information & will assist, with legal help if necessary. Arrest, injury or illness, they will help. Contact: 038 416 698, 081 762 0013, (info@fastaid.co.th) (http://www.fastaid.co.th).
A 2-unit condo for sale. Nirun Grandville, Soi Arunothai (near Carrefour). Call for details: Lionel 038 373 322.

Open forum questions & information arising from the Meeting:--
Buddie - meetings are continuing with Lynda Crone, from the US. She moderates group discussions about – well, almost anything. A different subject is collectively chosen each week for the following week. It’s very relaxed and ‘low-key’, and often humorous. Their overall aim is to help newcomers & residents alike to improve their relationship with their new home & it’s inhabitants. They meet at The Redemtorist Centre (beyond the car park on the left, room 1), Sukhumvit Road (km 145) just north of the turn from the top of Central Pattaya Road each Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. Ask questions, discuss issues, develop new contacts, and realise that a problem is not necessarily yours alone. Why not give it a try. Contact: Lynda (lbcrone@hotmail.com).

Please tell us if your mobile phone experience has suffered in any way since the recent change from 9 digits to 10 digits. We have heard of none yet.
There is a period until 30 Nov., during which you can dial with either old or new number.

Do not forget to change your ‘address book’ numbers to allow correct ‘auto-dialling’, you can make the changes yourself by adding an appropriate ‘8’ to your stored numbers.
A great question was raised recently. “When changing my phone-book numbers, how do I know which are mobile, and which are house phones. Good question!!  Visit: (http://www.thailand-uk.com/phones/10digitmobile.php) for the answer.
D-tac currently have a promotion: 0.25 baht per min + 5 baht for the first min (that’s under 20 baht per hour! anywhere in Thailand). Also, a promotion called ‘Simple’ that allows a top-up to last for 1 year, for those folks who don’t use it much.

There’s a “UK Ex-Services Club”, Tropical Bert's Bar, 2nd Road (opp Bangkok Bank) every Sunday 1300-1700, phone 098072335 for info.

Visa Runs in the afternoon/evening from ‘1st Class Visa Runs’, Witherspoons top of Soi Diana, 061471618. 2400Tb in a 6 person minibus. Mon/Wed/Fri start 1500 return 2200. Discount voucher booklet worth at least 8KTb for use around Pattaya, and freq traveller discount on your 10th run - half price. Also daily morning runs.
British Embassy local Pattaya representative for emergencies is Barry Kenyon. Contact 017827363. Barry can authenticate your UK pension or UK bank statements for Immigration purposes if you can show proof.
US Embassy local Pattaya representative for emergencies is Gary Hacker. Contact 098030388.
Please help our Meeting organisers by suggesting 'Speakers' for our weekly (Sunday) Meetings. Tell us a subject you wish to hear of by suggesting a competent speaker. There are vacancies from October onwards. Please come up with some ideas and contact Loran our current Program/Speakers Manager. Give her your suggestions and let her arrange the details. Please do not fix dates in advance.
Contact: Loran Davidson (furzymouse@msn.com).

The PEC golf group's Monthly Golf Tournament for 26 September is at Eastern Star Golf Course. More info on this event is available from Pattaya People Office (Soi Day Night), Globetrotter (just off Soi 7), and of course PEC Club meetings on Sunday, or contact Ossi Viljanen on 081 851 9620, (ossigolf@yahoo.com). These events are popular and fill up quickly, so sign-up early to avoid disappointment. If you need to rent a Golf Cart call Ossi soon.

New Time: The Sunday Golf Driving Practice (with free tuition from Ossi Viljanen for PEC members) now runs from 8:30am to 9:30am at the usual location on Sukhumvit Road just across from Central Pattaya Road – The Pride Driving Range. High Handicap players welcome!

The German Speaking Group of the Pattaya Expats Club hold their meetings on the first and third Saturday of each month at 10:00am. They meet in the Conference Room of Wat Chaimongkon Temple in South Pattaya, near the Intersection of Second Road and South Pattaya Road. The Conference Room is in the big white building at the end of the temple complex. Next meetings are 07 & 21 October. Contact Erwin Schlottmann, 086 009 8497, email: (erwinschlottmann@gmail.com)

Deutschsprachige Treffen. Jeden 1.und 3. Samstag im Monat,10:00 Uhr morgens, im Konferenzsaal des Wat Chaimongkon an der South Pattaya Road. Nachste Treffen: 7. October und 21. October 2006. Jeder ist eingeladen. Info: Erwin 086 009 8497
Sun-24-Sep-06 UK EX-Servicemen's Club. Every Sunday at Tropical Bert's 1300 - 1700. 2nd Road opp Bangkok Bank. 038361887, 0898072335
Sun-24-Sep-06 Ramadan 2006: Sept 24 (Depends on the sighting of the moon)
Wed-27-Sep-06 "Buddie" meetings at Redemtorist Centre, Sukhumvit Road. 7:00pm. Contact Lynda 0841327086, (lbcrone@hotmail.com)
Thu-28-Sep-06 Suvarnabhumi (New Airport BKK) opens.
Fri-29-Sep-06 Pattaya 'Best of Music' festival starts
Sat-30-Sep-06 Charity Club of Pattaya - Gala Dinner. Dusit Resort 1930 - 2400. Tickets 1800 baht. Christina 0895454185. Malcolm 0897441040
Sun-1-Oct-06 UK EX-Servicemen's Club. Every Sunday at Tropical Bert's 1300 - 1700. 2nd Road opp Bangkok Bank. 038361887, 0898072335
Mon-02-Oct-06 Equinox Pattaya - equal Day/Night 12hrs each
Wed-4-Oct-06 "Buddie" meetings at Redemtorist Centre, Sukhumvit Road. 7:00pm. Contact Lynda 0841327086, (lbcrone@hotmail.com)
Sat-07-Oct-06 Owk Pensa - end of Buddhist Lent
Sat-07-Oct-06 PILC Holiday Bazaar. Royal Cliff Beach Resort - Siam Ballroom. Call Roseanne 0818650714, (pilc262@yahoo.com)

Why not come along next Sunday morning 10:30am (11:30 program start) to the Grand Solé Hotel (in the Theppraya Room, up on the Mezzanine level), 370 Pattaya 2nd Road (north), near the Pattaya Mail Office. Hotel tel: 038 427 555 Fax: 038 427 550. Half way between TOPS supermarket & BIG-C supermarket - bring a friend.
For location - link to: (http://www.grandsolepattaya.com/location.htm)
See you soon, 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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