Saturday, April 14, 2007

PEC Program for 15 Apr / Report from 8 Apr 2007

Meeting Programme for Sunday, 15th April, 2007:

We have a great entertaining Songkran special for you this week with the Australian expat author and 'raconteur' Marc Holt. (For the educationally challenged that's not someone who keeps raccoon's in their back garden but means a master storyteller...) He will have an illustrated PowerPoint presentation, but start with a short stand-up comedy act, and then talk about how he started his character Foster Foskin, plus a reading of Foster's poems. Then he will take any questions from the audience.

Marc is Bangkok based, and has a new column in the Pattaya Trader magazine - 'Foster Foskin's Agony Column'. The Foster character started out in the ongoing series, 'The Chronicles of Foster Foskin's Adventures in Thailand ', which first appeared in StickmanBangkok.com. So far, Marc has published 18 chapters with more on the way. He has this on a blog too: http://holtww.com/holtblog/?p=3

Some new Club Notices will be given by Vice President Richard Ravensdale. Four new board members who have all worked hard for more than the minimum six months in our voluntary service team have now been elected to the PECs Board of Trustees. They will be presented on stage - they are Arvid Tviberg, Jahir Khan, enRico Nestler and Steen Joergensen. The club meeting format has a change of style too - a shorter meeting duration to 90 minutes to end at 1pm - so please attend this week to cast a club members vote on the subject. The Production Team and the Board of Trustees are also being polled on the subject this week. It will involve a trial period without MCs, just brief segment links by the Duty Meeting Managers - who know the running order of the programme. The aim is to improve the actual programme content with more regular features and top grade main speakers. Open Forum may also be more democratic - with a club member suggested by the audience to lead it each week. So if you fancy a spell on the mike refereeing questions and answers on all and everything please come this Sunday and apply to the Meeting Manager.

News...JR Travel of Jomtien, known for their discounts offers to PEC members have done it again. News of their latest offer at the club this week.

News...Our Lucky Draw Prizes are worth your visit alone this Sunday morning, drawn throughout the meeting, up to 11 Prizes are expected this week, dinners at such excellent restaurants as Globetrotter, Jameson's, Tropical Bert's, Plazma Pub, Boxing Roo, Book prizes from Canterbury Tales Café bookshop, and Flower bouquet Prizes from The Orchid shop. So each club member has a high chance of winning.

News...There will also be tickets on sale at 75 baht from this week for the monthly club members 'social gathering' breakfast at the Canterbury Tales Café, Soi Chaiyapoon, off Soi Buakhao. This is held the last Thursday of each month - 26th April. Tickets from Duty Meeting Manager this Sunday - enRico Nestler.

Our Master of Ceremonies this Sunday will be Club Vice President, Richard Ravensdale, and a Club member from the audience will be asked to host our Open Microphone Forum, so come and listen in at 2nd Rd's Grand Sole Hotel, and participate with questions and answers about nearly everything for living safely and legally in Pattaya!

We also want to remind members that the PIH (Pattaya International Hospital) is offering check-ups for men and women over 50 from 2,800 baht, up to 8,900 baht. The PEC membership card entitles members to a 10% discount on certain inpatient medical costs - a discount on room rates and physical therapies only.

The Pattaya People Weekly newspaper is now available worldwide in a PDF format at the following website:
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx

Events Around Town:

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL on 13th/14th/15th April. ..and by special demand 19th too.

YOGA TRAINING will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm to the 1st May, 2007 at the Public Health Center on Soi Buakhao.

PATTAYA BRIDGE CLUB: Meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 13.00 at the Tropicana Hotel, North Pattaya ; between the Beach Road and 2nd Road . Players of all abilities are welcome. Tel 038 422924, mobile 086 7445386. www.pattayabridge.com

Transportation to/from Suvarnabhumi Airport :

Roong Reung's Blue and White coach service departs from the airport bus depot to Pattaya Nua station at the following times: 8 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM and 7 PM . The Ticket office window is in the airport bus station. Price 106 Baht. Bell Travel goes up to the new airport each day from Pattaya Nua Bus Station (ticket office bungalow in the car park to right) at 06:00, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00. Two ticket prices, depending if you book to be picked up by Bell Travel minibus from your home, 150 Baht or 200 Baht.

A Yellow Bus to the airport leaves from Jomtien's Chaiyaphuk Road, (the office is near Beach Road ). Tickets can be purchased 1 day in advance. The current schedule is:

Pattaya to Airport: 0630, 0900, 1300, 1700, 1930.
Airport to Pattaya: 0630, 0900, 1300, 1700, 2030.

At the airport - Transport Depot - this bus to Jomtien is referred to as number 999, but the bus itself does NOT carry this number. The bus is bright Yellow - single deck, with the words Pattaya - Suvarnabhumi Airport written large on both sides, and a large notice in the drivers windshield saying either Pattaya or Airport. The cost is 106 baht in each direction. A recent visitor who used this bus reported a 'good service'. The yellow bus does not have a scheduled stop in Pattaya, but will stop if requested.

We will have our late-morning start time of speakers programme from 11:30 am , with the optional brunch from about 10:30 am till after 12 noon . The meeting entry cost is 80 Baht and for non-members 100 Baht.

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

And last week's Meeting update for 08 April 2007

Programme Manager:- Loran. - Meeting Manager:- enRico. - MC:- enRico. - Open-Forum Moderator:- Brian.

To contact PEC by email: (info@pattayaexpatsclub.com)
Our Vice-President is due back this week and should be at the next Meeting - welcome back Richard.

A face from PEC's past appeared last Sunday, Dave Watson is now back living & working in UK. Dave was an important part of the original few who started the club back in 2001. Dave is just visiting for a few weeks, and hopes to be with us again this coming Sunday.

Please think about helping out at the Pattaya Expats Club Meetings, or in the background during the week. A lot of background preparation goes into one of our Meetings. You would be welcome, and you can determine your own level of input. Please contact a 'Maroon Jacket' member at any meeting, or drop us an email.

Our main Speaker today was:- Dr. Karnchana Kittisarapong M.D., a specialist in the field of Allergies and Immunology. She originally trained as a paediatrician in Bangkok 's Mahidol University, and later with a Fellowship in Allergy and Immunology at Ramathibodi Hospital at the same university. There were many questions from the floor on allergic reactions and treatment of this annoying, and sometimes dangerous affliction.

Out in the foyer PIH staff also gave tests and check-ups free to our Club Members, including Blood Sugar tests. If you want to participate in this one please do not eat from the previous evening until after you take the test, which is ONLY available on the first Sunday of the month.

Our second Speaker was the popular motorbike taxi, street wise, club psychologist Khun Sombat who tackled the huge subject of - How to be safe in Thailand's Traffic. His advice was as follows: do not drink & drive, stay calm, don't try to drive as you would back home - fit into the local traffic pattern, beware of motorcycles driving on either side of you in both directions, and never leave home without your insurance!

Ask those questions on living in Thailand - here at the Meeting - during the Open Forum. This feature occurs each week, come and ask the expat experts!

Fancy a 12 hour sea fishing trip off Sattahip? Next trip planned for 28 April 0600 to1800. Contact James 0848717649.

Bangkok's 2nd airport opened 25 march. Don Muang Airport is designated on tickets as DMK, Suvarnabhumi Airport is designated BKK.

A fast and cheap way to get between the New Airport and downtown Bangkok is the shared-passenger NGV (natural gas vehicle) minivans that run from various parts of the city. They are clean (many are new), cheap, convenient, hassle-free, and fast as they do the trip via toll-roads. There are various routes from around the city, but here are the details to/from Victory Monument and, thus, a BTS Skytrain.

BTS/Victory Monument to the airport: Take the Skytrain to Victory Monument, walk the Skywalk to the right and down the stairs to the 7-Eleven and Dunkin' Donuts stands. Usually very near there, to the right of these stands, in the city bus queue is one of these vans (some or all have NGV written on them) waiting to fill up, which they do quickly. Cost - around 45 baht, drive-time to airport in rush hour - about 25 minutes. Confirm with the driver that they are going to Suvarnabhumi, they will throw your luggage in the back, pay him, and go. They'll drop you off at the terminal. If the minivan isn't in the roundabout queue, you can either wait for one to arrive, or do a little exploring. There's a little side soi that sort-of tucks under an expressway, there are about a hundred shared-passenger minivans under there waiting to go to different parts of the city, just ask around for the one to Suvarnabhumi. This is a sweet, cheap, option from City to Airport.

When travelling from airport: Leave the Departure terminal door with your baggage (Arrivals is much busier) and take the Shuttle Bus for a 5+ minute ride to the airport's public transportation centre (where city buses and taxis park). Upon arrival look for minivans that are at the end of the long row of big city buses. There will be many and they have the letters NGV on them and destinations in Thai and English. There are several tables where you buy a ticket for the minivan. Find the right ticket seller for your destination, pay your 45 baht or so, and get in the correct minivan. When it's full, you'll be on your way via toll-ways to your destination. Choosing a route to a BTS station extends your choices of final destination! Try it, and tell us what you think.

Member Glenis is a volunteer helper with the Father Ray Foundation, she is teaching the children. She would like your help with a few low-cost items that you might usually throw away. If you can bring these to the meetings she will collect. Empty Lipton Tea boxes, Dutch Milk half-litre plastic bottles + tops, any water bottle tops.

We were asked if anyone knows of a contact to take care of stray dogs. If you actually mean CARE, then Tony (of Disco & Gym fame) will arrange to pick up sick strays and have them cared for.

I recently checked with the Yellow Bus company in Soi Chaiyaphuk near Jomtien Beach. They do NOT run a bus to the old airport Don Muang - yet. The timetable to the new airport remains the same.

The British Embassy's Pattaya Office local representative for emergencies, Barry Kenyon can authenticate your UK pension or UK bank statements for Immigration purposes, if you can show original proof. Contact 081 782 7363.

US Embassy local Pattaya representative for emergencies is Gary Hacker. Contact 089 803 0388.

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: (http://www.grandsolepattaya.com/location.htm)
PEC website:- (http://www.pattayaexpatsclub.com)
PEC Blogg:- (http://pattayaexpatsclub.blogspot.com)
PEC email:- (info@pattayaexpatsclub.com) & (webhits2000@yahoo.com)
See you soon, MC - Brian.

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