Friday, January 26, 2007

PEC Program for 28 Jan / Report for 21 Jan 2007

Meeting Programme for Sunday, 28 January, 2007:

Our first speaker will be Christopher G. Moore, who will be talking to us about his latest publication, The Risk of Infidelity Index, the ninth book in his Vincent Calvino, Private Eye, series. In this tale, major political demonstrations are rocking Bangkok. Chaos and fear sweep through the Thai and expatriate communities. Calvino steps into the political firestorm as he investigates a drug piracy operation protected by important political connections.Chris is a Canadian writer who once taught law at the University of British Columbia. After his first book His Lordship's Arsenal was published in New York to a critical acclaim in 1985, Moore became a full-time writer and has so far written 18 novels and one collection of interlocked short stories. Moore has attained somewhat of a cult status among his readers in Asia and Europe and has an increasingly strong following in North America. Moore is probably best known by his cult classics, Land of Smiles Trilogy, his behind-the-smiles study of his adopted country, Thailand, and his highly popular Vincent Calvino Private Eye series.

Macleans has best summarized Moore's work: "Moore's noir thriller and literary fiction-like Graham Greene, he alternates between 'entertainment' and serious novels-are subtle and compelling evocations of a part of the world rarely seen through our eyes." Gore Vidal said of the Land of Smiles Trilogy: "The whole effect is very real-particularly the revelation of those razor teeth back of the Smile."

Our second speaker will be Khun Paisan, the Managing Director of the Rabbit Resort. He will give us an overview of his upcoming Real Estate Seminar to be held on February 9th, at the Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel, titled Is The Boom Over in the Pattaya Real Estate Market? Khun Paisan writes: "This is an important seminar that all people should attend, because it involves real estate ownership for all the expats in Thailand. This conference is timely and first ever that will be held amid drastic actions being taken by the government toward foreign direct investment in the kingdom. No more second hand information. You will hear from the horse's mouth about all changes that affects foreign investment in real estate. It will also be a public forum for all participants to voice their concerns and fill out questionaires at the conference."

Some of the topics to be discussed are: Land ownership using nominees; True supply and demand statistics; 30% withholding of investment funds and Leasehold vs. freehold ownership.

The outcome from the event will be summarized and a study will be made, publicized through the press and submitted to the government for further discussion or actions. Members can sign up for the seminar this Sunday at the PEC meeting; there are admission and translation fees.

Our Master of Ceremonies this Sunday will be Alexander Valentine and enRico Nestler will 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!

MEMBERSHIP NOTE: The PEC committee has reduced the cost of short term memberships, which all expire 31 December 2007, to 200 Baht for the year.


..and at the Meeting of 21 January 2007 -

To contact the Pattaya Expats Club email: (

Programme Manager:- Loran Davidson.
Meeting Manager:- enRico Nestler.
Brian was our MC today, with Alexander as Open-Forum Moderator.

Our Speaker today was:- Steve Dickens, Managing Director of Liberty Computers,, 038 720920. Steve looked at the new MS Vista (the latest in the line of Windows products from MicroSoft). He admitted he hadn't actually had a chance to play with the new software yet, but in general warned us to be wary of rushing in too quickly to this new platform. His long-time advice is always this - when contemplating a new product, wait a while for the bugs to be ironed out before committing lots of money to the latest fashion. He said the new Vista would be a lot more expensive than the current XP (although if you have a registered installation of XP you can get Vista at a discount via an online download). He thought that the improved security of Vista might eventually help the current virus situation and, down the road, Vista would probably prove to be a winner. We know that MS continuously push us to upgrade by removing support for their older platforms and eventually we would simply not have support for XP any longer. Steve then turned to Scams Spams & Jams (the last one being a reference to spills on a keyboard!), and quoted a range of emails we all have received at one time or another, and the danger associated with even just opening them, never mind actually clicking on something. The dangers of Spyware, and Trojans were also covered. He promised to return when he could give first-hand experience of Vista. Thanks Steve!

The second speaker was our own Alexander Valentine who took us through the medium of strange and very amusing video clips from around the world. A lot of good material, and obviously a lot of time spent in preparation. An excellent Powerpoint presentation, thank you Alexander.

We had a visit from Alan Hall, President of CEC (ChiangMai Expats Club). Don't forget your PEC members card is accepted at their meetings.

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! :)

Chinese New Year celebrations in Pattaya are only a few weeks away - February 14 to 18.

A reminder that if you plan to apply for a Visa for a non-British national, the current system is Not to apply direct to the UK Embassy in Bangkok. The company that handles these applications are: VFS (Thailand) Ltd. UK Visa Application Centre, 2nd Floor, Regent House, Kwaeng Lumpini, BKK 10330. A short walk from the Sky-train station at Ratchadamri. Email:

The new foreign currency regulations confusion continues. I'm told we are arranging a future speaker to address this and other Property related issues. We'll let you know when.

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. I visited the Jomtien/Airport Bus Office 19 January 2007. 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 is referred to as number 999, but the bus does NOT indicate 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.

The British Embassy has a Pattaya Office local representative for emergencies. He is Barry Kenyon. Contact 081 782 7363. 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 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 - link to: (

PEC website:- (
PEC Blogg:- (

No more from me for a few weeks,
See you later, MC - Brian.