Thursday, March 15, 2007

PEC Program for 18 Mar / Report from 11 Mar 2007

Meeting Programme for Sunday, 18 March, 2007:
A special delight is in store for all comfort-food famished PEC members: Steve Watson, Managing Director of Pizzas 'R' Us, will treat the club to a sampling of his new, expanded menu: in addition to his tasty pizzas, salads, burgers and fries, Steve is serving up Mexican Food, such as the Giant Burrito with Pork, and the Chicken Chimichanga, and has added Set Special Meals which can satisfy any appetite!
Our Speaker for Sunday is Rotarian and Master Mariner, Captain John Blair, who will tell us about The Mobility Project In Chonburi Province. This USA-based charity has liased with the Rotarians in Chonburi Province to bring used wheelchairs from the US to Thailand. Most of these wheelchairs need only minor repairs, and are much needed by Thai people with disabilities who cannot afford a wheelchair. John writes: "On Thursday the 17th of January we loaded up five wheelchairs into the back of my pickup and headed out of Pattaya to Chonburi, where we met up with a local Doctor and a welfare officer from the City Council. They led us to a house not very far from town; we were greeted by an old lady sitting outside with a beautiful little girl who was sitting on a table next to her grandmother. The little girl was sceptical of all these people and did not smile. We asked lots of questions and it turned out she was 12 years old and had never been to school. Her entire body was about 20 centimetres (about one foot) wide and was about 40 centimetres (2 feet) high. We had an engineer with us who was part of the mobility team from the USA that had bought 50 wheelchairs over with them. The engineer made a number of adjustments to the wheel chair. Meanwhile I went in to the family house and found the father and the brother of the little girl. They were in a very poor condition, and lay on a small thin mattress each on the floor. They were both crippled and could not get up. The little girl's mother had cancer and was unable to do much for anyone. So it was left to the grandmother to take care of everyone". Find out what happened, and how we helped this family.After his talk, Captain John will host a quick auction of a valuable, old tennis racket to raise money for this project.
Our Master of Ceremonies this Sunday will be Alexander Valentine, who will also amuse us with some PowerPoint Funnies, and Loran Davidson will host the 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 !
The PEC's DVD and Book Swap will be in the front left of the meeting room. Bring in those books, magazines and DVD's that you've already perused, and swap them out for some new ones! Many thanks to PEC members Ray and Joyce Aldridge for their help with this project!
We also want to remind members that the PIH (Pattaya International Hospital) is offering check-ups men and women over 50 for 2,800 baht, up to 8,900 baht. The PEC membership card entitles members to a 10% discount on some inpatient medical costs.
Events Around Town:
PATTAYA INTERNATIONAL LADIES CLUB. Coffee Morning at Gian's on Thappraya Road on 20th March. Contact Stephanie on 089 544 4842, or Sam on 087 9888 522. No reservations required. Members and guests. Ladies of all nationalities welcome. President: Rosanne Diamente. Tel: 081-865-0714.
BAD BOYS PATTAYA MC GALA at Alcazar Theatre on 23rd March at 7.00pm.
TEQUILA REEF celebrating 6th Anniversary with Gala Party on 24th March from 6.00pm. Soi 7, Beach Road.
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.
ASIAN UNIVERSITY ENGLISH SUMMER CAMPS. Students aged 14 up (no upper limit). Camp I from 15th March - 11th April. Camp II from 16th April - 13th May. Join the fun at Asian U English Summer Camps. A busy academic programme combined with an active social programme to give youngsters an enjoyable, productive way to spend their summer holidays. Information from Asian U website: ( or e-mail: ( or telephone 038 754 450.
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.
'Sunday Unplugged' Jam SessionsAt the Bristol Music, Bar Soi 6, Jomtien, every Sunday 1900-2300. All musicians & vocalists are welcome - proceeds help to support The Camillion Society of Rayong, which manages six projects for HIV positive children and adults. For more info call Danny at 08-471-21819.
BUDDIE meetings at Redemptorist Centre of Thailand, Sukhumvit Road, every Wednesday at 7.00pm. Contact Lynda 0841327086 or
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 are doing our Lucky Draw prizes throughout the meeting with the prizes being announced after the Open Forum. These prizes are 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 11:30 am at The Grand Sole Hotel, 2nd Rd.
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. For that, we enjoy the excellent technical presentation facilities of the Grand Sole Hotel conference room.
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, with a premium at under 11,000 B - please show your member's card to apply. They also have a range of Insurances such as property, house contents and motor cover available.
Tickets are sold from 10:30 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. --------- And the MC Report from 11 March Meeting:
Hi, I'm Brian, an MC at the Sunday meetings of the Pattaya Expats Club.
To contact PEC email: ( (do not use - - it doesn't work)
Programme Manager:- Loran. Meeting Manager:- enRico. Brian was our MC today, with Loran as Open-Forum Moderator.
Please think about helping out at the Pattaya Expats Club Meetings, or in the background during the week. A lot of 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:- Steve Dickens of Liberty Computers, expanding on his excellent series of articles in the Pattaya People Newspaper regarding useful Software that is either free or low cost - and effective! Anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-scumware, firewalls, browsers, utilities, etc. There are quite a few recommended by Liberty Computers. There followed a Q & A skilfully handled by our knowledgeable speaker. Read up on his detailed articles, visit their premises, or contact them via their website information: (
Our 2nd Speaker was Belgium Member Donaat Vernieuwe, with his final presentation in the series - being busy doesn't necessarily mean being stressed. This week he demonstrated body swinging techniques, and the benefits of quiet, dark silence. He always emphasises that sitting at a desk, maybe using a computer, stresses the body by asking it to be in unnatural positions for long periods. This series of muscle flexing and movement enables you to continue to do this with less long-term harm to you body skeleton. Thanks Donaat.
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! :)
Sadly we heard of the death of Member Philip Thomas. I'm sure many will remember Tex and his charming daughter Chelsea who attended regularly. She usually sat quietly with her toys, or drawings, while her Dad joined in with the meeting. Last Christmas she gave me a personally drawn Christmas card for all the Members of PEC, shortly before she sang with Mary from the Blues Factory on our stage. I understand Chelsea's Mother is here in Thailand. Tex's Thai-style funeral service was held last week.
We looked at the problems with ATM cards. If you are on holiday abroad for a short time, alert your card issuer to your plans so they will be prepared to allow a charge from an unusual destination. There is little worse than reading a message on the ATM screen that says your card will not work. Try to use ATMs that are in a controlled Mall, there may be tv cameras, and patrolling guards that deter criminals from manipulating a machine. If you have a Thai Bank card try to use the same Bank's ATM. It is not only cheaper (no charge) but, if a problem results, you only have to deal with one Bank. Don't let people crowd you at an ATM, they may observe your PIN entry, and grab your card. Look for unusual boxes added to the ATM, it could be a small camera watching the keypad. Remember people near you with a phone may have a camera in the phone. It's an evil world where money is concerned.
Here are some contact numbers for your Bank Cards.Mastercard 02 260 8572, Visa Thailand 02 256 7326, Visa International 02 263 2091, Visa UK +44 1733 318950 (collect), Visa USA +1 800 11 342 0662Amex 02 273 5544, 02 273 0044Diners 02 238 3660Citicorp 02 232 2000 ext 3390Thomas Cook 02 679 5521
I've just completed my annual trip to the Vehicle Registration Office to obtain replacement discs for my pickup-truck's windshield. I'm delighted to report the costs were the same as last year - no increases. For my 2-door pick-up the fixed charges are: Government compulsory insurance 1074 baht - Vehicle check 200 baht - Vehicle road use tax 1050 baht, 2324 baht for the year. Charges vary with vehicle type.
According to Forbes there are now 946 known USD Billionaires - with Bill Gates heading the list at - USD56b. I wonder if any of them live in Pattaya? There were recently just 2 winners of a Lottery in USA - over USD116m each. Beyond imagination, isn't it?
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.
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 in May, 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.
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: ( website:- ( Blogg:- ( email:- (
See you soon, MC - Brian.