Group plans meditation,
gallery events for Father’s Day
A sample painting for the
Father’s Day painting exhibition in Pattaya.
Hoping to bring the nation together to honor HM the King on his 84th
birthday, the Thulee Thai Club will sponsor a 15-minute meditation break and
painting exhibition in Pattaya for Father’s Day.
The Dec. 5 ceremony co-sponsored by the Chonburi government will see the
Manusaya Pisek Pandin Mongkol, or “United Force for the Sacred Earth and
Closed Eyes Meditation for HM the King’s Charity Project,” take place at 4
p.m. in front of Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
Theerapan Lorpaiboon, president of the Thulee Thai Club, said the event,
which also will showcase 84 watercolor paintings in honor of HM the King, is
being organized in response to the strife and protests that have wracked the
nation in the past year. The club believes that if everyone stops for 15
minutes to close their eyes and meditate together, it will create common
ground on which the country can grow together again.
“This is being done to remind people about the benefits of common
activities,” he said. To promote the event, the club has created an
“auspicious land” coin composed of clay from all of Thailand’s provinces.
“It is the first time people have used dirt they walk on to worship on.”
Theerapan, who will paint the watercolors himself, asked everyone
participating in the event to wear pink shirts.
‘Monkey Island’ tourism threatened by garbage
As the Royal Thai Navy prepares to develop Koh Ped into a
monkey-centric tourist attraction, it has realized a messy problem needs to
be solved first: garbage.
The end of the rainy season has brought with it blustery northern winds and
high tides that are blowing trash out of Sattahip, Jomtien and Pattaya
communities into the sea and onto island beaches.
Vice Adm. Yutthana Fakpol-ngam, director of the Naval Education Department,
said the garbage problem needs to be solved urgently as trash can be found
on the beach, on rocks and even on the shore in front of the Chumphon Navy
He has ordered the school to have students clean the beaches on Koh Ped to
make it better for tourists who in the past month have renewed visits to the
island to feed resident macaque monkeys after widespread media reports that
the simians were starving.
The Navy, along with Kledkaew School, are working on the “Crab-Eating
Macaque Lovers Project,” which calls for refurbishment of some of the
island’s facilities and installation of a water-storage system.
Yutthana said he also plans this month to visit navy units in Sattahip to
lay out preventive measures for prevent problems affecting tourism on Koh
55-year-old Koh Larn property war flares again
Chonburi Gov. Senee Jittakasem
(left), and Puchong Rungroj (right),
president of the House Administration Commission discuss land
ownership with Koh Larn residents (not shown).
Thailand’s House of Representatives has stepped into a 55-year-old
debate over land ownership on Koh Larn, looking into the more than 50
complaints filed by island residents about being denied ownership
At a Nov. 6 hearing at the Banglamung District Office, Puchong Rungroj,
president of the House Administrative Commission, quizzed Chonburi Gov.
Senee Jittakasem, Banglamung District and Pattaya City officials and
representatives from the province’s Land Office about the many refusals and
revocations of land-owning rights since Thailand’s Land Code was enacted in
Puchong said his panel had received 53 complaints from people who claimed to
have possessed land since before the Land Code but have been denied
certificates of ownership for a number of reasons, including that their land
overlaps city property, that it’s located in hilly areas, and because
continuous possession of their land could not be proven before 1954.
Many of the cases are now in the court system and, until verdicts are
pronounced, city and provincial officials have refused to act either way on
other pending ownership-certificate applications.
The dispute goes back to a time when Pattaya was little more than jungle and
some beachfront fishing shacks. Rather than stay on the mainland, some Thais
opted instead for the wilderness of Koh Larn, staking claim to more than 320
rai of white sand at Samae Beach and on the peaks overlooking Pattaya Bay.
Property law was born in the form of the Land Code in 1954 and island
inhabitants were asked to declare their holdings with the state and obtain
the land-use certificate needed to obtain a property title. Banglamung
District officials, however, said they were unable to issue so-called Sor
Khor 1 documents for Koh Larn and the issue was left unresolved until 1972
when the land holders said they’d apply for a higher-level permit called Sor
Kor 3, which would certify they have legal right to possess the land and
benefit from it as an owner.
Still nothing was done until 1994 when the Interior Ministry issued rules
forbidding issuance of any certificates of ownership on the island. The
villagers’ applications were then suspended and they were told they did not
qualify for ownership.
The Koh Larn property holders then took their case to court, buoyed by a
similar case involving pre-1954 land holders on Phuket where the
Administrative Court ordered the Land Department to issue ownership
Three Koh Larn inhabitants then managed to obtain certificates but Pattaya
city and Chonburi provincial officials later revoked them, claiming the
residents couldn’t prove they’d continuously held the land. Meanwhile,
Pattaya denied another 14 applications, claiming their Samae Beach claims
included property now belonging to the city.
At the hearing, elected officials wanted more information on why district
and provincial land offices have halted action on ownership certificates.
Local officials replied they could not do anything until the remaining court
cases are settled.
Overhang collapses, injures four
An emergency crew begins
digging through the rubble.
Four people were injured after the illegally extended ceiling of
long-abandoned high-rise collapsed, trapping food sellers on a small street
next to Central Festival Pattaya Beach under falling concrete.
Sumalee Hongsa, 53, suffered a concussion, Samran Thoskaew, 39, sustained a
broken arm and leg, and Burmese immigrant “Suay” and Boonrat Saikaew, 36,
incurred minor injuries. All were taken to area hospitals.
The accident occurred Nov. 10 when a second-storey overhang of a 20-year-old
former hotel gave way during a busy mid-afternoon. The seven-floor building,
whose owner is unknown, sits at the center of an ongoing court case and no
work was supposed to have been done on it.
However, Pichet Uthai Watananon, director of Building Permits for Pattaya,
said after inspecting the scene that the structure had been altered and does
not conform to permits issued for the site.
While the building site itself is now closed off, the soi next to the
shopping mall has been reopened to traffic.
Meteor shower coming November 18
Provided it’s a clear night, the early hours of November 18
promise a meteor shower for sky gazers in Thailand. The Leonids meteor
shower, which visits us every year, could produce as much as 500
“shooting stars” every hour.
The first peak is expected just after midnight Wednesday, November 18,
but sky watchers should be able to start seeing the shower beginning
late Tuesday night, November 17.
There should also be a second peak period between 3:40 a.m. and 5 a.m.
according to the International Meteor Organization’s website <
http://www.imo. net/calendar/2009#leo >.
“Clearly, the evening to early morning UT hours of November 17/18 are
likely to be of greatest observer interest. Luckily, new Moon on
November 16 ensures perfectly dark skies for covering whatever events
happen,” the site writes, adding that Asia will be the best place to
watch the event.
Quoting NASA, Wikipedia writes: “The Leonids are a prolific meteor
shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their
name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo: the
meteors appear to stream from that point in the sky. The 2009 display
peaking on November 17(/18) may produce more than 500 meteors an hour.”
People should be able to enjoy the spectacular phenomenon with the naked
Interior Ministry sets priorities for 3,500 new bureaucrats
Nearly 3,500 newly-elected local administrators were told to
protect the country and monarchy, abolish drugs, aid citizens affected
by natural disasters and build up local industry during an Interior
Ministry orientation in Jomtien Beach.
of Interior Chaovarat Chanweerakul talks to the newly elected administrators
about his new policies.
Interior Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul led the meeting of 3,494 city,
district and sub-district officials at the Ambassador City Hotel Oct. 28-29.
He laid out four major directives for the administrators, who also were
briefed on policies covering finance, inventory, education and customer
Chaovarat told the bureaucrats their primary responsibility was the
protection and security of the country and the monarchy. Their other top
duties, he said, should be to work to eliminate drug use, warn about natural
disasters and assist those affected by them, and encourage companies to make
and sell local products.
The minister’s scheduled presence brought out red-shirted protestors from
the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, who waved signs in
front of the hotel, but they arrived too late to actually see him. Instead
they handed over a petition to the director general of the Office of Local
Administration to complain about the present government.
Red Shirt protestors are met
by a strong force of riot police, with military reinforcements in the
background, in the front of the Ambassador City Hotel.
Buddha relics arrive at Marine Corps Sattahip
Relics representing the partial remains of Lord Buddha have been
enshrined at Marine Corps headquarters in Sattahip.
Thai Marines deliver the Buddha relics to the Marine Corps headquarters in
The Commission of Religious Ethics Arts and Culture authorized the
installation of the relics, which was celebrated Nov. 4 with ritual chanting
from nine monks.
Marine Corps Commander Vice Adm. Suvit Tharathoop said the relics are part
Buddha’s remains and are considered holy by worshippers around the world. He
called the enshrinement at the Marine Corps facility a great blessing to the
Royal Thai Navy staff and families.
Navy rescues 5 fishermen
after storm sinks boat
The sinking Sri Vichian 8
slams into the rocks
on the shores of an island near Samae San.
Royal Thai Navy rescuers pulled five tired, but unhurt, fishermen
from a beach on Koh Chan after their boat began to sink in high seas Nov. 9.
Phirom Vonkhaonoi, captain of the Sri Vichian 8, said a severe storm hit the
vessel so hard that its anchor was pulled from the seabed, pushing the craft
toward the island off Samae San. The boat split open and he and four crewmen
swam to shore.
Navy Region 1 sent a rescue unit to the island where the fishermen had been
stranded with no food or water.
The 41-year-old captain said the crew had taken precautions against the
storm by anchoring in a protected bay, but the storm proved stronger than
All bets off as 8
foreigners arrested during
illegal poker game
Pattaya police dealt their own version of “Texas Hold ‘em” at a
hotel off Walking Street, arresting eight foreign and three Thai players in
a high-stakes poker game.
interrogation, Pornpansa confessed she was the owner of the location and
illegally conducted the poker games.
Swedes Johan Olof, 37, and Lif Matti Adrius Malmi, 37, Finland nationals
Willa Pekka Willhunen, 23, Annu Tapol Lahatinen, 23, and Eddie Fabian
Lundgren, 31; and Israelis Jarano Tapani Passi, 36, and Fraham Bachar, 52,
were all charged with illegal gambling, along with Thais Jarunee Kingnoi,
29, Ketsinee Lahuanong, 25, and Pornpansa Sombatmak, 27.
Pattaya City, Chonburi provincial and Immigration Department police also
seized 852,250 baht in cash and chips in the raid on the second-floor Encore
Hotel room set up with 25 decks of cards, one poker table and electronic
After interrogation, Pornpansa confessed she was the owner of the location
and illegally conducted the poker games.
Reward offered after home
burglarized 3 times
A security camera catches the thief entering the
A woman whose home has been burglarized three times is offering a
reward of up to 50,000 baht for information and arrest of the burglar who
stole her truck in the most recent break in.
Wanpen Kladsranoi, 32, lost cash, computers and other property worth about 1
million baht during the two burglaries of her Romance Sand Ville home and,
on Nov. 2, she awoke to find someone had stolen her Toyota Fortuner. She has
called on police to step up evening patrols, saying she and her family can
no longer tolerate the Soi Thai Udom-area crime wave.
This month’s burglary took just 13 minutes. Closed-circuit television
security cameras showed a man in cream-colored clothing and wearing a mask
sneak into the house’s back yard. He used a stick to move the camera and
broke into the house where he stole the key to the Toyota (license plate No.
Chor Yor-4797). He reset the camera on his way out and drove away at 4:13
Wanpen said her house was robbed two times earlier and a third time
attempted. Taken in those break-ins were 15,000 baht cash, a notebook
computer, 1-baht gold necklace, five gold amulets and a Playstation Portable
She said she would give a reward of 30,000 baht for information leading to
the recovery of her vehicle and would increase that to 50,000 if the thief
Uni student drug dealer
spends recess in jail
A Sriracha university student who took some time off from school to
sell drugs in Pattaya to fund his gambling habit won’t be going back to the
classroom anytime soon.
Suksombhut was caught with 600 ya ba tablets.
Police captured 26-year-old Somphorn Suksombhut with 200 ya ba tablets in
his pocket as he was trying to sell them on Sukhumvit Road near the North
Road intersection Nov. 2.
Officers took the Srisaket native back to his Nongkham Sub-district room and
discovered he had another 400 methamphetamine tablets hidden there.
Somphorn explained that he was over his head financially due to debts
related to gambling on football matches. He said he often sold drugs to
refill his bank account after a run of bad luck.
Loy Krathong flying lantern
starts garbage dump fire
An errant kom loy caused a
spectacular blaze out near
the railroad tracks during Loy Krathong celebrations.
A Loy Krathong kom loy (flying lantern) that crash landed in a
Pattaya garbage dump set off a blaze that quickly spread through the 3-rai
facility, causing 100,000 baht damage.
Firefighters were called to the trash-processing plant near the railroad
tracks around 2 a.m. Nov. 3. Ten engines responded the fully-engulfed site,
taking more than an hour to control the blaze.
Nearby residents reported seeing a flying kom loy, powered by a heavily
waxed candle, land on the building’s roof after running out of fuel. The
small amount of fire left in the lantern ignited the building and the fire
spread to the piles of plastic, foam and paper.
Bungled ATM bombing foretold in Hollywood script
Thieves who blew up a United Overseas Bank automated teller machine
but went home empty handed clearly had never watched the 2003 movie
Had they done so before using a home-made bomb on the Sukhumvit Road ATM
next to Underwater World Nov. 7, they’d have known the only thing you get
from blowing up ATMs is, at best, burnt money and, more likely, a trip to
jail. Police are working right now to make sure that happens.
Lt. Col. Chonapat Nawalak points to where thieves botched their attempt to
blow up an ATM.
Officers were called to the UOB machine around 5 a.m. by a security guard at
the aquarium next door who reported hearing a loud explosion. Officers
arrived to find a heavily damaged machine with a perfectly intact inner
safe. The back door of the ATM, through which employees load cash, was blown
off and the card reader on the front had been banged around, but the money
was still inside, along with plenty of clues, including bomb parts, plastic
explosive and, of course, closed-circuit television footage.
Had the thieves spent a bit more time in front of their own televisions,
they might not now be wanted by police. In the American comedy, three guys
steal an ATM machine and then spend the entire day trying to get it open.
Finally resorting to explosives, they end up burning themselves and all the
money just before getting hauled away by police.
It didn’t take a movie for banks worldwide to wise up to bank-machine bombs,
however. Most machines are fitted with ventilation holes to prevent thieves
from pumping in gas and igniting it while others actually encase cash in
highly flammable wrappers that burn up the loot when heated or subjected to
friction from drilling.
Rotary Cross Bay Swim set
for November 15
Competitors in the long
distance swim set off
from Bali Hai during last year’s event.
Patrick Cogan and Vimolrat Singnikorn
Rotary Cross Bay Swim partners Dusit Thani Hotel Pattaya and the
Hard Rock Hotel are all set for the 6th Rotary Cross Bay Swim on Sunday
On November 9, Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya President Helmut Buchberger
and other Rotarians met with civic leaders, including Deputy Mayor Verawat
Khakhay, at city hall to announce the preparations.
The swim is being separated into two lengths, the short length being 1.1 km
and the longer swim being 3.5 km.
Registration for the short swim will be at the Hard Rock Hotel at 10.30
a.m., with swimmers starting their swim at 12:00 a.m. The long swim
registration will start at Bali Hai pier at 11 a.m., with swimmers wading
into the water at 1 p.m.
The opening ceremony will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel at 10.30 a.m.,
with honored guests Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Rotary Club of
Jomtien-Pattaya President Helmut Buchberger.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said the city will fully cooperate with
organizers of the event, which includes providing plenty of safety backup in
case of emergency. Marine rescue teams will watch over the swimmers via
boats and jet skis.
Limited parking will be available in front of the Hard Rock Hotel for
set-down only. Bangkok Hospital Pattaya emergency ambulance will be on
standby at Dusit Thani Pattaya.
The race finish and competitors’ buffet will begin from 12.30 at the Dusit
Thani Hotel. Short course competitors usually arrive at this time whilst
long course competitors usually begin to arrive around 3.45 p.m. A beach bar
with light meals for Thai and Farang food will be available for supporters
The Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya raises money for orphans and children
from poor families in Pattaya and up-country. All funds raised from this
event will go to these children with the usual zero Rotary administration
For further information contact Brendan Kelly : 084 033 6296 or Patrick
Cogan on email@example.com. Also Rotary Jomtien’s activities can be seen
on www. rotary-jomtien-pattaya.org.
Consular outreach to visit Pattaya
The Consular Section of the American Embassy in Bangkok
is pleased to announce an outreach visit to Pattaya on November 19, 2009.
Consular staff will be available to provide consular services at the
Thursday, November 19, 2009, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Dusit Thani
Pattaya, at 240/2 Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi, 20150,
Thailand. Telephone: 03-842-5611.
The following consular services will be available during the outreach visit:
* Passport renewal applications ($75.00 or 2550 baht for adult passports,
and $85 or 2890 baht for a child’s passport)
* Notarial Services and Certified Copies ($30 or 1020 baht). This includes
income affidavits for retirees in Thailand.
* Social security, VA or other federal benefits questions will be limited,
but the staff will try to provide forms and answers.
(Please bring exact change!)
NOTE: The consular staff cannot process extra visa pages during
outreach trips. They can accept applications, but the passports will have to
be brought back to the embassy for final processing the next day. The
passports will then have to be picked up in person (or by a friend upon
presentation of a letter of authorization signed by the applicant) at the
embassy. They regret any inconvenience caused by this.
Additionally, Consular Reports of Birth cannot be processed during consular
If you have any questions, please email: acsbkk @state.gov or call the
American Citizen Services Unit at: 02-205-4049.
Dr. Iain Corness
I have been a sucker for magic tricks since I was a very small boy.
I find I am still a sucker for magic tricks, as half an hour with magician
Howard Posener showed me the fascination was certainly still there. And the
frustration at not being able to work out how he damn well does it!
Posener (left) made coins disappear and reappear while Dr. Iain Corness
(right) was concentrating and only inches away from his hands.
Howard Posener is an unassuming man who just strolled into the Amari Tower,
shook my hand, and asked where was the bathroom! I counted my fingers, and
as there was still a full complement of five, give him directions. On his
return we sat down together, almost as if we were old friends and for the
next 30 minutes he held me spell-bound, and the cameraman mesmerized.
Whilst Howard can make elephants disappear, or conjure up a Mercedes-Benz on
the top deck of a yacht; for us, he gave a preview of the table magic he
will be doing at the Amari at the Charity Dinner, sponsored by the
Cosmopolitan Lions Club (Jomtien) on November 21.
Amongst his amazing repertoire, Howard identified a playing card which was
in my mind only. “Think of a card,” and he produces it. How? I do not know.
He made coins disappear and reappear while I was concentrating and only
inches away from his hands. How? I do not know.
He took three unequal lengths of rope, which I held in my hands and
examined, and then turned them into three equal lengths, no scissors, no top
hat. How? I do not know. Eventually you begin to doubt your own eyes!
The charity dinner is your first (and probably only) chance of seeing the
extraordinary talents of this man, who has entertained many dignitaries
including Lord Richard Attenborough, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and celebrities
such as Sir Elton John, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, John Travolta,
Kevin Costner, Melanie Griffith, Brad Pitt, Rod Stewart and many, many more.
Tickets are available from AA Insurance Brokers telephone 081 805 6717, or
from the concierge at the Amari. There are only 100 tickets and as I write
this, I believe over 80 percent have been sold already. The charity being
assisted is Croston House Children’s Home in Lamphun.
(Post Script: When Howard finished, and I was still no closer to working out
how he did the tricks, he shook my hand again. I counted my fingers again -