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Everything posted by CrazyExpat

  1. Weeks of running in a charity marathon by Thailand’s rock-star, Toon Bodyslam, has officially concluded in Mae Sai District of Chiang Rai Province. At the end of the cross-country marathon, donations totaled 1.16 billion baht as Artiwara 'Toon Bodyslam' Kongmalai reached his destination at the Thailand-Myanmar border checkpoint in Mae Sai District. The amount collected means all 11 hospitals chosen to be the recipients of the donated funds will each receive over 100 million baht. Members of the public are also advised that donations to the fund are still possible until the end of Janu
  2. I love Vitamix and for years I had my USA 110 watt Vitamix for use in Thailand. However, it required that I use a converter that was about 20 pounds and taking that from place to place is a pain in the butt. So, I finally gave in and decided to buy a 220-240 Vitamix. There are some stores around Bangkok that have these machines. However, the best place to buy a Vitamix in Thailand is Bon Cafe. They have a selection of not only coffee machines but also the full supply of Vitamix machines. I had wanted the Prep 3 Vitamix and they often have sales. Vitamix is not cheap in Thailand. Min
  3. The construction of the first section of the Thailand-China railway line officially began on Thursday with a ground-breaking ceremony in the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Ratchasima. The 253-km first phase of the railway links Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchasima province. China is responsible for design of the railway, supervision of construction and manufacturing of trains and signal systems, among others. Once completed, the railway with a maximum speed of 250 km per hour will be the first high-speed railway in Thailand. For the full story: https://www.nextbigfuture.
  4. Thailand's parliament on Tuesday named Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as the new king, completing a formal step for the heir to take the throne following the death of his father last month. The Cabinet, following a 1924 law on succession, submitted Vajiralongkorn's name to the National Assembly after a brief meeting, where members formally acknowledged him as the new monarch. "I would like everyone to stand up and give their blessings to the new king," said National Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai. His statement was followed by a cheer of "Long live the king" by all assembly
  5. According to Khaosod English, the Thai government has approved 10 year visas for foreigners. Affluent foreign residents over 50 will soon be able to apply for 10-year visas, a government spokesman said Tuesday. Intended to promote Thailand as a hub for medical services, the policy was approved by the interim cabinet on Tuesday, according to spokesman Athisit Chainuwat. It would replace one-year renewable visas and come in two installments of five years each, Athisit said. It was not immediately clear when the plan would be implemented. Applicants must either earn a monthly
  6. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to advise the following during this time of sadness for the Thai people: Most mourners in the country will be dressed in black or white clothing as a display of the reverence to our Beloved King and as part of Thai culture, but this is not mandatory, especially for visitors. Tourists should kindly wear appropriate and respectable attire in public. Visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behavior. The Government has asked for the cooperation from entertainment venues to refrain from co
  7. "The government will proceed with the succession. The government will inform the National Legislative Assembly that His Majesty the King appointed his heir on Dec 28, 1972," Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in a statement broadcast on all television channels. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was appointed the Crown Prince.
  8. The entire country mourns the passing of His Majesty the King.
  9. The normally quite and peaceful country of Thailand had 11 bombs go on in the past 24 hours. As of this post, there are 4 dead and over 30 injured. The US Embassy has issued a travel advisory for the country. This is an update to the Security Message sent to U.S. citizens on the morning of August 12, 2016. Since late on August 11, multiple bombing incidents have occurred in parts of Thailand, including in Hua Hin, Phang Nga, Trang, Surat Thani, and Phuket. The latest incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. today, August 12. Thai local law enforcement and media are reportin
  10. Wanting to get a BTS card that would last a while, I bought the Rabbit Card. It is a refillable card that you can put baht on and use that for future rides. The card costs 80 baht and you have to put 100 baht on the card the first time. So, the total for the first trip is 180 baht. After that, you can just go into the BTS office and add more money. I found this much easier than just getting a different card each time. To use the card, instead of inserting it into the turnkey, you just put it on top and it reads it. When you exit, you do the same. It is that easy!
  11. Thailand's infamous sex industry is under fire, with the tourism minister pushing to rid the country of its ubiquitous brothels and a spate of police raids in recent weeks on some of the largest establishments providing sex services in Bangkok. Those who work in the industry say curbs on commercial sex services would hurt a flagging economy that has struggled to recover after political turmoil took the country to the brink of recession in 2014. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist and deeply conservative, but is home to an extensive sex industry, largely catering to Thai men. Hordes of
  12. Somsak Sreesomsong was 18 when he was jailed for selling illegal drugs. Now, turning 30, he is not yet half way through his 33-year sentence at Bangkok’s high-security Klong Prem prison. Somsak was “just a kid, not a big-time dealer”, his older brother Panit told Reuters after a visit to the jail. “We’re also serving time, waiting for him to get out so he can help the family.” More than a decade after Thailand declared a “war on drugs”, the country is admitting defeat. As the prison population soars, Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya told Reuters he was looking at changes to the cou
  13. The new draft constitution has been written and distributed and it gives the military ultimate power in the country. While the Thaskin supporters still hold the majority of votes, the military will not let go of the ability to control the elections and the power base of the country. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in August.
  14. Chin Chinawut, famous singer and actor, cried on national television yesterday after he was drawn to serve in the military for two years. After being exempt for six years, the 27-year-old superstar was surprised with a military duty call yesterday after his exemption plea was rejected, causing Chin to abruptly withdraw from two upcoming television dramas and a movie. Chin has been exempt due to an injury from a bicycle accident nine years ago which left his wrist broken. The actor still has a metal plate in his arm. However, yesterday, the military decided Chin was healthy and e
  15. A Thai gardener behind a $20 million gem heist from a Saudi palace that has long soured relations between the two countries became a monk Thursday in hope of redeeming his karma. Kriangkrai Techamong stole the precious gems from the palace of a Saudi prince where he worked in 1989, triggering a feud between Thailand and Saudi Arabia dubbed the "Blue Diamond Affair" that has yet to be resolved. Thai police later returned some of the jewels but Saudi officials claimed most were counterfeits while the whereabouts of the most precious gem -- a rare 50-carat blue diamond -- remains
  16. Time Magazine had a good article today on the Thai Generals wanting to reserve their seats in the future Senate. With the upper chamber being appointed and including these Generals, it does not see like the new Constitution truly has a democratic tone.
  17. The quality of Thailand's education remains unsatisfactory, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong admits. Speaking at the presentation of the government's one-year achievements Wednesday, ACM Prajin said the standard of education remains low, as reflected by the 46th ranking worldwide which it received from the World Economic Forum (WEF). Thailand's university education was also ranked 8th among the 10 Asean member countries, added ACM Prajin.
  18. A Thai court sentenced two Myanmar migrant workers to death on Thursday after convicting them of the 2014 murders of two British tourists on a holiday island in a case mired in controversy and a dispute over DNA samples. The battered bodies of backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a beach on the island of Koh Tao in September 2014. Police said Witheridge had been raped and bludgeoned to death. Miller also suffered blows to his head. Following weeks of pressure to solve the case, police arrested Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun and later said the two ha
  19. Thai authorities have ordered schools to carry out urgent background checks on the country's foreign teachers after Australian convicted paedophile Peter Dundas Walbran was discovered teaching children in north-eastern Thailand. Education officials admit that some foreigners applying for teaching jobs falsify their credentials and many schools fail to carry out proper background checks on applicants. A Fairfax Media Australia report revealed last week that a simple Google search would have found that 59-year-old Walbran raped and sexually molested children as young as eight on the Indonesi
  20. Since it seized power in a military coup in 2014, Thailand’s military junta, led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has become increasingly obsessed with controlling public debate. This reached absurd proportions on Wednesday, when the Thai police announced they were investigating United States Ambassador Glyn Davies for possible violation of the country’s lèse-majesté laws that make royal insult a crime. The investigation focuses on remarks Mr. Davies made last month reiterating the United States’ concern about efforts by the junta to curb free speech, specifically the “lengthy and unprecedented
  21. The students at MIS Year 5 are all around 10 and 11 years old. While there are many students from around the world, what these children have in common is being immersed in the English language during instruction time at this Pattaya international school. Since literacy is comprised of the four elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking, I’ve found that the use of drama in the classroom helps children become successful in all four areas. In particular, in those whose second language is English, confidence, fluency and good times are the natural by-products of drama and theatre in cl
  22. The New York Times Company stated today that they will end the printing of the International New York Times in Thailand. Much speculation has been given to this decision but most think this has to do with the clamp on freedom of speech (or lack thereof) in Thailand after the coup last year.
  23. A story by Dumrongkiat Mala in today’s Bangkok Post reports that the Education Ministry plans in March to kick off its first six-week “train-the-trainer” program me for 500 Thai teachers to teach English in state-run schools. Deputy Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, who oversees the program, said Tuesday the teachers will be trained by 50 British Council English specialists. “The 500 teachers will live in what we call an immersive environment for six weeks, speaking only English. I was one of about 100 Peace Corps volunteers who did our Thai-language training in Hilo on the big i
  24. Thailand will be launching a new six-month multiple-entry tourist visa (METV) on November 13. “The visa, costing Rs 10,000 (5,000 baht) will grant travelers multiple entries during a 6-month period, for up to 60 days per entry. All foreign nationals are eligible to apply for METV,” said a release issued by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Thursday. There has been speculation about the METV since August this year with travelers and travel trade in India excited about the prospective added convenience. Soraya Homchuen, director, TAT Mumbai office said: “I expect that frequent travelers f