MidTMike

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Everything posted by MidTMike

  1. On the right hand side of the board, you will see a group of people that are today's top posters. Some have photos there. Those photos are the ones uploaded by the users as Photos. It is NOT their aviator. Both can be uploaded in the same area. But, one is your profile photo and one is your aviator. You can have the same image for both or you can change them. To change them, click on your name at the top and go to My Settings and My Profile and Edit Profile. You can change either one of these or both at any time as often as you like. Sorry if there was any confusion!
  2. When you are logged in, go to the top part of the forum where you name is on the right hand side. Click it and one of the drop down areas is My Settings. Hit that button. Then hit the Tab for Profile. Once inside there, you can change your avatar to one that is developed with the software, one that you upload or linked from another website. You can also change your about me page, photo, etc. The more creative your aviator the better! I hope this helps!
  3. Thai's do have a sweet tooth. I was at Siam Paragon yesterday and they have a special festival for the moon cake. I tasted some of the deserts and they were good. I have rarely eaten at a local mom and pop store in Thailand that had good deserts. Most will have some Ice Cream but little else. My favorite Thai desert is Sticky Rice with Mango. Yummy! There is also a candy made from sugar and coconut that you find wrapped in paper. It is quite sticky in your mouth and may pull out your fillings, but it is good!
  4. There are many language schools in Thailand. If you really want to learn the language, I suggest you try one of them. If you are in Thailand, there is Siam Paragon book store which I have found tons of books and CD's about learning to speak Thai. It is one of the best book stores around. I have also seen the Rosetta Stone in Thai. I have not used it. I did use it for the English DVS's for a Thai friend to learn English and I really liked it and so did he.
  5. I use a Mac and it comes with IDisk which backs up my documents. It also has Mobile Me which will back up bookmarks, passwords, programs, and everything else. I had a dead computer last year and when I got the new laptop I was so worried I'd spend weeks trying to get all the information back. Instead, when I opened the Mac it asked if I wanted to sync with my Mobile Me account and I said yes. All my sites were put into Safari, all bookmarks there, all passwords, there etc. It was the most painless experience I have ever had and one of the main reasons I love Macs. There is also a program called Evernote which I love that allows me to upload 500MB worth of storage to their server monthly. Their yearly fee is 45 USD. Evernote then takes my stuff, dissects it and allows me to use search in ways I have never seen. It is really an information program but with 500 MB a month, I use it for back up as well. I keep all my documents there. http://www.evernote.com/
  6. I have a friend interested in this program. Does anyone know anything about the school? Anyone had friend that have went to the program? Success stories? http://www.lecordonbleudusit.com/English/cm1.cfm?lang=4
  7. I had a nice time in Soi Twilight last night. Several bars had a great group of guys. Dream Boys has a nice group and was full of guys and customers. X-Boys was also nice and full of some sexy guys. The stage that was filled the most was X-Size. It was there I picked up a hottie that I had lusted for for quite a long time. He was divine. In the room, I would give him a 2 out of 10. But, the fantasy was full-filled and time to move forward. FAST.
  8. Today I went to Siam Paragon and had lunch. As I was going to the mall, it started raining. It was a torrential downpour. It was hard and fast. When I left, I took a taxi and it took 2 hours to go what should have been 10 minutes. Here is what it looked like from above Siam.
  9. MidTMike

    Big Events

    There are many big events in one's life. For me, when I turned 18, it was huge. I felt like an adult. When I graduated from university, that was another big event. Now, I am pretty set in life. Staying in Thailand for long periods of time, there are many events that I look forward to each year. Perhaps my favorite event in Thailand is Songkran. That is the Thai holiday where people come out for a huge celebration of the start of rainy season. I just love all the water fights and smiles! What are other events in your life you find a "big?" Or, what is your favorite event in Thailand?
  10. While not one of their major updates, this version of their new OS is supposed to speed up many tasks. I have not seen it in action yet but am looking forward to it.
  11. CALGARY — The wife of a former Calgary man murdered in Thailand last year has been sentenced to life in prison along with her boyfriend and the hitman who carried out the attack. Dale Henry, 48, was shot in the head while laying in bed at his home in Ban Nong, Thailand on Feb. 3, 2008. Henry’s 27-year-old wife, Maneerat, was convicted of the murder along with her boyfriend, Amornsak Keskaew and a hitman, Jinda Sae Tae, with police saying the three plotted to kill Henry to collect on a $1 million life insurance policy. “I’m so relieved, it’s been such a long haul,” said Dale’s brother Richard Henry from Thailand where he has been for the past seven months working to see justice served. “It’s all surreal right now, it’s hard to believe. “At first I didn’t understand because it was all in Thai, but when it was (translated) I was just relieved because justice was finally done.” A former Cochrane firefighter and paramedic, Henry was recovering from a badly broken leg when he was killed, which Richard said was likely the result of an earlier attempt on his life. Maneerat and Keskaew were originally sentenced to death, said Richard, but the judge commuted that to life in prison. Richard is now moving forward with a civil case he launched against Maneerat to try and get back some of Dale’s things she took from their house after he was killed and money she withdrew from his bank account, with the next hearing set for Sept. 7. “She stole about US$21,000,” he said. “The money started coming out his personal account the day after he was murdered. During the trial, Richard said the three accused had contempt for the justice system there and didn’t seem to take thing seriously. “They would just laugh at me and figured they owned the world up until this last court appearance,” he said. “They thought they had everything in the palm of their hand.” But that changed when the guilty verdict was read. “They were standing in front of the judge so we couldn’t see their reaction, all we could see was their backsides,” he said. “They had to turn around when the court security came in to put handcuffs on them and (Maneerat) started to cry.” Navigating the legal system in a foreign country has been tough, said Richard, especially since he doesn’t speak the language. http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/alberta/2009/08/27/10643281.html By DAVE DORMER, Sun Media
  12. Thailand Holidays! Just like every other country in the world, the Thai people love to celebrate – and there are many official and non-official holidays on the Thailand calendar. Most of them celebrate the Buddha, the family or the country's leadership. They take their holidays very seriously, and it can be an awe-inspiring to experience the honoring of their very personal observances. The following is a list and explanation of when, where and why they celebrate – so you can have a holiday during their holidays! Official Holidays January 1 - New Year's Day. New Year's is a religious and cultural celebration in Thailand. Most of the natives go to the Buddhist temples to make offerings to the monks. They often will buy caged birds and set them free as a symbol of the freedom of the New Year. Third Thai Lunar Month – Also known as Magha Puja, the February full moon in Thailand is a widely observed Buddhist holiday. The locals use the day to celebrate Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha. They make sure to commit no sins during the day and attempt to purify their minds and spirits. They often bring gifts to the local temples in order to honor the Buddha. April 6 - Chakri Memorial Day. Officially known as King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day, this holiday celebrates the creation of the Chakri dynasty. It was this dynasty that built the city of Bangkok, so the locals embrace the beauty and grace of their capital city. April 13 To April 15 - Thailand's New Year. This is the biggest holiday of the Thailand calendar. Considered a time to celebrate the family, most Thais travel to see their mothers, fathers and grandparents. Local villages swell as people come home and say “thanks” to the people who raised them. May 5 - Coronation Day. This day celebrates the coronation of Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is still the official king of Thailand. He is the longest-reigning head of state in the world, and has been king since 1946. He has held the crown longer than any other king in Thailand's history. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony. This holiday is held on a different day every May. The date is determined by the Thailand astrological calendar. The point of the holiday is to celebrate the beginning of the rice-growing season. As part of the ceremony, two oxen are tied to a wooden plough and made to walk through the rice paddies. Then they are offered a variety of food and drinks. Depending on what they eat and drink, the monks then make predictions on how the season will be. This is similar to America’s Groundhog Day. Vesak. Held during the first full moon in May, Vesak celebrates both the birth and death of Buddha. It is said that on this day Buddha finally understood the concept of Nirvana. The Thais use the day to try to come closer to their own personal utopia. Asalha Puja. This holiday is held on the 15th day of the waxing moon in July. The purpose of the holiday is to commemorate Buddha's first sermon. It is celebrated by going to temple and listening to the monks provide spiritual guidance to help you through the rest of the year. August 12 - The Queen's Birthday. This is a dual celebration. On one level, it celebrates the birth of Queen Sirkit. But, it is also observed as the unofficial Mother's Day of Thailand. Most Thais go home and honor their mother while also giving thanks to the benevolence of their queen. October 23 - Chulalongkorn Day. This day is dedicated to celebrating the passing of Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha Chulalongkorn Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua – the last great King of Siam – in 1910. He was known as the “Royal Buddha” and is credited with bringing modernity to Thailand and the region. It is because of this king that Siam avoided colonization and remained a free, independent state. December 5 - The King's Birthday. This is the twin of the Queen's Birthday. It celebrates both the birth of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is also Father's Day. Typically, it is a private family celebration. An alternative name for December 5 is “National Day” and is similar to America’s Independence Day. December 10 - Constitution Day. Also known as Wan Rattha Thammanu, this day is used to honor the signing of the Thailand constitution in 1932. Local Thais see it as a celebration of their liberty and independence. Unofficial Holidays And Observances February 2 - National Agriculture Day. On this day, farmers are celebrated and honored for their work and production during the year. Chinese New Year. Celebrated on different days near the start of February, Chinese New Year is a three-day celebration honoring the start of the Oriental calendar year. It begins on the last day of the Chinese calendar and continues until the second day of the “new year.” Fireworks, paper dragons and parades are all part of the ongoing celebration. February 14 - Valentine's Day. This is celebrated the same way it is in the West, as a day to declare your feelings of love to your special someone. Atthami Puja. Held during the waning moon of the sixth Thai lunar month, Atthami Puja is a day of reflection honoring the cremation of the Buddha. Dragon Boat Festival. Also known as Duanwu, this is a traditional Chinese holiday that is celebrated in some parts of Thailand. It is held on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. People celebrate it by drinking, eating rice wraps and watching traditional Chinese boats move through the water. July 1. This is both National Scout Day and the Mid-Year Holiday. It is a day off from work for most of the country and all banks and other institutions are closed. Officially, it celebrates the founding of scouting in Thailand in 1911. In practice, it is a day to relax and enjoy yourself! Ghost Festival. Held on the 15th day of the 7th Chinese Lunar Month (generally in August), the Thais believe this is the day when heaven, hell and the earthly realm are all tied together. Monks pray to absolve the sins of the departed while the Thai people honor their ancestors. Moon Festival. Held exactly one month after the Ghost Festival, the Moon festival is one of the oldest and most important dates on the Chinese calendar. It is similar to our Thanksgiving in that it celebrates the end of the autumn harvest and is a day when family members return home to feast on the bounty the earth has provided them. Vegetarian Festival. Held during the first nine days of the 9th Chinese Lunar Month (usually in September) in Phuket, the Vegetarian Festival is the most fun holiday of the entire year. In order to atone for eating meat during the year, participants pierce their bodies with swords and other sharp objects in public. Really. Pavarana. Held on the full moon of the 11th lunar month, Pavarana is the local equivalent of Lent. Marking the end of the rainy season, the local monks apologize in public for their sins. Loy Krathong. Held on the first full moon the 12th lunar month, Loy Krathong celebrates the boats and rafts of Thailand. In general the traditional boats enter the water and are then surrounded by fireworks. It is very similar to our 4th of July and is meant to honor the Thailand Water Goddess.
  13. Thailand may expect some 13.25 million visitors this year, despite an initial forecast of 13.5 million, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Assessing against the 14.57 million visitor arrival last year, TAT stated that the tourism industry—which constitutes about 6.5 per cent of Thailand’s GDP—has been hit hard by the global economic slowdown, the spread of type-A flu, as well as the country’s political instability. "Thailand's tourism may not improve quickly in the continuing negative environment, but TAT is already preparing for the future expansion of the economy and the industry," said Weerasak Kowsurat, chairman of TAT's Board of Directors. Measure to Sustain Visitor Flows In a bid to sustain visitor arrivals, a series of marketing promotions was launched to spur domestic travel and to stimulate travel and tourism-related spending. These measures include offering loans totalling Bt5 billion (about US$146,500.00) to debt-ridden tourism SMEs; exempting tourist visa application fee until March 2010; offering discounts to national parks and introducing short packages tours around Bangkok for transfer passengers at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Stopping over in Singapore, as part of the “Thailand in Touch” road show to promote the Thai tourism market, Ms. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, deputy governor for Marketing Communications, TAT stressed that tourism is a national agenda and highlighted the importance of travel and tourism to Thailand’s economy. Juthaporn also revealed that, “While there are some signs of the situation gradually recovering in many countries, it will take time before many people feel they should be spending on a vacation.” Last year, some 570,000 Singaporeans visited Thailand and generated more than US$448 million of tourism revenues—compared to the 185,736 Singaporean visitors from January to May this year. While regional tourism markets, like Singapore may have shrunk this year, tourist arrivals from the Middle East and South Asia jumped 11.5 and 3.6 per cent, respectively. TAT said that a significant portion of East Asian visitors came from South Korea. "Koreans usually like to travel abroad in July or August, Thailand's low tourist season, and their preferred destinations are Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Samui," said Weerasak. Recently, an online campaign titled “Come to Thailand, Let's Take A Break" has received high circulation in popular entertainment Web sites. Featuring Thai-born heart-throb Nichkhun Horvejkul (member of popular Korean band, 2PM) as Thailand’s representative, it aims to draw a younger demographics of Korean tourists to Thailand. By George Fu Epoch Times Staff http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/21500/
  14. After decades of counting on a steady stream of new residents to fuel its economy, Florida is now confronting a power failure. Population growth has gone negative in Central Florida and across the state. As we recently argued, the state's leaders would be wise to adjust their thinking to this new demographic landscape. They need to focus on improving the quality of life in the state through improvements in areas such as growth management, transportation, education, health care and economic development. Gains could discourage more Floridians from fleeing the state, and attract new residents and employers. But leaders also need to be on the lookout for simple yet creative approaches to help get the state's economy out of its current rut. One opportunity awaits overseas. Surveys have shown that the United States is among the most coveted destinations for people in other countries who have the will and the means to retire abroad. However, U.S. immigration policy discourages such relocations. There is no visa category that allows foreign retirees who buy vacation or retirement properties in the United States to live here long-term or enter and leave this country without restrictions. The United States is missing the yacht. Other countries throughout the world — including Australia, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom — have created their own visa programs to better compete for retirees who can afford to live abroad. As envisioned by its advocates, a new U.S. retirement visa would be available to foreign retirees who buy a home for at least the median value in the community where they would be living. They'd have to pass a security check and agree not to take a job. They'd need to document sufficient assets, and health insurance, to avoid burdening U.S. social safety-net programs. The United States already has taken economic benefits into account in other immigration policies. There are longer-term visas for foreign workers who have specialized job skills, and for foreign investors who have created jobs for Americans. U.S. immigration policies are set on the federal level, so Florida's leaders would need to persuade the state's delegation in Congress to spearhead creation of a retirement visa. With Florida among the most popular states for foreign property buyers, it would stand to benefit more than others. In 2007-08, Florida accounted for about a quarter of all foreign real-estate purchases in the United States, according to Florida TaxWatch, an independent policy-research organization in Tallahassee. More buyers from abroad could help work off the state's huge glut of unsold homes faster. TaxWatch concluded in a report issued earlier this year that a retirement visa could add tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy — up to $27 billion to Florida alone — over the next decade. It could create more than 1 million jobs in the United States, and more than 300,000 in Florida, during the same period. Many in Congress felt so burned by the fiery debate over comprehensive immigration reform a few years ago that they might have little stomach for taking up anything related any time soon. But the issues that proved most contentious in that debate — possible citizenship for illegal immigrants, the impact on the U.S. job market and the burden on social programs — would not be a factor in creating a visa for well-heeled retirees. Congress and the president still need to tackle broader issues in immigration, including the fate of the 11 million-plus illegal immigrants and the needs of industries such as agriculture that rely on them. The Obama administration recently postponed consideration of comprehensive legislation until next year. Lawmakers could signal they're ready for tougher immigration issues if they can agree on this easy one, and help spark an economic recovery. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-edped-retirement-florida-immigr082509aug25,0,2094978.story
  15. Govt defends imposition of security law Writer: BangkokPost.com Published: 26/08/2009 at 03:37 PM The government will enforce the Internal Security Act during the red-shirt demonstration this weekend to ensure law and order and prevent a third party from causing unrest, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) is planning a mass demonstration in Bangkok's Dusit district on Sunday afternoon to pressure the government to dissolve the House of Representatives. The government was not trying to prevent the anti-government rally from happening, and would not obstruct people from taking part in it, Mr Abhisit said. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, said people who were not involved in the red-shirt rally on Sunday were unlikely to be affected. He said the government will enforce the security law in Dusit district for four days, from Aug 29 to Sept 1. "The government will try to prevent the law from troubling the general public as much as possible, and it would like to apologise to the public for the inconvenience," he said. People were free to join the demonstration but they must not infringe on the rights of others, he said. UDD prominent figure Veera Musikhpong insisted Sunday's demonstration would not be protracted, despite government fears to the contrary. The red-shirts would gather at Royal Plaza about 1pm and then march to Government House in the late afternoon. The rally would be peaceful, without weapons and after submitting a letter calling for a House dissolution and a general they would peacefully disperse, he said. Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) chairman Apichart Sangka-aree said the use of the Internal Security Act would certainly lower the confidence of foreign tourists. Use of the security law’ showed that the government was uncertain about the situation, Mr Apichart said. “Apart from the desire to visit beautiful places in Thailand, foreign tourists are also concerned about their safety and convenience during their stay,” the ATTA chairman said. The government should provide more facts about the political situation. The information provided by several ministers that the situation had returned to normal had not done much to restore the confidence of foreign tourists and investors. Mr Apichart said his association will keep its projection for foreign visitors this year unchanged at 10 million, as the political uncertainty remains a key factor for traveling decision making. The government’s target of 14 to 16 million foreign tourists this year was unlikely to be met, he said. A survey by Suan Dusit poll revealed that most respondents supported the government’s decision to invoke the Internal Security Act to ensure law and order during the anti-government rally on Sunday. The opinion poll on Aug 25 and 26 involved 1,078 people in Bangkok. Pollsters said 76.39 per cent backed the enactment of security law to avoid any unrest, saying the situation was unpredictable. But 14.58 said given that there might be no violence the government should not be too worried. Slightly more than nine per cent opposed the decision, saying people have the right of assembly and imposition of the security act could trigger dissatisfaction and increase political tension. Asked what they would do to prevent the rally from becoming violent if they were prime minister, 32.05 per cent said they would refrain from the use of force in dealing with demonstrators. Some 28.21 per cent of them would hold talks to come up with ways out acceptable by both sides, and 23.07 per cent said they would fairly and justly enforce the law. Nearly nine per cent said the will give police a free hand to deal with the protesters, and 7.71 per cent would give demonstrators freedom, in line with the law. http://bangkokpost.com/news/politics/152718/govt-defends-imposition-of-security-law
  16. One of the most famous (if not the most famous) US Senators died today. He was often referred to as the Lion of the Senate. He was an amazing man with a history of working with both sides of the isle in American politics. He will be missed!
  17. The Tour de Isan trip occurred less than a few months back. Here is a documentary that their genius cameraman made for the trip!
  18. Sometimes you want to get it on with a man. Sometimes a girl seems like a good idea. Sometimes both have their own unique appeal. Gay or straight we all have a desire to try something a little different. That’s what makes Thailand a great place to visit – you can literally have your boobs and eat cock too! Perhaps the most celebrated part of Thailand’s gay culture are the famous “Ladyboys” that can be found in even the smallest rural villages. While Ladyboys are similar to Western transvestites, there are some huge cultural differences. The most important difference comes from Thai history and traditions. According to legends from Northern Thailand, the first man and woman had three children, a boy, a girl and a “third sex.” Today the “third sex” is considered to be the Ladyboys – which may explain why there are at least 180,000 of these “girls” spread throughout Thailand. Other legends say that Ladyboys are actually the reincarnation of men who made love to many, many women in a former lifetime – so that they now permanently carry the spirit of women in their bodies. Katoey Toys! Referred to in Thailand as Katoey, these “girls” are certainly no drag queens. In most cases a lot of care and time has been spent to make sure these guys look like real women – and not the exaggerated female stereotypes common in American drag shows. While these girls all have hot cocks under their skirts many have realized that size matters everywhere – and have larger than life boobs to complete their picture of a feminine ideal Ladyboys are, in general, an accepted and respected part of Thai society. In most cases they don’t suffer anywhere near as much prejudice as their western counterparts and are usually almost fully accepted as the women they are trying to be. Let Them Entertain You! Many of the Katoey perform in the cabaret shows that have become hugely popular in Thailand’s gay bars. The best Ladyboy cabaret shows can be found in Pattaya, the beach town south of Bangkok. Some of the larger Katoey shows literally feature dozens, if not hundreds of Ladyboys for your eye candy. There are also many escort agencies that offer Ladyboys on demand. You can find them in our listings or by checking out advertisements at many of the local gay establishments. Tips And Tricks For Chicks With Dicks! You need to be a little careful when dealing with Ladyboys outside of a supervised host bar. In Pattaya in particular there have been cases of Ladyboys who troll the beaches at night in order to mug tourists when they have their pants down. Don’t let this get you down! Most Ladyboys are nice people. There are just a few rotten apples in any barrel! Another important thing to keep in mind is that not all Ladyboys are bottoms. Some can top with the best of them, so when you first start talking with an attractive he/she you should make your preferences known – so that you don’t get more than you bargained for out of the experience! Also be aware that some Ladyboys are full on transsexuals and may have either taken hormones, been castrated or both. Figuring out what type of Ladyboy you are talking to can often be part of the fun. In general if you are in a gay bar talking to a feminine looking thing, you can assume that the girl was a boy at one time and may be now. Guessing before you take off her skit can be a challenge, because the Thai male body type lends itself very well to creating a feminine mystique. Host Bars Ladies More often than not Ladyboys can be rented out for a night of fun in the host bars – and surprisingly enough are popular entertainers for both gay and straight audiences! Because Thailand society treats Ladyboys with respect, you should as well. Just because you are paying for their time does not give you a license to abuse, insult or treat them any differently than you would like to be treated. Ladyboys are people too! Many Ladyboys suffered severe financial hardship when the tsunami cut into Thailand tourism. Often Ladyboys have families to support – so we encourage you to be generous if you should find yourself out on a date with a “girl” with something extra between her legs! For many of us to visit here often, the loving nature of the Ladyboys is a big appeal to visit Thailand. Many of the will take in the boys who first come to work on the bars and take care of them. The people of Thailand are very accepting of homosexuality and Ladyboys. Please leave your prejudices and misconceptions about Ladyboys or Dragqueens in your home country. They are truly one of the most amazing parts of Thai culture and deserve your respect! cc: 2005-2009 GayThailand.com Reprinted with Permission August 2009
  19. Rightly or wrongly, Thailand has gotten a reputation as being a Mecca for underage sexual activity. While it is true that you can purchase guys of nearly any age in Thailand from sleazy pimps, you should avoid doing so at all costs. In the wake of increased international pressure, Thailand has started cracking down on the child sex industry. If you get caught you will get arrested – and your government will not want to help you. Even worse, your name and address may become public – which means you could ruin your career and your relationship with your family and friends. Even worse, the United States has now started enforcing laws against United States citizens traveling abroad to have sex wit minors. That means that even if you don’t get in trouble in Thailand, you might get arrested when you step off the plane in America. Thailand had hundreds of thousands of guys that you can rent for the evening. Many look young and if you need to live out a sex fantasy, please do so with an 18 year old guy who has an ID that says 18. Don’t be a fool and go to jail for dipping under this age! We want you to be able to keep coming back to Thailand. We also want you to stay out of prison. We assure you that Thai prison is not like that of most civilized countries and 15 years in jail here could be a death sentence. Having sex with children is not only illegal; it is a taboo for most people. Don’t throw your life away. Only have sex with guys who are at least 18. Your life depends on it. cc: 2005-2009 GayThailand.com Reprinted with Permission August 2009
  20. When you first get to Thailand you will probably be enamored by all of the wonderfully attractive boys you can take home for a fee from the go-go and host bars that populate all of the major cities. Still, you do have a heart (we hope) and after a while you may be looking for something more long term. There is nothing wrong with looking for love in Thailand – and lots of Thai guys would love to have a western boyfriend. But, you will discover that Thai guys quite simply have a completely different set of customs when it comes to gay relationships than you may be used to in the west. Respect Their Culture It is very important that you don’t try to impose your cultural attitudes on the guys. If that’s what you want, stick to the rent boys, who will be glad to indulge your preferences for a fee. When it comes to dating a Thai guy, always remember that you are in his country, which means you have to respect Thailand’s social mores, in public and in private. The good news is that most of the customs will work to your advantage once you get used to them. There is a reason that millions of western gay men come to Thailand and why many of them choose to stay forever. Socially On Top Thai society is based on the idea of different social levels. As a westerner you will be considered to be the social superior of nearly any Thai you date. The reasons for this are many and varied, but one important reason is that even a modest salary by western standards is considered a fortune by the average Thai guy. Quite simply, you are probably richer than any man he has ever known. Because of your higher social status many Thai guys will treat you with reverence. Interestingly, this may not translate into the bedroom. Some westerners assume that because their date is docile and submissive to them in public that they are a natural bottom. This is not always the case – sometimes the most timid, deferential Thai boy can become a seriously aggressive top once you get under the sheets. What it does mean is that most Thai guys will expect you to be the one to take them out on a date and they will expect you to pay for dinner. Don’t Be An Ugly American or Ugly Farang! Another common mistake is to assume that because you are being treated as the social superior, that your date considers America or those from Europe or other western countries in general to be superior. That leads you to start talking about how much better your country is than Thailand. Nothing you could do or say could be ruder. Instead, compliment your date on how great his country is. Your cock will thank you in the morning. The Money Honey What confuses many Western guys is that after several dates, your new friend may start asking you for small amounts of money. Lots of guys freak out at this point thinking they have started dating a gold digger. Don’t worry – that’s not the case. It is normal in Thai culture for someone to ask his social superiors for small favors. In this case, because they consider you so wealthy, it just seems natural for them to ask you for some money. It’s no different than a heterosexual woman expecting flowers or jewelry from time to time from her man. Thai Boys Will Love Your Bad Self! When you arrive in Thailand you will suddenly feel like more of a stud than you ever have in your life. Don’t be surprised if your score rate suddenly doubles or triples. Right off the bat, Thai guys who hang out in gay establishments that cater to Westerners are there because they find Western guys to be hotter than their countrymen. Some of them may even have a fetish for hot American boys. This makes it much easier for you to rock on with your cock on! A Golden Gay! The other great thing about Thailand is that the gay boys don’t put a premium on youth. In fact, many of them find older men more attractive. In other words, you won’t have to compete against 21 year old gym bunnies, even if you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s. If anything they will be worried about competing against you. If you were still in the closet when you were in your 20s, this is your chance to be the beau of the ball! Gay? Straight? Whatever! Those of us in the west come from cultures with a deep history of Christian values. These values made people very guilty about their homosexual yearnings which meant that most people ended up identifying as either straight or gay. Thailand on the other hand is a culture that is based in Buddhism, which says nothing negative about homosexual behavior. The result is that many Thais identify as neither gay, nor straight, but as simply people who sometimes have sex with men and sometimes have sex with women. There is, however, great social pressure for Thais to get married. This means that many Thai men get married, and then continue to live as primarily gay – sometimes with the consent and knowledge of their wives. Other men continue to have sex with both men and women throughout their lives. The good news is that they do so without much of the guilt that we would find doing the same things in our own culture. Discretion And Modesty Are An Obligation! While there is almost no prejudice against gays in Thailand, the Thais as a people are much more modest about their romantic liaisons than we are in America. It is very rare to see any Thai couple, gay or straight, exchanging kisses or any physical displays of affection in public. If your date doesn’t want to make out on the street, that does not mean he is in the closet. It just means that he has been taught from a young age to be discreet in all things. In America we spend more time talking about sex than doing it. In Thailand it is the opposite, sex is almost never talked about or physically hinted at – it just happens all the time! Personally, we are happier to be doing it than bullshitting about it and we hope you are too! Fully Dressed Under The Covers? Many Thai guys, particularly earlier on in a relationship, extend this modesty into the bedroom. When you first bring a Thai guy back to your hotel room, don’t be surprised if he gets under the covers before he takes his clothes off. Once you start making out with him, you will find that Thais eventually can become very wild in bed. It just takes them a little while to be comfortable naked with another person – unless of course, you have brought a go-go boy home! Sniff This! There is one major way that Thai guys tend to be less shy than us Western boys. In Thailand it is considered an exp​ression of friendship and affection to sniff the person you are hanging out with. We are not making this up. So, don’t be surprised if your date won’t kiss, but will move close to your face or neck and take a whiff. Skip The Formalities Once you have had sex and are alone together, your date may suddenly become radically informal. It is common for Thai guys to use your toothbrush, leave their clothes on the floor, drip water after the shower or even try on your clothes. This is not an example of them getting too pushy. It’s just their way of showing that they like you. Make Your Intentions Clear In Thai culture, exclusive, serious relationships can start very, very quickly by our standards. This means that after two or three dates lots of Thai guys may start considering you their boyfriend. Most Western guys are not comfortable with moving things this fast. What you need to do from the start is keep reminding the guy that this is still casual for you, so you don’t end up breaking too many hearts. As in all cases, upfront honesty is the best policy. Live Up To Your Social Status! Because Thai guys will consider you their social superior, they will expect you to act like one. That means that they will expect you to be dress up on dates (long pants, good shoes) and be generous with your time and money. They will also assume that you have very good manners and behave like a true gentleman at all times in public. Do your best to live up to the highest standards of behavior that you can. Don’t Be A Bitch Bitchiness and catty comments are very common in western gay culture, but they don’t exist in Thailand. You know that little comment you want to make about his shoes – don’t do it. Instead of looking for flaws, Thais look for reasons to make compliments. Find something you like about the guy and talk about that. If you do make bitchy comments you will hurt and confuse your date and probably not get laid. Be Prepared To Make The First Move Because Thai guys will consider you their more attractive social superior, they are not likely to be the one to ask you out. Instead, they will try to find subtle ways to let you know that they find you attractive. They will almost always expect you to be the one to make the first move, so you will have to find a way to be aggressive without upsetting their general sense of modesty. No Switch Hitters Unlike America, where there are tons of guys who like to give and receive, most Thai guys are either tops or bottoms – and not at all in between. This is great for those of you who are versatile, but if you have a strong preference one way or the other you might want to find a way to let your date know this before he agrees to go out with you. Be Flexible. As you continue to date Thai guys, there will be lots of small social and cultural differences that are bound to come up. The key is to expect small misunderstandings, accept them and try to learn from them. Remember, you are the visitor in their country! cc: 2005-229 GayThailand.com Reprinted with Permission August 2009
  21. Throughout this website we are constantly making references to Host Bars and Go Go Bars. Many people who have been to Asia before know the low down on host bars and their hot boys, but we understand that many of you may have no clue what we are talking about! While host bars are some of the most exciting gay establishments on Earth, if it is your first time in Thailand they may seem confusing or intimidating when you walk in the door. Host bars follow their own unique set of customs and will expect you to as well. Host bars are not like any place you are likely to have visited in the west. Most provide some form of entertainment whether it be go go dancers or cabaret shows. The entertainment, however, is just the excuse to be there. The real attraction to host bars is that they are filled with hot young guys who can make your wildest fantasies come true – for a price. To put it simply each bar employs a number of young sexy guys called hosts. In a go go bar, nearly all of the dancers will be hosts. For the price of a small tip, these hosts will sit at your table and talk to you, while you decide if you want to take them home. If you decide that you want them, you simply pay more money and they become your “special friend” for the evening. Please note: Host boys are sex workers, so it’s always a requirement to wear a condom during your encounter. Getting Ready To Hit The Bar At a good host bar you may be competing against a lot of other guys for the attentions of the hottest hosts. Thailand host boys are very conscious of style and status, so it’s important that you look as good as you can when you arrive. Don’t dress sloppy. Make sure you are wearing nice clothes, are well groomed and are as put together as you would be for a date in the west. Trust us, the Thai boys will notice and you will get a lot more attention if you look good! Scoping Your Prospects When you first enter the bar you will be greeted by a man who will escort you to a table and take your first drink order. This guy, while obviously male, is called the “Mama San” of the bar. Once you have your drink in hand, it’s time to sit back, watch the show and check out the hot guys. After a while the Mama San will return and ask you if you like any of the guys. If so, just tell him and the boy will be brought right over to your table. The good news is that most of the boys wear numbers on their clothes, so it’s easy for you to let the Mama San know who you are interested without pointing (which is considered very rude in Thailand.) If you hang out for a while and don’t invite any guys to your table, you may find that some of the bolder hosts will walk up to you and ask if they can join you. Of course you might not be attracted to those boys and you can always tell them that you are not interested. Once a boy you like is sitting at your table he will expect you to buy him a drink and strike up a conversation. He may sometimes be flirtatious, but in a subtle way. Don’t expect your boy to be fluent in English. The vast majority of the boys speak some English, but some have mastered more of our language than others. Remember you are in their country, so it is up to you to find ways to make the conversation work. It’s possible that even though you found the host exciting when you saw him shaking his ass on stage that once he sits down you he might not seem like that great a catch. Don’t feel bad – it happens. All you have to do is tell him you are not interested and give him a small tip for his time and trouble. A hundred Baht will make him more than happy that he decided to spend time with you! Sealing The Deal Of course the point of going to a host bar is finding a hot stud to go home with. While host bars are not whorehouses, the boys are selling sex and you might as well get it while you can. The host bars refer to this practice as taking a boy “off” and many of the host boys will bring this up during their conversations with you. If you decide to take a boy off the bar will charge you for it. Please note – this is not what you are paying to get laid. You will have to still pay the boy himself later. You are paying the bar because they have set you up with the boy and because he won’t be able to dance or entertain other guys in the bar while he is off with you! Most bars will charge you between 200 and 400 Baht for the privilege of taking a boy off with you. This is less than $10 – so it’s shouldn’t dent your wallet too much. Before you agree to take the boy home you should make sure that he is willing to do what you want. Every host boy has different sexual limits. Some will top you, others are committed bottoms. Some will let you spank them, some won’t. You are always better off making your desires clear before any money has changed hands! You will also have to tell the boy and the bar if you are taking him away for a “short time” or a “long time.” A short time means you will have him just long enough for you to get your rocks off once. If you want him for a long time, that means you get him for at least several hours and even all night if you want. A short time should cost you about 1000 Baht while a long time will run about 1500 Baht. This is the minimum you should pay. I am sure you will go to our forum and see many different exchanges but anything you pay beyond this is a nice gesture and always appreciated. Personally, I always discuss price before I off a boy. Often, they will say “Up to You”. While this does mean up to you, they are really saying pay me the minimum plus whatever you can. I will then say, how is 1,500 baht for all night? They can say yes or no. Most will respond up to you again. If you expect them to say beyond the morning, more money SHOULD be paid by you! I often find a boy that I like and simply tell them that I want him to stay with me for 10 days. I give him a price for each day that I negotiate in advance and then I pay the bar every few days. If it is a bar I know and trust, I pay in advance. Often many boys will be thrilled to be taken off for 10 days on holiday. Many will not want to go away that long as they may have a girlfriend, boyfriend, ladyboy or family and have other commitments. Do not pay the boy until you are done with him! Otherwise you risk getting ripped off! As you are leaving you will probably be approached again by the Mama San. That’s because he will expect a small tip (about 100 Baht) for helping you find your host boy. Coming Back For More A lot of people tend to become attached to particular host boys – or at least want to spend another night with them. The Thais understand this and will be happy to reserve a boy for you for a repeat performance. All you have to do is remember the boy’s number and call the bar in advance. If you let them know when you play to arrive the boy will be waiting for you. Please note that these boys are at the bars to make money – so if you show up late he may have moved on to someone else and you may have lost your chance to bang him again! Don’t Feel Guilty Cause You Want It! Many of us in the west have a preconceived notion about the boys who work the bars in the Far East. Some people think that the boys are forced to work in the bars and that if they were not there, they could be doing something more productive with their lives. Don’t feel guilty – these boys are not exploited. None of the boys are ever forced to work in the bars. They do so, for the most part, because they are gay and can make a lot of money doing so. They are happy to get out and meet interesting guys and learn English. That said they are human beings and should be treated as such. When you take them off behave as though you are on a hot date. Host boys have feelings – to treat them like you would anyone else! Now get ready to come to Thailand and find the boys of your dreams! cc: 2005-2009 GayThailand.com Reprinted with Permission August 2009
  22. Sometimes you want to get it on with a man. Sometimes a girl seems like a good idea. Sometimes both have their own unique appeal. Gay or straight we all have a desire to try something a little different. That’s what makes Thailand a great place to visit; you can literally have your boobs and eat cock too! Perhaps the most celebrated part of Thailand’s gay culture are the famous Ladyboys that can be found in even the smallest rural villages. While Ladyboys are similar to Western transvestites, there are some huge cultural differences. The most important difference comes from Thai history and traditions. According to legends from Northern Thailand, the first man and woman had three children, a boy, a girl and a “third sex.” Today the “third sex” is considered to be the Ladyboys; which may explain why there are at least 180,000 of these “girls” spread throughout Thailand. Other legends say that Ladyboys are actually the reincarnation of men who made love to many, many women in a former lifetime: so that they now permanently carry the spirit of women in their bodies. Katoey Toys! Referred to in Thailand as Katoey, these “girls” are certainly no drag queens. In most cases a lot of care and time has been spent to make sure these guys look like real women: and not the exaggerated female stereotypes common in American drag shows. While these girls all have hot cocks under their skirts many have realized that size matters everywhere; and have larger than life boobs to complete their picture of a feminine ideal Ladyboys are, in general, an accepted and respected part of Thai society. In most cases they don’t suffer anywhere near as much prejudice as their western counterparts and are usually almost fully accepted as the women they are trying to be. Let Them Entertain You! Many of the Katoey perform in the cabaret shows that have become hugely popular in Thailand’s gay bars. The best Ladyboy cabaret shows can be found in Pattaya, the beach town south of Bangkok. Some of the larger Katoey shows literally feature dozens, if not hundreds of Ladyboys for your eye candy. There are also many escort agencies that offer Ladyboys on demand. You can find them in our listings or by checking out advertisements at many of the local gay establishments. Tips And Tricks For Chicks With Dicks! You need to be a little careful when dealing with Ladyboys outside of a supervised host bar. In Pattaya in particular there have been cases of Ladyboys who troll the beaches at night in order to mug tourists when they have their pants down. Don’t let this get you down! Most Ladyboys are nice people. There are just a few rotten apples in any barrel! Another important thing to keep in mind is that not all Ladyboys are bottoms. Some can top with the best of them, so when you first start talking with an attractive he/she you should make your preferences known: so that you don’t get more than you bargained for out of the experience! Also be aware that some Ladyboys are full on transsexuals and may have either taken hormones, been castrated or both. Figuring out what type of Ladyboy you are talking to can often be part of the fun. In general if you are in a gay bar talking to a feminine looking thing, you can assume that the girl was a boy at one time and may be now. Guessing before you take off her skit can be a challenge, because the Thai male body type lends itself very well to creating a feminine mystique. Host Bars Ladies More often than not Ladyboys can be rented out for a night of fun in the host bars; and surprisingly enough are popular entertainers for both gay and straight audiences! Because Thailand society treats Ladyboys with respect, you should as well. Just because you are paying for their time does not give you a license to abuse, insult or treat them any differently than you would like to be treated. Ladyboys are people too! Many Ladyboys suffered severe financial hardship when the tsunami cut into Thailand tourism. Often Ladyboys have families to support: so we encourage you to be generous if you should find yourself out on a date with a “girl” with something extra between her legs! For many of us to visit here often, the loving nature of the Ladyboys is a big appeal to visit Thailand. Many of the will take in the boys who first come to work on the bars and take care of them. The people of Thailand are very accepting of homosexuality and Ladyboys. Please leave your prejudices and misconceptions about Ladyboys or Dragqueens in your home country. They are truly one of the most amazing parts of Thai culture and deserve your respect! cc: 2005-2009 GayThailand.com Reprinted on ThailandVisa.com with permission 2009
  23. Posted by Linda Haywood on Jul 22nd, 2009 and filed under News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry The 42nd ASEAN Conference in Phuket The 42nd ASEAN Conference in Phuket The conference of South-East Asian countries have begun formulating an answer to free trade agreements in Europe and America. Foreign Ministers from around the world are meeting in Phuket for the 42nd Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference to discuss security, co-operation and strategy. At the opening ceremony for the conference H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand set out a vision for a South-East Asian Community with a single visa, integrated economy and homogenised regulations similar to that of the EU by 2015. …The ASEAN Community should be a Community of Connectivity. This means goods and peoples, investment and initiatives, can travel obstacle-free throughout the region – from Sumatra to Luzon, from the Ayeyawady Delta to the Mekong Delta. A fully integrated ASEAN economy as a single market and production base must have such connectivity built into both its hardware and software… …region-wide transportation linkages must be in place and user-friendly, whether they be the East-West or North-South economic corridors, maritime routes through the Malacca Strait, or air links across airports throughout the region… …We must be visa-free within the region and offer an ASEAN Single Visa for those outside the region…. This would mean a sea-change for travellers in the region who currently need a range of visas to visit the well-trodden group of South-East Asian destinations such as Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. Better rail links might also open up new attractions for visitors. A single economy in South-East Asia would also increase the region’s competitive advantage in relation to the EU and North American Free Trade. http://theglobalherald.com/thai-prime-minister-sets-out-vision-for-south-east-asian-community/540/
  24. In an effort to help revive the country travel tourism industry the Royal Thai Government has agreed to extend the exemption of the Thailand visa fee for tourist visa applications until 4 March 2010. The exemption will apply to all visitors who apply for a Thailand visa on arrival at international airports in Thailand, as well as those applying for a Thailand visa offshore for stays longer than the length of time for which they are normally eligible. Thailand currently gives a visa on arrival for the citizens of 20 countries who are not intending to stay more than 15 days. Citizens of another 42 countries are allowed a visa-free visit to Thailand if their stay is not over 30 days. Visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for a Thailand visa before their arrival in the country. Thailand tourism industry chairman, Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat said, “As a result of the global economic downturn, the worldwide travel and tourism sector has declined as people have become more cautious about spending on leisure and business travel. "Hence, the government has implemented many measures to enhance Thailand’s competitive advantage and strengthen our country’s unique qualities.” http://www.visabureau.com/worldwide/news/10-07-2009/thailand-visa-fee-waiver-to-continue.aspx