Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Take the Mental Health Department inspired survey

In the spirtit of the Mental Health Department survey, this site will do it's own survery. Of course the results won't be official untill late 2007.

Congratulations to Maha Sarakham for being the most happy place in Thailand. Wow, that makes me happy just to say it.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

What would happen if Taksin flew to Thailand?

"It wouldn't be allowed to land." - Sonthi (from the Nation story)

So what should he do?

"He should use the phone if there's something urgent."

So it looks like the Taksin corruption inquiry isn't going so well. 

The post-coup investigation so far has uncovered no solid links between the overthrown leader and major corruption scandals.

And it's now 35 days of martial law.  When is going to be over?

"I can't give you the exact timing of the lifting the martial law. Please let me just say we will do it as soon as possible, although we can right away ease certain related measures..."

And how about ellections?


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Anyone want to move to Cambodia?

An nice overall summary of the new visa rules and where they fit into the big picture for Thailand, from Asian Sentinel.

Just how many people live and work here using 30-day stamps is hard to say, but with at least a dozen agencies now operating daily visa run tours, plus those taking public or casino buses, 30,000-50,000 seems a reasonable figure. Most of these are not dead beats. They likely spend at least a $1,000 per month, many considerably more, on rent, meals, laundry, taxis, drinks, shopping or golf. Pull up a seat in a beer bar in Pattaya or Bangkok and pry a foreign resident’s attention from his drink and a bar girl and there’s a good chance he’s here indefinitely on a tourist visa, probably working or whiling away his retirement looking for love. And that costs money.

The trouble with this large and growing foreign community is that it is undocumented. Tax collectors fret about tax evasion. Police are dealing with more crime by foreigners, especially drug trafficking, sex work, financial scams, and human trafficking. Cases have also come to light of travel agents couriering passports to the border for immigration stamps while the owners stay at home. Some agents simply cut even that expense, using fake stamps to validate passports in their offices.

Full story

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Adding a Thai Bank to a Thai Paypal account

Just noticed Thai banks can now be added to your Thai Paypal account (mine is in USD). This means it's pretty easy for anyone in the world to pay you via Paypal, and pick it up with your local Thai ATM card.
If your account is a Thailand Paypal, you will have the choice for a Thai bank.A full list of Thai Banks to choose from, but they list them in Thai only for some reason.
Notice the English name of the bank on the next page, hmm. So if you want to just guess on the previous page, you can.
The transfer rates are not that hot, and each transfer below 5,000 baht costs 50 baht.
The full list of Thai banks. Transfers take 5-7 Business days. Free for 5,000.00 THB or more, 50.00 THB for 4,999.99 THB or less.

The status of my transfer is still pending. It has now been 5 days (2 business days) and the $25 sent is not yet here. Will update.

The rate Paypal gave me on Oct 20: 1 US Dollar = 36.3577 Baht
The Oanda rate on Oct 20: 1 US Dollar = 37.35247 Baht

So Paypal charges about 2.7%, around the same as withdrawing from a US credit card.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cheers Beer- Funny Commercial

Send me your Engrish photos!!

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

I love Engrish. As an Expat, it makes your eyes squint like visual sour candy. You see a nice piece of Engrish and feel like you landed on another planet. I know Engrish.com does an exelent job, but I'd love to see Engrish you found in Thailand. If you have some please send it to engrish at 4amexpat,com and it will be posted right away to the the Engrish photos at buzznet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Impressions of Suvarnabhumi (Su wan a poom)

First, let me start with the bad things. The name. Compare the way a Westerner would read it, to the way it's said. "Su varn a buh umi" vs "Su wan a poom" . From now on, this blog's offical spelling of the new Bangkok International Airport is - Suwanapoom. Suwanapoom International Airport, Bangkok. Has a nice ring to it.

As for the airport experience, I arrived and heard about some long walking to be done, however, I was 60 feet from the immigration counter when I exited the plane. Not bad at all. I had no wait at all in the immigration line either.. nice touch. Did not try the luggage system.

Leaving was pretty easy, but the "Hey, want a taxi" guys were a bit annoying. Pulled the same trick as in the old airport... go down to departures, and grab a taxi there. They are pretty efficient at making you pay a 50baht sir charge, so haven't yet figured out how to avoid that.

All in all, well done Bangkok.

Also, if you have a car and time, you can watch the planes coming in just off the runway by parking on an overpass. They come right overhead and make for some neat photos.

They are working on the airport link skytrain, which looks like it should be done pretty quickly.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ong Bak Full Movie - Google Video

Just found the full lenght Ong Bak Movie right in Google Video. Cool. Watch it at work.

Lingerie workers rally at US embassy (why?)

Please help me understand what the USA has to do with this:

Labour union leaders of a Thailand-based lingerie factory on Saturday insisted they would defy martial law and stage a protest outside the US embassy in Bangkok this weekend to pressure company owners into paying severance pay to 1,400 laid-off workers. Union chairwoman Duangjai Muangtong told the Bangkok Post online news service that the protest, aimed at sparking a consumer boycott of Gina Form Bra Company's lingerie, would be held on Sunday....
Gina Form Bra is due to close by the end of October after company officials said they could no longer afford costs in Thailand and were moving operations to China.

Why are you protesting to the USA? It's your own country of Thailand that is loosing the production race to China by not being as productive and competitive. Whose fault is that, and please tell me what it has to do with America? You should be protesting your government for poor foresight in competing with China.

Read the whole case here. And a protest call at CLRlabor.org. Unionvoice.org's two cents.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tata Young - El Nin Yo. Umm.. cause she's Thai...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Funny Thai Commercial

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Surayud Chulanont - Temp Prime Minister of Thailand

Promise kept, and Thailand gets back to normal, but I guess not everyone is happy:

In one of the few signs of public opposition to the coup, a taxi daubed with slogans saying "Destroying the country" and "Die for the country" rammed a tank in Bangkok on Saturday.
The taxi was badly damaged and the driver taken to hospital with rib injuries. The tank was unscathed.