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Showing posts from June, 2010

Why does my boss talk shite?

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I know my blog is Thai-orientated and the topics that I discuss usually reflect this. However, I read an email from my boss today that stopped me in my tracks like the pungent aroma of a sweaty Iranian.

Here is the paragraph from the email in question……

“Planning this in as a regular get together meeting, apart from communicating where we are, what other things do you think would be valuable to use this time to cover off?”

What on earth does “cover off” actually mean? Why not simple use the word “cover”….is there anything else that you would like to cover in the meeting?

The people who use the phrase “cover off” are the same cretinous morons who litter their communications with corporate buzzwords and pointless jargon, such as “proactive, value-added, deliverables, incentivise, and core competencies”, not to mention the profoundly annoying “moving forward”.

I think those in positions of authority use this gobbledygook to try and deflect attention away from their own failings. In an endeavo…

The World Cup and gambling in Thailand

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Despite betting being illegal, other than through the official state lottery, the concept of gambling is inherent in Thai society and Thais themselves love nothing more than a wager, anything from dice and cards to horse racing, boxing and football.

Back-street gambling dens are a fixture in most Thai towns and betting reaches epidemic proportions during major sporting events. The football World Cup is no exception and these underground bookmakers will see huge increases in the sums of money changing hands and number of people using their services.

I have often stated that Thai people are very short-sighted when it comes to their financial affairs and managing their money. Although, I’m hardly one to be giving advice in this field, as I have also been guilty of spending beyond my means on credit cards. But, the lack of financial planning displayed by most Thais is mind-boggling and makes me look a shrewd hedge-fund manager.

Thais have the ability to spend money like it’s going out of fas…

Jilted lover goes loco in the Lake District

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The story sounds all too familiar…….smitten middle-aged man falls for a Thai girl while on holiday in Pattaya, returns home thinking he has found the love of his life, sends a large sum of money to said “girlfriend”, only to be dumped a few days later.

Usually, the man will curse all Thai bar girls, maybe join a few internet chat forums to bemoan his misfortune and to vent his anger, but will then say “c’est la vie” and go to the travel agent to book his next trip to the Land of Smiles!!! That would normally be where the story ends.

But, on this occasion the man in question was Derrick Bird, who went on a wild-west style “shoot ‘em up” less than a fortnight ago, through the streets on Cumbria, using his twin brother, family solicitor and work colleagues as live target practice.

Newspaper reports suggest that he had recently sent 50,000 baht (about £1,000) to a girl he met at a bar in Pattaya. It seems that he was hoping to start a new life with this young lady, but only days after sendin…

Thai film scoops the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival

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Before his dramatic win at the Cannes Film Festival this year, many of you will probably have never heard of the Thai film director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, better known as “Joe”.

He made his first short film “Bullet” in 1993, whilst studying for an architecture degree at Khon Kaen University. He later received a master’s degree in fine arts from the “School of the Art Institute” in Chicago.

But it was his love of film that led to him forming his own production company in 1999, called “Kick the Machine”. This was to provide a vehicle for him to produce and distribute his own material whilst providing support to other up-and coming young film-makers. Joe made his feature-length directorial debut the following year, with the film “Mysterious Object at Noon”, which was an eclectic mix of documentary footage and spontaneous, off-the-cuff narrative.

This quickly established him as one of the leading lights in the Thai film industry and won him a broad fan base. He came to the attention of …

Thai Visas

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Do I need a visa to visit Thailand? How long can I stay? What are the requirements?

These are questions I get asked a lot and I thought it was about time that I discussed the topic.
There are numerous categories of visas and each one is issued for a specific purpose. My summary won't include every type of visa, but will outline the most common visas that "Farangs" or Westerners generally apply for.

I hope to give my readers a clear and concise breakdown and help them navigate the complexities of the system.

1) Visa waiver programme

Travellers from over 40 countries, including the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, most EU countries and many of the Gulf States, who hold a valid passport are issued a 30 day stamp on arrival, if they enter the country at an international airport and a 15 day stamp, when entering at a land border or port, if they haven't already applied for a visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate before entering the country.

The stamps…