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LETTERS

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Another baht bus bummer

Mahalo

Pedophile follow-up needed

PM on Tourism

Exceptions to every rule

Thanks Derek

Problem at Laem Chabang Golf Course

Visas and Winebibber

Yes! Why change Pattaya

Another baht bus bummer

Editor,

I wanted to drop you a note to describe a scene which occurred in front of my place last night. Firstly, someone mentioned an article in a recent edition of the Pattaya Mail which referred to the mayorís new policy on baht taxis to be implemented soon. Not having read the article myself, itís my opinion something needs to be done for sure and soon.

You know yourself how a taxi will stop on a dime at the sight of a prospective passenger. Well, this was the case last night. There were four folks dining in my place, having finished their meal, and preparing to leave. As they rose from the table, a passing baht taxi #300, license #20-3992, noticed the foursome and came to an abrupt halt in front, without checking his rearview mirror for any vehicle which might be behind him at the time. Unfortunately, there was a young lady on a motorcycle close behind, which struck the rear of the taxi, and dumped the girl on the street. Now, it goes without saying that the rule of the road is the person which rear ends another vehicle is at fault, but thatís normally when the first is stopped for a red light, stop sign, etc. However, the baht taxi driver jumps out and demands 700 baht from the girl for a small scratch which was inflicted on the rear fender. Needless to say, the girl was in a slight state of shock after hitting the ground and wasnít sure how to react to the situation.

After some discussion, the baht taxi driver took the bike and placed it inside the truck and demanded the girl go with him to the police station. Now, the way I see it, taking the bike away like this should be called theft, but weíve got to remember this is Thailand. What is even stranger is, just after the incident occurred and the parties were standing around engaged in conversation, there was a van full of tourist policemen which passed by and didnít even care to check out what was going on.

This brings us back to the mayorís big plan. When and where does he plan to start the program and what conditions require a baht taxi to be taken off the streets? I think our man, #300, would be a good candidate for the program, donít you?

Your man on the beach,

BJ

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Mahalo

Editor;

This is just a note to thank you for the excellent job your paper is doing in bringing news to us farangs who love and miss Pattaya very much.

Aloha,

Jerry Dean

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Pedophile follow-up needed

Dear Sir,

I would like to commend the Pattaya Mail for exposing the likes of alleged pedophile Thompson in the June 8th Issue. Itís too bad the police did not nab the Thai pimp. One thing that your publication should do though is follow up on what happens to the convicted criminals. I believe that a lot of people have the feeling that people with money simply pay their way out of their crimes and leave the country.

Any further information would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Bangsaen Bob

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PM on Tourism

Editor;

In keeping with PM Thaksinís recommendations to stimulate the economy by encouraging tourism, I humbly request that the 90 day visa be discontinued in order to encourage permanent retirement. Can you imagine small retirement communities of retired foreigners that create support businesses and jobs for The Thai people? Notice Mexico and Costa Rica and a long list of countries that have wonderful relationships with the foreigners.

Your humble servant,

John F Langan

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Exceptions to every rule

Hello Winebibber,

In your last article on the one year retirement visas you stated that you had to be 55 years old to receive this visa. This is not quite correct. I received my first one year retirement visa in Feb. 1996 and have not left Pattaya since; it is renewed in Soi 8 every year. I am now 45 years old and I am an ex serviceman on a small army pension. So there are exceptions to every rule.

Victor Hayes

Soi Wat Tamm

Pattaya

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Thanks Derek

Dear Editor,

Derek Adams (letter to editor regarding stray dogs) should be HIGHLY commended for the most positive letter I have seen in Pattaya Mail in a long time. Instead of just complaining - he came up with a positive solution and ended the problem. If only there were more people like him in this world and less whiners. Anyone can point out a problem - but few offer positive, workable solutions. Hereís to Derek Adams! Well done. Some of the simplest solutions are right before our eyes.

John Deegan

Carlsbad, California

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Problem at Laem Chabang Golf Course

Dear Sirs,

I would like to inform you about a problem at Laem Chabang Golf Course. I was playing a slow round because of so many groups in front of me. A Thai man from the group behind me started screaming obscenities at me. I called for him to come and talk to me. I was very nice, but it ended up with this Thai man hitting me and kicking my clubs. This is, needless to say against every aspect of the gentlemanís game of golf.

I brought this to the attention of the course management and after one hour of talking they decided to talk with this man. I ended up just leaving the course, it was pointless to try and do anything else. Management did nothing. The accounts of me, my partner and two caddies were not good enough.

I call for all farangs to boycott Laem Chabang Golf Course for a few months. Maybe this will teach the management there that an international golf club (as they bill themselves) should treat all people equally, and if someone performs outside of the proper manners of golf, it will not be tolerated regardless of where they come from.

This behavior was totally against all the things Thai people are about. I was amazed that this man wanted to make a fight with me. I would have fought him, but he, of course, had a few friends with him and I was alone. The thing that bothers me the most is that the management at the course did nothing to address this very serious problem.

Respectfully,

Matt Rauen

PSC Golf Chairman Dennis Willett replies: Laem Chabang Incident - It now appears that Matt played thru the Thai foursome. His girlfriend who was playing with him said she saw them but Matt says he did not see them. The tee box was empty so he just went to it. The incident occurred a few holes later when everyone was backed up.

Matt now knows that he did something he should not have done; however, this does not excuse the Thai golfer from starting a fight over it.

The manager at Laem Chabang called me because he wanted me to know that the PSC member played thru a group without asking permission. We acknowledge this, but do not excuse the Thai golfer from starting a fight.

I think the real reason he called was to ask me to not publish this in the newspaper. As far as I am concerned, this incident is over. Maybe we can all learn a lesson in etiquette here.

If you have any comments about this, please direct them to me.

Thanks,

Dennis Willett

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Visas and Winebibber

Editor;

Winebibber - Good short version of the Immigration rules on the one year retiree visa extension in your column. One point, though, you do not have to have baht 800k in the bank, it can be a lesser amount, IF your monthly income is baht 65k minimum, which times 12 amounts to the same thing.

Iíve been on the retiree visa now for four years, gonna apply for the non-immigrant residence permit this year, in December. Iím worried that theyíll change the rules one day and make it more difficult to stay here.

But, still, it is rather easier to stay here legally than in the U.S. Try to do it legally in the U.S. for 10 years without a green card, very difficult.

Mac

Winebibber replies: Mac is right that, in theory, you can show a monthly income of 65,000 baht rather than a lump sum of 800,000 for a one year retirement visa. However, since all visas are discretionary, it is usually recommended that the applicant does keep in a bank here the lump sum specified, especially if applying outside of Bangkok.

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Yes! Why change Pattaya

Dear Editor,

We would like to add our hearty agreement to a letter sent in by Phil Pybus (Pattaya Mail 8 June edition). Why does everyone seem hell - bent on changing all the unique things in Pattaya? As regular readers of your newspaper, we are dismayed to read the authorities plans to ďimproveĒ the resort. Donít people realise that Pattaya is Asiaís largest resort due to some of the things they plan to get rid of, such as Walking Street, bars being able to open late and the frequency and low price of the baht buses? We have been travelling to Pattaya since 1994 and yes, things have changed, but to demolish some of the things that bring in the tourists seems like an act of sabotage rather than improvement.

As for Songkran, it must be one of the truly great times to be had anywhere in the world! If some people canít take a bit of water during the height of the hot season then that is their problem. I understand some people have businesses to run, but I canít recall any company going bust due to the boss having wet clothes during one week of the year! To say that some people are under virtual house arrest is an absolute joke.

If the city government really want to improve Pattaya, it could start by cleaning up the beaches, kicking out the international criminals and paedophiles hiding in the resort, and let the rest of us have a late night beer and enjoy this excellent resort, as there isnít much else like it.

Glyn Jones & Andy Pollard

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