Vol. XIII No. 23
Friday June 10 - june 16, 2005

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern



HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Thailand Confidential

First delivery of material to Ban Lam Po School in Krabi

Chitra celebrates birthday at YWCA monthly meeting


Thailand Confidential

The American author, Jerry Hopkins, was the guest speaker at a recent Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club in Henry J. Beans’ Restaurant at the Amari Resort on North Pattaya Beach Road.

American author Jerry Hopkins was the guest speaker at a recent Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club.

Jerry is now residing in Thailand with his lovely wife Lamyai and they attended a dinner the previous evening hosted by Richard Smith, the co-chairman of the club, which gave an opportunity for several members to meet him personally.

An internationally acclaimed author of at least 3 best sellers, Jerry talked in detail about the process of writing successful books and articles - his conclusion being that the most successful authors are those who can tell a good story. There are well over 137,000 books of all kinds published in the USA each year, so for the aspiring writer, access to publishers is difficult - and only one in four of the books the publisher prints makes money for them, so the selection process is brutal.

Jerry described how he came to write the biographies of Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Raquel Welch, David Bowie, and our own Fr. Ray Brennan. He also recounted the events leading to up to having his book on Jim Morrison made into a movie.

He explained the difficulties of “getting into print” - but stated that the pleasure of doing what one enjoys doing and the sense of satisfaction that it brings keeps him at it.

Jerry is also the author of “Strange Foods” and its latest expansion, “Extreme Cuisine”, in which he explores some of the unusual food items we occasionally chew on in Thailand and Asia. He was surprised that many of our members were as adventurous, and familiar, with many of the strange foods he reports on. The 60% response to his question, “How many people here have eaten bugs?” really surprised him. Members were, as ever, eager to ask questions and Jerry was inundated later with members buying books, and was kind enough to autograph them all.

Jerry’s latest book is “Thailand Confidential”. This is a “must read” - The introduction alone will awaken many “been there, done that” remembrances.

First delivery of material to Ban Lam Po School in Krabi

Press officer, Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya

The school project the Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya started in Krabi a few months ago is now moving along quite nicely. The club has decided to sponsor 2 schools in South West Thailand by providing much needed equipment and introducing a scholarship programme for some of the students.

Sets of computers are making their way south.

Past President Peter Thorand decided it would benefit everyone if the materials were purchased in Bangkok and shipped directly to the school, this way the cost is lower. The school is about 800 km from the club’s location here in Pattaya and not everyone has time to travel there often.

Members of the club are pleased to announce that the first batch of equipment for the Krabi school project has been purchased and sent to the school. The materials sent in this shipment, the first of many, are 4 complete computers at a cost of 68,000 baht, plus sports equipment at a total cost of 15,000 baht.

60,000 baht has also been allocated for playground equipment and that is now being purchased on behalf of the club. Presently, the scholarship program is being worked on, and club members are reviewing the list of submitted students to make sure everyone is eligible for this program.

The club is very lucky to be working with Khun Quwan, who is acting as the club’s eyes and ears in Krabi. She grew up near the school and her family is well respected in the area. She is an employee of the local Thai Military Bank and well known and liked by the local community. Members are proud that she gives her time free to the project and would like to say a big “Thank You” to her for this.

Anyone who is interested in helping with this project or the many others that the club is presently working on by making a donation can contact the club by emailing [email protected]

Chitra celebrates birthday at YWCA monthly meeting

Elfi Seitz

The monthly meeting of the YWCA, chaired by President Nittaya Patimasongkroh, was recently held at the Green Bottle Pub. Associate judge of the juvenile court, Sopin Thappajug, and the president of YWCA Bangkok-Chonburi, Chitra Wattanasin, attended the meeting.

Chitra Wattanasin (sitting centre) is congratulated by members.

New appointments announced by president Nittaya included those of Elfi Seitz, who became assistant director for general sponsorship, and Malinee Suwansaenee, appointed assistant director for children’s scholarships.

At the end of the meeting, coming as a surprise, a great basket of flowers was presented to Chitra, whose birthday was on the following day.

EDITORIAL: Powerful incentive for saving energy

Suchada Tupchai

The effects of the energy conservation plan initiated by the central government on June 1 have been measured and show startling results. Throughout Thailand, people were encouraged to join in the campaign by turning off at least one light per person at 8 p.m. for a five-minute period. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) monitored the result and saw a total 702 megawatt reduction in power usage around the country, or around 44,140 units of electricity. If everyone continued the same way each day throughout the year there would be a 43 million baht saving nationwide on power costs. If the same was applied to turning off air-conditioners in the day time, an estimated 822 megawatts of electricity would be conserved at a savings of 578 million baht. Further actions show the potential saving of 1,100 megawatt, or over a billion baht, in power costs.

Pattaya, a city of energy usage comparable to that of the capital, was a focus during the nationwide televised campaign. Residents complied and both the provincial governor and city mayor were satisfied with the 70 percent reduction in power usage during the five-minute period.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for further cooperation in continuing the campaign. People will be saving their own money on power bills, and overall savings for the country of up to 500 billion baht annually are achievable. This means funds can be diverted into more necessary areas. The prime minister said that it was time everyone took responsibility, for it is not just a government matter. He drew attention to the words spoken by HM the King to the Thai people: “Thais together in preserving power” (Ruam palang Thai, lot chai palang ngarn). Now is the time, the prime minister said, to begin in earnest.

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