At their Sunday, September 29, meeting, members of the Pattaya City Expat Club (PCEC) were first entertained and then informed about a new method to transfer funds via Bangkok Bank’s New York branch to a Bangkok Bank account in Thailand.
First, the PCEC enjoyed the amazing musical legacy of one man and his wife, the Simons. Based on their decision to move the Simons family to Thailand 12 years ago, the father who has since passed away, a legacy was left as the 9 family members formed their own sibling band called, “Jasper 3 and The Stones.” Not only was the PCEC audience entertained with their singing, but also learned the awe-inspiring story of this African American family’s heritage.
The father was in poor health from birth, but during much of his life he was such a dynamic person few people realized it. They lived in the USA, where he was in a real estate business; they were busy raising their children according to strong convictions involving home schooling, gospel-based beliefs, and no TV.
Always creative, he suggested broadening the children’s lives and see what life was like in the Far East, maybe just for 6 months. In 2007, Malaysia was the first stop, but a trip to Thailand determined this was the place for them, and they never looked back! They found a home in Pattaya and with no TV interference, there was more time for music and family interaction. They started a family mission based on love, peace and music. Twelve years later they are still doing it.
From the early days they were involved in life, English camps, boots camps, international bed race and Mercy Center, to name a few. They were gifted a musical key board and music took on a big part of their lives, including writing songs and music. There were songs for doing most things in their day. With all this music, it was a noisy place. It was decided the children would go to Bali Hai Pier and perform for the tourists.
Their mother kept tabs on them but was also very busy taking care of her very ill husband. The children and the tourists enjoyed the performances until one day the police picked them up and took them to the police station. Their mother was required to show up with their passports but the police stated it was illegal for them to be singing on the street and would not release them. Instead they were taken to a home which was primarily for the caring of children involved in sex trafficking. But it became a learning experience for them; they learned about the lives others faced and decided to “bring joy to the home”. They taught English and music and it was a very different place when they left. Eventually, matters were resolved and they were released back into their parent’s care. Of course, they still make return visits the home as they continue “to bring joy”.
Songs were written to commemorate events and pass on messages by them, which they shared with the PCEC. These included the songs “Standing Alone” and “Never Let Me Down”. The 3 older girls have been performing more “Joy of Life” and have a home studio where they are excited about producing some songs next year.
As the Simons Family introduced themselves and performed, the love and smiles vibrated around the room. The family culture of joy, love, music and peace, was the legacy the father left when he passed away a year ago. They encouraged the audience to follow them on their Simon’s Family Vlog which can be visited at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqZp3xCulyiR0bLibcc8zQ .
A brief presentation followed the Simon’s Family, which was of primary interest for USA citizens wishing to send money to a Bangkok Bank account in Thailand. Waraporn Srinaka, Senior Specialist from the Bangkok Bank’s Global Payment Services Department provided information on a new Baht Remittance Service offered by Bangkok Bank’s New York (NY) Branch.
She mentioned that this new service is not the same as previously offered where a person could electronically transfer funds to their Bangkok Bank account in Thailand from their USA financial institution through the USA Banking system’s Automated Clearing House (ACH). This service is still available provided the sending financial institution can do so using the International ACH Transfer format as the previously used domestic ACH transfer comes to an end.
The Baht Remittance Service involves the preparation of an “application” and the sending of funds to the NY Branch by postal mail. Bank checks or US postal money order must be used as personal or corporate checks are not accepted; nor are checks from Credit Unions. The funds will be remitted in US dollars or Thai Baht dependent upon the method selected on the application. If US dollars, the NY Branch charges a flat fee of US$55 and Bangkok Bank in Thailand, if going to a Baht account, will use the Thai on-shore exchange rate. If the funds are remitted in Thai Baht, the NY Branch will use the Thai off-shore exchange rate for the conversion, and their fee will vary depending on the amount being remitted.
The PCEC will be including information on how to use this service in the Living in Thailand section of their website with links to a downloadable application form and instructions. To view a YouTube video of the presentation, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cimSNIbKyis&t=153s.
Following the presentations, members were brought up to date on upcoming events and Club activities. This was followed by the Open Forum where questions can be asked or comments made about Expat living in Thailand, especially in Pattaya.
For information on PCEC activities, visit their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/. To view videos of the weekly presentations to the PCEC and the after presentation interviews, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ2hH8irBpX_v7Qb7s-pANA .