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Pattaya Today 23 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 1/23

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

Easy Solutions for the Common Leaking Roof

It has unfortunately come to be accepted as common place that roofs in Thailand can tend to leak. Even luxurious homes worth over 25 million Baht can’t seem to escape this issue which stems from a common problem shared by all homes in Thailand. Steel structures are used as the framework for all roof construction. This combined with the extreme sunshine that we face in the tropics causes these steel structures to expand and contract which, over time, will start to dislodge the roof tiles, leaving minute openings between them. They do have a failsafe system, which is the use of thin metallic sheets under the tiles to provide in a sense a double layer, but is also ineffective in the long run. SprayMe Roof Insulation, a relatively new company founded originally in the Hua Hin- Cha’am region, has come up with an interesting and durable solution for these troublesome woes. They have acquired machinery that applies chemicals which when mixed, creates a rigid layer of foam, which is sprayed underneath the roof tiles. This foam, also known as Poly-urethane or ‘PUR’ foam, consists of two completely benign chemicals

that when mixed, form a quick drying layer of foam with a hard but flexible skin. The foam is applied via a high pressure spray gun, and when it dries forms a layer about 1.5 inches thick and thereby creates an impermeable barrier against water, moisture, insects, heat and noise. At prices ranging from just 450 up to 550 Baht per sqm. of roof area, this works out to be quite an effective, convenient and yet inexpensive solution as the roof treatment is guaranteed water proof for ten years.

The roof tiles are also glued not only to the structure but also to each other, thereby ensuring that even in high wind situations, none will get loose nor dislodged. A more remarkable side effect, which is most convenient,

is that once treated with the PUR foam, the roof as a result becomes much better insulated against the heat

of the tropical sun as well. In fact under testing, temperatures under the roof were shown to be reduced by a whopping 7 degrees Celsius after treatment and made the rooms of the homes much cooler. Depending of course on the type of construction, room temperatures inside the house usually drop between 3 and 4 degrees Celsius after treatment of the roof with spray foam. If your house has double walls instead of single brick walls, or PVC window- and door frames instead of wooden frames, savings on your electric bills are even higher. On average, the cost of roof treatment is earned back in 7 to 10 years via lower

electric bills throughout the whole year. SprayMe Roof Insulation uses chemicals provided by Dow Chemical (U.S.A.) and BASF (Germany), thus ensuring the highest quality standards possible. Combined with the newest technology from the USA in our spray machine, the Reactor A-20 from Graco, an air driven, easy to use and lightweight unit that uses two pumps, one for each chemical, connected to the spray gun by a 90meter long hose. This way, even roofs of high-rise condominiums or industrial complexes can be treated with PUR foam by us without having to move any machinery out of the truck and into the building. Currently five projects in the Hua Hin-Cha’ am region and many, many more in the Pattaya region have introduced the spray foam treatment as a standard upgrade to their new builds since SprayMe started promoting its product. It is therefore not hard to foresee that within 5 years, all projects aimed at the foreign market in Thailand will utilize this amazing, unique and cost effective method to guarantee sealed roofs that do not leak and the added bonus of long lasting

insulation against the blistering heat of the t ropics. If you’re considering having your roof done, contact us by e-mail or phone and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our specialists who will make you a quotation

at your house anywhere in Thailand, free of charge. For more detailed information as well as sample pictures, please visit our website at www. or send your e-mail to spraymepurfoam@Gmail. com.

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The Lawyer

A very successful lawyer parked his brand-new Lexus in front of his office, ready to show it off to his colleagues. As he got out, a truck passed too close and completely tore the door off of the driver’s side. The counselor immediately grabbed his cell phone, dialed 911, and within minutes a policeman pulled up. Before the officer had a chance to ask any questions, the lawyer started screaming hysterically. His Lexus, which he had just picked up the day before, was now completely ruined and would never be the same, no matter what the body shop did to it. When the lawyer finally wound down from his ranting and raving, the officer shook his head in disgust and disbelief. “I can’t believe how materialistic you lawyers are,” he said. “You are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else.” “How can you say such a thing?” asked the lawyer. The cop replied, “Don’t you know that your left arm is missing from the elbow down? It must have been torn off when the truck hit you.” “Ahhh!” screamed the lawyer. “Where’s my Rolex!”

Three friends in an Accident

3 friends die in a car accident and they go to an orientation in heaven. They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you? The first guy says,”I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man.” The second guy says, “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.” The last guy replies, “I would like to hear them say ... Look, He’s Moving!


Friendship Between Women:

A woman didn’t come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house. The man called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew about it.

Friendship Between Men:

A man didn’t come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house. The woman called her husband’s 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over... Two claimed that he was still there.

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

Man asks the Nurse

A man is lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask over his mouth. A beautiful young nurse arrives to sponge his hands and feet. “Nurse,” he mumbles from behind the oxygen mask, “are my testicles black?” Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, “I don’t know, I’m only here to wash your hands and feet.” Struggling, he again asks the nurse, “Are my testicles black?” Finally, she raises his gown, holds his penis in one hand, holds his testicles in the other, takes a close look, and says, “There’s nothing wrong with them!” The man pulls off his oxygen mask and replies, “That was very nice, but, are my test results back.”

Buying Condoms

A young man goes into a drug store to buy condoms. The pharmacist says the condoms come in packs of 3, 9 or 12 and asks which the young man wants. “Well,” he said, “I’ve been seeing this girl for a while and she’s really hot. I want the condoms because I think tonight’s “the” night. We’re having dinner with her parents, and then we’re going out. And I’ve got a feeling I’m gonna get lucky after that. Once she’s had me, she’ll want me all the time, so you’d better give me the 12 pack.” The young man makes his purchase and leaves. Later that evening, he sits down to dinner with his girlfriend and her parents. He asks if he might give the blessing and they agree. He begins the prayer, but continues praying for several minutes. The girl leans over to him and says, “You never told me that you were such a religious person.” The boy leans over to her and whispers, “You never told me that your father is a pharmacist.”

Bush and School Kids

After giving a speech at an elementary school, President Bush allows the kids to ask a few questions. One little boy, Billy, gathers the courage to raise his hand and asks, “How come you invaded Iraq without the support of the U.N.?” Just as Bush begins to answer, the recess bell rings and he says they’ll continue afterward. Half an hour later the kids come back inside. “Where were we?” says George. “Oh, yes - does anyone want to ask me anything?” A different boy raises his hand and says, “I have three questions: First, why did you invade Iraq without support from the U.N.? Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early? And third, where the heck is Billy?”

Problem Solved

According to a news report, a certain private school in Victoria recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of 12 year old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean

the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a longhandled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror!

Grandpa and viagra

Grandma and Grandpa were visiting the kids overnight, when Grandpa found a bottle of Viagra in his son’s medicine cabinet. He asked the son about using one of the pills, and the son said, “I don’t think you should take one; they’re very strong and very expensive.” “How much?”, asked Grandpa. “$10.00 a pill”, answered the son. “I don’t care”, said Grandpa, “I’d like to try one, and I’ll leave the money under your pillow as soon as I break this $50.00 bill.” The next morning the son found $110.00 under his pillow. He said to Grandpa, “I told you each pill was $10.00, not $110.00.” “I know,” said Grandpa, “The extra $100.00 is from Grandma.”


A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card; it said “Rest in Peace”. The owner was angry and called the florist to complain. After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was ,the florist said. “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new location.”

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009


Pattaya Today 25 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 3/25

Franchising in Thailand: An opportunity for the budding entrepreneur By Thomas Schmid (Dukas Agency)

the supplied recipes,” he explains. There is no margin for getting creative in that respect. For the benefit of running a turn-key, branded

Mention the word “franchising” and people primarily think of international fast food chains like McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and, yes, even Starbucks. Few realize that Thailand has in fact a home-grown franchising industry. While theoretically every service or brand can be franchised from beauty salons to fashion lines to hotels, gyms and 7-11 convenience stores, it is primarily food chains that are deploying the concept in Thailand. Particularly large conglomerates like Charoen Phokphand and Minor Group pioneered franchising in the country a couple of decades ago. Restaurant brands like Sizzler, Chester’s Grill, The Pizza Company, Squeeze (a juice bar chain) and Oishi are not only as well known as their international counterparts, but are also

investment to set up shop. So, what are these mentioned advantages? Firstly, a franchisee obviously will buy into a brand that is already well established. Customers know what type of service to expect in the newly opened outlet. This, in turn, keeps necessary promotion and associated advertising costs down to a minimum, thus saving budget. Secondly, the mother company delivers a full package ranging from staff training to equipment, which makes

entirely Thai, despite their foreign-sounding names. While acquiring franchises of those major brands may be beyond the financial means of most small business entrepreneurs, even they have discovered the advantages of the concept. Street stalls selling pork meatball (luk chin moo) noodle soup under the “Champ” brand are just as ubiquitous in the capital as grilled chicken booths bearing the “5 Star Chicken” logo. These franchises can be had for as little as THB 10,000 per outlet, making them much more affordable than their upscale brethren, for which fees can easily run in the hundreds of thousands of Baht in addition to a considerable further

it fairly easy for franchisees to establish their businesses. Lastly, the need for product development is negated. In the words of Graham Brain, CEO of Tasty Thai Restaurants Co. Ltd.: “We provide the recipe. All the franchisee has to do is the cooking.” The company started out in 2003 with a stand-alone restaurant, but the original owner soon partnered with Brain and embarked on a franchising strategy. To date, the firm has sold master franchise licenses to Stockholm and Melbourne (with 3 restaurants each), as well as London and Hawaii (with 1 outlet per location). While the original outlet in downtown Bangkok is still the only branch of the

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Tasty Thai Restaurants Co. Ltd fast food chain in Thailand, Brain plans to expand the business here, too. For the franchising fee of THB 500,000 the franchisee receives a package that includes in-depth training of lead staff, advice on restaurant and kitchen layout, menu set-up and cooking guidelines, counseling on location selection and, last but not least, the right to operate under the Tasty Thai logo. However, additional investment like kitchen equipment, dining area decoration and location leases all have to be shouldered by the franchisee apart from obvious cost items like staff salaries, purchases of ingredients and utility bills. Contracts typically are for a period of 5 years and can be perpetually renewed. To maintain the company’s established standards and product branding, Brain insists that his franchisees strictly comply with all regulations and guidelines set forth by the mother company. “It is not just the restaurant layout and interior design, but also the way staff treat customers, how the food is presented and, most importantly, that kitchen personnel rigidly stick to

26 Pattaya Today PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 4/26

Thaksin to Stage Comeback Despite his previous vow to stay out of politics, Thaksin Shinawatra is to make a comeback, according to Chiang Mai MP, Surapong Towichakchaikul. Apparently, Thaksin told Surapong in Dubai that he intends to return to Thailand, to fight all legal cases, run for election in Chiang Mai and assume leadership of the Puea Thai Party. His volte face is due to the populace wanting him to return to solve the country’s problems, Thaksin maintains. Thai Army Gets Airship for Anti-Insurgency Ops. Aria International Inc. is building an airship hanger for the Aeros 40D Airship ‘mobile command platform’ in Hatyai as part of the Royal Thai Army (RTA) Southern Border Surveillance programme. The Aria package “provides surveillance and communications systems to assist the RTA with the necessary capabilities it requires to counter the increased insurgent activity and threats of crime, drug trafficking and terrorism,” according to Aria’s CEO, Mr. Mike “Bing” Crosby. Chinese To Take Over 15 Up-Market Hotels Owners of at least 15 four- and five-star hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Khon Kaen, badly hit by the worldwide economic turndown and now Swine flu, are keen to sell to Chinese investors for Bt1,200-1,500 million each. The Chinese are apparently confident that Thai tourism will begin to turn around in two to three years. The BOI is already negotiating with these investors and the government is prepared to grant them investment privileges. Chinese To Expand The Teaching Of Chinese Language In Thailand Intent on expanding the teaching of Chinese to Thais, including broadening their existent mutual student exchange programme, Chinese investors want to establish educational institutes, here. These schools, once established at an individual cost of Bt1 million, will co-ordinate with educational institutes in China. Two plans are envisaged: A. Thai students study for the first year in China and three subsequent years in Thailand; or B. two years of study in both countries. Tensions Rise Once Again Over Preah Vihear Temple Thailand and Cambodia appear to be both ramping up the tension on the border near the disputed Preah Vihear Temple. Cambodia has apparently deployed six tanks and a significant number of troops, whereas the Thai Amy has constructed 20 large bunkers to bolster their positions and prevent any incursions by Cambodian troops. An official in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharaluck district has advised tourists and others to avoid the troublesome area. NXP Semiconductors To Increase Production In Thailand Responding to an increased demand for its computer chips, in Q2 2009, NXP Semiconductors is to invest US$300 million in its Bangkok’s Lak Si plant to establish its largest production base for integrated circuit packaging. NXP’s Bangkok plant is now running at almost maximum capacity, producing 10-15 million chips for export to Europe, the US and Asian markets, including Japan and China and hence needs to expand its production facilities.

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

Chinese Want To Invest In Thailand’s Rail Network According to Deputy Commerce Minister, Alongkorn Ponlaboot, two Chinese state enterprises, China Railway Construction Corporation and China Railway Engineering Corporation, are eagerly seeking investment opportunities, amounting to several hundred billion baht, in Thailand’s ambitious logistics development plan. The Chinese giants are particularly interested in the high-speed train and double-track rail link with Southern China’s rail network, and also the proposed extension of the rail network from the Northeast to Laem Chabang Port. Auto-Alliance Invest In New Rayong Plant The Auto-Alliance Thailand joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. has opened a new US$500 million passenger car plant in Rayong, so as to increase both their market share in Asia and production capacity from the current 175,000 to 275,000 vehicles annually. The two main models to be produced will be the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta, expected to be exported to SE Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Ist H1N1 Vaccine Factory Opened Thailand has started its first H1N1 vaccine plant 60 kms. from Bangkok, with US$70 million funding from the World Health Organization, and it is expected to be completed in three to four years. Following trials and Ministry of Public Health certification, the first vaccines should be available from August. Initial production is estimated at two million doses annually, rising to 60 million doses per year when the plant is finished. Swine Flu Pandemic Ranks Highly At ASEAN Phuket The Swine flu pandemic will be among the top agenda issues at the ASEAN conferences being held in Phuket from July 17 to 23, the theme of which will be “Acting Together to Cope with Global Challenges”. Thailand is apparently to be the hub of the antiviral vaccine production, to be available for the ASEAN countries and others worldwide, according to Vitavas Srivihok, Director-General of the ASEAN Affairs Department of the Thai Foreign Ministry. 115 Teachers Now Killed In South With the recent killing of a school teacher in Raman district of Yala Province, the toll of teachers killed in the southern insurgency since its escalation in 2004 now amounts to 115. Insurgents no longer target only Buddhist teachers and monks, Muslim teachers now walk in fear, with several Muslim schools having closed. ‘Security for teachers in the area is getting worse, but teachers have to soldier on,’ said Confederation of Teachers chairman. PM Abhisit Promises Aid for Buri Ram PM Abhisit Vejjajiva promised to invest Bt6.5 billion in Buri Ram Province, during his recent visit to the region, saying he well understands the people of the region’s plight, particularly regarding water shortages. He visited an alternative energy centre, which promotes natural resource conservation, drove Thai-made tractors and visited rubber planters, asking them about problems of rubber and rice farming, pledging to implement a price guarantee system for both concerns. Swine Flu Directly Attacks Lungs According to the Public Health Ministry the A (H1N1) virus specifically attacks the lungs, developing severe symptoms that can lead to death. Apparently, the majority of patients make a full recovery within two or three days and most fatalities were among those who had gone to hospital too late. Meanwhile, the number of patients admitted to Bangkok hospitals with the virus had fallen as people were no longer panicking.

Abhisit Scotches Rumours Of Secret Prison PM Abhisit denied rumours originally published in the Washington Post that an alleged secret prison, set up by the Thai government and the US, for torturing terrorists exists in Thailand and will communicate this, among other matters when he meets US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at Government House. Mr Abhisit said “It’s an old story and it is totally groundless as this government has never resorted to the use of violent means”. Unscrupulous Taxi Driver Rapes, Robs and Videos Tour Guide A 25-year-old tour guide claimed she had been raped twice by a taxi driver, who claimed he had a gun, in a remote soi in Nonthaburi; afterwards taking a video clip with his mobile phone-camera, which he threatened to broadcast if she reported him to police. He claimed he’d done this many times previously with female passengers; finally stealing her mobile phone, ID card and ATM card, and withdrawing Bt700. Baby V.O.X Member Screened For Swine Flu Kim, a member of Baby V.O.X., a popular South Korean female band, is being medically screened and quarantined after it was suspected she may have contracted the H1N1 flu virus while on a promotional tour in Bangkok. All the members of the band were tested after hearing that the Thai DJ who interviewed the girl-group while in Bangkok has been quarantined with the influenza, a spokesman from DR Music said. Red-Shirts Mob Police Station After DJ Arrested After police arrested a pro-Thaksin community radio DJ called Lae, thought to be a prominent RedShirt leader, for carrying a weapon through Chiang Mai International Airport, irate Red-Shirts drove a pick up through a police cordon. Meanwhile hundreds of protesters surrounded the Chiang Mai police station, stoning it with rocks all through the night before being dispersed by the concerted efforts of police armed with water cannons, early the following morning. Premier Calls for Concerted Action to Reinforce ASEAN’S Centrality. ASEAN foreign ministers met in Phuket to strengthen ties and further their goal of forming a European Union-style economic alliance. PM Abhisit opened the proceedings by saying “We must show to the world that ASEAN is ready to meet any challenge and is well prepared to act decisively”. Security issues in the region were on the agenda later in the week, including North Korea’s nuclear program, border disputes and terrorism. Coastal Energy Increases Offshore Production Coastal Energy’s subsidiary NuCoastal (Thailand) has just chartered an Atwood Vicksburg jackup rig to develop its properties in the offshore Songkhla B gas field and the initial development of the Bua Ban field. Coastal’s CEO said “This is the first step toward the commencement of our 2009 drilling programme. Coastal is excited to return to the development of its offshore assets. We expect further development to bolster current offshore production rates.” Bumrungrad Hospital In Rosy Health Bangkok’s Bumrungrad Hospital is benefitting from swine flu, the summer school vacation and the stable political situation, prompting overseas patients, half its intake, to return. The hospital’s rooms and beds have been almost fully occupied in the past month, with a higher number of patients from the Middle East, its largest customers. A hospital spokesman said its profits increased 7.6% to Bt338 million in Q1, qualifying for an “outperform” rating.

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009


Pattaya Today 27 PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 5/27

Debt could be death of us all

by Simon Philbrook A colleague of mine, now returned from what still remains for now the reigning global financial centre, I feel obliged to give a reading of New York’s commercial pulse. As always in the city that never sleeps (but as a result seems to have a problem getting itself up and running in the mornings) there was no shortage of news: Uberswindler Bernard Mad off pleaded guilty to running the worst Ponzi scheme ever and was sentenced to 150 years imprisonment we’re just disappointed that no-one from the slumbering regulators is joining him there - were this to have taken place in Peking rather than New York then we feel that the officials responsible would also face some retribution. In a similar vein, Alan Stanford, who had been

granted release by court on bail of $ 500,000 is also looking forward to finding out how prison food tastes, now that bail has been revoked with Mr. Stanford seemingly considered a flight risk. The second quarter of the year ended with the S&P 500 index showing a gain of 2.5% for 2009 so far. It seems that dead cats don’t bounce as high as they used to do but that has given Wall Street food for thought - the main one being that ‘happy days are here again’ and the privileged few can start to pay themselves what might be considered obscene amounts of money as long as they manage to not lose too much money for clients this year - 2009 bonuses being predicted to outstrip anything seen in the last few years as long as the market doesn’t crash too horribly between now and the year end. Unfortunately, we think that it will crash only too horribly, so don’t order the 2010 model Ferrari, Armani or new wifey just yet, chaps. The green shoots seem

to be withering and dying everywhere with ugly stats pouring in left, right and centre from the real economy. In general NYC seems to be a city in complete denial - most people there have absolutely no terms of reference for what is happening and it is only when you get far enough away from the Wall Street blind faith that the economy always grows and the market always goes up to places like Connecticut’s rich seam of hedge fund managers do you find any kind of balanced perspective. NYC real estate seems to be on the precipice desperate sellers seem to outnumber keen buyers, construction activity seems to have entirely halted (bailout sponsorship notwithstanding) and vacancy rates look to be climbing. However, there are positives (whatever anyone tells you, there always are about NYC) - The amazing ability of New Yorkers to overcome the security problems faced in the last few years was evidenced by the

Plants make a lot more sense

by Mr Pobaan

One of the great things about living in a house – in fact, one of the great things about living at all – is that you have a small piece of land attached to your living quarters in which you can create your own idea of paradise. I refer to the garden. Of course living in a condominium isn’t the end of the world. For four years I lived happily on the first floor of a modest block of apartments, at about eye level with the trees in the lush communal gardens. Attractive as they were, being supplied with a ready-made Arcadian idyll never felt quite as good as getting out there and making my own. Mr Pobaan, your humble columnist, now occupies a house with grounds, but he is no Capability Brown. This incapability is most apparent when I visit friends around the teeter-

ing heights of Khao Talo. As they casually show off their manicured lawns and beautifully tended flower beds, I am left with a hollow feeling of inadequacy that the rolling acres that we at Khao Talo Towers like to call our estate (ie, the back yard) just don’t match up for design, colourfulness or lushness, nor for that intangible feeling of being in a garden paradise. This does not daunt your plucky columnist. The one unique feature of the Pobaan garden, and the one that is ultimately the only important one, is that it is the singular and personal creation of Mr and Mrs Pobaan. From a pile of builder’s rubble, we have fashioned a space which, while quite clearly not yet a rival to Nong Nooch, is completely our own. This week it was my birthday and my teerak

Mrs Pobaan, the pearl in my oyster and the chilli in my somtum, asked me lovingly what pleasures or trifles I might desire on my special day. This is always a difficult question, primarily because being married to Mrs Pobaan is itself sufficient reward for any man. What trinket could enhance my life when I am already so richly endowed with the bounteous pleasures of union with my beloved? Although Mrs Pobaan would have appreciated a Thai translation of the above purple passage, I considered it beyond the abilities of any normal interpreter of business English and instead replied, ‘I’d like tree for the garden.’ ‘OK. Let’s go tomorrow to buy a tree.’ So the day dawns and we scoot off south on the Sukhumvit Road in search of a tree. There are

official re-opening of the Crown level of the Statue of Liberty on July 4th and Macy’s fireworks spectacular in the Hudson that evening was something else. Not only that a new world hotdog eating record was set in this Year’s World Championship held as always at Coney Island on July 4th weekend. But, as someone who loves New York - who’s visited many times in the last 20 years, this trip felt different - visiting now is not so much like the last decadent days of Rome; it’s more like Pompeii. The biggest sign of New York’s oblivion to the fate that seems to be awaiting it is that the biggest news last week was the blanket coverage of the death of a popular music star whose most successful recording was 27 years ago. Admittedly, there’s much more to this story - the bizarre ‘Wacko’ life lived in public since he could toddle, the claims that Michael Jackson had become a significant human rights activist and fighter for worthy causes and also the fact that his death, at the

too young for anyone age of 50, happened just before he was about to embark on a new tour for the first time in 12 years. However the fact that this was almost all that was talked about in the media, on the streets and in the bars of New York last week at a time when the US and global economies moved ever closer to falling off a ledge worries us. We offer our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Michael Jackson on their loss of a loved one. We sympathise with fans who have lost an idol - at some time we have all had similar feelings - in our case we keenly felt the passing away of both Fred Trueman and Brian Clough (UK idols in my mind) even though it was only their public celebrity altar egos that we knew best. But above all, we feel genuinely alarmed for all the citizens of the global economy. Michael Jackson has gone and should be mourned by his nearest and dearest rather than having his dying photographs published on

quite a few tree shops on this particular stretch of highway, so we make a number of stops before finding an emporium capable of supplying a tree of sufficient beauty to mark such an important day. I choose one with feathery leaves growing out of a couple of rough stumps. It has a certain rustic charm. We carry it home proudly, dig a big hole in the garden and drop it in. We stand back to admire the considerable attributes of this newcomer to Khao Talo Towers. But something isn’t right. I realise it’s because I don’t know the name of the tree. It’s a bit like meeting someone and not being introduced. And then it strikes me that I don’t know the names of anything in the garden, except the mango tree at the end, because Mrs Pobaan is aways wondering when it will bear fruit. So I set about the internet to try to find names for all our plants. My birthday gift, it turns out, is a cycad, an example of a tremendously ancient group of plants that have been

around since before the dinosaurs. I know how they feel. Then there are those huge fan-shaped trees that I always thought were palms, but which turn out to be more closely related to bananas than coconuts. They’re called traveller’s palms – ‘traveller’s’ because if you’re wandering in the jungle in Madagascar (which is where they come from) and get a bit thirsty, you can rip off a giant leaf and drink copiously from the water stored in its stem; and ‘palm’ because minds greater than mine have made the same mistake as me. Then there’s that rather attractive clump with bright red stems which I learn is called a lipstick palm. Thinking that this name has a neat link with the sort of womanly things that interest my loving wife, I rush into the kitchen to share the results of my research. ‘Why is it called that?’ ‘Because its stem is bright red.’ ‘But why lipstick?’ I look at my wife as if she has just dropped through our atmosphere after a long journey from Pluto. It all seems rather obvious to me and I can’t understand why she doesn’t get it. ‘Because lipstick’s red.’ ‘It doesn’t have to be. You can have pink lipstick,

magazine covers but the news and the discussion and the debate should be on the real issues of the day - on how we can limit further damage and look to deal with the huge overarching burden of debt. Ironically Michael Jackson was someone who was severely compromised by taking on too much debt and maybe that’s the lesson that we ought to be focusing on from his passing.

For those wanting more information on this or other financial topics then please contact Simon on simon@ The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable, however, neither Hamptons International Mortgages (Thailand) Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for an errors or omissions in the above article nor bear responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. or blue, orange, black... even green.’ ‘I think when they named the tree they had in mind normal lipstick as worn by normal women, not the stuff favoured by scary Goths or starlets in some 50s beach movie.’ ‘Red lipstick isn’t very normal at Xcite or Hollywood disco. You get quite a lot of green.’ ‘So what you’re saying is that we should find a palm tree with a green trunk and call that a lipstick palm?’ ‘That would be silly. Most palms are green. We bought the red one because it was red. It’s very pretty.’ I was going to tell Mrs Pobaan that the silvery-grey tree with spiky leaves is a Bismarckia nobilis but, not wishing to get into a discussion about 19th century Prussian politicians, I go into the garden to talk to the plants. They make more sense. Kuhn Pobaan’s by-theway In our market you can’t get a small bunch of bananas; you have to buy a big fist. But we only eat one banana a day in Mr Pobaan’s morning smoothie. If you put them in the fridge they go black, but if you leave them out they over-ripen. Email your concerns to kuhn.pobaan@

28 Pattaya Today PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 6/28

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

P. & N. Poolshop was formed in 2005 by Phillip & Nittaya. Philip worked as a competent building contractor for 20 years, mostly building private propert-ies including swimming pools. Now, he’s the company’s director, sales, swimming pool design, pool construction supervisor, quantity surveyor and pool structural engineer. While Nittaya used to be a photographer before she became the company’s director, administration, purchasing officer and pool maintenance supervisor. Many residents and property developers in and around Pattaya are benefiting from Phillip’s many years of experience, expertise and knowledge in swimming pool design, build and maintenance. Questions asked by many readers What can be done to prevent tile grout from continuously becoming discolored and breaking down ? Dear readers, The only and best solution is to not have grout, recently our company solved this problem for one of our valued customers, Gene who has a home and a pool in soi Yu-Mai, Pattaya Central. We removed all of Genes pool tiles, prepared

the rendered surface, and applied a tanking compound to the rendered surface. We then applied a sand wash finish to the

complete pool shell. (No tiles No grout No problem) Here are the photos of the finished pool, (looks good doesn’t it) Yes There Is Water In The Pool, Very Clear Isnt It

For those who are considering building a pool then not only the above is less problematic it also is a massive cost saving. A saving of 50,000.00 TB. Would be saved on a 10 x 5 meter pool. Gene would welcome anyone to visit his pool and discuss the ease of taking care and maintenance of his newly renovated pool Simply make an appointment via me Philip 081-0044-971

Thailand Sees Great Potential In Co-operating With Regional Economies

Thailand is making a determined bid to become the trading hub of SE Asia. Ranking among Southeast Asia’s largest economies, Thailand, along with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, (whose collective wealth accounts for virtually 80% of all foreign investment into ASEAN), had a combined purchasing power 10 times greater than all the other ASEAN members put together in 2008. Not surprisingly, Thailand is encouraging investment from its neighbours, not least because Asian economies are leading the global economic recovery; most regional economies having bottomed out from the global recession, due to government spending and interest rate cuts. As evidence of this, Tan Seng Chye, Vice Chairman, International Relations Committee, Singapore Business Federation, said: “The situation seems to have stabilised... They (Thailand) have offered many new facilities to attract businesses – not only from Singapore but also elsewhere – because of the competitiveness

of the current economic situation that we’re in.”

Out of the Region Influence In addition the world’s economic superpowers, the U.S. and China, are competing for influence in a resources-rich region whose sea lanes are crucial vital for transporting oil from the Middle East to China and NE Asia. However, the US ongoing financial crisis and rising unemployment will significantly weigh on global trade, affecting exportdependent Asian economies, so too much hope shouldn’t be placed in that direction. Likewise, massive stimulus spending in China is only likely have a modest impact on regional economies, as most demand is still driven by the US, Japan and Europe Incentives Government incentives for investors are encouraging, added to current packages available under the ‘Thailand Investment Year’ programme. A new initiative to encourage the use of renewable energy is also starting, with the BOI giving give priority

and incentives to projects dealing with renewable energy. Companies involved in these projects will be entitled to an eight-year exemption for import duties on machinery and income tax. The BOI is also seeking investments and expertise from regional businesses in sectors like motors, food processing and in particular, machinery, to free itself from the dependency on Western produced machinery.

Economic Growth The Thai economy has begun to recover but growth will be anaemic over the next several years, according to Jong-Wah Lee, the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank. “The economic recovery in Thailand has already started after contraction in the first half of the year. It may regain the growth of 2008 (2.6%) in the next year, but will remain below the average growth of between 2003 and 2007,” Mr Lee said “but the government must ensure its policy implementation is efficient going forward”.

Infrastructure Development Thailand is intent on developing its infrastructure under the Logistics Development Plan, covering logistics and transportation, including the new airport link, due to be completed by end-2009, as well as the high-speed train and double-track rail link with Southern China’s rail network, and also the proposed extension of the rail network from the Northeast to Laem Chabang Port; both of which the China Railway Construction Corporation and China Railway Engineering Corporation are interested in investing in.

Second Stimulus Package The Second Stimulus Package of US$40.5 billion, due next year, will spur development in 618 projects over a period of two years, across key sectors, including energy, healthcare, education, science and technology. Tourism and MICE Thailand is keen to encourage the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and

Exhibitions (MICE) industry, with world-standard facilities and incentive packages by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), which is organising 10 workshops, with 400 participants, in each of the country’s regions, to commence from this October. Tourism, however, has a major hurdle to overcome, having taken the biggest plunge in 49 years, with tourism down 22% on 2008, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairman, Kongkit Hiranyakij. The global economic tsunami, political instability, the airport fiasco, riots and now the A(H1N1) flu outbreak, with a quarter-of-a-million infected and 44 deaths, could make tourism contract by 3-4%, causing the country to lose up to Bt200 billion of tourism revenue. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has some ambitious plans to offset external impacts if arrivals remain turgid, predicting Bt430 billion in revenue from domestic tourism alone, due to its marketing budget of Bt700

million; targeting local administration officials, expatriates and niche markets, such as golfers. Tourism fairs have been or ganised, initially for Pattaya and Ubon Ratchathani, Phitsanulok late July, Nakhon Si Thammarat in August and Ayutthaya in September. The TAT is organising more marketing activities, working closely with various agencies, such as the Tambon Administration and Provincial Administration Organisations and also the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to organise short tourism packages of 1-3 days in Bangkok and nearby provinces, particularly for business people. The industry was encouraged by the long weekend of July 4-8 when the domestic travel increased by 30%, while hotel occupancy rates increased by 20% on average. Overall,” Mr Kongkit predicted “If the government can solve its political problems and is able to host the ASEAN meetings successfully, tourism should be revived by the end of this year or the beginning of 2010.


Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

Ask Andy

Looking for a solution to problems in or around your house? Email questions to: Quick Tip To help prolong the life of your batteries, seal them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator.  Misty Mirror Andy, is there anything to be done about my bathroom mirror fogging up while I shower? Todd Rak Thai To quickly clear the steamed-up glass, Todd, aim a hot hairdryer toward the mirror. Better yet, to prevent your mirror from fogging up in the first place, clean it once a week with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Make it part of your bathroom cleaning ritual. If that doesn’t work for you, try a more unconventional approach: rub the mirror with shaving cream, then rub it off well with a soft cloth.  Cast About Do you have any idea where I might find cast iron cookware—or at least a fry pan? I’ve been searching for years but haven’t seen anything in Pattaya. Stanley

Yours is not the first inquiry I’ve gotten with that same question, Stanley. Until now I have been forced to plead ignorance. However, since the opening of the True Value Home Improvement store on Sukhumvit (at Theppasit Road), a limited selection of cast iron pots and skillets is available locally. Items range in price from about 800 baht to about 4,700 baht, depending on size. All are made in America.  Wrap It Up Khun Andy, I like read your ideas about take care house and every thing and I learn to much how solve problem. Please you can tell to me some thing help use plastic for wrap food. I know I must to use but not easy. Problem even take piece plastic from end. Khap khun kha. Nuanjan I can relate to your having difficulty using plastic wrap, Nuanjan. It sticks to itself, curls up when you don’t want it to, and is tricky to use. I have solved most such problems

simply by storing plastic wrap in the refrigerator. The lower temperature seems to make the film... well, less flimsy--more firm and easier to handle. Keeping it chilled also will help with your problem of finding and lifting the end of the plastic wrap. You might also be interested in knowing that quality brands of plastic wrap, as well as aluminum foil, come in boxes with a tab at each end. If you depress those tabs, they will hold the roll in the box, further easing the use of the product.  Salt Peter I haven’t cooked much in the past, Andy, but I’ve been getting into it more since moving into my new condo with a modern kitchen. Anyway, I recall my mother once telling me what to do if I accidentally put in too much salt during the preparation. Unfortunately, I can’t recall what the trick is. Do you know? Peter in Pattaya I do know, Peter. If you over-salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in

apeeled potato. The potato absorbs the excess salt. And here’s a bonus tip: If you put too much sugar in the food while cooking, add a little salt; the salt offsets the sweetness.  Gate Keeper We’ve got an old, metal gate in front of our house which I would like to keep, but it’s seen better days. I want to paint it, but first can you tell me if there anything I should know before slapping on a coat or two of paint? Just Joe There are a few pointers to keep in mind when painting metal, Joe— whether dealing a gate, a fence, furniture or any other metal. First, if the gate previously has been painted and the paint is flaking or peeling, you will need to properly prepare the surface. Treat the metal with a solution of three parts bleach to one part water to get it completely clean. Remove any loose paint or rust with a wire brush, steel wool or other scraper. If the metal is bare (that is, if it has not been painted before), simply remove general soil and grit with detergent and water. Then wipe the surface using a cloth dampened with turpentine or vinegar; paint will not stick to a greasy or wet

Know what you are buying You know you want to live in Thailand and that you want to live in Pattaya. You have figured out how much you can afford and have decided what type of home or condo you want to live in, but do you know about the quality of that special residence you have your eyes on? Did you make your decision based on size, price, location or the advertising brochure? Did you fall in love with it when you made a tour of the home or condo or from an architectural model? It is good business to investigate beyond the flashy visual presentations and ‘show units’. Advertising and models may pique your interest, but it is your responsibility to look for substance. Many buyers never think to investigate beyond the presentation by the salesperson. They consider location, room size, floor

plan, colors and amenities. These are all vital aspects of whether a particular home or condo will fit your lifestyle. But purchasing a residence is also an investment not only in money, but in your valuable time. A calculating investor wants a home or condo that not only holds up physically over many years with low maintenance as it increases in value, but also expects it to provide carefree living that is comfortable, energy efficient and affordable. Time has precious value, even in retirement. Making a knowledgeable real estate buying decision is simple if you ask the right questions and look beyond what is on the surface. Don’t settle for less than you deserve for your investment. Here are some ideas on how to go about this, but don’t limit yourself to this brief article. Expand on these suggestions.

1. A major concern in Thailand is flooding. Even in elevated areas a sudden downpour can wreak havoc on a home. Confirm that the builder has created sufficient drainage away from the house. 2. What grades and types of materials were used in the building process? All building materials are not created equal and have different performance levels, maintenance requirements and useful life. If building or buying a newly built home or condo ask the builder for a listing of materials and grades used in its construction. 3. Is the home or condo insulated? Most Thai construction is not. Thai people handle the heat better than most foreigners. If you want cool comfort with electric bills that don’t collapse your monthly budget, proper insulation and attic ventilation is of

great importance. It is easy to skimp on something that isn’t readily visible like insulation. Confirm what you are getting. 4. Are the plumbing materials durable and accessible in case any leakage problems arise? Should an emergency happen, are there individual shut-off valves installed at sinks and toilets allowing for repairs without having to shut the main valve thereby stopping all water usage in the house? Chopping holes in concrete walls or floors around valves and drains are not acceptable when a simple access door could have been provided during the building of your new residence. 5. Foreigners like electrical gadgets. Are there ample outlets and circuits with breakers sufficient to handle the electrical equipment you plan to hook up? Are there

surface. Once the metal is clean and dry, you need to prime it before applying the paint. Double coats of primer will best ward off any future corrosion. If you are painting any metal that contains copper, be sure to use a metal-paint primer specific to that to avoid discoloration of the finished coat. Do not use cheap paint. Acrylic latex paint will usually do the job, but for the best results, use a direct-to-metal gloss latex metal paint. You can apply this according to manufacturer’s directions without primer, but a primer will always produce better, longer lasting results on metal. In the future, to help prevent rust, immediately touch up any small chips or scratches with primer followed by matching paint.  Knob Need I have to replace a doorknob, Andy, and I can’t figure out how to get the old knob off. Can you help? Andrea People most often have a problem removing doorknobs because of hidden screws. (It’s more obvious how to remove hardware with exposed screws.) I will focus on the hidden-screw type, though the approach is much the same for many others. First remove the knob handle on one side of the door (if it’s an exterior door,

you should be working on the interior side). The knob handle is held on by a thin, spring-loaded detent (button) on the backside of the knob. The knob on one side or the other has the detent somewhere on the barrel. You press on this detent and pull the knob handle off while keeping the detent depressed. (It would help to use the small detent depressor that usually comes when you purchase a new doorknob; otherwise the tip of a small screwdriver will do.) Once the handle is off, remove the trim ring, or cover, using a wider, thin-blade screwdriver to pry off the trim ring. Look for a small notch in the trim ring, usually located at the bottom but, depending on who put the trim ring on, it may be in almost any position. Some trim rings don’t have a notch. In such a case, try to slip the screwdriver tip under the ring at the bottom. Be careful not to mar or scratch the door with the tool while prying the cover off; it helps to work at the very bottom of the cover so any scars are less likely to be noticeable. From this point on, the procedure is pretty straightforward: remove the clamping screws, the actuating shaft assembly and the exterior knob handle. --Handy Andy

adequate light fixtures or will you need to purchase additional lighting? 6. Does the builder offer ‘upgrades’ to the basic house amenities? Are they actually upgrades, or are they features that should have been standard? A home or condo that is ‘move-in’ ready with most or all of the features you want will most often cost you less than building from scratch where additional upgrades may be required. 7. Is (are) the air conditioning unit(s) of adequate size and high efficiency? On some new construction air-conditioning is offered as an upgrade. Find out if the air-conditioning and insulation package the builder offers is of sufficient size to properly and efficiently cool the square footage of the home or condo. 8. And finally, even the best constructed homes and condos built by top quality professional builders may require some attention after the sale. Inquire about what service you

will receive after the sale. Ask how quickly you can expect service if there is an emergency like a water pipe leak. What happens if the roof leaks, or the toilet is defective, or a wall cracks? Does the builder offer a written warranty on his work? Is it part of the contract? Which equipment, fixtures and products in the house or condo are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and not the builder? Will the builder aid you getting satisfaction if you have a complaint against a manufacturer? We are lucky to have some outstanding builders in the Pattaya area and you can expect excellent value for your money. But regardless of which contractor’s home or condo you purchase, it is just plain good business to know what you are getting as well as what you can expect after the sale. Good house or condo hunting. Owning a great place to live will double your enjoyment of living in or around Pattaya.

30 Pattaya Today PATTAYA TODAY PROPERTY 8/30

Vol. 8 No. 22  1 - 15 August 2009

Pattaya Todap Property Section  

Pattaya Today is the No1 publication, published fortnightly in Pattaya on the Eatern SEaboard of the Land of Smiles. Check out our website a...

Pattaya Todap Property Section  

Pattaya Today is the No1 publication, published fortnightly in Pattaya on the Eatern SEaboard of the Land of Smiles. Check out our website a...