I have just enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display which was the crescendo to a marvellous evening to celebrate His Majesty's birthday. Given all that HM has has done for the kingdom over so many years of service I am glad the powers-that-be where I am have ignored the ill-advised "guidance" from the central government to desist from using fireworks as part of the celebration. Long may the use of fireworks prevail as a symbol of celebration and Long Live His Majesty.
Samui needs fast fix
Re: ''Visitors flee power blackout on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan'', (BP, Dec 6).
My concern is about the well being of the people in these areas. They have been living without power for two days: what about people in the hospital who have serious illnesses? Also, the telecommunication system has been knocked out, so how can we cannot contact relatives who live in the affected areas to check on them?
Samui and Phangan are major tourist attractions. This will surely make business owners and local people lose their livelihoods.
The authorities should deal with this problem more seriously because not only are the villagers and business owners suffering, but tourists who travel to the place expect rest and relaxation.
Chiang Mai University
Filth in Pattaya Bay
Re: ''Tourism ads mislead'', (PostBag, Dec 4). Mr Perry's list, regarding the tourism department campaign ad, left out one very important department. The department for dumping untold tonnes of rubbish from Bangkok into Pattaya Bay. This department has been excelling itself lately as I was able to see for myself at the weekend on an evening cruise.
Rubbish floated for miles in the so-called green, clear water of Thailand.
Please, somebody do something about this awful situation before all the tourists leave for more pleasant waters.
UK abandons expats
I was intrigued last week to watch a local media TV programme located at a Bangkok hotel where there was a large party given by the Finnish ambassador for the promotion of a Finnish diplomat based in Pattaya to the consul-general post. The diplomat would, in his words, ensure Finnish expats and tourists would be more than adequately provided for.
Today I was informed by a friend that the UK's Pattaya consular office was now closed permanently.
This will have consequences for the thousands of British expats living here to get their annual visas processed and for other queries. What happens to those expats who digress and cause problems and end up in a local jail with no diplomatic back-up?
I first visited Pattaya in 1987 after spending time in Chiang Mai and Phuket and always hankered to eventually retire here - which I did in 2004.
On informing the UK authorities that I had changed my address from my Spanish residence I was immediately advised that my pension would be frozen and I would no longer qualify for any medical care if it was a serious condition.
Perhaps other countries treat their citizens the same but after 22 years in the Royal Navy and 10 years in the National Health Service, I was accustomed to abiding by the rules. From conversations with other expats it seems I was a fool, as many hide the fact they live here and manage to maintain the status quo with their pensions and allowances. The UK tax authorities apparently do not check up on retirees here!
The British are in the financial minority these days, Pattaya being inundated with Russians, Indians and Chinese.
Being British certainly has its downside these days, with the 48 baht to the British pound exchange rate: when I arrived in 2004 it was 75 baht.
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