living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand – Doctor says Thailand should match WHO’s pollution standard

Via: Bangkok Post

A doctor providing medical care to haze-affected patients in the North has called for an adjustment to the pollution safety standard.

Dr Chaicharn Pothirat, chief of pulmonary, critical care and allergies at Chiang Mai University’s faculty of medicine, said the current maximum safety level of 120 microgrammes per cubic meter per day for particles less than 10 microns is far higher than that set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In 2005, the WHO set the maximum safety figure at 50 ug per cu/m per day, but it has not been adopted in Thailand.

Dr Chaicharn said prolonged exposure to the hydrocarbons present in haze increases the risk of cancer and damage to the respiratory system.

Dr Chaicharn said doctors in the North had in recent years noticed an increase in non-smokers with lung cancer.

Medical research conducted between 2008 and 2010, based on emergency visits by doctors from the faculty, found incidences of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and long-term lung disease increased in parallel to every 10 ug per cu/m rise.

”With haze, we tend to discuss just the damage to tourism, scenery, visibility, and sore eyes and noses,” said Dr Chaicharn. ”Those impacts are small when compared with the long-term health risks. How many people in the North will die of cancer because of it?”

Dr Chaicharn called on officials to adjust the standard to more accurately reflect the problem. ”We first have to admit the fact that we have a problem, a serious problem,” he said.


personal thought:

I believe the two leading Englisgh language papers, the Bangkok Post and the Nation, should post BOTH the Thai ’50 microgrammes per cubic meter per day’,  AND the WHO/US/ EU ‘120 microgrammes per cubic meter per day’ in EVERY article/editorial.



April 8, 2012 Posted by | Bangkok Post newspaper, climate, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vietnamese vegetarian killed in apparent suicide in Nonthaburi

Via: The Nation

Nonthaburi – A Vietnamese vegetarian was killed Monday morning in apparent suicide when he fell from his room of a residential building in side the Sukhothai Thammathirat University.

Tran Huu Dan, 24, fell from his room on the eight floor of the Chalermprakiart Building at 9:30 am.He checked into the room with three other friends on May 22. They were scheduled to check out Monay.

Komsan Phokong, deputy director of the open university, said some 1,000 Vietnamese vegetarians sought permission to use the university’s compound to organize the world vegetarian festival to pray from May 22 to 30.

They arrived on buses and stayed at the building.


photo: ‘Heavy tongue piercing at the annual Vegetarian Festival Thailand’


Q: Did you go to the Vegetarian Festival?

A: Oh, hell no!    I STAYED ON THE BUS, and Tip the driver and I, had ribs at the Dukes, Chiang Mai.


May 31, 2011 Posted by | newspapers typos/errors, restaurants, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bangkok – Czech duo (Hans, und Franz) wanted for robbery nabbed

Via: The Nation

Two Czech nationals were arrested in Chon Buri’s Sri Racha district  for alledgedly stealing Euro 3 million (Bt 129 million) from a security agency’s armoured van two years ago.

Josef ‘Hans’ Blazek, 32, und Rodolf ‘Franz’ Tesarek, 35, were apprehended at a shopping mall for illegally entering Thailand from Laos, immigration police said. The duo were initially charged with illegal entry and overstaying their visa, pending possible handover to Czech police.

Both suspects had been sentenced to 12 years in jail by a Czech court, before they jumped bail and fled. They arrived in Laos last August, and entered Thailand on May 13.

Both men were known for their victory in a European strength competition and were seeking to practise Muay Thai in a number of local gyms before they were arrested.

According to an online Czech newspaper, the Czech Republic and Thailand do not have an extradition treaty. This is why the extradition of the two men would have to be based on a mutual ad hoc agreement, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tereza Paleckova said.

“The Czech Republic would have to pledge that it would extradite a detained [Thai] person to Thailand in a similar case,” she said.


Saturday Night Live –

“I am Hans.” “Und I am Franz.” “Und ve just vant to pump… (clap) …YOU UP!”

In the sketch, Carvey and Nealon play a pair of muscle-bound Austrian jocks who mimicked/spoofed Arnold Schwarzenegger by using padding for fake muscles, drab gray sweatsuits, weight belts, and Austrian accents. The background of the set includes several life-sized cutouts of Schwarzenegger during his competition years and the sketch’s introduction music featured mock Austrian “yodeling”.

“Hear me now und believe me later…”


May 21, 2011 Posted by | Amazing Thailand!, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nun’s bizarre rituals violate rights: NHRC

Via: the Nation

A so-called karmacorrection ritual supervised by a famous nun shows clear violations of human rights, National Human Rights Commissioner Visa Benjamano said yesterday.

In the ritual, Maechee Tossaporn Tewapitak told a woman to correct her karma by welcoming the sexual touches of a younger man.

“The victim doesn’t know her rights have been violated,” Visa commented yesterday.

She said the nun used verbal violence during the ritual and her advice was inappropriate.

Tossaporn has offered karmacorrection rituals at Wat Pichayatikaram in Bangkok for years.


Hmmm, ‘karmacorrection’; hmmm.



April 29, 2011 Posted by | Amazing Thailand!, The Nation newspaper, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Law on high-rise buildings needs updating

via: The Nation


In photo: Officials from a Chiang Mai administrative body inspect the damage caused to a high-rise building in the city after an earthquake hit Burma earlier this month. There are 40 buildings more than 15 stories high in downtown Chiang Mai.

The current law, under which buildings should be able to withstand tremors of up to 5 on the Richter scale, only covers structures that are over 23 metres in height.


Dr Amorn Pimanmas, chairman of a panel on structural and bridge engineering at the Engineering Institute of Thailand, said the amendment was necessary given that there are buildings like manufacturing plants, boilers and chemical plants that can be severely damaged in a quake, which take place more often now.

Amorn said the regulation issued in 2007 had not been updated and that its coverage of building types and areas as risk was not comprehensive. Under the current law only buildings that are more than 23 metres in height and built after 2007 are required to withstand earthquakes. The law does not cover structures like manufacturing plants both inside and outside industrial estates, boilers and commercial buildings.


Let’s see if I’ve got this:

– the current law only covers structures over 23 meters tall

Now let’s say the average floor is 3 to 3.5 meters tall, the number of floors in a 23-meter structuire would be 7 or 8, correcto mundo?

Soooo, presumably ALL BUILDINGS, including MY 8-story apartment, meet code for a 5.0 Richter scale quake.

YES?    NO?    MAYBE?

definate maybe, huh?

Oh well, mai pen lai



regarding the photo: Unless the Mae Ping River has flooded it banks again, I would guess that’s NOT Chiang Mai.


And I tell ya what; I’d feel a lot more confident about the information in The Nation, if someone would take the time to ‘proofread’.

I mean, JEEZ!

April 15, 2011 Posted by | newspapers typos/errors, The Nation newspaper, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Booze-free ‘safety areas’ set for Songkran

via: The Nation

“Safety areas” for Songkran water fights and celebrations are to be designated at 60 locations in 44 provinces this year, a network of antialcohol and accident prevention groups said yesterday.

The zones are aimed at tackling drunk driving and reducing road accident rates and crime during the festival from April 1317 this year.

April 1317? – April 13 through April 17

Sale and consumption of liquor will be prohibited in the areas, with Sonkgran revellers encouraged to gather and celebrate traditional events, said Supreeda Adulyanont, a senior Thai Health Promotion Foundation official.


– There have been an average of 1,948 DEATHS  per YEAR during Songkran in the PAST FOUR YEARS and another 1,423 people made disabled by road accidents caused by drunk driving.

– A similar survey found that 58 PER CENT of PEOPLE KILLED in road accidents last year had been DRINKING, with a QUARTED of them being under 20.


1,948 x 58% = 1,130 x 25% = 282 deaths UNDER age 20

I personally think it’s a excellant campaign, and I wish them well.


April 8, 2011 Posted by | newspapers typos/errors, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cabinet to consider approving pricey military gift list

via: The Nation (April 6, 2011)

– The biggest item will be 200 new medium tanks to replace, on a unit-by-unit basis, vintage US M41 tanks.

– Another 82 BTR3-E1 wheeled armoured personnel carriers, made in Ukraine and worth Bt4 billion, are to be handed over to the Army, and a further 121 BTR3-E1s, worth Bt5 billion, will be purchased in a later phase.

– Three Russian-made medium Mi-17V5 helicopters, worth Bt994 million, are also on the list, to replace ageing US-made CH-47 Chinooks, for which maintenance and obtaining spare parts has become difficult and expensive.

– Three more US-made UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters will also be bought at a cost of Bt2 billion.

– The Royal Thai Air Force will get another six Swedish-made Gripen jet fighters, worth Bt16 billion, in the next two years. The first six, which cost Thailand Bt19 billion, arrived in February.

– A number of rescue helicopters are also being sought by the RTAF, as those currently in use have proved less than fully capable of helping in disasters.

– Support and radar systems currently being used with US-made F-16 fighter jets will be integrated into new systems coming with the Gripen fighters, to make the different aircraft work together, the RTAF said in its purchase request. It has not yet said when the integration will take place or how much it will cost.

– The Navy is also pushing for Cabinet endorsement of projects that require funding of more than Bt16 billion, to buy six used submarines and to upgrade two of its frigates, the Taksin and the Naresuan, at a cost of Bt7.5 billion.


current exchange rate @30.21Bt

1,000,000,000 Bt = plus/minus $33,101,621.98 USD


via: The Nation (April 6, 2011)

‘No coup’

In an unprecedented move, top commanders came out yesterday to declare there would definitely be no military overthrow of the government.

“We ask you not to believe the rumours that soldiers will stage a coup. The Thai Armed Forces strictly abide by the Constitution under constitutional monarchy. Soldiers will not get involved in any political affairs,” supreme commander General Songkitti Jaggabatara told a news conference together with the chiefs of the three armed branches.

He also warned that any military unit moving out of its barracks without orders would be charged with treason.


via the Nation (April 6, 2011)

purely coincident?ally, I’m sur?e,

‘Hikes in soybean oil and milk prices’

The Commerce Ministry is allowing manufacturers of bottled soybean oil to increase the price by Bt9 per litre from tomorrow.

Yesterday’s approval will bring retail prices of soybean oil up to Bt55 per litre from Bt46.

“The price will have to be reviewed again in three months,” Vatchari Vimooktayon, director-general of Internal Trade Department, said.

The department is consider?ing the price of several goods, since manufacturers are strug?gling from rising production costs. The next product to be considered for price adjustment would be fertiliser.

Vatchari said the price of soybean oil had been increased in line with the cost of import?ed soybean seed, which has risen from Bt14.86 to Bt17.31 per kilogram. In order to pro?duce one litre of oil, 5.87kg of soybean seeds have to be used. As a result, it costs manufac?turers an extra Bt14.09 to pro?duce a litre of oil, which is why they want to set the retail price at Bt60 per litre.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | newspapers typos/errors, The Nation newspaper | , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Nearly one million hit by floods in the south

via: The Nation:

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department yesterday said that since March 23, the inundation had affected 998,867 people in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, Trang, Chumphon, Songkhla, Krabi and Phang Nga.

Nakhon Si Thammarat:

Nakhon Si Thammarat Governor Thira Mintarasak yesterday said 42 flood victims including one pregnant woman were already airlifted from a risky zone in Noppitham district.

“Floods have marooned their hometowns,” he said.


Surat Thani:

Floodwater was up to four metres deep in some areas of the Phunphin district yesterday.

Locals could do nothing but climb up to the roofs of their houses to avoid being submerged or swept away.



“Rocks and big land masses already flattened a house and a road here,” Moo 8 deputy village chief Nipat Khamkerd said, “Hundreds of rai of farmland have also been ravaged”.



I think three-time Pulitizer Prize winner Tom Friedman (NYT) explains it best why Thailand might be experiencing SEVERE FLOODING in the ‘DRY SEASON’:


‘Global Weirding is Here’ – (February 17, 2010)

“Avoid the term “global warming.” I prefer the term “global weirding,” because that is what actually happens as global temperatures rise and the climate changes. The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous.”


April 2, 2011 Posted by | The Nation newspaper, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thailand -more cold weather coming

photo: typical clothing you would see in the Cool Season (mid-November to mid-February); but late March, almost never.


The mercury in many parts of the country will plunge by three to five degrees Celsius for a few days due to a low-pressure ridge, the Meteorological Department said yesterday.

Greater Bangkok could shiver in 19-degree (66F) weather while even the South might see temperatures drop as low as 22 (72F) degrees.

Pensiri Trisat, a meteorologist in the North, said thermometers showed just 7.8 (46F) degrees on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai.


“The cold snap will likely continue until the end of the month,” she said.

A northern weather bureau said the hot season would return early next month, at about 39-40 (102-104F) degrees.

“It will be scorching then just like any other summer.”

April 17 is expected to be the hottest day of the year, as the sun will be directly overhead.

“But if there are clouds, it’s not going to be that hot,” the bureau said.


page 23

March 30, 2011 Posted by | climate, The Nation newspaper | , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – question regarding ‘red shirt party’

‘Chiang Mai red shirts to set up new party’

 The red shirts in Chiang Mai will next week form a new party intended as a spare in a contingency plan should the Pheu Thai Party is disbanded following the poll.

“The new party is to be named Pheu Tham” Chiang Mai red leader Phetchawat Wattanapongsirikul said Monday.

Phetchawat said senior figures in the red-shirt movement asked him to spearhead the new party due to speculation about an intervention to deny the Pheu Thai victory.


QUESTION: What would be the shirt color of the new party?


If a decision hasn’t been made yet; I suggest a ‘NO-SHIRT’ party would be VERY COOL! 


March 29, 2011 Posted by | The Nation newspaper, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment