Friday, 30 November 2007

Thanks To Google's Robots, I'm A Spam-Blogger!

Woke up today to find I can't access my Pattaya Rag blog cause Google in their wisdom have identified me as a spam-blogger. Great term that, how do they think them up.










Initially, I thought the problem was down to the claim jumpers on my domain name but then realised it's all to do with a widget I put on the blog to display a list of cities Pattaya Rag readers come from. It's a simple thing really but it's logging IP addresses and what it's doing with them then I don't know. The problem is I've been locked out of my blog so I can't put things right. I had to confirm to Google that I'm human, (no mails required thanks) and then I have to wait until they review the site to ensure I'm not spam-blogging.












By the time you read this, my record of daily posts could be out the window. Wonder if I can sue Google. What do you think? David v Google-iath.





Sierra Tangos 



  • Vote-buying is an old practice in Thai politics, but one candidate in December's Thai elections has reportedly come up with a new tactic — handing out Viagra instead of cash. The allegation, made Thursday by a campaign worker against a rival party, comes as rules about handing out favors to voters have become stricter than ever, barring even the distribution of free T-shirts and soft drinks. "The politician is giving out Viagra to gain popularity and votes," said Sayan, a local government official whose older brother is the PPP candidate. "I think this is a very bad way of vote-buying." [via International Herald Tribune]



  • Englishman beaten up by 3 watch sellers in Soi Diana. [via Pattaya City News] Ed. I've always found a "Mai Ow Krap" does the trick so I  can't imagine what's kicked this one off. That said, it can get pretty annoying when these guys keep tapping you on the shoulder when all you want is a quiet drink.


  • Pattaya Court announces three death sentences for men convicted of murder and rape. The three men were accused of killing one man and raping his girlfriend moments after his death. She also lost her life in the double-attack. [via Pattaya City News]


  • The Supreme Administrative Court refused a demand by Suvarnabhumi airport residents to ground all flights at night to give them a respite from the noise. The court sympathised but said it has no authority to suspend the night flights, as such a decision would pose major problems to global airlines and will cause economic damage. The decision followed the demand by 359 residents who wanted domestic and international flights at Suvarnabhumi airport grounded from 10pm to 5am so they can get a proper night's sleep. [via Bangkok Post]


  • After Dark have updated their photo galleries of pretty TGs


  • brands itself as a one stop hotel and tour booking website for Asia destinations - so all travel bits a

    nd pieces are simply dealt with and finalized on the spot. Business and leisure travelers find effortless to navigate by browsing through the extensive line up of stunning hotels, special promotions and helpful travel tips. Hot Internet deals and 24/7 customer support are always promised as soon as the homepage is loaded.


  • Synchronize Folders with Windows SyncToy 2.0 - I've used Synctoy for over a year now to synchronise folders between my hard disk and an external hard drive and it works perfectly. I use it to mainly to synch (by echo) rapidly changing folders such as MP3 and picture folders so my folders on the external drive are always up to date. The echo option simply synchronises the changes since last synch. It's not a case of copying over the whole folder of files each time.  Ed.synctoyheader.png

Synchronize the contents of two folders, either across your home network or on the same PC with a free utility from Microsoft, SyncToy. The 2.0 beta's been released and gotten smarter since the first time we pointed out SyncToy, adding smart drive letter detection (for when your USB drive gets assigned a different drive letter when you plug it in) and a more robust mechanism to include or exclude files from the synchronize action. Great for sync'ing files from your desktop to a USB drive or between two different computers on your home network, Adam uses it to sync his iTunes library between PC's. The SyncToy 2.0 beta is a free download for Windows only. Download details: SyncToy v2.0 Beta [Microsoft Download Center] [via LifeHacker



  • Christina Aguilera really is pregnant




  • A Pattaya Rag tip for where you can see the most top TG tottie in one day for just 650Baht. Club Culture, are looking to mirror the success of Zoukout Singapore and host CULTURE ONE, Bangkok's first International Dance Music Festival. It will be a yearly outdoor event and Bacardi B-Live has jumped on board as the title sponsor. The event is schedule for Saturday, January 19 2008, at Helicopter Port, BITEC Bangna, Bangkok, and will be spread out over 4 arenas, serving up Hip Hop, House, Breakbeat, Techno, Electro, Trance/PsyTrance and even some Indietronica rock.

Music will be the main feature of a buffet of activities, ranging from art exhibitions, dance performances, lounging areas by the lake and of course massaging facilities. So no matter what you’re into, there will be something there for you, in this one day festival that can only improve the electronic music scene in Bangkok.

Tickets will be available starting December 1st, 2007 through Thai Ticket Major at 650 Baht pre-sale with one drink and 850 Baht at the gate, which opens at 4:00 pm. For more info visit    [via BangkokRecorder]

The lineup will include:

















  • The marriage of an 80 year old man and a 20 year old woman was the talk of the town.  After being married a year, the couple went to the hospital for the birth of their first child.

The attending nurse came out of the delivery room to congratulate the old gentleman and said, "This is amazing.  How do you do it at your age?" The old man grinned and said, "You got to keep the old motor running."

The following year, the couple returned to the hospital for the birth of their second child.  The same nurse was attending the delivery and again went out to congratulate the old gentleman.  She said, "Sir, you are something else.  How do you manage it?" The old man grinned and said, "You gotta keep the old motor running."

A year later, the couple returned to the hospital for the birth of their third child.  The same nurse was there for this birth also and, after the delivery, she once again approached the old gentleman, smiled, and said: "Well, you surely are something else!  How do you do it?" The old man replied, "It's like I've told you before, you gotta keep the old motor running." The nurse, still smiling, patted him on the back and said:  Well, I guess it's time to change your oil.  This one's black." 




  • Ageing baby boomers struggle to stay young. Clever stuff....



  • President Bush sternly called on Democrats Thursday to approve money to fund the Iraq war "without strings and without delay."  Then he left town for Christmas vacation. Of course, it's a working vacation. He'll have to write Santa Claus and encourage him to stay the course even though North Pole funding for Elf & Reindeer Health Care has been cut drastically. And just when Rudolph needs a nose transplant.






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Thursday, 29 November 2007

NCCC To Probe Thaksin, Suriya, Srisuk

Thailand's National Counter-Corruption Commission (NCCC) has set up subcommittees to investigate malfeasance charges against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, former transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and former Highway Department chief Srisuk Chanthrangsu.

NCCC spokesman Klanarong Chanthik said a subcommittee, headed by NCCC member Chaided Phornchaiya, will look into alleged involvement of the deposed prime minister in a special-mode bidding for security services at Suvarnabhumi international airport.

Mr. Thaksin chaired the airport's executive board.

Another subcommittee, headed by NCCC member Phakdee Bhothisiri, will investigate alleged involvement of the former transport minister in the graft in relation to duty-free shops at Suvarnabhumi international airport and provincial airports as well as a commercial development project at Suvarnabhumi airport terminals.

Another subcommittee, headed by Mr. Chaided, will look into alleged involvement of the former highways chief in bidding for construction of four-lane roads financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation [via Bangkok Post]



Sierra Tangos

  • The following articles appeared on the news wires today, hot on the heels of yesterday's post regarding Thailand's virulent strain of HIV:
      • Half of Thai teens shun condoms for sex [via Bangkok Post]
      • AIDS/HIV infection rates rising among young Thais despite sex education [via ChannelNewsAsia]


  • Stories have been circulating on the boards for a few weeks that pick pockets were targeting passengers on Baht Buses. On Tuesday, two sisters and two male friends were arrested when trying to rob a falang passenger on a Baht Bus in Soi Buakaow. Hopefully, this will be the end of it so that Baht Bus drivers can again have their monopoly on fleecing Baht Bus passengers. The full story on the arrest is at Pattaya Daily News


  • The Pattaya International Balloon Festival will be held from 8 - 12 December at Thammasart University, Pattaya Campus in honour of the King's 80th birthday.



  • Singapore Airlines (SIA) will hike its fuel surcharge for passengers beginning December 4, due to the rising costs of jet fuel, the carrier said Thursday



  • A fire on Wednesday night in an upstairs room at the Family House Beer Bar opposite the Central Festival Center at the North end of Pattaya Second Road caused 100,000Baht worth of damage. Fire Rescue Units were scrambled to the location to fight the fire which was quickly brought under control. The cause of the fire was put down to an electrical short circuit. Nobody was injured.



  • Miss Croatia in Playboy - Leona Rajacic, another Croatian winner.....




  • Stuffing your system with tons of fancy fonts may not be the best idea because, as you probably know, the number of installed fonts can rapidly change the speed at which your system loads. Your system may have become slower without you even knowing it because many applications do install their own fonts that they (do not) need which adds to the size of your fonts folder.

It therefore would be good to pick those fonts that you want (need) and those which you do not which would have the effect that you would still have all the fonts you work with normally and experience a faster system at the same time. Also, if you’re into fonts and use many variations of them for your work / hobby purposes, you may appreciate a great source of free fonts I’d like to mention underneath.

Font Frenzy is a great tool for font management available as a free download. This application consists of 4 parts allowing you to put your fonts in order. DeFrenzy backs up all additional fonts to a specified directory and erases them from the font folder so that it in fact restores the default state after Windows installation.

FrenzySnap cooperates with DeFrenzy by first allowing you to make a snapshot of currently used fonts and return to that state using DeFrenzy later on. ReFrenzy provides you a simple way to restore previously saved fonts from your back-ups. Last but not least, FrenzyMan allows you to manage each single font individually meaning that you can check one or more of them and then execute certain actions like Adding/Erasing, Loading/Unloading and so on. The last advantage of this lovely tool is that you can simply change the text working as a preview for installed fonts along with its size.

Besides managing or deleting fonts from your system, you might also want to choose some beautiful ones and add them into your system using the previously described utility. offers hundreds of high quality fonts for free. It lets you preview the fonts, rate them, use custom preview text, check the package content details and download it free of charge. You can find some pretty bizarre pieces here.

You need to take a look at the link “10000 more fonts” at the bottom of the page after you are finished looking at the picks on the main page. This link is well worth it. [via gHacks]


  • Japanese Boob Counters - Japanese game show where they stick pedometers on girls boobs and see how far they travel when jumping up and down..... Weird or what!


  • Food myths - Two bananas are the equivalent of a beefsteak False: You need at least 12 to 14 bananas to equate the protein value of 100g of a beefsteak, but it is more nutritious to eat 12 bananas than a beefsteak


  • In a signed declaration, Iraqi Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraq is ready to build a relationship with the U.S. in a sustainable way that protects mutual interests. Apparently they already gave the contracts to build that relationship to Halliburton


  • Good news - Britney's learnt a bit of decorum and started to dress down under .......









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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Thailand's HIV Subtype More Virulent Than Other Subtypes

A recent study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has found that people infected with HIV in Thailand die from the disease significantly sooner than those with HIV living in other parts of the world. The researchers found that, the shorter survival time measured in the studies suggests that HIV subtype E, which is the most common HIV subtype in Thailand, may be more virulent than other subtypes of the virus.

The first study followed 228 men over a 14-year period starting in 1991. All of the men were serving in the Thai military and were HIV-negative when they enrolled in the study. The researchers tested for HIV every six months to determine approximately when they acquired HIV. The men were also diagnosed at a time before combination antiretroviral drug therapy was available.

The researchers compared the group of Thai men to a group of similar HIV-positive men living in North America and Europe who were included in another study. The median time from HIV infection to death for the Thai men was 7.8 years compared to 11 years for HIV-positive men living in North America and Europe.

The survival rate for the Thai men was also lower than studies of similar populations living in low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa where subtypes A, C, D and G circulate. However, the shorter survival after HIV infection among persons in Africa infected with subtype D was similar to the survival among the Thai men.

"Fortunately, the men who have survived after their infection are now receiving treatment with effective antiviral drugs and doing very well," he added. [via]

Sierra Tangos

  • The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is making sure Thais across the country have no excuses for not going to the polls this year. The SRT is offering a fifty percent discount on all second and third class tickets to encourage as many people as possible to cast their vote on December 23. An SRT public relations officer said the offer is valid between Dec 21-24. [via Bangkok Post] Ed. Before you start planning a cheap visa run by rail to Penang, all passengers will be asked to present their personal identification cards to the ticket office to be eligible for the discount. I think that means no cheap foreigners.....

  • The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the two- and three-digit lottery bill on its third reading on Wednesday by 83 to 26 votes. The amended lottery bill, proposed by NLA member and economist Sangsidh Piriyarangsan, will become law as soon as it is posted in the Royal Gazette. [via Bangkok Post]

  • A major study of the world's worst polluters shows that Thailand is emitting more carbon dioxide per capita than China or India. On a per capita basis, Thais emitted 4.2 tonnes of CO2, while the Chinese emitted 3.8 tonnes and Indians 1.2 tonnes. Australians were emitting 16.2 tonnes per capita in 2004. [via ABC News] Ed. I suspect it's something to do with all those used condoms they're burning....... On a more serious note, this will encourage the Thai pro nuclear energy lobby.

  • According to Thai Channel 3, bars will be closed from 6.00pm, 22 Dec and all day 23rd and 24th Dec. Thai Anxiety feels this could be mistake with the bars only closing from 6.00pm, 22 Dec and all day 23 Dec. Let's hope Thai Anxiety has it right. All will be revealed in the course of Thai time.

  • A Barrow born pensioner arrested in Thailand on child abuse and child porn charges has had the case against him dropped. Thai police confirmed the charges had been dropped in a fax to the British embassy, seen by the Evening Mail. The note, sent by Police Lieutenant Major Chanaphat Naowalak, states: “At present the investigating officer has completed the investigation and ordered the charge to be dismissed.” The Foreign and Commonwealth Office were unable to comment at the time of going to press. [via Northwest Evening Mail]

  • BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will launch a joint online on-demand video service in 2008, providing hundreds of hours of TV program, all in one place. The content offered by the currently unnamed service (code name being Kangaroo) will include over 10,000 hours of program, including current shows and archive materials. Furthermore, the three production houses hope to have other content providers join their service.

Presently, these three broadcasters each have their own separate VoD services: BBC’s iPlayer, ITV’s catch-up and Channel 4oD will coexist with the new service after the launch. The new service can thus be described as an aggregator of all this content. Users will be able to download, stream, rent and purchase content over the Internet, while expansion to other platforms is planned.

The new service will contain some of the very best of the UK’s content for consumers to view in one place, which will be both easy to use and great fun” said John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide.

Several questions with services such as this, of course, are inevitable. One is DRM. I doubt that consumers will welcome yet another shoving of DRM-infected content down their throats, although the idea of having thousands of hours of TV available on-demand sounds terrific. The other is availability: will the content be available to anyone, or only UK customers? Then, there’s quality, which will hopefully go all the way up to HD. [via Mashable]

  • Don't know what to buy your pervy mate for Christmas? How about an upskirt mouse. Yes that's correct, an upskirt mouse. Get all that groping out of your system in the comfort of your own home, before you get anywhere near Soi 6. [via sexornot] Ed. I'm starting to think I've led something of a sheltered life. First 'Two Girls & A Cup', now this.

  • DVD43 - DVD43 is a program that runs in the background and decrypts copy-protected DVD’s on the fly. It has the effect of making a DVD unrestricted and region free, allowing for simple copying of files to your hard drive within the Windows file system and/or unrestricted access to the DVD by third party software. It will also remove audio CD protection.

The first thing that I’d like to note is that this software is different from DVD ripping software in the vein of as RipIt4Me/DVD Decrypter or DVD FAB HD Decrypter. What DVD43 does can be though of (in a way) as transforming an otherwise encrypted DVD into what for all intents and purposes acts as a ’normal’, unencrypted DVD (similar to the shareware software AnyDVD).

In many cases using a program like DVD43 is will save you the need to spend 20-30 minutes ripping a DVD to your hard drive first (not to mention the 4.7gig-to-8gig hard drive space you might not have on hand). For example, if your objective is to ’shrink’ an 8gig DVD and copy it onto a standard size blank DVD (for which you would use DVD Shrink), DVD43 would spare you the need to rip the entire 8gigs into your hard drive first, allowing DVD Shrink to get access and get to work on the files on the DVD itself.

Or let’s say that your interest lies not in copying the DVD itself but rather in converting it into a video file that you could load up on your Ipod or mobile device using a program such as Handbrake. In this case as well DVD43 will allow Handbrake to process/convert your desired titles straight from the DVD itself, saving you the time, effort, and hard drive space of ripping the DVD first.

Here are some notes on this program:

    • How to use: after installation, DVD43 will run in the background and show itself as a yellow smiley in your system tray. Once you insert a DVD into your drive it will take a few seconds to recognize it and then will change to a green smiley, indicating that it has successfully removed the protection.

    • Random testing: tested DVD43 on the 3 very random DVDs that we happened to have Netflixed at the moment and it was able to decrypt all of them without hitch.
    • Types of protection(s) removed: unfortunately this info is not clearly stated on the program’s home page. After some Googling I found a statement in relation to this new version (4.0) cryptically declaring that "DVD43 removes most types of copy protection found on movie DVDs".
    • Resources cost: extremely small; less than 2 megs in memory.
    • Audio CD protection: also supported. Did not test this one personally.

    The verdict: this is just what I’ve been waiting for. I’m personally more interested in converting DVDs and viewing on my Iphone than copying them to other DVD media, and DVD43 will save me a lot of time and energy that would otherwise be spent waiting for DVDs to rip to my hard drive. A great, simple program overall that works just as intended.

    Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista (32 bit). [via freewaregenius]

  • A cheating girls plea to her boyfriend for forgiveness.....


It would be difficult for me to be any more miserable right now, I feel like the worst person ever. First, let me start by saying that I am truly truly sorry, and I hate myself for hurting you. Of all the people in the whole entire world, you were honestly the last person that I would ever want to wrong in any way. There is no excuse at all or anything that happened, so I won't even try other than to say all of us had WAY too much

to drink, and I did a stupid thing. I can handle you being p1ssed at me, I absolutely deserve it, I can even handle the ugly words that were exchanged between us, what I can't handle is thinking that you see me as a different person. It is weird, The world looked funny yesterday, I couldn't crack a smile if you paid me, there are songs I can't listen to, and I just feel beyond crushed. I don't know if you meant everything you said to me, and I am hoping that you didn't. I know that I was wrong on many levels, but I am also hoping that this is something that we can deal with. I know it sounds totally crazy and stupid, I can't imagine my days without you. It is totally strange and weird to say that, and you could say that my behavior didn't reflect that, and you would be correct. I hate feeling like you hate me, and I hate feeling like all of your friends think I am a terrible person, because I am not. I know there is nothing I can say or do to take back what happened.

I am so sorry.



Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your concern. I'll be sure to file it away under 'L' for 'Long-winded diatribes from drunken whores I couldn't care less about'. You did a stupid thing huh? No...doing long division and forgetting to carry the one is 'a stupid thing'; Mixing in a red sock with a load of whites is 'a stupid thing'; Blowing some guy in a bathroom for 45minutes while I sit at the bar wondering if you're taking so long because you ate too much bran that morning isn't as much a 'Stupid thing' as it is grounds for permanent removal from my social calendar. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was more amusing that you went and degraded yourself in a public toilet not once but twice in a 2 hour span, or that you seemed to think that by saying 'Well, I didn't F**k him' somehow gave you a clean slate. So forgive me if I couldn't care less if the world 'looked funny' to

you yesterday. Since your world revolves around blow dryers, golden retrievers, Prada Bags and Jelly Beans, I'm sure it must have been most unsettling to actually have to consider someone else's feelings for 24 hours straight. The good news for you is that my friends don't think you're a terrible person, they just think you're the average run of the mill cum-guzzling blond who commands about as much respect as your average child porn collector. By the way,

for the amount of time you claim to spend in spin class you really must be doing something wrong to sport the thunder thighs you do. Watching you parade around my bedroom in a thong was a little like watching sea lions mate. Thought you might like to know. PS. I forwarded about 100 people on this email.

Talk to you never,


Many Thanks

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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Unusual Wealth Thai Style

General Sonthi Booonyaratkalin, the man who overthrew Thailand's billionaire prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last year on corruption charges, is no pauper himself, a media report said Tuesday. According to the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) Sonthi, his two wives and underage daughter have a net worth of 95 million baht (2.8 million dollars), the Bangkok Post online news service reported.

Sonthi, Thailand's first Muslim army commander-in-chief, has declared assets worth 38.79 million baht while his first wife Sukalaya has assets of 14.04 million baht, his second wife Piyada has assets of 42.07 million baht and their daughter has 300,000 baht, the NCCC disclosed.

Sonthi was obligated to disclose his family's personal assets to the NCCC upon taking up his current government post as deputy prime minister last month.

Despite their meager salaries, many of Thailand's generals are millionaires, a phenomenon that can sometimes be explained by the top military's propensity to marry into wealth, if they don't stumble into it by other means. [via Earthtimes]


Ed. Even if asset disclosure is not covered by a confidentiality agreement and is meant for public consumption, the timing of the 'leak' is a plus for the PPP. By suggesting the general has 'unusual' wealth sends a message to the electorate that maybe the general has prospered in office, just like his predecessor. In reality, Thaksin's maid probably has more assets than the general but that's not what the electorate will remember on Dec 23.



Sierra Tangos 


  • The police arrested a Finnish man at a guesthouse in Pattaya Tuesday on suspicion of robbing 1 million euro (Bt49.8 million) from an armoured truck in Finland's Turku city earlier this year. [via The Nation]


  • Is Thailand being overlooked - Vietnam has attracted a record $15 billion in foreign direct investment so far this year, up nearly 40 per cent from the same period last year, an official said Tuesday. The amount strengthened booming Vietnam's reputation as the new Asian magnet for investment, thanks to low wages, high literacy and a youthful population. [via Bangkok Post]


  • I was drinking in Soi 2, Saturday night, with a few friends visiting from England and as they were coupled up, I took along a rather attractive lady I have been wheeling out a bit of late. We were sitting in a group when this farang came over to chat to my 'lady'. I thought she knew him so made nothing of it. When he wandered off she said she had never seen him before and he had asked her for a date for the following evening. "Cheeky fecker", thinks I. What added insult to injury was he was no Brad Pitt. The two young guys in the group said they would have filled him in if they'd only known. My feeling was let it go, it was Loy Kratong and the ass-hole was going to get filled in eventually if he continued hitting on girls with company.

Eff me if not 30mins later I look up and see the same guy standing just to one side of our table, trying to catch the eye of my lady. Loy Kratongs forgotten, I'm on my feet telling this fecker to do one. Fortunately, he bottled it and exited the bar at some speed. I sit down and one of the young guys says "I'd noticed him and I was just going to sort it". "Oh yeah, really" thinks I.

In all the time I've been visiting Thailand this is the first time I have ever had a guy try to hit on the girl I'm with. It may have happened without me knowing, on the way to toilets or something but never so blatantly. When I think of some of the personalities residing in Pattaya these days, surely this approach is a short cut to the hospital. Is this a new trend or did I just get Jasper Carrots "nutter on the bus'.  What do you think?



  • Want your wife to learn how to pole dance - check this out



  • A major downside with online Office programs (like Google Docs) is that they require an Internet connection – that means if you are on an airplane, a cab or some remote village that has no Internet, you may not be able to create/ edit or print your documents, spreadsheets and presentations that are stored online.

If this “always on” factor forcing you to stay away from any of these online office suites, some good news - the very impressive online word processor in Zoho Office Suite is now available for both online and offline use through Google Gears. The Google Gears browser extension is available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox

To use Zoho Writer in offline mode, just install Google Gears and restart your web browser. Then login to your Zoho account and click the link at the top that says “Go Offline.” This will download all the recent documents from your Zoho online account to the hard drive. Now when you unplug the Internet cable and go offline, you will still be able to edit and save your documents inside the web browser just like you could do in online mode.

And the next time you connect to the Internet, all the changes made to documents locally will automatically be synchronized with the online copy so there are no discrepancies and you always have one version to work with.

The offline mode in Zoho Office will also prove useful in places where Wi-Fi is expensive like in the hotel rooms or the airport lounge – just connect to the Internet, download the documents locally and then go offline to make those last-minute edits. [via Digital Inspiration]






In a nutshell, Devil Mountain reports that they saw a 10 percent performance boost over Windows XP SP2. Microsoft has said SP3's primary purpose is to provide enhanced security and bug fixes. So the speed boost is a bit of an unexpected cherry on top.

Devil Mountain has also been putting Windows Vista SP1 through the paces, and while the software update does improve hardware compatibility and reliability, users running SP1 will not notice any performance boost.

On the bright side, the Vista update doesn't seem to slow Vista down any. But Devil Mountain reports that Vista is about 2 times slower than XP according to the company's benchmarking tests. [via DownLoadSquad]

Ed. I'm going with XP SP3 and not Vista. Windows XP is a mature and stable OS that supports all the applications and hardware I need. I also know where to look under the hood with XP, if anything does go wrong. I can't say the same for Vista.


  • A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up." Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.





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Monday, 26 November 2007

Yours For A Pair Of Slippers - Thai Urban Myth

There is an old story here in Thailand's vast, rice-growing hinterland about politicians who handed out a pair of slippers at election time - one slipper before the vote and the other after they were successfully elected.

Since the earliest days of democracy in Thailand seven decades ago, candidates have used both creative and not-so-creative ways to buy votes. The eve of an election is still known here as the "night of the barking dogs" because canvassers traditionally go house to house handing out cash - rousing hounds along the way.

Fourteen months after the military took power in a bloodless coup, Thailand is returning to democracy. And this, say government officials preparing for the Dec. 23 elections, means the return of money politics.

Phones have started ringing in the offices of the country's Election Commission, and 75 cases of alleged vote buying have been opened based on complaints and tip-offs, according to Suthiphon Thaveechaiygarn, the secretary general of the commission.

"Political parties will definitely try to buy votes," Suthiphon said in a phone interview from Bangkok. "They are trying to develop new techniques."

Vote buying in various forms exists in many countries, whether as last-minute road paving, "lunch money" for voters who attend rallies or the supply of food and provisions. But it is especially well entrenched in Thailand.

Economists have calculated that the economy swells by about 30 billion Baht, or close to $1 billion, around election time. Supavud Saicheua, the managing director of Phatra Securities, which conducts research for Merrill Lynch in Thailand, called this estimate "not far-fetched."

Northeastern Thailand, populous and poor, is a leading battleground for Thaksin; 135 of the 400 constituencies in Parliament will be elected from Isaan, as the region is known. Bangkok, by contrast, elects only 36 seats. [via The International Herald Tribune]

Ed. You will find an interesting article here on the reasons for the coup and the problems the coup has created for Thailand going forward. Some of the content, (and most definitely the comments at the end), are of a sensitive nature so I can't reproduce the article here.

Sierra Tangos

  • Australian pedestrian gets hit crossing Central Pattaya Road by a 19 year old Xtreme motorcyke rider in the early hours of Monday morning. Make that Xtreme idiot. [via Pattaya City News]

  • Nu-bra defies gravity - no, logic - almost, pressure - most definitely

  • Thailand's tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani on Monday evening said all concerned agencies would put all effort into bringing the culprit in Sunday's murder of a Japanese female tourist in the northern Sukhothai province to justice. [via Bangkok Post]

  • She's such a looker I just had to show you this......

  • Thailand's military has drawn up a 317 billion baht (9.3 billion dollars) wish-list for new weaponry purchases over the next decade, media reports said Monday. Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas announced that the armed forces will need 117 billion baht (3.4 billion ) from 2009 to 2013 and another 200 billion baht (5.9 billion dollars) from 2014 to 2018 to keep their weaponry up to regional standards, said the Bangkok Post. Ed Who are they scared of?

  • Folder Drives - When you open My Computer you see floppy disk drives, hard drives and DVD drives. Lots

    of space is wasted in that window and you have to click several times to reach the location that you wanted to. If you do have folders on your hard drives that you use over and over again you might want to consider creating folder drives which would make them appear as drives in My Computer.

The main benefit is of course that you can access those folders much faster without having to click several times. Windows has a build in command line tool that can do this but I prefer to use XSubst which has a graphic user interface and offers the same functionality.

The user selects an available drive letter in Xsubst and clicks on the Connect button afterwards. This opens a Browse for Folder window. Just select the folder that you want to display as the drive letter that you have selected before. Those links between the drive letter and folder are not permanent unless you press the Permanent button in XSubst.

The permanent setting and the drive letter can be removed again in Xsubst as well. I use Xsubst mainly for two folders that I access several times a day, saves me some time every time I access them this way. [via gHacks]

  • A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter. She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife? He answers, "You see, it's like thi

    s, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper. So, I figure if I have to roll my own .......... so does she.

  • Dick Cheney hosted Thanksgiving dinner in Maryland for his family and a few key staffers. They followed a time-honored ritual. Before they begin to eat, they join hands, close their eyes, bow their heads and get their stories straight.

  • A Chinese phone company has installed a cell phone tower on Mt Everest. By the way: Experts say the air is so thin at the top of Mt Everest -- you can only yell "Can you hear me now?" three times into your cell phone before you pass out.

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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Nothing Clear Cut About Thai Politics

Corrupt political parties risk dissolution

The Election Commission (EC) has threatened to deal harsh punishment to politicians found to have been involved in electoral fraud.

"Parties also face a dissolution order," the poll agency warned.

EC member Sumet Upanisakorn quoted an EC lecturer pointing out to a new method of vote-buying through postal orders.

“We know that over 200 people in the northern region have already been sent these postal orders worth about 1,000 baht each,” Sumet said. “The police are already on the case and if we find out that politicians were involved in this, their voting rights will immediately be revoked. Any political party involved in electoral fraud may face dissolution.” [via Bangkok Post]


Survey suggests Democrats have slight lead

A recent survey released by Thai local media on Saturday showed that the two main electors -- the Democrat party and the People Power Party (PPP) are running neck-and-neck, with the Democrats leading by only 2 percent.

The nationwide popularity survey, conducted by Thailand's famous Abac Poll and published on Saturday's Bangkok Post, questioned a total of 4,000 people across the country last week.

Meanwhile, the Chart Thai Party came third, scoring 13-15 percent; followed by the Puea Pandin Party, which merited particular attention as it made a dramatic jump to 10 percent in this survey from 5 percent in another poll last month. [via People's Daily]



Sierra Tangos  


  • Mayweather v Hatton on Truevision UBC Pay Per View Channel 67, 9th December. Great news and depending on the time, an opportunity for bar keeps to fill up their bars. 


  • Whispers on the grapevine suggest Patrick of U Too Bar fame is involved in a new venture on Soi Buakhow. 


  • Gothic Go Go - new go go opens on Soi BJ, Walking Street



  • Pattaya was packed to the limits on Saturday night with the busiest pedestrian areas being Walking Street and Bali Hai. The tables set up on Walking Street for the Food Festival made it almost impossible to negotiate a path from the Police Box to Tony's and in many ways it was reminiscent of the blockage created by the night market when it first opened on Pat Pong. The main roads were down to crawling speed and the young and the reckless again resorted to some Xtreme motorcyke riding to beat the queues. The fact no fatalities were reported today is a testament to their Xtreme skills. That said, it's only a matter of time.  


  • Senior executives of some airline companies have voiced opposition to transferring selected international flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport back to the abandoned international gateway at Don Muang airport. Don Muang is being used for a few domestic flights. Airline executives cited higher operational costs, plus a transportation hassle between the two airports. [via Bangkok Post]

  • High street beauty clinics may be breaking the law by performing teeth whitening treatments that can cause lifelong problems, Sky News has found. Our undercover investigation revealed that potentially corrosive chemicals are being used by technicians with

    as little as one day's training.

A therapist at Hush Therapy in Fulham, West London, told our reporter that he used hydrogen peroxide: "We are qualified to use the same gel as dentists. The majority of the time they use the 34-35% that we use here," he said. But that is 350 times stronger than the concentration allowed by law. The Cosmetic Products Safety Regulations set the maximum at just 0.1%. There is another law that salons may be breaking. The 1984 Dentists Act states that only dentists can do dental work.


  • Get away for a reggae holiday weekend in Koh Chang on the 8th/9th December. Two nights of well selected reggae and dancehall music, showcasing quality DJs and MC talent. Jun and Ma are both veteran Japanese DJs and Trix is an MC from California who has just released his new music video. They have coordinated vans to leave from Sala Daeng BTS as well as from bungalows on Lonely Beach.  Entrance 200 Baht. Location: Koh Chang - Jungle Bar at Lonely Beach.   Date: 8th-9th December, Time: 18:00 - Late. [via Bangkok Recorder]



  • Get PC info with PC Wizard - It sometimes is a good idea to check on the components that are installed on your computer. This is extremely important in my opinion if someone else repaired it or if it is a brand new computer to see if all the components are still inside and did not get replaced by other cheaper ones.

PC Wizard is a fast software that displays those information in a clean interface. The overview lists the most important components such as CPU, Motherboard, RAM and Hard Drives. Every component has its own menu which displays additional information. The CPU tab for instance displays information about CPU frequency, temperature and cache.

I do use these information to search for firmware or bios updates for some of the devices installed, motherboard and DVD drive for instance. It is sometimes hard to remember those cryptic device numbers that the manufacturers seem to love so much. The fan and temperatures menu is pretty useful as well, I mainly use it to check the temperatures of my computer to make sure it does not overheat.

Four more tabs offer information about System Files, Resources and the Configuration of the computer. There are literally dozens of menus in each tab offering information about startup items, DirectX, Processes and Threads, the Boot.ini and Memory Resources. It does offer an immense amount of information which can be useful for some advanced users. I however mainly use the Hardware tab to get information about installed hardware [via gHacks]


  • Don't Forget ! - The qualifying draw for the 2010 World Cup takes place Sunday at 1500 GMT, (10.00pm Thai time) with 169 countries aiming to join hosts South Africa in the finals. The 90-minute extravaganza at the International Convention Centre in Durban is being shown live in more than 170 countries and will feature a number of former players including former World Player of the Year George Weah of Liberia.


  • A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?" "Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."


  • A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time. "The wife responded, "Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!



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