HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Wat Pa Phaeng community celebrations

Annual Fund-Raising Gala to Benefit Rural Children

Goethe-Institute presents Asiatopia - the 4th International Performance Art Festival in Chiang Mai

Bytes, bits and mega tips

Wat Pa Phaeng community celebrations

Story by
Phitsanu Thepthong
Photos by Michael Vogt

About a hundred people in the Wat Pa Phaeng community recently organized a krathin merit-making ceremony at their temple near the Chiangmai Mail offices on Muangsamut Road. This is an annual event and attracts people from outside Chiang Mai, such as the San Kamphaeng District.

After parading through the streets, the krathin offerings procession makes its way into Wat Pa Phaeng.

The krathin offerings pass through the temple’s main gate en route to their final resting place.

With the flowers and ornate temple as a backdrop, this young dancer is a sight to behold.

Don’t try this at home! A woman experienced in swordplay expertly performs her show.

Young children display the different flags of power.

This celebration marked the end of the three month Buddhist Lent period. This leads up to the “Tod krathin” festive season, as a way for Buddhists to make merit. This ceremony must be carried out within one month of the end of the Buddhist Lent.

Tod krathin is a way to make merit that is different from other merit-making ceremonies. The others come from the teachings of the Lord Buddha, but this one is promoted by the Buddhists monks themselves.

A parade of young men beating sabudchai victory drums makes its way towards the temple.

A little whisky and beer add to the enjoyment of the merit-making and celebration.

Once inside the temple gates, the young men beating sabudchai victory drums put on quite a show.

Young women perform traditional Thai dance in celebration of merit-making.

A women’s group carries krathin offerings into the temple.

The beautiful dancers slowly enter the temple grounds.

Women prepare to make their krathin offerings to the temple.

An experienced swordswoman prepares for her show.

Annual Fund-Raising Gala to Benefit Rural Children

The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children will host its annual fund-raising gala the evening of November 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the garden of Gary Dilley’s beautiful teak home, “Twelve Gables”. Tickets are 1,500 baht each, and are available at the Amari Rincome Hotel. The history of the Foundation as well as accomplishments and current projects can be viewed at www.thai-rural-education.org

The gala will feature a sumptuous buffet dinner prepared by Chef Adrian of the Amari Rincome Hotel. Entertainment will include the dance music of Daeng Fantastic, as well as a performance of traditional Thai dancing choreographed by Dr. Dtoy, traditional “bamboo” dancing performed by Karen students from Mae Jaem, and a special surprise performance that is sure to “bring the house down”.

The gala will again feature a silent auction of items and services donated by friends and business people in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. In addition, there will be a live auction of special items and services, and an auction of private dinners prepared by well-known local amateur chefs. “Chefs” include Gary Dilley, Frank Weicks, Nat Chowmuang, and a surprise chef who promises “a proper English dinner”. Get with friends and organize a special dinner to be hosted by these outstanding local cooks at their homes. Bid high to help educate Thailand’s most vulnerable children.

For more information, email [email protected] mail.com

Goethe-Institute presents Asiatopia - the 4th International Performance Art Festival in Chiang Mai

The Goethe-Institute presents Asiatopia - the 4th International Performance Art Festival in Chiang Mai, November 28 - 30 at Chiang Mai University Art Center & Thapae City Gate. This event will bring in the cr่me de la cr่me of art performers from all parts of the world and will definitely draw a big audience. So go and have a look at the new developments in this art field. For more information, contact Dr. Katharina von Ruckteschell, director, Goethe-Institute Bangkok, 18/2 Soi Goethe, Sathorn Tai Rd. Soi 1, Bangkok 10120, tel. 02 2870942-4, 02 2870726-8, fax 02 2871829, email: [email protected] the.org

Bytes, bits and mega tips

Domain names and webhosting

I received a telephone call from an old working colleague recently. Hysterically upset, he told me that his website was no longer accessible and he had no idea why.

I have experienced similar situations with other websites before and I was almost sure of what had happened - he didn’t pay his bills.

When I told him that, he said he paid all his bills (all he received, anyway) and if there happened to be one that he missed, he would pay it. So, if he wasn’t receiving his bills, the next obvious question was, just where were his bills being sent, if not to him? But we’ll come back to this later.

First we had to rule out the possibility of the server being “temporarily” down, which we did. I then advised him of what possibly could have gone wrong. There were two options: either his domain name registration had run out and needed to be renewed (because he hadn’t paid the bill he never received) or his web hosting company was asking for a few more “rental” dollars.

After all this information about webhosting, webdomain, registration and renewal - he was understandably a little confused, and I could already foresee the next step: He asked me to have a look.

Since I had worked with him before, I knew he wouldn’t be able to provide me with any information on registration or the name of the company where his website was hosted. And when I queried about his (former) webmaster, he told me he had long gone. Of course...

I agreed to help, but before I let him off the phone I tried to explain to him the difference between webhosting and his domain name, and that you need both. Here we go:

As he had some experience with domain name registration (he was one of those people who bought more than a few domain names with the purpose of reselling them later), I started there.

I told him that his domain name is basically the name by which he is called when people look for him. Domain names are “friendly” names, like www.myfriendlosthishost.com, for not-so-friendly IP addresses, like Domain names are part of the Domain Name System (DNS). Most Internet services rely on DNS to work, and if DNS fails, web sites cannot be located and email delivery stalls.

His webhosting company is basically the apartment where he stores all his stuff, where people end up when looking for him, or information on him. This is where you put everything you want people to find out about you. But it requires space. The more space you need the bigger your “apartment” needs to be.

As with everything in life, nothing is free. You have to pay for a name and you have to pay your apartment. If you don’t, they throw you out.

Being satisfied with my little tutorial speech, we hung up and I started to trace the problem.

I connected to the Network Solutions website (www.net worksolutions.com) to find out more information on his domain name. Network Solutions is a website where you can register domain names and look up web address information, web site details, domain search, and personalized email. I was especially interested in when he registered and how long it would last. For this I had to use the “whois” database search option. You can find the button for it in the upper right corner of the Network Solutions website.

On the new page I typed in my friend’s domain name in the field marked with a (1), then clicked the “Go” button and waited for the result.

Going through the list I saw that his domain name registration was still valid, but would run out in a couple of months. I made a note to inform him of this, as I didn’t want the same call in a couple of months. Because the second time, I would be accused of having done a bad job. This also comes from experience.

Having checked one of the two possible problems, I knew I had a 50% chance of finding the mistake next time. Sherlock Homes at work, eh?

As I still had the list of information on the domain name on my screen, I looked further down until I found the “Domain name servers”. They usually start out with “ns1.” and “ns2.” followed by a website, i.e. “webhosting.com”. This is usually the website of the domain hosting company. I visited their website and found a support email to get in touch with, asking if my friend’s website “www. my friendlosthishost.com” was hosted with them.

After being able to identify my friend as the owner, they then forwarded to me the necessary information, which we checked to see why he didn’t receive an invoice.

We found out that the billing email address was different and thus my friend never received a bill. We updated the information in the database of the hosting company via a form to ensure this will never happen again.

After that was done and my buddy paid his overdue bill, the website was up and running in no time.

So, what have we learned from this and how can we avoid these mistakes?

When registering a domain name or signing up for a hosting service make sure your contact information, name, address, and contact email is correct. Think carefully about what name you want to use to register it. Changing contact details, addresses, etc., is pretty easy and free (if you have all the details); transferring a domain name to a different owner is not so easy and costs money.

Most likely you will receive a username/password. If you register your domain name through your webmaster or a third person, ask for all information and keep it somewhere safe, and somewhere where you can find it when you need it. Although in the scenario above, I think my friend’s old webmaster didn’t do anything wrong, I suggest not relying on him/her. Keep this very important information and file it with your company papers. After all, it is part of your company.