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Book Review

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Book Review: Doyle’s Practical Guide to Thailand Business Law

by Lang Reid

Doyle’s Practical Guide to Thailand Business Law was published last year (ISBN 974-92667-3-0) by Seri Manop and Doyle in Bangkok (email [email protected]). Written by American Michael Doyle, a partner in the Bangkok firm of Seri Manop and Doyle, the back cover indicates that he has been dispensing business advice on the Thai scene for almost nine years. He is fluent in spoken and written Thai, which certainly puts him ahead of most expat punters in the Thai business arena.

The book is in three main sections - Part One is The Start-up, Part Two Labor and Land Ownership and Part Three Taxes.

The foreword is from Dr. Henry Holmes, author of ‘Working with the Thais’ who sets the scene immediately, reminding the reader that we are “in this country which isn’t our own”. A factor to which so many seem oblivious. The redoubtable Dr. Holmes also explains that the Thai legal system has been influenced in the past by French and British traditions, but then mentions the deeper “Thai” side of the legal system in the ways the law is actually applied! Always a complex subject, but one that author Doyle is not afraid to broach.

Each chapter is very detailed, and the nub of the advice is highlighted for those who want to refresh themselves quickly. At the end of each chapter are various relevant appendices, complete with English language translations as well - a huge boon, just on its own.

The Foreign Business Act is explained particularly well, complete with the lists of activities or businesses that are not permitted for foreigners to operate, so if your heart is set on manufacturing hand-guns and explosives, think again! Another section in that chapter introduces the Board of Investment (BOI) and demystifies the working of this Thai government institution.

One section that is of interest to the majority of expatriates in this country deals with Work Permits, and it was interesting to read that “foreigners normally focus on the importance of the work permit, but it is the One-Year Visa Extension that is normally the more difficult of the two to obtain.” Author Doyle also explains why submitting the documentation two weeks early is counterproductive. Two to three days prior to expiry is much better suited to the Thai system. He also writes, “If it does take two or three months to receive the One-Year Visa Extension do not panic. Normally, as long as all the documentation is in order you will eventually be approved. It just takes time.”

The book has recommendations from the captains of industry in Thailand, including David Nardone of Hemaraj Land and Development, who has certainly proven his business abilities and Bill Heinecke, CEO of the Minor Group, who needs no introduction.

A must for all family bookshelves was always Hoyle’s Rules of Games, and now a must for all office bookshelves is Doyle’s Practical Guide to Thailand Business Law. The rules of the business ‘games’ laid out for anyone who is involved in business. A much needed brilliant book that will save you the B. 595 purchase price many times over.

Mott's CD Reviews: Ian Hunter - The Artful Dodger

By Mott the Dog
Re-chewed by Ella Crew

3 Stars ***

Since the release of Ian Hunter’s last proper album, Yuiorta (1989), a collaboration with Mick Ronson, life had not been at its kindest to one of England’s leading songwriters. He had to stand silently as his right-hand man in the music world, and best friend in the real world, was eaten away by the dreaded cancer. Mick Ronson worked right up until the illness claimed his life at the tragic age of 46 in April 1993.

For years Ian Hunter was in the wilderness of music, not having to work as past royalties allowed him to live a comfortable life, and writers block settled into the Hunter residence. Fortunately his lethargy was shaken up by Norwegian superstar Casino Steel, who himself had difficulties writing songs for his new album. He called his mentor to leave his abode in New York and travel to the artic of Trondheim, Norway.

When Ian Hunter arrived he found that Casino was not having trouble writing songs, the fact was, he had no songs at all, but a twelve day deadline to come up with a complete album. With the help of such friends as Honest John Plain, Darrell Bath, and ex Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, they did actually that - produce a good pub rock party album, eventually titled Ian Hunter’s Dirty Laundry. It was released in Norway in 1995 and slowly released internationally.

It did have the effect of waking the sleeping talents of Ian Hunter. He finally went back into the studio with the same team that recorded Dirty Laundry. Hunter felt comfortable in Norway’s relaxed air and brought a few old cohorts for company. These were wonder bassist Pat Kilbride, guitarist Robbie Alter, and for one track long time friend and Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliot.

The results give us one of Ian Hunter’s most emotional albums. On many of the songs Ian turns his pen to matters of the heart, his parents, parenthood, youth, his love of New York, the afterlife, and derides the tabloid press and death, but this can be a little painful at times.

The opening song is a ballad, and to be honest, the pace does not pick up much throughout the album, but the first verse sets the tone.

“Maybe you don’t want me - I’m so scared of losing you.
I never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Watch me screw up this one, too, it’s hard to talk about love.
I’m just leaving now - it’s just
All I ever wanted - was you
Is that to much?”

A touching plea from the heart of Ian Hunter’s love for his beautiful wife Trudi, but still showing his basic instinct of insecurity.

The title track and ‘Skeletons (In Your Closet)’ are both throw away Stones acoustic rockers that do give the album some respite. ’23A Swan Hill’ gets its title from the address that Hunter spent his formative years living with his parents in a small flat above the police station, where Ian’s father worked. But with three other songs dedicated to friends departed, and ‘Resurrection Mary’ about a ghost who haunts the highways of Chicago, there is not much room for any of Ian Hunter’s famous rockers.

‘Walk on Water’ is a tribute to Guy Stevens who had originally taken the fledgling Mott the Hoople (the band Ian Hunter was in from 1969 to 1974) under his wing when they were first signed to Island records. Ian describes a little flame, tormented soul, lost in rock ‘n’ roll that does not come out alive.

‘Now is the Time’ is actually inspired by Ian playing Wembley Stadium at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert, which was also the last time Mick Ronson played live before an audience, doing ‘All the Young Dudes’ with Ian, and ‘Heroes’ with David Bowie. But the masterpiece of the album is Ian Hunter’s tribute to the platinum haired Spider from Hull, the guitarist’s guitarist, Mick Ronson, called ‘Michael Picasso’. Ian Hunter’s emotional voice glides gently over a sparse arrangement of his acoustic guitar and a simple string quartet. A truly beautiful song for a beautiful person. A great tribute to his former partner, directly from the heart.

So, a satisfactory return to the fray. However, it took another five years for Hunter to return to his classic best with ‘Rant’ in 2002. It was also noticeable that Ian had to use four guitarists over the album to replace his departed friend.

Ian Hunter - Lead Vocals, Harp, Guitar
Robbie Alter - Guitars
Darrell Bath - Guitars
Frode Alves - Guitars
Torstein Flakne - Guitars
Sven Lindvall, Pat Kilbride - Bass
Kjetil Bjerkestrand - Keyboards
Honest Plain John - Vocals


Too Much
Now Is The Time
Something To Believe In
Resurrection Mary
Walk On Water
23A, Swan Hill
Michael Picasso
Open My Yes
The Artful Dodger
Skeletons (In Your Closet)
Still The Same

To contact Mott the Dog email: [email protected]