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In Memory of Ron Amero - three years later

Family and friends gather to remember Ron on the third anniversary of his death.

Lewis Underwood

Its hard to believe our pal, Ron, has been gone 3 years down the road already. His image and character are still vivid in our minds and his exploits more legendary than ever. With the passage of time, his memory never loses its luster.

Last Monday, May 2nd, we met at Cafe Kronborg, before riding caravan-style out to Ad Carabao’s estate in Sattahip to commemorate Ron’s 3rd death anniversary. His final resting place lies here on an idyllic hillside beneath the canopy of the jungle.

Ad and Ron were tight; in fact, Ad delivered his heartfelt eulogy at the funeral. Moreover, before Ron succumbed to his cancer, Ad had promised him a special spot to become one with mother earth.

We had the privilege of visiting this very special place last Monday. It was a great gathering of folks led by Stella, Ron’s mother, her friends from Canada and several of his local buddies, who are still holding down the fort here.

The day was gorgeous, which was contrary to our visit two years ago on Ron’s first death anniversary, when we got drenched in a torrential rain (all of us thought Ron had a good laugh at us then). But this recent visit was different; Ron was in a conciliatory mood.

The hills were lush and green, the site peaceful and still with birdsong softly wafting from the trees. And there in the clearing at the base of a grand mango tree lays Ron’s ashes as it has for the last 3 years. A tombstone made by Ad that reads:

Ron Amero
May 2, 2008
Tiger Never Die

While standing there quietly taking it all in, someone said, “Let’s make some noise,” which is what we usually do, hoist a bottle of beer and let out a cheer, but again, this day was different. There was a special stillness going on and we chose to relish it and not disrupt the magic of the moment. We think Ron liked it that way on that day too.

Thanks to Bjarne for reminding us of this auspicious occasion and getting us all together, and, especially to Ad for not only being the keeper of our dear friend’s remains, but also a grateful host. Even in his absence he made sure everything was immaculate.

Ron the Tiger was bigger than life itself. He touched our lives in his most inimitable way. We still miss you, pal.

Ron’s tiger for SG.


Let the Expat buyer beware

Let the Expat buyer beware! This is especially true in Thailand where the sale of real estate is not regulated and legal documents are written in Thai. That was the primary message about buying property in Thailand member Gary Hacker gave to his fellow Pattaya City Expats Club members on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at their weekly meeting at the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea restaurant. Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced Gary noting that although he has not sold property in Thailand, he has over 25 years of experience in marketing and condominium sales in the USA. Gary was vice president of marketing for Pacific Union Development, the parent company of Pacific Union Brokerage, one of the largest real estate brokers in San Francisco, California.

Member Gary Hacker shares with the Pattaya City Expats Club his experience as a real estate agent, and how that might help those interested in buying a condo or renting a property in Thailand.

Gary said that when he arrived in Thailand about 15 years ago he was interested in buying a condo, but after researching Thailand’s Condominium laws, he said “no way” as there was no protection at all. But about four years ago he did purchase a condominium; primarily at the insistence of his daughter and there were some advantages to ownership over renting such as being able to modify the unit to your preferences, no increase in rent, no property taxes, and the potential for appreciation in value. Having been a renter for several years and now a condominium owner, Gary said he felt he could pass on some good tips and traps to avoid to his fellow expats that might be “on the fence” as to whether to pursue ownership or to elect to remain a renter.

In buying a property, Gary said there are many things to consider - location of the property, direction of exposure to Thailand’s hot sun, effectiveness of the Homeowner’s Association (juristic person committee under Thai Condominium law), inspection of the property by a qualified person, security of building and location, and examination of the Chanute (title document) for valid title and existence of a mortgage. Of these, Gary said the Homeowners’ Association was one of the most important and he mentioned several things to be aware of and to make inquiries about in regard to it.

Former Chairman Richard Smith discusses with members the proposed amendments to the agreement with the Amari re use of the Tavern by the Sea for our Sunday meetings.

Gary also pointed out that if you buy an existing condominium, you will have a better idea on how well the condominium is run and maintained, the size of the unit and quality of fixtures and appliances. If you buy off a “plan,” there are a lot more pitfalls. Often, developers require deposits and periodic payments from buyers, which they use to pay for construction. Gary gave several tips on the things you need to find out about the developer, their experience and their financing; the weaker the developer is in these areas the more likely that there could be construction problems resulting in either long delays in completion or not being completed at all. If the project falls through, there is little chance that the buyers can recover their deposits.

He also provided several other things you need to consider including whether the view can be obstructed by future development and what are the conditions and covenants (restrictions) that do or will govern the condo owner’s rights. He also strongly advised that you have a complete understanding of the purchase agreement; it is well worth it to pay 7,000 to 15,000 baht to get a legal service to review the agreement. Gary said that these are written for the benefit of the developer, so you may want to add some amendments that protect you the buyer; don’t accept it when the sales person says that it can’t be changed - make your changes to the agreement and if they don’t want to accept them, walk away.

Gary also offered many other tips including fire security and reviewing the Chanute to be sure the seller actually owns the property - look at the actual Chanute, not a photocopy. Gary then answered many questions from the audience. After which Richard Silverberg updated everyone on Club activities and upcoming events before turning it over to Judith Edmonds to conduct the always informative Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular. Also, for more information about buying property in Thailand, you can visit the Living in Thailand page on the Club’s website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.


Pattaya’s Christians celebrate Easter

Rev. Francis Xavier Kritsada Sukkaphat sanctifies the statue of St. Nikolas.

Elfi Seitz

Pattaya’s Christian community celebrated Easter with Roman Catholic tradition and colored eggs.

St. Nikolas Church began the holiday with the carrying of the cross through the 14 stations of Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday as worshippers prayed and sang.

On Easter Sunday, April 24, the resurrection of Christ was celebrated with mass and hymns. Children dressed in all-white celebrated their first communion during the English-language ceremony.

Everyone attending received Easter eggs and was allowed to take home some holy water.

Afterward, seniors had their hands sprinkled with fragrant water Thai-style in honor of the Thai New Year. Rev. Francis Xavier Kritsada Sukkaphat and other congregation members hung floral wreaths and sprinkled water around statutes of the Virgin Mary and St. Nikolas.

The holiday celebration collimated with a post-mass party.


PILC throws Royal Wedding Party at Pullman Hotel

Philippe Delaloye (in black suit), general manager of Pullman Pattaya Aisawan and Bea Grunwell (seated front row right), president of PILC, gather members for a group photo at the party.

PILC Special Correspondent

On April 29th, almost 70 Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) members and assorted husbands, children, and three stray British men gathered at the Aisawan Pattaya Pullman Hotel in Naklua to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

It was a very festive occasion, and the hotel went all out to decorate the room with red, white, and blue decorations and Union Jacks on every table. Ladies had been invited to wear hats, smart dresses, and red, white, and blue accessories if they wished.

Well, the hats were great, the dresses elegant, and the ladies all looked wonderful in their finery. Prizes were given out for Best Hat and for Best Dressed Husband. Victoria won for best hat with a beautiful black and white hat that she had actually made just the day before! Congratulations to Victoria. And the best dressed husband prize went to the man wearing the kilt. Congratulations to him also.

People wore lots of British colors, and one husband came resplendent in his Scottish traditional dress of kilt and all the bits and bobs that go with it. And, I can tell you with all confidence that the age-old question of what they wear under those kilts is - nothing! (The wearer told me.)

Everyone was greeted with a Pimms cocktail, which packed more of a punch that it seemed, let me tell you! PILC president, Bea Grunwell hosted the party with great enthusiasm and she easily got everybody into the spirit of the occasion. Toasts were given to Prince William, to Kate, to the Queen, and of course to the Balcony Kiss!

The Pullman pulled out all the stops with its array of delicious British inspired food and desserts. Just the appetizers alone where like a meal - pork pies, sausage rolls, fried fish sticks, Bakewell tart, and much more. Great for the diet, not! The main dishes were equally as impressive.

Everyone had a really smashing time! Well done Sandra and the Special Events team, and a big thank you to the Pullman Hotel.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

In Memory of Ron Amero - three years later

Let the Expat buyer beware

Pattaya’s Christians celebrate Easter

PILC throws Royal Wedding Party at Pullman Hotel