The Boob Tube

Now someone correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t television sets usually last longer than four years? Especially expensive ones? I even dumped a Coke into the back of my first-ever TV and it was still going strong at age 7. So you can imagine how pissed off I was when the 34-inch flat-screen Phillips CRT I bought in 2005 for 30,000 baht died for the second – and final – time last month.

So, grudgingly, I set out to buy a new high-definition widescreen LCD. And in doing so I got to discover once again why shopping for high-tech in Thailand really sucks.

People keep telling me Thailand is so inexpensive. If so, then why does virtually anything with a computer chip inside it cost so much more than the west? Laptops, iPods, dive computers, TVs, you name it. Expensive. Worse, of course, is the simple lack of selection and the unwillingness of retailers to haggle, bargain or discount from the manufacturer-imposed price.

The first thing I saw was this lovely LG LH70 42-incher. Great specs, but 36,900 baht. Too much. So I went out around the city looking for more. Keep in mind, this is Pattaya, not Bangkok and shopping for anything more than cow manure and condoms means much less selection.

I spent three weeks shopping for a TV and everywhere was pretty much the same: Samsung, LG, Sony and Phillips. One place had one Sharp model. Another had one Toshiba. I even found a floor model-only JVC marked down in Power Buy. But that’s about it. And you can forget about good, knowledgeable sales staff. Even in places like Numchai, which supposedly cater to farangs, the service is awful.

I was latched onto by one spiky-haired boy there the first day who, after I told him price was more important than brand, was shown a smallish, non-HD set. No, I want full HD, I say. ‒Oh, that expensive.”

How expensive? I ask. ‒Very,” he says.

Don’t tell me ‒expensive,” tell me the damn price!

Turns out ‒expensive” was anything above 30,000 baht, which, as it turns out, is the standard starting point for any 40-inch or above full-HD TV. It also what I was expecting to pay by the time I got to Spiky Hair.

I dragged him around the store for a while, somehow managed to see all the offerings, then left. I returned upon promise of a ‒big sale” the following week, only to find the one Sharp I was half-interested in (29,990 baht) was now 32,990 baht with no further discount. This sales guy was slightly better, but he kept trying to steer me into a 40-inch Samsung that I just didn’t want. So I left again, but told him I’d be back. Got his name and hours he worked so he’d get the commission.

Of course, the next day he’s not there and Spiky latches onto me again. I tried to shake him off saying I was interested in an LG – the same exact model I saw my first day of shopping three weeks ago.

‒Samsung better,” was his reply.

Of course, he works only in the Samsung section and so I told him I didn’t want him as a sales guy. ‒No, I take care of you,” he says.

No, I … don’t … want … you.

That finally did the trick.

Found an LG-area guy who actually knew the specs on the TVs and got him to give me 2,000 baht off. Got it delivered that night for 35,000 baht flat.

sofa

Wouldn’t you know it, as the guys are hooking up the new unit they discover by TrueVisions descrambler – which was working perfectly fine three weeks ago when the TV blew – was now totally fried.

I still haven’t replaced that yet.

The Boob Tube

Among its many snazzy features (Bluetooth, direct PC connection) the LH70 has a USB port in the back. So I downloaded Episode 5 of ‒Big Trouble in Thailand,” copied it to a flash drive, plugged it in and sat back to watch Gavin Hill’s scandalous saga on my new big screen.

Can’t say it improved the series much.

After watching episodes 4 and 5, I’m of the opinion all the juiciest material creator Hill had was used in the first episode. Episode 4, dominated by footage of this year’s Bangkok Airways crash in Samui, was actually boring. Episode 5, which spends most of its airtime broadcasting that, guess what, Pattaya has a large sex industry, was high comedy.

The show starts with a smarmy British guy and his cow girlfriend chagrined after they took what they thought to be a hidden video camera into the Baby Dolls go-go July 27 and discovered it wasn’t too hidden. As Tourist Police Volunteer Howard Miller told them on camera, they were lucky they didn’t get a beat-down. Instead Brit owner Lee simply took their camera, which he gave back sans the videotape the next day.

Big trouble in Thailand _Episode 5_ 002_0001

Ironically, interlaced with the story was actual topless footage that Hill filmed — with the permission of owner Shane who was then selling the bar —  inside New Living Dolls One. In fact, from the angle, it looks like he was sitting at my usual table! I’m sure (above, from left) Apple, Aom and Oh wouldn’t be pleased they were on the British Boob Tube.

They’re obviously more forgiving the Thailand Film Office, which still wants to roast anyone connected with BTIT, but now finds itself on the defensive again after another foreign-filmed TV show.

During the rest of Episode 5, you get to see three instances of farangs running on their bar tabs or, in the case of a pair of Indians, trying to con Miller & Co. that they paid 300 baht to enter the otherwise free Hot Girls go-go to see a ‒sexy show” and never got one. Of course, when Miller investigates, it turns out there was a show and the Indians simply didn’t enjoy it and wanted a refund. Unbelievably, the Thai staff actually gave them 50 percent back!

We Love India … Really!

Indians, by the way, are on the warpath (sorry) about their treatment of late in Pattaya. The full story won’t be online until next edition of the Pattaya Mail newspaper is published Friday, but the paper is publishing a critical story about Pattaya bar and restaurant owners who have refused service or even entrance to Indian tourists so many times a formal complaint has been lodged with the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports. That complaint was forwarded to Pattaya’s mayor and the local Tourism Authority of Thailand office which, amazingly, didn’t even contest it.

‒What’s happened has happened, but we are going to fix it,” Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said. “This directly affects the city and we are going to explain that to entrepreneurs to relieve the tension from the situation. We declare here and now that Pattaya City welcomes everyone without regard to race or nationality.”

Now I can’t abide Indian tailors as much as the next guy, but Indians are, believe it or not, now the No. 1 tourist group in Pattaya, larger than Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Brits or Germans. How typically Thai for business owners to once again kill their latest golden goose:

Travel agencies and tour groups have reported a number of cancellations after earlier groups were turned away from bars and restaurants who refused to serve Indian customers.

In fact, it’s been a long-standing problem with Pattaya go-go bar owners in particular being quite vocal on online forums for several years about refusing service to Indian and Arab customers as well. Only a handful of Walking Street bars actively advertise that they welcome Indian customers.

When Indian visitor numbers were low, that wasn’t a high-profile problem. Now that Indians have become a key group in the absence of Western visitors, the minister of Tourism and Sports was is so concerned he directly ordered the city to investigate.

High-Season Political Theater

Of course, with high season (or hopes of it) rapidly approaching, government types are getting themselves hot and bothered on a number of fronts, the electoral process being at the top of the list.

It’s pretty clear after recent by-elections that it’s only a matter of time before this Frankenstein ruling coalition loses power. Each new regional election chips away at the majority and what elections aren’t doing, the Election Commission is. Democracy keeps trying to reassert itself and the majority of the voting populace – the poor of the North and Northeast – still want Thaksin and his frontmen in the Puea Thai Party.

Even Newin, the defecting powerbroker who brought Abhisit to power, thinks the government has until, at most, next June. Some think, however, it’s possible the Democrats could hold onto power until 2011 by messing around with the Constitution (again). The Democrats announced this week they want five amendments to the Constitution and, truth be told, not all are bad.

First among those is revoking the stupid rule that if a political party must be dissolved if even one party executive if found guilty of electoral fraud. This rule is a lot of the reason the political system is in the state it is. Second is a return to a system of electing all members of the House and Senate. Third is a new requirement that the Cabinet and prime minister must get legislative approval to entering into certain treaties (Think Preah Villar.). There’s more of lesser importance you can check out here.

Of course, while the Democrats are doing their thing, Puea Thai is trying to find a way to mount a national campaign. And you’ll never guess who they’ve turned to: Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the man who not only piloted Thailand into the 1997 financial crisis, but resigned last year to take the blame for the bloody attack on the Yellow Shirts that lead to December’s airport closures. The shock among pundits was palpable.

He’s even tipped to become the leader of the Puea Thai Party. Which means, he could very well be our next prime minister. Indeed, I was immediately rendered speechless…

This was the man who insisted on referring to himself as father and to the people of Thailand as my child during his premiership. And I thought only (one person) has the right to such a claim. Speechless…

Gen Chavalit no doubt has his fans. Those believing he’s a man of great abilities and leadership. But to others he’s also the classic example of the old-style Thai politician. Which side is correct, or is the truth somewhere in the middle? You, dear readers, may decide for yourself.

(T)High-Tech, Part 2

Meanwhile, back on the high-tech (Thai-tech?) front, the government seems to be doing its best to screw up plans to finally introduce 3G mobile broadband.

The same week Prime Minister Abhisit says 3G will launch this year, his low-tech gnome running the ICT says she wants to put off the 3G license auctions ‒as long as possible” to protect AIS, True, DTAC and other behind-the-times mobile carriers. Imagine the loss of face when Cambodia gets nationwide 3G before Thailand.

It is gratifying to see, however, that the Cabinet rejected planned changes to copyright laws that would have allowed the police to arrest you for buying counterfeit DVDs. Abhisit said enforcement of the new law might have been ‒problematic” as cops might simply go after better-paying buyers rather than hunting down the distributors.

The Bangkok Post gave the copyright-law smackdown to Thai Visa, the Nazi-administered farang message board, this week. I must have laughed for an hour when I read the TV post announcing that the Post would no longer allow TV to copy and paste its news articles, a main source of traffic and advertising revenue for TV.

‒We have a very different vision than the Bangkok Post about the future of community networking”, says Barry Main, marketing director of ThaiVisa.com. “But no worries, we have The Nation and The Phuket Gazette already on board, and we are soon hooking up with other local news sources.”

Uh, Barry? The Nation is part of the ‒Society for Online News Providers” that is working together against cowboys with their ‒own ideas about the future of community networking.” In other words, the days of you stealing others’ copy and trying to make money off it while quashing any criticism about your own operation and banning members who do are numbered.

hitlersignFinally, speaking of Nazis, as you enter Pattaya from the north you are greeted by a variety of welcoming signs. The sign at right has just recently gone up to plug the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Wax Museum. Is it just me or does anyone else think the big Ripley’s corporation needs some sensitivity training?

63 thoughts on “The Boob Tube

    • Thanks CB. Pretty sure the Monster brand isn’t sold here, but I get your point. Blu-Ray DVD player is next on the buy list, once I get money again. As for the dust, I have a hottie come clean my place weekly who takes care of the TV and my pecker.

  1. PG have you been able to watch/ experience blue ray quality dvd’s? It does get addictive after a while.

    If you decide to invest into a BR player make sure you get the gold plated HDMI cables. It makes a difference. I’m not sure if magnetism effects LCD’s but keep speakers away from it as well. At least 2-3 ft. The magnetism will create a green blur on screen. Then again this could be only for tube tv’s. For cleaning… Micro fiber cloth and use the product sold by the store you got it from. In the back of your tv there are vents… maintain that build up of dust. Keep it clean like your pecker.

    Also, if you want better quality and protection you might make the image 10-15% clearer by not plugging directly into the wall outlet for electrical current go through a Monster power box.

    A Monster Power Conditioner not only protects your equipment from harmful spikes that can damage or destroy your equipment it also cleans the static and noise out of your power going to your system. ‘Dirty power’ can reduce your equipment lifespan by up to 30%!! (except from pop) The larger units also keep this power noise from going from one piece of you equipment into another and adversely affecting it as well, this is called isolation. Power surge protection, noise protection and isolation are the three things Monster protects you against, ALL digital equipment should be protected to get the most enjoyment and life out of it.

    You will want to protect your stuff. While in Jomtien a storm hit and a Transformer was hit by lightening. Believe it or not my Tv was directly effected by this. If my friend would have told me about his setup i could have saved him the problem of going out to splash another 40,000 on a new tv. In your warranty it should state that they are not held responsible if this happens to your Tv. To save you time if you do want to invest in this but don’t have the cash, unplug your tv from the wall. This isn’t an ‘old wives tale’. Lightening strikes will effect your Tv causing surges that create the spike.

    Hope this brief explanation helps and gives your investment longevity.

    watch Wall-e in blue ray… it rocks

  2. @PG

    dont waste your money on golden HDMI cables and monster power conditioner. regarding power supply safety I have not so much experience. it may make sense to have some fuse protection in between or something. but for sure look for alternatives to monster products. all i know about monster products is that its way overpriced stuff. before u start buying this expensive crap better buy a good television (Sony/Samsung LCD with LED backlight or Pansonic Plasma depending on your types of use)
    hdmi cables below 10m you can buy any dirt cheap brand. you wont be able to tell the difference

    to your post. nice read as usual.
    hitler pic: whos idea was that ? amazing thailand

    @Canadian Boy:
    eer…are you a monster sales agent ?
    by the way Blue-ray DVDs whats that – a new format standard?
    I thought DVD is one and Blu-Ray the other…. by the way its
    spelled Blu-Ray

    jus my 2 cents

  3. BKK – I notice an increase in image quality. Then again in my building which is old the cables are worn out and when I had my TV plugged in there was the so called ‘dirty power’. My image quality was improved upon purchasing a Monster Box. The current was cleaner.

    You don’t have to purchase the “highest” grade HDMI’s. Mid range is doable. I agree on that 4sure.

    Why I went all out was cause I hate going to the theaters so i dropped a pretty sum on my baby. Besides, it was christmas last year and prices dropped large. The Sale agent through in the HDMI cables free;)

    The BDV-IT1000ES 5.1-channel Blu-ray Disc player with a 52′ Sony Bravia.

    As for Monster that has saved my life equipments life several times. Those moments that my heart skipped was worth the money.

    … blu ray. I stand corrected.

  4. PG,

    Bought the exact same TV a month ago and I am pretty pleased with it so far although I don’t get to watch it much. Kids rule in our house.

    I have a question which you or Canadian Boy hopefully can answer. When watching UBC channels, the colours on Thai soaps are magnific. However, other programs such as ESPN are less so and I wondered if it had anything to do with the native recording format, PAL or NTSC. I’ve tried all the settings and nothing improves ESPN. Help please.

    My second question was going to be which go-go is it cause I kept replaying that section of BTIT 5 and didn’t recognise the staff or bar. I’ll obviously have to add LD1 to my favoured watering holes.

    If Apple, Om and Oh lose overseas sponsors can they sue?

  5. That Hitler sign is most definitely up…I saw it just last week. I was a bit aghast when I first saw it..thinking WTF is that..then saw a few more and realized it was for the Wax Museum. Still..gotta think that its not the most appropriate sign to have up..although, the thought of making the Germans squirm does delight me.

    From what I saw the past week, it wouldnt surprise me that Indians are (among, if not the biggest)the predominant tour group now. They were everywhere, especially in the discos..lots of Bollywood Chaci’s as far as the eye could see.

  6. Canadian Girl wrote: Indians are the #1 tourist group? U care to site your source on that?

    Tourism Authority of Thailand Pattaya Office Director Niti Kongkrut in the Friday edition of the Pattaya Mail. Story is not yet online, but the following is an excerpt from the piece:

    Speaking at the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter’s “Pattaya Marketing 2010” seminar, Niti Kongkrut director of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office, said Indians now rank No. 1 among tourists to the region and will continue to do so through next year.

    “We’re finding that tourists from European countries will not raise much and only a small amount from Russia,” Niti said. “But what’ s most interesting is that visitors from India are growing steadily. I believe that by the end of 2009 Indian tourists will remain No. 1 in Pattaya.”

    @Ed — As I noted in the story, my UBC box got fried. Just got it replaced today. Will let you know on the colors later.

  7. @ CB .. have you had an operation you arent telling us about yet?
    Or do you just dress up every second Thursday? lol

    as for Monster .. NEVER buy that overpriced junk …you can make the cables to a better quality for about 1/12th of the price .. and that isnt really an exageration.

    But if you walk down the street in Thailand and see the power lines, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that some sort of power conditioner or at the very least surge protector would be beneficial to your electronic equipment.

    As for the quality difference between HDMI cables .. the signal should only be minorly noticeable on BLU-RAY or HD-DVD media.

    LOL @ the indians .. if they stopped gang banging and only paying for 1 person’s worth of usage on our lovely rentable branch-managers then they would stop getting treated like shit. Wait, that’s not true, most indians I know are very tight with their money (Kee-niaow mak)… of course the Thai people aren’t going to like them lol

  8. I saw the Hitler sign 2 weekends ago, it was pretty amusing.

    There are a few other infamous characters on several billboards behind Hitler with variations on the same theme of the Ripley’s wax museum.

    I bought a flat screen LCD about 6 months ago. Was at a Flat Screen TV fair on the top floor of Central Lad Prao, took several VCD’s and DVD’s with me so I could compare the picture quality. After a lot of looking went into a retail shop in Central Lad Prao where they were matching the promotion pricing as the TV fair.

    Saw a manufacturer called ProVision- apparently they have been making flat screen LCD’s for computers for a few years but want to break into the TV market. Very good dynamic response time (2ms I think) and color contrast, 42″ for only 23-24k THB all in. Bought it and have been very happy with this. Warranty is the normal 1 year so I hope there are no problems.

    Seems like a great deal for a flat screen.

    -J

  9. i doubt it would be the germans who would squirm as much as some other folks. what’s even odder (or sadder, i suppose) is how the chinese still revere chairman mao and have his image spread far and wide, the man who brought them such advances as the cultural revolution and great leap forward. sorry, i digress.

  10. @Jeezo — Yeah, good price. Off-brand, off course. But 2ms, if true, is very good. The LG is 2.4ms, 120 hrz and 100,000:1 contrast. Everythng else in 30,000 baht range was 5-8 ms. and 33,000-70,000:1 contrast.

  11. @ PG – during my first visits to LOS 5 or 6 years ago I was quite tempted to buy electronic good assuming they would be cheaper than at home – I bought a Sony digital camera – after much work with a calculator I found I could have bought it back in the UK for about the same amount – then a year on, the screen failed and that was that really… I am a keen photographer (Canon DSLR stuff now as recommended by the yellow team leader himself)and often look at lenses etc that do appear to be round about 10% cheaper than back home but just feel that any hassles I would get if anything went wrong makes it too risky a deal. Now I want a Sony Reader – £250 (12,500 Baht) here…. dare I look around for it in BKK?

  12. Sounds like a few have good knowledge of TVs. I bought a Samsung Plasma in BKK and after 15 months I noticed a lot of blue ‘hazing/lines’ on one side of the screen after being switched on for a while. Samsung took it back to repair (just outside warranty at no cost) and gave me a loan LCD.

    Did not hear anything for 4 months and was getting to like the LVD (although smaller screen it gave out a lot less heat at the back than the plasma).

    Then one day Samsung bring back my plasma but then after a while the same problem with the screen happens again and they take it away. This time when retuned all the plastic casing is scratched and I tell them to replace it which they do but now again the screen problem is again intermittently evident (not as much as before and now on other areas of the screen).

    I emailed the service dept and asked them to tell me what repairs they effected the 2 times they supposedly fixed the screen but not surprisingly no reply to date and I still hold their loan LCD (as insurance although they had been pressing me to get it back).

    Basically Samsung Thaialnd Service centre is a joke but does anyone know what could be the problem with my screen (blue hazing/lines)?

    Kind of got attached to the LCD as definately does not make the room hot like the Plasma (which may be worth considering if you are comparing Plasma with LCD), but maybe will end up with both at this rate!

  13. Bruce Lee is also still alive, who would have thought that.

    It’s an interesting hint about the demography of this site’s readers that a post about sex, Pattaya, Gogo-Bars, TV’s, museums, Indian mongers, sex-tourism and Thai politics gets most comments about technical details of TV’s, that’s funny.

  14. Dirty power? Plugging your TV into a Monster box will increase picture quality by 15%?

    I am sorry to say this, but you should stop listening to the 20 year old kid that sold you loads of useless pieces of hardware.

    The only thing that could be effected by power is brightness, and still that seems extremely far fetched since TV’s have converters that regulate the supply of power. Contrast, image lines, etc. are all ingrained in the image. Power levels cannot affect that.

    Oh and LCD and Plasma TV’s will in no way be effected by magnetism. Magnetism only effects old-style TV screens.

  15. Santa wrote…

    a post about sex, Pattaya, Gogo-Bars, TV’s, museums, Indian mongers, sex-tourism and Thai politics

    Wow, now that you put it that way, I guess this post did cover a lot!

  16. PG, it surely did 😀

    I for my part would be more interested in what you formerly did with Oh’s boobs (and the rest of her body) as shown in the screenshot and what “Plasma” was exchanged in that process, without getting “wired-up” too much with her I hope 😉

  17. Honest to God story about Oh:

    A couple years ago, before she got the boobs, she had a flatter chest than me. Yet she was still pretty and, one night, I persuaded her finally into a barfine. However, it was early and I didn’t want to go back to the room yet and didn’t want to take her around the bars paying for her drinks. So I told her I’d be back at midnight to pick her up.

    In Pattaya, at least, once you pay the bar, the girl has to stay there if you leave and want to come back later. Problem is, I got so drunk, I simply went home.

    Found out she was stuck in the bar until 3 a.m. and she’s never considered a barfine since.

  18. Egads, never thought I’d be talking about power supplies on this forum. Short version, unless you’re shelling out a few hundred bucks they’re worthless. I’ve seen ‘surge protectors’ melted behind thousands of dollars of audio/video gear from a power surge, not even a lightning strike. If you’re willing to stump up for an uninterruptible power supply, one with a battery in it like you might use for a data server, that might be worth your money.

    For cabling and stuff, if EVERYTHING else in your room is PERFECT you can get a tiny increase in performance using high end cables. I.e. the color temperature of the ambient light is right, power is regulated, room is acoustically decent to very good, and so on. That standard probably eliminates 99% of the non-professional rooms in the world (including mine, the ‘home theater’ experience in a tiny one bedroom apartment is a lot more home than theater). I thought all of the cable stuff was snake oil until I got to hang with this guy (www.mapleshaderecords.com) and he made a good case. Then again, he was one of the main man behind the A-10 and F-16 so Pierre is literally a rocket scientist.

    Nice piece ghost.

  19. From Episode 5 of BTTT:

    What, exactly, is that SWAT team Pattaya? Who or what is the “private financial backer” behind it and is that a South African SWAT team member in Police/SWAT uniform? Stunning.

  20. On the high tech cables- these were attempted to be sold to me but when checking the quality of the picture with and without it I really couldn’t tell the difference.

    One of my pet peeves with the HDMI inputs on the LCD- is that you have to buy a new DVD player with HDMI inputs. F*** that! I kept the same DVD player / sound system I bought new 3 years ago. Actually blu ray is much nicer but for TV and the cheap VCD’s I get regular flatscreen is just fine.

    I really do recommend pro-vision, really good specs and a very reasonable price. Off brand- true. But who cares? Assuming I don’t get a problem 1 day after the warranty the brand doesn’t matter much. Most of the glass used to make the LCD comes from 2 major suppliers out of Japan and the ‘technology’ offered by the different big brands (Sony, Philips, etc) are pretty commoditized.

    On the billboards, you’ve got the line up… Hitler, Michael J, Bruce Lee and Gandhi… something for everyone I guess.

    Sure beats the Northpoint billboards that used to litter the same location…. 200,000 baht per sq. metre and only 20% full. And we’ve been advertising this shite for 3 years. Still don’t get the point?

    -J

  21. PG —- 120Hz TVs & Monster Cable??? wow that is so last year… its all about 240Hz now & Diamond Plated Cables…. Geeze PG save your pennies and buy a real TV and cables. (like our f’n eyes can even tell the difference)

    Actually the best advice i was told is to make sure that your TV 1080P/120hz has plenty of HDMI slots since most associated products will be plugging into your system in that manner.

    My Samsung had 4 slots (Xbox360 Elite, Time Warner HDMI, Bose System LS-35) I have one slot left…

    I have yet to invest in a blu-ray but how much more crap do i need as it is i only watch maybe 10 hours of TV per week if that… but i am kicking major ass on COD WaW… ha ha..

    My girl took video of my playing that game… rather embarrassing faces i make as i kill foes.

  22. If you look at the box the TV came in it is probably stamped “Not For Export”. Back in the West a product that is sold as new has to be 100% new. There was a time that manufacturers would rip out parts of replaced goods and put them in “new” products. For example, your new computer dies because the chipset is fried and they swap it out. They then put the screen, hard drive, case etc back in the production line. That was outlawed in the UK and US and I guess most civilised countries.

    In Thailand that’s not the case. Your new TV could be made from parts that were from other fucked up TVs. Stuff here looks the same but is shite.

    And … always use a surge breaker in Thailand – there are massive spikes and surges.

    And … I always window shop in malls and then buy via http://www.weloveshopping.com. Most shops deliver to your home, install and then you pay. I’m sure some companies slum it in Pattaya as well.

  23. so whats the best set up for watching scrambled pay per view porn? which cables will enable me to view jigsawed titties and vaginas they way they are meant to be viewed when you watch scrambled ppv porn??

  24. PG:

    Do you really have to “persuade” gogo girls to get barfined? That’s the first I have ever heard of that. What a lump you must be…. but, at the same time, the conclusion is warranted… Let me guess, did you go back the next day and ask for a refund?

  25. @John “Ray of Sunshine” Brown —

    Living Dolls is a bit of a different bar for me as its more of my local watering hole where I go like 4 nights a week to hang with the manager, boss, etc. All the girls know me and have known me for so long (and seen me with so many other LD1 and non-LD1 women) they either don’t want to know me or think of me as “just friends” and so, yes, some persuasion is needed. There was a time when I had Bf’d like 14 women on the payrool there, but that was long ago. I haven’t BF’d anyone out of that bar in probably two years.

  26. Gentlemen, please – computer games? Let’s be fair, ok? Crysis Wars (the professionals only play against real opponents) is the only legitimate game there is. Besides Quake 3 of course.

    Wait! What does that have to do with banging hot chicks? Dang, I am getting off topic again, must be my midlife crisis.

  27. @doctorbond: Don’t bother looking around BKK for a Sony Reader. About 8 weeks ago I did the big search here for an ereader – specifically the Sony prs 505. None of the Sony shops (Emporium, Central, Esplanade etc.) had any, and in fact the salesmen all had no idea what I was talking about. Showed them a pic and they were still stumped. Went to Fortune Town – nothing there either. Finally found a link to a shop in Pantip that had a couple. Called up and the guy said he had bought them over from the US – and wanted about 14K Baht. All negotiating and talking done by my Thai wife – so this was Thai price.

    In the end I had a friend who was in the US buy one and bring it back for me – US$280 from Amazon. Murphy’s Law has hit of course. About 2 weeks ago Sony announced a new ereader with a price of about US$200. Still nothing available in LOS though.

    I think too that in hindsight I’d probably be swayed to a Kindle now. Even though theoretically the Sony is better due to non-proprietary formats, it seems that in the last couple of weeks Amazon has done a huge push worldwide – releasing the Kindle in about 100 countries. I’ve found the Sony is great for older books – especially since I can torrent them for free – however for new releases the Kindle seems to have a better service.

    With my history I’ll probably end up getting both of them.

    Oh, and related to the post – I agree it looks like Oh got a great deal with the boob job – although it would be best to confirm with a better quality pic….

  28. In areas where electrical mains are suspect, plugging electronic equipment directly into the wall-sockets isn’t a good idea. IMHO Thailand qualifies as “suspect.”

    This may sound nerd-o-scopic, but what you should do is calculate the total wattage (volts x amps, it’s usually listed on the device) of all the devices you intend to use and purchase an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) that is rated HIGHER than your total wattage figure. Plug that into the wall and plug your devices into it.

    A UPS is basically a large battery, so your equipment runs off the power stored within it. Theoretically, a sudden blackout or power-spike should have no effect on the gear you have plugged into the UPS. Assuming it’s a properly constructed and charged-up UPS, and you haven’t overloaded it with too much watt-consumption.

    Alternatively, you can plug your stuff directly into the wall, but yes, power-spikes can damage sensitive electronic gear. It really is worth the trouble and effort to buy the proper UPS for your needs.

    JtB

    PS: sorry about the stuff that got fried, yeah, it’s happened to me!

  29. @ FUMF – thanks for the info – I might try and pick one up at the airport on my way out but they are in short supply even here (the black ones especially). The Kindle is supposed to have a marginally better (less reflective) screen and of course there’s the wi-fi – but hell, it looks like a bag of shite – did it actually have a designer? – whereas the Sony is minimalist and cool – like me really.
    🙂

  30. what u paid for the tv,is similar to prices here in the uk.so a interesting read anyway.info for me anyway if i need to buy in thailand

  31. @ PG – it is in fact a done and dusted event – the party is in fact ‘after the event’ – conventional? moi?
    P.S. – hope you’re coming – not seen you last couple of trips… in fact last time was one year ago today 🙂

  32. @PG As an electronics nerd, I was going to launch into a long-winded discussion of the relative merits of various UPS devices, but Jack The Bat pretty much covered everything worth covering. All I would add is that the major name brand ones (APC, Belkin, Tripplite) tend to work better, and though they may cost more they obviously would cost far less than a replacement TV or Desktop system.

    @Doc Bond Congratulations! May your marraige be long and enjoyable!

    @anyone Ahhh. I see my old nemesis obergefreiter hitler is back on the scene. Seemed like everywhere you went in East Asia there was some sort of thing trying to mooch on his reputation. In Korea they had the Third Reich Cafe in Seoul and the Adolf Hitler Technobar in Busan. These establishments eventually changed their names, then closed after diplomatic pressure from the Israeli and Canadian Embassies.

    On Taiwan, a 50-foot high billboard ad from an air conditioning company had a larger-than-life pic of der fuhrer with the Chinese caption reading, “If he were alive he would own one of ours.”

    I have seen the Wehrmacht military flag (the nazi flag with the black and white stripes and iron cross) displayed on a front porch up a side street in Bangkok. Probably somebody saw the swastika and thought it would make a nice Buhddist decoration.

    If I remember correctly, I think it was either the Korea Herald or the International Herald Tribune back in the mid-90’s that did an article on hitler mania in Asia. Most people they interviewed were aware of the crimes against humanity that the nazis perpatrated. But they (the people interviewed) went on to say that they didn’t think it was much different than Genghis Kahn, Pol Pot, General Tojo, or many of their own historical leaders for that matter. The article pointed out that many Asian people respected hitler as a powerful father-figure who picked Germany up from defeat and economic depression and created a continental empire out of it. Not that I would agree with that attitude.

    Sorry about the long history monologue. We now return you to your regular schedule of Beer Lao and sex…:D

    PS – Someone better cut Apple, Aom and Oh some royalties from BTIT for their appearance on screen sans clothing! That sounds worth a lawsuit to me. Perhaps the Soi Lawer can take the case?

  33. I take it everyone knows the swastika is from the Hindu culture and it means good luck and fertility. The German version of the swastika is the reverse image of the Hindu symbol.

    Random funny incident: last night I was at a conference in storage & hard disk drives. One American poo-ying speaker got up on stage and said: “Sawastika” followed by “I hope I got that right”. Most of the Thais in the audience were silent but I was quietly cracking up.

    -J

  34. Hitler – just read an article that a US scientist was able to conduct an extensive analysis of the skull (partial) that exists in a Russian Museum – this skull was allegedly taken from the grave where Hitler was semi-buried and semi-burned after he shot himself in the Bunker – the results of the ‘claimed’ Hitler skull – is in fact a woman’s skull —-

    Televisions – I have been looking for a month to buy a 42″ or larger and cannot make up my mind! So this info for me – was good!

    But LCD, HDTV or Plasma?

  35. PG: “The same week Prime Minister Abhisit says 3G will launch this year, his low-tech gnome running the ICT says she wants to put off the 3G license auctions “as long as possible” to protect AIS, True, DTAC and other behind-the-times mobile carriers. Imagine the loss of face when Cambodia gets nationwide 3G before Thailand.”

    That’s the official talking head story is it? Well, here’s were things stand with AIS and TRUE. They have already purchased and in most locations installed the equipment required to offer 3G services in cities and major transportation corridors in Thailand.

    If memory serves me correct, the bids for 3G licenses were originally submitted in mid 2008 with licenses awarded Q3 2008 service to begin in late 2008. I have been told that the cell companies were all asked to submit new bids (this is Thailand, so the bids were not officially “rejected” as far as I know). Since then this may have now happened two more times. When you understand the above, you understand why True is considering legal action:

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/telecom/25242/ntc-only-direct-government-order-will-delay-3g

    (Love the title “NTC:Only ‘direct’ government order will delay 3G”. Uhh, ladies and gents at the Post, it has already been delayed by more than a year.)

    Until the licenses are approved the ROI on the equipment purchased is zero. BTW, they are only offering limited number of licenses for this auction. This first auction is for only two or three licenses. Then after a certain amount of time they will offer a few more licenses. So to get in early you need to bid more. If you miss the cut you wait for the next auction. At least, that’s the way things are structured at the moment.

    So why the delay? Most likely is the government and power players inside government and certain other circles who stand to benefit directly are waiting for the revenues of the cell companies to improve so the bids on the licenses are higher.

    I expect only after the backroom deals are finalized between the political and business power men and there’s enough money in the basket to go around the 3G licenses will be awarded.

  36. From what i have seen in Pattaya the indian guys only hang out at the7-11 beer cooler section no lie.They are never seen at the gpgo i hang out at and dont like to spent money at these places and i did see a idian get refused entry into a gogo last night.

  37. I was in Phnom Penh recently and I priced the LG LH70 42-incher at a hi-so shopping mall in the center of the city: 1400 USD (roughly 47,000 THB).

    I didn’t ask if the price was negotiable, but I did tell the clerk that the same TV is 400 USD cheaper in Thailand. His explanation for the discrepancy was that the TV was imported from Thailand and subject to various taxes (mostly of the unofficial variety, I’d say).

    That said, cigarettes, booze and women remain cheaper in Cambodia.

  38. Actually, I think 47,000 baht is the list price. The store one block up Sukhumvit from where I got mine had it at that price. They didn’t seem to care much when I told them it was 35,000 baht a few doors down. Looked at me like “so?” and then went back to drinking their sangsom.

  39. I know the look, Ghost; maybe it’s taught in Thai MBA Programs.

    I’m not sure whether discounts of the same magnitude are available in Cambodia. I guess I should undertake a fact-finding trip.

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