Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You Are Being Monitored by MICT

FBF uses a utility that allows JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other plugins and scripted content to be selectively executed. In other words, activities other than just cookies can be monitored before they have access to the browser or the computer while surfing the web. For example, whenever a web site tries to inject HTML or JavaScript code inside a different site, this utility filters the malicious request, neutralizing its dangerous load.

Yesterday, when accessing the Bo Fai Blog, a flag went up saying that our friends at mict.go.th were watching that website. This obviously was a bit of a surprise as had always assumed they were watching the bad guys like Youtube and welovetaksin.com and had better things to do than monitor nonpolitical sites like this one. It was quite a jolt to see that the Bo Fai Blog was now on their radar.

A little later, the same flag came up when going to Yahoo so will now assume that some engineer over at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology isn't putting enough cream in his coffee or that they are even more paranoid than we thought they were.

You might want to check your cookie folder to see how many cookies you have from mict.go.th.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't watching.  The question now is, why?

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 12:58 PM   2 Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who's Been Sleeping in Thaksin's Bed?

FBF wondered the other day if Cambodian PM Hun Sen would be taking advantage of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's Cha Am - Hua Hin retreat during the ASEAN Summit after offering Thaksin a home in Cambodia.

Now, The Nation (no, not Not The Nation, the real one) quotes Pheu Thai MP Surapong Towijakchaikul as saying yesterday that Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, chose to be a guest at Thaksin's seaside home, close to the summit venue, during the meeting. Bolkiah did not attend the opening ceremonies on Friday either.

The government has had no comment.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 10:01 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Me Casa Su Casa

The local main stream press is making much of Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's claim that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen informed him during Chavalit's recent trip to Cambodia that Hua Sen had presented former Thai Prime Minister (and, not forgetting, current fugitive) Thaksin Shinawatra with a beautiful home if Thaksin decided he wanted to stay in Cambodia.

Both the Post and Nation have had several stories on this issue and now report that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said Thailand would seek Thaksin's extradition under a treaty between the two countries should the former prime minister take Hun Sen up on his offer.

With all this huff and puff over the purported gift, it makes one wonder if Thaksin has responded in kind and offered Hun Sen the use of his Cha Am - Hua Hin summer home during the current ASEAN Summit. The fugitive's former prime minister's not-so-humble summer retreat is conveniently adjacent to the Dusit Polo Club and just a few hundred meters south of the Sheraton, the venue of the ASEAN Summit.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Hun Sen will not be attending the opening of the Asean summit on Friday as he will be enjoying the privacy not possible at either the Dusit or Sheraton...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 6:23 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hats Off To The People of Hua Hin

It's well known how the people of Thailand are able to tolerate irritations and brush things off with a smile and a Mai Ben Rai. The residents of Hua Hin are taking this to a new level.

It's coming down to the stretch before the ASEAN Summiteers arrive. The traffic cones are in place, the streets swept and Men in Green already in attendance, posted every 50-100 meters along ASEAN Rd.

The No Parking signs are still being ignored but it's pretty much a single lane each way through town but traffic was slow but steady on Tuesday morning. It wasn't even stop and go, just go, though slow. It actually took less time to get from Soi 6 to Soi 88 and back than it does on an average weekend day. The authorities have taken down the ASEAN lanes between the two traffic lights and that helps folks making their last minute purchases at the market.

Bo Fai is doing its part by hosting a Disaster Prevention and Mitigation - Plan Exercise at Bo Fai School with dozens of fire trucks, ambulances and cherry pickers parked in the football field. It appears they will be there for the duration.

Life continues on and even Plearnwan still has its crowds of the lost from Bangkok.

Let's hope that the ASEANs and the powers that be in Bangkok appreciate what Hua Hin has done for them.

Now if they can just figure out how to turn all those orange traffic cones into hand clappers...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 12:35 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Thailand Has Returned To Normal" For Hua Hin ASEAN summit in October

We've got 10,000, do we hear 20,000? A 20,000 bid from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Bangkok. But wait, it was only 10,000 troops last week and this week we're already at 20,000 security personnel. No telling how many there will be by the time the 23rd arrives.

The Earthtimes writes:
Thailand has assigned 18,298 security personnel to keep the peace at this month's summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), news reports said Saturday. The decision to deploy the army and police personnel was made Friday at a meeting of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the state-run Thai News Agency said.

Thailand is to host the 15th ASEAN summit October 23-25 in Prachuab Khiri Khan province, 130 kilometres south-west of Bangkok.
Most sources tell us that Hua Hin has a population of around 50,000 inhabitants though during a long weekend it may seem like three or four times that. While that may not be the coastal village described on The Hua Hin Pages, FBF isn't sure how the addition of 20,000 troops security personnel is going to prove Thailand has returned to normal.
Much of the province, including its two main beach resorts of Hua Hin and Cha-am, is to be placed under the Internal Security Act October 12-27, which allows authorities to crack down on any protests or any signs of violent intent with impunity.

"The prime minister reiterated that the upcoming summit would prove to other nations that the situation in Thailand has returned to normal," government spokesman Panitan Watanayagorn told the agency.
Dr Panitan, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, goes on to tell the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT) here:
the meeting approved the "Cha-am-Hua Hin 521" operational plan and the establishment of a joint security operations centre for the 15th ASEAN Summit under the supervision by Defence Minister.

(and) that combined forces of 18,298 security personnel, including 4,000 police and 5,000 military, will be deployed to maintain order during the ASEAN Summit and related meetings.

The ISOC meeting has evaluated that there will likely be movement from three groups; political activists in Phetchaburi and Prachuab Khiri Khan provinces, environmental activists and academic groups as well as some groups from other provinces, " said Dr Panitan.

We have already coodinated with them to gather in specific areas designated for demonstration, said Dr Panitan.

The acting government spokesman however affirmed that intelligence agencies have so far not found any suspicious movements linked to international terrorist groups, but it would continue keeping a close watch  saying that the Royal Thai Navy will also monitor the sea area of 12 nautical miles adjacent to the three nautical miles (5.6 kilometre) zone declared off-limits, while security personnel will monitor important spots in the Thai capital.
Xinhua adds this tidbit:
The cabinet also approved a budget of about 296 million baht (8.85 million U.S. dollars) to finance security measures to ensure security at the Summit's venues, Thai language news agency INN reported.
Perhaps it's time to visit the folks or take another long tour of Esan. At least school's out.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 5:04 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiffy Rides For The ASEANs At The Summit

The Bangkok Post writes here that:
The government has bought 20 bullet-proof vehicles at a cost of eight million baht each to ensure the safety of government leaders attending the Asean Summit to be held late this month at Hua Hin, in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, and nearby Cha-am, in Phetchaburi, a Government House source said.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, travelled in one of the Range Rovers in a test run to Government House on Tuesday morning.
Not sure if they're talking about the Vogue pictured above but while the price of each is more than the value of 99% of the homes in Hua Hin, an off-the-rack pladonggo-proof Vogue lists for about four million in the UK (w/o rear seat DVD and cruise control) and there are folks much more knowledgeable on these matters than FBF who say that it costs a bit more than another four million to bring a luxury SUV up to European B6 ballistic protection standard. Who cares knows?

Hua Hin's authorized Rover dealer is in India this week for a sales conference so we'll ask for specifics when he returns...

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 11:15 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hua Hin Goes Green for ASEAN Summit in October

The Bernama News Agency posts here that some ten thousand military and police will be deployed to ensure there is no disruption in Hua Hin during the summit.

They go on to quote Anupong:
Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said the Internal Security Act will be enforced between October 12 and 27 in nine sub-districts of Phetchaburi's Cha-am district and four sub-districts of Prachuab Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district.

The army chief however says he is confident there will be no untoward incident during the regional pact meeting.
In addition:
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban affirmed enforcing the ISA will not disrupt the daily life of local residents.

Regarding traffic during the ASEAN meetings, Suthep said that local residents can travel normally, but a special "ASEAN lane" will be preserved for motorcades of country leaders, senior delegations, as well as media, as they have to travel from their hotels to the meeting venues.
That sounds like a couple of exciting weeks. Ten thousand troops and a few thousand delegates, hangers-on, and press and one less lane for traffic.

Another lane will obviously have to be reserved to check that the local residents have the proper sticker attached to their vehicle, proving that they are indeed local residents.

Stock up on provisions early as this could be as bad as Songkran.  NO reference intended to the activities in Bangkok during the last Songkran.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 1:41 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin

In a post last week FBF mentioned that the ASEAN Summit was going to happen in a matter of days. Well, time flies when you're having fun and even more so when you're so old that keeping up with the years is difficult and the months are downright impossible and the days just get lost... But, no matter, the Mrs. is never sure what season it is and she comes from a family of agriculturists.

So, we'll try again and state that the ASEAN Summit will be in Hua Hin in October and the powers that be are getting ready. There was an announcement on the Bo Fai loudspeaker today that all motorists should report to the village office with their ID card and car registration number so that during the ASEAN meeting they can sail through any check points...

FBF is sure that this will be as effective as the recording of cell phone numbers led to the dramatic decrease in bombings in Southern Thailand and the smooth crossing of the US borders when special ID cards were issued to those who live along that border.

OK, they're just doing their job in the best way they know how. If the best laid plans just worked once in a while the world would be a better place, once in a while.  In the meantime, they lay plans and we poke fun.

Be a good scout, register your cell phone and car and be careful out there, the ASEANs are coming.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 7:36 PM   0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A New Golf Course For Hua Hin?

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4 & Micah 4:3

The Thai military budget has risen substantially since the 2006 coup (the budget before the coup was 86 billion Baht) though the recent announcement of a reduction of the budget from 171 billion Baht to 151 billion Baht (about US$4.97 billion) means that the Army will have to suspend the 3.89 billion Baht purchase of another lot of 89 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the Ukraine. However, it seems most of the cut will be simply from the delaying the purchase of the second set of 6 Gripen fighter jets worth 15 billion Baht from Sweden.

Taxes on alcohol (other than lao khao) , tobacco, and petrol continue to climb and the government has introduced the country's first property, land, and inheritance tax legislation.
The Thai cabinet in February approved about 270 billion Baht (US$7.8 billion) in domestic and foreign borrowing to boost liquidity in state enterprises and finance infrastructure building. Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij also won cabinet approval for his request to raise 200 billion Baht (US$5.8 billion) in short-term loans from local banks to help Thailand's 58 state enterprises ease their liquidity problems this year.

A new golf course in Hua Hin might help in solving these problems and the good folks at the Army Welfare Office who maintain Suan Son Pradiphat, seem willing to oblige (beat their APCs into golf clubs?). Behind the tattered azure curtain along the highway south of town you can observe the earth moving equipment hard at work.

No details on who's designing the course or when it will open but the work is fast and furious so it shouldn't be too long. It is a great location and very convenient for those staying at the Banyan.

Perhaps the revenues will go towards reducing Thailand's 58 state enterprises ease their liquidity problems.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 9:52 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quiet in Bo Fai

Not a whole lot going on in Bo Fai or Hua Hin these days. The Bangkok hordes finally had to return to work after their 10-day Songkran holiday and the tourists have fled the scene once again so parking and traffic are back to just bad rather than terrible. They say tourists arrivals will be down at least 25% this year over last. Probably NOT a good time to buy that bar or open that restaurant you've been thinking about.

FBF has been spending much of his time working on a new page for the Hua Hin Pages on Thai Fruits.  It's still under construction but is now up at Fruits of Thailand. Those who don't have Thai fonts installed on their OS will notice some odd characters as the Thai names have been included. Do not adjust your set, either ignore the odd characters or add Thai fonts.

FBF has also been working on getting his notebook to work as a real time GPS using Google Earth and his Garmin GPSr. The CDMA USB stick from Hutch may be the answer.

Trying to keep up with what the different colored shirts are up to has also taken a bit of time since our local press is so intent on sanitizing what we read and see. Former mayoral candidate, Nattakorn Devakula, had an interesting  op-ed in the Post the other day and the winner of that mayoral race, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, had an interview with Der Spiegel on a similar subject. Even the Nation slipped up and let Chang Noi get some words in that were pretty much opposite of what their headlines normally claim.

As always, where ever you are, if you've seen something that affects Hua Hin, let me know and I'll do what I can to spread the word here.

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 10:12 AM   0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chaos in Bangkok, Traffic in Hua Hin

There's been an inordinate amount of traffic on the blog the last couple of days, especially from overseas visitors.  My bet is that folks are wondering if the chaos in Bangkok is also going on in Hua Hin.

My answer would have to be an emphatic NO.  This is pretty much a typical Songkran holiday time in Hua Hin. There are too many cars from Bangkok and, as always, never enough parking places.

Songkran in Hua Hin is pretty much one day of splashing and several days of traffic jams.  With what was supposed to be a 5-day weekend turned into a 10-day weekend, we can expect this to continue for a few more days.

My family didn't go out on Monday, Songkran day, but we went to Market Village this morning as it was FBF junior's birthday.  The mall was pretty much filled to capacity by 11:00 and no one cared what color shirt anyone was wearing.  The food court and the ice cream places were doing a booming business though we managed to escape the throngs before the lunch time crowd arrived.

We stayed away from Petchkasem, the main drag through town, to avoid the traffic, but could see that it was backed up from the Villa Complex to the traffic light as we headed west and up and over the hill to get home.

Along the canal road, all the hotel parking lots were full and the shops popular among the Bangkok crowd were extremely busy, especially the quitio shop with fish noodles.

If you're planning on coming to Hua Hin, I wouldn't let the yahoos in Bangkok keep me away.  It seems to be quite now, Tuesday evening, and I would think it should remain so for several days.

It's not over by a long shot and FBF won't be going to Bangkok in the near future but he makes a habit of not going there anyway.

Some color shirt will be back out within a week or 10 days but they will mostly congregate around Government House.  There shouldn't be any problem getting from the airport to Hua Hin.

FBF tends to keep to Bo Fai so if any of the local readers have seen anything untoward that I haven't, please let us know

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 9:43 PM   2 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Anna and Harry

There's very likely a Google Ad on this page for an essay in an Australian magazine by a fellow who was unceremoniously delivered from Thailand a few weeks ago. If it's not on this page, it's popping up on almost all the pages on The Hua Hin Pages or you've probably seen it on just about every Thai website that has Google Ads.

My question is: are these website in trouble? Shaved head, tears and bars make a great picture but the fellow is not highly thought of in these parts and I can't see the likes of the Post or the Nation enjoying seeing that ad on their pages. Some of the political blogs are probably loving it but the more straight press must be having a hissy fit.

Will the MICT ban Google Ads?

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posted by Falang Bo Fai @ 10:37 PM   0 Comments Links to this post