Andrew Drummond

Flying Sporran Gatecrashes The Anniversary Bash

Weekend – Diary.

Last night the Flying Sporran was a fly on the wall at the Not-Thai-Visa,Com 10th Anniversary Party in the Castle Howchow Beach Resort Hotel near Khon Kaen. It became the ‘Not Thai-Visa’ Party when the executives of Thai Visa pulled at the last minute out having been declined free rooms.

Unfortunately this left some 40 or so ignorant Thai Visa followers, who had been wandering the country roads of northern Thailand looking for like minded individuals, now without any fuhrers  – but the show went on as the Flying Sporran reports, thanks to the resort boss.

The picture at the top is of the rather fetching wife of the boss of the resort watching TV members by the pool (below) as she is much easier on the eye than TV members the choice was, er no choice. The pictures below have been edited to protect people from being identified as TV members.

I have a confession to make. I have been to a party. It was a held in a second floor darkened out bar adjacent to the Rajah Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 4, Bangkok.

As soon as I got in and looked around I ripped off my identity badge with my ‘handle’ on it, took one free drink (I think, but maybe it was not free) and scarpered.

Rainer Roessler is of course one of the most popular forums for foreigners in Thailand. It seems equally divided by people here living in absolute misery and another group telling the people living in misery to ‘f…off’ if they don’t like the country.

One the one hand it has people who see Thailand through rose-coloured spectacles, and on the other many who see demons around every corner.

Everyone is an expert and there is no shortage of people willing to spout an opinion, especially on someone else’s misfortune.

An immigration officer friend of mine described it as a forum for people who should not be here.

But to be fair more than occasionally somebody does come on line who has something to offer.

Taking all that into account going along to a ThaiVisa party seems like a bit of a risk. There is a big difference making anonymous comments on a forum to actually want to participate in things with fellow members, who may not be like minded at all. Everybody is anonymous.

The safety is in anonymity as in. “Hi Coochiecoo,I’m Rug Rat , have you seen Smelly Nelly?’

Anonymity is fair enough. Its allowed here. But not the abuse of it.

Are you going to meet manic depressives, people who are away with the fairies,  and others who want to stand on their soap box all night, perverts even?
TV Executive had to cancel this chalet when he did not get it for free

Are these people real? I mean, when I went to that party way back when everyone seemed a nerd. But then again as I spoke to no-one I cannot confirm that. Anyway the Flying Sporran soared down from the clouds last night to Castle Howchow resort near Khon Kaen – and flew into a storm.

This delightful beach resort, yes it’s got a beach and swimming area right in the centre of North East Thailand, was billed as the venue for the Thai-Visa.Com 10th Anniversary.

It was easy to tell the Thai-Visa members. They were the ones furtively looking around to see what the other ThaiVisa members looked like, hedging their bets to decide whether to join the party or claim they were just passing by on a touring holiday.

The word Germans and parties don’t seem to go together, Brazilians, Italians, Poles, Russians, yes, even Scots, yes, but that may just be a prejudice borne out of years of indoctrination about a stereo-type. You know as in – we know who is always up first to book the sunloungers by the pool.

Actually about 40 people turned up to find that their hosts, George Anderssen, Barry Main and Reiner Rossler were no shows because the party had been actually cancelled by them.

The reason for the cancellation of the party was apparently because the numbers were insufficient .

At least that’s the last minute message below put out by Reiner on Thai visa cancelling the party, which was apparently being held to thank ThaiVisa members for their support during the last year.

And when people started writing in to protest – Thai Visa did what it usually does in a jam

“Poppycock!” said resort owner Briton Howard Roscoe. “Their intention was to make money out of their members and they decided they could not make enough. They were getting everything free and then charging for it.”

Anyway Howard, a dedicated follower of The Flying Sporran, stepped forward and still offered the venue for free to those who turned up, plus a meal and three free beers each for 200 baht each, which seemed like a very good deal.

So why the row? Well, after Thaivisa approached him and he offered his venue for free, the list of demands grew more and more. Could Thaivisa bring its own food (It was being supplied by a sponsor)? Answer. Yes. Could they bring their own drink? Answer. Yes.

Below is is how TV were negotiating:

And this is what Howard had to provide.
TV asked could they also have the run of the kitchen? Could they supply three free rooms for George, Barry and Reiner? Would they take out a banner ad for the resort on Thaivisa?


Later he received an email from Reiner stating that Thaivisa only wished to support people who supported them and he cancelled the trip for the three executives. That’s a rather euphemistic way of saying ‘Íf you don’t give us cash..etc’.

A furious Mr. Roscoe said: “It was quite outrageous. They had quite clearly never held this event in a hotel before and the thought of them taking over the kitchens would never be considered. What hotelier would?

He’d offered his hotel venue for free and was now being asked to pay for it AND supply free rooms for TV royalty.

This is his edited response: 

As I
said at the out set I am prepared to let you host your Party here on 20th
October 2012. I did not agree to any Barter Deal as you suggest.

may bring your sponsored Beer,Cider,Vodka, Soft drinks plus your own food.Our
kitchen facilities are for our Hotel use only but should you wish to bring your
own cooking equipment, be my guest.

“From our yesteday’s conversation in skype, I understand that
you have 20 people for the Friday dinner, which I translate to 10 room bookings
for our weekend package right? This shows me that the promotion on our website

have 3 rooms booked for “Your Thai Visa Party” weekend package,
 including your good self, (but not including George or Barry) plus 2
rooms booked for the Sat. evening, of which I personally sent out invitations
to the both of them. “This shows me that “your” promotion on
“your website” didn’t work”.

you do seem to have 30+ persons coming for your “FREE” 200 Baht per
head TV Party on the Saturday night.

I do
not wish to advertise with a banner on your website. Do I make myself clear?

 All rooms are to be payed for.
if you should manage to get another sponsor for the toilet paper you are
welcome to bring them as well.



He said afterwards:“I’m not a fan of Thaivisa. Why should I take out an advert with them as well as supplying the venue for free. I dont want an advert on Thaivisa.”

Still as our pictures show, the TV guys, many of whom had travelled long distances to get there, seemed to have enjoyed their time at the resort. The Flying Sporran has of course protected their identity in accordance with party policy.

Those two crates of Carlsberg never arrived by the way but I am sure they have found a good home.

Another Thai Visa 10th anniversary party is promised for Udon Thani.  Don’t forget your Ipad’s and phone cameras.

Footnote: Despite his fears the boss at the Howchow Castle Resort describes the guests as all really nice people. Some did not seem to be too pleased with the TV executives, so I guess they should at least be sent a crate of beer each. I did not recognise any names of the more extreme members of the forum so I guess the internet warriors are too busy behind their computers to go to a party.

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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