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Stickman

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  1. I didn't know there was any interaction between Stickman and Stickboy anywhere. If there is, I don't know about it i.e. in other words it's not me! As for the backstory of Stick Uncensored, that will come out in due course. I think it's pretty obvious who is behind it. Sad story really as serious mental health issues - which were widely known before any of this happened - are probably a big part of it.
  2. Hi Coss, More than happy to meet up when I am next up in Auckland (or if you should make it down to Napier, by any chance). I've joined the Cult Of Khun Sanuk so it might have to be a coffee....yeah, I've given up alcohol. It wasn't a conscious decision , rather something that just happened. I found myself only drinking when I was in Thailand and never here in NZ and I found that I just sort of lost the taste for alcohol. Last drink was February last year. Before that it was several months earlier. It looks like Omicron is in our lives for the next several weeks. I had planned to come up to Auckland but will put if off until we're past the worst of Omicron. Mid to late-March I should be up your way. Are you still in Beachhaven? I'm a former Glenfield boy and most of my mates are still on the Shore.
  3. The Who, Where & Why? Stick Uncensored Jan 16 Welcome to the very first Stick Uncensored Newsletter, the all-new weekly round-up of what's going on after dark in Bangkok and beyond. Thanks to each and every one of you for subscribing, unlike those that went for the free version meaning an empty inbox this fine Sunday. The Who, Where & Why? Everyone with an interest in Thailand's naughty nightlife scene has been guessing who is behind Stick Uncensored with many fingers pointing at Mike “StickBoy” McKay following his sudden departure from the Land Of Smiles this week or was it last? When he left depends on which version of the stories circulating right now on the barstools of Bangkok you choose to believe. According to the owner of Stick Media, Paul Hayward, the StickmanBangkok website was “hacked” which was a change in direction after he took to the Nana Plaza bar owners Line group last Monday accusing McKay of sabotage claiming “Mike had been a long term sufferer of mental health and alcohol abuse. This is clearly another serious mental breakdown but worse than the ones he has suffered in the past.” From what we understand McKay was furious telling close friends this was the final straw and he was done with it all. All Stickboy social media accounts either vanished or were renamed, however, at this time his website remains online and accessible. You might have picked up on in the paragraph above was the use of the word “we”. That's correct, unlike years gone by when updates were done by one man, this newsletter is a collaboration involving four contributors and an outside editor based in the USA who pulls it all together making it readable and coherent. Two of the team are based in Bangkok, who are on the ground 7 nights a week, and will keep you informed of what is really happening in Bangkok without any filters. The other two contributors, based in Europe and Oceania, will bring a wealth of knowledge, insight and opinion using a combined 35 years involved with the Bangkok nightlife scene. The reasoning behind the launch was out of frustration at how stale nightlife coverage had become. Paul “Stickman” hasn't updated the website since January 2021 following ongoing bar closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic that led to the owners being unable to sell advertising thus no money in the bank to pay his 70,000 baht monthly salary. Mike “Stickboy” was in bed with almost every bar owner and under the direction of Hayward so said nothing but nice things, which as we all know isn't how real life is. Dave “The Rave” returned to England and to be honest nobody noticed as his output was so infrequent and unreliable. Steven “Bangkok 7” is nothing more than a sexpest who doesn't venture out of Patpong. GoGoHopping is just regurgitated articles on 20-year old topics with other contenders such as Bangkok Nights and Chrome Crumpet merely photos of hot Asian women, many of whom aren't even Thai with absolutely zero news or updates on the goings-on after dark. With the blogging scene in dire straights, it was decided by all involved via a few Zoom calls that now was the time to bring a new horse to the race. Not that it is much of a race. One further point needing mentioning in this introduction is the accusations Stick Uncensored is a scam or fraudulent. SubStack, which provides the platform to publish, is a long-established company in the publishing field as is the payment processor they work with Stripe who had revenues of $7.4 billion in 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substack https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stripe_(company) That is the who, where and why. What’s Going On? *** Suzie Wong reopened this week following a covid cluster that saw a number of ladies plus the manager Liam and mamasan test positive. *** To enter Soi Cowboy punters must take an ATK test priced 120 baht if they are unable to show proof of a negative test in the past 72 hours. Testing starts at 6 p.m. This practice has killed Cowboy as many are concerned a test showing a positive result will see them hospitalized for 14 days and out of pocket 100k plus for the pleasure. *** Those willing to take the test can expect to pay 190 baht for a small size bottle of beer if they visit Bacarra. Even during tough times, they don't let up on inflated prices which is extraordinary considering customers are sat on the street in plastic chairs. *** Still on Soi Cowboy, The Dollhouse finally were issued their SHA certificate and reopened with no fanfare at all. More like The Doomhouse. *** The late-night place to go right now is 8 Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 8 who have a soundproofed upstairs area that is jam-packed 7 night a week with closing time around 4 am. To enter you simply speak to the dishevelled looking Thai man stood in front of the half-closed shutter but he might tell you “closed” if the police are still on the street checking bars are following orders by closing sharp at 9 pm. *** Today Bar at the mouth of Soi 8 have decided they want a slice of the late-night pie and are transforming their second floor into a drinking den which seems rather bizarre as it's where the toilets, girls lockers and office are. Could you find floor space for any more than four tables up there? *** Covid cases in Soi 4 and Soi 7 bars remains rampant with selfish owners bullying staff into keeping quiet in a bid to remain open. This has been ongoing for weeks now, so be warned. *** Talking of covid clusters, it is interesting that Playskool in Nana Plaza closed after an outbreak yet not a single sole from Twister BKK, The Beer Garden or Lollipop caught the virus. A Nana Miracle? *** If you like ladyboys, get yourself down Soi 7/1 as the small bars are bursting with the third sex. *** As one might expect, business in Patpong is dire. The majority of go-go's are closed and those open unable to draw a crowd from across town. *** Bully's on Sukhumvit Road will be back soon with the renovation on the bar, which now has a 24-hour fitness club as a neighbour, getting underway. *** Soi 11 is a shadow of its former self with the street deserted even on a Friday or Saturday night. *** How long can the bars in the complex on Soi 7 last? The authorities are keeping a close eye on what's going on down there and some bars that have been told to close have six-figure rent obligations. Yes, the rents are crazy stupid for what is nothing more than a shed with filthy communal toilet facilities and ridiculously over-priced lady drinks. Final Thoughts In the Stick Uncensored intro, we published a list of article titles that will be coming up in the weeks and months ahead. This week will see the first of those published but which one would you like to read first? Do let us know as we plan to publish the first THIS WEDNESDAY as a bonus newsletter. Until this Wednesday, thank you for your time, all feedback is welcome. Best, The Stick Uncensored Team
  4. Yes, I sometimes wonder when we'll get the chance to go back. I'm quite happy leading a quiet life here in New Zealand and if I was in Thailand these days my life really wouldn't be that different to how it is now- we'd be in a house in the suburbs leading a quiet existence there too. I know a lot of people who used to read my ramblings have emailed me over the past year to say that they don't have any plans to return. It's less about Thailand, more about themselves. What we dig today might not hold great interest tomorrow.
  5. Perfect subject line, that really says it all!
  6. Someone who subscribed sent me a copy. None of the articles mentioned promoting it were included. Just an introduction about the 4 people supposedly behind it along with some current nightlife news and gossip.
  7. To be 100% clear, this is NOTHING TO DO WITH ME or the owners of StickmanBangkok.com. (For those who don't know, I sold 2/3 of the site in 2015 and then the whole site was sold to a third party on 2018. I was paid to write the column from 2018 until a year ago at which point updates on the site stopped.) This newsletter is the work of a disgruntled former employee who has gone rogue. It has nothing to do with me, the founder / initial creator of StickmanBangkok.com nor does it have anything to do with the current owners.
  8. It must be disappointing to have cancelled but it's probably the best thing to do. Unless one has really pressing reasons or urgent need to travel, I think now is a good time to stay home. With a bit of luck Omicron will mark the end of the pandemic and once restrictions have eased and all of the testing and quarantine is behind us, travel will be much more palatable.
  9. I took the "green route" elevated path across the park which takes you over the expressway and dumps you at the north-east corner of Lumpini Park. Then I would walk through Lumpini Park down to the Silom underground and go under Rama 4 to Silom. Did it many times. Believe me, I am no fan of crossing the road in Bangkok!
  10. I, like many people, used to enjoy the park for my daily exercise. With downtown Bangkok being a concrete jungle, the park was a very pleasant environment for those of us who like to walk / run / cycle / exercise outside. Some people prefer to lift weights in a gym, I prefer to take a long walk each day - and for that the park was perfect. Not sure about the traffic crossing you mention - but you can walk from Asoke to Silom via the two parks with a mix of pedestrian overbridges and underground stations without having to cross any roads - or at last you could when I was last in Bangkok which, admittedly, is 2+ years ago.
  11. I walked through that park literally thousands of times and can attest that before 8:00 AM weekdays and 10:00 AM weekends and after 5:00 PM most days it was busy with a lot of people out for a morning walk or bicycle ride around the park. There were A LOT of regulars who exercised in the park and you'd see the same people at the same time everyday. I used to go for my morning walk there everyday from 2009 - 2015. I'd also sometimes cut through the park and cut across to Lumpini and down to Silom, especially at the less hot time of year. In the middle of the day it is quieter, obviously, with few people about due to the heat. But for sure, Benjakitt Park had quite a following and I imagine V2 will be even more popular.
  12. Happy New Year to all. Here's hoping that things improve quickly and that Omicron really is the beginning of the end of the pandemic!
  13. I'd consider approaching the operators of Nana Plaza and offering the domain name to them. They have deep pockets and I imagine they'd be interested, even if only to tie up the domain name so someone else couldn't acquire it. In terms of the big picture, I don't think it's a domain name that will have value forever so if it were me, I'd consider selling it.
  14. Yep, it just seems that the notion of a return to a degree of normality is getting pushed further and further out, which is kind of depressing. It really seems like most of the world needs to be vaccinated and we hope that the vaccines don't need to be tweaked to fight new variants until this will all be over. How long will that be?
  15. Out of curiosity, what percentage of Western retirees in Thailand do you reckon own their own home, be it a condo or a house (which would obviously be either in someone else's name or under a company's control? I guess those who are married or in a long-term relationship would have a higher ownership rate. It would be interested to know what the numbers are amongst retirees who have lived in Thailand say 5+ years. I said to a good friend a few years ago that he should buy a condo in Bangkok. He loves Bangkok and would never consider leaving - and he particularly liked living downtown. He had never considered buying but rents were going up and he didn't want to be forced out in to the suburbs so he looked in to buying and found a great place for a decent price. He got lucky with a 60 odd square metre apartment a short walk from the Rama 9 underground station for 2.7 million baht. It was a steal.
  16. The possibility of a 10 million baht minimum for house and land is crazy. Even in Bangkok 10 million baht buys you a lot of house (although not downtown, obviously). Out in the suburbs you can get a nice, new property in a good development for between 6 and 10 million baht. Yes, you can spend much less than this, of course - but once you get north of say 7 or 8 million baht the developments start to feel a little bit more exclusive (although anything genuinely flash will cost multiples of this amount). And in other parts of the country obviously you can get a lot more house for a lot less money.
  17. Sorry to go off on a tangent but I heard that the main guy who runs the Patpong Market died a few months back and the future of the market is uncertain, even when visitors return. And yes, I agree, what a sight the setting up of the Patpong Night Market is!
  18. Back in Bangkok? Oh, gosh, that won't be for a long time.....best guess is some time next year. Almost certainly won't be this year. Always happy to meet up.
  19. You own those two domain names? They'd be worth something. Probably not huge money, but still a decent amount, I imagine. Planning on doing anything with them or just going to hang on to them?
  20. My feeling is that bloggers will slowly become a thing of the past as more and more people move over to YouTube and become vloggers. Some of the vloggers get more views in the first 24 hours of posting a new video than sites like Stickman get across the whole site in an entire week. As for the relationship between Stickman and Stickboy, it is complicated. I can't say too much as I signed an NDA so forgive me for sparing a lot of details, but what I can say is that the person who bought Stickman was not Stickboy.
  21. Thanks for the kind words. Dana has been suffering from cancer for some years. From what I understand, it started in the prostate and then spread. I have not heard from him in several months but the prognosis was not good and last time I heard it was terminal. (I wouldn't normally talk about someone's health issues but Dana has been remarkably open about it, hence I mention it.)
  22. In recent years it really was a hobby that paid and filled in a few hours in the day. I was in a groove, had a decent network of people on the ground helping me out and it was easy to put out something reasonable each week. Stopping, even for a short time, loses momentum - and means a comeback becomes more difficult. If I was a betting man, I'd say I won't be back. I say that for a combination of reasons but ultimately, I think it comes back to the state of the industry and viability of the site. I won't do it for peanuts and that means the owners need to sell a decent chunk of advertising each month to pay me. Given tourists won't likely be back in decent numbers for some time to come, it's hard to see it happening. And I am totally cool with that.
  23. Despite what was written in that last column, I think the chances of making a return are slim. It was a nice run and nice to get another 2.5 years writing the column but my best guess is that I won't be back. And I am cool with that. Let's face the truth: It is daft that I guy living in New Zealand who hasn't lived in Bangkok since early 2015 was writing a column about expat nightlife. Of course, I gave it my best shot every week and did everything I could to remain relevant, but there is only so much you can do when you're 10,000 km away.
  24. Currently only New Zealand citizens and holders of resident and permanent resident visas can travel to New Zealand. Pre-Covid - and I presume post-Covid when the border opens up, anyone who has the skills to fill one of the many jobs on the "skills shortage category" can apply for a work visa. If a Thai can show they have the skills needed, they can apply for a work visa. Nursing is one of the major skills shortage areas....but there are many! Minimum wage in NZ currently is $18.90 / hour and will increase to $20 / hour in April.
  25. I spent a couple of nights at the "Jugendherberge" (spelling?) in Dusseldorf in the early '90s. I don't remember a great deal about the city but I do remember Koenigstrasse as apparently being one of the swankiest shopping districts in all of Germany. I would later learn from a German friend in Bangkok that there is something of a rivalry between Dusseldorf and Cologine, where he comes from.
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