Charlie Ruedpokanon, 29, has been in Largo Winch and Elephant White but you’ve never seen his face. Here, the professional stuntman tells us about what thrills him, what brought him from New York to Bangkok and his dream of becoming an action hero.

BK: What’s your background?
My mom and dad met in Chiang Mai before moving to work in New York, where I was born. I am their only child. My dad worked as a cook while my mom worked as a seamstress at a clothing company. I also regularly visited my relatives in Thailand.

BK: When did you think about becoming a stuntman?
When I was 13, I first saw Jackie Chan in a trailer for Rumble in the Bronx. It was only two minutes long, but I was like, “Wow.” He’s so amazing. I never thought humans could do things like this before, and I wanted to do them too. I finally had a chance to study at a martial arts school where I learned kung-fu from Shaolin masters. It’s tough and not fun at all. But what kept driving me was the will to be better. I stopped when I got into college. My parents wanted me to get a proper education before chasing my dream.

BK: When did your first stunt job happen?
After graduation, I decided I would join Jackie Chan’s action team in China so I went to Beijing to study Chinese. While I was there, Ong Bak came out in 2003, and Tony Ja was the new action star. So I came back to Thailand and got in touch with stunt people including Tony. I landed my first job, an M150 commercial, then some lakorn and movies both in Thailand and abroad. Now I am an assistant in the Jaika Stunt Team.

BK: What is your favorite action stunt?
Sky diving from a building with a sling.

BK: How much do you earn?
For me, its starts from B8,000 to B20,000 per day, depending on what the job is. I’m now doing only commercials and movies, not lakorn because I don’t like the way they work. Sometimes they told me to be there at 5am but I wasn’t needed until 3pm. That’s ridiculous.

BK: What you don’t like about being a stuntman?
If you compare stunt work in the US, there’s a huge difference in terms of both money and work conditions. Here, stuntmen, who all are so talented, have to fight for work because producers need the lowest price. Some even accept as little as B1,000. That’s wrong. They should realize that doing this will not help upgrade the quality of work here. I want all stuntmen to form a group so we can have better conditions.

BK: So why do you still love to do it?
I don’t want to be old and start thinking “Why didn’t I do this when I was younger?” I don’t want to be sorry later, so I will do it until I’m bored with it. Anyway, I also decided that if I can’t make it, or when I’m getting older, I might go to work in something that involves languages. Now I can speak Thai, English, Korean and Chinese. I will study Japanese too.

BK: What is your biggest dream?
I want to be an action actor where people can recognize my face, not just my back.


Leave a Comment

The Multicolor Shirts are back on the streets, and BK chats with their leader, Chulalongkorn medical instructor Dr. Tul Sittisomwong about teaching, death and splitting from the PAD.

My parents were both teachers so they encouraged my brother and I to focus on our studies. I was able to get into Chulalongkorn’s Faculty of Medicine when I was only 15.

Skipping grades so quickly was tough in my second year. It was really hard to understand all the technical terms in the books. I took one hour per page! But my friends and I helped tutor each other until we all passed.

My inspiration to become a doctor came when I was in the sixth grade. I got hepatitis A and fell into a coma but the doctors cured me. I felt it would be great if I could help others like this.

I chose gynecological oncology because I wanted to use my surgical ability to deliver babies or remove cancerous tumors. I wanted to be a surgeon, but couldn’t perform long operations because I had thyroid problems.

There might be awkwardness between a male doctor and female patients. But patients are ill and need help, and we will
give them the best professional treatment we can.

We always get difficult cases here because patients are sent from smaller hospitals. But doctors are not angels. We can’t solve all the problems.

It’s hard when you have to tell patients how severe their problem is.

We have to show patients that we never give up so they won’t give up either. I say, “We will try. There are ways to cure. If your body responds, you will be fine.”

The cases that always make me emotional are where the mom or the baby dies. In some cases, both die because of complications that could have been solved with proper treatment.

I see doctors as problem solvers. My brother once told me that problems need to be solved, not endured. I take that as my motto.

I used to want a professorship but now I just want to be an instructor, as I’ve been for the past 18 years. I feel so fulfilled.

My biggest achievement would be creating as many great doctors as possible. My own skills will expire in 30 years. What’s the point of being a great doctor if I don’t teach others?

I grew up with a moderate interest in politics. If someone had told me ten years ago that I would be a leader in political movements, I would have laughed at them.

I voted for Thaksin in 2001. My colleagues warned me that he was corrupt. So I promised that if he turned out to be corrupt, I would be the one to fire him, because I voted for him.

I joined the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) after seeing wide corruption in Thaksin’s government. But I left the PAD in 2010 when I felt that we had different political standpoints.

I created the Multicolor Shirts movement because no one stepped up to express what we think.

If Red Shirts ask me why I hate Thaksin so much, I ask, “Do you have time to listen to me for a while? I bet that you will hate him then.” But they don’t listen. They are afraid to accept that they are wrong.

People who accept they are wrong are smarter than those who think they’re always right. You can’t always be right.

My family was threatened with arson. But they aren’t afraid. They don’t fully support me but they can’t stop me either.

I don’t want my son to be a doctor. I want him to save the world by being an environmentalist. He didn’t agree until the tsunami early this year. He now sees the urgency.

I don’t want our children to be slaves to a few politicians’ families.

I teach my son that even though we don’t have much money, we’ve never cheated anyone. We should be proud of whatever we have.

I am not afraid of going to jail, if found guilty for the airport’s occupation. I can sacrifice myself because I know I did it for my country.


Leave a Comment

The only student of the pong-lang [Isaan xylophone] at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Music, Tontrakul Kaewyong, 19, recently snapped up an award at the Osaka International Music Competition.

What’s your background?
I was born in Chaiyaphum where I grew up and lived until the ninth grade. My father is a tailor in town, while my mother works as a nurse at a local hospital. My parents love to listen to old folk Thai music like luktung and molam so it’s been in my blood since the beginning. It also reminds me of home when I am away from my family.

How did you start playing pong-lang?
I didn’t play pong-lang at first. I taught myself to play the pin (Isaan guitar) at home before I got in a pong-lang band in junior high. Though I was a drummer, my eyes still watched the other instruments’ every movement. So I kind of knew how to play many instruments, just not very well. I didn’t have a chance to play pong-lang until I entered the College of Music of Mahidol University. I thought pong-lang was the best instrument to use in the entrance exam because it was the easiest—and I liked it. So I am the first student to play pong-lang here.

So what are your musical studies like?
I actually study like all other students—all the basics of music, like jazz, swing, classical and more. But my pong-lang skill is special, and none of our teachers know how to play it. So it’s like an experiment for my teachers and I to explore new ways of making the pong-lang more versatile. I’m lucky that my teacher, Nitithorn Hiranhankla, really dedicates herself to help me. She even wrote a song, “Lai Ka Ten Kon,” that has a special pong-lang solo.

Tell us about the Osaka International Music Competition.
My teacher encouraged me to participate. I had to beat a hundred other competitors to be one of Thailand’s final three folk song representatives. I was so excited. It’s an open competition where people of any age can take part. In my category, we had teenagers and grandpas. I didn’t think about winning or losing when I stepped on the stage but it ended up that I won.

Why did you decide to study folk music in the city?
It’s true that you might learn more quickly if you were learning in Isaan, but I think studying in Bangkok gives you an opportunity that you can’t really get elsewhere. There are lots of good musicians out there and it still takes years for you to be known. Here you can learn new ways of playing music and create a network of those who want to take Thai folk music to another level. I am also a bassist of Mahidol band Thaitem which plays contemporary music with Thai instruments. I’m open to every kind of music.

What is your biggest dream?
I want to bring molam to more people. It only appears at Isaan spiritual events, not daily music. I want to mix pong-lang with international music as well as invent new ways of playing it. My teacher and I recently invented chromatic keys, like black keys on the piano, for pong-lang. It’s really cool.


Leave a Comment

The man behind and is also the founder of, which gets 500,000 views a day. Here, Poramate Minsiri, 42, tells us why he walked out on the FROC, how he sees today’s internet and how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance.

I dreamed of being an astronaut when I was a kid. They seemed so cool in movies. Plus seeing the world from the outside is really beautiful. You realize you’re tiny.

I taught myself about computers and wrote programs when I was in high school, but I decided to study industrial engineering at college. You should keep what you love as a hobby so you can enjoy it forever.

It took me seven and a half years to finish my degree, but I only spent a year and a half working in a company before I quit. I had graduated late and wanted to move fast. I wanted to take risks. So I knew I had to do something on my own.

I opened my own publishing company where I wrote and printed how-to computer books. It was going well until the economy crashed in 1997. Bookshops were giving me checks dated for two years in the future.

I started a Geocities page that collected different content. It became, which became the #1 Thai website. I sold it in 1999.

If you just do what you want to do, you won’t succeed. But if you figure out what people want, it will work. On, I had no direction. I just added the things people wanted.

My life felt like a failure when I sold Sanook. I had to stay on with the foreign owners for two years, draining my life in work and meetings.

I was not a good dad. I had no time to take care of my only son when he started developing Asperger Syndrome [a mild form of autism].

I quit Sanook to be with him and my wife for a year. But I had to do something else so I bought

Everyone was saying the internet was a flop but my instinct told me otherwise.
I don’t see myself as successful. I’ve had good and bad times. My life is simple and I don’t collect anything because aquiring things is an endless pursuit.

I admired Steve Jobs long before he came back to Apple and released the iPhone. He started his own business in a garage and it beat giant companies.

Facebook can change the world more than anyone can imagine. Google and Microsoft should be afraid.

I am worried about cyber bullying. It can cause suicides among teens. We need to tell people that it’s serious.

I created right after I watched the floods in Nakhon Rachasima on Channel 3 in October last year. It was really violent.

I knew that flood wouldn’t be the last and there would be more severe ones, so I called my team at Kapook to create a website that night. has 500,000 views each day. People are craving information, and there’s no centralized source of knowledge.

My life is so busy right now. I’ve had three meetings today and I’m really tired. I wouldn’t be this busy if government administrators did their jobs. I’ve spent nearly a million baht of my money running the site. I want to wake up and have nothing to do. It would also people are safe.

My Thaiflood team volunteered our services to the Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC) at Don Muang. We hoped FROC would agree regular citizens and representatives of the private sector could help, too.

I finally walked out of FROC after seeing that they were essentially ignoring us and that we’d just become their mouthpiece. It was better for us to leave and work in our own way.

People have given up on this government already. No one trusts them anymore.

Thailand doesn’t have a culture of accountability. When was criticized for its content, even though it wasn’t showing anything illegal, I stepped down as head of the Thaiwebmaster’s association. But our leaders will never do that, even though so many people have died because of their mistakes.

My grasp on technology is deteriorating. New generations are smarter, but they don’t have experience. So we have to guide them in doing the right thing.

You can’t change the world on your own. I will continue doing what I believe in, but I hope others will join.


Leave a Comment

Featuring a group of gay friends, travel show Tei Tiew Thai on Bang Channel is a big hit on cable TV and Youtube. BK catches up with two of the hosts Niti “Pompam” Chaichitathorn (left), 30, and Tachakorn “Got” Boonlupyanun, 26.

BK: How were your respective childhoods?
I grew up without friends in my neighborhood because everyone hated our family. My dad would kick the neighbor’s dogs because they would shit in front of our house. So I spent most of my time watching TV at home. I loved game shows more than cartoons. Doraemon was the only cartoon that I could watch because I didn’t get the humor in other cartoons.
Got: I am the only child of my family. So my dad really loved to spend time with me and nurture me. But when he noticed that I behaved like a girl, he tried to bring me to play football and other sports but it was too late! [laughs].

BK: What are your day jobs?
I am a creative group head at Bang Channel, GMM. I have worked there for 10 years.
Got: I am a creative at Five Live at GMM. I used to be a secretary for a Chinese company but I got bored so Pompam, who was my senior at Chulalongkorn University, asked me to apply as a creative here, and I got the job.

BK: How did Tei Tiaw Thai get started?
It actually came from an idea I proposed for Bang Channel’s 2012 year-plan. They wanted to create a travel show with only one concept: fun. So I asked myself a lot of questions. What’s made other travel shows boring? The hosts go alone. Why do I always have fun when I travel? Because I go with my friends. And all my friends are toot [gay]. So I proposed the idea that I would go travel with my toot friends and my bosses totally loved it. They wanted to do it immediately and not wait. So I asked my uni friends Got and Golf [another host] to join.

BK: How does it feel, now that the show has become such an massive hit?
It’s great and really terrible at the same time. When I posted the Tei Tiew Thai teaser on my Facebook, it was shared so fast and everyone was waiting to see it. I thought, “Shit!” It was more stressful than joyful, because I worried they would be disappointed when the episode officially came out. Our video editor even got gastritis because of this stress. But our first episode got more than 100,000 views in five days. That’s very cool.
Got: I am surprised that many of our fans are straight. At first I thought, “Who’s going to want to see us? We are just toots who travel.” But now I am just overjoyed that everyone loves it.

BK: Where is your favorite travel destination?
I love Switzerland and all the nature. But it doesn’t need to be abroad. It can be our rural areas, too. Life goes fast in the city, but when I see green fields, I feel calm, like time has stopped.
Got: I don’t really have a favorite destination. Anywhere can be special if I go withfriends who make trouble and make me laugh.


Leave a Comment

Sompop Sridaranop, 57, has recently been all over the media for catching wild snakes, scores of which took refuge in people’s homes when the floods arrived. His kidneys are shot, he’s been bitten too many times to count, he does it all for free. And he has no intention of retiring.

BK: What inspired you to be a volunteer?
Years ago, a senior in my community on Soi Charoennakorn 25 got a chance to appear in front of HM Queen Sirikit to receive an honor, because he had donated blood so many times. That really inspired me to donate blood, so I could appear in front of the queen. My dream came true when I was 19. I was full of joy. I took her speech to be my motto: “Be a little bit less selfish, sacrifice for your society a little more, then we will live happily together.” I have been volunteering since then. It’s been nearly 40 years now.

BK: How did you learn to catch snakes?
I just observed others and started catching snakes myself. I taught myself about snake species and their life cycles, so I would know right away what snake it is and how to handle it.

BK: What’s the most difficult type of snake to handle?
The Burmese python. It’s big and fierce. It can bite and choke you to death. But most snakes don’t attack you if you don’t disturb them. So the best thing to do is to just stay away and monitor from afar if the snake is gone or not. For me, snakes aren’t the most dangerous creatures. It’s actually the paper wasp—it’s fierce, can attack without warning and the poison from a single wasp can kill you.

BK: Have you ever made a mistake?
Many times. The most recent was while catching a Burmese python; it was really the case of a lifetime. I tried to catch it while it was on a tree, which was really dangerous. I was bitten so many times. I got more than 200 puncture wounds from its fangs.

BK: How can people contact you?
My phone number is 089-043-8445. Anyone is free to call. When people find snakes, they call the police and the police call me. Even the Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC) gave my number to people in flooded areas, but I can’t always go. They just throw jobs at me without any support team. I don’t have a boat and a team so I can’t go everywhere.

BK: How much do you earn?
I don’t ask any money from people that I help. It depends on their generosity towards me. If it’s too far to go on my motorcycle, I ask them to pay for my travel expenses.

BK: What do you do with the snakes that you catch?
I keep them at my house before I find the right place to give them away. If it’s poinsonous, I’ll give it to Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, where they make serums from poisons. For non-lethal snakes, I just find a place to let them go.

BK: What are you doing now?
I am a caretaker at the Marine Department in Bangkok. I have been a civil servant for 28 years. Normally, I wake up in the morning and water my plants before driving my motorcycle to the office at Sipraya Road. I open up the building and take care of everything before everybody comes. I didn’t graduate from high school. I only studied till the fourth grade.

BK: Is it hard to catch snakes at your age?
As for my actual catching skills, I have no problems. But I have health problems and kidney failure. I can’t get into the water because there’s a hole in my chest for blood transfusion pipes. I just realized I had renal problems last year, when I had terrible pains in my stomach. The doctor found that one of my kidneys was totally gone, and the other was only working at 80% because of a blood clot. I am lucky that I am a civil servant and my social security covers all medical expenses. I have to have a blood transfusion every week.

BK: Why do you still continue to catch snakes?
It’s my happiness. I don’t drink, don’t gamble. My happiness is helping people. It makes me sleep well at night. I also gather people to donate blood—at least 1,000 bottles a year. That gives me the most happiness.


Leave a Comment

Napassorn “Momay” Buranasiri, 31, went from being a teen singer in the 90s to a beauty guru on popular internet TV channel iHere. As she releases her first book, a make-up how-to titled Momay Paplern, she’s already dreaming of launching an international cosmetics line.

My mom [famous singer Suda Cheunban] forced me to study music when I was young because she couldn’t bear that her daughter not be good at music. But she never wanted me to be a singer.

She threatened to tear up my RS contract if I stopped studying, when I was set to release my first album in 1998. She wanted me to do something else, not this fleeting career.

Looking back, I am amazed by what I accomplished. It was really hard work. I had to study and work at the same time. But I loved it, and I was young, so I didn’t feel tired.

I’ve never lied to myself about anything that I’ve done. I don’t see offers as opportunities to make money. I have to be happy about them, because only then I am confident that I will do a good job. I also don’t want to be a burden for anyone. Entertainment projects involve loads of people. And if I can’t pull it off, others will suffer, too.

I faded out of singing to work as a radio DJ. I had to train for nearly a year before I could host a radio program at RS, then I moved on to Virgin Hits 105.5.

iHere producer Rosie Wongsurawat [John Winyu’s sister] noticed that I could speak good English, even though I never studied at any English schools. We created an English internet TV show called Good English with Momay, but it wasn’t that successful.

I loved watching instructional make-up clips on Youtube and always did my own make-up. I found out that these clips are really popular. These women aren’t famous but they get millions of views.

We first did the show as a women’s lifestyle program called Momay Paplern but the make-up clips were the most popular, so it finally became a make-up show.
Thai girls always hire a make-up artist for their special day. But can’t you be pretty every day? I try to give tips to girls so they can be pretty by themselves. Just a couple of good pieces of cosmetics can make you shine.

I also have “enough is enough” moments where I will go out without make-up. It’s because I am too exhausted. And I want my face to take a rest.

I buy every cosmetic piece I use, and try it on myself, so there’s a lot of credibility. It’s important to screen products for the audience because they will use my test as a reference. I won’t let any product on-air if it’s not good enough, though people try to pay me to do that. I would be rich by now if I accepted all the money I’m offered.

Beauty with awareness is important. I never want to have white skin because I know that I am yellow.
We live in a commercial world where we are fed with images of beauty that make Thai girls desperately want to be light-skinned.

I don’t like the Thai education system. Good education isn’t just about giving you knowledge but also about giving you an idea of what you want to do in your life. Thai kids just hear that you have to study so you will be successful, then go to famous universities so that you’ll have successful lives. But it’s not always true.

I love to read and collect books. Books are the only media that don’t disturb you while you’re absorbing the content. Not like the internet and TV, which always have something popping up to distract you.

I force myself to travel twice a year. I love to travel alone. My favorite destination is New York. I go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art every time I visit. I can spend days in there.

Travel gives me peace of mind. I wish Bangkok would have more museums and galleries. It’s just full of malls.

I dream of having my own cosmetics line and I want to do it globally. I know it’s going to be hard but Anna Sui or Bobby Brown wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t started somewhere. I hope to do it in the next five years.


Leave a Comment

The Design for Disaster group researches elegant solutions to the messy problems of human and natural disasters. As the collective gets an (eerily prescient) exhibition at BACC, we catch up with its head, Vipavee Kunavichayanont, 32, who talks about turning fear into action.

BK: How did your interest in design and architecture grow?
I studied arts but I always loved architecture. I did my masters in interior design but realized that the inside and the outside of the structure can’t be separated. Then I finally studied architecture in the US before moving back to Thailand eight years later.

BK: What about disasters?
I lost my only sister when I was 11 years old. She drowned while trying to save her boyfriend while on a volunteer project. I am now an only child. And I’m still scared of water. The tsunami in 2004 terrified me. I dreamed about huge waves moving inland while I was trying to run away. I would always end up dead. I had to keep asking myself if it was real. Also, I got all those emails that Bangkok is going to sink. It made me paranoid. When I came back from the US, there was a huge construction project near my house It made the whole house shake. Once, there was a heavy rain storm outside, too. It made me imagine awful scenarios for Bangkok.

BK: How did Design for Disaster come about?
I changed from being afraid to wanting to confront the problem. I decided to study disaster management at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). The program was about how to handle situations like earthquakes, floods and wars. I created Design for Disaster (D4D) as my thesis project two years ago. Making people realize that disasters are close to us is the most important thing. The problem is they either don’t believe that it’s going to happen, or they just accept it as unavoidable. We need plans to protect ourselves or at least mitigate the impact of disasters.

BK: What will the apocalypse look like?
The great threat in Bangkok is floods and political conflicts like we saw last year. Another one is the threat of earthquakes in the West. But even though our designs come from the fears that Bangkok might be at risk, we can apply our research as a model for other cities. No matter what the disaster is, there are always some similar problems, like food and water shortages.

BK: What are you currently working on?
I plan to make a guide book that comes from our design competition “Tong Rod” (Need to Survive) which contains ideas on adapting things in your house when you’re trapped in a disaster. You can find more information at

BK: Do we stand a chance?
This flood incident has made people more aware and we can now build an “immune system” to prevent things like this in the future. It has also convinced me that everyone has different skills, so you should use your particular skill to help people. Running this project has been exhausting but the generosity of those willing to help others is really inspiring. It’s good to keep things going, because when people see others doing good, they will join this force and know there are other people who are doing good things with them.

BK: Isn’t it too late? We are sinking, right?
Yes, but Bangkok for me isn’t just a place. It’s an abstract idea. It’s an infrastructure where creatures and things live and share cultures and histories together. So Bangkok doesn’t have to be here. If it wants to be safe, it should go somewhere else. Don’t stick to the land you’re on, it’s sinking. Remember, you are just a speck of dust in the universe. You don’t have to adhere to anything.


Leave a Comment

Recently made famous for imparting clear and useful information on Youtube about Thailand’s floods, Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation secretary Sasin Chalermlarp, 42, talks to BK about what really pisses him off and his mission to protect our forests.

I grew up in Ayutthaya and always saw lots of water during flood season. I was used to it and enjoyed swimming in the floods with friends.

I really wanted to study journalism at Thammasat University but I got a quota acceptance at Chulalongkorn’s Science Faculty. I chose to study geology because I loved the outdoors.

I had the chance to become a professor at Rangsit University because they needed someone to teach basic-level engineering. I didn’t plan to work there for long but ended up staying for 13 years.

I still wanted to work in the environmental field. So I tried to establish environmental projects that brought me into contact with people in the field, including the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation where I later became the secretary. It has been eight years now.

I quit teaching to be a full-time activist because I realized that a professor couldn’t change things as fast as an activist. I also missed the outdoors.

I work every day, even on my day off.

It’s been nearly a decade like this but only those close to me know.

I did clips on Youtube because I wanted to show people what the situation was. I had been driving back and forth from Bangkok to the jungle every week and noticed that the amount of water was tremendous. Administrators had failed to communicate that we had to brace for it.

I’m pissed off that they didn’t warn people, including my family in Ayutthaya, to prepare for this flood. They knew it was happening in Nakhon Sawan for a month but failed to warn the people and the industrial sites in Ayutthaya. People were still working when the water arrived. It was really at the last minute that I managed save my mom before the water covered everything.

I investigated the possibility of flooding in Bangkok with Rataya [chairman of Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation] who used to be a city planner and the chairman of National Housing Authority. We found out Bangkok would be flooded for sure. So we put up a clip on Youtube hoping it would reach at least a hundred people. But it actually got hundreds of thousands of views.

I wasn’t prepared to be famous. I don’t like my life right now. I’ve become a public figure, and it’s too hectic. I love working for society, but I didn’t expect it to be this exhausting. I’m too old.

Some people might be skeptical about my credibility and whether I know anything about floods. I might not be an expert about water control but I’ve worked in natural resource management for a decade. Plus I have direct experience of this flood. I just want to share what I know.

This flood disaster has taught us the lesson that you have to learn how to live in the Chao Phraya plains alongside nature.

I don’t want to be anything else because my hobby is my work. Now I spend more time on Facebook because it’s a good channel to spread news about our foundation. I try to update my page every day.

You don’t need much stuff to live. I spent only 15 minutes moving things in preparation for the coming water. I try to limit stuff like clothes and have only five each of shirts, jackets and trousers.
My job is my only inspiration. I am not rich but I have a happy life with my girlfriend.

I actually love the sea even though I work in the jungle. I love coral reefs and to sit in the sea. But I also love to stay in the jungle because of its serenity. I love to sleep on a hammock and wake up to the beautiful sounds of the jungle. It is really alive and changing every day.

I am a big fan of Nga Caravan [Surachai Janthimathorn, the writer and musician]. His lyrics are very deep. They tell you how to live and what your mission is as a human. I now plan to establish a Surachai Janthimathorn foundation dedicated to his life and work.

My biggest dream is to make the natural resource management in Thailand’s western jungles a model for every jungle in Thailand. It’s 5% of the land in this country and includes six provinces: Tak, Nakhon Sawan, Khampangpet, Uthaithani, Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi. If I can save it, that’s a big enough accomplishment.

I might write books or songs after I finish my work with the foundation, things that I have long been interested in.

The foundation's Youtube channel is here.

Read about the Thai Floods 2011's other Youtube sensation, Roo Su! Flood.


Leave a Comment

An instant hit on social networks, Roo Su! Flood (Know & Beat the Flood) was the first clear explanation of Thailand’s floods to gain a mass audience, making its point with scores of big blue whales dropping on Thailand—and Bangkok. Soon, government media was broadcasting the clips, too, and the series grew to six episodes (as of now). Here, we speak to the clips makers, Kriangkrai “Ping” Wachirathamporn, and Tawatchai “Au” Sangthammachai, both 26.

BK: So who are you guys?
I am a film director—I directed Puen Mai Gao—and a freelancer in all kind of video production works.
Au: I have long been in the fields of non-governmental organizations but I recently opened an advertising agency doing commercial for social campaign.

BK: Why did you create the clip?
We went out to volunteer like making sandbags or packing stuff but I wondered, “Can’t we do something more than this?” We studied communication arts, we have potential help people who are drowning in a flood of information.
Au: I helped the TPBS TV channel with the citizen news center for the floods. They said they had problems about the flood of information. They wanted to take this information and digest it for people to understand all the info easily but they had no time to do it. After I told Ping and my friends, we were really eager to volunteer our time to do this so we start working on our first episode on Oct 21, and released it on Oct 25.

BK: What was the biggest challenge?
Time. We have to work against time so we gathered more volunteers (about 20 by now) who can do animation to help us make more episodes. We planned to cover five points: make people understand flood situation, explain how to take care yourself, how to live with water, how to give to others and what is the effect from the floods. The clip actually came out quite late but we did our best. We stopped working when the water reached our headquarters in Ladprao.
Au: Other important thing is to present the correct information with no bias. We only present facts to make people understand the whole situation in 5 minutes. People don’t have the patience to watch something longer than that.

BK: Why chose a whale as the symbol of water?
It’s really hard to get people to see a clear picture of how much water is flooding us right now. Experts keep saying that it is 10,000 cubic meters, which is tremendous, but people don’t know how big that is. We saw this clip about the nuclear disaster in Japan where they used little turds. But we need something very big, like the Titanic or mammoths, but whales are the cutest—and it’s the biggest animal in the world.
Ping: I thought of my mom, she doesn’t know what 10,000 cubic meters water. But the whale made her see it clearly. We didn’t expect that the whale would be so famous. At first, we just thought it’s a character to support the main character.

BK: You say, “Don’t follow social media too closely or you’ll get information overload.” But your clip spread thanks to social media.
We don’t want to bar its use. We’re just saying, please use it carefully. Don’t share something baseless, for example. Social networks are great but you have to use them properly.
Au: Social media is like a knife. If you cut yourself, it hurts. If you use it the right way, you will get the right information.

Their Youtube Channel here.

Read about the Thai Floods 2011's other Youtube sensation, Sasin Chalermlab.


Leave a Comment