Street Talk Enter the fanatical world of Apismai Rojanasheewa, 53, a retiree who now spends all her free time demonstrating her love for artist Tol AF4 by wearing green and following him around the country. She tells us why she does it and offers some tips on how to be a proper fan.

BK: How did you become a member of his fan club?
My family all love music and I play the guitar. I watch every season of Academy Fantasia and I liked AF4 most. I developed a real crush on Wanthongchai “Tol” Indharawatra. I was just amazed by his talent; he is the first singer or celebrity that I become devoted to.

BK: How did your family feel about this?
All my family, my husband, my brother and my mom, also love him. My mom used to get up early just to watch him on the reality show every morning. We saw him 24 hours a day so we felt like he’s our little brother or son.

BK: What did you used to do for a job?
I used to be the manager of a private company before I took early retirement last year. Now I’m just a housewife, taking care of my mother and following Tol.

BK: How much money did you spend voting for him by SMS?
More than 5 digits.

BK: How did you keep up with what Tol’s up to your artist?
There are a lot of fan websites like or the Harrypottol room at We also have a production fan crew that captures every event that he goes to, but we make sure that we never intrude into his personal life.

BK: How has your life changed after developing a crush on him?
Other than following him, I have also been able to make a lot of new friends. We do good things together like making merit, and we eat out or travel together when we follow Tol out of town.

BK: What’s the qualification of being a fan?
Your family has to understand what you’re doing and you have to know your limits. Following an artist is not easy. It costs you a lot of money. I used to follow him to three events per day but I’ve never gone abroad like some of the other fans.

BK: Have you ever meet him in person?
Yes and he’s a really nice and honest guy. He treats his fans equally and is really strict about his fans’ behavior: no drugs and no playing truant just to come and see him. We also keep an eye out for each other and how we behave.

BK: What do you want to say to other fans?
You can be crazy about K-pop or J-pop but don’t forget the local artists. You should really support them as much as you can.


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Son of iconic student protesters, writer, actor, activist and musician Wannasingha Prasertkul says people should stop being so critical and get more involved in improving society.

I was a normal kid trying to live up to high expectations because my parents (Sakesan Prasertkul and Jeeranan Pitpreecha) had this iconic status. Everyone admired them.

I tried to prove myself by being a rogue in junior high school, by smoking and playing hooky.

Things changed when I went to the US as an exchange student. I was transformed from being popular to being bullied. I learnt that if you change places, your identity is changed as well.

I stopped running away from my parents’ shadow. I started being a writer and started to comment on how our society could be better.

I was too rebellious to follow my father’s footsteps. So I chose to study economics instead of political science.

Economics sees the world as a system, without any bias. But too much faith in economics will make you heartless. Political science and economics should be combined to make this world better.

There are so many arguments about what’s good or bad about government. But the fact is, there is no way that any administration or politician could satisfy everyone’s needs.

Reducing the government’s role is something that everyone is currently talking about— shifting the influence and responsibility to the private sector and to the people.

Working for society doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. People can also earn a living and support themselves doing it.

I was nervous when I had a chance to interview Prime Minister Abhisit on television. I knew many people were waiting to see what he had to say. But I couldn’t get the answers I wanted, as he eluded my questions.

I don’t try to foresee Thailand’s future. What I think today might never come true, so I try to focus on things that can actually be achieved.

Do something instead of thinking and doing nothing. We don’t have to wait for politicians to change. Many countries succeed in making their society better through an active people and private sector.

My generation is staying away from politics. We are starting to do something for society on our own.

My goal is to create social-investment in Thailand—make people know what it is. But the problem is there are too few people in this circle. We are working too hard to look back and say, “Is it good enough?”

We can’t expect society to be as it used to be. Reducing the role of government by creating a self-sufficient culture will get people to stop having unreasonable expectations.

I went to the Red Shirt protest site because I wanted to know if it was true that they were all Thaksin’s people. Most of the people there were just rural folk. They all believed they were doing the right thing.

They made me realize how lucky I am. The middle class doesn’t have to struggle like them.

I stopped criticizing others when I realized I didn’t know enough. It’s better to listen to them, to try to solve their problems than to judge whether they’re right or wrong.

Uncertain things are certain. I thought I wouldn’t be changed but I was changed. I used to have a big ego and hate the world. But after seeing a lot of brilliant things and people, I realized I am no better than anyone else. Though, I still have standards to judge myself, I don’t judge others.

Giving myself a chance to learn about movies is the reason I decided to play Pol. Lt.Chart Wutthigrai in the Inseedang movie. I’ve tried a lot of things like being a TV anchor, a writer and playing in a band (Rashomon). People keep asking me to star in movies, so I thought why not give it a try.

I love to play music most. I love the way my band and I write lyrics, play, live together.

Not going to temples made me think I wasn’t religious. But the way to heal suffering as the Buddha taught. Dharma is nature.

The Pali and Sanskrit languages are the greatest wall isolating people from religion. They don’t understand why they’re praying, so more and more people see the rituals as pointless.

Understanding society is the hardest thing. I’m still at it—it’ll probably take my whole life.

Stop criticizing others, just make things real.


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A “rebel” by the Thai music industry’s standards, Phankorn “Dunk” Boonyachinda speaks of having a nice dad who was chief of police and the joy of shopping for brands.

I was an unconventional kid. I always did things that my parents never wanted me to do like dye my hair, get piercings and tattoos.

My teenage life was pretty punk. That and partying. I used to push my car out of the house then start the engine so no one could hear that I was sneaking off to go out.

My dad is my main ally. People might think that because he’s a big policeman he might be tough, but he never scolded me once. He always backed me up.

I even had secret code with him. “Eating out at soi 38” meant I would go party that night.

My mom is quite strict but I was too extreme to follow her rules.

My rebellious thoughts may have come from England where I grew up.

I used to dream of being a chief of police like my father but I didn’t care to climb the long ladder to that position.

My first album was not really rock. It was just fun pop. Thai people, though, saw it as rock because of the performance and yelling.

England is like my second home. I absorbed English music while I was studying there. I became one of them, and that mixed in with my Thainess.

I feel repressed and blow off steam through music. I share my feelings with the audience.

I started my own record label because I am older and my family owns KPN Music School. It would be nice if we had records of our own with me as the number one artist of the label. Now I’m preparing for my 12th anniversary concert on Oct 9.

I don’t have to be afraid to make my music anymore. I don’t have to worry whether someone like Surachai Chetchotisak, chief executive of the RS, will like it or not. If I want to feature with someone, I can do it right away. I don’t have to limit myself.

I was born to be a singer. I never thought to do something else.

The music industry has had a lot of changes over the last 10 years, from tapes to CDs, from copyrights to piracy. There is both good and bad in this era.

I don’t blame anyone about the piracy problem. The records companies are the ones who have to change. You can’t expect to sit and wait for people to buy your song. People don’t buy anymore.

I’m really crazy about brand name accessories. I don’t believe in cheap stuff. Good stuff has to be expensive. You can really see the difference, especially in the materials used.

The most expensive accessory that I bought was a watch. It was in the seven digits.

My father taught me that if you want to spend a lot you have to earn a lot. Otherwise your life will be ruined.

I always wear sunglasses because of my dry eyes and myopia. I used to wear contact lenses but had to stop because my allergy medications made my eyes very dry.

Love is good but it’s hard to find someone to be with. If I can’t find the right one, I’d rather be alone. I want the perfect one. Whatever happens, it happens. Let nature find the right one for me.

I let people say whatever they want to say about my gay look. I’m happy to when I’m around friends and family. That’s it.

I don’t see homosexual people as different from others. You should judge them only on their talent and behavior.

We’re all human. We have to live on our own and do good for others.

Think pink, think positive. Happiness is everywhere. It depends on you to see that it’s all around. You have to see everything in a positive way otherwise you will destroy your own happiness and suffer alone.

I would rather be Prime Minister than Governor because of my leadership instinct. I love to be the one who makes the decisions.

Dharma makes you understand life better, makes you let go of things too, and not suffer.

Make Thailand a better place. Give to charity, make merit or anything you can do.


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Featuring members from Korea, China and Thailand, multi-national group iMe have their sights set on becoming the new face of girl pop with the release of their debut single “Aiyiya”. We join up with the one Thai member, AF3 entrant Nalintara “Sara” Hohler [second from left], to find out about life in a manufactured international pop band.

BK: How was iMe formed?
It was a co-project by three companies from three countries: True Fantasia in Thailand, DoReMi Music Publishing in South Korea and EE Media in China. They wanted to build a multi-national girl group and we were the ones that they picked.

BK: How long have you been together?
We’ve been working together for six months across three countries. First, we were in Korea for three months training how to sing and dance. It was like a boot-camp. No time to rest. Then, we moved to China to record and promote the album before coming to Thailand.

BK: What’s the biggest challenge in your group?
Language. There are at least 10 languages spoken in iMe even though we are just 5 girls! Mocika and Niki can speak lots of Chinese dialects. Mikan speaks Japanese and English. Haley speaks Korean and I have to speak English and Chinese to communicate with the other girls.

BK: How is your life over there?
It was hard in the beginning. I used to cry everyday because I couldn’t talk to anyone. But after six months, I can now speak better and feel a lot better.

BK: What’s the feedback in China like after “AiYiYa” was released?
Really, really good. Our song is climbing in so many charts. One is the radio chart which has nearly 400 million listeners in China. That’s awesome!

BK: What’s your best memory from China?
Before we properlypromoted our single, we went on this crazy TV show. It has a rule: we had three hours to ask people in some noname town to come and see our show. If we managed to get an audience of 3,000 people, they would open the stage for us to perform our concert. We were in shock after we managed to get 5,000 people to come along and cheer us in the rain. That was brilliant!


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