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Blind Man In Bangkok



I first started writing this piece back in June 2015 and as often happens, I never found the time or inspiration to go back to it, until seeing a few Tweets in the past week about how tough Bangkok is for the disabled.

The issue is a hot topic right now due to the legal battle with the BTS by a group of people who are wheelchair-bound to have all stations fitted with lifts allowing easy access to the network.

Being disabled goes much further than being stuck on four wheels, which is what many first think when they hear the word.

Blind Man In Bangkok

In my home country I am legally blind. I have roughly 8% the vision of a fully sighted person. I don’t use a guide dog, although entitled to one back in Jockland, no white stick either and don’t require braille to read.

There are several problems with my peepers including oculocutaneous albinism, OCA2.

Oculocutaneous Albinism

The most common type of albinism, is caused by mutation of the P gene. People with OCA2 generally have more pigment and better vision than those with OCA1, but cannot tan like some with OCA1b. A little pigment can develop in freckles or moles. People with OCA2 usually have fair skin but often not as pale as OCA1, and pale blonde to golden, strawberry blonde, or even brown hair, and most commonly blue eyes. [Source: Wikipedia]

The fun stuff doesn’t end there as I also have congenital idiopathic nystagmus.

Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus

Children are born with this condition. This is what Congenital means. Idiopathic is a medical word used when nobody understands the cause of a condition. Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus may occur by chance but it often runs in families. One parent may be affected and other children may also be born with the condition.

And that old saying things come in three’s is spot on when it comes to my mince pies as we have some Astigmatism to top it all off.

That’s Stickboy. Or as my mates back home call me, Stevie.

The vast majority of people who meet me have no idea that I’m as blind as a bat and that comes from years of adapting to a condition I was born with. I’m not allowed to drive or do certain jobs but beyond that I just get on with life and do my best not to let my poor eyesight get in the way of what I want to do.

What I can and cannot see is a nightmare to describe and there’s no easy examples to give.

Now I’m not writing this looking for sympathy – that’s the last thing I want and you can stick it where the sun don’t shine if it crosses your mind. I just thought I’d share what it’s like to live in Bangkok from the point of view, or lack of so to speak, from someone who is partially blind, or “visually impaired” for the PC plonkers out there.

cluttered streets

So what’s it like to live in Bangkok as a “blind man”? Well, not much different to anywhere else really.

I bet I’m not the only one who has busted their ankle on a dodgy footpath, which is probably the #1 hazard for me. I’ve went over on it a few times and been holed up for weeks after tripping on a broken pavement.

Avoiding getting hit by a motorbike on a footpath isn’t as bad as you might think as I usually hear the motorsai madmen coming before I can see them.

Dodging around hot pots and pans filled with fat always has me walking slower as does the rain. Mix both and I’m looking for an alternative route or a tuk tuk.

Getting around Bangkok is easy despite not being able to drive, however, when I stayed down in Phuket for a short period it was a nightmare due to the lack of public transport and ripoff taxis.

I can’t read Thai as the nature of the language with far less spacing like English plus the tone marks etc make it impossible in normal daily use such as a reading a newspaper or book, street signs, menus and such.

I’m unable to read many signs or menus in English anyway so again, not much difference there but frustrating at times as it would be handy.

street signs

One recurring problem I face is people thinking I’m an ignorant twat.

Only last month I walked past one friend who called me over for a chat only for him to tell me four other friends were sat behind us not 3 meters away. Embarrassed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. On the other hand it’s a great excuse when I do see someone I’d rather avoid. 555+

Bangkok is a crowded place and that means I’m not gonna see you in a crowd or somewhere with lots of movement. Walking down the street my attention is on where I’m walking, not on those around me.

At night or in a bar this becomes ten fold and this is when I’m out most as I avoid going during the day like the plague to keep myself out the sun. Ten minutes and I’m burning like bread stuck in the toaster. I do go out in daylight hours, just not very often and most times I’ll wear a long sleeved shirt.

I’m sure others with poor eyesight “see” things differently to me when it comes to living here but it’s all about your outlook in life – I get on with it and make the best of the hand I was dealt. I could be sat back in Scotland taking government hand outs, feeling sorry for myself and living a life full of doom and gloom.

F**K that.

Stickboy aka Sticky Boy aka Mike McKay aka Mike McKwai, Wild Mike, Magic Mike, Mr Mike, and a fair few more best forgotten, is a party animal with hollow legs who loves music, current affairs, beer, food, causing trouble on Twitter, and making the most of life without worrying too much about what people think or say about his antics. You can send him stuff here -

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A Night Out At Tartbox



A Night Out At Tartbox

During the dry spell when there was no beer to be had Artbox at Sukhumvit Soi 10 turned into a popular spot as refreshments were available.

It wasn’t only refreshments that were available but there was also the potential to meet ladies for some short time shenanigans as there was simply nowhere else for working girls, or those short on money and an itch to scratch, to meet men with some cash to splash on a bit of horizontal mambo.

Artbox didn’t really take my fancy when a few mates had said they were going but on Saturday night they decided to drop by for a beer and a bite to eat before moving on to the Neon Alley. I caved in and decided to join them.

Having taken a wander around buying food and parking my arse close to the stage I soon came to the conclusion the sign out front needed changing from Artbox to Tartbox.

I didn’t see the security guard at the gate on cleavage duty but there must have been one as everywhere I turned all I could see was tits hanging out on display for all to see and admire.

One lady with massive melons came close to a wardrobe malfunction on several occasions as she bounced around from stall to stall with all the bloke’s eyes popping out as she passed their tables. This woman wasn’t shy and was more than happy to show off her assets.

I spotted a few familiar faces in the crowd who normally ply their trade on Soi 4 too, and yes, they were all showing off the girls like it was a competition to see who could show the most.

One thing to keep in mind if you do decide to go for a nosy and chance your arm is not everyone you see there is looking to hook up. It really is a mixed crowd so watch out you don’t get a slap for making an indecent proposal to a group of girls there to have a drink after they’ve clocked off from the office.

Will Artbox continue to be a pick-up place for ladies of the night in the future?

Who knows with bars and other nightlife venues starting to reopen there are more choices of where to go man hunting.

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Opening Night At Nana Plaza Was A Blast



Opening Night At Nana Plaza Was A Blast

July 1st was the day many owners and customers had been waiting for since the middle of March when entertainment and nightlife were allowed to resume.

My plan was to visit all three bar areas to see what was going on and share it here on the website and do a few updates on social media.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry as the saying goes and that’s exactly what happened. My whistle-stop tour became an adventure in Nana Plaza and boy, did we have ourselves a grand old time.

With some bars deciding to wait until after the long weekend with 2 dry days we had ourselves a list of 9 bars to visit and we kicked things off in Morning Night.

As we progressed through the outside beer bars to Stumble Inn, Big Dogs and K&S our entourage started rapidly growing in numbers.

There were lots of happy smiling faces in each of the four beer bars we visited and a decent amount of customers around too.

Time to venture inside Nana Plaza where you are asked to check-in via the Thai Chana app or alternatively sign in with your name, time and mobile number, at the entrance. Masks are required and once you’ve had your temperature taken and offered hand sanitizer you’re good to go in less than 30 seconds.

First up was Spanky’s for me while some of the guys opted to check out Twister BKK.

As you would expect, the middle floor house of fun was crushing it. Spanky’s was rocking and almost full when I popped in. Happy days.

My aim was to make sure we visited every bar that was open so it was a quick drink and a catch-up with all the usual suspects on and off the stage before moving on.

Next stop for us was Rainbow 4 where we planned to meet with the boys who headed to Twister BKK. In we go and ask where’s the bell…. “mai mee”. Huh? You haven’t got a bell?

We ordered a round and a few moments later a bell appeared. Ding, ding, ding.

Lots of cuties to keep me busy but to be fair, it wouldn’t have been difficult to spot some eye candy as the owners had filled the bar with at least 100 dancers.

It was the same story in both Rainbow 5 and 2 plus Twister BKK. All those bars had no fewer than 100 girls dancing. That’s a lot of chrome pole crumpet to choose from.

The man who appeared with the bell in Rainbow 4 was on the ball and accompanied us to Rainbow 5, formerly Twister Bar, before we all moved downstairs to Rainbow 2 which was heaving with dancing dollybirds. I fell in love at least 5 times in the hour we were there.

One for the road in Twister BKK which I missed on the first visit and damn, it was like Hotties R Us.

It’s too easy for me to get in trouble. I’m weak but there was no monkey business for old Stick last night.

It was burgers and bed after a great night out with the boys.

Hats off to all the bar owners who jumped in on the first day of opening who made a fine effort. As the week goes on more bars will be opening giving you even more choice and by the middle of next week, the whole Plaza will be open again.

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It’s Not A Race



The race to be number one is as old as man but in modern times, in a fast-paced world of news and social media things are at an all-new high when it comes to being “first”.

Sure, it feels great to be first with a scoop but it can come at a cost as most news outlets and reporters have come to learn in recent months with COVID-19 coverage.

Desperation to announce the latest coronavirus numbers before anyone else each day became a talking point on Twitter back in March as reporters banged away on their phones and computers as the stats were released.

Mistakes were made almost daily, corrections added later but in truth, not a care was given by any of the guilty parties. All that mattered was they Tweeted the stats first, even when they were wrong with one so-called journalist sharing the previous days numbers that were never corrected. She simply didn’t realise what a cock-up she’d made of it.

Not A Race

In the past few weeks, the same scenario has been repeated with news outlets desperate to be first with booze news and information on easing of restrictions.

I can’t think of one news website who didn’t run the ridiculous story of a two-day amnesty to allow people to purchase alcohol when sales were banned.

The story first appeared on Khaosod Online who sourced the story from who knows where and every man and his dog were all over it like a rash taking what had been published as fact and re-wrote the fairytale.

Did any of them bother to do a bit of research such place a couple of calls to ask a few questions to shed any light on the story, or anything else that might have enlightened them that the whole thing was a farce from the start? Of course they didn’t.

It was just too good not to publish as it was the #1 story of the day that turned out to be complete and utter nonsense.

Over and over again I have been told that I’m not sharing enough news on what is going on right now. I beg to differ.

The updates I have shared have been factual and accurate. Yes, I’ve sat back while others churn out clickbait crap as I don’t want to be part of that party.

Big news outlets get a pass when they share inaccurate stories, just look at the Bangkok Post – you all still read it and believe everything they publish despite dozens of misleading and inaccurate articles over the past 3 months.

If I was to do the same and publish something that turned out to be wrong, nobody would ever believe another word I said. I don’t have a gold “Get Out Of Fake News Jail Free” card.

And to be honest, that’s just the way I like it. Stickboy traffic and stats are great, I don’t need or want to be part of the clickbait crowd. I will continue to share news stories and information that I think will be of interest when the time is right.

It’s not a race, well, at least not for me.

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