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It’s Always About The Tea Money



Having just read the Bloomberg bollocks syndicated by the Bangkok Post and some of the comments that have followed, such as this one, it is time to knock these tea money tales on the head.

Every time a story crops up involving the police or army and the nightlife industry it’s ALWAYS about the tea money to most people when they make a comment on any given story or update, when in reality extra donations seldom get mentioned by the boys in brown or green when dealing with venues and businesses in the popular farrang bar areas on a day to day basis.

Monthly fees are negotiated when the owner takes over and paid accordingly on the agreed date or dates of the month.

Now unless someone is doing something wrong and get caught with their pants down then a contribution may soften the punishment, which is how the system works at any level of illegal activity in any business across the city and not unique to the nightlife sector.

(I’m not counting the copyright cops and the like here, only the people owners and managers deal with on a regular basis)

I’ve sat here and racked my brain and can’t come up with one instance where I’ve heard someone has just shown up out the blue at a pub, club, go-go bar or late night street bar demanding an extra payment let alone inform the owner of an increase in monthly dues.

On the other hand I have heard of monthly payments being reduced when those new to the game have been played in the initial negotiations and as soon as they find their feet come to realise they are paying over the odds and ask for a reduction, which is given with a shake of the hand and a smile.

tea money tales

The Bloomberg article is based on one anonymous street bar owner saying payoffs have risen 75% since the military took control. It doesn’t even mention which of the redlight areas the bar is based but leads the reader to believe the go-go bar it sits alongside is illegal. Now, unless the mobile bar was set up on Sukhumvit Soi 23 near the one and only go-go bar I know of in the city without a license to run such as business then suggesting it is illegal due to prostitution couldn’t be further from the truth as go-go bars are licensed and legal.

Of course, what goes on in some, such as topless or naked dancing, is against the law but that is certainly not the case in the majority of bars in 2015. Those days are long gone and way before May 2014 too may I add. Just take a walk around Nana Plaza’s 20-odd bars and tell me how many have dancers showing? On any given night it isn’t that many because Lumpini come down hard on those that do flaunt the rules. Stick your head in over 75% of Soi Cowboy go-go bars and you’ll see dancers in skimpy outfits covering their modesty. Nudity let alone sex in go-go’s isn’t the norm.

sukhumvit street bar

As for the lady having to make three payments a night to be able to run her illegal bar business lets remove the “fixer” from the equation as this is misleading. The “fixer” isn’t fixing anything, he is the guy paid a few hundred baht a day to haul the mobile bar along with the tables and chairs in and out of storage which is included in his fee. One of the payments is rent, yes street bars pay rent. And then we come to the “bribe”, a term I’ve never heard anyone use, that costs what? 3-4,000 baht a month for a late night Sukhumvit bar. A breakdown of monies incurred by a street bar that was up for sale are listed here as a quick reference.

When the military hit all the massage shops around Sukhumvit 22, 24 and 33 in late November last year and shut them down for 24 hours out of nowhere, the majority online were shouting loud it was all about the money. It had nothing to do with money and the average 20,000 baht a month contribution made by the happy ending shops remained unchanged as it did in February when officers from Thonglor hit the same shops ordering early closures. No increases or extra envelopes were asked for. Again, the tea money touts were in full voice when it simply wasn’t what the crackdown was about.

massgae shops bangkok

Bars in and around Nana that I know of pay from 7-12k a month and they all close on time. Some bigger bars will perhaps pay a bit more. Late night venues that stay open til the sun comes up pay big bucks that run to seven figures a month for some. It is that type of venue, and only that type that I know of that contribute serious cash to the pension fund.

Go-go bars pay varying amounts depending on which area but lets take a public figure of 45,000 baht a month for a ground floor Nana Plaza bar that was on the market until recently and has since been bought over that is down as “security” in the list of expenses. A fairly typical figure I have heard from all three popular nightlife areas, although, some will no doubt pay more and others less.

If payments, bribes, tea money, call it what you will, had really risen by 75% since the military took control as the article claims, I’d have heard about it long before now as there is one thing about bar managers you can always count on as a sure thing and that is they love nothing better than a right good moan.

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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My Week Off Was A Washout



I turned 50 last Monday and the plan was to work all day then, later on, celebrate with my missus and a couple of close friends before taking a few days off to relax and do something other than sit in front of the computer all day and night.

This plan was carved out on Friday night and Saturday morning.

All weekend I had my head down putting together a skeleton schedule on social media for my planned time off to keep things ticking over, just at a trickle.

Then on Sunday evening, the entire plan fell apart in one small but sudden movement.

lazy dog

I did my back in and the pain was excruciating.

Despite feeling like I was getting tasered every time I moved I cracked on with the social scheduling on Monday and went out as planned.


By Wednesday I could hardly move. I tried walking, laying down, heat pads, a massage thingy for your back… no dice.

A few packets of pills from the doc started to ease the pain but coughing or sneezing left me on the verge of passing out in pain.


Over the weekend with lots of pills and laying flat out on bed relieved things somewhat but what a wasted week.

I did nothing and went nowhere.

So here I am, back at my desk having had the longest period of time off since November 2019 when I flew back to Scotland for a few days and no better off.

One word sums up my week off – washout.

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No Twitter, No Problem



Facebook is the dominant social media network with far more users than the likes of Twitter but with more users comes more rules and for Stickboy that has been an ongoing problem for the past 7 years.

In February 2020 Zuckerberg & Co pulled the plug on the original Stickboy Bangkok Facebook page that had gained 60,000 followers.

25,000 photos, 1000’s of videos and endless hours of work gone in the click of a moderators mouse – well, it is their site and their rules which I tried hard to follow but it was impossible with the haters and keyboard warriors reporting all the posts and AI technology used by Facebook incorrectly marking content as offensive.

Stickboy On Twitter

This has made the new Stickboy BKK FB page rather dull and boring plus it isn’t as easy to share others content on the platform like it is over on Twitter where they are far more relaxed with their rules of what is and isn’t acceptable to post.

The problem is a lot of people aren’t interested in Twitter or just don’t get it so followers of Stickboy end up missing out on some great content and conversations shared on that platform that just isn’t suitable for Facebook.

As a way to give readers choices, I have published a page here on that lets you see my Twitter feed without the need to download the app and sign up for an account.

I have also done the same for the Stickboy Babes Twitter account that doesn’t exist on Facebook as the risk and chances of getting banned are far too high.

So there’s no need to miss out on any great content being shared somewhere you aren’t interested in or signed up for.

No account needed, read right here on the Stickboy website

Stickboy Bangkok Twitter

Stickboy Babes Twitter

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: 5 Things Expats Love To Boast About



Bangkok is bullshit central as far as I’m concerned – it always has been and it always will be. It matters not where you work or socialise, your fellow expats in vast numbers tend to talk utter crap, usually about themselves.

There’s no stopping them and what I’ve listed below are only a handful of the things expats like to boast and brag about with 99.99% of it nothing more than a figment of their imagination.

5 Things Expats Love To Boast About


If you are here in Thailand legally what difference does it make what visa anyone else is on?

Well, to some a great deal as it happens and anyone on anything they deem a “lower status” option than theirs shall be looked upon and treated like shit on their shoe.

Yet, many claiming to have their house in order are the ones disappearing over the border every three months… because they just love Cambodia so much.

Who They Know

Name dropping knobheads are everywhere and there’s no escaping them.

Do you know such and such? I bumped into blah blah the other day. Yeah I’m pals with the owner of XYZ.

My answer in these situations is always, “Nah, sorry I don’t know many people here” and to be fair, that’s a true statement. I don’t know many people here.

The chances of me knowing some guy who put on a show in an unknown venue located down a sub soi in the arse-end of Sukhumvit Road are about slight to none much the same as me knowing the owner of XYZ.

But they are super well known in Bangkok… well, I live under a rock with a tiny population and that’s just how I like it but good for you on having such a well-known and well-connected network.

Speaking Thai

They will talk to fellow expats in Thai and then pull a face when you don’t respond – we are both native English speakers you fud so what’s with the Thai?

Then we have those who “think” they can speak the lingo when at best they can tell the taxi driver left and right on the way home but that doesn’t stop them making a complete fool of themselves with their gibberish.

So you can speak some Thai, good on ya, but you aren’t alone, there are plenty of foreigners here who have put in the effort to learn the language but there’s a time and a place but chit-chatting to me in Thai isn’t one of them.

Wife / Girlfriend

Her heritage and social standing will be mentioned in the first breath of manure coming out their mouth about her being Thai-Chinese, or is it the other way around?

You will quickly be informed of how she is the only child of a super-wealthy hi-so family who owns half of Thonglor.

In their head this makes them believe they are superior to anyone foolish enough to date an Isaan native.

And what usually makes this funnier is they aren’t dating some super-rich chick at all but some wannabe WAG.

But why spoil the fun by pointing out the obvious? Let them carry on with their foolish fantasy.

Their Latest Money Making Idea

And the most important part of the title is “idea” because 99.999% of these dreamers who harp on about the millions they are going to make with their amazing money maker never ever get around to putting their big plans into action.

They spend all day, and night, talking and do absolutely nothing.

And it’s funny how they always need a “partner” to get it off the ground.

Right, Stick is outta here before we get to how long they have lived here, the millions they are earning a month, how much champagne they drink, the fantastic job they have, how successful they were back in farrangland… and please don’t let me ever meet another special forces guy.

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