Saturday, January 31, 2009

DAT Celebrates Obama Inauguration with a HUGE crowd at the Roadhouse

Democrats Abroad Thailand invited members, friends and colleagues from America and around the world to join the historic celebrations of the Inauguration of President Obama and Vice-President Biden. Some 900 people came through the doors at the Roadhouse at some point in the evening (according to Chef Dana) and the restaurant ran out of glasses at one point - attesting to the thirst for drink AND celebratory excitement that overwhelmed all those who assembled. The third floor of the Roadhouse, with monitors blaring, no doubt started to resemble the packed atmosphere of the Mall in Washington -- except that we were spared the freezing temperatures! All the Thai-English Obama shirts were gone in a frenzy, and the special Obama Inaugural mugs were also snapped up -- though we still have a few boxes left of those, so get in touch if you are interested. But the best thing of the evening was the sense of camaraderie and common purpose, to take back our country with the best leader we could find, a truly international President -- who I am confident will make us Democrats Abroad quite proud.

Here are some photos from Lance Woodruff, DAT's long-time member, collaborator, activist and photo-documenter.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Service Outage Fixed -- New Team on Duty

Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of
the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize
for our 2001-2008 interruption in service.

The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has
been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4.
Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now
operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on
January 20.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look
forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

DAT Day of Service at Pak Kred Babies Home

Thanks to Brian Thomson and many civic-minded DAT members who participated in the DAT Day of Service to collect supplies and deliver them to the Pak Kred Babies Home in Nonthaburi. You all embody the spirit of unity and service that Obama is calling us all to fulfill!

Here is their report from the visit, courtesy of Dr. Donald Persons.

Just wanted to take a note to record what we did yesterday.

Democrats Abroad (Thailand) Donates to Local Babies Home

(Sunday, January 18, 2008, Sala Ya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand) A group of people in the Bangkok area recently gathered at the Pak Kred Babies Home in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand to distribute donations and to get to know firsthand about the needs of this home for abandoned and orphaned young people. Brian Thomson of Democrats Abroad (Thailand) organized the event wanting to turn the recent election of Barack Obama into something more concrete by actions for communities where Americans live in Thailand. A large quantity of rice, powdered milk and diapers were received from both Thais and expats in the greater Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom areas.

Another Democrats Abroad member, Anita Simone, is an active volunteer at the center and can vouch for the needs of these 1-5 year-old infants and young persons whose parents in these difficult economic times might not be able to afford to raise the child at this time. Some children’s parents had personal or family crises. Some of the children were abandoned at nearby hospitals or were left on the street in hopes that someone would pick them up. What is most important is that they receive loving care and protection from adults. A child cries because they have been poked, pushed or lost an object to a fellow child. Who will be there to help? So Anita is an example a new and growing breed of socially-engaged Americans in the world.

Although the gifts will be of use to the children, the staff at the center and our own team’s observations concur: there are deeper needs at this center and at similar homes for children throughout Thailand. For example, the number of children per staff person or volunteer needs to be reduced from perhaps 15 down to about 5 children. Personnel and activity rotation is needed to reduce burnout. Incentives such as scholarships and continuing education to overworked and undereducated staff would be of particular help to increase knowledge about early childhood care and learning. Management seminars at local universities and outside auditors could also help the operation in policy and implementation levels to continually improve how it uses its resources. Parental and economic coaching could also be helpful for eventually putting some of these children back under the care of their biological parents. Some adoptions have been done from overseas parents wanting children; however, Thai adoption of children is not so common.

One thing is for sure: the current economic downturn presents huge challenges to an already overburdened orphanage system. So it will require people to stand up in an impossible situation and say: Yes we can! This is the inaugural event of a movement that has come to Thailand through its American expat community.

Monday, January 19, 2009 Dr. Donald S. Persons Reporting

Sunday, January 18, 2009

DAT Inaugural Events in Bangkok and Chiang Mai on Jan 20 evening

Be part of a worldwide celebration as Democrats Abroad gather for the swearing in of our 44th president, Barack Obama!

Join fellow Americans in Thailand to watch our new president take the oath of office at our DAT Inaugural Celebration on Tuesday, January 20th at the Roadhouse Barbecue in Silom (map available at So far nearly 100 people have confirmed their attendance!

We’ll be there from 8:30 PM onwards with campaign clips from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live, in addition to a special message from outgoing DNC Chair Howard Dean to Dems Abroad. The Inauguration ceremony itself will take place between 10:00 PM and midnight (Bangkok time), with plenty of coverage of the parades and other events leading up the formal swearing in.

We’ll also have two white DAT t-shirts for members to sign that we’ll be sending with our best wishes to President Obama and Vice-President Biden at the White House.

Our popular Thai Obama t-shirts will be available, as well as a limited supply of commemorative Thai Obama inaugural mugs!

For those in Chiang Mai, inaugural festivities will kick off at 10:00 PM at the UN Irish Pub (24/1 Ratvithi Rd. 053-214-554).

Please RSVP to if you can make it. We look forward to seeing you there!

All the Best,

Phil Robertson Jr.
Chair, Democrats Abroad Thailand

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Drop-off points for donations -- DAT Day of Service for Pak Kret Orphanage

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to President-elect Obama’s call for a day of service! All of us can help play a part to help the new Administration highlight community service at a time when many, both at home and here in Thailand, are feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

Your enthusiasm is making it possible for us to start collecting of donations of goods which will be delivered to the Pak Kret Babies Home, an orphanage housing newborn infants and young children. What better way to show our host country that we mean it when we say that we want change?

Remember that the orphanage needs specific supplies--please no cash donations. Here is the list of items that they need:

1. Dumex brand infant formula 1 and 2
2. Small and medium sized disposable diapers
3. White rice

We have five drop-off points in Bangkok and the surrounding areas, please choose the most convenient one and bring your donation. Those of you attending the inauguration ceremony will get a chance to see photos of the children and how the donations are being put to good use. We will also post photos on the Bangkok for Barack Facebook site and the DAT blog.

Drop-off points:

Asoke Area: Tom Van Blarcom
TQPR Thailand
3rd Floor Rajapark Bldg.
163 Sukhumvit 21 Rd.
Klongtoey-Nua, Wattana
Bangkok 10110
Tel. 0 2260 5820/Fax: 0 2260 5847-8
download map here

Nana Area: Anita Jennings
BT Residence, Apt.26d
10 Sukhumvit Soi 8
(Nana BTS exit)
Mobile: 087-907-7907
Please tell security that you have come to drop off a donation. They will show you up to the apartment.

Silom Area: Dana Caron
Roadhouse Barbecue
Corner of Rama 4 and Suriwong Roads
Tel: 081-837-6855
* Saturday 10AM to 10PM only

Nakorn Pathom: Don Persons
Mahidol University
Condo B
Cell: 083-696-5414

Nichada Thani: Wendy and Tony Banbury
39/373 Nichada Casa
In Nichada Thani
Home: 02-960-3373
Cell: 086-904-1627

There is a slight change in departure time from Mor Chit Station on Sunday the 18th. Instead of leaving at 10:00 a.m., we now will be leaving at 9:00 a.m. This should give us one hour to visit with the children before their 11:00 a.m. nap time. Let us know if you will be joining us for the delivery and so that we can make sure that we have enough vehicles.

If you have any questions contact Brian Thomson at or 089-927-1986.

Phil Robertson

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama Call to Community Service -- Thailand Event on 18 January

Friends and Fellow Democrats,

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”—Barack Obama

As you may know, President-elect Obama has requested that part of the Inauguration celebrations include a community service activity to coincide with Martin Luther King’s Day. The global Democrats Abroad has taken up this call, and DAT is committed to doing our part!

To support these efforts DAT is collecting donations for some of Thailand’s most vulnerable citizens—the orphans housed at Pakkret Babies’ Home in Nonthaburi. Donations will be collected this week at several locations throughout Bangkok and Nichada Thani and then delivered on Sunday 18 January.

To make this a successful event, we will need volunteers. Most importantly we will need people who are willing to use their homes or businesses as drop off points for donations.

Of course we will also need people to make donations. Items only, no cash please! Pakkret Babies’ Home has specifically requested the following items:

1. Dumex brand infant formula 1 & 2
2. Small and medium sized disposable diapers
3. White rice

People who are interested in coming with DAT to the orphanage to deliver the donations are more than welcome as well. The trip is highly recommended; it could be the most heart-warming experience you have in the New Year. We will be leaving from Mor Chit BTS station on Sunday 18 January at 9:00 AM, returning to Mor Chit around 4 PM. Volunteer drivers are welcome as passenger space is currently very limited.

Volunteers, please contact Brian Thomson at or call him at 089-927-1986.

Phil Robertson
Chair, Democrats Abroad Thailand

Thursday, January 8, 2009

DAT Inaguration Celebration at Roadhouse -- 8:30 p.m. -- 20 Jan 2009

DAT will be holding an Inauguration Celebration on Tuesday, January 20, to welcome our new President, Barack Obama, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Roadhouse Barbecue in Bangkok (map at It’s free, and all are welcome! Come to cheer with your friends and fellow Democrats and share all the excitement of the parades, crowds, ceremonies, oath of office and the (soon to be) President Obama’s Inauguration speech that will be showing live on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Roadhouse.

The official Inauguration schedule (see website states that the official Inauguration ceremony will start at 10 a.m. in Washington, but there will be plenty of news coverage prior to that, because as many as 3 million Americans are expected to travel to Washington, D.C. for the celebration, making it possibly one of the largest public gatherings of Americans ever. By law, the oath of office must be taken before 12 noon (i.e. 12 midnight, Bangkok time) and following the Inauguration speech, the official Inauguration parade will start, taking us to right up to closing time in Bangkok.

DAT will also have our "greatest hits" of political humor and videos (courtesy of Elizabeth and Andy Boname) running on some of the monitors as the Inauguration approaches. To get us in the mood, and keep us hoppin’, Chef Dana is promising a roast beef special and other delicacies who want to come eat, plus 100 baht margaritas all night long. He is also promising to invent a special Obama cocktail for the night, which will be available at a special price, but won’t reveal the recipe just yet!

A limited number of the Obama Thai-English t-shirts, and other DAT t-shirts, will be available in exchange for a donation to the organization, which will make sure we are able to be one step ahead to get out the vote for mid-term elections in 2010 and beyond!

Please RSVP if you think you can make it to the historic Obama-Biden Inaugural watch party by sending an email to

Phil Robertson
Chair, DAT

The Inauguration ceremony schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 20th - Inauguration Day
The President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families will participate in the traditional inaugural ceremonies and events. For the first time ever, the length of the National Mall will be open to those wishing to attend the swearing-in ceremony. Festivities will commence at 10 a.m. on the west front of the U.S. Capitol and will include:

* Musical Selections: The United States Marine Band, followed by The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
* Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
* Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
* Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
* Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable John Paul Stevens
* Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
* President-elect Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
* Inaugural Address
* Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
* Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
* The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"

After President Obama gives his Inaugural Address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House with groups traveling from all over the country to participate.