Just talked to my wife about the past. A time where I could talk to the Captain of a 747 ( a bloody Brit), if it wouldn't be possible to stay in his cockpit for a few minutes. I can fly tiny Ultra light planes and we had a short chat when he wanted to know my name and told me that I'm welcome to join them in the cockpit. License is gone by now and I'd have to do a lot of paperwork in Europe to be able to fly again....Okay. Past ! About 20 minutes after take off, I went to the first class compartment, the Steward immediately telling me that I wasn't allowed to stay there, but I told him to tell Craig ( the pilot) that I'm here, waiting to get inside the cockpit. I've heard "Craig" telling the guy to let me in, and that I'd be his "mate.". Then I'd spent about three hours in the cockpit, we made plenty of jokes and he showed me some instruments, explained some stuff, that the left fuel pump will replace the right in case of a malfunction and vice versa. And a lot laughter. It was nice to see the Captain being a great guy and I was on my way to Bangkok, he flew for an Arab airline, sad that Royal Brunei Airlines doesn't offer their very cheap flights anymore. Kerosene was for free, I guess. Then in Pattaya, I only paid 500 baht for the one I wanted to stay with for 24 hours, of course plus a few baht for the bar, the food was great, Ko Samet still a nice place with luxury bungalows ( big enough for 10 people) for 500 baht/night. No electricity at night was much better, not too many people, clean beaches and it was something I'll never forget. Plenty of great musicians in Pattaya and I really fell in love with that place. I had some Thai friends, one of them a great guitar player I often hang out with. It was a nice time I wouldn't like to have missed. Then a speed boat trip from Ko Samet to a neighboring island, I still remember a weird German who freaked out that his wife smoked a little pot there. But everybody on this island, also the cop who's waiting for us and welcomed us, was part of the "rolling guys". I tried my best and could create a few fat ones that made quite a few people happy. That was maybe 16 years ago. I made the mistake and went back to the island with my wife and son and all, I mean all had changed. And I did realize that many things had changed, but not in a positive way. The 500 baht bungalows from before were 5,000 baht, weird wannabe Rastafarians with fake dreadlocks everywhere, similar to Pai these days. Pai was also a little paradise. The first foreigner who opened up a restaurant with great food was a German guy, really okay and he all in a sudden disappeared. Like so many other nice things in LOS. We spent a lot of money and even when we took squid back home, the price had skyrocketed. Living in Pattaya 16 years ago, there's no doubt about that I'd go for it. But now, it seems to be a different world. I guess that I'm not alone starting my trips in Pattaya, what about you? Any stories would be great. Thanks a lot in advance. BTW, I've never inhaled that stuff.