In 1956, Thailand created a special operations forces branch of the Royal Thai Navy which is part of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The purpose of the special operations force is to gather intelligence, surveillance, direct action, counter-terrorism and unconventional warfare. The branch’s nickname is the Royal Thai Navy Seals.
The Royal Thai Navy Seals was initially set up as the Underwater Demolition Assault Unit and was assisted by the United States. One of its specialties was maritime counter-terrorism missions and intimate ties with the United States Navy Seals, conducting regular training exercises. The headquarters of this branch was located in Sattahip, Chonburi Province in Thai (www.sealthailand.com) The Navy Seal’s commander is Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew.
A retired Navy Seal, Saman Kunan, a Petty Officer 1st class, decided to return to duty, in an international effort, to help rescue a 12 member soccer (football) team, the Wild Boars, and their coach, from the Tham Luang Nang Non-cave system (in Mae Sai, Chiang Ra. ), which was flooded, in June of 2018. The international team consisted of 127 current and former Navy Seals. The boys, aged 11-17 with their 25-year-old coach, entered the cave to explore and relax after their soccer practice, as a team-building exercise. Their coach expected to spend no more than an hour climbing into a narrow winding cave. But two weeks later, after a harrowing journey, on July 18, 2018, the soccer team and coach finally returned to the surface.
The team was reported missing until someone found their bikes at the opening of the cave and correctly assumed that they entered the cave, which was now filling with water. The team’s treacherous journey out of the cave was viewed by millions of people around the world, as international underwater cave diving experts developed a plan to escape the cave. The experts had to swim through a narrow path, sometimes having to remove their air tanks to find the children. It took two hours to move through the tunnel to locate where the children were. The rescue was hampered by the upcoming monsoons which would fill the cave with water, potentially drowning the children. It was decided to bring the children out of the cave, a two-hour journey swimming with assistance from the expert divers.
Navy Seal, Saman Kunan, had an important role to play. He had to position the critical air tanks at specific areas of the cave, to ensure that the air supply was available to provide rescue of the children, the coach, the medical personnel and to keep the expert cave divers with an air supply. All the people involved were risking their lives.
But there was one life lost, Saman Kunan, who miscalculated how much oxygen was available to him as he progressed to the opening of the cave. He gave his life to free all the children, their coach and the medical personnel. Saman Kunan was buried with full military honors. Further, the Thai Navy Seals developed a training course in cave diving.
Eddie Vedder Spreads Musical Joy: Gift of Guitars to Young Musicians in Kailua, Oahu
In a sweet gesture this Christmas, renowned musician Eddie Vedder, known as the lead vocalist of the iconic band Pearl Jam, gifted electric guitars to young aspiring musicians in Kailua, Oahu. The story was shared by Harry Koizumi, a music teacher at Coconut Grove Music, who played a crucial role in connecting Vedder with the talented youngsters.
Eddie Vedder, a celebrated singer, songwriter, and guitarist, is best known for his role in the influential rock band Pearl Jam. With a career spanning decades, Vedder has left a significant mark on the music industry, known for his distinctive voice and meaningful lyrics. Recently, Vedder made headlines for spreading holiday cheer in an unexpected and generous way.
According to Koizumi, Vedder visited Coconut Grove Music seeking the expertise of a long-term music teacher, and Koizumi was more than happy to help. During the visit, Vedder expressed his desire to choose electric guitars suitable for younger players. He went on to purchase three guitars with a heartfelt intention – to gift them to young musicians who could benefit from the inspiration.
After the guitars were selected, Koizumi reached out to three deserving students in his music program. The surprise took an even more delightful turn when he discovered that all three students’ mothers were already fans of Eddie Vedder. Koizumi encouraged them to play Vedder’s music at home to build excitement and anticipation for the surprise gift.
Following the surprise guitar delivery, Koizumi asked his students to express their gratitude by writing thank-you notes to Vedder. In a heartening twist, Vedder himself returned to Coconut Grove Music to personally deliver notes to each of the young musicians who received the guitars.
“What a beautiful blessing and a wonderful experience to be involved as Santa’s helper!” Koizumi exclaimed, capturing the joy and magic of the unexpected musical gifts.
In addition to this heartwarming story, Pearl Jam fans have another reason to celebrate – a new album from the band is on the horizon, promising more of the impactful and resonant music that has defined Eddie Vedder’s career and left an enduring legacy in the world of rock.
Playing Pianos For Elephants
In the lush landscapes of Thailand, amidst the gentle giants of the animal kingdom, there exists a unique bond between a pianist and a group of elephants. Meet Paul Barton, a self-taught piano maestro, who has discovered a harmonious connection with these majestic creatures. Through the soothing melodies of Beethoven and the artistry of compassion, Barton has transformed the lives of elephants at the Elephants World sanctuary, proving that music and kindness know no bounds.
Paul Barton’s love affair with the piano began in his grandmother’s living room and at the church, where he taught himself the art of playing. His passion for Beethoven’s compositions found a new rhythm in the heart of Thailand, where he met his wife, an artist sculpting elephants at the Elephants World sanctuary. Their shared love for these gentle giants set the stage for an extraordinary endeavor – bringing the magic of music to the lives of elephants.
For his 50th birthday, Barton, with the support of his wife and the sanctuary’s manager, accomplished something remarkable. He brought a piano into the sanctuary, where elephants who had worked for humans all their lives, often in harsh conditions, found solace. Barton felt a profound connection with these creatures and wanted to contribute positively to their lives.
As Barton played Beethoven, something magical unfolded. The elephants, known for their perpetual hunger, would pause and listen attentively. Barton observed that their breathing slowed down, a sign of relaxation and happiness. One blind elephant, trapped in a world of darkness, particularly seemed to love the music. This moment marked the beginning of a beautiful connection, where the piano became a source of joy for the elephants.
Beyond the music, Barton recognized the importance of building trust with the mistreated elephants. Many of them bore the scars of a difficult past. He dedicated time to cleaning and feeding them, gradually earning their trust. Over the years, Barton has played for the elephants approximately 150 times, creating a unique bond that goes beyond the realm of human and animal.
Notably, Barton discovered that elephants, like humans, have musical preferences. While one elephant would walk away during Schubert, they would stay for hours listening to Beethoven. Barton even witnessed elephants appearing to dance to the rhythm of Beethoven’s compositions, showcasing the depth of their connection with the music.
Barton’s story reminds us that even in the most unexpected places, love and harmony can flourish, bridging the gap between species and creating a family that extends beyond borders.
Big Plans For The Goonies House In Oregon
The well-known “Goonies House” in Astoria, Oregon has recently been purchased by a new owner who intends to keep it open for movie fans.
For decades, fans of the film have visited the house, which is located at 368 38th St, Astoria, OR 97103. Many visitors have taken pictures outside the house, and some have even climbed to the roof to reenact the iconic scene in which the Goonies slide down the chimney to escape the Fratellis.
The new owner stated that they have always been fans of the film and were thrilled to be able to purchase the house. They intend to renovate the property, but they want to ensure that it remains true to its appearance in the film.
“I have always been a fan of The Goonies, it was my favorite movie as a child, and I remember visiting the house when I was a kid. I just couldn’t let it go when it went up for sale. It is such an iconic piece of movie history,” said the new owner. “I’m excited to share the house with fans from all over the world and to give them a chance to experience the magic of the film in person.”
The new owner also intends to open the house to the public for tours, and they are currently developing a website where visitors can learn more about the house’s history and purchase tour tickets. They also intend to have a gift shop on the premises where visitors can buy Goonies merchandise.
The Goonies House is located in Astoria’s historic district, which was also used for filming. The house was used as the exterior of the Fratelli’s house, where the Goonies characters Mikey, Brand, Data, Mouth, Chunk, and Andy try to save their neighborhood from demolition by searching for the treasure of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th-century pirate.
Richard Donner directed and Steven Spielberg produced this film, which starred Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, and Jonathan Ke Quan. The film was a smash hit, grossing over $61 million in the United States and Canada, and has since become a cult classic.
Overall, the new Goonies House owner is thrilled to be preserving a piece of film history and sharing it with fans from all over the world. Visitors can expect tours, merchandise, and the opportunity to witness the film’s magic in person.
France’s 2022 Z Event Blows the Doors of Expectations
Streaming events are easily the fastest, widest way to reach the biggest audiences with entertainment today. However, the Z Event has now raised things to an all new level, boosting a charity event to one of the biggest financial donation drives ever. Combining the marketing for five different environmental causes and their non-profit organizations, the Z Event consolidated giving to an eye-popping €10.1 million.
The Z Event took a combined effort of 57 different streamers working together to pull it off. Focusing on their audiences, channel tools, and various related activities, the streamers consolidated traffic and attention on the charity drive, pushing digital focus on boosting the financial commitments well beyond previous amounts realized in earlier drives. Each year has been a record-breaking performance, so the latest one wasn’t going to be an exception from the participants’ perspective. Just from a technical perspective, the logistics for the latest Z Event took some serious marketing. Streaming is generally based on the assumption that everyone has sufficient technology to watch and listen to the event online with a browser and sufficient hardware. However, at some point the event also has to be managed to the lowest common denominator in terms of being viable, otherwise people don’t “show up” online. Doing the same with 57 plus providers as well as the variety of tools used in a coordinated fashion is still eye-popping in retrospect.
Interestingly, the Z Event has generated such a sizable audience in France, it has even dwarfed the individual industry channels. Rather than just being confined to the gaming arena, the Z Event organizers broadened their scope to include popular music channels as well as even politics. That doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges; for example, one of the charity organizations to benefit was the Goodplanet Foundation, which was reeling from earlier criticism about its operations and connections. So, to address any concerns about where the money went, participants and fans were allowed to choose the organization they wanted to benefit from the pool of eligible charities. That easily shut down criticisms and allowed the Z Event to move forward in a positive light.
Despite the biggest blowout yet in response, the latest Z-Event is scheduled to be the last in the planned strategy. No one is quite sure whether it will come back in a new format or just be repeated or done at all after 2022. Given the results, there’s going to be considerable pressure to bring it back in 2023, especially from the organizations that benefit from the sizable charity generated. However, no commitments have been made to take on the next Z Event per se.
Overcoming a Fear And Then Creating a Children’s Book With It
People are afraid of different things. Some freak out from spiders, others can’t stand the sight much less the feel of a snake, and still others go into a panic over fish in the water. However, for Amulya Vadali, her fear was rooted in dogs. It didn’t matter the breed; all dogs were a primal threat to her as far as Vadali was concerned. If a city park allowed dogs, even in a fenced dog run, she wouldn’t go near the location. As it turned out, things were going to get even more challenging in high school. Attending her AP English class at Southern Regional High School, Vadali realized not only that her teacher had a dog, but she would bring the dog to class occasionally as well. It was the worst possible combination of academic stress and
Vadali was fit for a panic attack. Looking back on the matter after the fact, she is fairly convinced that the lack of any exposure to a pet dog in her younger years had a lot to do with her fear later on. As it happened, later in high school, Vadali’s brother was able to convince their parents to have a pet dog, and with exposure to their pet, Brody, she overcame her fear of canines in general. Much of the transition had to do with being with a dog from the beginning, puppy stage to full adult. In particular, the change catalyst came in the form of a golden retriever.
Named Cosmo, Vadali’s new pet was a gamechanger for her. In fact, the dog became her best friend. She went from being deathly afraid of dogs in general to practically having to be pulled away from them. It literally was a night and day change for Vadali.
Years later, Vadali made it through college, and then she found her husband and got married. However, one thing has remained constant: her four-legged partner, Cosmo. While the dog didn’t move away with her, Cosmo still gets visits almost regularly from Vadali. Every chance possible, she’s back with her childhood pet, most often on the weekends. She spends her work days functioning as a biotech researcher and scientist, but interestingly, Cosmo has also become her muse to be a children’s book author as well.
Vadali admits she loved the idea of writing early on, remembering back as far as when she was six and listening to her father read stories. And in school classes, Vadali tried her hand at writing. Her work was notable enough to earn some good marks, which inspired her, but Vadali ultimately ended up fading away from the practice. College science classes and similar kept her so busy, Vadali didn’t think about writing at the time. It wasn’t until she was back to regular life again, settled in marriage, that Vadali began thinking about stories once more. And that was enough to spark her mind towards writing again.
So, in October of 2021, Vadali decided to take a leap and write her first children’s book. And, no surprise, the focus of the book was on Cosmo saving his sister in a big, dark and gloomy forest. Named, Cosmo Faces the Forest of Fear, the book manifested Vadali’s early fears and how Cosmo helped her overcome them so much. Using tools of confidence, perseverance and patience, Vadali’s story provided a child’s resource for understanding how to deal with fear and overcome it. The book turned out to be a hit, sells well on Amazon today, and memorializes her years of relationship with Cosmo. Most importantly, she has put into words the love Vadali has for her best friend and dog.
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