I was amused to read in Voranai Vanijaka’s Bangkok Post column recently that he gets lots of mail from foreigners moaning about Thailand. 

He retorted, of course, that while foreigners may complain they still keep coming back because of what the country has to offer.  And except at peak violence time more and come come every year – And he’s right.

So here today, Songkran water gun and flower pot at the ready, is one of Thailand’s new arrivals from Briton’s West Country, where tourists are known as grockles as in….

“The seagulls are a real problem because all the grockles feed ’em chips all summer. – “Heads up, grockle in the shop!”  and “I want to take out these grockles with a sniper rifle.”

His name is Colin Clowes, He’s 34-year-old and has a record for drugs offences which would have had him strung up or shot in many Asian countries. But he has found a welcome home in Pattaya.

Although he has done serious jail time for drugs in Britain, he is happily hanging out on the eastern seaboard, because of course nobody ever asks.


On his last arrest in Plymouth, Devon, he was jailed for just 40 months for possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply.  At the time of his arrest in 2009 he was out on licence from prison having been jailed for dealing in cocaine.

This time he was dealing in heroin. He was caught with 176 grams with a UK street value of £8,772, said police. That’s about £50 a gram.

When police searched his home in Moon Street, Bretonside, they found another £3000, which of course they confiscated as the proceeds of crime.

Plymouth Court was told that Clowes had been jailed for four years in 2006 at Chester Crown Court for possessing 103 grams of cocaine with intent to supply.

Clowes had been returned to jail to serve his full sentence up to January 2010, plus another three years  four months for the heroin offence.  It’s hard to say if he has reformed but judging by his pictures, his mates have done the rounds

His counsel put up a hoary old defence.  Emma Birt, reported the West Briton , claimed Clowes had left “The skeletons in his past came to stay.”

She claimed ‘old associates’ put pressure on him, demanded he pay back his old drug debts or else ‘he and his family would be hurt.’

Seems like the skeletons in his past have come to stay again.