The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) (in Thai, สมาคมวิทยุสมัครเล่นแห่งประเทศไทย) is a national non-profit organization for amateur radio enthusiasts in Thailand. The organization is founded under the royal patronage of the King of Thailand, and qualifies as a charitable entity pursuant to a Thai Ministry of Finance declaration. The organization was founded on August 22, 1963 by a group of amateur radio operators who met at a restaurant in Bangkok. Among the first orders of business was to address official objections to the communications of radio amateurs in Thailand with amateur radio operators in other countries. The RAST represents the interests of Thai amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners before Thai and international telecommunications regulatory authorities. RAST is the national member society representing Thailand in the International Amateur Radio Union.
Amateur "ham" radio operations in Thailand are permitted via an examination in the Thai language for Thai nationals and others who may be permanent residents OR via a reciprocal awarding of a Thailand license based on the presentation of a valid license from a few other countries (the list includes USA and is expanding; consult the RAST web site for the latest list). Each reciprocal agreement must be arranged via treaty between Thailand and other nations. Licenses have a five-year term, renewable. The international assigned prefixes for ham call letters in Thailand are HS and E2; numbers and letters are added behind these letters to identify each individual licensee or radio club (example: HS0AC and E20AAA). There are about 300,000 licensed operators in Thailand, but only a couple of dozen operate on the HF frequencies; the others utilize the 2 meter band.
RAST holds monthly member meetings the first Sunday of each month in a Bangkok venue. Guests are welcome. Officers and Board Members are elected regularly and hold two year terms.
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