Thaksin Shinawatra told supporters by video from Dubai on Sunday that, "I will return" - apparently the big surprise he promised on his 60th birthday.
But he put no time limit on his promised return to Thailand, and did not say whether he intends to face the conviction, jail sentence and various pending charges in the justice system.
A real surprise was still possible. A second call-in was scheduled for late Sunday night by the fugitive ex-premier.
Red-clad supporters of the fugitive politician, including his brother-in-law and former premier Somchai Wongsawat, took part in a merit-making ceremony at Kaew Fah temple in Nonthaburi.
Thaksin made the brief phone-in address from Dubai. He thanked the red shirts for making merit for him on his birthday, and hoped he would return to work for his supporters in the country again.
Tulsie's Live Blogging of being made a fool of by Thaksin
It is fascinating how Thaksin from exile can play the Thai media like a bunch of fools. The greatest weapon Thaksin has is the stupidity, laziness and gullibility of the Thai media. The Thai media has this sick and parasitic relationship with Thaksin. They can't surive without feasting off this beast. The great irony of this relationship is the day the Thai media stops reporting on Thaksin, that is the day Thaksin loses all his power. But the Thai media has a co-dependent relationship with Thaksin. Thaksin is a like a drug they can't wean themselves from.