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New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-16-2004, 04:28 PM   #1
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New guy ERd in Thailand

Hey Board,

I am a new guy and really enjoy perusing the ER posts. I've read some great info here and I am always interested in other perspectives/strategies on ERing

In January 2003, at age 50, I ERd in Thailand. I love it here! Thailand -also known as "The Land of Smiles" is very ER friendly, VERY cheap and ALWAYS interesting.

Today, March 17, 2004, I am just relaxing, wearing shorts and a T-shirt and cooling myself with a gentle fan breeze... I'm never board in Thailand and I have met so many interesting people from all over the world, people thta I would not normally chat with in the USA.

ERing abroad has definately helped me downsize, afterall how much can you pack in two suit cases? LOL! And I like having minimal posessions-for the first time in my life, my time is MINE. I can be as idle or as busy as I want. I am discovering that hanging out at my apartment building pool suits me just fine, LOL!

If anyone is contemplating ERing abroad, I say "Go for it." The worst that can happen is that you will decide that the expat lifestyle isn't for you and board the next plane back to the states. Maybe you'll discover the hidden "gypsy" in yourself <grin>

Anyway, Its great to have an ER source like this. Thanks everyone!

Lance in Bangkok
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-16-2004, 05:07 PM   #2
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Hi Lance,
I am up in Chiang Mai...ever get up this way?

Billy
Web-site http://www.geocities.com/ba264
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-17-2004, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Hi Billy!

I've been to CM one time; I really need to get back up there. How long have you been in CM?

Lance, relaxing in Bkk
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-17-2004, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Lance.
I left last April, then returned in November...I base out of here..and returned from Vietnam about one week ago. If you have never "done" Songkran up here...it is worth the struggle. Really fun. That said, I plan on being in China at that time...but those are just plans...ha, ha.

You can use my email Billyakaisha@attglobal.net it would be easier.

Take care,
Billy
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Re:  Bangkok questions
Old 03-19-2004, 11:59 AM   #5
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Re:  Bangkok questions

Lance,

Congratulations on your ER! BKK is a great way to stretch it.

My wife has visited several times and we're about to make my second trip in May. We're not looking forward to the weather but we hope to get around more on this one.

We're interested in spending more time in Thailand, starting in BKK but branching out to more remote (cooler) sites like Chiang Mai. Presuming you started your ER as an American citizen, I'd appreciate whatever response you have to these questions:
- Have you taken a Thai language immersion course? Any recommendations?
- Do you live in Thailand full time or do you travel between there and other countries? How do you handle an expired visa?
- Do you own property or do you rent? Which do you prefer?
- Any other advice on our first three-month stay? Thanks!
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-22-2004, 10:32 PM   #6
 
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand


Hey Nords!

Nice to meet you!

About your questions

1)Have you taken a Thai language immersion course? Any recommendations?

Yes, I went to a tutor for three months. If you like, I can give you her e-mail address.

2) Do you live in Thailand full time or do you travel between there and other countries? How do you handle an expired visa?

I've lived full time in Thailand since January 2003. I have a one year retirement visa and I only have to report my residence to Immigration every 90 days or form the last date of re-entry into Thailand.

3)Do you own property or do you rent? Which do you prefer?

I rent. I do not speak, read or write Thai well enough to buy property here. Besides, I don't want the hassle of owning property; I jealousy guard my free time, LOL!

4) Any other advice on our first three-month stay? Thanks!

Just come over, Thailand is a great country and most expats love it here. One web site with great info is www.thaivisa.com


Look me up when you get to Thailand; its always great to make new friends and experience Thailand with friends

All the best,

Lance
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-23-2004, 11:45 AM   #7
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Lance,
A couple of basic questions.
1. How is the internet access there?
2. What are you doing for health insurance? USA company or foreign.
I lived in Hong Kong for awhile and liked that area of the world.

Did you get all your hepititisus shots? I'm not sure what letter they are up to for it.
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-24-2004, 05:35 AM   #8
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand


Hey Dex,

I use KSC Net dial up service, 599 baht per month unlimited (about $15 US @ Thai Baht 40 / $1. Broad band is also available, but I've never used or priced it.

I have no health insurance, but health care here is very affordable. One guy in my building spent a week in Intensive Care; he said the bill, including a private room, was approximately $1,000 US. I had my teeth cleaned and one cavity replaced, total bill was about $15.

Yes, I got the Hep A & B shots, because before retiring in Thailand, I worked in Bangladesh. Many US County Health Departments can give you the shots at reduced rates. Having the Hep A & B shots in SE Asia is a good idea, IMHO.

Nice to meet you and good luck in your ERing pursuits!

Lance

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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-28-2004, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Lance, welcome! I have been looking at Phuket, Koh Samui, and even Penang (Malaysia) for ER as well. I'm glad that you're enjoying your ER in Thailand. Who knows, I may see you there in 10 years.

A lot of folks have said that ERing abroad actually brought them closer to their fellow countrymen than they ever did back in the home country, and I'm glad to hear your first hand testimony to that theory. I have moved around the U.S. a lot, and I have always found I'm moving into a community of aloof strangers, no matter how much effort I put into organizing trips and gatherings. It did make leaving these places a heck of a lot easier though.

May I ask what your rent is, and for how large an apartment? Also, what's the average age of the retirees in BKK?

DEX, you can only get Hep A & B shots. There's no Hep C shot. The best source to check is with your primary physician or a travel clinic within a large hospital. You tell the clinic which country you plan to go and when, and they'll give you a list of all the shots that have been recommended by the U.S. government.
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-29-2004, 04:42 AM   #10
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Buns...
Thanks for the info. and I had similar questions.
Thanks for asking
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 03-31-2004, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Quote:
May I ask what your rent is, and for how large an apartment? Also, what's the average age of the retirees in BKK?
Hey Buns!

Sure, no problem. I pay B10,500 ($269 US @ B39 to $1), not including utilities for a room at my building in a convenient area of Bangkok. http://www.vptower.com The rent includes furnishings, e.g., fridge, ,bed, sheets, towels, tv and three weekly cleanings and bedding change.I hear that moving outside central Bangkok, one can find a decent (unfurnished) apartment (one bedroom, LR cooking area) for 5 to 8 K Baht/month.People tell me prices are lower in Pattaya; higher in Phuket. But shop around a little because the bargains are out there.

Average age of retirees here? Thats a tough one, because I see many Europeans in Thailand "retired" and in their late twenties/early thirties. Perhaps their "retirememnts" are not sustainable.. My best guess-and its only a guess- is that most of the retired Americans in Thailand are 50ish and up.

In any case, I really enjoy interacting with most fellow ERs here in Thaialnd. Yea, some folks are not friendly, but after the first "snub" I just move an and chalk it up to the way the planets are aligned.

Thailand is great-Lance gives it his personal Four Thumbs Up" WARNING: Free advice is worth what you pay for it, LOL!

All the best,

Lance in BKK
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-03-2004, 12:47 AM   #12
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

"Lance, welcome! I have been looking at Phuket, Koh Samui, and even Penang (Malaysia) for ER as well. "

Phuket, now that is a name that is appropriate for ER's....sorry couldn't resist.
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-03-2004, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Hey Lance !

Welcome and congragulations on your ER abroad ! I've heard some great things about Thailand. One of my best friends is half Thai (mother's side) and he has been there a couple of times.

More questions, if you don't mind. What do you estimate your monthly cost of living at ? I'm not too familiar with Thailand, but do you know anything about the cost in the coastal areas ? I've never been there, but would like to go soon to check it out. I've heard it's very inexpensive for americans, the people are friendly and the coastline is beautiful (and the women as well) !!

Regards Lance, thanks for posting and good luck to you !

-Pan-
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-03-2004, 01:25 PM   #14
 
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

I dated a girl once who was always asking me to
Thai her up.

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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-03-2004, 03:46 PM   #15
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Oh jeez.

Trying to decide what kind of fixed income to handcuff to my stocks. Although making ones own decisions is far better than being in bondage to a financial planner.
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-03-2004, 10:18 PM   #16
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Quote:
More questions, if you don't mind. What do you estimate your monthly cost of living at ? I'm not too familiar with Thailand, but do you know anything about the cost in the coastal areas ? I've never been there, but would like to go soon to check it out. I've heard it's very inexpensive for americans, the people are friendly and the coastline is beautiful (and the women as well) !!
Pan
My monthly budget is 40,000 THB or about $1,000 US. The dollar has been soft lately, I just received 38.7 THB per US dollar at my most recent ATM withdrawl.

I live in Bkk and eat many meals (fried rice, noodle soup... for 20-25 THB per meal.

Actually, the Brits and Europeans (Euro holders) have it better-their currencies are relatively stronger against the Baht.

Women? Naaaa, they're all plug ugly... "Says Lance, tongue in cheek.....

John, yea, "Thai" girls can tie as well. As in, they keep a sharp watch over their guy...

Its only 100F in Bangkok!

Lance chilling in front of the fan....
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-08-2004, 12:26 PM   #17
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Quote:
"Lance, welcome! I have been looking at Phuket, Koh Samui, and even Penang (Malaysia) for ER as well. "

Phuket, now that is a name that is appropriate for ER's....sorry couldn't resist.
Ah, as much as I would prefer that Phuket can be pronounced as a very vulgar "shove it", it can't.
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Got retiree health care through your company? What if the company goes bankrupt? Retire and go RVing full time? RVs are not structurally sound. You'll die in a fiery crash. Retire and live overseas? What if you die? Aren't you worried about your body? No, I don't think I will be able to seeing how I am dead.
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand
Old 04-08-2004, 12:36 PM   #18
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailand

Quote:

Pan
My monthly budget is 40,000 THB or about $1,000 US. The dollar has been soft lately, I just received 38.7 THB per US dollar at my most recent ATM withdrawl.

I live in Bkk and eat many meals (fried rice, noodle soup... for 20-25 THB per meal.

Actually, the Brits and Europeans (Euro holders) have it better-their currencies are relatively stronger against the Baht.

Women? Naaaa, they're all plug ugly... "Says Lance, tongue in cheek.....

John, yea, "Thai" girls can tie as well. As in, they keep a sharp watch over their guy...

Its only 100F in Bangkok!

Lance chilling in front of the fan....
So your food bill from eating out every single meal is only $1.50 U.S./day? Geez, the last time I had Thai food, it cost me $25/meal.

Naw, attractive ladies have no draw to us single guys. I'd much rather stare at the window-less white walls of my office. It's very meditative in a mental-hospital sort of way.

How much's electricity? If it's 100 F everyday, then AC must be a significant cost.
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Keeping cool in Thailand or the desert southwest..
Old 04-08-2004, 12:57 PM   #19
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Keeping cool in Thailand or the desert southwest..

Slightly off topic, sue me.

It hits 95-100 here pretty regularly in the summer, but unlike thailand, its very low humidity here.

I've made good use of installing a whole house fan. Easy install, I bought the smallest size for $100, mounted it with some rubber grommets (keeping down the vibration) to a piece of plywood with a sized hole cut in the middle, and I put it right into the attic opening in place of the piece of wood.

Since its a "desert" climate here it drops down into the 60's at night, I turn on the house fan and let it run. In the early morning I turn it off and close the windows. Its 6pm or later before the inside temp gets over 75. In the spring and fall I can run the fan in the early afternoon to draw in warm air and in the early evening to cool the place down just a bit. Cost of running one of these 24x7 for a month is about $30.

Even sitting outside, an umbrella and a fan makes you pretty comfortable. You adjust to the higher temps. I also bought one of those little inflatable collar above ground Intex pools from walmart for $80; 10 feet across and a couple of feet deep. Best eighty bucks I ever spent. We've gotten 3 years out of the unit with no rips and the filter pump. It takes me about 5 minutes a week to test and add one of two chemicals to it to balance it. In the winter we roll it up, put it in a garbage bag and toss it in the garage.

The thai food still costs $25 here, butthe girls are still purty.

Ahh...tradeoffs...

You guys that live in Minnesota that were still shoveling snow a couple of weeks ago that are now giving me the finger, I'm sorry...
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailandhttp://www.crh.noaa.gov
Old 04-08-2004, 01:03 PM   #20
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Re: New guy ERd in Thailandhttp://www.crh.noaa.gov

I'd rather be in Thailand right now. My weather this minute:

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/forecasts/MNZ037.php

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