Leung Falang

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About Leung Falang

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 05/23/1943

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  • Location
    Isaan / USA

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  • Location
    Isaan, Texas, USA

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  1. My Thai wife of 25 years and I retired in 2000, and began to go to her Isaan village every year for five years-village life is terrible, don't do it. Life in most ampurs is not much better, only in cities will most enjoy life. We bought a nice home in Mukdahan in 2009 and love it. Prices have doubled since it is now a SEZ and also has a bridge to Laos. I know Somdet a little and would not live there. Kalasin is a growing city for now..... One third of Thailand involved in agriculture and a good friend tells me Isaan is 80% rural. This cannot continue. When will Kalasin growth stop? Who knows.
  2. Schwab allows you to take a mobile pic of a check and deposit it that way. I have been with them 20 years since early retirement. Love the ATM free transactions worldwide. Investing in ETF avoids the larger fees charged by mutual funds, $8 vs $75. I assume poster is young, so would suggest 40% S&P 500 ETF such as SWPPX by Schwab or VOO by Vanguard, 20% small stock ETF such as VIOO by Vanguard which is a bit better than the Schwab SCHA fund, and to follow the strong dividend advice of another poster, 40% Vanguard's VIG or if more risk is ok their VYM which are strong dividend paying companies that are low risk.
  3. Newer phones with AT&T have wi-fi calling which you can easily establish on one of your phones before you replace the sim-set to airplane mode to avoid US charges. Mine has the icon at the top of the settings bar. You and your friends are using the wireless network to talk to each other. I kept one of ours in that mode the last 3 months in order to easily communicate with US friends at no cost. But of course, if you do away with your AT&T account before you arrive, no good for you. Skype is great and I have a $5 a month "land line" that follows me around the world via cell phone and pc.
  4. During a visit to extend my stay on a Non Immigrant "O", Mukdahan Immigration asked my wife to encourage me to share the need for a home owner or other house master to report aliens staying with them, and also when they return after an absence of a day or more. Many Thais have no idea of the requirements. Fines abound, small at first as wake up calls.
  5. Rent months Rate Total B US$ Rate 3 22,000 66,000 $1,660 35 Buy Initial 350,000 Depreciation 45,500 $1,300 New value 304,500 Insurance 12,000 $343 Mtce 6,000 $171 Investment loss @ 7% 24,500 $700 Total $2,514 88000 I quickly put this together on whether to buy again after selling my truck 2 years ago and us not being here. Investment loss is often called opportunity cost.
  6. Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University economics professor answers some mail on all sorts of US SS questions and also has software that he sells for $40 retail to us on when is the best time to begin drawing-there are many strategies and hundreds of different cases. Google news is my favorite website and I keep a subject with his name active to see his latest and most interestng posts. My Thai wife is some way off from needing to know what is best for her but we do intend to spend this small amount to see what he thinks. maximizemysocialsecurity is the name to search and I had to use a virtual address to get it to open. Best Wishes
  7. Almost anything better than 1 drunk principal and 2 teachers for 6 grades. Many of the primary schools are within 1-2 kilometers, 3 km max. Critical thinking instead of rote learning (mostly copying) and being able to ask questions in school and at home are critical as is the elimination of the no student fails policy. Failure and being held back is a motivation to actually learn, or at worst, become a farmer or push cart expert without holding back the students eager to learn.
  8. I went with my Thai wife to Mukdahan immigration for her to extend her stay (visa exempt as she is American and Thai). They were nice but asked about my TM30 which has never been filed by her mom or by my wife at either home (she / we own a home since 2009). Fined 800 baht as it had been about 3+ weeks since arrival. We have stayed for six months a year since 2009 except in 2015/16 and this never came up. We also have foreign friends come and spend the night(s) now and then and have never reported them. Immigration is 15 minutes away but what a hassle. Will go ask for the CD to be burned. They also told her she should enter Thailand on her Thai passport to save time and money-she never wanted to do that when I brought it up.
  9. What will happen to these visas based on retirement if/when the new retirement scheme comes into play? Immigration told me the other day they were waiting on the rules.
  10. How many rai? What kind of business case? Sounds interesting for sure as it seems there is little profit in rice or rubber.
  11. How can you be considered a farmer if you don't farm? If they used to farm, why is it they no longer have land? gambling debts? sickness? It matters.
  12. what are the profit margins, if any, for the farmer? no machines............ all machines............
  13. I set up my Bangkok Bank account with Schwab in the US. I can now transfer funds to Bangkok Bank New York which deposits the funds into my branch in Thailand. The setup was the same as Schwab uses for any other US based bank. Neat!
  14. A USA 2016 December college grad will visit my Thai wife and I in Mukdahan, Thailand (2nd week January with a return of May 1st). As we return late February to the states, she will join a US doctor and wife a bit east of Bangkok who have work visas. The student will not work or volunteer, but will visit with the family and possibly observe occasionally in the doctor's clinic as she wants to become a doctor, and maybe even serve in Thailand some day. :) We want to help her find the best way to do this. Wondering if a 60 day TR visa would work? Would it help if she could cross to Savannakhet and get another 60 day TR. I doubt she could meet the $7,000 six month requirement for a METV but don't know for sure. You all helped so much for me this week, and here is another opportunity! Looking for a solution.
  15. Thanks to all! I do like the Non-O based on marriage and can easily drive to the Dallas Consulate. I had forgotten this one as I had always had Non-O-A based on retirement.