luther

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About luther

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  1. Recently a new reading has been showing up on the map. It says it is at Chiang Mai International School. The CMIS reading is consistently 100 points higher than the City Hall reading. Right now (afternoon of March 23rd) the City Hall number is 219. The CMIS number is 363. Obviously, the air is bad, can't see the mountains, but I wonder if anyone who works at CMIS can comment. A Thai friend said they had seen a photo on Facebook of a water truck misting the area where the inner city reading is taken.
  2. Where's a place that offers lots and lots of colors, more than your HomePro or average paint store. Right now I'm looking for burgundy or maroon. Thanks.
  3. Figuring out how to get from CNX to NYC, DC, or ATLANTA is tricky. Almost all flights have a great timetable one way and a horrible one the other direction. If Qatar comes through with CNX – DOHA, there are direct flights on from Doha to the east coast, but I doubt the connections will get you there in less than 36 hours. Flying to the west coast and spending the night is an option, but if you are continuing on from a big east coast city the trip becomes a nightmare.
  4. yes 90 minutes in a little lounge area, free sandwiches in the middle of the night, uhg!
  5. I bought a ticket at the Cathay office last year. CNX to JFK. I thought the Hong Kong NY portion was nonstop both ways. It wasn't until I looked at the fine print, that I saw that the outbound leg stopped in Vancouver for 90 minutes.
  6. The only time I had a significant amount of USD to exchange, I went to UOB. I was staring at the electronic board listing exchange rates. The bank manager approached me and said, "Go to SK."
  7. I moved a bunch of money to Singapore about 10 years ago. It was a good move. SD/USD went from 160/100 to 120/100 while it was there, but you are just playing the currency markets. The bank guy talked me into putting about 20% of it in to NZD. Bad move. My wife and I are off to NZ at the end of the month. We were there 10 years ago, when, according to Oanada the NZD/USD ration was the same as it is now. Would love to read a long article about the inflation there. If you are sure you are here for the long term 10 years +, 800,000 seems like a smart move.
  8. If you plan to be here for a good while and have a decent amount of cash putting 800,000 baht in a Thai bank is not a bad way to go. 1-year average fixed rate Thailand 800,000 baht x 1.025 = 820,000 baht (571 $ gain) 1-year average fixed rate USA 800,000 x 1.0025 = 802,000 baht (57 $ gain) If the Thai government chooses to change the rules for retirement visa extensions, requiring a minimum amount of health insurance would be perfectly reasonable.
  9. When we lived in Pattaya the price-to-rent ratio for our house 3,500 to 1. The 20-rai property was listed in the NYTimes for 18 million USD. We paid 15,000 baht rent for over a decade. Of course that's an absurd example, but I know people who are paying 10,000 baht a month rent for a house that the owners are sort of trying to sell for 6 million baht. So 50 to 1, higher than San Francisco.
  10. Makro sells them almost all year round, almost always imported from China. I would like to know when the Thai season for Taabtim is.
  11. I really cannot see that this is now a major problem. It is if you want to exercise. If you get on a treadmill or ride a bike when the air is as bad as it was last week, your heart rate will soar 40-50 bpm above its normal high. Last year just after the band ended I could not see that traffic light 100 meters away. On the Mae Rim road, the mountains disappeared for days.
  12. Unless you have been to a place multiple times over a period of years, unless you have friends who have lived there four or five years, you are taking a huge risk moving anywhere...moving as in going there to settle in/retire. I've known older folks who've picked and then pulled up stakes in Belize, Costa Rica, Borneo, Kathmandu, Oaxaca, and Hawaii. Visa hoops are rarely the major source of dissatisfaction...except two people I know who have recently changed plans on where they will end up have crossed off the US, because after 8 years, the spouse (married to a American) still could not get close to citizenship and was being called back to the US for bio-metric tests to extend a green card on the spur of the moment.
  13. In Mae Rim the view of the mountains is noticeably clearer than any day during the last week. AT this website http://aqicn.org/city/chiang-mai/ http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/city-hall/ Inside the moat...the 7:00 AM reading was in the low 30's. An hour later the reading is up 60 points. City Hall 7:00 AM = low 90's. An hour later up 60 points. Meanwhile on this site readings at 8:00 for both the similar areas are in the low 70's to 80's. http://www.aqmthai.com/aqi.php?lang=en It's never seemed this out of whack before.
  14. When I worked at an International school near Chonburi, the school hired one of the Thai staff members to basically be the school's “agent.” This job assignment rotated every couple of years. Some of the Thai staff liked the assignment. Others hated it. It involved filling out hundreds of pages of forms, dotting every eye, keeping track of money, etc. It also involved smoozing with immigration officials in Sri Racha. For many years immigration officers came to the school. Visa extensions, re-entry permits, work permit updates all seemed seamless. You just approached a table, signed a couple of times, and viola. The immigration department charged the school for this. They had to bring in off-duty agents to fill their shoes in the office while they went to our school. I knew 2 of the staff members who worked with immigration and both made it clear there was a tip on top of covering the extra staff's pay. When the fee was raised by a large percent, the school gave up, forcing teachers to make the trip to immigration. I've often wondered what will happen when visa agent suddenly double their prices. On another note, it seems US immigration is forcing more and more foreigners entering the US to give up passwords to social media and smartphones. Yesterday, a friend's relative was denied US entry and forced to fly back to NZ after an agent spotted photos purported to show him working in the US without a green card. The law seems pretty clear that US citizens can reject the request, but foreigners not.
  15. Seems like lots of people are having their TM30 updated at the old office grounds. My is where do you go on your quest for your orignal TM30?