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About NancyL

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    2015 Thai Visa POTY Survivor
  • Birthday 01/20/1954

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    Chiang Mai

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  1. The plan that KKK outlines is really very good. Set up for your SS benefit to be deposited into your U.S. account (no need to show up in person to claim it; joint accounts are just fine) and then once a quarter or whatever, have funds sent over to your Bangkok Bank account via a recurring ACH transfer that you set up with the internet banking function of your U.S. bank/credit union. Amazingly, Hubby's pension from a Fortune 50 or maybe it's even Fortune 10 company can be direct deposited into our joint Bangkok Bank account without any hassle. No concerns that it's a joint account with an ATM card. No bothersome annual letters about wheher he's still alive. Maybe because they figure I'll contact them to get my widow benefit. Meanwhile, we have his SS deposited to a joint account in the U.S. where it accumulates.(no such restrictions about joint accounts or internet access of accounts in the U.S. for SSA deposit) Sometimes we want to bring that money into Thailand and it's a simple ACH transfer. If we wanted, we could go with the plan that KKK outline of having a set amount transferred every three months, but we haven't done that. Just really haven't needed that much to live here.
  2. I didn't see rat meat listed on this helpful chart.
  3. We've had something like five internet providers in Chiang Mai and Sinet has been among the best. They send SMS messages to my mobile number ahead of anticipated network outages. And those outages have been at night. The speed remains fast. What the OP is experiencing sounds very strange and should be investigated.
  4. Sadly, you're outside the window to file a 90 day report by post. That would have been the easiest route. Before you follow the advice to hunt up the "unmarked" agent on the second floor of Promenada, why not go to Imm at a reasonable hour, say 10:30 am and get a queue number for a 90 day report and then see where they are in the queing process. You may be pleasantly surprised and save yourself 300 baht. Reports are that it's pretty quiet around Imm. this time of year.
  5. Actually Atarax (hydroxyzine) 25 mg works quite well for me. I don't have problems initially falling asleep at night, but always have to get up once during the night to use the toilet. If I "allow" my brain to start working, then I can't get back to sleep. Like the OP, I had been using xanax just 0.25 mg 2 or 3 times a week to get back to sleep. Then I developed a hive episode that I think is related to my allergy to ants. Even the little sugar ants they have here were triggering a reaction. Hydroxyzine 25 mg. was suggested as a "quick fix", with the warning that it would make me drowsy and also a 24 hr non-drowsy antihistamine. I asked the doctor if it would be OK to take the hydroxyzine instead of xanax for the times when my brain wouldn't let me get back to sleep in the middle of the night and the answer was "by all means". Try that first and if after 30 minutes you still aren't asleep, take one xanax. I find that 90% of the time, if I have a hydroxyzine and move my thought away from my personal problems/situation and instead think about some book or movie, I can fall asleep within 15 minutes.
  6. Where did you have it done and was it done with electricity or drugs? I've had cardioversion done three times (in the U.S.) with electricity due to a problem in going into atrial flutter. The first time they tried to use drugs to reverse the problem, but they didn't work. The electricity did the trick right away. Like you, I was sedated and woke up feeling very refreshed and relaxed. After the third time (in a four year period), it was decided to fix the root cause of the problem and a cardiac ablation was done. No future episodes of atrial flutter, although now (17 years later) I can go into brief episodes of atrial fibrillation if I'm sleep deprived. I've seen people in atrial fibrillation respond very well to medical cardioversion, with drugs introduced into an IV. The results are immediate and dramatic. They often report a warmth in the their body and/or a jolt in their chest as the drug works.
  7. You can go upstairs at the airport in Seoul and find the free, reclining lounge chairs in the dark, quiet rooms. With earplugs, a sleep mask and a nice warm shawl, I find I can get a good sleep there.
  8. I realize now that my parent were very wise to get a female collie dog when my brother and I were infants and that dog treated us like her "flock". Whenever we moved to a new home, all my dad had to do was walk around the perimeter with the dog and she understood the limits and made sure my brother and I didn't stray and that no one entered without the permission of one of my parents. Also, if my brother and I were trying to do something stupid, she'd go "tell" them. I distinctly remember one time when we wanted something forbidden from a high shelf in the garage. I told my young brother to hold onto the dog while I climbed up on a chair to get to the item. The dog broke away from my brother and went to find my mother who knew not to ignore a warning from the dog that we were up to mischief.
  9. Oh dear, maybe tomorrow, if I have time, I'll post photos from our own condo. Like the 30,000 baht refrigerator with maybe another 30,000 of stuff inside that's connected to two prong extension cord that lies under a chair where the cats like to play. What could go horribly wrong with this? Or the fine example of Thai-engineering that is the installation of our washing machine. I could do an entire rant about the washing machine. ..... but I digress. Our maybe I can get some video our our toaster oven/microwave setup. It evidently isn't grounded, but yet is a nice warm cat-friendly perching place for the most bravest of cats. Mr. Bitey has realized if one can get over the initial thingies experienced when stepping onto the top of the still warm toaster oven, then the rewards are worth it. His sister isn't convinced and after an initial shock or two, has given up. He finally has his "man cave". This really deserves photos. Mr. Bitey, crouched on top of the toaster oven under the kitchen shelves. "His Man Cave" braving Thai electricity. Sadly Mr. Bitey is otherwise busy. I'll try to get photos in the next 24 hours.
  10. Yes, it definitely happens with Thais and others. At the end of our first year of retirement here, we considered renting a house. I remember looking at one that was really too big for Hubby and me, but we had a nice tour from the daughter of the owner. It was a newer house in a Thai-style family complex within the Old City. Actually probably would have been pretty interesting living experience. The daughter, who was studying English at CMU was stretched to use her English language skills to communicate with us, as were we with our YMCA/AUA Thai language training. The house was much too big for us, but the rent they were asking wasn't really much outside our range. But, we gamely looked at the house and commented at how nice it looked. The owner's daughter quizzed us about why were in Chiang Mai, if we had children, or friends, or anyone else who would live in the house. No, we said just the two of us, never had children even after 40 years of marriage. No car, or motorcylces, just song thaews. And then suddenly, after a brief consultation with her mother, the rent decreased by half because "we look like nice people". We hadn't brought up the subject of rental pricing. In the end, we didn't rent the house, mainly because we would have had to spend too much, even with the lower rent, to install a couple aircon units and some kitchen appliances. I've been by later and seen a herd of motorcycles parked outside. Probably have 10 Thai people or more renting because of the five bedrooms and great central location.
  11. So, I guess I could sorta, kinda be included as part of Category B. I actually look forward to the enforced confinement of five days of Songkran in the condo. A chance to, as I said, get the U.S. Federal Taxes done and sort thru and toss out a years worth of receipts and other document debris. It's fun to listen to the mayhem outside the condo window. The same sort of waves of joyous screams that people have on a roller coaster at an amusement park. And, now fortunately, the noise dies down at dusk since the concerts have moved from KSK to Maya and out-of-earshot. Also, Hubby always buys a few new shirts for songkran and gets his water cannon out of the closet for an afternoon or two out with his friends. It's fun to see his excitement.
  12. Here is one that has been successfully used at local hospitals: Some hospitals, such as Bangkok Hospital, have their own forms. Advance Directives (Living Wills) in English are accepted here. It's important to select your Health Care Representative wisely and have a serious conversation (or several) with this person about your wishes. That person will be your advocate and must know when you go into the hospital and be prepared to present a signed original of your Directive each time you're admitted, even each time you change units within the same hospital because often the document isn't moved with you within the hospital. In general, hospitals don't keep them on file here and don't look for them or ask about them in a time of crisis. They simply move ahead and perform every life-prolonging measure available. But, if the existence of an Advance Directive is brought to their attention, they do respect them.
  13. Holing up in our high rise condo seems to work well for me. I like watching the craziness from the windows. We have a big refrigerator and a good convenience store in the building, so we're set. Besides, U.S. income taxes are due on April 15th, so I always have a little "project" to work on during songkran.
  14. Many of them have generators or at least battery packs for lighting in the hallways and perhaps even the elevators in case of power outage. This is something to check when considering where you're going to live. And many Chiang Mai condo buildings have their own water wells and storage tanks on the roofs, helping to keep the water rates low. After years of owning a greenhouse/nursery operation on a farm where we lived, I'm in with Geriatickid on the issue of enjoying my retirement years without having to manage staff, equipment or worry about the upcoming weather forecast and its impact on our property.
  15. And judging by the photos, while the unit looks like it's been well-maintained, it doesn't seem to have had any real upgrades since 2004, except for the purchase of a flatscreen TV. So a modest increase from 4 million to 5.6 million in 13 years isn't surprising. Someone didn't lose money and they saved on rent during this time.