Gary A

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  1. She is a farmer. She would not want to haul manure in a car.
  2. The bottom line is that Thailand is a great place to retire. You can live in a city, on the beach, on top of a mountain or even on an island. I live in a very scenic mountainous area, water falls and all. My original first choice was in Prachuap Kirikhan. That area has both the beach and the mountains. I have to admit that since my wife already had a house in Loei province, that made the move much easier and I could always go back to the farang ghetto of Jomtien. Settling in Prachuap would have meant finding a place to live and it wouldn't have been so easy to make the move back.
  3. It's a normal thing. Some people like the city life and some, maybe fewer of us, like the country life. I have friends who tried out life in the boonies and missed the bright lights and congestion. Nothing wrong with either choice. I tried both, more than five years in Bangkok and about the same length of time in Jomtien. I made my choice and chose the scenic country life.
  4. I lost my reading glasses and was pretty desperate to get a new pair. I can't buy them off the rack because there is too much difference between my eyes. Our village has a shop called Top Charoen. I stopped in there and thought their price for reading glasses was very expensive. Since I needed the glasses, I went ahead and paid the 5,000 baht. The glasses work well for reading and viewing the computer monitor, so I forgot about the price. After a couple years, the frames broke. One of the tiny screws had broken off. I went back to the shop and they said they could have them repaired but would have to send them to Bangkok. It took a while but when I got them back, there was no charge. Maybe I didn't overpay.
  5. Once again, I have screwed myself using one of those free cleanup programs. I had several thousand ebooks in my documents folder. I use the Windows 10 built in backup program. I went back to a couple of the previous backups and my Calibre book folder was also empty. I have no idea what happened to my books but they are gone. The folder is empty. Another lesson learned. I let Bitdefender protect my computer and use the Windows built in backup program. No more free programs for me.
  6. I bought a replacement battery for an IQ phone from Lazada. It didn't even fit in the phone properly. It had all the IQ markings and looked like the real thing. I let it charge overnight and it was still dead. I checked the battery information on the Internet and discovered it was NOT an IQ battery. I emailed Lazada and complained that the battery was no good and not genuine. Lazada refunded my money and told me not to bother returning the battery. When buying a replacement battery, I think you pretty much get what you pay for. I do have one battery called Commy. It was not cheap and it does appear as good as the original battery. If you buy a replacement battery from a phone shop, I'd advise you to listen to the shop people. They know very well if a battery is good or not. Thai people don't like confrontation and the last thing they want is an irate customer loudly complaining about a defective battery.
  7. I don't think that Lithium Ion batteries are quite ready for prime time as far as home solar systems. Since I have two solar systems, one at the house and one at the farm, I am always looking for better battery options. The quality from AliExpress is dubious as well as being about five times more expensive than lead acid deep cycle batteries. The life of LI batteries is expressed as 1,000 cycles. I don't know what that means. At the house, I am using AGM sealed batteries because they are inside the house. They have been running for about 3 and a half years now with no signs of weakening. That would be more than 1,000 cycles. The main advantage of lithium ion batteries is the hugely reduced weight but if your batteries are never moved that advantage is of no use. I fully expect long life from my batteries because I am careful not to discharge them below 50 percent. LI batteries supposedly can be run nearly dead without damage so that is also a consideration.
  8. She's willing to forego the leather seats. I actually prefer fabric myself. The Ford Focus has leather seats and they burn your butt after being in the sun for very long. It definately need to be an automatic. The car has spoiled her. She actually liked the old manual Nissan Frontier. That Nissan was probably the best vehicle I have ever owned. The Isuzu V-Cross is my truck and whatever she buys will be hers. I really like my V-Cross. She already has a Honda Wave and I have a Yamaha Nouvo.
  9. I agree that it is a physiological safety thing. No Pajero because 1.4 million baht for a third vehicle is too much money to spend. I should mention that she also farms and she would still be using my Isuzu for hauling fertilizer and other things that she would not want to haul in a Pajero.
  10. I have Windows 10 on my home desktop. Not because I am a MS fanboy but because I do use some programs that can only be run on Windows. I have Linux Mint on a small netbook and my laptop. I am by no means a Linux expert but I find that Mint works quite well for when I am travelling or simply using email or surfing the Internet.
  11. Lots of different opinions and experiences here. As for myself, no way could my experiences here with Thai women be near as bad with my ex farang wife. When I met my Thai wife, she was 35 years old, never married and had no children. She is definitely her own person. That didn't/ doesn't bother me because I was not interested in an immature clinging vine for a wife. She has four sisters and no brothers. I used to tease her about finding a handsome Thai man. She didn't like hearing that. She tells me to look at the Thai men her sisters married. Three of the four get knocked around on a regular basis. One sister is pretty independent, about like my wife. She has a good husband. No way would she put up with her husband beating her. Anywhere in the world, old men with trophy wives are bound to have problems and be taken advantage of. I was good friends with one of the male Thai engineers I worked with. He was my mentor when I first came over here in 1991. We talked about age differences. Most Thai men marry younger women than themselves. He told me that a good rule is half the man's age plus seven years. He said that seems to usually work out well and Thai people won't think that you are stupid by having a too young of a wife.
  12. I have crossed one major hurdle. I have convinced my wife that she doesn't need a new Pajero. Too expensive also. There are just the two of us. She has also decided that she does indeed feel safer in a pickup, the main reason is sitting higher than in a car. So far she has ruled out Ford, Mazda and Chevrolet. She spent an hour at Toyota negotiating and once again, they are not keen on discounts. They try to sweeten the deal giving away a lot of free junk. We don't need a new TV or all that plastic trim junk. She has also decided that the Revo interior is too ugly. It also is more expensive than her 800,000 budget. (879,000 baht). It appears that Isuzu may also out because I think they don't offer an automatic transmission in a two door extended cab. The two main wants are an automatic transmission, a year of insurance and a beautiful interior. She also wants genuine leather seats but so far, none offer them in the two door. At this time Mitsubishi is high on her list. Being Thai, she is somewhat of a Toyota lemming but she hates the Revo interior. I am very happy with my 2015 Isuzu V-Cross. She doesn't like the manual transmission and she says the truck just feels too big and is difficult to drive. (?) I have promised her that I will let her choose whatever pickup she wants as long as it is a diesel pickup. I don't worry much about resale because we tend to keep our vehicles a long time. Her Ford Focus is a 2007 and no dealer wants to accept it as a trade in. My old Nissan Frontier was a 2004 before I bought the Isuzu.
  13. A bit off topic, BUT.... I think I paid more than 4,000 baht for the iPod. I quit the Audible book club so I no longer needed the iPod. There is a small computer shop near here.They have thousands of Thai songs that they put on various devices. I gave her the iPod and she took it to that shop. She said the guy fiddled with it for a while and handed it back to her. He told her that he could not put music on it for her. I bought a small MP3 player for about 620 baht and no problem. I don't think she goes anywhere without that gadget. The tiny little speaker actually sounds pretty good. She rarely bothers with the ear buds. Very good battery life also. I can also grab and drop music or books from my computer to the M3 tablet.
  14. Why I chose the Mediapad M3; It has 4 GB RAM and standard 32 GB storage plus the memory card. It has either two SIM cards or one SIM and a memory card. The screen is 1600X2560 pixels. Great sound from Harman Kardon top and bottom stereo speakers. I can make phone calls if needed but most important is that since I have prepaid I can top up my Internet without removing the SIM card. Maybe best of all, I have Google Play and don't have to have the Apple blessing to install apps not to mention the horrible iTunes. I have an iPod and working with Apple iTunes has been a genuine pain. I have an eighteen dollar MP3 player that actually works better than the iPod because it has speakers.
  15. Twelve years ago, if someone had told me that I would be happily living in the boonies of Issan, I would have told them that they were insane. I have a nice 60 square meter condo in Jomtien. My wife had/has a house in the boonies of Loei province. She wanted me to take a trip up to see her house. I begged off a number of times because I have seen Issan houses before. She finally talked me into making the trip. I was surprised that the house is a western style two bedroom. Of course the toilet was a squatter, no screens on the windows and a cold shower. Maybe the worst thing was a rock hard mattress. The very first thing was a trip to the nearest town to buy a new mattress. My wife heated water over charcoal for me to take a bucket shower. I found that I liked the scenic area. After about three trips up there, I had a farang toilet and screens on the windows. A couple more trips and I had rewired the house, installed a water pump and a hot water shower. Not so bad. Finally I decided to try living there. I kept my condo and still have it but now seldom use it. I have now been up here more than ten years. I go down to the condo maybe every three months mostly to see old friends. After a week of so, I am ready to go back home to Issan. My wife farms and works so I normally have to make the trip by myself. The bottom line is, never say never. I have tractors and implements, a large workshop/garage, a lot of land for a garden and I can have all the pets I want. I had not realized how much I had missed the things that I couldn't have at my condo. Life is good here in the boonies and I am content.