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BANGKOK 14 November 2018 07:30


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About James2020

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  1. James2020

    Bangkok 2 year license renewal

    You are correct. I can't edit the submission now though...
  2. I received the 'Welcome Letter' and ID number today, 2 weeks after I originally sent in my application, so I'm now a member of TE (I'm a US citizen though - other countries may take longer). Since I have a Non-Immigrant O visa, on an Extension of Stay based on Retirement, they tell me I have two options for having the TEV affixed in my passport. 1) Go to CW to have my Non-Immigrant O visa canceled, and then apply for a Tourist Visa the same day, and finally, have the TEV placed in my passport. They will send a liaison person to help me (no charge). It will take all day at CW. 2) Leave the country and come back to Thailand after the 'Admitted Until' date on my Extension of Stay (14 Dec 2018) and have the TEV placed in my passport at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Not sure yet which option I'll take. I called the main number today to discuss the above (02-352-3000). After going through two prompts, the phone was answered immediately by an excellent English speaker. She spoke to her supervisor about the problem and called me back within an hour to discuss my options. So far, I'm very pleased with the service. I'll post one more time, after I have the visa in my passport. I attached the fine print, which basically says that they can change anything at any time. 2018.11.13 Card Holder Manual for Elite Superiority Extension Membership.pdf
  3. James2020

    Bangkok 2 year license renewal

    An American's Experience - My Thai wife and I went to the Department of Land Transportation at Bangrak BTS station today, Exit 3, to renew my 2 year ’Temporary’ Thai DL, for an automobile. You can renew this DL up to 3 months before the expiration date. The web page (see below) addresses renewing the DL after it expires. First though, I had to get a ‘Medical Certificate’ at a medical clinic (storefront operation) on the opposite side of Sukhumvit from the Department of Land Transportation, near Exit 4. They asked for my passport and knew right away which form I needed. They took my height, weight, and BP, certified that I had none of the five diseases, and gave me the document, for THB 120. On the other side of the street is The Department of Land Transportation. It’s down Sukhumvit a few blocks from the BTS station, with an overhead sign (blue) written in Thai only. There are motorcycle taxis on the corner, but if it’s not too hot, there’s a shaded walkway to the Department Building, about a five minute walk. When you first walk in, there is a counter immediately in front of you where you can get information, and the lady checks your documents. You will need the following: Passport (original) One copy of the main page with your photo, your last Non-Immigrant visa, your Extension of Stay (and maybe any re-entry permits, she kept it all), and your TM6 card. Medical Certificate (original - expires in 1 month) ‘Vehicle and/or License Affidavit’ from the US Embassy (original - expires in 1 yr - there are other options addressed on the web page) Existing 2 year Thai DL (original) She will clip everything together, have you sign an ‘application’ form (written only in Thai), give you a queue number, and then direct you to Room 17 (right across) to have the physical tests. We had to watch a tv monitor for our queue number. Another tv monitor tells you what tests you have to do, and demonstrates them. Once inside, you will be asked to do a depth perception test, a color vision and peripheral vision test, and a reaction time test. I watched about 100 people take them, and no one failed, not even me. I didn’t have to watch the hour long video this time. With our same queue number, we were directed to a different waiting area. When our number came up on the monitor, we went in the area and paid (THB 505.00), had my photo taken, and then I walked out with my license, good for 5+ years, until my next birthday. It took us about 2 hours. My Thai wife was very helpful in translating the announcements, reading signs, etc., but you can certainly go alone. The staff is very helpful in directing lost looking farang. They have a dress code (no shorts, miniskirts, or tank tops), but we saw Thais being serviced who did not follow the code. The following web page is very helpful: https://www.dlt.go.th/en/two-year-license/
  4. This is the email that I received today from TEV. I'm copying it in its entirety since it contains useful information. I'm going to call tomorrow to clarify some points. Greeting from Thailand Elite …. We would like to inform you that Finance Department has checked the status of the membership fee and confirmed as following; The next step, we will register applicant into the system after that you will receive a welcome letter including ID number via e-mail. This process takes approximately 4-5 working days. Service Reservation and Cancellation policy Service Reservation Cancellation Airport Service: Arrival 5 hrs prior to estimated time of arrival 4 hrs prior to estimated time of arrival : Departure 5 hrs prior to pick-up time 5 hrs prior to pick-up time Transfer Service 24 hrs prior to pick-up time 12 hrs prior to pick-up time Bank Account Opening 3 working days 1 working day Visa Service 5-6 working days 1 working day Driver’s License 5-6 working days 1 working day **** Elite Personal Liaison 1st free of Charge ** Member must notify to Customer Contact Center (Member Contact Center) well in advance as per our service policy, otherwise the Member shall be obliged to pay the penalty to Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd. at the applicable rate for the relevant privileges which the penalty is including No Show & Late cancellation. Customer Contact Center **English -24 Hours service // **Korean, Mandarin, Japanese: 06 a.m.-9 p.m. All privileges, services may be suspended until the Member pays the penalty and submits proof of the payment to Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd. There are 2 options for getting Elite Visa: · Staying in Thailand, you can affix Elite Visa at immigration Bureau Chaengwattana in Bangkok. - Member who hold tourist visa, exempted visa or visa upon arrival have to book service 5 working days in advance for making the appointment with customer contact center. - Member who hold non-immigrant visa, visa cancelation must done at immigration where visa was issued and do 7 days extension. Then, you could contact customer contact center for making the appointment to get Elite visa during this period. - Member, who hold non-immigrant visa was issued from oversea, must leave country and could affix Elite Visa at Suvarnabhumi Airport. **Some nationality is required visa to enter Thailand** · Arriving in Thailand, member could affix Elite Visa at Suvanabhumi, Phuket and Chiang Mai International Airport. For connecting flight, we strongly require at least 4-5 hours gap between the next flights. For both options, please kindly contact customer contact center at least 5 working days in advance at 02-352-3000 or [email protected] after receiving welcome letter and ID number via email. **Please note that Elite Card will be delivered 2 weeks after receiving welcome letter and ID number via email. However, temporary letter will be used for getting Elite visa or identify yourself instead of Elite Card during this period. Full address is required for sending Elite Card once it is ready. Best regards,
  5. James2020


    I agree 100% with Sheryl. I had dozens of patients on Xalatan and never had a serious side effect that required discontinuing the drug. You should not worry. If you happen to be one of the small percentage who has a significant side effect, just tell your doctor, and you'll probably be switched to something else. And just because someone has reported the symptoms, it doesn't mean the drug caused it.
  6. James2020


    It seems that you do have optic nerve damage, so you have glaucoma, not just 'ocular hypertension', which can often be a precursor to glaucoma. Xalatan is a good drug, one of the main stays of glaucoma therapy, with a low risk of side effects, but can be a bit pricey. Sometimes patients need more than one drug to lower IOP. I know of no ophthalmologist in the US who uses air puff tonometry to manage glaucoma patients. They are used for screening only. The 'gold standard' is Goldman Applanation Tonometry (the blue light...).
  7. No financial documents are asked for. There may be a question on the application about bankruptcies, but I really don't remember. The letter from immigration expires in 3 months.
  8. I received a letter today by email from TEV that states my application was approved by the Thai Immigration Office. It's been 5 business days since I submitted my application, so it happened just as TEV told me. The letter had four options regarding payment, and I chose to pay by credit card. Their website is a bit fussy, and Verified by Visa required another phone call to them, but eventually after about an hour, I was successful in making a credit card payment. I had to scan the receipt and email it to them. Once the TEV Finance Office has verified my payment, I will receive the 'Welcome Letter' and I can have the visa affixed in my passport at CW in Bangkok, or the Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, or Chiang Mai International airports. I have to give them 5 working days advance notice by email or telephone. It should all happen well within a month, but I'll continue to post here.
  9. From another thread, dated 1/21/17 - maybe things have changed since then, so I suggest you check with Thailand Elite directly: I received the following response from TE Visa: "Greetings from Thailand Elite… Regarding your enquiry about the info on International driving license application and Thai driving license renewal, please be advised that when we first established the company and introduced the visa, our visa’s purpose is for foreigners who want to visit Thailand often and want to enjoy their life in Thailand more and more. Our Thailand Elite visa was then at the time categorized as a kind of tourist visa, but a very special stand-alone kind of one. We have to admit that our previous early management did not foresee this point so that was why our visa is only applicable to renew for a two-year Thai driver’s license at a time. We understand that it seems unreasonable when the visa is five years term but you can’t renew for a five years driving license. Moreover, please be noted that under Department of Land transport regulation a 5 year Thai driving license is required to use for applying IDP in Thailand." So, it seems clear that I should not be able to renew my 2 year DL for a 5 year DL with a PE Visa in my passport, which does not qualify me for an IDP. I suspect that as more Offices of Land Transportation become familiar with the PE Visa, getting a 5 year DL becomes a roll of the dice at best.
  10. Yes, I don't plan to be in Thailand for a whole year, but if I were going to stay for more than a year, I would need an Extension of Stay, even though I would have a TE visa. You never have to see TI if you stay in Thailand for less than a year. There is a whole thread about it here from someone who had a problem: I was told by an agent at TE that I was only eligible for a 2 year DL, although some have received 5 year DL's. I suspect that as more people at the Department of Land Transportation become familiar with this type of visa, not many will be getting 5 year DL's with it.
  11. I just applied 5 days ago. I'll post back here about my experience. So far, they've been very responsive, and answered my questions by email the same day. I chose the 20 year option for 1MM baht (no limo service, but I only travel out of Thailand once or twice a year, and 20 years from now I'll probably be dead). I figured that after 5+ years, it would cost me 1MM anyway if I took the 5 year plan and renewed it, and I wanted no hassles getting a visa in the future. I have no bank account in Thailand (I use my Thai wife's account) and the withdrawal of the US Embassy in Bangkok from issuing an income affidavit was the final straw. I didn't want the hassles of opening a Thai bank account, making transfers on time, keeping money in Thailand, and including it in my estate. I currently have an Extension of Stay based on Retirement, and some would say to just continue that, but your choice. If money is not an obstacle, and it suits you, go for it. Cons: You cannot get a 5 year 'Permanent Driver's License' only a 'Temporary' 2 year DL since TEV is a type of Tourist Visa. You cannot get an IDP in Thailand with a 2 year DL, so if your home country needs one, you're out of luck. I was able to rent a car in the US with my 2 year 'Temporary' Thai DL and no IDP, so not a problem for me. My Thai wife cannot be a member of the program (only for foreigners), and she cannot go through the TE immigration line with me. However, the Thai citizen immigration line is always short, so not an issue. She can only ride in the golf cart if there is room, so no guarantee. You will still need to do 90 Day Reports, but as noted above, it's probably easier, if you don't already do it online. If you stay in Thailand for 1 year or greater, you will need an Extension of Stay. Perhaps someone else can state what's involved, because I don't intend to use it.
  12. James2020


    Like most things, it depends. Most doctors do not diagnose 'glaucoma' until there is damage, as evidenced best by a Visual Field test. But not everyone is a reliable tester, so someone with pressures of 26/27, with a suspicious optic nerve, and an unreliable VF, would probably be treated, whereas someone with pressures of 22/22, normal VF, and normal optic nerves would be followed without treatment. While some ocular hypertensives can be treated, most are not. Eye drops for treatment are expensive and can have ocular and systemic side effects, so the decision to commit someone to a lifetime of treatment is not to be taken lightly. ALT, a type of laser treatment, is also a possibility for treatment that has increased in use in recent years, but doesn't work for everyone, is permanent, and may have to be done a number of times. Conventional surgery is usually reserved only for those who don't respond to other treatment.
  13. James2020


    I have no specific recommendation in Chiangmai, but elevated intraocular pressure or 'Ocular Hypertension' is a common diagnosis, and can be managed by most general ophthalmologists. It does not cause symptoms, or require eye drops, so patients may not want to see their eye doctor several times a year, have visual fields done, etc., but it is important. On average, patients with eye pressures over 21 or 22 mm Hg are at risk for developing glaucoma, but some with higher pressures never develop it, and some with lower pressures clearly have it, so if your doctor sees something that puts you at risk, it is best to always follow his/her advise.
  14. James2020

    Thai drivers license for drivng in USA ?

    FYI - I just returned from the US. I had no problem renting a car in NY from National Car Rental using my 2 yr "temporary" Thai DL, without an IDP - no mention of one. The Thai DL has the important information in both Thai and English. Since I don't own a car anymore and don't have a US address (to allow me to buy auto insurance online), I had to buy National's auto policy, which seemed expensive. My wife was included in the rental also, and she only has a Thai DL. We both drove the car in NY only, for a month, and returned it as usual, without a problem.
  15. James2020

    Lasik v. replacement lens?

    Not quite true - best to see an ophthalmologist about it... it can get complicated...