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About BKKBike09

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  1. VW Scirocco: 2nd Hand and 6 months in ...

    A quick update ... 70,000 km on the clock now and still very happy with the car. There've been a few minor issues but I believe these are quite common, namely: 1. Sunroof curtain and roof head liner came unstuck. These can be sorted out by Diamond, around 3,000 or so per item and takes a couple of days (curtain on mine went about a year ago and roof head liner followed last month). 2. An ABS sensor failed. Replaced by Diamond. Forget how much. 3. Petrol filler cap lock failed. Replaced by Diamond. Forget how much. Have to see how things go now that the car is 6+ years old and getting into "things go wrong" territory. The biggest 'problem' is that I really like this car and it's great fun to drive (fast enough but not crazy), and I have no idea what I'd change it for, for the same sort of price 1-1.5 million, that would offer the same combination of looks, performance and relative practicality (it being a genuine 2+2 with usable boot space).
  2. Pleased to be able to report that I have been able to renew my E-Channel permit for a further two years. That said, it took three trips through Immigration at Suvarnabhumi to get it done. There was a glitch in the database that meant records for existing registered users were locked and couldn't be updated; the officers were very helpful but on first two trips out couldn't help. Another friend who is registered and now expired had the same problems. However on third attempt (coming in) they were able to do it with help from a tech, and now it's working as before. It really is one of the best practical benefits that PR holders who are frequent travellers can enjoy. I think I was among the very first to apply for renewal so hopefully the issue has been corrected. I only needed passport and blue book for renewal (again with caveat that passport must have, I think, two years remaining validity).
  3. Yep. It's got nothing to do with FGM. It's all about injecting body fat into labia to create a '3-D pussy' (the literal translation of the Thai for the desired outcome of the procedure). Hence the photo of syringes full of crud. It is misplaced if not defamatory to castigate the establishment in question for FGM. I'd post a link in Thai to one of the news stories out there, but it might be removed by a mod. Just Google the start of the headline and it will bring up the story: สบส.ยันภาพโฆษณา "จิ๋ม 3 มิติ" ขัดศีลธรรม
  4. Interesting that they asked for the No Conviction certificate. When I applied for PR, my application nearly came of the rails because I had an entry on the UK PNC (subsequently, I determined, because I used to have a Firearms Certificate). Immigration were quite exercised by the fact and an officer angrily accused me of trying to hide a criminal past. When I tried to explain that my PNC entry related to a Firearms Certificate, they told me it was not possible, because "in Thailand only police can own guns" (a non sequitur, and also incorrect, as now I not only have PR but also legally own a firearm in my own name). Their advice was: forget about PR, and just go straight to applying for Thai nationality, as that process, bizarrely it seemed to me, did not require the No Conviction certificate. I still find it surprising that it's not listed under the formal requirements.
  5. Yes, thanks as ever for your very thorough and informative replies.
  6. I'm sure you're right and that I'm suffering from "farangyouthinktoomuch-itis" ... However, I've been reading some of the informative TV threads on the whole subject of dual nationality (and thanks to you and Arkady in particular for the many informative posts - this being a good thread https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/883404-is-dual-citizenship-in-thailand-allowed) I also did a bit of quick searching in Thai and came across aJuly 2014 Q&A post on the web board of the Office of International Peoples’ Rights Protection at the Office of the Attorney General (there's a mouthful - let's say OIPRP), in which a Thai bloke marrying a Lao woman asked about dual nationality and mentioned that he’d heard the law was going to change and wouldn’t allow for Thais to hold two nationalities. I’ve cut out the bits about the marriage and the basic gist of what’s left is the OIPRP stated that, as long as the foreign country doesn’t prohibit two nationalities, it is permissible for a Thai to acquire a second nationality and keep the Thai one too. http://www.humanrights.ago.go.th/forum/index.php?topic=6735.0 However, I also see that the Nationality Act BE2508, referenced by OIPRP, also specifically grants the Minister of Interior power to revoke the Thai nationality of anyone who acquires Thai nationality by naturalisation if it appears that “there is evidence to show that he still makes use of his former nationality” – see Article 19 (2). Thai original here: https://mis.dopa.go.th/dopalaw/law_file/603_030320171110929758.03.pdf Translation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwNib_gx9zYEaFRnOVpERmYzMTg/view So I guess that it all still comes back down to a) not getting caught using two passports and/or relying upon how a particular official feels if you do get caught?
  7. The percentage of Chinese applicants (or perhaps more correctly I should say applicants with Chinese names) is astonishing. Looks like 80-90%. Although it's heartening to see that Muhammed Ali also snuck in there. I keep thinking about applying for nationality. Applied for PR in 2008 and got that in 2012. In fact, while my PR application was meandering along, Immigration actually suggested to me that I should change tack and just apply for nationality. It's only the renouncing of citizenship that concerns me, particularly now that there's ever more computerisation of records. The UK's not the problem: it's if an immigration officer spots that you're leaving for a country for which you'd need a visa, as a Thai, yet don't have one. Since Caucasian dudes with a Thai passport are still - and likely will be for many years to come - a rare sight at the airport, greater scrutiny might be expected. Sure, the e-gate system usually removes that scrutiny, but it would be the rare occasion when the system is down and your passport gets processed manually that would worry me. Doubtless nothing would happen but if it did ... as we all know, the wheels of Thai bureaucracy turn slowly, but that's not to say that they don't turn. I suspect at the moment that the unofficial policy is 'turn a blind eye' as far as dual nationality is concerned.
  8. Looks like a pretty good deal for your average policeman. THB 23,890 for pistol, two 17-rd mags, a kydex holster and an uplula-type loader. And not having to press the trigger to field strip - great safety feature. Of course if the weapon fires when dropped at certain angles on a hard surface that's not good. In mitigation it passed all the mandated drop tests but then - like vehicle emissions testing - they can be gamed to pass. There would seem to be a problem with the design because SIG "has temporarily suspended shipment of the P320 from the factory while we ramp up to implement the changes" to remedy the issue. "This will include an alternate design that reduces the physical weight of the trigger, sear, and striker while additionally adding a mechanical disconnector." However the US mil-spec version isn't affected because it has a manual safety and - from the description of the 320SP coming to Thailand (see pic below) - it looks like this model also has the manual safety. I've read that the 'SP' designator actually reflects the initials of former police chief Somyot Phumpanmuang, one of the architects of the 320 contract when signed back in 2015.
  9. ContiRaceAttack Comp Endurance?

    @VocalNeal Thanks for that. I don't want a dry-only / race tyre. In some ways we're lucky here with the heat because it does mean no cold day tyre woes (been there, done all that in the UK). The Contis get some pretty good feedback and while clearly not designed to be a top performer in the wet, they seem able to cope. https://autobandentest.com/web/pages/motorcycle-tires/continental/contiraceattack-comp.endurance I've got Battlax on the FZ09 at the moment and they're okay but not great. Then again, I'd say the original FZ09 without traction control and ABS, slipper clutch etc, needs some respect in the wet no matter what.
  10. ContiRaceAttack Comp Endurance?

    Ahh. TV at its best! Thanks again for the input. I'll admit I don't know much about Continental tyres. 30 years of riding and its mainly been Pirelli, Metzler and Bridgestone. But I've been reading reviews of this specific Conti tyre and it gets praise as a tyre that's a good compromise between road and race, and for being good value for the type of tyre it is (which may of course not apply in Thailand). I don't really understand your "crap in the dry" comment, probably because I'm too arrogant. Again, a classic TV comment ... I ask a question, you don't answer it, and then I'm arrogant for pointing that out! Let me guess - I could just as well have asked "Has anyone tried Beer Lao Gold?" and you'd have replied "I would say get Chang just as good as many foreign beers and obviously easy to get - I'm already on my fifth"! Anyway, as one biker to another, have a good one nonetheless.
  11. ContiRaceAttack Comp Endurance?

    No ... but I want a tyre that's primarily designed for grip in the dry. Thanks. We could get into a loooooong debate here but let's just say I asked for input regarding a specific Continental tyre, so that's what would be most helpful.
  12. Anyone tried ContiRaceAttack Comp Endurance rubber out here? Would be for my FZ-09. Street use, mostly in the dry. Cheers.
  13. Sportbike/Streetfighter for two up

    Another option could be KTM Duke 390. Bit more than Z300 but not much (basically it's 200K). These guys also seem to have a lot of second hand bikes so maybe one visit would let you check out lots of options. https://www.motogroupthailand.com/ktm-pricelist Have a read: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/ktm/2016-ktm-390-duke-long-term-review.html
  14. I've been using the e-gates for coming on two years and it is fantastic: well done Immigration for introducing this for PR holders - in my mind it's one of the real advantages of PR for anyone who travels frequently. I've gone from having to get a new passport every year or two, to having used the same one for more than four years. As a Brit that's a particular benefit given the palaver we face to get a new passport (and the cost - £100 quid or whatever for each new one). Now to see what happens when it comes to renewal as my original two-year AutoChannel authorisation expires next month. I've asked on several occasions at Suvarnambhumi about the renewal process and the simple answer appears to be ... no-one has renewed yet so Immigration aren't exactly sure what to do ... latest advice (a couple of weeks back) was "you have to let it expire and then come and re-apply; we'll extend it until your re-current entry expires (Nov in my case) and then when you get a new re-entry, we'll update the system". I'll post an update in due course.
  15. 95 vs E20 fuel consumption question

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/9266802/Ethanol-More-or-less-power A topic that can be debated ad infinitum ...