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About rickudon

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  1. rickudon

    Becoming a "Certified" translator in Thailand

    But half the English signs are spelt wrong. Nothing to do with Thai
  2. Technically, I an still UK resident, as have address in the UK, Taxed in the UK, and spend some time there every year. But that is a grey area, depends on who sets the rules (I am fairly sure that i meet the rules the banks set).
  3. The reality is that since the 1980's the UK has not had real 'socialism'. Privatisation has put most of the essential utilities in the hands of foreign companies, some of which were owned by hedge funds and the like. Many of these services were then milked as cash cows, asset stripped and then sold off when their infrastructure started to wear out. Research what happened to Thames water. The public still have to pay for all these services, but now the profits line rich peoples pockets. And when these services become unprofitable, the private owners just walk away or ask the government to bail them out (East coast rail line?). Housing the other issue. Prior to the 1980's housing was affordable, either home owner or rented (private or social). Scrap the social sector, then housing went up. up, up. Again the rich benefited. Finally, get all university students to pay fees and borrow money, then sell off their debts = more money for the rich. The younger generation know they have been conned. They start their working life with large debts, trying to get a job is a nightmare (do not let the unemployment rate fool you, getting a job, any job is hard). And then you cannot afford a home. Result - the only ones who can afford children are the complete failures/parasites like Maejo claimed to be on benefits and socially funded housing. The young have woken up to the capitalist version of socialism espoused by the Conservatives and New labour. That is why very soon (probably at the next general election) Corbyn or his successors will be in power, because the young see nothing for them in the old system (unless one of the lucky few with money). Will the country end up better off? Probably not, But greater equality will at least cool the anger a bit.
  4. rickudon

    Becoming a "Certified" translator in Thailand

    Going by the English translations you see every day in Thailand. i would say most 'translators' need to be certified .... in an institution.
  5. I use my Clarity card. Exchange rate you get is about the same as Transferwise, and about 0.4 baht better than TT rates. The only problem is ATM fees (which i have been unable to avoid in Udon, hard to find a bank that will do a counter withdrawal unless they add a fee too!). But still cheaper than a Swift transfer from Halifax bank unless i send over 2000 GBP (depends on TT rate, sometimes it would take a lot more for SWIFT to be better). So, Clarity is best for my monthly expenses, only use SWIFT for large amounts. Just have to remember to pay off the card after a transfer. Also, i only get money as i need it, no need to plan days ahead.
  6. rickudon

    Farmers plead for price hike as season begins

    Well, price might not be brilliant but around Udon (well, the rice growing areas i drive through) definite increase in fields which have been ploughed this year. And due to the bountiful rain since Songkran, some rice already growing. Usually they do not plant before middle to late May.
  7. rickudon

    Box Wine

    In Udon Thani 2 litre bottles have now disappeared. Looked at 3 shops and only had 3 litre Montclair at 995 baht or assorted 70 cl bottles at 399 baht and up. The wine display areas have shrunk by 50%, and i think will shrink further at these insane prices. Yes, home made wine from juice and fruit now 'available'. And to be honest, tastes as good as the old fruit wines..... One development - customs at Nong Khai have started confiscating wine, never cared about how much you brought in before.
  8. I used wheelchair service once last year after an attack of pancreatitis. I could walk but only slowly and tired easily. When i booked it i wasn't sure how long i could stand for. This year will need again as have back trouble - i might be able to walk from check-in to the gate, but i might collapse if stuck in a queue for an hour. I may appear fine to other passengers, but to tough it out would be dangerous.
  9. rickudon

    YET ANOTHER Beer Tax Hike?

    42 baht for a litre carton, Says no preservatives. But usually around 50 baht in most shops. I'm not saying where, as a local shop in Udon and supplies have been low of late.
  10. When you say a budget of 15,000, is that in total per month or just for accommodation? As said Udon has a reasonable central park, and 2 others a walkable distance within the ring road (I like Nong bua more, much quieter). And a significant expat population, so can get nearly anything you routinely want. If your total budget was 15,000 a month, you will find condo's anywhere expensive. Can get a room in Udon from about 2000 - 4000 baht a month with air conditioning. The condo's are new so not cheap.
  11. Not sure if this is the cause, but sugar retail prices have shot up by about 2-3 baht a kilo.
  12. Ok, so we were both right about exchange rates. On counter withdrawals, I have tried Kasikorn, my Thai bank, who flatly refused to do it and just said use the ATM. Siam added a fee. Bangkok refused. Forget which others i tried, as over 3 years ago. Schwab UK do provide a Brokerage service (denominated in dollars only) but it doesn't mention any card services (i didn't look very hard, just skimmed through accounts and services).
  13. I would have laughed at this too last year. My father-in-law caught a golden eel (plaa rai) in January and put it ina concrete tank, i thought it might be worth something due to rarity, but it turned out golden swamp eels are not uncommon. Next thing i know mother-in-law has incense sticks, candles burning and is praying to the eel for lottery number inspiration. She them netted it out, put it in a bowl and whatever configuration it curled into was interpreted as a number. I chuckled to myself and left. Two days later she won 10,000 baht. In february my Sister-in-law won; in March and April my wife won 20,000 and 10.000 baht. I stopped laughing. Unfortunately it died 3 days ago , so guess it is back to spending my money again.......
  14. Sorry Moana, you are wrong. For May 2nd, Visa Charged 2.34 pence for one baht, while Mastercard charged 2.32 pence. And most times when i check Mastercard has been best. Maybe Visa better for dollar/baht conversions? The OP was British, so highly unlikely to be able to get a Shwab card. Finally, where i live, i have tried the counter withdrawal method about 6 times, but yet to find a Bank that will do it without adding a fee on..... this seems to be a policy here. Probably because I'm British ......
  15. Clarity use only the Mastercard exchange rate, usually better even than Visa. No other costs at UK end except interest on cash withdrawals until paid off. Purchases are the usual 25 days to pay before interest is applied. Most other cards will of course top load withdrawals and purchases done abroad with % fees and fixed fees, but not Clarity. I have done the maths and need to transfer about 3,000 GBP in one go before an interbank transfer from the UK beats my ATM card. And, of course, the ATM card is more convenient as only need to get money when i need it, not weeks in advance. If i transfer money from UK bank to a Thai bank typically get about 0.4 - 0.5 baht less per pound than cash withdrawal on my credit card - that pays for the Thai ATM fee.