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About Mobi

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    Old Thailand Hand
  • Birthday 06/05/1946

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    Oakham UK

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    Oakham UK

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  1. Just for your benefit - I have now replied.
  2. No, it won't be back to the jungle. The longer I live the better it will be for her, but whenever I pop my clogs, she will be able to see out her visa, and if I live for another 4 1/2 years, she will have indefinite leave to remain. She will also inherit my money and she will get a widows pension, based on my state pension, in addition to her salary. She will have additional rights because of our daughter who I am in the process of adopting which will entitle her a UK passport and the right to live here. The next 5 years are critical, as after that she will be home and free, but if the worst comes to the worst I think she will be OK - especially as she will have the strong support of my family who can help guide her through the red tape.
  3. Sorry - still nothing
  4. There must be a gremlin at play - I still haven't received anything. I don't normally have any problems with receiving emails.
  5. Hi Paul - sent you a PM
  6. In my humble opinion Thailand is a “No Country for Old Men” - foreigners that is - especially ones like me with a string of chronic medical conditions. You can google and research till the cows come home and get umpteen medical opinions, but the doctors can still get it wrong and more likely to do so in Thailand where there is no GP referral system and no proper overall GP care, as exists in the UK. Also no worries about whether I can afford it or if medical insurance will cover it. Thailand is probably fine up to your mid-sixties if you have plenty of funds and adequate medical insurance, but as you enter your 70’s things start to take on a slightly different hue…
  7. While the cost is a serious consideration - it is by no means the main one, which is where to keep them in the UK. Unless you have your own property there is virtually no chance of finding a relative or friend who would be prepared to take on the dogs, and it is almost impossible to rent a house that allows animals. At best you might find an owner who will demand a huge extra deposit for a small dog or cat and even that is a rarity. I know of two people who brought dogs back the the UK. One man brought 2 dogs but was unable to keep both as his family house was too small. He gave the dog to a friend and it was put down a few months later because it had snapped at a kid. I don't know what happened to the other dog but I do know he is no longer with the man who brought him to England. The second person brought three dogs and they are still with him and his wife at their mother's house. The problem is that they want to move out (they have been there over a year) but cannot find any rental which will take them and their dogs, so they are stuck there and very unhappy. I know you don't agree, but I believe that is kinder to the dogs to find them good homes in Thailand where they will be happy and settled, rather than fly them across the world for an uncertain future - unless you have your own place, in which case problem solved...
  8. I don’t really want to get involved in a protracted debate on the merits or otherwise of Thai hospitals and doctors, and indeed the availability or otherwise of medical insurance. This subject has been done to death (pardon the pun) on Thai Visa threads through the years, and has culminated in the mods not allowing anyone to ‘name and shame’ presumably for fear of law suits. I can only go from what I have personally experienced and the things that have happened to my friends and acquaintances. Certainly I had some good experiences in Thai hospitals, including open heart surgery back in 2012 at a government hospital (Siriroj- The King’s hospital) which still cost me over Bht300k, but would have cost me close to 1.5M in Bumrungrad – and that was 6 years ago and we all know what has happened to medical costs over the past 6 years. The inpatient treatment at Siriroj was exemplary, but the aftercare/follow up was virtually non-existent and almost caused my death just a few weeks later when I had a serious heart ‘incident’. This was also exacerbated when none of the Pattaya hospitals had the first idea how to treat me or have a proper understanding of my post-operative condition following my op in Bangkok. That is just one incident. Through the years – going right back to the 1970’s - but mainly in more recent times, I have had occasion to use all the top private hospitals in Bangkok, the top two in Si Racaha and all of the hospitals in the Pattaya area. Sure there are some great doctors in Thailand but I’m afraid it is very much hit and miss. You never know what you are getting with a Thai doctor, as there is no proper assessment of their competence, and even some of the best doctors are mainly motivated by money. The Hippocratic oath simply doesn’t come into it. Nor is there any system to bring bad doctors to account, let alone to take one to court, and I’m afraid that they are well aware of this. (A similar situation exists with most Thai lawyers.) A few years back I fell badly on a slippery floor and smashed up the tendons in my wrist very badly. I was operated on at the top Pattaya hospital and the very high fees were covered by my then medical insurance (which was a lot more than 500 Baht/month). They had to put a metal plate in my wrist and the operation was 100% successful. But follow up? You have to be kidding. The surgeon hardly gave me the time of day when I went to see him, post-op, as there was no money in it, and I received more useful information from ‘a man at a bar’ in terms of physio therapy and rehabilitation than I ever got from the hospital. Then there was the time when I was positively diagnosed by a consultant from a top hospital with acute pancreatitis, and I was put on extremely expensive medication, with the shattering knowledge that my life span was very limited. It was only when I finally saw a professor at a top government hospital in Bangkok that he was able to rule out the previous diagnosis as nonsense and set me on the path to recovery. I could go on and on… me, and my friends, and acquaintances. I know of any number of deaths that probably would never have happened had they been back in the UK under the care of the NHS. The litany of horror stories is never ending – especially once you are away from the capital, as nearly all the top doctors gravitate to Bangkok, with a few in Chiang Mai, and the rest of the country gets the dregs. As far as the local population is concerned, I can’t tell you how many Thais I met who were sitting at home waiting to die because the Thai hospitals could do nothing for them – lacking both the expertise, drugs and equipment to offer any lifesaving treatment. This also goes for a few elderly farangs who lack the funds to go to a decent private Thai hospital. The problem with most health insurance is that when you really need it – i.e. when you are getting older, the rates sky-rocket and the exclusions effectively leave you without cover for the most likely conditions. This is what happened to me. So was I correct in asserting that the Thai medical establishment is ‘dubious’? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, largely based on their personal experiences, and I am sure that there are many foreigners who have been satisfied with their medical treatment in Thailand and will extol its virtues. I do not deny there are good, ethical doctors in Thailand, but in my humble opinion they are in the minority and I know where I’d rather be when the medical chips are down. As I said in my blog – I am sure I would have died twice over during in the past 12 months, had I still been living in Thailand.
  9. Thanks and good advice. I think I will wait 6 months as she is now working full time and her English will be so much better by then. That still gives us a lot of leeway, time-wise, if she runs into problems.
  10. I too had a 16 mil house that I built in 2004. I parted ways with my last wife in 2009 and it took 5 years to find a buyer at a fire sale price of 8 mil. The wife took 4 mil and I had under 4m as I had to pay various expenses. So I got 25% of the original cost, but better than a kick in the backside. I suspect the housing situation has got a lot worse since 2014. From what I have seen, heard and read, the exodus is gathering apace, but I know there will always be some who, for various reasons, will stay put. Many have a blinkered view of the UK, which is nowhere near as bad as some like to make out, in my opinion. Sure the NHS is struggling mightily, but it's still a million times better than being stuck on the other side of the world with no medical insurance, and dubious medical skills and motives - even at the top private hospitals. I am quite sure I would have died twice over if I had still been living in Thailand over the past 12 months.
  11. They are never far from my mind, as I have to ensure we will pass the income test and Lek can pass the harder English test. Their visas run until November 2020 so It will be this time next year that I will have seriously review where we are, as we will then have 18 months remaining. My 'get out of jail' card will be if I succeed in obtaining an attendance allowance in May 2019 (the equivalent of incapacity benefit for non-pensioners). One of the quirks of the benefit system is that I cannot put in a claim for this particular benefit until I have been back living in the UK for 2 years which will be next May. Back in 2002, I was getting incapacity benefit based on my various medical conditions at that time, but it is by no means certain that I can get the equivalent benefit this time around as they have tightened up the rules. However, my health is much worse than it was in 2002 so we'll have to see how that pans out. If I get it then the visa rules for my wife's visa are substantially relaxed. Even without it, I am confident we can meet the requirements, but yes, I have to keep a close eye on it and ensure I have enough cash to pay the horrendous visa fees, plus health surcharges. Nobody said it was going to be easy.....
  12. Yes, Paul, it's a bit of a turn around, which started when I first met Lek in 2010, followed by my decision to quit drinking a few months later. The bad old days seem like a distant nightmare... I hope all is well with you and your health is bearing up.
  13. Cor Blimey - How time has flown! (11th May 2018) Mobi-Babble - 11th May 2018. At long last after a miserably cold start to Spring, we are finally experiencing some good weather. In fact we recently experienced our hottest early May Spring bank holiday ever, with temperatures rising into the high 20s. Of course, being Blighty, it didn’t last that long and since last weekend the temperatures are dropping to the mid to high teens which is average fayre for early/mid May. So what has happened since I last blogged? It is well over a month since we settled into our new little home and we have made ourselves very comfortable. There have been a few ‘teething’ problems, most of which have now been resolved. The only major item still outstanding is a quirky central heating system which will only deliver hot water while heating up the radiators. So far, the letting agent has sent one plumber and two electricians to look at the problem but as yet, it remains unresolved. Things could be worse – I’d rather be too warm than ... To read more, please go to: https://mobithailand.com/ Note: As my website/blog is 100% non-commercial - no ads whatsoever. Although the content is UK related, it may be of interest to my friends in Thailand who may be considering a similar move back to their home country; and also to those on Thai Visa who have asked me to let them know how things are going...
  14. Yes, housing is the biggest expense by far. It's difficult to find a house anywhere for much less than £550 per month, and mine is £595, and that is unfurnished. But buying furniture etc is just a one-off cost. With my state pension, and Lek working on the minimum wage, we will have enough to cover all our costs and still be able to save a bit. It's doable if you put your mind to it, and will provide a much better life and future for all concerned - especially Song , my step-daughter. The dogs are a killer - we still miss our lovely pooches, but it was the right decision to leave them behind and they were all placed with caring families, so I doubt they are suffering.