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About ELVIS123456

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  1. When I moved to Thailand a few years ago, I was intending to get and ride a motorbike. Having ridden for over 40 years back in Aus, I was confident I would be OK. But first I got a car to get around and after driving around Chiang Mai and seeing how bad the drivers were, and the BiB, and the roads and rules (and ignoring of them), and the trucks, and the pick-ups, and etc etc etc (especially seeing the aftermath of a pick-up taking out 6 bikes), I decided 'no way jose' to a bike. The Thai wife was pleased and I never regretted not getting one - absolute death trap - just a matter of luck/time. Perhaps in a local village or a very quiet town a bike would be OK - but no way in any City or on any major roads. We are now back in Aus and the wife can now understand why it is so much safer here for bike riders - the vast majority obey the laws and no one drives like so many in Thailand (the very few drunks aside).
  2. I agree that riding a bike while pregnant in a foreign country is stupid, and that riding (in same situation) without a helmet is stupid. I also agree that in Thailand a bike is not 'legally' obliged to keep left, however most Thais think bikes are required to travel on the left to allow other faster vehicles to pass. Most bikes travel slower than cars/trucks, and many drivers will push bikes left if they get in front of them. They believe bikes must travel on left side of road, and that includes the BiB who cannot be argued with as those who have 'encountered' them will testify (bribed yes, but not argued with). As anyone who has driven in Thailand for a while knows, what is legal is irrelevant. And that is always the issue when tourists ride bikes in Thailand - they dont know the real rules. Was the guy at fault for not being on the left side and therefore she would have fallen towards the gutter and not under the truck? Was the guy going quickly and overtaking cars and made a mistake? Who knows. I hope the truth will come out quickly. But as someone has already said - anyone driving/riding in Thailand without camera/s is taking a bigger risk than is already being taken by driving/riding in the first place.
  3. As a westerner who understands (a little) Thai culture, I know there is nothing that I can say or do that will change the way most Thais think about 'making merit' by feeding stray animals (and never killing them). IMO complaining on TV about Thais doing it, and demanding they dont do it, is at best a waste of time, and at worst is bigotted. My advice is that should a dog near you be a serious problem, and you decide that you want to do something about it, then do something about it - but dont tell the GF/wife or any other Thai (or anyone). One thing many TV posters need to know about Thai culture is that it is 'up to you' about everything. Do something and keep quiet about it and they wont have a problem with you doing something as long as they dont see/know you did it. If a soi dog disappears or dies, they wont investigate how or why - unless it is obvious you did something. Thais will never accept being told what is right or wrong, by someone who doesn't understand their culture. And that is whether they are right or wrong - which clearly they are about feeding soi dogs. Yes, they should be looking after ownerless dogs like is done in most western societies - but the cultural barriers to moving things in that direction are huge and will tahe a long time. Meanwhile - what you do about a dangerous dog is up to you (something or nothing).
  4. This is (yet) another chance for the Thai policing and judicial system to show the world that the rich are not above the law in Thailand. Me thinks they will fail (yet again) - and this will be another straw on the camel's back. The camel being all the various reasons why every year less and less western tourists come to Thailand (or live there).
  5. There is a web page tool on ATO that determines if you are a resident for tax purposes. https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Host/?anchor=DORSLA&anchor=DORSLA/questions#DORSLA/questions You can click and change your answers and get different results. With the right answers you can be overseas for up to 5 years, rent your home out while away, return once a year, etc., and you remain a resident for tax purposes. Once you go over 5 years the tool cannot give a definitive answer - but you can apply to the ATO for a separate individual ruling (I did). Basically the ruling was as long as I had an Australian address/abode and all the associated 'evidence' as stated in others posts (licence, voting roll, bank, family, friends, etc) then I remained a resident for tax purposes. However, remaining a resident for CLink purposes (such as Pensions) is not the same - and there is no tool available - it is a case by case system. As others have said, once you are away for more than 6 months CLink can decide that you are a non-resident - whether you are a resident for tax purposes or not. Yep - that is right - you can be a non-resident to CLink and a resident to ATO at the same time. And it is likely in the future that the 2 year 'rule' will be more and more ignored by CLink if they decide you only came back for 2 years in order to get the pension and that you always planned to leave once approved. Likewise, they can decide not to give you 'portability' of your pension (able to receive it after leaving the country) even after you have been back for 2 years, because they decide you were always going to leave once made portable. The pension id definitely worth getting (for many) and the DHS website provides all you need to know about who can get it and the payments and asset and income limits. But I would advise anyone thinking about going back beforehand, or when they get to the age and to wait for portability, to put together a strong and believable story. You cannot 'claim' it as a right - you will have to prove your are 'deserving'. You need to make CLink believe you are staying in Aust forever (more than exactly 2 years is a start). Things like visits for 4-6 weeks to Thailand (or elsewhere) are OK, but going back for 6 months at a time will draw their attention. The days are soon going to end when a Expat can come back at pension age, rent a cheap place and sit out the two years, and then go back overseas with the pension (or do the same 2 years beforehand). I agree that it is wrong - that Expats save the Govt - but we are an easy political target - and CLink is full of feminazis that cannot abide blokes enjoying themselves (90% Expats on pension in Thailand are men). But it is what it is - you gotta be smart/clever/cunning - slowly slowly.
  6. Solution - easy peasy. Force Greece to sell a few of its islands. They have many uninhabited (or mostly) islands that billionaires would buy if they had the opportunity. Like most posters I find it unacceptable that they are continuing to get away with their socialist liberal agenda. Main reason they were 'invited' in was that Germany knew it would lower the Euro - their exports will crash if the Euro gets too high.
  7. I think the following best sums up my views in response to this statement:
  8. It never ceases to amaze me how many false stories that have come from the WP about Trump, both during the year leading up to the election and continuing now he is POTUS, and yet the Trump haters immediately believe the next one is true. Here are some examples - the list is endless: http://www.livetradingnews.com/another-washington-post-story-cast-anti-trump-fake-news-41891.html http://www.dailywire.com/news/16371/comey-fake-news-round-8-facts-contradict-msms-john-nolte http://www.dailywire.com/news/13001/omg-list-last-week-msm-spread-much-fake-news-john-nolte http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/06/16-fake-news-stories-reporters-have-run-since-trump-won/ And who can ever forget those women claiming to have been sexually assaulted/harressed? Where are they now, while the genuine victims of Clinton's reign of terror are still waiting for justice.
  9. My understanding is that once you have left permanently (or tell them you are leaving permanently), then you become a non-resident for tax purposes, but you never lose your residency for CLink purposes such as Medicare etc. (unless you formally renounce residency/citizenship). Certainly your medicare card can be cancelled or not renewed if you are overseas for an extended period (or going overseas to stay), but as soon as you return to Australia you can apply for a new Medicare Card and it is automatic (the card takes a week but you get a new number that day). You will then receive the normal free medical services and discounts on PBS as is provided to all residents/citizens. It is my belief that it is always a good idea to keep an address in Aust for medicare card renewals and many other reasons, some as per below. However, you lose residency for tax purposes if you decide to live overseas from day one - yes it can be backdated. Which means you are liable to pay income tax starting at 32.5 cents on every dollar you earned in Australia from that date. There are some exceptions (like Super Funds) but things like interest and rental income are taxed at 32.5 from the 1st dollar for all non-residents. Some people have been caught out by this as the system is self-evaluated, and I know of one bloke that is back in Aust working off a $50K tax debt (he was audited - maybe dobbed in by Ex?). There is no hard and fast rule, but the 183 days is a good guideline for ATO to use, as is the lack of an address in Australia with associated driving licence, voting roll, bank account/s, etc etc. For anyone wanting to avoid being deemed a non-resident for tax purposes (before pension age) then I would recommend maintaining an Aust address and all the associated 'evidence' of being a resident (rent a room from relative/friend) and also make a return trip at least once a year. As a tax resident of Aust there is no law preventing you from taking extended holidays overseas. Once you receive the pension, then CLink uses the 183 days as their guideline to remove any additional payments and services (rent support etc.) but you never lose your residency and once you arrive back in Aust it is automatic. ATO also uses the 183 days more readily if you are on a pension and living overseas, so if you are in this position (or soon to be), then you need to be aware of the tax implications and perhaps reorganize your financial arrangement if you are earning income in Aust that is taxable. The Govt cannot decide to allow those who have worked/lived in Aust for 'X' number of years, the right to go overseas and stay there and then get the pension when they reach eligible age. This is because it would be discriminatory (30 or 35 or 40?), because it would breach their International Agreements on Social Security (under which the clampdowns started), and it would seen to be a extra cost and not a saving (political minefield).
  10. I am not saying this to be political or start an argument, but the recent issues in USA whereby a candidate for POTUS used illegal email servers for classified message, but was not even charged, shows that it is not only in Thailand where the elite can get away with things that others cant. Not so long ago a POTUS was also not charged/impeached for behavior that in most countries would be deemed as sexual harassment (Boss engaging is sex with a Junior employee). In Thailand, like in most Asian cultures, the provision of a 'token gift' (bribe) has been the way of life for a long long time - as it was in many European countries only a few hundred years ago. Thailand is no better or worse than China or Japan - in fact it is better in some regards and worse in others. Nice rant though - but it did come across as a little bigoted to me (eg. the Thai way of doing things) .
  11. I would also add that maybe you should avoid the bank 800K issue, and get a witnessed/stamped stat dec from the Aust Embassy and use that to prove your annual income is over the required amount - that is what I did last time. Aus Embassy does an outreach to CM every 3 months or so - check their website. See seperate post/OP on the issue for details - it started last year I think. PS - I also recommend that you have minimum of two bank accounts in Thailand (eggs in a basket and all that).
  12. The Comey memo has been found. The source is dubious, but given there are no sources to prove it real, who cares: pic.twitter.com/Z3yEVtYSCb
  13. Hire companies demand credit cards and not debit cards, because they can then charge you for damage on a credit card (amounts well over the 'deposit') without you having to agree. Many stories about people being charged heaps by car hire companies when their poorly maintained vehicle breaks while they drive (or if they have an accident). You can get credit cards with a limit and that is what I always did. Likewise, someone mentioned LEK Car Rentals - they deal in cash and are good. Someone also mentioned insurance, but let me assure you many car hire companies in Thailand dont maintain proper insurance policies - and their Ts&Cs allow them to charge your credit card either way. Consumer Laws are very much non-existent in Thailand, so dont think you are ever covered by the car company's insurance policy. Open a limited credit card at another bank for car hire in places like BKK/Pattaya, and use companies like LEK in places like Udon Thani.
  14. I hear your sentiment, but you seem to think I am in complete disagreement with the need for reducing CO2 (and Methane etc) emissions. Firstly, let me say that climate change has no more chance of our extinction than Aids, and far less than a Nuclear War. The far more likely source of our extinction (as shown in the past) is an Asteroid Strike. In my view they should be spending billions on that issue, rather than on 'climate change studies'. Now to answer your point, I did not advocate : "doing nothing". What I did was point out the mathematical fallacy that the climate change models are absolutely correct - they are not. I also pointed out that Obama was pandering to his Liberal electorate when he signed the Paris agreement, as it was clearly unfair to the USA - especially when China and India and many others have very little to do. And dont try to use those EU Nations like France that willingly also signed - they have a large percentage of power from their Nuclear Reactors - try building one of those in USA these days. And currently, both China and India, each produce/use more coal than USA - and they are allowed to increase that under the Paris Agreement and USA was shutting down their coal industry?? Rather than following the Liberal method of shutting down fossil fuel usage in USA through regulations, taxes and penalties, Trump is going to take a far more pragmatic approach and encourage the use of alternative technologies. This will likely include the support of improved fossil technologies, like 'cleaner' coal burning technologies that dramatically reduce emissions (Japan has it down 40%). Additionally, reductions in taxes and penalties for things like solar panels and electric cars are also are far better way to make changes. And there are many other 'positive' ways to achieve the outcomes desired - less air pollution. As many others have pointed out, things like the horse-carriage building industries have been closed long ago - technology moves on. But what they have failed to recognise is that this was a 'natural' outcome as things changed - they were not driven out of business by regulations, taxes and penalties - they went out of business because demand moved to the new products and technologies. Encourage renewal technologies and industries - and if they are better and less costly then the market will move. Liberals (modern Socialists) always think they can achieve desired outcomes in society without understanding that there will always be unknown variables - just like many climate scientists