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BANGKOK 16 October 2018 20:55


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About dabhand

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  1. Out of interest, are you able to say how DVLA sussed you out? Asking for a friend...........
  2. dabhand

    UK banks

    Am based in Thailand but opened a Halifax Clarity CC account last year without being on the electoral register. Just needed to attend a Halifax branch to show ID proof and address verification (used correspondence with UK address of relative showing my name), so timed that with an intended trip to UK. Any branch was OK, not necessarily the 'local' branch.
  3. dabhand

    UK pensions

    Another Guardian article on frozen state pensions, this with reference to the recently raised petition, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/oct/13/frozen-state-pensions-petition Some of the early responses contain the usual 'you made your bed.....' type comments. Despite the continuing publicity on the subject highly unlikely to gain any traction with the Brexit financial uncertainties to the fore. The red herring of reciprocity will also continue as the backstop of past, current and future governments, even were the UK to be in rude good health.
  4. All this talk about verifying income might just stir the Thai Tax Department into taking an interest. The law of unintended consequences?
  5. Except, there was a report on a Pattaya Expat forum (a Robert Plant song comes to mind!) dated 20th September that indicated that the Austrian Consul had mentioned to the poster that the BE was no longer providing Income confirmation letters. So, it would appear this was common knowledge amongst some on the diplomatic circuit sometime before their concerned citizens were officially informed of this important change. Seems the BE should have some explaining to do, but, of course, accountability is not in their lexicon.
  6. dabhand

    how to make water tasty ?

    I agree with the comments on fruit flavoured water. Very tasty. When I was based I Cairo I would return to the UK every month or so for work and I would get put up in a cheap and cheerful Premier Inn. Great room and excellent breakfast but no water supplied. Also, only had the expensive snack / drink dispensers. So, my first port of call would be the local Budgens where I would stock up with little pork pies, sausage rolls, pasties, wagon wheels. penguins etc. Also bottles of Highland spring water. It was only later that I tried the fruit flavoured water bottles (not sure if they had been available earlier) and, wow, they were just great. Highly recommended. In a similar vein, my last chore before heading back to Cairo was to stock up with packs of bacon, sausages, gammon steak, etc. and wrap them up well and stuff them into my suitcase. Ahh, those were the days!!
  7. Think you will find that the 'tourism in England' figure you are quoting includes domestic tourism which is a high % of the overall total. The OP figure includes only International Tourism. https://www.visitbritain.org/value-tourism-england Apples and oranges, as some would say.
  8. The BE doing what they do best. SFA. There was a comment on a Pattaya based expat forum on 20th September from a poster who was given word by a contact in the Austrian embassy about the BE discontinuing the Income Letter service. So, this news was probably discussed on the embassy cocktail circuit by the BE Hooray Henrys well before the BE decided to inform their concerned citizens. They really are a waste of space.
  9. Apparently, according to CNN, the owner is currently in Pakistan but is 'cooperating' with the authorities. Wonder whether that cooperation will extend to him returning to the US to face the music. Of course, he also has the problem that, with the details in the OP being broadcast high and wide, his time in Pakistan may be a touch more dangerous for his personal security, not that too many people will be unhappy about that change of circumstance.
  10. dabhand

    What was your biggest medical bill and why?

    Some five years back I had a bout of dengue fever (hemorrhagic) which meant I was laid up in Bangkok Pattaya hospital for 4 nights. Total cost was about Bt70k but I was covered, at that time, by a company paid Bupa policy. I have been covered by company paid insurance ever since I started working overseas - nearly 40 years in total. That was the most expensive treatment that I needed to be settled, so the various insurance providers have made a small fortune out of me (the yearly charge in the final years was approx. Stg2,300). The company coverage stopped in 2015 as I went part time and now stump up for Aetna coverage. I did think about self insuring but, sods law, after a working life of minimal medical issues, my luck would eventually give out!!
  11. Understand your concern. Given the small fixed charge (Stg1.50?) with the balance of charges on a % basis (0.55%), there is really minimal financial downside to splitting the transfer into smaller chunks. Yes, the charges mount up, in comparison with, say, swift transfers, but, provided the Fx gain is above the 0.55% variable cost, TW will always work out cheaper no matter the size of the transfer (up to their B2m limit). For sterling transfers at the current rate of 43, that means a difference in excess of 0.24 in favour of TW will always provide a better deal. As an example, currently SCB TT rate is 42.54 / TW is 43.09.
  12. I have found this one to be very useful: http://fxtop.com/en/historical-exchange-rates.php?MA=1
  13. No, not difficult to fill in at all. Having it countersigned can be a bit of a chore, though. The main problem, based on a number of comments in another thread on the subject, is the postal system not performing. Either non receipt of the letter or issues when the completed letter is sent to the UK. Only realising there is a problem when your money stops. As for doing a DIY version. You may be happy taking that chance, for me, no thanks. Seems you have no need to worry on that front if you have never received one after six years. Some folk just have all the luck......!!