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About Sophon

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  1. One thing that may be worth considering when choosing between an OA visa and a retirement extension, is what happens if the financial requirements are raised. Last time they raised the financial requirements for a retirement extension, those who were already on extensions were "grandfathered" in at the old levels, and there is a good chance the same would be the case again (no guarantees though). Those on an OA visa, on the other hand, would most likely have to meet the new financial requirements. And since it's been a while since the latest change, a raise of the financial requirements could very well be on the cards sooner rather than later. This may not be a concern for the OP, since it sounds like he would comfortably meet the requirements even if the amount required were raised by a considerable margin. But for others, who today have income or savings only marginally over the required 65k/800k, it could be a deciding factor. Sophon
  2. He doesn't need to change to annual extensions, his wife can get an extension as a dependent based on his permission to stay from his Non Immigrant OA visa. Sophon
  3. The duty free allowance for returning Thais are for "household effects" - not personal effects. Thai customs describes what it covers like this: I can see a minor amount of tools go through without problems, but with what you describe I would expect problems. Sophon
  4. I have the outlet in your second picture and it is definitely intended to be installed as pictured. If it was installed like you suggest, the writing on the outlet would be upside down. Sophon
  5. Thanks to both of you for your replies. Good to have it confirmed, that this is probably not a bad omen, but just caused by the irregular electricity supply as of late. Sophon
  6. A couple of nights ago I turned the A/C on in the bedroom, but noticed that the air coming out wasn't really getting cold. Checking on the outside unit revealed that it was not running at all. Since we don't use the A/C much, we have previously had problems with weeds growing into the unit preventing the fan from turning, but this time there was no obstruction and the fan blade turned freely when pushed. Changing settings on the remote made no difference, even on the "turbo" option the outside compressor was completely dead. Turning off the A/C manually using the button on the inside unit also changed nothing. The next day, before calling the Samsung service centre, I switched off and on the dedicated breaker for the A/C and lo and behold, now the A/C works normally again, which brings me to my question. Does any of this indicate that the A/C is close to failing, or is it likely just a question of the computer running the A/C having been "confused" (possibly because we have had a couple of problems with the electricity supply lately, one time going as low as 10 volt before cutting out altogether)? My guess (hope) is on the latter, and that switching off the breaker made the A/C computer reset, kind of like restarting your computer often solves whatever ails it. Sophon
  7. Yes, you are missing that the official name of Krungsri Bank is Bank of Ayudhya. Krungsri Bank is just a brand name. Sophon
  8. I also thought it was a rat snake, but Vern from the Thailand Snakes website was positive it was a cobra and I'll take his word for it. Are you calling my dogs "ignorant morons"? Sophon
  9. I sent pics of both KC 71's and my snake to Vern from Thailand Snakes. He identified mine as probably the Buff Striped Keelback, an non-venomous and harmless snake. He couldn't identify KC 71's snake, but said that it was NOT a Golden Tree snake (which was also my guess), wrong shape for that. I also sent him pics of this snake that our dogs killed a couple of years ago. I thought it was some kind of rat snake, but it turned out to be a cobra. Luckily, our dogs were not bitten. Sophon
  10. Now that we are identifying snakes, does anyone know this fellow? I found him dead next too our house this morning with no obvious cause of death. Only 30-40 cm long so could well be a juvenile, which might be why I have been unable to find a match on the Thailand snakes website despite the distinctive pattern. Similar shape to the one in the OP. Sophon
  11. Or to look at it from the opposite point of view; If the USD 1,352.02 you were charged were really to cover a charge of THB 50,000 then your credit card company would have given you a rate of 36.98 THB/USD. The highest the USD has been over the last 10 years is 36.505 so you must have been charged for less than THB 50,000 (unless this is a very old charge). Just a guess, but is it possible that the THB 50,000 was Pattaya Intl. hospital's estimate for your procedure, and to make sure they were covered they did a pre-authorisation for that amount? And when they did the actual billing after finishing your treatment, the total cost came out at THB 47,253 so that was what they actually charged your credit card in the end. I totally agree that DCC should be avoided, but you seem to be comparing the equivalent in USD of two different THB amounts. With your numbers you would have been overcharged by more than 12%, and I have never heard of anyone being overcharged that much by using DCC. Sophon
  12. I understand that the top number is the amount charged on your credit card statement when charged correctly in THB. However, it clearly says that the exchange rate used by your credit card company was 34.949926776 and USD 1,352,02 at a rate of 34.949926776 is THB 47,253 - not THB 50,000. Sophon
  13. I don't know why, but something isn't adding up with your numbers. Your account statement shows that you were charged 1,352.02 USD at a USD/THB exchange rate of 34.949926776, meaning that the original amount charged to your card was THB 47,252. The credit card slip on the other hand shows a nice round number of THB 50,000, which sounds like a rather strange amount for a hospital bill. Assuming that the correct bill amount was THB 47,252, and that the hospital would somehow have credited you for the surplus amount of THB 2,748 charged to your card, then the corresponding USD amount for your bill using DCC would have come out at USD 1,439.17. So you would have been overcharged by USD 87.15 or 6.45% by accepting the use of DCC. You would also have received a poor exchange rate for the THB 2,748 that they would presumably have given you in cash when you pointed out, that the amount charged to your card was higher than the bill. So only about half of the USD 170.85 from your example is down to DCC, the rest is because they charged your card different amounts when using DCC and when subsequently charging you in THB. Sophon
  14. No, you should have entered the re-entry permit number there. Most people also writes "re-entry" next to the field to make it clear to the Immigration officer, what he should look for. The 90 day report is a report of having been in Thailand continuously for more than 90 days, so when you leave the count resets. So your next report is due 90 days from today, with today being day one. No, when you applied for an extension you were given permission to stay until a specific date (look at the stamp in your passport). You have to apply for a new extension within the last 30 days of your current permission to stay, nothing is "rolled forward" automatically. Sophon
  15. I'm not so sure they necessarily got it wrong. From So according to the first bullet point it is not enough to have owned the condo for five years, it also have to have served as your principal place of residence. I guess that is so that people buying a condo in order to rent it out, or to profit from price increases are not exempt as both of these purposes are regarded as a form of "business". Since your friend have owned and lived in the condo for more than 6 years, his potential problem is in how he has to prove that. As I read the above, in order to be exempt from the special business tax the owner have to have been registered in the tabien bahn for no less than one year in the period since the property was acquired. So then the question is, does the owner have a yellow tabien bahn (with his name in it) for the condo? Sophon