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About TallGuyJohninBKK

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  1. Personally, I'm an equal opportunity hypocrisy and corruption opponent. I have no color allegiance here, and would, in your words, only like to see the best outcome for Thailand and its people. That said, there's certainly a long history of corruption and pocket lining here, and it didn't start by any means with one particular family. But they're the ones who have variously been in power during my years here (apart from the coup periods). And, IMHO, they simply make things worse: it's bad enough that they get rich via corruption and twisting government to their personal benefit. But IMHO they make it WORSE by then, on top of that, pretending to be advocates for the poor. At least the other crooks aren't so double-faced about their dealings.
  2. Perhaps it's the blatant hypocrisy of certain billionaires trying to pretend that they're defenders and advocates for the poor when in fact they're just mainly interesting in lining their own pockets and those of their close circle.
  3. Let no one ever say Thai politics doesn't pay... Heck, she has more bank accounts than the recently deceased dark web Canadian guy, and more properties as well. And if those are the ones the Thai bureaucrats found, then they're probably a small share of her actual holdings, which presumably have been disappeared in various ways over the passing months.
  4. Thanks for posting that. It DOES make for a very interesting read. Heck, it took the feds almost 5 pages of the complaint just to recite/list all the different cars, houses, bank accounts, cryptocurrency holdings, etc. that this guy and his wife had, spread out over quite a few different countries, not just in Thailand. He truly was an international (illegal) financier -- albeit now, a dead one. I'm kind of thinking, the feds probably would have liked to interview and grill this guy at length, if they had been able to get their hands on him for the longer-term. But as the saying goes, dead men tell no tales. But according to the complaint, this guy was hardly acting alone. The complaint says there were 8-10 people working on his site and getting paid salaries for doing so. Wonder what's happened to the others???
  5. I have my policy with Pacific Cross, which used to be LMG Thailand. Every year at renewal, my broker gives me an updated rate sheet for the policy that shows exactly what their age various bands and corresponding premium rates are. I believe Pacific Cross also adjusts its premiums in 5 year age increments. So at least, I always have a general idea of what to expect as I'm getting older. As Sheryl noted above, there are basically three ways to get a health insurance premium increase here: 1. Periodic adjustment based on increased age, which applies to everyone when they reach certain age thresholds. 2. Periodic inflationary rate adjustment, which presumably applies to all their policyholders with that company. 3. Policyholder specific rate adjustment, typically based on recent claims large enough to trigger a rate hike. Sometimes if you're very unlucky, two or even all three of those factors can come into play in any given year of rate changes. One good thing to look at when shopping for health insurance here is to inquire and check on what kind of rate history does that particular insurer have. Little rate adjustments every year, or, wait 4 years and then hit you with a 30% increase, etc etc... And also see how their age bands are structured and how much in % terms those rates change from band to band.
  6. Remember the Thai wife of the guy who got whacked (assassinated) in Pattaya??? But, but, but....he was JUST a website designer..... I guess you could say... this guy was a website designer too... I never had any idea that website designing could be so dangerous.
  7. In terms of the Red Shirts' track record, civil disobedience is one thing. Burning buildings, bombings and shootings are something else. Back when they were free to run amok, they seemed to have little experience with the former, and a whole lot with the latter.
  8. Has anyone else noticed, 3BB seems to have upped their stated upload speed again on the 200 Mbps down plan? My 3BB bill this month now lists the package as 200 Mbps down / 100 Mbps up for the standard 1200b plus tax. I haven't done any upload speed testing on that... Let me see if I can find some local network upload here that I'd want to do...
  9. Wonder what exactly is going to happen to "his" houses and fancy cars after they've been seized? Bet we'll never hear anything more about that. Either way, I'm guessing some Thai authorities won't be too broken up about his death.
  10. Yes, Clinton St. is very good for more than just pancakes. I've reviewed it here and like their food a lot, including their very good hamburger and their pancakes there. And yet, it's nice to have the broader choice of pancake toppings/flavors that IHOP offers. I'd like to enjoy both.
  11. I wish I could say I've been back as a return customer to the Paragon IHOP, but I haven't, and the reason is one example of why this is a Thai business -- despite having an American menu. The first time I ate there was the day after their soft opening, I tried to pay with my VISA or MC debit card, and was informed by the wait staff that they didn't have their card machine yet, but would soon. So, no problem, I paid cash, and asked the manager how soon before they'd have a working card machine. He said the next day, which I clearly doubted at the time, so I gave it another week and went back to check. A week later, nope, no card machine. Sorry, next week. A second week later, nope no card machine. A month after opening, nope no card machine. So the last time was about a week ago when I was in Paragon and popped by, nope, no card machine. So at that point, now five weeks after their opening, I basically gave up. If and when the IHOP BKK branch manages to join the modern world and accept bank card payments, I'll be back as a customer. Until then, Nope!!!
  12. I'd still imagine, whatever incarceration he faced in the U.S. wouldn't be nearly as bad as the alternative here in Thailand. I'm not making any moral judgments about what he did and the impacts of his business, one way or the other. Just saying, he ran a website trafficking in illegal stuff. He didn't commit any violent crimes himself, didn't murder anyone himself, etc etc. I don't think that would equate to the feds treating him as a violent criminal offender. I really don't think, had they had the chance to convict him, that the feds would have dropped him into some max security prison with guys on death row and mass murderers. As for the towel thing, that's kind of odd too... I don't seem to recall seeing a lot of hanging-length capable towels being typically present in Thai detention cells.
  13. I'm sure you'd be big on getting the trains to run on time also....
  14. I wasn't suggesting and didn't suggest that..the part about the Thai bigshot. But, the notion that a Canadian guy with money presumably squirreled away around the world would suddenly kill himself in a Thai detention cell -- he hadn't even made it to a regular Thai jail or prison yet -- rather than face extradition to the U.S. would seem more than a bit peculiar. For starters, aren't the police and their detention folks supposed to REMOVE from prisoners anything that they might be able to use to harm themselves? Isn't that a pretty standard part of the detention process?? Well, apparently not here. And then, anyone who thinks white collar crime incarceration in the U.S. is likely to be worse than any kind of incarceration in Thailand has no clue of the realities of the world. The guy allegedly ran an illegal website, he didn't per se kill anyone, AFAWK. White collar crime incarceration in the federal prisons system in the U.S. isn't so bad, depending on the location one is assigned to. Just ask Bernie Madoff or Martha Stewart. If it were me in his shoes, I'd be begging the Thai police to put me on the first plane back to the U.S. instead of staying in jail in Thailand.
  15. Just to reinforce this point to the OP... Having legal permission to stay in the country is a separate matter from having legal permission to work. It's a work permit that gives you legal permission to work, not a visa. If you're here on a visa-exempt entry or an extension of that, that's NOT giving you any kind of legal status to work. It's only giving you permission to be in the country. The fact that you might not yet have received any salary really doesn't matter to the Thai authorities, since they consider even volunteer work to be work. Just be aware, the longer you do any kind of teaching activity without having a valid work permit, the more you're putting yourself at risk. BTW, AFAIR, the Thai Consulate in L.A. also does same-day turnarounds for tourist visas, provided you apply in the morning.