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About NancyL

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    2015 Thai Visa POTY Survivor
  • Birthday 01/20/1954

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    Chiang Mai

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  1. Bell's Scotch Promo'd at Big C b499L!

    Thai people love the Union Jack. What it has to do with Scotch is beyond me. Edit: Oh wait! Of course. This is cheap Scotch. Silly me. No classy Scottish tartans, castles or moors. Not even deer in the headlights.
  2. Bell's Scotch Promo'd at Big C b499L!

    Drinking it now. It's been at Tops, Rim Ping and 7/11 in Chiang Mai for several months at this price. Heck, even the little mini mart in our condo stocks it, but at a higher price. Just waiting for the tax increase to hit the price. I rather like the taste. It has more flavor than Dewers or even Teachers. I switched to Scotch (the drink of my forefathers) after wine started to bother my tummy. Hubby got tired of my Johnny Walker Double Black habit and started to bring home bottles of other stuff (most of which I rejected after a couple drinks) and I had to admit this Bell's wasn't all that bad. And much better on the budget. I could have sworn I read one bottle that said it was bottled in Vietnam, but the bottle in front of my right now says "distilled, blended & bottled in Scotland". And the only thing I mix with Scotch is a little bottled water and ice or maybe for a nightcap Scotch and milk. That settles the tummy nicely.
  3. You may wish to look at this Advance Directive, developed by Lanna Care Net and Cancer Connect with input from several hospitals and Consulates, that has been used very successfully in Chiang Mai. http://www.lannacarenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LCN-Advance-Directive-Word-2-11-February-2015-1.pdf A key point of my previous post is that you can't anticipate every possible hypothetical upcoming situation and there are conditions where it makes much sense to restart someone's heart, put them on a ventilator for a few days, use a feeding tube for a couple weeks, etc if it is anticipated that the person is going to recover. That's why it's important to select a good "Health Care Representative" to act on your behalf, rather than trying to micromanage your care in advance. An HCR doesn't necessarily have to be a "friend", but rather someone whose judgement you respect. When you recruit someone for this job, you should have a series of meetings with them and discuss what quality of life issues are important to you. Some people would say they wouldn't want to live if they could never walk again and others would say they're OK with being bedridden, but don't want to be a financial burden. Everyone has different criteria and it's important your HCR knows what's important to you. Your doctor cannot be your HCR, incidentally.
  4. What do you consider a "life support machine"? A respirator, supplemental oxygen supplied through a nasal cannula or face mask, a feeding tube, a kidney dialysis machine? All these devices can be used temporarily for people who are very ill but later recover nicely.
  5. According to the "Funeral Assistance" document, there is usually no need for an autopsy when someone dies in hospital, under the care of an attending physician. Perhaps if someone is brought in close to death and there hasn't been time for a proper diagnosis, an autopsy is done, but otherwise no. When someone dies at home, after a lingering illness and is under the care of a physician treating that illness, an autopsy often isn't done. But, still, bodies usually aren't brought straight from home to the temple. They're taken first to hospital where a physician can determine the cause of death for the death certificate. There certainly is time for an autopsy when someone dies on a Wednesday and is cremated on a Saturday. It may not have been a full "CSI-style" autopsy, but an exam that satisfied the doctor as to the cause of death. The standard practices in other countries have no bearing on what happens here. I don't know why so many expats find the need for an autopsy so troubling.
  6. You should consult a lawyer about this, but it's my understanding that this should cover it. The key think is to have a proper Final Will.
  7. No, updating the bankbook on the same day isn't a problem. When I got my queue number, the Imm. employee handing them out told me to go up to the Bangkok Bank and run my passbook thru the update machine. I guess they just want to make sure I hadn't withdrawn the 800,000 baht that I'd deposited nine years before when I first came to Thailand for my retirement visa. The "update bankbook" machines are available anytime you can get into the mall.
  8. Recent reports are that everyone queued up at 8.30 am is receiving a ticket for a retirement extension. Definitely can't have a "sitter" get a number/time for you. That person would be acting as an "agent" and they have a separate procedure for agents. Of course, you can employ a visa agent if you want to be able to go into Imm. at a preferred time, like late morning or early afternoon and they can make the necessary arrangements since all agents are now handled upstairs and make advance appointments. There are stories of people arriving late in the day and still receiving service for a one-year extension, but it's not the norm. Usually you're told to come back tomorrow morning. Yes, people over age 70 can use the "Priority Lane". Someone could go and make an appointment for you on your behalf. I've known people who do this for older friends who have mobility issues, etc. I seem to recall hearing that the bank letter is valid for seven days, but they'll probably ask you to update the bankbook on the day, also. They asked me to do this in January when I brought a letter and bankbook that were four days old.
  9. Yes. No, it doesn't work this way. When someone dies outside of hospital, there is usually the need for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, so your body will be taken to the hospital in your area that performs this service. If your "Thai lady" isn't your lawful wife, then your Embassy/Consulate will be tasked with notifying your Next-of-Kin for instructions about final arrangements. They may give written permission for your "Thai lady" to handle the arrangements, esp. if it is suggested to them by the Embassy/Consulate or if you have already introduced your "Thai lady" to your NOK, either in person or via email/phone calls.
  10. I just had a scary episide

    Very good point. When I realized at 3 am that I should pack a small bag for an overnight stay and go to the hospital at first light, Hubby was out-of-town. I gathered up my passport, insurance card, our overseas credit cards, local bankbooks and ATM cards and the registration card for the hospital. As it turned out, no advance payment was requested, but they know me at the hospital. Actually, much of that stuff is in my handbag all the time. Also, the mobile phone charger (and mobile phone, of course) and contact info for where Hubby was staying overseas. Plus my computer, its cord and a power strip, which was needed in the hospital room due to the lack of power points in convenient places, even in a five star hospital. A few toiletries, like toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant, body lotion. I should have brought several changes of underwear, in retrospect, too. Unlike gov't hospitals here and every hospital I've ever experienced in the U.S., it was no problem to get an English-language newspaper, Coke-Zero, or other small item at Bangkok Hospital-Chiang Mai. You just dial 24-hr room service like you do in a hotel. What a concept! In the U.S., I've gone nearly mad in hospitals for lack of a newspaper or a Diet Coke! And a shower! In the U.S., even in a private hospital, you have to beg to get a shower. The shower rooms are at the end of the hall and the nurses act like it's a big deal. ("Can't you just wait, you're scheduled for discharge tomorrow.") At Bangkok Hospital-Chiang Mai, each room has a private toilet and shower and I was hustled into the shower on multiple occasions so they could change my high thread count bed linens, soaked from my fever, and clean me up. A couple days I was showered three times.
  11. I just had a scary episide

    The question would be why are you running a fever, esp a high fever? It appears that made you weak and dizzy, thus the fall. Two weeks ago, I started to run a fever for no apparent reason and after a couple episodes where it was so high that I was chattering in the bed, feeling very cold, despite wearing extra clothing and having extra blankets, I called a friend with a medical background and he ran through a checklist. Runny nose, coughing, ear ache, nope, nope, nope. Lady problems, as he said delicately? Then I realized it had been something like 18 hours since I'd urinated, even though I was drinking a lot of water. So next time I felt the urge, I collected my urine in a glass jar and had my answer. Gads, it was very dark, smelling very off and I swear there was stuff floating around in it. Since it was 3 am, I decided to wait until first light and get myself to Bangkok Hospital - Chiang Mai, bringing a few personal items because I figured they'd want to keep me for 24 hours for some IV antibiotics and a fluid drip. Actually they kept me for 5 days for a serious kidney infection and blood sepsis, pumping me full of antibiotics and an IV medicine to reduce fever (it was very slow to go down) and did a cardiac ultrasound to be sure the sepsis hadn't crossed into my heart and infected my already compromised heart valves. Fortunately, the heart was just fine and the care at Bangkok Hospital - Chiang Mai was great.
  12. Yes, it really helps to have some goals in mind when learning Thai. And while being able to chat up the girls in the bars may be of interest, there are other goals that may have more impact on your "survival", like learning numbers so you can go shopping in the market, learning the names of basic foods and meals so you can order for yourself in a restaurant and market, being able to tell time in Thai (it's more complicated than you think) so you can make appointments (and yes, Thai people often do arrive on time) and being able to give and understand directions. This is where having a GPS and listening to it in Thai vs. English is a help. For starters, the English language versions of the GPS always mispronounces the place names wrong while listening to the GPS in Thai will help you to learn the correct pronunciation for the roads and landmarks.
  13. Wow, that's cold. The certificate of the death of an American abroad is one of the free services of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and they give you multiple "original" copies to use in closing bank accounts, claiming life insurance, etc. Usually you have to send a certified copy, i.e. "original" death certificate in order to claim funds due to a survivor or heir.
  14. Here is a very good document developed by Chiang Mai Community Church about Funeral Assistance for Foreigners. While some of the advice is Chiang Mai-specific, much of it isn't: http://www.lannacarenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2016Funeral-AssistanceSEP2016.docx.html One way to ensure that your Thai (unmarried) partner has the ability to claim your body and make final arrangements on your behalf without waiting for your embassy to track down your next-of-kin (who may not exist) is to have a Thai Final Will in place with your wishes clearly spelled out. If you wish to overlook next-of-kin, then please mention that in the Thai Final Will. I've been executor for an expat where she deliberately "overlooked" her adult children in the U.S. but because their existence wasn't mentioned in her Final Will, settlement of the estate was delayed until I secured statements from them that they were OK with being "overlooked". Fortunately, they were very sympathetic since they hadn't seen the woman who gave birth to them but didn't raise them for 40 years (long story), but if they'd chosen to "play hard ball", her entire modest estate would have been eaten up in legal fees in Thai courts.
  15. Opening a Thai Bank Account- New Policy?

    As was pointed out by another poster, compliance with the requirements of FATCA really isn't difficult for U.S. citizens -- the filing is all done on-line and if you keep your bankbooks up-to-date, it's just a matter of rounding them up, scanning each for the high balance the previous year and filing out the online form. It's a bit of a pain when you have signature authority for an account (like for a club), but no ownership rights and still have to report that bank account and the club treasurer doesn't understand why you want to know the high balance, account number and address of the bank branch, also, but oh well. All the banks in Thailand are in compliance and now report this information to the IRS for U.S. citizens. They want to know if someone is a U.S. citizen, even if they opened their account using a non-U.S. passport, which may explain why Bangkok Bank is asking a Swiss national for documentation that they are really a Swiss national since people do have dual citizenship. As for U.S. expats avoiding paying tax on foreign income, I refer you to the Thai-U.S. Tax Treaty https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/thailand.pdf and the paragraph-by-paragraph explanation of this treaty by the IRS in plain English https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/thaitech.pdf Americans working overseas can elect not do not pay U.S. taxes on their first $100,800 of earned income (IRS Form 2555) and retirees with private pensions who are "substantially" living in Thailand can claim Thai residency for tax purposes, file both Thai and U.S. income tax returns and claim their private pension income on their Thai tax returns. Pension income isn't taxed in Thailand. Social Security and other gov't pension income has to be claimed on the U.S. tax return. So, contrary to popular belief Americans don't have to pay taxes on all income, no matter where in the world it is earned and there are some tax advantages for Americans living overseas.