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About NancyL

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    Chiang Mai

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  1. It looks like the guy performing with her is making moves more suggestive than Lamyai does. Wonder why the PM doesn't find his performances offensive?
  2. Those plants are cabbage, not lettuce.
  3. The question of 'where does your rubbish go" really depends on your lifestyle and how much rubbish you generate. As a retired couple living in a Chiang Mai condo, it's really very straightforward. We bag the trash in drop it down the handy central chute with access doors installed on each floor in the building. It all ends up in a big room on the first floor and early every morning a big truck comes, wakes us up and the men yell and make much noise as they empty the fragrant bags from that room. A couple years ago, the noisy trash men decreed they didn't want to deal with burst bags of kitty litter so those of us with cats have to bring bags of used kitty litter to a special receptacle near the door of the fragrant trash room on the first floor and can no longer drop our bags of used kitty litter down the chute from the upper floors of a high rise condo. As for anything of value, it's standard practice to place it next to the trash chute door on your floor and somehow it magically disappears. The definition of "anything of value" includes cardboard, glass, cans, plastic bottles, and anything you don't want anymore like a small appliances doesn't work anymore. As for major appliances that don't work anymore, we've found that the guys who deliver the new appliance are always thrilled to take away the old one. I suspect they know people who can repair an old appliance cheaply and sell it easily. Sometimes it's a good thing that we don't have a vehicle and have to rely on the home delivery service of the appliance stores.
  4. There are several advantages of obtain the O-A retirement visa in your home country, rather than relying on a one-year retirement extension to an O visa, obtaining it in Thailand. One advantage has already been mentioned. If you don't meet the income requirement, then you don't have to bring 800,000 baht into Thailand, but instead can keep the funds in your home country since that is sufficient proof of financial worth for applying for the O-A in your home country. A couple other advantages -- if properly used, you can obtain two years of life from an O-A visa. It's a multi-entry visa, with each entry giving you a stamp with a 1 year permission to stay. So, just before your O-A visa expires, you exit and re-enter Thailand and you'll receive a 1 year permission to stay, expiring almost one year after your visa. You do have to be sure to purchase a re-entry permit before you leave Thailand during this second year to keep that permission to stay alive because your visa is expired and you've lost the "multi-entry" feature. If you're living in Chiang Mai, you probably know that the local immigration office is not very elder-friendly. Retirees arrive at 5 am and even earlier to queue for the limited number of slots available each day for processing retirement extensions. With an O-A retirement visa you can avoid this nightmare for two years. You still have to do 90 day reports, submit TM30s and get re-entry permits during your second year at this ghastly office -- plan to spend 400 baht in transport from city center, but at least you don't have to arrive early to queue for these services. 90 day reports can be done by mail and sometimes even on-line and some people are fortunate enough to live in a condo or guesthouse that takes care of TM30 reporting for them.
  5. Please read my post, No. 28. One drawback of donation is that your family doesn't receive any remains when the students are done, just the memory of the nice memorial service at the wat and then only two people could come. It's been my experience, in helping to arrange other cremations, that the process can be incredibly easy and cheap here, compared the the west. In Chiang Mai, many end up at Suan Dok (CMU hospital), esp. if they die at home and there's a need for a medical examination as to the cause of death. They have the facility at Suan Dok to preform cremation on site. All the Next-of-Kin has to do is request that Suan Dok take care of everything and they come back a few days later to receive a cardboard box with the remains. The cost is very low, well under 10,000 baht. What makes funerals so complicated here are the wishes of Thai families to honor their dead and show their standing (and probably avoid negative gossip) so they stage lengthy and expensive funerals. There is no legal reason why funerals have to be done in this way. If you want to avoid this, then put it in writing and make your wishes known to as many people in your Thai family as you can get to listen to you. Many Thai people don't want to talk about this subject. But, you have to put it in writing, so your wife can have something to show everyone that this really was your wish and she is honoring you by fulfilling your wish. Many times I've sat around with a few foreigners at a Thai funeral for a foreigner and we've lamented how the poor guy never would have wanted to have this much money spent on his final send-off.
  6. The private hospitals all have customer service reps who can go to Immigration and obtain a medical visa extension for someone who is an in-patient. This can be a solution for someone who is too ill to participate in transferring funds from their home country to Thailand to fulfill the financial requirements for a visa extension.
  7. I was the executor for the estate of an American friend who was in her mid 80s when she died in Chiang Mai. She wanted her body donated to medical science and I found the process to be fairly easy. There was some question about her age, but she had been very active, walking at least a mile each day, to and from her condo to the local mall for shopping and socializing prior to being struck down by a stroke. Her doctor vouched for her overall condition and her donation was accepted. The "paperwork" involved in the donation wasn't any different for her as a foreigner than it would have been for a Thai person. She had requested this in her Final Will and as the executor of the Will, I was able to sign the necessary documents upon presenting her Thai death certificate. I simply had to present the Final Will and hers and my passport, along with the death certificate and they made copies of all these, to submit with the application. About a year after the donation, I received a letter from CMU, in Thai, asking if I cared to submit a photograph of the lady to be used for display at a memorial service. A few weeks later, they had a service at a wat where photos of all the donors were displayed, monks chanted prayers and medical students (presumably the ones who had studied the donors) attended and gave honor, along with their professors. Each donor was limited to having two guests attend. No remains were returned. It was a nice ceremony and good way to honor the donors.
  8. Sadly, this is what can happen when someone who is resident in Thailand, like Jane obviously was since she had a condo in HuaHin, doesn't to set up a Final Will, Advance Health Directive (aka Living Will) and a Durable Power of Attorney so that someone can act on her behalf to make financial decisions if/when she becomes incapacitated. All this can be done for less than 10,000 baht total. If she had any of these documents in place, then the Thai lawyer/accountant was acting improperly. Even if she had just a Final Will, then he was undercutting the intention of the Will by, in effect, getting Jane to sign over her condo to him. But, if none of these documents were in place, then he was trying to obtain access to her funds to assist her. Maybe not in a totally ethical way. Perhaps he promised Bangkok Hospital that he could sell her condo to pay for her medical treatment. Otherwise, she was in very real danger of getting turfed out to a government hospital rather than receiving the care she needed in a private hospital. I'm involved with and have seen expats with money needlessly die because no one around them can get access to their money in their home country.
  9. We're in a large 17 story building in Chiang Mai. There is an open central stairway to the lobby and what should be closed stairways on each end of the building, but the doors are kept open for ventilation. I never see them closed. What most residents don't realize is the the stairways on the ends don't go all the way down to the lobby. They stop on the 5th floor and people are expected to find their way to the central stairway to complete their descent. The one "saving grace" is that the parking garage is floors 1 - 4 and has a bigger footprint than the rest of the building, so most of the units on the 5th floor have a very large ledge outside their windows and a balcony jump off a 5th floor unit in our building will result in a twisted ankle at best. The ledge outside our windows is big enough that we could have a major patio on top of the parking garage, but Hubby has nixed that idea. I've often wondered if the Chiang Mai fire brigade has ladders tall enough to reach the 5th floor. Also, the advice about keeping your apartment door closed during a fire probably is going to be difficult, because we're next to the termination of one of the end stairs and will hear all the surprised people coming down and discovering they're not in the lobby but in the hall of the 5th floor. As it is now, we deal with this during power outages when people decide to use the stairs to get to the lobby. During a fire, we're simply going to have to let people get out to the roof of the parking structure via our condo windows.
  10. Very feasible at CM University hospital. The bodies are used in anatomy classes and they welcome donations of foreigners, just as they welcome the chance for their medical and nursing students to "practice their English" with foreign patients. Their brochure says they don't accept donations over age 80, but they have waived this restriction if the person was in good health and active until just prior to demise. Also, I have a sense that their needs can vary depending on upcoming classes, etc.
  11. Sailorjon, I'm amazed that you still haven't resolved the constipation problem. Whenever I'm on pain killers, I up my normal daily dose of one Mucilin packet. It's fiber. If I didn't take at least packet daily (with a large glass of water) I'd probably be as constipated as you. I read where the normal dose is one to three packets daily, with a large glass of water or fruit juice, best taken after a meal.
  12. After a lifetime of managing employees who spoke my own language, the last thing I wanted to do in Thailand was manage domestic employees who didn't speak English. It's way much easier to live in a 110 sq. mt. condo that has everything a retired couple would need, and spend 1/2 day per week cleaning than to deal with all the drama associated with having strangers in our home. Hubby has this really dynamic CD collection and we just let it rock while we clean together. The cats are terrified.
  13. I haven't bothered to look, but everyone says Lazada, the of Thailand. Good that you're thinking ahead.
  14. Are you sure this is what you really need? Many people with sciatica (like myself) have been helped with the wonderful attention of physical therapists and weight loss. I live in Chiang Mai and the top hospitals here don't usually recommend surgery for the treatment of sciatica, but rather ask their patients to commit to getting themselves in shape. If you improve your "core muscles" you'll find your pain is diminished. Incidentally, an x-ray of my lower back looks very bad, a definite congenital curvature,. But, if I keep my core muscles strong, I can keep the pain under control.
  15. No, I'm not aware of any specific "penalty" about continuing to use your daughter's address as your own. However, if there is an issue where you have to communicate with your "local" SS office, your daughter's office would be considered as your own. From a practical standpoint, I can't think of any specific "issues". You probably were able to sign up for more than just Medicare Part A and B by claiming your daughter's address. We'd very much like to sign up for more, whatever they call it, the medigap stuff but we've been out of the U.S. so long and don't own property, never had kids, and use a commercial mail forwarding address in a state we haven't visited for 50 years. It would be nice to have the security of knowing we could return to the U.S. at a moment's notice and be covered, but we don't have that now. Be aware that you can tell SSA that you live here in Thailand and still have your monthly benefit deposited to a U.S. bank account. That's what we do. No problem. But, Hubby does receive that annual "are you still alive" mailing that people in the U.S. don't receive. And about your final paragraph. It's impossible for a foreigner to die here without their death being reported. We stick out like sore thumbs and the Thai people love to gossip about us. There is no right to "patient privacy" at hospitals and I've seen nurses post photos of themselves with their foreign patients on their Facebook pages, something that would never be done in the U.S. So why does SSA require us to show up in person to sign off for our monthly pension? Who knows?