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About NancyL

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    Chiang Mai

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  1. I, for one, have drastically reduced my posting frequency because I've grown tired of being attacked every time I post. Found better things to do that entertain my stalkers.
  2. Michigan is most definitely a swing state and we will definitely continue to pay state income taxes for the privilege of voting there. Just as we continue to pay federal income taxes for the privilege. If nothing else, it was worth it, to see the Facebook posts from Hubby's Facebook friend, a member of his former Rotary club and the local librarian showing off the expansion to the local library. Good to know our votes helped in that close bond election.
  3. I don't think someone should surrender their right to vote just because they don't want to get summoned for jury duty. Check to see how jurors are selected in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised like I was. Or at least you should vote in Federal elections.
  4. I know many people who have back-to-back medical extensions. As long as the condition continues and the documents are "in order" you should be able to obtain the extension. Sometimes, Immigration does at-home visits to those on long-term medical extensions to make sure they really are bed-ridden, unable to travel, end-of-life, etc. I doubt this will be an issue for someone having extensions for just a few months.
  5. We've continued to vote in Michigan, the last place where we voted, even though we no longer own property there. We were advised by the CM Consulate that you should continue to vote in the last place you voted when you left the U.S. This thread got me to determine how it is that Michigan selects people for jury duty because we did receive summons from time-to-time when we lived there. Now, a summons would come to our previous address and I'm not certain what the new owners would do, if the post office even delivered the summons to them. A quick google search revealed that Michigan selects jurors from the those who have Michigan drivers licenses or state issued I.D. cards. Whew! Our MDLs expired long ago. One of our first actions in getting settled was to obtain Thai DLs before those Michigan DLs expired, so we wouldn't have to take a Thai driving test. Incidentally, we've kept up enough with Michigan politics to feel qualified to vote in state and even local elections.
  6. Yeah, SiamJourney, toaster ovens aren't like toasters. You have to guess on the approximate length of time and be prepared to flip the item being toasted at least once, usually more since the front-to-back also toasts unevenly. Hubby's the "head toaster" and he hovers over the oven with wooden tongs while in operation, flipping bread front-to-back and upside down a few times during the process. Welcome to life in Thailand! Why not just get a conventional toaster, you ask. Well, we like to toast bagels and English muffins (when we can find them). And the little oven can accomodate a small glass casserole dish and I can make some main meal entrees in it that are much better than cooked in a microwave. In our small kitchen, it's our only oven. Considering we paid less than 2000 baht for the little champ, we're getting our money's worth. Incidentally, it's a Toshiba brand and one of the main reasons we bought it, was it had to fit into the space available on our appliance shelf next to the microwave. As I said, it's a small kitchen.
  7. I said not to buy a Thai or Chinese brand name. I realize that many of the Japanese, Korean and European brands are actually made in China, but their engineering and quality control seems to be better. We've had bad experience with Thai brands for small appliances like rice cookers and sukiyaki pots. They just don't last more than a year or so.
  8. Duh. this isn't that difficult. It's only a toaster oven for goodness sake. Just buy a brand brand that isn't a Thai or Chinese brand. And even then, they don't last for more than 3 - 4 years if you've spend less than 5000 baht.
  9. Great time-saving idea, Pib! At least doing it my way, I've memorized the address of our Bangkok Bank branch by inputting it so many times.
  10. Interesting discussion on pulling funds out of traditional IRA and moving into Roth IRA. I hadn't thought about this. Right now, we're at relatively low income in the 15% tax bracket on Hubby's SS and private pension, and not at the upper limit on income in that bracket. Within 2 years my private pension will "have" to start, pushing us up to the 25%. Yeah, a good problem to have. Would it make sense to move some funds now while we're still in a lower tax bracket?
  11. I really wish the online tax software like turbotax and taxact would link with the BSA e-filing system. After a year or two of tediously completing the FinCen forms on taxact, I realized it was just a stupid exercise and skipped it this year, moving straight to the gov't BSA website instead. It would improve compliance if the BSA system could be linked on the tax filing software programs. Our bank account information doesn't change much from year-to-year; taxact is good at remembering your data from the previous year -- BSA doesn't. Drives me nuts to have to input the same data year after year.
  12. Yes, important to get the aircon units professionally cleaned twice a year. The crew comes in with a power washer and shop vac and disassembles part of the aircon unit to really get them clean. We always do this just before we start them up before CM's smoky season. They were amazingly filthy this year. It will be very interesting to see what they look like with the Aug/Sept cleaning. We also clean the filters every 2 - 3 weeks in the shower stall ourselves, too.
  13. A couple years ago we invested in some air filtration machines for our CM condo and they've made a big difference. I knew it was time to turn them on this year when I started to develop coughing in February, complete with bringing up hunks of yellow/green mucous. It was sad, because the weather was still cool enough that we wanted to sleep with the windows open, but the air quality had deteriorated too much.
  14. Are there any liquid soaps especially formulated cleaning the male groin area? There are a number of products available for women don't have perfumes or other irritating ingredients and are pH balanced. It would seem that a similar product would be good for men, too.
  15. Actually, the idea of paying 500 baht for an expedited C of R doesn't esp. bother me, because this is something that's practiced in other provinces. It's just the tip of the iceberg here. Once a embassy official said to me, "Nancy, we know all the police in Thailand are corrupt and they pay to get their positions. Immigration are part of the police and they've had to pay obtain their positions, so they need to recoup their investment through their jobs. How do they do this in other provinces?" I'd done research on how elderly expats are handled in Pattaya and Phuket and found this to be a very interesting question. The answer seems to be that Bangkok turns a blind eye to the widespread practice of Imm. offices charging a modest fee for expedited C of Rs. In many provinces it's 200 or 300 baht. Chiang Mai is among the highest at 500 baht, but others are this high. So, the practice of charging for a C of R isn't "Chiang Mai specific". What is "Chiang Mai specific" is the practice of severely limiting the number of marriage and retirement extensions granted each day to walk-in "retail customers" while visa agents can jump the queue and making it almost impossible for new arrivals to execute a visa conversion without the aid of an agent. And the need for the elderly to arrive at zero-dark-thirty to wait in the dark as mosquito bait for their queue tickets.