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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. Post I never thought I'd Write

    I wish you all the best, John.
  2. I didn't mean for it to seem offensive. I've tried to train my husband (western like me) on how to do internet banking to pay bills and transfer money over to Bangkok Bank from our home country, but he doesn't seem interested. Instead, he wanted me to write detailed instructions in a special notebook so he could attempt to do it if I become incapacitated. By the same token, he tried to "train" me on how to reinstall the software so our computers can "talk" with the printers over the wifi because every time we have a power interruption the laptops lose the ability to print documents when the power returns. I told him that if something happened to him and we had a power outage, I'd call Suchart the computer guy and either have him fix the problem permanently or ask him to buy a new printer for me that doesn't have this problem. So, I'd be using Suchart to fix my computer problems in much the same way your Thai wife/girlfriend would use a visa agency to take care of your visa extension if you became incapacitated. But your Thai wife/girlfriend needs to know to contact them well in advance of expiration of your permission to stay and which agency to use. Just yesterday, I assisted a man who had a stroke a few months ago and had taken care of his visa himself in the past. Now his Thai girlfriend is struggling to do his extension, even though a visa agency is involved.
  3. Be sure to train your Thai wife/girlfriend how to handle your annual visa extension because some day you may be relying on her to do the thinking for you. Many think it's like the driver's license renewal process, where you wait until a few days after it expires to go to apply for a new one.
  4. No, they're just having fun, and I'm having a good laff. After a difficult day of explaining to yet another 75+ year old on long overstay in a hospital why he has to leave the country and then working with the Consulates on yet another "managed deportation". Maybe this is why Immigration is liking me so much now. I'm helping to get all the old "criminals" out of the country. You see, the local care facilities won't accept anyone on overstay any more because of pressure from Imm. (TM 30, you know, the care facilities have to file them), so people who can't even sit long enough for take-off and landing to be taken back their home countries have to be loaded on planes. The good news is I finally decided to buy a multiple re-entry permit because I've been the escort on so many of these flights that I've decided the "thrill" of going out to Imm. Prom. to see how things were going was no longer worth it.
  5. Use of Overseas Credit cards

    Was this with True? I've had endless problems with them accepting a U.S. credit card. Finally gave up and starting paying with my Bangkok Bank online banking. I think some of the problem may be that the charge is submitted to your credit card company as "True Money" and that raises some flags. Or the problem could be that their terminals aren't set up to read chipped cards. I ran into this problem with some of the residents at McKean/Dok Kaew who want to pay with chipped debit cards that you can run as a credit card without a PIN number. Fortunately, McKean/Dok Kaew is a small operation and I've worked closely with their cashier's office over the years on behalf of a number of their residents. They turned down a charge from one of their U.S. residents, saying the message read that he didn't have sufficient funds. I knew from his online banking that he did. I did trial runs with two other U.S. residents and they received the same message. No way all three residents could have insufficient funds. Then I suggested the cashier call their merchant services provider, Bangkok Bank to ask if there was a problem on their end and she protested, saying it's always a 45 minute wait. She agreed to let me try and when I hit the English language option on BB's voicemail menu, I was connected to assistance immediately and got the problem sorted in 10 minutes. Apparently, there'd been an "upgrade" to their terminal to accepted chipped cards and it needed to be reprogrammed. The BB customer service rep walked me through the steps to reprogram the McKean/Dok Kaew debit/credit card reader. It's very possible that the OPs mobile phone provider hasn't upgraded their terminals.
  6. New Visa Agency at Promenada Mall

    Let's remember that after Imm. Prom. opened, many customers were appalled at the conditions and complained to their Consuls or Consulates. Discontinuation of the online appointment queue (no matter how bad it was), waiting in the heat, arriving at 2 am with no lights or toilets, etc, etc. The Consuls looked for someone to verify these claims since they themselves couldn't go out to inspect, not without notifying Imm. in advance and arriving during business hours. They looked around to see what organization represented the resident expats and CEC came up. Incidentally, so did the expat organizations of other nationalities and believe me, they've also submitted reports to their Consuls and have participated in the subsequent meetings with various Thai gov't agencies. One major response was for Immigration to establish a new layer of management at Promenda, bringing up several managers from Bangkok. Thus, there is always someone on duty to sign-off on a visa extension, eliminating the need for passports to be run over to the old office or to track down the big boss. Once you have your retirement extension interview with Officer Nicky, a boss from the new layer of management reviews his work and signs off within 20 minutes or so. These new ladies also implemented recent changes like the queue-number being served signs. I don't think this "face saving" move of establishing a new layer of management would have occurred without the pressure of the Consular Corp, which was backed up with the research, reports and input that I did. The Japanese expat clubs also had some significant input, too, and like me, their "top visa expert" has received some abuse within the Japanese community for not taking a "long view" about the problem and keeping a lower profile.
  7. New Visa Agency at Promenada Mall

    Let's remember that back when I was spending time at Immigration, observing and reporting, often it was because I was assisting a Lanna Care Net client or newly arrived retiree/CEC member and, as the then-president of CEC, the Consular Corp was asking me for input about what was really happening at Immigration Prom. because of the complaints they were hearing from their constituents. Arrival at 2 pm, queuing in the dark, next to a goat pen, no toilets, being given the run-around and different answers when asking simple questions, sitting all day outside the office in the heat, listening to queue numbers announced in bad English over a bad speaker system. Remember what it was like when they first moved to Promenada? I wrote emails, reports, gave presentations to audiences that included the Consular Corp, Minister of Tourism, Governor's office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and even representatives from Immigration. Was this a "personal crusade"? No, these people considered me a representative of the expat community. After all, I was president of CEC and had been voted TV POTY. I was invited to speak at these meetings. I don't think I was seen as a "crack-pot" on a "personal crusade". I'd like to think that I had a hand in the improvements that have come since then. Now you wait indoors, in the aircon, with adequate seating space, thanks, in part to that side waiting area built by the mall. There are lighted queue-number being served signs with the number announced by a professional recording. The toilets are opened in the morning, the goats are gone, but admittedly the morning lighting could come on earlier. They've moved the agents out of the morning queue; they're served by their own I/O upstairs, so it's only us "retail" customers who wait in the morning queue. These changes have come on gradually and there is still much room for improvement. The agent system is still a cause for concern (esp. for visa conversions for newcomers) as is the lack of an on-line appointment system for marriage and retirement extension. As for what happened about the move to Malaysia. Part of what motivated that was my being told, in a rather frightening way, that I was to cease coming out to Imm. to help others and/or to observe and just to come to take care of my own business. This was in December 2016. We applied for the 10-year MM2H visa in August 2017 without any problems. In fact, the Imm. off treated my husband quite nicely and there was none of the nit-picking or pressure to use an agent that he would have encountered here. However, at about that same time we learned of a Thai-U.S. tax treaty that is of great benefit to us. No such treaty exists with Malaysia. Also, at about that same time, Mr. Bitey had a lump removed that turned out to be cancer. And while the lump was "contained", he has to undergo monthly blood tests and eat a special diet. It didn't seem to be a good idea to move him. Plus, since I'm no longer president of CEC, I don't feel the need to represent expats. I do take care of Lanna Care Net clients, but have steered many to using agents or trained their friends how to deal with Imm, even though I'm the one gathering the necessary documents from the hospital and in some cases giving them the money to pay the agent. At least I know who the cheap ones are. Anything to keep my face out of Imm. Friday, however, I had a real shock when I went to Imm. to get a re-entry permit for myself and decided to handle a 30-day tourist entry extension for a client myself, just to see what would happen. Fortunately, it wasn't busy at Prom. and turns out the I/O who handles tourist extensions (not someone I normally interact with) had been involved in a recent community service project with me and was quite friendly. And Officer Nicky, the I/O who handles retirement and medical extensions even came and sat next to me in the waiting area to chit-chat, saying how he hadn't seen me lately (well, duh, remember when your boss sent out the goons in December 2016?) and asked if I still help older expats in hospital. I said yes and he said if they ever need a medical extension, I should just come and see him, Officer Nicky directly. My, my. Things have changed.
  8. Confused over Thai girlfriend

    Speaking as a woman, I don't think this woman's behavior is especially "Thai-like". It's just the way women behave when they find a good rebound boyfriend and then their true love comes back onto the scene. She's just not all that into you. She's trying to "be nice" and not hurt you too much. And probably a little flattered with your continued attention. Get over it and move on.
  9. I was at Immigration this afternoon to get a re-entry permit and the place was very, very quiet. Looked like Officer Nicky just processed 10 retirement extensions for the day. You probably could have waltzed in there at 1.30 pm and still received a queue ticket for a retirement extension. He actually came into the waiting area, sat next to me and chit-chatted while I was waiting to be called for processing my re-entry permit.
  10. Mall Opening Times

    Central Dept store in KSK opens at 11 am during the week, 10 am on the weekends, but yes, most other stores open at 10 am in KSK.
  11. How much money to retire in Thailand.

    Amykat speaks the truth. In my involvement with Lanna Care Net, I've seen many new male retirees who came over here in their late 50s, as excited as a 5-year old on their first day of school only to turn into bitter 70-year olds after being worked over by a few Thai women (or Burmese boyfriends) and/or suffering some expensive health problems, or getting into some ill-advised business ventures. Some of these men die horrible, lonely, painful deaths, too poor to return to their home countries of conditions that are entirely treatable like skin cancer, prostate cancer. They lack the funds for a plane ticket home. Life in Thailand can be very exciting for a man in his 50s. Not so good for one in his 80s.
  12. How much money to retire in Thailand.

    I hope the OP is learning that ThaiVisa can be an excellent source of information if one is willing to tune-out the idiots. Actually, the idiots can make it interesting at times. I have fun poking them with a sharp stick if things have gotten a little quiet.
  13. Setting gem in a gold ring

    According to their website, Mr. Nassar has been in business at Shiraz Jewelry since 1982, over 35 years, so Hubby and I must have been some of his first customers. He's a delightful man.
  14. Setting gem in a gold ring

    Shiraz Jewelry on Thapae Road, near Soi 1 should be able to help. Very reputable. One of the first times I visited Chiang Mai, the owner made some blue sapphire and diamond earrings for me, shortly after he opened and I'd kind of forgotten about the shop, until I lost one of the little diamonds out of an earring with many pavee diamonds and someone recommended I go to Shiraz Jewelry, where the owner did the repair on the spot for a very reasonable price. Then I realized it was the same shop I'd visited as a young tourist many, many years ago with my young husband to buy what was for us a major purchase that the jewelers in the U.S. said was very good value.
  15. How much money to retire in Thailand.

    I just love the way E/S manages to refer always refer to women in negative terms. Admittedly, after looking up Amanda Vanstone (i.e. the correct spelling of her name) in Wikipedia, I'd say her "fat bitch" appearance is one of the most appealing things about her.