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smo

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About smo

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  1. thanks for the additional info and best wishes for your upcoming surgery.
  2. If possible, could you give out the name of this doctor which I assume is now your primary physician at this hospital? and were you able to get the first appointment with her pretty soon (in a couple of week time as opposed to a month and a half for example.) Thank you much in advance. smo
  3. I just completed my first shipping via their services. My evaluation is Excellent! First, I emailed them to tell them I just registered with them and that a friend in the LA area would come by to drop my package with them. Got a very instructive and friendly email from Bernie on what to do. Next my friend drove there to give them the package. He was impressed: "whathisname (taking the package) was super cool!" Immediately I received an email from PE with 3 lively pics of the package and its "bio" info. Next it was my turn to put more funds into my deposit, made a custom declaration, bought insurance and then clicked "Send." The next day I received all the shipping info with tracking number and ETA of 1 to 2 weeks. The service I chose was USPS Priority Mail. Of note is that the tracking number only works with USPS website, the thaipost website doesn't see it. My guess is that this is a special kind of tracking number between USPS and PE only. The last tracking input was that the package has left Suwarnabum for delivery. A couple of day later, ie yesterday the post man delivered the slip for me to go to the post office to pay custom tax and pick it up. I insured the package for 200 usd, the custom tax + VAT was 283 baht for a value of 1,600 baht (determined by custom, then the po clerk slapped on another 20 baht for reason he explained but went over my head.) Total shipping time was roughly one week. Breaking down the shipping expenses: 25 dollars for postage (package weight 1.7kg); 5 for insurance of 200 usd value, and 2 for PE handling service. So in all the total was 32 bucks. Prior to coming to PE, my friend took the package to the post office and checked the cost. Right of the bat 50 usd without tracking number or insurance. One caveat was their website is not quite up to snuff, in the sense that it doesn't tell you what to do next, you have to figure out on your own. Easy enough as a natural progession of logic: for example, package at their warehouse, what to do next? put in enough money for shipping cost. Then what next? click send. That sort of thing. All in all very pleased with Planet Express for both cost and services and again thanks to TallGuyJohninBKK for steering me there. 5 stars recommended!
  4. You did right Andy! Thanks for the useful info and and good karma is on the way! Your good deed speaks for itself, don't bother to defend yourself against those who think it's not. They are of a different breed than you and those of us who appreciate your generosity and concern for the benefit of others.
  5. Can you tell which term for the 2.6% rate and how easy/difficult it was for you to open your account there? Any documents re work permit, retirement ext. etc. required? thanks
  6. Thanks for specific deadlines. 31 Oct it must be, as my friend did it yesterday the 16th. So I guess farang expats can still come in (AYOR) and get it done at LP as we speak for this week and next. Strange that my friend did not notice any signs posted, or maybe he was just clueless. My telling him about it did not ring alarm bell to him, oh well... He's been warned (by me!)
  7. yes as I said in my original post - so let me repeat here : "So I did my online report last week for the first time, and got approved the same day (couldn't be happier!)" ( - and thanks to ubonjoe for the link!)
  8. From second hand account: ran into my yankie fellowman expat building mate this morning. He just came back from a trip to LP for his 90 day report. "You did it?" I asked incredulously. He nodded, "And it was fast this time, only took 40 - 45 min!" I asked further if there was any warning/hints about them not doing 90d at LP anymore. "Nope." "And they didn't say anything last time you went either?" I checked again. He shook his head, looking surprised. Last time I went there in July, they didn't give me any warning also. The only thing worth noticing was that they treated farangs and non-farangs on equal basis, namely the numbering system be damned, you are told to go to the window by the bunch, and when the young female clerk(in this instance it was a trainee - I saw the regular male officer seating at his desk behind hers, giving out intrustions) finished she simply put your passport at the counter. I picked up the wrong one, and she screamed! I thought since they also had re-grouped the windows in the same manner, maybe they hadn't got their act together. Then later when I read here about the branches not doing 90 day anymore, I thought maybe that was their curtain call. So I did my online report last week for the first time, and got approved the same day (couldn't be happier!) I post this because it seems strange to me that my friend went in having no idea whatsoever and for him it worked as it has always worked (even "faster" than before - gosh I wish I had his cool!) He's a button-down kind of a guy and there's no reason he would make up this story on a lark. Anyone has any idea?
  9. Thanks Stocky, for the heads up. Been watching those mouth-watering "Must-eats in Hat Yai/Songkhla" youtube videos. I notice quite a bit of our neighbors to the south making trips to Hat Yai, looks like to them just a quick hop over the border for shopping and... fun in the big city. There are Chinese tourists too - of course they're everywhere, it's a fact of life in Thailand - but not a place they would hang around long as say BKK (just like as you mentioned for farangs, just passing through.) I was hoping for more videos that show residential areas of Hat Yai, but so far all the videos aim for visitors, to be expected. Songkhla appears very charming, definitely a small town feel. Surprising I didn't see a single person going into the water on its immense beach(es)? The locals just stroll along or sit around...I have visions of myself rolling down to the water from my hammock, and then rolling back up, repeat. Both Songkhla and Hat Yai seem like places where one can eat oneself to oblivion, I better get my tummy up to the task!
  10. 1) I will have to stay close to the songthaew routes: a) physically I am no longer strong enough to handle the weight of a motorcycle b ) for safety reason I don't want to venture far from the popular areas on my own, thus what boundaries the songthaews serve that would be my stomping ground. Sorry to hear about what happened to you and wifey, I always keep in mind that no matter where we happen to be there's always bad elements present, just don't give them the opportunity (in the dark of the night, being alone, looking lost, etc.) to jump on us. 2) the general rental rates sound really good ("good condo at 5000"). Again, for safety reason, I would want to live in condos as opposed to houses (no matter how much I wish to have a little garden, veranda to sit out and have my coffee/tea.) Where I live in BKK, the building has guards (x2) at the front round the clock, the reception is also manned 24 hr, CCTV in the parking lot and at elevator landing on every floor. 3) the English corner on PSU campus sounds great! I guess I will have to actively get on with my facebook account to get connected with them. Regarding the pool fee, I'm fine with that. I used to have membership to the fantastic Sport Complex of SAT just down the road, and have access to their great pools at a minimal expense, until recently my body can't take the chlorine dosage in the city water anymore (main reason I look for a place to live "near the sea.") 4) The Sunday morning market in Songkhla sounds irresisitble, a real flea market as in the good old days! You can count me as a faithful attendant already. Also glad to hear "The food in Songkla beach is 2 times cheaper compared to tourist trap areas, Lipe, Phuket, Pattayam etc." I can hear my wallet heave a big sigh of relief! All in all thank you Seizhin for taking the time to give out very useful information on divers aspects of living in Hatyai. Really appreciated that and all the best! [Maybe we can meet over for coffee if you have the time once I get there and you can tell me more about (the exciting!)life of local expats...]
  11. Thanks Stocky for the weather forecast, it's been raining everyday here in BKK this month too so monsoon everywhere it is! Look like Jan/Mar would be good time to come to Hat Yai, I'll leave Feb to the tourists in case there's a rush...(Come to think of it maybe post Songkran would be even better!)
  12. Thanks a million Joosesis for the way excellent info on PSU! I can't wait to check out its campus, sounds right up my alley. in BKK I live practically across the street from Ram University, after a few years it has become my stomping grounds so to speak, though Ram U being a governmen-run institution is not really endowed with many amenities . Of which seems like PSU has aplenty (and then some, museum, food market, massage center, I must be dreaming? I'm sure I'll get access to its new pool one way or another. And definitely will try your "country-best" Khao Man Gai stall!) (that's one nice thing about Thailand, you're free to roam...If I remember correctly, once upon a time, on UCLA campus canteen, there was a sign that said if you're not student, prepare to pay a higher price on your lunch items, though happily that wasn't strictly enforced, meaning the cashier couldn't care less. And the last time I checked, say about 10 years ago, the moment you entered the campus grounds, you're immediately slapped with a 10 dollar - or was that 12 - parking fees!) Re Songkhla reading between the lines not just from you but also from others, it seems like a nice place to visit but not that "sabai-sabai" comfortable to live...I'm willing to trade the once or twice-weekly van rides to the beach (Songkhla) for all the living comforts that the city (Hat Yai) has to offer. Fair enough( and life's too short!) If I have one more question it would be about the weather, any recommendation when would be a good time to visit Hat Yai? It doesn't matter to me rain or shine, but I would want to avoid when the streets are prone to flooding and what not... Thanks,
  13. Thanks Stocky, for the city layout and especially the songthaew routes, particularly vital info for me as I don't drive or use motosai taxis. Much appreciated. I'm also curious about PSU, for the simple reason that being the bookish type, I always enjoy a learning environment, whether I play an active role in it or not. Just wondering if by chance you know anything about their campus and its activities? Again, thanks for chipping in with very helpful info. I will definitely get in touch once I arrive there - can't determine for now when since I just did some travelling last month and the year end holidays are upon us... PS - Was browsing on booking.com to check out accommodation. Seeing the interior decor of some of the budget venues, it crossed my mind that Hat Yai may well be adroit in the business of catering "for more licentious pleasures." Being a border town, that comes as no surprise really. Didn't mean to judge, no bother at all since I normally turn in at sundown.
  14. Could you be so kind as to give some suggestion of which part(s) of Hat Yai is quiet, safe and well served by public transport (bus, songthaew)? I know it's a big city...Would appreciate that, thanks. (ps - You're welcome to pm me if that works better.)
  15. It seems so, even the lady food vendor at my take out who's from Had Yai, vehemently indicated that I should stay in Had Yai and make day daytrips to Songkhla:" More modern, more fun, more comfortable (in Had yai)!" she said. Which translates to Songkhla is kind of dead... So what remain as attractive in Songkhla for me: - the sea and quiet clean beaches devoid of foreign tourists - great, everyday priced sea food. - easy daily transportation to Had yai. Now all I need is affordable housing with reliable wi-fi. I guess I'd have to do some recon with boots, I mean flipflops on the ground. FWIW, I once was considering Chumphon, but I've been there one time in passing to the islands, did a walkabout in the evening and remember it was not a very attractive place - to be blunt pretty charmless. Is Songkhla in the same category? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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