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      Thai Visa Website   09/30/2017

      In honour and respect of the late HM Bhumibol Adulyadej Thaivisa will make all sites greyscale for the period of October


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About smo

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  1. 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!)
  2. 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!)
  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. 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...]
  6. 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!)
  7. 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,
  8. 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.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. You had me google the term. At first I suspected something nefarious (pedophilia, necrophilia) that got to do with old age (by the prefix ger-)... Practically, it's the opposite of pedophilia, which is considered a sin for the fact of involving minors. But being attracted to a senior is considered a blessing for all concerned! ( As long as both parties are of legal consenting age). Just thinking out loud, not being judgemental here... Which brings me to the other side of the coin= ageism (this is my thread so I can derail it if I wanted to!) Two incidents one very recent one not, caught me off guard (and illustrate your point quoted above.) The first one especially: I was on an island getaway. Befriended by a young French couple one day. We got along well, went island hopping together etc., at the end of the day I even helped them find another place to stay as the one they were staying wasn't "too cool." When they went check out the bungalow up the hill, I stayed in the lobby. As they came down and decided to take the room, I asked how it was, the answer was "c'est magnifique!" Then they said goodbye right then and there, with promise to get in touch the next day. I was surprised that they didn't invite me to the new room to at least have a look how "magnifique" it was, after all I was the one steering them there. Anyway, I called them the next day, no answer. As I walked past their hotel I saw them sun bathe on the pool deck. I walked on by but couldn't help feeling a bit hurt. Second incident: same island getaway last month. This time befriended by a young couple from eastern europe, but living in London. Our spots on the same beach were next to each other so after a couple of days got to talk to one another (I and the sister.) She commented that I looked more in my 40s rather than my real 60s (which is their parents age.) Her older brother was a bit more standoffish, in the sense that his conversation was somewhat distant and generic, but that didn't bother me. They again had just moved to another resort, which happened to be the place where I hung out each morning in the coffee shop before heading out to the beach. The next morning it was raining so I lingered on in the coffee shop. At one point the sister came in, went to the counter to get something and passed my seat on the way out. I pretended to be burying in my tablet. She went by without making a noise, but I was sure she couldn't have missed me. Later on I saw they both walking past the coffee shop, looking straight ahead. The next day was my last day, and I didn't see them at their spot on the beach either. This time I recognised the age barrier, it's just like we belonged to different tribes, might exchange greetings but no association desired. Had it been with Thai/Asian people, the outcome would have been quite different I wager.
  12. Or Sukhumvit for that matter. Yeah, that's what I thought, for that part of the country especially. And I do look around...Thanks for the reassurance.
  13. In 2004 I had a discectomy on my lower back to literally get me back on my feet after the event of a bursted herniated disk that had given me 8 months of living in hell ie. constant pain. My right leg is the main collateral damage from the whole incident. When I came out of the operation I was spared from pain, but the leg had been dumbed down, the result of the sciatic nerve only half surviving the catastrophe. As a result, it has gotten bigger in muscle than the other leg, reason being having to rally more muscle to do the work of the half-gone bundle of nerves. Coming out of the surgery doc warned me that the operation did have an expiration date, saying that about a dozen years from then - which means at the present - my weak leg would again suffer/have problems, etc. Here we are, I have always considered it the larger and lamer of the two siblings but we've all tried to carry on... Lately I notice that after my swim (a couple of times a week if well in body and spirit) the weak leg has gotten tired more quickly and quite often the following day after a swim it does ache and pain noticeably more. So my question is, is it time now to consider physical therapy? Or if it's a matter of swimming no longer being beneficial but becoming rather harmful (to the sick/weak leg) then what other sports can I take up? Bicycling? Rowing? NB - I walk quite a bit and quite fast, like a New Yorker in my getting around in daily life Would appreciate input/advice from board members who have any experience or expertise in this regard. Thank you much in advance and wish you a nice day.
  14. As a retiree , I mean not working and not partying, but just peacefully living each day and enjoying little pleasures that don't necessarily raise one's heart rate (I'm not talking about sports - or sex .) Would like to get feedback from TVF members who have lived in Songkhla for some period of time: I'm scouting for a place near the sea, under (Chinese/Russian) tourist radar, inexpensive and retiree-friendly. 1) Transportation wise, looking for inner-city bus/songthaew system that is serviceable, meaning taking one pretty much around town and not too infrequent. Is Songkhla big enough a town to afford such public services? I visited Chiang Rai recently and its public transportation for me is quite dire. 2)Re housing would like to get some general idea for apartment/condo rental in the upper budget range, around 5000 baht per month if that sounds reasonable. Which areas should I be looking at? Doesn't have to be in "farang town" (I speak some Thai), but farang-standard appreciated (quietness, cleanliness, and safety especially - I live alone) 3) would like to hear more about Songkhla University there, do they have any cultural/communities events that farangs can participate? Sports complex, tracks, swimming pool? I don't need a night life, can't imbibe much alcohol anymore, anyway a good day time work out will have me happily retire at sundown. 4) Anything in general that I need to look out for (I don't mean unrest in the South, but anything peculiar that one doesn't encounter in Bangkok but might do so in Songkhla?) 5) (Last but not least I love muslim food, esp. beef dishes, me being Texan - just kidding! - so Songkhla is right up my alley.) Thank you in advance for any input/guidance. Much appreciated.
  15. How was your first day of retirement LoS

    I made my Bonjour-Retirement grand arrival in BKK Jan 2014 via an "academic" connection with ABAC. The first day I was whisked around their Bangna site in their effort to make me the oldest-on-records undergrad student on their campus. (For 3-4 years? Look guys, I don't have that much time left!) Incidentally it was also the first day of BKK shutdown. I came down for breakfast in the hotel lobby and saw all these amulet-wearing farmers gathering outside. At the end of the day, the university staff brought me back to town, put me up in their teaching guest tower in Hua Mark and pointed that I could walk out to the soi and get some food in the evening. It was the night market alright, but I remember for my first dinner I had to look hard for a shop with an English menu posted outside. Soi 24 quickly endeared itself to me to call it home and has remained so for the last 4 years, though I never started school at ABAC. After 4 months in the guest tower, and two month-long Thai beginner courses at Asoke later, I moved into a nice ("overpriced" by the local standard) residence building in the same neighborhood. I and a lady tenant neighbor used to shoot the breeze about where we would go next if we had to move. After a few rounds of playing BKK monopoly, we kinda sit up and nudge each other "but that means we'd have to leave here? (No, no we can't!)" She's now resettled in Europe, I'm glad I'm still here. I went back home in the US last Xmas for an extended visit, and boy, even good old Southern California could be a dreary place when situation got beyond your control: monthly rental of a windowless hovel of a room half the size was more than double that of my "deluxe" BKK adobe, and the food court in Little Saigon supermarkets had all the fun of a mausoleum. I kissed the tarmac when the plane brought me back to Swampy. The first day back in Thailand was so infinitely better (and sweeter) than the first "first day" that for the first time in my life I had the urge to go do tambuon at the wat next door, I mean, soi.