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About gerryBScot

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  • Birthday 07/07/1958

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    ex-small town west central Thailand, now in China

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  1. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    Patrick, you are almost behaving like a troll because an AA of your standing should know the answer. If you are really struggling with this issue, which I actually doubt, surely your AA intergroup is the place to take this matter, not a forum such as this. 'The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.' It is unequivocal. It is the bedrock upon which AA has been built. The door must always be open and we can never choose who we let in; they don't even need to say they are alcoholics. All they need is a desire to stop drinking. If these people continue to drink and see no reason to do the steps then they are not going to be very different from many AAs at the beginning of their time in AA. I would strongly urge you and any other AA to focus exclusively on your own problem with alcohol and not concern yourself with that of any other, and in particular to avoid any consideration of whether a person is or is not an alcoholic. It might be these people you are concerned about are actually getting a considerable benefit from being at your meeting. And you might inadvertently harm them if you tell them you don't think they are alcoholics - if you were to have told me that in all earnestness in my early days I may have gone out drinking to my considerable detriment.
  2. Phetchburi is a delightful, civilised provincial city with much to commend it including its proximity to the coast.
  3. Does anyone know if this covers the Passport Office?
  4. As of this month Thai passport holders can enter Hainan Province in southern China for up to 30 days without a visa. There is a requirement to book the trip through an official travel agency and I do not know the precise ins and outs of doing this, but if you do it you'll get in. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-04/18/c_137120441.htm
  5. The unfolding story about the shocking treatment of UK Commonwealth citizens, the so called 'Windrush' scandal, and the references to the 'hostile environment' that has been the policy of the UK passport office and the immigration service in recent years, makes for depressing reading. In China we are in the business of applying for my Filipino wife to get the bog standard UK visitor visa. This online application process seems to be equally hostile and I am sure it is equally so for those applying from Thailand too. Apologies if this topic has already been flogged to death here. At just under £100 for the bog standard no-bells-and whistles visa it is frightening that it is only after the form has been completed and paid for that there is a categorical message to the effect that information cannot be changed, meaning mistakes cannot be rectified; the first and final message advises that the solution to such a situation is to submit a new application. Plus the volume of information that is required - my wife's complete travel history for the last ten years. That amounts to 20 different entries in my wife's case including two one day entries into Hong Kong which does not stamp entry/departure dates into passports anymore. It doesn't seem to be anything other than making applicants jump through hoops in the hope that they will make errors; I find it surprising that details of specific entry and departure dates are not asked for but just the month of entry and a length of stay in either days, weeks, months or years - you can only select one measure and cannot, for instance , express the length of the visit in days and weeks. So looks like it is a process designed to frustrate applicants and which by its nature facilitates mistakes. One plus is you can pay with Alipay - except I couldn't because I do not have a Chinese mainland resident ID card! Them there Tories are nasty people - glad I live far away from that 'hostile environment' these days.
  6. gerryBScot

    Not drinking

    Thanks but sorry to disappoint you: I am an alcoholic but I am a sober one these days!
  7. gerryBScot

    Not drinking

    One thing you are not talking about as you spar about exotic aspects of diet is the importance of exercise in pursuit of health and well being, and lowering BP. Getting regular, age-appropriate exercise combined with a healthy diet are the keys to health and well being. Exercise in particular might well counter the potential adverse effects of some foods and might allow a little room for some occasional indulgence! On the food front I think a reduction in carbohydrate intake is one of the best ways of reducing weight - switch from rice/potatoes/bread to a fresh salad.
  8. Over the last few days I have been unsuccessfully trying to organise the shipping of personal effects from Thailand to The Philippines. My consignment needs no more than 3 cubic metres. I also wanted to deliver my consignment for consolidation in person by flinging my various boxes and golf club sets into the back of my truck and driving to the port in Bangkok. It's a great mystery to me why I have been unable to deal with anyone in any company who can say to me something like: for consignments from A ( small city west central Thailand) to B ( small city central Philippines) that require from 1 to 10 cubic metres of space, there is a charge of XXXX baht per cubic metre; additional costs such as repacking, consolidation, customs clearance and collection will cost approximately xxxx, xxxx, xxxx and xxxx respectively; there will be additional costs at your destination end and we recommend you to use this particular agent to process clearance at your destination and you will have to meet his/her costs. Two companies insist that they need to pack my personal effects to ensure customs clearance in Thailand; so additional costs there in sending packers/drivers to A and then to drive the load to the departure port. I would be happy to leave the boxes open so that they can be checked. I'd be happy to drive the unopened boxes to their offices in BKK for checking. But no, if you don't do it our way, you don't do it and in any event we can't give you a price. So what these companies are in effect saying is we will take your consignment and then use them as security to extract as much money from you as possible ... because if you don't pay we have your property as collateral. Another company quoted $2,000.00 US for collection from A and delivery to Manila. I asked for some break down of how they reached such a figure, like a quotation, they came back with a reduced price of 55,000 THB with delivery to A. Again no breakdown simply a figure and when I suggested a figure of 50,000 THB might be acceptable they replied that they were already taking a huge risk. Duh! Then a consolidator in Thailand offered 4,750 THB for a super box measuring 75 x 55 x 55 cm; he said he could fit five super boxes onto a pallet. I don't understand how you can make 5 boxes fit on a 1 cubic metre pallet : maybe four, possibly six, but but five doesn't make sense. I compare this experience with shipping personal effects inside China last year. I understand it is not exactly comparable as there is the matter of border crossing and duty. However I used Google translate to send a message to China's leading freight company. Within two hours a guy came to my house on a motorbike expecting to collect a letter and when he saw I had five boxes he said he would need to come back the following evening. This guy arrived on time with a mate as agreed, gave me his WeChat contact details and they took my boxes off, down three floors of stairs. I remember saying to my wife that we might never see our stuff again. An hour letter he sent me price details: 5 boxes weighing 156 kg in total for shipment from C to D by road express would cost the equivalent of about 17,500 THB. I transferred the money to his WeChat account and he sent back the bill of lading and reference numbers. I got a phone call 36 hours later from my people in D to say my boxes had arrived. Knock me down with a feather! I was floored. Meanwhile back in Thailand. A friend has kindly agreed to store my personal effects as we return to China tomorrow. I am not going to be rushed and make a decision that might prove to be very expensive.
  9. gerryBScot

    Public Taxis - Impressed by Organisation

    Fair comment but this was done by the booking desk and 150 baht off airport was ok. Previously I have been quoted ridiculous prices so I was happy to splurge!
  10. I seem to recall seeing an SF-Express counter on the departure floor when I flew out of Swampy back in January. Has anyone had any experience using this service? I've used SF-Express in China to ship goods and their service their is awesome. However I have been dealing with their office in BKK and let's just say it is hard to believe I am dealing with the same company. Anyone care to share their experience of using the airport service if it actually exists? Thanks
  11. gerryBScot

    Selling a Second Hand Truck - Paperwork

    Thought I'd reply to my post as I resolved the problem and sold our truck yesterday. Mrs GerryB went into the local Immigration, in this instance in Ratchaburi, and explained our dilemma. She was given a form for the landlord/housemaster to complete, basically a confirmation of residence. Our house master duly completed this, provided a copy of her Thai ID card and we went back to Immigration who issued a letter to certify my wife was lawfully in Thailand and presumably could sell our car; attached a photo to the letter which was then signed, sealed and delivered. Free. The Immigration Officer even came running after us as we went down the stairs saying we needed to come back for the letter of certification. Unbelievably good service from Immigration. The deal was a cinch.
  12. On arrival recently I was very impressed by the way the taxi lines are organised at Swampy into three sections: Short Rides, Regular Taxis, & Large Taxis. Unfortunately there was a massive queue for Regular but we were staying locally in Lat Krabang so went for the short ride option and got taken to our hotel immediately for 150 THB: no hassle from the driver who might have spent three hours in a queue waiting for a poxy fare and an 'acceptable' level of overcharging; I say this because it would have been less than 100 on the metre but .... what the hell? So well done to some one for sorting this out!
  13. I'd be grateful for some advice on a little bureaucratic issue. Our dear old truck which did us wonderful service for 10 years is up for sale and we have a buyer. The issue is my wife is the car's legal owner and she is currently here on a 30 day waiver. Of course when we first bought the beast she was here on a Non-B as she worked as a teacher and was here in that status for 11 years; we can prove all this but that was before, and not now. We have left Thailand and now live and work in China, though currently here on a short break. I've been told she should go to Immigration and get a letter from them. She can do that but can someone please advise what that letter should actually say? As I say I'd be grateful for a steer on this. Many thanks
  14. Grateful thanks for the excellent information here about taking your motor across the border into Malaysia. My query is if there is a limit on how many times you can drive over in a given period. It is possible I may start working in Malaysia later this year and I envisage a scenario where I may want to drive into Malaysia and back to Thailand three or four times in a six-month period and possibly stay in Malaysia up to three months at one time in the period. Can anyone advise me on possibilities and likely difficulties? Many thanks