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About Thaidream

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  1. The Godfather; Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco- great movies. Having grown up in an Italian family some of these movies reminded me of being home.
  2. Snowden should be allowed to return to the US a free man. He provided a valuable service which exposed illegal intrusions into every Americans life. That the NSA and other intelligence agencies could spy on American citizens unfettered and without any due process makes a mockery of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.
  3. I have almost 50 years experience regarding Thailand and things Thai. It certainly has changed since my first visit and some for the better and some for the worse. I still enjoy life in Thailand and will never leave although if I was single and looking for a retirement place- I would consider other options along with Thailand . Here are my thoughts on life in LOS and the future. - Immigration issues are much better now than when I first came. At one time it was very hard to stay in Thailand more than 15 days but the different Visa options now are many and apply to a cross section of people. In the future we will see less Westerners staying long term because they will be unable to meet the financial requirements and as more Thais become educated- less foreigners will be needed as management. In addition, other countries are providing more opportunities to stay long term with less hassle. -Thai people are much the same as far as being friendly but the life of the poor is much unchanged. People in rural areas away from the tourist trade are much friendlier and willing to help. However, Thais in general are exhausted from work; travelling to work or home and trying to improve their lives. The education system has not improved and is bogged down by the civil service system that refuses to adapt. -Economic development has helped mostly the rich and has pulled some into the middle class but nowhere near enough. The minimum wage is too low to actually improve people's lives as the cost of living has gone up considerably and will continue to go up. Jobs for the uneducated have dried up because of the minimum wage increase and the exploitation of the rich. These workers have been replaced by imported labor who will work well below the minimum wage so the Thais return to their village and try and live off the land and find some support from family. A succession of Thai Governments have become oblivious to this and don't really care but there is a dangerous undercurrent building that will eventually have to be dealt with. The Red Shirts exist for a reason and eventually their complaints have to be heard. -Tourism at the 60 Million level is absolutely unsustainable and will never occur. At the present 32 million level -the strain is already showing. There is also a backlash from Thais who are 'irritated' at being brushed aside while the powers that be cater to foreigners instead of their own people. A perfect example is the Bangkok Administration policy of removing street vendors except in tourist areas. Does the Government really expect poor Thais to eat in a restaurant at minimum wage salary? In addition, allowing a 99 year lease of land by foreigners denies access to poor Thais for land and a chance to advance. -Having gone through a succession of Governments and coups- the only thing I can comment on is that it affects hardly any foreigners and unfortunately hardly any Thais.There have been massive improvement in roads and highways but huge increases in traffic due to easy loans which have indebted people who cannot afford them. The 30 Baht health scheme has been a big positive but expats also need a health scheme they can buy into such as the Thai Social Security system. Life in the countryside is much the same. Any big industrial project heads for Rayong or Chonburi while Issan gets nothing. and the population base increases in Issan which long term could mean possible unrest. There is a huge imbalance in incomes in Thailand much like we see in America and the UK. -Thai society like much of the World has broken down for a variety of reasons. There is a lack of role models except useless movie stars and singers that contribute little to society. There is a breakdown in the education system with little guidance on morality; adherence to societal norms; critical thinking and preparing students for real life situations. At the same time, the family unit is not cohesive; parents absent trying to make a living and no real guidance . In addition, adherence to the teaching of religion have been degraded by poor role models in the way of clergy and a replacement by social media which contributes little to a realistic life view. -I don't fear for my future as a foreigner in Thailand but I do fear for the future of Thai society and my family as members of society. Thailand actually has the resources to become an economic powerhouse and raise the income levels of its poor and middle class but I am not sure it has the will to do the changes necessary to accomplish it.
  4. Nuclear poker continues and will not end until North Korea is convinced that America will never invade if it ends its nuclear program. The only way this can happen is for China to guarantee the existence of the North and America either gives up its yearly training with the South and repositions its troops. A formal signing of a peace treaty would also be in order. The Chinese are putting pressure on the North by rejecting coal shipments and holding back oil. China can bring the North to its knees economically but it won't A war would be catastrophic and even Trump knows that. There are estimates of 1-3 million dead- the destruction of Seoul and missile attacks on Japan. Both sides have to give and both sides have to talk to each other. The US should start to de-escalate by sending the USS Carl Vinson back to Japan and wait for reciprocity from the North. If they refuse to reciprocate- the ship comes back with a deployment of B-2 bombers and about 20K US Forces. North Korea cannot win in the end but they can cause massive casualties.
  5. The poster Pentap makes many valid points. Having lived here for decades- I have simply ignored most of the things he mentioned and accepted them as the Thai way of doing business. However, for a tourist who has never been to Thailand -and comes with certain expectations- they will be let down and not return. As other countries in the region become more acclimated to the tourism industry and Thailand remains the same as it is now- tourists will be voting with their feet. Thailand is not really investing in its infrastructure like it needs to be and with the use of social media- the warts cannot be hidden like in the past. The authorities really need to look at what other countries are doing and honestly chart out a workable plan for sustainable tourism. The current concept of we don't need to build it or improve it- because they will still come just will not work any longer.
  6. Ran as an ass and governs as an ass.
  7. The Congress has had months to come to an agreement and they allowed this to drag on until the last minute while they went on their vacation. These people never have the best interests of the United States in their minds. Their only goal is to remain in power to feed at the trough. The whole American system is broken and will be made worse by Donald Trump who is the most unqualified President in American History. Millions of Americans need health care; more millions of students have become indentured servants to the American State over student loans; and the poor and middle class are being lulled into believe that the upcoming tax cut will be the break they need. Instead Americans will get a $20 Billion border wall - huge tax cuts for the wealthy; a large budget increase for the military because Trump does not understand diplomacy and how to stop playing nuclear poker. The deficit will rise again and in 4 years Trump will be gone to start the cycle all over again. Americans will remain poorer; the wealthy will get wealthier; the military industrial complex will remain in tack and the swamp will be full of the usual snakes and it will never be drained.
  8. The Trump advocated ban will cost the US billions of dollars because people Worldwide are avoiding travelling to the US. That includes conventions and meetings which would have been held that are not; students that would be educated in the US and will go elsewhere and individual foreign families who will avoid the US- all because Donald Trump and his foolish minions want to place a travel ban on 6 countries in which no known terrorists have ever entered. Saudi Arabia is not on the list and that country has contributed many terrorists to the US -most notably those who perpetrated the 9-11 attacks. Trump has made a complete mockery of the United States and as President should be removed for incompetence.
  9. If I was the Australian PM I would tell Trump to stick it in his arse.....Trump owes him an apology. Trump needs to remember that the Australian Government allows US military to be based in Australia and also to utilize an intelligence installation there. In addition, Australia has supported the US on numerous occasions.
  10. The column was written for the sole purpose of getting reaction and encouraging discussion. While the author has some valid points- we all have the right to freedom of expression within the limits of the forum. The truth is that the forum represents society with all its good points, bad points; likes and dislikes and even its prejudices. There are a multitude of different nationalities represented and there is even misinformation about nationality stereotypes. There are some interesting discussions and things that can be learned that we may not have known. I find many of the experiences posted quite enlightening and sometimes even irritating but live and let live.
  11. Facebook Live needs to be shut down immediately after these reprehensible acts . During the shutdown they need to adapt the technology that immediately blocks these type of acts being shown. Once they are certified it can be relaunched. If they refuse- Governments should then shutdown Facebook altogether. Technology is great when used for the common good. I don't see any good with this type of technology. There have been too many incidents of people acting out just to get attention and also committing vile acts. Not only are the perpetrators mentally ill- but those who watch are also in need of psychiatric help.
  12. I am quite aware of my countries history and my description is not revisionist. I hardly think Wikipedia is the primer to use for History. In addition, don't lecture me on American History. I served in the Us Armed Forces in Korea and lived it. Where would you during the war? Not even born I would guess. You might want to listen to some of us who actually made the History instead of using a reference in which anyone can provide their version of History except what really happened. I actually know people in the US Army who were sitting on the Yalu River In NOrth Korea when China entered the war. How many people do ou know who were there?
  13. Well, I am American and certainly not a Trump supporter. South Korea was not created by the Americans but as a result of the Korean War in which North Korea invaded the South and was eventually pushed back by American intervention assisted by 14 other countries that contributed troops to include Thailand. North Korea was pushed back all the way to the Yalu River and then the Chinese intervened and the war ended with an armistice and the dividing line of the Koreas was set just above the 38th parallel. South Korea adopted democracy as its form of government while North Korea adopted authoritarian communism. The Americans have a history filled with many mistakes but they are hardly the devil incarnate as some posters try and indicate. I, for one, am well aware of my countries history and am well qualified to criticise its mistakes. The one big difference between North Korea and the US is that in America we can criticise the Government and President whenever we want without fear of retribution. In North Korea, that same action gets you the death penalty.
  14. Thailand has changed so much over the many decades that I have lived here and some for the better and others not. I have never felt unwelcome or faced unfriendly Thais except on one occasion involving a bank manager. She did not like 'farangs' and indicated so to my wife but I kept quiet because we needed her signature which we eventually got. To stay happy in Thailand one has to go with the flow as they say. Those things that used to bother me just don't any more because I have come to realize- I can't change them. I just try and laugh and shake my head even when getting cut off on the highway. Thais have to solve their countries problems and not foreigners. One thing that hasn't changed is the lot of the poor and Thailand has plenty of them working at jobs that pay minimum wage or just above. Yet, they still manage a smile and a joke. These are the real Thais- not the Hi So ones that drive about in their expensive cars with heavy film so they can't be seen or see the rest of mankind.
  15. It's no wonder the powers to be want to close the place down. Filled with degenerates. the Westerners are disappearing because the 'fun' has gone and now replaced by children trying to play a man's game.