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Everything posted by Specialist

  1. T minus 2 weeks and counting. Arriving Swampypoom very late 14 Feb. DEROS 4 Mar. Two five-day (M-F) seminars back to back. This is going to be INTERESTING...
  2. Flash, you have to remember something. Hotmail is MICROSOFT. 'Nuff said.
  3. Tourism numbers may be high, but I saw something in the last couple of days that said they are off significantly in just the last few months. Wait and see. I'm tentatively scheduled to be in town for the second half of February.
  4. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30358483 The key provision appears to be "The Interior Ministry regulation will be amended to allow foreigners who receive a visa waiver for 30 days and travel into Thailand via land immigration checkpoints or land border checkpoints to enter the country with an unlimited number of visa waivers per calendar year." This SEEMS to mean that you can make UNLIMITED visa runs per calendar year if you initially enter by land. It may or may not actually require the initial land entry, that that the exit/re-entry be by land. The first comment on the Thaivisa coverage page (https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1068563-thailand-announces-huge-changes-to-tourist-visas-in-bid-to-boost-tourism/?utm_source=newsletter-20181114-1434&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news&fbclid=IwAR1od0AJCxSpCMb6bPSD5horgaDgiT5yzYD3J_-UxautK_sTDNM7wUyIOOI) seem to cover the critical point. ""Tourism numbers and revenues must be taking one hell of a hit to do this; it is a refutation of everything the Junta has been doing or saying for years. There is a great deal more to this story; I am looking forward to finding it out." Now, they are saying that this is initially a two-month pilot program, but, if they actually put it in place, they may find it difficult to kill. Certainly putting it in place and then killing it would hurt tourism even worse than it is already hurting. (And it IS hurting: that's kinda obvious.)
  5. Nope. None of the above. Watch was still on my wrist, wallet still in my pocket, mobile still back in my hotel room, room key still in pocket. You're jaded. I was surprised. And grateful.
  6. Sometimes, something happens that goes a long way toward restoring your faith in humanity and Thailand and the Thai people. Yesterday, I was walking up Suk Soi 7 toward the beer garden. I don't know what happened, but I stumbled, couldn't recover, and went down hard in the street. I saw a motorcycle avoid me once I picked my head up. Before I knew it, before I even had time to start thinking about how I was going to get up, there were people around me, asking if I was OK, helping me up. I finally counted four men and one woman. They got me stood up. I had some scrapes, bleeding. Someone found paper towels somewhere, they helped me clean up, and one of them then walked with me to the beer garden and saw me safely to a stool. The beer garden dek serve found a towel and then their box of plasters, and we finished the cleanup and bandaging job. TIT. Thank God. The Thais are still some of the most wonderful people on the planet.
  7. You recall correctly. Had Gore won Tennessee, we would not have had the Florida drama. It is EXTREMELY rare for a Presidential candidate to lose his home state and yet win the election overall. Given that Noo Yawk is Democrat to the stones, it is not surprising that Trump lost that state. As for why he won the election, well, look at the county-level or poll district-level maps and you will begin to understand. (Those maps will also give you a very strong hint as to why the US has the Electoral College.)
  8. Well, how'd you do, I see you've met my faithful handyman. He's just a little brought down 'cuz when you knocked, he thought you were the candy man.
  9. If you mean www.flowerbangkok.com, their "Contact Us" gives a telephone number Telephone: +66 2 552 8116 Fax: +66 2 972 8793. Those are Bangkok city numbers, not mobiles. Give them a call and ask for their shop address.
  10. I just saw this one tonight. The "major" plot twist was obvious, painfully so. On the other hand, the movie won the coveted Crazy Farang Award for Best Visual Gag, with the British getaway helicopter's registration code: G-DEUP. Giddi-yup!
  11. Well, since you said it: I'm at T minus 5 weeks and counting. Arriving late Saturday, 1 Sep, flying out early Sunday 16 Sep.
  12. I still remember the night I arrived in Bangkok on my very first trip. I flew into Don Mueang, caught a taxi, and was staying at the Ambassador Hotel on Suk Soi 11. We turned onto Sukhumvit Road, and it suddenly hit me: At midnight, this city was ALIVE!, in a way I'd never seen before ANYWHERE. The street vendors were a noticeable part of that. Over the ensuing years, I gradually realized that the street vendors were not really the active commerce I'd thought initially, but, for a long time, it was fun to see what they were offering. I got tired of it as the porn and adult products and fake drugs started crowding out the more interesting stuff. At the same time, every time I hit town, landing shortly before midnight, getting to the hotel around 1 AM or so, Sukhumvit Road is still alive.
  13. He ran Dream Disco in the Zenith hotel on Suk Soi 3.
  14. Several years ago, there was a letter to the editor in the Bangkok Post. The author commented that he routinely spoke with government functionaries in English, and he routinely spoke with bargirls in English, and the bargirls were almost universally much more fluent and understandable. I noticed something similar during stays in Bumrungrad. The nurses were generally a lot easier to understand in English than the doctors were, even if it did occasionally come out as Tinglish. The reasons appear to be the same: the nurses and the bargirls get a lot more practice on a daily basis.
  15. Update from a while back. All reservations in place. Arriving Swampypoom late 1 Sep, flying out too early on 16 Sep.
  16. The Incredibles 2. It was OK, but not as good as the original, in my opinion. They went too far toward photorealism on the animation, which left a lot of the faces and heads reminding me VERY strongly of Gerry and Silvia Anderson's "Supermarionation" shows: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray. I saw the plot twist coming a mile off. And it did bother me some that they seemed like they chose to be politically correct, showing the wife as the totally competent one, while the husband kind of bumbles through.
  17. It isn't that simple. The Thai GSM system uses completely different radio frequencies than the various US systems. These days, pretty much all phones will work on all frequencies, but this was not always the case. Also, depending on your carrier and your plan, international roaming for US customers can be ludicrously expensive. I own an old, cheap Thai GSM flip phone, that I use only in Thailand. It is so old that it think that years after about 2014 don't exist, so I have to play games with the year setting to get the calendar to match reality. But it works. Also, why would I want US telemarketers to be able to call me in Bangkok? MOST of the calls I get on my cellphone are illegal telemarketers.
  18. I'm landing at Swampypoom very late 1 September. I should catch the tail end of the rainy season.
  19. And... T minus 2 1/2 months and counting. Airline reservations in place, hotel reservations in place, just need to set up the trip insurance. First half of September in Bangkok.
  20. I miss Hollywood Rock. It was my go-to reliable place for years.
  21. Reservations not in place yet, but I'm aiming for the first half of September.
  22. This is pretty much par for the course with JAL. They really are that good.
  23. The JAL flight attendants are STILL pretty and polite and always smiling. Even in Coach. Every time I think I've got JAL calibrated, every time I think I know what to expect from them, they find a way to surprise me, and it is ALWAYS a nice surprise. One of the reasons I'm getting unhappy with American Airlines is that they're making it difficult (and expensive) to fly JAL for the final leg into BKK.
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