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Everything posted by Stickman

  1. Here's the latest from the fellow who refuses to get out of a taxi which won't turn on the meter:
  2. Stickman

    New Apples

    My iPhone5 is almost 5 years old and the battery still gets me through the day. I'm not a heavy user any stretch so that sort of performance is fine for me. I reckon getting 5 years from a mobile phone is ok.
  3. Stickman

    New Apples

    I think smartphones are a mature technology and are so good already that a lot of the new features strikes me as gimmicky and as such, I don't feel any of these new phones are a compelling purchase. I mean it's all very well that it has facial recognition and you just look at the phone to unlock it - but some of us, like me, don't lock our phone in the first place. And on those few occasions when I do, inputting a 4-digit code is hardly a great ordeal! I'm still happy with my iPhone 5. It's 5 years old and whole the battery life isn't what it was, it still works perfectly. I'll stick with it for the time being.
  4. I grew up in Auckland and consider it home, even if I was not born there. Fantastic city but outrageously expensive housing and traffic that is out of control. It's New Zealand's one and only international city. I'm originally from Wellington and love the place. It has a certain charm and style and the main downtown city area is easily walkable. Heaps of good cafes, restaurants, bars and a fantastic vibe if you're in to going out...but the weather is not great - and even that is being kind. Christchurch I cannot stand. Honestly, unless one had a compelling reason to be there I would not choose to live there. If you don't need to be somewhere so big, check out Tauranga (100,000+ people) or Napier (60,000 people). Both are pretty cities, are on the coast, have very good weather and are much more affordable and easier to get around than Auckland....but of course that means there's less to do.
  5. Suzy Wong changed hands a good few months ago (though no idea if that was when The Arab bought it or if it has changed hands again since). I remember hearing then that the happy hour had been abolished (The Arab is not big on happy hours, nor on opening early, strange as it may seem) so my guess is - and it is only that, a guess - is that he probably acquired it a while ago.
  6. All sorts of rumours going around about the two Hooters branches on Sukhumvit. Construction of the Phnom Penh branch appears to have ceased with word rent has not been paid for months. It will be interesting to see if the Bangkok branches survive.
  7. An American resident records his battle with a taxi driver on his mobile phone camera after getting in to a cab near Soi Cowboy to go a couple of klicks down the road to Thonglor. The driver gets quite animated at one point. Not sure this sort of thing is a good idea. This driver is not in uniform, is probably unlicenced and putting pressure on a driver like this could cause them to become unpredictable. That said, people seem keen to help the American passenger when the cab stops.
  8. Has it changed? I thought you could start it from age 62 and a few months.
  9. 2 years ago, I wrote a follow-up column on what happened to him here : https://www.stickman...-you-cant-hide/
  10. I have to admit that I like the lifestyle of running a website and if I don't do something similar with another website I might find myself scratching my head about what is next. Here I am, sitting in my front room with a view down the street and with mountains in the background which had snow last week. Sometimes the cat comes in and wants to play so I take a break for a few minutes. I can jump from working on the website to reading news websites and it's all done with no-one breathing down my neck telling me what to do. There is no travel to or from my place of work.....and there is a lot to be said for working 10 metres from where you sleep. That said, that all only works if you are successful in monetising your website... As I said in a previous post and as Khun Sanuk also noted, monetising websites isn't so easy these days....and we've not done a good job of that, so ultimately, I need to think hard about what comes next. There are efforts being made by the fellow who bought the majority share of the site to seal some sort of deal that would see it continue. If he can manage it, great...but I just don't know if it will happen or not. As for doing a site on New Zealand, I plan to do something on the region I live in but it will be very Vanilla compared to Stickman! Like most, I eventually bored of the nightlife and given that the last time I had a drink was March (I've just lost the taste for it), I really am not the guy to be writing about the party lifestyle.
  11. Thanks for the nice words. Yeah, when I look back I am amazed I kept it going so long, especially given that for the last 2 years I have been in New Zealand although admittedly I did spend many months in Thailand on and off last year. I thing you need a huge readership online these days for a site to be commercially viable. The online business model is no longer just simple banner ads.
  12. The Gauntlet, Clint Eastwood, 1977. Downloaded it (yeah, naughty boy here!) and watched it last night. Really enjoyed it as I do of most cop / '70s movies, especially those with Clint Eastwood. What I laughed at was the mix of corny dialogue, the amount of profanity and no sign of any political correctness. Like I say, I really enjoyed it - a solid 7/10 for me.
  13. Thanks a lot. I think as much as anything now is a good time to call it a day. Not being paid was really the straw that broke the camel's back.
  14. A Stickman monthly is feasible but it would be more time-consuming to put together than say just one weekly. Living in New Zealand but writing about Thailand, I have to be in regular contact with people in Thailand to hear about what's going on. Then I have to verify everything....all of that is time-consuming. I ask a lot of favours of a lot of people and have to give them a lot of my time in return. From a practical perspective, it's doable, but I just don't think it would be worth my while. There are two main reasons to stop. First, I have, until now, been paid to produce the column. The majority owner of the site indicated he would struggle to pay me going forward. The time commitment is just too great to do it for nothing. Second, I feel like I have been living with one foot in New Zealand and one in Thailand and I am not sure that is a good thing. I think it's better to commit to one or the other. It's been a good run but I think now is a good time to sign out. Hope that explains it!
  15. Thanks for the nice words - it's always nice to hear from people who have tuned in and enjoyed my weekly ramblings. Yep, everything I wrote this week is true. This coming week's column will be the last unless something miraculous happens - and, sadly, I really don't see that happening. It's a shame that it looks like it will end this way but such is life. 16 years is a long time to have been writing the column and I really should make the effort to start something new here in NZ.
  16. Oh, hell, that's two things we agree on now. BNH is top notch.
  17. I wonder what percentage of expats in Thailand have health insurance? I certainly didn't have it and most of my friends don't. I'm not saying that that is the way to go, more that I am generally curious as to what percentage have a health insurance policy.
  18. You did very well to buy property in Bangkok when you did. I imagine your unit has increased in value about 3 times since you purchased it. And you're in a highly desirable area. The great thing is that if you own a property in Thailand you can live on very little if you want to / need to. All the necessities are relatively cheap in Thailand. That's one big difference between Thailand and the West.
  19. There are frequent reports in the mainstream news in Thailand about the very high amounts of chemicals and other nasties used by farmers to grow their produce. Ask any Thai who takes a genuine interest in their health and they will tell you all about it. A friend in Khon Kaen has a plot of land and his wife grows various vegetables and takes them to the village market every other day to sell them. His reports about the amount of chemicals used is scary. I can't comment on the use of chemicals in farming in America, but in Thailand it's pretty bad!
  20. This is the hard part, isn't it? Just when do you stop...calculating the time / money equation. You don't want to fall short financially, but then you don't want to retire as a frail old man with no energy or drive to do anything. It's the hardest calculation of all to get the balance right on.
  21. Yep, a million greenbacks would be perfect, or a bank balance of xx million baht where xx equals the maximum number of years one reasonably expects to live. (So if you're 50 and expect to live to 88 i.e. another 38 years, a bank balance of 38 million baht should be adequate.) What I don't get with the guys working year after year in Thailand is that for most, saving a million dollars from working in Thailand is just not going to happen. In the West, you would generally earn more but just as important, buying a property, living in it and selling it 20 or 30 years later may realise a good chunk of the number you need to retire. OK, so property prices don't appreciate greatly in every country but the general trend is that property values go up over time. I know here in New Zealand that most home owners i.e. those who are mortgage-free, could sell their property, move to Thailand and have enough to live out the rest of their days.
  22. The problem is not videos in the bar area so much, it is videos inside the bars. A couple of months back a fellow uploaded a dozen videos, some quite lengthy, of video he had taken inside a number of big name gogo bars - about half in Nana Plaza as I recall. And you saw everything - and I mean EVERYTHING! It is not a stretch to say that if those videos had made it out in to the mainstream and picked up by Thais then those bars could have been ordered shut for good and the owners of the bars in deep pooh pooh. Of course, most things can be settled, but once it gets in to the mainstream and the backlash gets big, it's hard for the police not to do something, especially when it is framed as foreigners taking advantage of Thais!
  23. I always found Air Asia fine for short hops around the region - and the fares were always very competitive. What I really did NOT like was the melee at checkinn at Don Meuang. Total clusterfxxk and unbecoming of an international airport.
  24. Sterile & characterless, and unnecessarily long queues at Immigration aside, I don't think it's that bad.
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