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About tallguyjohn

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  1. Schwab's checking account, which comes along with a required brokerage account that you don't have to use unless you want to, is great. Their VISA debit card has no foreign currency fee on ATM withdrawals and purchases abroad, and they refund other banks' ATM fees, including internationally, automatically without any hassle. The Schwab debit card also usually has a standard daily ATM withdrawal limit of $1000, which is larger than a lot of regular U.S. banks provide via their cards. Schwab does have both U.S. domestic and international accounts, and you really want to open and maintain the accounts as U.S. domestic ones, if at all possible, using a U.S. address and phone number as your contact info. As for getting money into or out of the Schwab accounts other than thru their debit card, Schwab has free ACH transfers that you can initiate from their online banking to either push funds into other banks' accounts you may have, or to pull funds into your Schwab accounts from those other external accounts. Linking external accounts is easily done via their online banking, and the transfers, both inbound and outbound, are free. Though they do limit those to two transfers per day.
  2. I use U.S. ATM/debit cards in Thai bank ATMs all the time, and haven't had any problems with any of my cards being rejected. If that ever happens, it's likely due to either: A - a security/fraud hold on the card by your home country bank because they see the card's being used abroad. B - some kind of passing technical or network communications problem with the local ATM you're trying to use. Most of the time, IME, whatever explanations Thai bank CSR staff offer for why something has gone wrong -- especially when it's out of their direct area of work as ATMs are -- has about as much chance of being correct as that of finding a virgin working bar in Suk Soi 4.
  3. I was by the Soi 4 area today enroute to dinner at the nearby The Mexican restaurant, and it looked like the whole, formerly open air bar area in front of the Rajah Hotel complex facing toward Soi 4 -- which had included Hooters -- has been demolished. Everything there is down to the ground, and the whole area where the bars used to be now has big construction fencing all around. I dunno of Hooters Soi 4 may have moved somewhere else nearby or simply got closed & bulldozed. But I didn't see any signage for a new location as we were walking by. Meanwhile, I was just looking at the Hooters Bangkok website. And although I can't say exactly how or when it may have changed, the current version ONLY references the Soi 15 location -- not a word or mention of Soi 4. http://www.hootersbangkok.com/ There is and was a separate Hooters Nana webpage that's still posted. But curiously, when you go to that page now, it doesn't say anything about the Soi 4 location having closed. But it does have its main graphic being one that says Hooters is now open on Suk Soi 15. http://www.hootersnana.com/ The Hooters Asia website, meanwhile, still lists both Suk Soi 4 and Soi 15, Pattaya, and Phuket, and says coming soon in Chiang Mai, Samui and Khon Kaen (although I believe those last three cities have been shown as "coming soon" for at least the past year or so.
  4. I'll disagree flatly with Jack on ii and somewhat on iii. Hooters food is not "shit," as judged by someone who's presumably not an American. It is a kind of American comfort food/fast food that bears a pretty good resemblance to what you'd get at Hooters back in the U.S. So at least in that regard, they're being reasonably authentic here in BKK. And, like most things here done here in farang style with imported ingredients, the prices are going to be higher. I've had a couple of their hamburgers at the Soi 15 branch, and they've been better than average for Bangkok. Mainly, the beef Hooters uses here has been tasty and a good grind, not some of the foul-tasting (Thai?) beef that too many places around here use for their burgers. When I went, it was with a 50% Eatigo discount for the Soi 15 location. But that's ended now, and neither of the BKK locations are running those Eatigo discounts anymore AFAIK. So, it was a good deal for me at around 250b (half off), but not so good at full price of close to 500b. Second, as regards the price, needless to say, you're paying a premium at Hooters -- whether back home in Texas or here in Bangkok -- for being served and tended to by the "famous" Hooters girls -- although most of the Thai staff I've encountered at their Suk Soi 15 branch, while youngish and cute, haven't been particularly well-endowed with their Hooters -- at least compared to their American Hooters sisters. I don't know if there's really a viable market for Hooters on Suk Soi 4. But, at least, Hooters is very clear and upfront about what kind of business they're running -- American comfort food and drinks at above normal prices served by cute eye-candy girls/women mostly of the look but don't touch variety. That either appeals to someone or it doesn't. Simple as that.
  5. The Soi 11 space is now once again being redone, this time as an Indian restaurant, Bombay something or another.
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