Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by dean

  1. I’ll second buying direct from airlines over from a 3rd party travel agency whose Customer Service department is non existent. I flew Singapore Airlines last September for 2 months at my house in Chiangmai, working on it. On October 18, I got a call that my brother suddenly died and I needed to get home for the funeral. I contacted Singapore Airlines and they wouldn’t offer any help, telling me to contact my 3rd party travel agency that sold me the ticket. The only way I could contact them was by email. After 3 days of waiting for a reply, I gave up and bought a one way ticket on Qatar airline to get home. I’ve been fighting with both Singapore airlines and BugetAir (don’t use them) ever since and after giving them my brother’s birth and death certificates in PDF form and DNA samples from both of us, two days ago, I was told I would receive a refund of $236 sometime in the next 2 months In the meantime, not wanting to use Singapore Airlines, I’m flying China Airline one way to Chiangmai for 23 days. Currently, I’m being treated for stage 3 melanoma with a 13 stage one treatment approximately every 28 days, so I need to get back at the end of December or first part of January. At some point, I checked Philippines Airlines and round trips run $600 if I fly BKK to LAX. I then use FF points to fly Southwest Airlines to Kansas City. That’s the cheapest that I’ve seen post Covid. I’ve got 2.5 years left until my son graduates from high school. Then, I can move to Chiangmai, be rid of U.S. healthcare, which would be a lot less expensive for me here with Medicare paying almost all of my costs. I just can’t stand dealing with the bureaucracy of our healthcare system. If my Thai wife decides to stay and run her Thai restaurant here, I may come back once or twice a year for short stays and get whatever expensive testing done here rather than in Thailand. I’m pretty sure that coastwise, I can’t get health insurance in Thailand because of preexisting conditions (cancer and Afib) and age, 70.
  2. Cav, I went to College from 1971-1975. Going to 2 Jesuit institutions, Holy Cross and Creighton University, the tuition my senior year was around $1,200 a semester. “For the students who are admitted to Creighton in Fall 2022, the estimated tuition for four(4) years is $189,918. The estimated total costs of attendance with living costs and personal expenses is $254,397 for four(4) years.” That increase isn’t just from cost of living. My Thai step daughter just graduated from Pharmacy school with about $80,000 in debt. That should be reduced by $20,000, as she had a Pell Grant as an undergraduate. Not related to the topic, but the most famous graduates of the 2 schools that I went to are Clarence Thomas at Holy Cross and Jenni Thomas at Creighton. Not overly proud of that.
  3. If Trump runs, the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee has said that the RNC will no longer pay his legal bills. In Trump’s case, that’s a powerful incentive not to run. On the other hand, if he runs and is elected before being thrown in jail, he can pardon himself or claim the privilege of not being indictable as a sitting President. I think that he wants to stay out of jail more than have his legal bills paid by someone else.
  4. Trump just steals government papers/documents, like classified information including nuclear weapons secrets
  5. Yesterday, I received an email from the Thai Consulate in Chicago, stating I had made a mistake on my application and it was being denied. They said the name that I use on the application has to be the same as the one on the Passport. My last name starts with a “D” and they said I used “O” instead. I don’t know the number of times that I’ve typed my full name but if you look at a keyboard, the letter “D” is on the left side and “O” is on the right side. It’s not like I hit “F” or “S” which are next to “D.” pits not like I can check the old application because they deleated it. When I E filled for the visa, I assumed, incorrectly, that I could change any portions of the application after filing, like the letter of residence that was required. They want me to start completely over, which should take me at least 90 minutes to do. I’m assuming that they want me to pay the $40 again. These assumptions are made because I can’t get ahold of anyone there by phone or email. They lost my business. I’ll dispute the $40 charge with my credit card company and handle the extra 30 days that I need at immigration, in person. If I need an airline ticket that shows me leaving within 30 days, I’ll buy a fully refundable one way ticket to a neighboring country. I’d hate to see how Thailand treats it’s unwelcome tourists, if this is how they try to jumpstart their big reopening campaign.
  6. Can, maybe Kavanaugh and his wife can stand outside their house with assault rifles, just like the St. Louis lawyer/couple did during a Black Lives Matter protest. Even bad publicity for Kavanaugh is better than no publicity. The St. Louis commando is now a serious candidate for the U.S. Senate.
  7. Business partner in the only respect that matters, splitting the profits. Plus, I get someone that keeps an eye on the house (as does her nephew who lives across the street and niece and her husband that live next to the nephew. That involves keeping the gras cut, trees trimmed, the inside cleaned every 3-4 months, the sprinkler system working and the termite company in once a month to spray. Legally, I do have a contract signed. I didn’t apply for a work visa over the apartments but I’m also not applying for a work permit this September and October, as I plan on working on my house, my wife’s house that she inherited and our 1 bedroom house in Saraphi that I gave her as a wedding present. I guess that I’m not much different than the digital nomads that come to Thailand and work on their computers. I admit that I’m much too trusting. Eventually, I’d like to put house and land in my son’s name. He can do whatever he wants to do with house after I croak. I trust him enough to respect my wishes. As far as who owns the house, as long as no one contests my staying there and I can eventually die there in peace, that’s all I care about. Knowing Thai culture, no one is going to want the house with my spirit inhabiting it anyway. I probably wouldn’t be a friendly ghost.
  8. I’ll worry about that when I’m there in September. She also is a business partner of mine, co owner of a small (15 units) apartment complex since 2008 (next door to my house). I could say the famous last words “I trust her,” but will get answers about it in per, rather than a phone call. I’ve called the Thai consulate in Chicago, Washington DC and Atlanta. Nobody answers the phone, so my option is to email them and ask the question. If that fails, I’ll type a letter giving permission to stay at my house and have my wife sign it. I seriously doubt if they will ever check on it. In the past, when arriving with a 30 day automatic visa, I usually just stayed at house but would put on the arrival card the name of a hotel in Bangkok where I had stayed in the past.
  9. It was my understanding when my wife acquired the land, she also acquired the right to the property once the 30 year lease is up. In 4 years, I want the ownership transferred to my then 18 year old son. I’ll take a copy of the documents that my wife signed with me in September and have a lawyer check it out. I’d be very surprised if the 3rd party has any claim, as my wife reads everything that she signed and is no body’s fool
  10. Obviously, the land belongs to a Thai, my wife. Before I married her, I paid for the land in 2005 and signed a 30 year lease on the house with the same lady that’s been a friend since 1999 and who takes care of house up to the present day. I could have been really screwed by her but before we moved to the U.S. in October, 2008, she signed over the land to my wife. I still have the lease if I wanted to press it but will try not to laugh over the phone when they explain how that letter from the owner of the house will work. If this wasn’t so comical, I’d be really pissed off over what they are making me do to get an extra 30 day tourist visa
  11. One of the requirements of a 60 day tourist visa is you have to be within 90 days of arriving before applying, which was Sunday. This visa has not been altered by Covid and is an interesting show of Thai government making a simple process extremely complicated. After about 5-6 pages of personal information, they require that I upload 9 documents/photos. A picture of me, of my passport information page, a photo of me holding my passport open to the passport information page, proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of my residence in my hometown, proof that I have at least 40,000 baht in my bank account (I’ll find out tomorrow if I have to leave the bank account number visible). That’s a lot of information for a short term tourist visa. The kicker is they want to know where I’m staying for the 59 days. They do allow me to choose private residence but then require a letter from the person that owns the private residence, stating that I am allowed to stay at that private residence. This should be interesting, as I’m staying at my house (legally my wife’s house) I guess that I need a letter from my wife, who is living in the U.S. that I have permission to stay in my house. I can’t wait to hear what the people at the Chicago Thai consulate tell me tomorrow. At this point, I’d be willing to waste 3 hours on my 29th day and go to Thai immigration to get the 30 day extension From what I’ve seen on YouTube, basically all that is required is many copies of 3-4 things in your passport, including the arrival card, and 4 passport photos. I’ll at least hear what they say tomorrow before I go to Plan B.
  12. I’ll find out if cash beats ghosts in a couple of months. I’ll be in Chiangmai 3 September until 31 October. The first thing that I’ll do is stop by the house and see for myself if it’s worth sinking 500,000 to 1,000,000 baht to fix it up. If it is, I’ll pay my respects to my wife’s ex and ask him, as a favor to the person that helped his daughter to graduate from Pharmacy school in the U.S., to not haunt his house. When the contractor shows up for his first day of work, I’ll go around with 500,000 baht in my hand, hitting every wall with that wad of cash. Just like merchants do after their first sale of the day. Thereafter, it will be known as the “lucky house.”
  13. As usual, Mekong, you got about half of it right. I did check U.S.. hazardous materials regulations and complied with them. Concerning FlyerTalk, I posted on China Eastern’s sub category around 4 years ago. It should come up if you search for” lithium “. My name there is Dean1953. Several posters said that the Chinese are very strict about lithium batteries, not my words. As I said, I was much more concerned about those pricks keeping my luggage for 13 days without contacting me. It is normal procedure to confiscate the forbidden items, place an official note in the luggage to let the passenger know that his items were confiscated and let the luggage continue on its way. It took time to track the luggage down and 2 trips to CNX airport. If you want to, please take the Chinese government’s and China Eastern position on keeping luggage with 2 prohibited items in it and not informing the passenger that his baggage isn’t lost, just kept on their whim.
  14. I learned by posting this at the the on FlyerTalk that the Chinese government has a particular vendetta against lithium batteries. While I wasn’t thrilled about losing $40 in batteries, I was pissed off about them keeping the bag. I had. 3 hour layover in Shanghai. I filed a lost luggage claim In Kumming. I had to spend 10-15 minutes calling China Eastern every day to see if they found my bag. I make a trip to Chiangmai airport to discuss it with them. An official with CE told me to contact Thai Airways in Bangkok The bag was found in Shanghai and I had it at Chiangmai airport in 3 days. I’ll never fly through China again.
  15. I specifically asked TSA in the U.S. before flying and they said lithium batteries were allowed in checked luggage, not carryon. I flew KC to LAX with the batteries in checked luggage with no problem. If I had known international rules were different from U.S. rules, I would have switched them to carryon. It would be nice if these rules would be adapted for all countries to follow.
  16. I learned 5 years ago, flying China Eastern through Shanghai and Kumming, that lithium batteries are not welcome in checked luggage and China Eastern will keep your bag and not not contact you that they are keeping it. Thai Airlines found the bag in Shanghai and got CE to ship it to Chiangmai 13 days after I arrived. I’ll bring stuff for my house but nothing on the prohibited list. Back in 2004, I brought a water pump through TSA in the U.S. and then Narita, where they looked at it for 10 minutes and let me through. Now, it’s weight alone would make it doubtful that it would make to Thailand in my carryon.
  17. I feel somewhat safe in buying my ticket yesterday for leaving for Thailand September 1, returning October 31. With Taipei transit traffic restricted and Not trusting the Chinese handling Covid in Hong Kong, I chose Singapore over Japan and Korea. I’ll get my 4th vaccine shot about 3 weeks before leaving and check to see if the Covid insurance is still required. I’ve noticed that travelers to Thailand have been able to extend their visa while in Thailand for several months at a time. In June, I’ll apply through the Thai Consulate in Chicago for a 60 day visa and pay the $40 fee (they recommend not getting visa issued until you are within 90 days of using it). Hopefully, there’s not a Covid surge in the next 5 months. I’ll be very happy to leave the political climate in the U.S., even if it’s only for 2 months.
  18. That will work in hiring to fix up house but doesn’t help in renting it. Hopefully, it’s a neighborhood that would attract foreigners
  19. I saw a Doctor and it turns out that my blood pressure wasn’t as high as I thought: 140/82. It must have been abstaining from soft drinks for 2 weeks. Also, not a diabetic, at least not yet. I. Do have bad cholesterol at 290, so I’m taking cholesterol medication now. I suppose next is a colonoscopy but that’s about it for now. All things considered, I got off easy.
  20. After 6 months of blood pressure medication, I should be fine next fall when I finally see the house/ghost. I do like the idea of convincing neighbors that the ghost of my wife’s ex moved a couple of blocks away. In my younger days, I moved into an apartment where I knew that a lady had been murdered. Didn’t bother me a bit for the 3 years that I lived there.
  21. I’ve refused to see a Doctor for as long as possible but will see one on Monday. In November, I saw a Dentist to finish what he started before Covid. Before starting, he checked blood pressure and said mine was at 189. My fear isn’t dying but having a massive stroke and living for an additional 10 years in that state. So, it looks like this 68 year old will have to take my health seriously, go on blood pressure medication, probably go on diabetes medication (a Doctor that I saw 5 years ago said I was a borderline diabetic). Whether I’ll get my first colonoscopy remains to be seen. As long as I make my son’s high school graduation, I’ll be satisfied. However, making my son’s college graduation at age 77 would be better.
  22. After 3 years away, if Thailand gets rid of all Covid requirements for those with the 2 shots and booster, I’ll be back either next Fall or early winter. I still have the house near Chiangmai, unoccupied at the moment. My wife also was left a house just north of the airport in the Zhongshan Dong area, by her deceased ex husband. I’m not sure in what condition it’s in, but it does need a roof. I’ll be moving back permanently in 4-4.5 years, after my son graduates from high school. My wife may or may not move back, as 6 months ago, she opened a Thai restaurant in the Kansas City area, with a loan from me. It’s my insurance policy for her, in case something happens to me. The problem with the house is my wife’s best friend was occasionally going by the Hong Dong house but won’t now, since she and her son has seen the ghost of my wife’s ex inside the house. From what I understand, some neighbors have either seen the ghost or believe my wife’s friend account. The lady that takes care of my house refuses to go to house to take pictures because of the ghost sighting. When I go over later this year, I would like to stay at least 2 months to work on my house and get the Hong Dong house ready to rent out, if it is salvageable. Am I going to have problems going anyone to work on it? I’m assuming that I need to erect a spirit house and have monks bless the house. I’ll do it if that ends the ghost stories. What do you guys think? Will I always have a problem renting the house because of the ghost stories and nosy neighbors telling them to potential renters? I have no idea if the neighborhood is strictly Thai or if I can rent to foreigners who wouldn’t be put off by the ghost stories.
  23. I got my second vaccine shot this morning. As soon as Thailand drops quarantine for vaccinated travelers, I’ll be in the next plane to Chiangmai
  24. Steve, Lou Dobbs never was on The Nightly Business Report. He looks a little like Paul Kansas, who was a long time host. Dobbs was a longtime host of CNN Moneyline.. He remained with CNN from 1880-2009, then was hired by Fox News in 2012. The last 7 years at CNN saw his anti immigration views expressed and in 2009 his Obama birther views. As long as Fox News and Trump were joined at the hip, Dobbs could do no wrong there. Once Fox News for sued for 2.1 billion, his views about election fraud became a liability. Another example of a wasted Harvard education.
  • Create New...