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Posts posted by rickfarang

  1. You mean the driving school can issue her license? That might be a good way to avoid the mob at the license bureau in Bangkok.


    Yes. And for a small fee they took care of the medical certificate. The only test the performed that was related to her physical condition was to give her the reaction test, which she retook a dozen times until she finally passed. The driving school also does annual inspection of the car and motorbike and do the running around to get the licenses for me. It is a nice service, especially since they are less than a kilometer from home.

  2. Tuesday my driving student girlfriend drove around our village with me in the front seat for about an hour -it was the most stressful hour in recent memory. I was preparing to deal with her disappointment when she failed butI was stunned to see that she passed her tests at the driving school yesterday and will pick up her license on Monday. She cannot safely drive around the block with cars parked on the street yet she is licensed to drive. Stunned, I tell you.

  3. My brother is trying to book a stay at the Ambassador Bangkok in June of this year and keeps running up against what seem to be new taxes. For example:


    On one booking site it says:

    The hotel will charge an additional fee at check in or check out 242.36,USD

    Tax recovery charges and service fees $248.53 <==itemization of charges


    On another bookit site it says:

    The total price of your booking does not include extra city taxes.

    Mandatory city tax to be paid at the hotel is between 19.74 USD and 212.1 USD


    After a little reading, the tax recovery fee is apparently common in the United States (that's where he is right now) but I have not heard of this in Thailand. My take is that there are some mix-ups in the booking systems, but there is the lingering worry that a booking site might slip in some overlooked fine print and he'll be hit with a substantial and unexpected fee.


    Has anybody run across this while booking or staying in Bangkok?

  4. Thank you for all the ideas. I think the next time a friend or relative visits from the U.S., I will ask him to bring some U>S. postage stamps.


    But I have another question that somebody here might already know the answer to. On the 12th I sent the documents by air mail to an intermediary in the U.S. But that was the day before Songkran. Does anybody know whether, even though the post offices shut down for the long week-end, whether the behind-the-scenes action, such as getting mail in the system to its destination continue, or whether everything comes to a halt and mail sits in a bag somewhere for an extra five or six days? Not that I'm getting anxious...

  5. A lot of good ideas. The IRC is what was lurking in the back of my mind, but its limited to 20 grams.


    I am going to send tens of pages of documents to a court, which will recive them, time stamp them, and send stamped copies back to me and to the respondent in a court case. I have to supply pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes for the documents to be mailed to me and the repsondent. No free lunch from the court, I am sorry to say.


    The idea of buying somebody a drink and aking him to send some stamps to me is appealing, but the court action is high stakes and if I don't get the documents to the court within a few weeks, I will have failed to respond to a court order. Its not good to piss off the judge who is deciding my case, so that is too much risk.


    I was pleased to see the Thai360 participants come up with so many ideas that had not occured to me. I will start looking at those optoins. Thank you for the suggestions! :D

  6. In more than 10 years in this country, this is the first time I have run up against this problem and haven't yet figured out what looks like a workable solution, so I am ask for a solution or inspiration from the greater collected wisdom of thai360's participants.


    I need to send a self-addressed envelope with postage on it to the United States so that a municipal office can send some documents to me. I don't know how to get the postage to put on the envelope.


    The government's online facility for printing postage only works for a narrow range of dates around the time the label is printed, not enough time for the postage to make it to the United States, let alone get processed and mailed back out.


    Does anybody have any creative constructive suggestions for solutions?


    Thank you in advance for any help that might be proffered.

  7. Amorn Group's The Old Siam Store is located at

    6/50 3 fl. The old siam Tower. Bueapra Rd. Wangburapapirom Pranakorn Bangkok 10200


    Can anybody please give me an idea of where The Old Siam Tower is? I know where The Old Siam Shopping center is and plan to stop by there on Monday. If anbody is able, please tell me where The Old Siam Tower is with respect to The Old Siam shopping center (or is it the same place?)


    Thank you in advance.

  8. In the dim past, I was offered "young boy" and "young girl" by merely walking past a tout. Not an isolated incident, this happened many times in the past.


    And I know a guy who said that he went with an under-age girl, but "...it was ok because her mother said so."


    Its best to level with your uncle and let him know that there will be some risks and temptations in this country that may seem safe; but he should be under no illusion that he should feel free to do anything here that he could not do (with respect to children) in his own country.


    Give your unlce the benefit of your insight

  9. Driving upcountry during Songkran is really a kick in the butt if you haven't done it before (otherwise tiring).


    Just keep your windows closed and be prepared to stop for the odd blockade (where they will wash your car, leaving it soaked and smeared with rice flour) especially on secondary roads. Smile and wave, and everybody will enjoy it.


    If you plan on flying any part of the trip, book your flights NOW!

  10. Best all-around solution is carry a stick, no matter how small, once raised, every dog I have encountered turned and ran -even when I only raised my ballpoint pen.


    Unfortunately, when a pit bull ran out to greet me on my motorbike, I reached down to pet him rather than striking a threatening pose. Nearly 4,000 baht in Rabies shots followed.


    Carry a stick, length of PVC pipe, or rubber hose any you will be ok.

  11. This is an quote taken from a short article in today's Bangkok post, titled: "Allies warned government of attacks".


    "Our ally countries , including the United States of America, have tapped the phone conversations between former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and red-shirt leaders."


    It seems the person being quoted might have weakened the government's hand just a little by letting this bit of information out of the bag. The fugitive ex-PM has been tipped off that he had better find a more secure means of holding confidential discussion.


    It reminds me of a government announcement last week, when somebody called a press conference and said (I paraphrase)"We studied the possibilities for two days straight, and have determined that the red shirt protesters can put a strangle hold on the cities if they block intersections A, B, and C." And then less than 24 hours later, the red shirts announced "We plan to hold rallies at intersections A, B, and C."


    Back to tapping international phone calls: Those of us who are paranoid about such things going on. I hope none of us is involved in anything that politicians are too interested in, but I think this recent admission proves that the truly paranoid have something to be paranoid about.


  12. Had a talk with a dyed in the wool redshirt a couple of weeks ago. He said that they have stashes of weapons and explosives and intend to provoke the government into violence. Then he went on to talk about how wonderful it would be to fight and die for justice in Thailand (he is incensed that the government would seize Thaskin's assets) and how if he dies, his family will be able to sue the government for lots of money. It sounds like he's been sold a bill of goods.

  13. Running a used book store is a very good way to loose money. Its pretty much the same as a surplus store: You buy discards, then they sit around for years or even decades until somebody stumbles across something you have, and they buys it. But its been sitting in inventory, occupying expensive shelf space all that time (and particularly expensive space if the shop is located somewhere a foreigner is likely to bump into it.)


    More simply: Reselling books is an expensive proposition, and they have to charge high prices in order to keep from going broke.