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BANGKOK 16 February 2019 02:44


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Everything posted by simon43

  1. True statement or not, when it applies to foreigners? I posted a related thread about retirement age for foreigners, and it's clear that although Thai teachers retire from government schools at 60 years old, this rule doesn't apply to foreign teachers. But what about SS contributions? Can a foreigner make SS contributions if more than 60 years old and legally employed at a government school? Can someone who knows about this please advise me?
  2. @topt, the HCI Emergency+ policy has a fixed excess of $2,000. I have no copay. I've had this policy for a couple of years when I was working in Burma. Never had to claim. As with all insurance companies, there are good and bad reviews. For me, this policy is really for major accidents or illnesses, plus emergency evacuation when I'm in Burma. As to the premium - it was under $900 a year when I took it out at aged 58, with no pre-existing conditions. It is cheaper than other policies, but does seem to cover the important in-patient needs.
  3. When my disabled, elderly mother was in a care home, she was forbidden by the doctor/staff to smoke or drink alcohol, and should eat only bland, healthy food. Oh the fun I had smuggling in cigarettes, alcohol and chocolates for her! She was unable to speak coherently, but her eyes told me exactly how much she loved what I was doing
  4. Well, a reasonable suggestion actually, since flip-flops are typically made of rubber which is a bad conductor of electricity. When I used to work on the live 3 phase electrical systems at my little hotels in Phuket, (I designed/installed the circuits), I always wore my best thick rubber trainers and stood on a rubber car mat, just in case...
  5. Perhaps you are comparing him to the typical 59 year old 'farang' that you see in Thailand. Some of us farangs of the same age (I'm 59) look very similar in body composition to that lucky/unlucky guy
  6. Incorrect. The PE visa remains uncancelled in my passport and I can simply pick up using it if/when I stop working - I have to do a visa run to reactivate the Elite visa (all according to Thailand elite).
  7. Appalling behavior by you!! There is no call at all for physical violence against gay people....
  8. I have a Thai Elite visa. If I want to work, I need to add a non-immigrant B visa. The Elite visa keeps 'running in the background' until I stop working, exit Thailand and come back again using my Elite visa, (assuming that the 5 year term hasn't yet expired).
  9. That little farmer's house looks perfect for me! I've rented similar and really enjoyed the rural lifestyle, cool natural ventilation coming up through the gaps in the wooden floor, no need for air-con, just a simple and stress-free lifestyle. Am I some cheap-charlie to want to live like that? I live in Thailand using my Elite PE visa (to ensure I don't have to deal with immigration's sour faces). I live according to what I want, not according to what other people might think of me. A truck, 5-star insurance, fresh food and a simple wooden house suits me fine, (which maybe explains why I am twice-divorced from Thai women and happily live alone LoL). But my low-cost, simple lifestyle definitely doesn't 'gel' with the type of foreigner that Thailand seems to want now.
  10. Just an update to my OP. I queried HCI about the large increase in the premium and they countered with a lower premium of about $980 a year for 15.5 million baht annual cover. As Sheryl mentioned, this premium is still lower than what my premium probably should be at my age, which means that it will increase at a higher rate than the norm over the next few years and as I enter the next age bracket. However, so long as I moan to them each year and threaten to 'jump ship', they may reduce that increase to keep me 'on-board' I did get a quote from Cigna Close Care, which was considerably higher than HCI's premium, but with a lower maximum annual cover. Cigna offered monthly premium payments, which I prefer. But Cigna wanted to exclude cover for my minor prostate BPH, while HCI fully covers that because it hasn't caused me any issues for 2 years and I don't need to consult a doctor or take medication (the slight enlargement of my prostate only came to light during an annual health check-up). So I went back to HCI and asked if they could 'match' Cigna's offer of monthly premium payments.... The final result? I will renew with HCI for full cover, no exclusions, and monthly payments (for a small additional premium). The monthly premium for the next year works out at about $88 USD per month, under 3,000 baht, which I think is pretty good as I hit 60 years old.
  11. I politely suggest that 'incompetent' might better replace 'fraudulent'.
  12. Yesterday was a national holiday in Myanmar, which meant that I had time to do a little more exploring for somewhere to live in southern Thailand. I took the speedboat from Ranong over to the island of Koh Chang (350 baht each way), plus another 100 baht motorcycle taxi from the jetty and over to Ao Yai, which is the 'heart' of activity on the island. Despite being only about 30 minutes by speedboat from Ranong, I have to say that Koh Chang was about 10 times more rural than the most remote areas of Issan or Burma that I've visited!! Beautiful, idyllic but definitely too rural. Ao Yai consisted of several dozen ramshackle wooden huts, with almost no concrete buildings, except for the local, basic temple. The 4g mobile internet signal was good! (Plus point). But electricity is only from solar or generator. No cars, no large shops, no hospital etc etc. The only foreigners seemed to be aging German hippies. I was offered a basic wooden house to rent long-term at 15,000 baht a month. (I currently pay 5,000 baht each month for a property in Ranong). Nice for a weekend trip to laze on the beach. Definitely not feasible to live there long-term unless you have 4 legs and a tail and your name is Puss...
  13. I went over to Koh Chang (Noi) today, which is roughly the same sea-crossing as going to Kawthaung. Weather is good and no problem if taking a long tail to Kawthaung. Be aware that if you stay overnight in Kawthaung, you have to stay in a hotel that has a licence for foreign guests. The Honey Bear Hotel (I love that name!) has a licence, but most foreigners seem to stay at the Pelican Hotel, just a few streets back.
  14. That's actually not the problem for the province, but there are a couple of factors that don't make it a choice for long-term stay for me: - My current rental house is in a useful location (sports field opposite for jogging), but suffers from noisy traffic and pollution/dirt. - Ranong is the wettest province in the country. Rain is OK, but a lot of rain+ high humidity plus lack of coastal breeze (accommodation is not on the coast) is an issue. - There is no accessible beach. On Sunday I drove over to Lang Suan and Pak Nam beach. The beach area/beach road was definitely suitable for running/exercise and with a nice cool breeze. Just inland from the beach there is a rural area, all very quiet. No immediate sign of suitable properties to rent, but I'll take another trip over there.
  15. I'm currently living temporarily in Ranong, having recently returned from working in Burma. I'm not working in Thailand, so am very flexible about where I live. My plan was to relocate up to north Thailand, but I'm really losing confidence in this idea due to the air quality in that region. I monitor the AQ website and it is not good all over the north. (It's also a long way for site visits). I previously lived in Phuket, which usually has much cleaner air. But I'm not at all keen to move back to that island (for various reasons!). Ranong is the wettest province and I don't have easy beach access. I much prefer a Thai-style, rural community, preferably close to a beach for exercise, relaxation etc. I speak Thai. I buy my own food (salads, fruit etc) and don't need access to western food and/or commodities. What about the east cost of the Thai peninsula? What's Pak Nam near Langsuan like? How about Sichon? I live alone, have a car and an income. My only nighttime forays are singing (badly) Thai and Morlam songs in the rural Thai karaokes... What suggestions do people have?
  16. Your policy has been accepted with the following two exclusions. ENLARGED PROSTATE and any associated or related conditions or symptoms and any complications LOW TESTOSTERONE and any associated or related conditions or symptoms and any complications The underwriting team stated that we would not remove the prostate exclusion until you had corrective surgery. and If you develop prostate cancer then we would ask your doctor if this is caused by or related to the BHP. If your doctor confirms it's not then you will be covered. It would only be if your doctor told us yes then we would exclude it.
  17. LoL, I used to look just like that (but a lot younger) when I lived in the UK and went game-shooting I'm not hiso nor loso. Usually when I have to show my visa to immigration officers, there is a bit of a hushed silence and discussion between the officers, followed by a very polite 'thank-you' and return of my passport. Last time I did my 90 day report, the female IO wanted to fine me because my idiot landlord hadn't reported about the foreigner who rented his house. After seeing my Elite visa, her male superior overruled her and politely returned my passport. (As an aside, why is it always female IOs who try to make problems for foreigners?) PS - I do speak with a very educated British accent and speak fluent Thai - maybe that helps
  18. Carry mine all the time - it just sits in the small bag that I always have with me, together with medical insurance card, ATM cards etc.
  19. This is more of a health question than an insurance question. I'm almost 60 years old and my prostate is enlarged by about 25%, with a stable PSA (over several years) of about 4.3. The prostate size hasn't increased in two years, causes me no symptoms or problems, and I take no medication for it. (I am prescribed testosterone injections for a genetic low T level, but my PSA level hasn't increased since I started on that T regime last Autumn. My current medical insurance company (HCI) excluded cover for BPH for 2 years when I signed up with them, but now cover me because the prostate size hasn't increased over that period, no problems etc. Now I am considering to change my insurer to Cigna Close Care. Despite HCI providing full cover, Cigna will exclude cover for BPH, unless I have surgery (at my cost) to 'correct' the prostate enlargement - even though it causes me no symptoms etc. (Cigna also excludes cover for ailments due to low testosterone and I don't have an issue with that). They also say that they will not cover me for prostate cancer if my doctor says that any such future cancer is as a result of my BPH (AFAIK, there is no link between BPH and the development of prostate cancer...). I would like to proceed with the Cigna insurance policy, (because they accept monthly premium payments, whereas HCI does not). However, I wonder if there is any good argument/medical statement etc that I can make to them to persuade them to improve upon their cover terms.
  20. Reasonably stressed (well, reasonably p*ssed off). I have 18 months to go before my Elite visa expires and I'm in no mood to renew it. I have a monthly income from overseas (50,000+ baht) that is quite adequate for my single needs. I work a lot of my time as a volunteer, so do not have the financial means to save 800,000+ baht just to use for a visa. I am not happy that the requirement for an annual visa is based solely upon a monetary figure (idem for the Elite visa...). Seems that 'giving back' to Thailand isn't relevant, no matter how many years or how much effort you've put in. Not sure what I will do in 18 months. I can do my volunteer work in Myanmar or Cambodia etc, without the need to drop $25,000 or so in the bank
  21. This is a topic of concern. Many policies only cover for semi-private rooms. Maybe insurance companies are well aware that private rooms are the norm, and have added this clause to reduce or even deny claims. I checked the Cigna Close Care policy (I'm probably changing from HCI to Cigna). Payment is only made for stay in semi-private rooms. Cigna separates the room cost from medical costs and will pay the room cost that would have been charged had a semi-private room been available. My current policy with HCI says that they will pay 100% of accommodation costs, and no mention of private or semi-private rooms. It would seem prudent for those with medical insurance to ask their insurer to state in writing what their policy is concerning payment of room costs viz-a-viz semi-private and private rooms.
  22. I've had it with Windows 10. If it's not some problem that pops up after the latest security update, then it's a slow-running computer, with the CPU overloaded with un-necessary apps running in the background etc. I can kill the apps, run CCleaner etc etc, but slowly my laptop returns to 'snail' mode. OTOH, my second laptop that runs Windows 7 is reliable and fast - always!! My Win 10 latop is an Acer Aspire, just a couple of years old. Is it feasible to completely remove windows 10 OS and install Windows 7 instead? (I can't do a rollback to Windows 7 because the machine was bought new with Windows 10 already installed).
  23. After reading the thread about the new rules for keeping 800,000 baht in the bank for a 'retirement' visa etc, I'm sure many foreigners living in Thailand are thinking about alternative destinations for their retirement. This could be a case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire! For example, neighbouring countries in Asia hardly offer the security of knowing that you can peacefully spend your retirement without the surprise of new visa rules. What would help to calm the mind would be a country where the financial requirements to get a long-term visa are modest, a country which has a decent healthcare system, pretty women, acceptable food, acceptable cost of living etc etc. Most importantly, (IMHO), a country which provides permanent residence after a few years... I don't think such a country exists in Asia? Please correct me if I'm mistaken. Are all the countries that offer PR only in Latin America? (I could go and live in southern EU, but I think the cost of living, city taxes, state intrusion etc are not acceptable for me).
  24. I look after myself - I exercise daily and eat a good diet. I have zero pre-existing medical conditions. I'm almost 60 years old. Two years ago I took out an 'Emergency+' insurance policy with HCI (Healthcare International). The annual premium was $722 USD. Last year, the renewal premium was $915, an increase of 26% The next renewal premium in March 2019 (prior to my 60th birthday in June), will be $1,230, an increase of 34% So in two years, with no claims against the policy, and not yet hitting the big premium increase when I reach 60 years old, I have seen my premium increase by 60%.... Does that seem right? At that rate, my premiums will at least double every 4 years, even ignoring any age band jumps. Do other companies such as Cigna or Davidshield publish their estimated annual % increase? If I am going to change insurance policies, then I really need to do this before I'm 60 years old. I welcome your comments!
  25. I started a free weights+exercise machine training program about 3 months ago, (in addition to my cycling + jogging routine that I've followed for about 2 years). I have a genetic low T level, and that coupled with my age (59), means that it's hard to add muscle onto my abysmally puny upper body! My arm diameter was just under 11 inches when I started the weights routine program. Happy to say that now my upper arms measure 11.5 inches. Sounds tiny, but much better than the pipe-cleaner arms that I used to have. My weight and cardio work-outs fit into my carefully-designed diet program, (lots of protein to aid muscle growth). Things are going well ? I'm 60 years old next June, and I will post a thread with before and after photos to show the difference in my body appearance prior to embarking on my program, and then the latest photo ?
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