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Everything posted by rickudon

  1. Our local Tesco Express now stocks heavy duty re-usable carrier bags at 5 baht a time. It is beginning to happen. And whenever i say 'mai tung' the shop assistants/owners give me a big smile.
  2. Ah, the death throes of an empire. Brexit has just speeded it up. Scotland likes the EU, and Brexit makes independence more likely. Northern Ireland demographics mean that Catholics will become the majority of voters in the next decade - so they will go. Not sure if Wales will go - but a bad Brexit could cause this. All this has been obvious for 3 years. Afterwards, wonder what will become of all those small dependencies. Traded for trade deals?
  3. I do. Have a close friend in Udon Thani on retirement extensions who was forced to apply for the Thai insurance or told to leave the country. Happened about a week ago. He originally entered on an OA visa about 10 years ago, been on extensions ever since. He had a Health insurance policy (non-Thai) for a 1,000,000 US dollars but they refused to accept it....... Immigration officers are a law unto themselves, what the next one will do, who knows, but this DID happen. Can only hope that some sanity will soon prevail, or we all need to start making plans.
  4. In Theory. I used to use the embassy letter, last one used in December last year. Yes it is still 40,000 a month, but you have to transfer 40,000 EVERY month even if not in Thailand, no mandatory transfer required before. It is also net income, not gross income like before. I still qualified, but the margin of safety is reduced ... Brexit also a possible threat ..... I have now swapped to the 400,000 in the bank method. Also now need a new Kor ror 2 every year. Just another small notch on the immigration rack.
  5. Might seem like an ambitious target, but 30 years ago no-one in the UK would have believed that by now renewable sources would provide more of our electricity than coal or gas. Even China is investing massively in renewable energy. A country like New Zealand, with a low population and plenty of land, has a lot of potential to achieve this. The UK has halved it's CO2 emissions in the last 45 years, when most of that time it was not even a priority. Some people just believe all the negative claims put out. Net zero may be hard to achieve, but 80-90% reductions are quite feasible with current technology. Who knows what can be achieved with another 30 years of research and refinement.
  6. Farming in many areas is already a marginal activity. In my area (North and east of Udon Thani city) about half the farmland is not in use. Some is just left fallow for a year or two, but most is actually just unused. Owners just wait for the magical buyer who will pay 500,000 baht a rai and up to build on it. The land in use is mainly for family rice production and scraps of land used for fruit and vegetable gardening. The rest of the derelict land sees occasional grazing by cattle. Actually these bans will probably have only a small effect here as most of these small farmers do not use chemicals anyway (ours certainly do not). it is the middle sized farms which will struggle the most.
  7. Town water in the large cities is relatively safe. I do use it to brush my teeth (but didn't the first few years). Quality may depend on your area - older established areas may have older pipes and discoloured water. Village water - yes, often appalling. Water in the western world can be bad too. I have some training in water management, and was once asked to check out the water tanks at a government site in the UK by the Union after one person caught paratyphoid - they looked just like those in the photos posted ...... plus a few sparrow skeletons as they were not covered and not in a enclosed space! I was banned from access to the water tanks after that .... but all the tanks were replaced.
  8. When i first came to Thailand 10 years ago you could stay on practically any visa, just get a new one. Conditions to get visas were minimal. Since then, there have been changes at least every 2 years - no more double and triple entry tourist visas, rules on use of visas exempts (both official and unofficial) and now the multi-entry tourist visa seems to be not a reliable visa either. I used to use the multi-entry non-immigrant 'O', first couple of times just needed to sign declaration that i had adequate funds, then a financial requirement, then a more stricter interpretation of the funds needed. Now in the last year we have seen an end to embassy income letters for some of us, a more difficult to meet interpretation of the monthly income method, and insurance required for OA visas. This all heading in one direction, and it doesn't look good for western foreigners who want to live in Thailand. Hopefully, those on marriage extensions should be the safest and least effected by these changes, but, 2 years ago i didn't plan to leave Thailand, now, I am thinking that day might come.
  9. No comment from climate change deniers? Higher temperatures will cut food production, as is already happening here.
  10. But, can you grow them in a floodplain? Where we are there is no irrigation available. Agriculture depends on the seasonal rains, or a borehole if you are lucky. During the wet season, the land floods - not much else you can grow except rice on much of the land. During the dry season - well you might get one quick crop of something else before the soil gets to dry, but very risky. You could landscape the fields to provide ponds and raised areas which do not flood so much. But that is expensive - beyond the means of a poor farmer. As for alternative crops, one to 2 baht a kilo for cassava isn't going to make a small farmer rich. Palm oil, rubber, both have sunk to levels no more profitable than rice these days. The soil is one issue. Clay which is baked hard like concrete in the dry season, and has a consistency of porridge in the wet. I would be interested in alternative crops, any suggestions?
  11. So for every 5 baht the government GAVE to people to promote this campaign an extra 1 baht of expenditure was generated. What a waste of government money. Also, the only people who benefited were the relatively well off to start with. It would have been much fairer and beneficial to have spent the money on infrastructure improvements or just given it to the poorer people under one of the welfare programs. Personally i think better to have used it to raise the level of the pitiful state pension. Who can survive on 600 baht a month?
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