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  1. The kind of housing you’re looking for is the first decision to make when moving to Bangkok. If you ask about, you’ll find expats in Bangkok can be split on the choice. Sure, it’s fun to write home about the topical paradise your home is, but wait until you hear for yourself how loudly the termites are eating into the wall between the downstairs bathroom and the living room. The water cocks may drip, drip all night, but in the daytime produce only sad sighs when you turn them on for your shower. Will earth-fill trucks churn your lane into impassable mud, or will buses passing behind your bedroom produce explosive backfires and plaintive squeals that leave you sleepless? Which of your neighbours keeps dogs, or do they just gather at your gate for their bark and howl fests ? Does another neighbour have a pet gibbon chained up outside so you can get its amusing whoops at the crack of dawn? Or is there a love-staved kawoo bird that starts up with alarming shrieks of ‘ka-wao, ka-waaaao!’ at any time from 10:00 at night until 6:00 the next morning. If you need an example of untiring animal persistence, these are two. Parks of Bangkok are sinking. Who takes care of the pipes connecting your house to the street mains as they snap from subsidence? Be sure that you and your landlord agree on maintenance responsibilities. Some landlords do not raise the rent for tenants who do some of their own upkeep of the property. House rents may be cheaper than apartments for this reason. However, suitable houses may also be more different to find than apartments. If you do find an attractive house with its fully grown garden, and you don’t mind hiring staff that includes a gardener. You may find this meets you admirably. There is a place for the children to play that is – except for the occasional snakes – safer than the street. Your pet dog can romp happily. You can host a large dinner party – having sprayed for mosquitos beforehand – and live like a tropical lord and lady. An apartment in Bangkok, even with its higher rents, loss of privacy, and lack of a play space, may have a swimming pool. You won’t have to hire your own gardener and guard and pay for the major repairs.
  2. People are always asking me about getting a Thai Visa. The answer is always the same., “What do you mean?”. There’s not a real simple answer other than the correct one. You can’t stay in Thailand on a tourist visa more than 90 days in a 6 month period. After 90 days during a 6 month period, you must leave the country for 90 days before you can come back. This is because of all the expats living in Thailand on tourist visas that don’t pay taxes and have a work permit. So, they wanted to counter that. If you want to stay in Thailand over 90 days then you will need a different Thai visa. I suggest that if you have a bit of money then you get a company started here in Thailand. Before you come to Thailand, contact Siam-Legal.com and get the proper paperwork so that you can get a non-immigrant B visa from the Thai consulate office in your home country. Once you get a non-immigrant B Thai visa then you can stay in Thailand for one whole year and only have to do a border run every 90 days. I suggest using ThaiVisaRun.com for they are really cool and cheap. Now, your non-immigrant B Thai visa will expire in one year but you can get it renewed provided you have started a company and have your proper Thai work permit. I’ve done the whole non-immigrant B Thai visa and the work permit and it’s not a big deal. Just have to jump through a few hoops. Like a physical at the hospital and little bit of money. Now, when you are wanting to get that non-immigrant B Thai visa, make sure that you ask for a mulitple entry version. It will save you time and effort. The company Siam-Legal.com will take care of all the paperwork for you. You will just need to show up at the office with two passport photos for your work permit. Takes about 30 minutes to get the work permit. Now, work permits are tricky in themselves. You will need to go back down to the work permit office in 30 days to get a stamp then every 90 days to make sure it’s correct. This is the Thai visa way of making sure they get their work permit money. Because with a work permit comes cash for the country of Thailand.
  3. My Husband is also 50 year old American, BUPA is the best, this is what we have. Although, the coverage in the US is only accidental. I believe Aetna is completely international. This is what a co-worker uses and he is around your age as well.
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