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  1. #1
    Member ralphinlaos's Avatar
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    How do you do it?

    I rented a car and drove around Isaan for a couple of weeks, really enjoyed it, and thought I would like to live there. But can I? I am not married and don't have 800,000 baht (or whatever the amount is) to deposit in a bank. Is there another way for a single guy to live in Thailand? I get a decent retirement (about US$2,000 per month) and can live royally on half that in rural Laos, as I am doing now. The problem with Laos is, when you get tired of the same old thing every day, there is nowhere else to go - except to Thailand. It would be nice to live in a rural area of Thailand where when you really wanted something, it was available not too far away (I'm talking about food and furnishings and groceries here). How much do you spend every month on household expenses? Are rentals available? For the past nine years, I have been getting a one-year working visa in Laos, no problem at all - about US$450. Thailand has nothing comparable to that, do they? Anything else I should know - questions I should have asked?

    Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

    Ralph

  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphinlaos
    I am not married and don't have 800,000 baht
    You don't need 800k baht in the bank if you can show a pension of 800k per year

  3. #3
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    friscofrankie's Avatar
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    ^ and are over 50.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat

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    If your over 50 and can nip down to Cambodia, 1 hour drive, every 3 month to renew your visa, then no problem. I live 1 hour from Korat or Buriram so it's easy to get some of the good things in life. I live here on about the same as you do in Loas per month. Loads of rentals available. Boredom is a big problem.

  5. #5
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    Living in Issan

    You don't look like you are over 50, but there are many things to do here in the Northeast. I liived in Khon Kaen for about 9 months and then we found a home in Chiayaphum, which we purchased.

    My wife is a school teacher, and so I have a small connection in the schools. We have set up English classes in her school, and two other private schools, which I volunteer in about 12 hours per week. This is just what I want to keep busy. I am retired and live here permanently, on a retirement visa.

    There are many things to do and see, and I use my spare time to explore the countryside while my wife is teaching. There are many places to volunteer, you just have to find out what it is that you enjoy doing, and then map out a plan. Chiayaphum is cheaper to live than KK, food, gas, and housing.

    Choke dee na!

  6. #6
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KhonKaenDan
    I volunteer in about 12 hours per week
    Quote Originally Posted by KhonKaenDan
    on a retirement visa
    Well you need to watch your back then.
    You are working without a WP and if you upset the wrong person you are wide open

  7. #7
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    Emergency health care should be a consideration, especially for the over 50,s.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor Biggun
    If your over 50 and can nip down to Cambodia, 1 hour drive, every 3 month to renew your visa, then no problem.
    Hi, just wondering what visa you have, and why over 50. It is my understanding that one not need be over 50 to obtain an 'O' visa, but you do have to leave and re-enter Thailand every 90-days or 3 months on an 'O' visa. But can this go on forever, as you seem to imply, given the 'new' rules of a year or so ago?
    If you are 50 or over, and have sufficient funds, then you can get a retirement visa which does not require you to leave every 90-days. Sorry I am a bit confused with your statement quoted above; and request clarification. Regards,

  9. #9
    Member ralphinlaos's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone -

    The retirement visa is the one that costs 800,00 baht, isn't it? As I said, I don't have that to put in the bank. I am 58 years old. When the baht was at 40 (or more) my annual income was over 800,000 baht; when it fell to 33, it's not.

    I am a volunteer English teacher in Laos - four years in Vientiane and two in Thakhek.

    Boredom is not a problem for me; I am pretty self-sufficient and don't need the chaos and hustle-bustle of the city. I like the rural, farm life with lots of animals, a garden, and friends. I write (and read) a lot and cannot live without my cable (especially here in Laos - it keeps me informed as to what is going on out in the big world).

    Ivor, do you make ther visa run every month? What's the deal? You exit Thailand into Cambodia, the re-enter Thailand? When you re-enter Thailand, do you get a 90 day visa? Don't those who are living on 90 days visas feel like a man without a country at times? I mean, with the volatile political situation always a problem in Thailand and the changing of the laws at a politician's whim, there's not much security in having a 90 day visa, is there? I think of them changing the laws and not letting me back into the country or puting on some financial restrictions which I cannot afford. Doesn't this ever bother anyone? Or maybe we can just live with the fact that there are no certainties in life anyway, right?

    KhonKaenDan - twelve hours per week is what I like, also. I like lots of free time to explore the country. Where is Chiayaphum? Lots of farangs there?

    Health care is always going to be a problem - or at least on your mind. In Thakhek, where I live now, there is none - I have to go across to Nakhon Phanom for even rudimentary health care.

    Thanks for all your input, everyone. I'm learning.

    Ralph

  10. #10
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphinlaos
    The retirement visa is the one that costs 800,00 baht, isn't it? As I said, I don't have that to put in the bank. I am 58 years old. When the baht was at 40 (or more) my annual income was over 800,000 baht; when it fell to 33, it's not.
    The rules are that you need 800k baht depostied in a Thai bank or as income per year or as a combination of both.
    So, for example, if you can show an income of 700k baht and 100k baht in the bank then you are eligible to apply for a retirement extension.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jingjoke
    Hi, just wondering what visa you have, and why over 50. It is my understanding that one not need be over 50 to obtain an 'O' visa, but you do have to leave and re-enter Thailand every 90-days or 3 months on an 'O' visa. But can this go on forever, as you seem to imply, given the 'new' rules of a year or so ago? If you are 50 or over, and have sufficient funds, then you can get a retirement visa which does not require you to leave every 90-days. Sorry I am a bit confused with your statement quoted above; and request clarification. Regards,
    I'm currently on a 12 month retirement extention, call it what you will, with money in the bank. My next extention will be under 7,17 rule.
    I was refering to being over 50 and doing the exit every 3 months because the only guy I know doing it is over 50. Can this go on forever ? He seems to think so. I therefore thought being over 50 was a condition of the O visa. If it's not I'm sorry if I misled you.
    Last edited by Ivor Biggun; 16-06-2008 at 04:25 PM.

  12. #12
    Member ralphinlaos's Avatar
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    Ivor, what is a 12 extension? Does that mean that you got a retirement visa and have extended it 12 times? What is the 7,17 rule - some new regulation? And what happens to the money you have deposited in the bank - can you ever take it out? When?

    And Thetyim, I can do that - I have 100,000 in the bank and an income of over 700,000 baht per year. Do I ever get that 100,000 baht back - can I ever use it? Or must it stay in the bank as long as I am in Thailand?

    Thanks for all your suggestions. I know you're not immigration officials, but it's good to be able to talk to someone who is actually doing it, rather than just talking to someone at immigration.

    Ralph

  13. #13
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    You can use the money in the bank, they would rather you would use it and top it up again next year again and that shows that you do have money coming in from outside.
    You just go to the Embassy/ consulate and get a letter that says you have over 65000 baht a month in pension or some kind of income coming in each month, then take that letter with your doctors letter of health to the immigration and get your "O" retirement visa, then go to immigration within 90 days and have it opened as your retirement extension, and just go back next year and have it done again.
    I have been doing it for 7 years now.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphinlaos
    Ivor, what is a 12 extension? Does that mean that you got a retirement visa and have extended it 12 times? What is the 7,17 rule
    Sorry I missed out 'month' after 12. Rule 7.17 is to do with being over 50 having a Thai child. no money to be shown in bank. Thetyim can explain it better.

  15. #15
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    If you are borderline regarding your finances (800,000 baht) I think you should think twice about it. What would happen if the exchange went the other way as it has done recently. I know of someone who is having money problems here and he is going to be forced to move to a cheaper country shortly as the cost of living in Thailand is going up and he just can't cope.

  16. #16
    Member ralphinlaos's Avatar
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    Lynn, that's my biggest worry. The baht goes up and down and my income remains basically the same. Right on the fringe of 800,000 baht per year, depending on the value of the baht (or the decreasing value of the US dollar).

    I do think that we in Laos are less affected by the fluctuations of the market; we're so far off the beaten track that nobody knows we are here. For example, the rice shortages worldwide have not affected us; the Laos grow enough to feed themselves and do not sell their rice to foreign markets. Vegetables are grown locally and beef, fish and pork is plentiful. I live near the Mekong and everyday I see Thais coming to Laos to buy rice (and gold). And, of course, the Laos ladies who own stores here make the trek to Nakhon Phanom everyday to re-stock their stores from the market in Nakhon (or from Tesco).

    Recently, someone built a huge new hotel here (I think it was the Malaysians). It's a big, glitzy thing which would look right at home in Las Vegas. I wondered who was going to stay there with it's higher prices when we have so many hotels and guest houses in Thakhek which are empty most of the year. But then I found out that they have a casino in the new hotel (right on the Mekong), so I guess the Thais will be flocking here to lose their money. We now have two (two!) casinos in Thakhek; not much of anything else, just casinos.

    What a country!

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphinlaos
    For example, the rice shortages worldwide have not affected us; the Laos grow enough to feed themselves and do not sell their rice to foreign markets. Vegetables are grown locally and beef, fish and pork is plentiful. I live near the Mekong and everyday I see Thais coming to Laos to buy rice (and gold).
    Yup, we see them smuggling rice aross to our side of the river, day and night. Bloody trucks never stop.

    By the way, what's wrong with a Non Im. O Multiple visa? It means an annual trip to a friendly embassy or consulate i.e Hull, Perth or where ever and then 90 day renewal. No 800,000.

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor Biggun
    Boredom is a big problem.
    Jump in that new hotrod of yours and get your ass up to my place for a few days.

  19. #19
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphinlaos
    Right on the fringe of 800,000 baht per year, depending on the value of the baht (or the decreasing value of the US dollar).
    You are an American?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor Biggun
    Boredom is a big problem.
    Jump in that new hotrod of yours and get your ass up to my place for a few days.
    Norton, be careful what you wish for.


    Am I the only gay man around here?
    I am a 58 year old gay American, retired from the US Navy, and presently teaching English in Thakhek, Laos (just across the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom, Thailand). There is no gay activity in Thakhek (that I know of) and I'm wondering if anyone knows of any gays in this area? Maybe in Savannakhet or Pakse? Do I have to go to Thailand to find gay friends? Does anyone know anything about the Nakhon Phanom or Udon Thani area (I'm about a five hour bus ride from Udon Thani and am getting just desperate enough . . .). Thanks for any suggestions.


  21. #21
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoGeAr
    Norton, be careful what you wish for.
    Ivor is not gay! If he is he disguised it well the last time we met

  22. #22
    Member Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    ^ But he's ginger right ?? I seem to recall a thread about that....

  23. #23
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester
    ^ But he's ginger right ?? I seem to recall a thread about that....
    So am (was) I.

  24. #24
    Member ralphinlaos's Avatar
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    JoGear - Norton wasn't talking to me, he was talking to IvorBiggun.

    But thanks for re-posting my thread, lest we forget.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Jump in that new hotrod of yours and get your ass up to my place for a few days.
    I appreciate your kind offer Norton but we have a 6 month old baby and 3 dogs to consider. I don't have a mother in law capable of helping to look after the baby and my dogs would wreck my garden if left alone. Give it another 6 months and I may take up your offer. With luck Tsicar will be back and I'll bring him along as well. Thanks

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