Marijuana in Thailand

Marijuana in Thailand? Until the 1930s Thais traditionally used marijuana to relieve pain and fatigue and now the country is returning to its roots. Medical Marijuana Tourism is a thing and Tourist Marijuana Tourism will surely follow! In December Parliament has voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 in what it described as “a New Year’s gift to the Thai people”. The first controversy with the legalization involved patent requests by two foreign firms,… [Read More]

Thailand Retirement Visas Download Forms

Here’s the Thailand retirement forms download page. Just click, download the form you need, fill it out and you’re good to go. [Read More]

Monks, Single Women in Thailand

Changes in Thai society are changing the lives and numbers of monks and single women in Thailand. It’s a new ballgame.. Monks in Thailand The Thailand Sangha Supreme Council Office says there were just 251,997 monks and 69,907 novices in Thailand last year – a slight decrease since the previous survey in 2007. The Supreme Council Office suggests that the decrease probably stems from the Thai Government’s educational services. Until recently, boys from poor families studied at… [Read More]

My House in Chiang Mai

I got tired of looking at my fence and decided to repaint it. Two guys and a lady showed up and started by pruning my giant hedge back so the sliding gate can roll easily. Then they welded four decorative metal arrows (along the top of the gate in picture) back on. Then they painted the metal parts of the fence and gate white and gold, and painted the concrete fence–both front and side–gray, to… [Read More]

Thailand’s Kra Canal and the Belt and Road Initiative

Have you heard about Thailand’s Kra Canal and the Belt and Road Initiative? After demurring for years, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha last week ordered national planning and security agencies to look into building a possible canal across the narrow Isthmus of Kra in the kingdom’s southern region. Indeed, the order came a month after China’s ambassador to Thailand confirmed the canal as part of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing’s US$1 trillion… [Read More]

Snakes in Thailand

Snakes in Thailand: Dangerous and Timid Vern Lovic, Thailand’s snake expert, wrote me this explanation of his new book, Keep Snakes Out!: Probably no other animal that is frequently found in a home scares people as much as snakes! Here in Thailand, we have a serious snake problem. Recently my friend confronted a king cobra climbing his front door. It’s really no joke here… For ten years I have been answering questions by email, phone, and social media about… [Read More]

Soi Dogs in Thailand

I know about twenty Soi dogs in Thailand (so named because they hang out in alleys, or sois). They’re not well cared for  and, if this story moves you, sign the petition to improve their lives. If you’re in Chiang Mai you can volunteer or adopt a dog from Care for Dogs. They do heroic work caring for lost dogs who need homes. I walk two miles around my neighborhood at dawn each morning. The streets… [Read More]

Thailand Bank Accounts

Opening Thailand bank accounts is different, but easy, once you get the hang of it, but it can be tricky, which is why our Concierge service introduces you to a wonderful bank manager whose bank handles all of Thailand’s foreign exchange transactions. This video shows just how infuriating it can be: New money-laundering regulations require you to establish and prove permanent residence before you can open a Thai bank account. You can imagine the Catch-22… [Read More]

Budget for Living in Thailand

What’s a Realistic Budget for Living in Thailand? Here’s an example of my most recent handyman bill and the story behind it: The mounting of my sliding carport gate came adrift and needed three welds and my guest bedroom sink was leaking water because its drain and stopper had never been correctly installed and needed replacing. Our Concierge tech team, two guys, showed up unannounced (everyone in Thailand shows up unannounced) welded the gate and took… [Read More]

Thai Property Investment Scams

Why Thai Property Investment Scams Target Foreigners Thailand runs on relationships, prestige, loyalty, money and the law – in that order, which often makes Thai property investment scams successful.Unless you’re a member of the Thai ‘club’ it’s wise to have a prestigious friend who is, because Thai Property Investment Scams are common.  The (current) experience of farang friend who owns a restaurant shows why: his restaurant has been a great success in its first year and, last… [Read More]

Cheap Alcohol in Thailand

Cheap alcohol in Thailand is one of the country’s great attractions and my personal joys, but The World Health Organisation (WHO) released its “2014 Global report on alcohol and health” on May 12 and Thailand was a standout: not in a good way, either. The average quantity of pure alcohol consumed by each Thai adult, 15+ years, increased from 6.8 to 7.1 liters between 2008 and 2010. The global average is 6.21 litres, but for Southeast Asia it’s… [Read More]

Chiang Mai Cost of Living

Chiang Mai Cost of Living An Aussie, Michelle Hammond, writes that living in Chiang Mai saves her $23,994 a year: “Before moving here, I knew Chiang Mai offered low-cost living and that the savings I’d make would mean I’d be in for a nice lifestyle upgrade. But I didn’t realise just how good the value was. Now I’m settled in, I’ve a good handle on my budget and the savings I’m making run right across the board, from… [Read More]

Flying to Thailand through Incheon Airport

Thinking of flying to Thailand through Incheon Airport? What I love about Koreans is that they’re extreme about everything. They don’t do anything by halves. They’re not slackers. There’s no Korean equivalent for ‘whatever”. Flight Attendants When you see a KAL stewardess you’ll know exactly how God felt when He created the first stewardess: extremely pleased with Himself. Everything came together just as He’d envisioned it: the scarf, hairdo, shoes, walk, even the rollons. All… [Read More]

A Sea Gypsy in Chiang Mai

Meet A Sea Gypsy in Chiang Mai One of the things I like most about Chiang Mai is its menagerie of expats, but a Sea Gypsy in Chiang Mai blew me away.  I’ve met Slovakians, Slovenians, Ukrainians. I’ve even met President Putin’s TV producer (she says he’s got a great sense of humor and has no plans to invade the USA). Travel is broadening and, since Chiang Mai is such a tourist destination, travelers come to me…. [Read More]

Thailand’s Deadly Adventures

Thailand’s Deadly Adventures Kill People Regularly. Twice a year I run stories reminding everyone that Thailand’s deadly adventures, its rides, are nothing like Disney’s. Nothing. Note that, in Thailand The maximum penalty for negligence causing death is 10 years in jail and a fine of 20,000 baht ($600). Most offenders receive a small fine and no jail time. Here’s the most recent series of unfortunate (but avoidable) events: A Kuwaiti tourist was killed in a bungee jump accident… [Read More]

Thailand Retirement Helpers