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About Firepole

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  1. I, because of a chronic problem from an injury, had(have) a painful time with long flights. I would book from my local New England airport to LAX. Stay overnight in the LAX area and catch a flight, via Taipei, to BKK the next day/night. I'd do the same LAX overnight(s) for the return home. Granted, the total, overall, flight hours were more than a direct JFK-TPE-BKK but the LAX-TPE-BKK saved a few hours on the U.S.-Asia leg. It made a difference. And, the night's rest at LAX made the U.S.-Asia leg, somewhat, bearable. Try Hotwire for deals on hotels. Sometimes good, sometimes not so. Because my airline would leave LAX late at night I'd end up booking two nights, at LAX, in each direction so I didn't have to be bothered with checking out of my hotel at noon and have to hang around the airport until midnight for my flight. It, also, alleviated the concern of a flight delay, or cancellation, if I tried to fly into LAX on the same day my LAX-Asia flight was scheduled(same on return). This way, I had a whole day and a half to get to LAX if my first leg(VERY early A.M.) was cancelled. If I got into LAX on time(noon-ish) I'd end up out at Santa Monica, or a beach somewhere, and still have all afternoon, night, and next day to relax/putz around. My situation has improved a bit so, now, I just dope up a little(prescription) and fly JFK-TPE-BKK. I do miss going through L.A. but I don't miss the extra hours total or having to spend the extra money. Yes, is was a bit more expensive to do it that way but my choice was either pay up or don't go.
  2. I can't find any place that serves Mad Dog 20/20 Red Grape so I have to suffer with a Cab Sav or Merlot with my Porterhouse. Drink wine in a bar? Not that I wouldn't but I don't think I ever have.
  3. On my next trip I'm considering renting a car to take a little trip, from Pattaya to about two/three hours north of Bangkok(no driving in Bangkok city). I'm concerned about having the proper insurance coverage should anything happen. Anything from a scratch on the paint to, God forbid, something major where someone gets injured. I'd want 100% coverage where I wouldn't have to worry about a thing. Anyone have any suggestions they can make from personal experiences about insurance, good or bad, while RENTING a car in Thailand? I know an IDP is recommended(no problem). I'm only concerned about insurance coverage. Never having had an accident, or filing an insurance claim, here in the U.S. I'm a little naive on what to look for and what to watch out for.
  4. While I've never visited a Wat I have taken the water taxi up, and back down, the river. Highly recommended. Great photos.
  5. Dynasty Group is a, relatively, medium-large hotelier in Thailand. While talking to the manager, whom I've known for 15 years, I got a true sense that she was a little worried about the mattress complaints. The owners may have left it up to this manager to buy new mattresses and she went with the cheapest, which, in turn, also ended up being the lowest quality, mattresses available so as to look good on the bottom line. This is only MY opinion and, for her sake, I hope I'm wrong. During this stay I noticed some renovations as well as new TV's in all the rooms so it's not like upper management is afraid to spend a little money. Someone just made a bad decision regarding the mattresses. The mattresses that were replaced were better quality(not by much) and had been, in place, since the hotel opening about 18 years ago. Even an extra $500 per mattress, for a better quality mattress, spread out over 18 years, works out to less than 7 cents(2Baht) per night, per mattress. Even spread over only 15 years, which is the typical longest life of a mattress, is only 9 cents per night. 7 cents(2Baht) per night equals $25(800Baht) per year, per mattress. Lose one customer, who stays 4 weeks a year(like me), and you've lost almost $1200 in revenue. That $1200 loss would have covered the EXTRA cost for ALL the better quality mattresses for 1 year. Lose two 4-week customers and the lower quality mattresses are losing you money. Lose the 30% who've complained and you've got a serious problem. What % didn't complain and won't re-book in the future? Yeah, I put a lot of thought into it because I used to feel as though I was home while at the Dynasty. I can't fathom a ridiculous move like this. Dynasty management, unlike your typical Thai, IMO, seemed to understand that they were catering to the falang because it was the falang whom was bringing in the cash. Not this time.
  6. For any Dynasty Inn Pattaya Soi 13 devotees, such as myself, be advised that as of December 2018 they've installed new mattresses in all the rooms. In the 15 years I've stayed there I've always found them to be quite firm to begin with but, all things considered, I was able to live with it. Now? THE NEW MATTRESSES ARE HARD AS A ROCK! I just returned from a trip to SEA that included a stay at the Dynasty Inn in early December 2018. Upon walking to my room, after check-in, I noticed new mattresses lined up in the hallways waiting for "installation" as the housekeepers cleaned the rooms. Feeling them while they were still in the hall I judged them to be very hard and asked the manager if they could wait to install mine until my last night there(so as to try it out for one night). I'm glad I did. One of the worst nights of sleep I've ever had. If you're a "side-sleeper" STAY AWAY! After only one night of sleeping on the new mattress it took me a week of massages in AC to get my back sorted out. If you sleep flat on your back you will still have issues unless you're comfortable sleeping on a sheet of plywood. While checking out I expressed my concerns to the manager and asked if anyone had complained about them. She said 30% of the guests had already complained. I was surprised she had a number(30%), and told me, but she did. I've known her all 15 years. As I'd mentioned, I'm a Dynasty Inn devotee and have been for 15 years. At least I WAS. I love(d) the place. Clean, well kept, great long-time staff, good food, perfect location. All STILL true. Now? I can't go back. The mattress is a deal breaker. It's horrible. A lot of the staff has been there for 10-15+ years and when a few wished me well on my departure and said they looked forward to my return I got a little misty because I knew I couldn't come back. Yes, the mattress was that bad.
  7. Wrong. You're referring to what happened in California a few years back when a private hospital used its own ambulances to transport, and drop off, a few "frequent fliers", in non-life threatening condition, into other districts where they'd end up in, as you call them "public" hospitals. A rare, and isolated, incident.
  8. Mimicked Myofascial Release. Possible Iliopsoas/Psoas spasm. Core muscles weak and/or out of balance. I'd be willing to bet taking a good, hearty shit also relieved the pain a bit.
  9. I can only address your first curiosity. Yes, it is absolutely true. Their reasoning for a $20 aspirin? Pay the Dr. to authorize/prescribe it. Pay the hospital pharmacist/pharmacy to open the aspirin bottle, pull out, and count the one pill. Pay the nurse who has to put it in the $10 cup, walk it to the room, pour the water, that helps the Pt. swallow it, into a cup and hand it to the Pt. They also make those who CAN pay(insured**, self-pay) make up for the losses the hospital incurs from those who don't/won't/can't afford to pay. You'd be shocked at the number of people who will call an ambulance to take them to the Emergency Department of a Trauma Center because they have a common cold. Buses/Taxi's and Walk-In Med Clinics will cost them money. Ambulances and Hospitals? Somebody ELSE pays for it. Why pay $1.50 for a bus when you can call an ambulance for a "free, sponsored by someone else" $700 ride to the hospital, right? Your post suggests you, already "get it". I'm on a rant. **"Insured" doesn't, necessarily, mean FULL(if any) coverage for many items/treatments. If they cover 50% of the $20 aspirin you end up paying $10 for it. If they don't cover it at all you pay the $20. If you don't pay they will be happy to take your home, savings, etc... and/or force you into bankruptcy. When YOU file bankruptcy they pass that loss onto the next potential bankruptcy "patient". On, and on, it goes. Then, they get funding from "the government", which gets its money from the non-deadbeat taxpayer, so they can continue to "save the lives" of the entitled deadbeats who take an ambulance to the trauma center to treat a week old common cold.. Be it NHS, or what we have in the U.S., just know that SOMEBODY will pay for it, and for the deadbeats that abuse it. That somebody is the taxpayer and double again by the tax paying patient who has money to pay for his own treatment. NO, NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO CAN'T PAY ARE DEADBEATS. IT'S A DEADBEAT THAT, KNOWINGLY, ABUSES THE SYSTEM BECAUSE THEY'RE "ENTITLED". On a side note, I've purchased meds(e.g. inhalers) in the LOS that I could've, easily, gotten from a Dr.(with an Rx) in the U.S. With my co-pay what it is the cost, to me, is the same as the price of the inhaler in the LOS. In the end, I saved the insurance company the $150+- for the Dr.s visit. I don't have the "Fuck the insurance company" attitude even though they have the "Fuck the Pt. attitude. And, yes, the Dr. INITIALLY, prescribed the inhaler.
  10. That law only, truly, benefits the completely destitute(YES, it's a good law). If you have any assets, or even the slightest income, they/it can be attached through collections if you don't pay. I don't know the extent of what MedicAID covers but, through people I know, I can tell you that MediCARE does NOT cover everything. What they don't cover is "out-of-pocket" for the patient. I think it's reasonable to assume that BM Grandpollo was referring to lack of access to FREE health care and not just "lack of access to health care". Those whom are used to the socialist type heathcare systems may not, easily, differentiate the two. I think, as the old saying goes, they get what they pay for.
  11. Yep, a culture is the best route but, seeing as how I'm only worried about getting sick while IN Pattaya and/or AC my U.S. health services(Dr., lab, pharmacy, etc...) would not come into play. Cultures, for the most part, only confirm a diagnosis made using signs and symptoms. My U.S. doctor recently passed away. Prior to that, knowing my background, he had no problem prescribing things to take with me "just in case". It's going to take awhile before another Dr.(once I find one) will have as much faith in me, with his Rx help, to allow me to "self-medicate". I wouldn't blame him. Inhalers will help the symptoms, of some conditions, up to a certain point. Then, depending on the condition, they can be overwhelmed and, thus, ineffective. And, they don't do anything to kill an infection. It wouldn't be until that point that a culture would be called for anyhow so, still on track. I know that your typical inhaler isn't designed for infections but some conditions, initially, present as things such as asthma, etc.... I'd use inhalers until it became obvious that there's something beyond e.g. asthma going on. The stethoscope I travel with(yes, I do) isn't just for playing doctor with the girls. I asked about only azithromycin because I figured if it was available other, same class, antibiotics, that would be relevant to the presenting condition, would also be available. IMHO, unless you're 100% positive that what you're doing won't harm you, or slow/prevent recovery, you should have someone who knows what they're doing take a look.
  12. Walking will help loosen the psoas and iliopsoas muscles a little while strengthening the glutes. Screwing in the missionary position uses muscles that "counter" the psoas and iliopsoas. It might be worth it to seek out a Physical Therapist who specializes in pelvic tilt issues. They should all be familiar with it but that doesn't, necessarily, mean they know what they're doing. IMO, it's, at least, another thing that should be eliminated if these "expert" doctors can't find a solution. I could be way off with my suggestions but your "I walked a lot and screwed a little and had almost no symptoms" told me quite a bit.
  13. If nothing comes back to indicate hernia put psoas and iliopsoas in the back of your mind. More factors involved but if hernia is ruled out look for musculoskeletal issues. It's a possibility.
  14. Couldn't agree more. Self-diagnosis is stupid unless you know what you're doing. It's the reason that there are "superbugs" out there. That, and those who don't complete treatment for whatever reason. Idiots. I'm not looking to buy antibiotics for STD purposes. It(they) would be for potential respiratory issues. There, I know what I'm doing.
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