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Blackwell last won the day on March 27 2017

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  1. Thanks very much to InCider and Jacko for their helpful replies. I understand Jacko’s advice about Pattaya changing- it is three years since I last visited, and my expectations of a retired life there may be more fantasy than reality. Well, I can but try it. Maybe a bit later than I hoped.
  2. I am hoping to move to Thailand next year, on a retirement visa (or rather extension of stay based on retirement). With the introduction of mandatory health insurance, the application for an OA visa in Australia seems to have become “too complicated”. It is not the need for health Insurance, but rather the difficulty in purchasing from a Thai company whilst in Australia. Looking at this forum and information from Pattaya Expats web site, I believe I can follow the process outlined below?? Enter Thailand on 60 day tourist visa. (or enter on 30 day visa exempt) With at least 15 days remaining on permission to stay, apply at Jomtien Immigration for a “Non-Immigrant O” visa. Once granted, this will give another 90 days stay. Set up Bank Account and deposit at least 800,000 baht, should be “seasoned” for 2 months (initial application) before applying for retirement extension. Bank account can be in Foreign Currency (allowing for fluctuations to stay above the 800,000 With at least 10 days left on the 90 day O visa, apply for one year retirement extension. If this is correct, then I have 60 +90 =150 days before the need for the retirement extension, which would allow sufficient time to set up bank account etc. Questions. Is my understanding of the sequence to be followed correct? 60 day tourist visa OR 30 day visa exempt? Which is better to obtain? Or does it not matter. If I come on a 30 day visa exempt, will I encounter any problems renting an apartment on a 6 month lease? (I am off course over 60, and will naturally have health insurance, preferably from Australia) Thanks for any input.
  3. Strange, I can easily recall my first trip to Manila in 85/86. Remember the Hotel I stayed in (Holiday Inn), the bars I went to, and most of the girls I went with. I still have a vivid memory of all aspects of that trip- my first overseas. My first trip to Pattaya was in 1998, done as a 4 day side trip from Bangkok. All I remember is the most uncomfortable mini van trip from Bangkok (never again), staying in the Dynasty Inn (Ok, stayed there a number of times since) and the impression that it was generally cheaper than Bangkok.
  4. thanks for the answers. The concept of a FCD account is more appealing to me, especially with the AUD currently so low. The Bangkok Bank site (link below) suggests that opening an account with them is just so easy, almost in that category of “too good to be true”. I expect to be there in either November or January, so I will try with them. https://www.bangkokbank.com/-/media/files/personal/other-services/branch-services/international-branches/fcd_expat.pdf?la=en&hash=1B0B689C0A49EEFBB89232262CF1DAF23FC55920
  5. I am looking at moving to Pattaya next year, probably on a retirement visa (or visa extension based on). I am 68, and have been retired in Australia for almost 3 years. Unfortunately, the Aussie Dollar is currently on its downward spiral, and will most likely move lower next year. The AUD is historically volatile, and a reasonable expectation would be for it to recover and head back close to parity to the USD. For this reason, I am reluctant to exchange to much AUD for Baht. However, I note that the Bangkok Bank does have Foreign Currency Deposit accounts, which seem very simple to open. According to their website, all that is required (if on either Tourist Visa or Long-Stay visa) is your passport and a certified copy (from Embassy) of your passport. Deposit and Withdrawal fees are a bit high. Only branches listed on their web site are in Bangkok, and only a few of these have FCD accounts. Question. Are there branches (of Bangkok Bank) in Pattaya where you can open a FCD account? (I could not find this information on a search of the web or this forum). Can the 800,00 Baht required for visa extension be in foreign currency equivalent? I do note there are a few postings regarding the Bangkok Bank on this forum, but they all appear to be about the US/ Bangkok Bank relationship. Obliviously opening a BB account in New York is not a option for me. Thanks for any feedback.
  6. Down memory lane. I first joined Pattayatalk forum in 1998, after Pattaya Pate went on TSM Travel (another board I was on at the time) extolling the virtues of Pattaya, and explaining what he was trying to do with FLB. I dropped from the scene in 2001, forgot all my passwords (my log in was rgee, I think) and re-joined PT around 2007. 1998 to 2000- a lot of tourists in Pattaya, cheaper than Bangkok. Punter boards just starting. Fun times. I only visited in what was called the low season- all the beer bars in Soi 8 were still fill.
  7. The flight attendant sees a suspicious looking couple on board, so she reports it to the Captain immediately. “Sir, I think we have a case of human trafficking! There is a very pretty, hot and sexy, female passenger on board, who looks quite frightened and the man she is with is a fat old slob who looks like a lecher, very sullen, mean and dangerous!” The captain responds, “Patricia, I’ve told you this before. This is Air Force One...”
  8. In over 25 years of travel to Pattaya, I have never once taken a Moto Taxi. I decided (after I first understood what they were), that if I ever hoped on one, I would probably end up in Hospital, or worse. I am a bit overweight, averaging 100kgs. Never ridden a bike. To overcome my aversion to MotoTaxis, I choose hotels on -or very near – to the baht bus route. On the rare occasion that I have Barfined from walking street, then I catch a taxi (or a Baht bus acting as a taxi) from Second road, just by Windmill. They charge THB200- seems standard- although I have been asked for THB300, the driver willingly accepted THB200. To me, this seems so much better than paying THB120 (60 each) or more. Outside of Walking street, a Baht Bus will generally accept THB200 for a private hire during the daytime, for travel within Pattaya.
  9. I gave up halfway through the first episode, could not stand the actress with her high pictched squeaky voice. However, Black Earth Rising, another Netflix limited series, is outstanding. Focus on Rwanda, war crimes and the ICC. Certainly full of surprises. Best acting I have ever seen from John Goodman.
  10. I have not stayed here myself, but have looked at the hotel. Apart from the location, I could not find anything to recommend it. There are better hotels, abeit slightly more expensive, in this area. Reviews on Trip Advisor (always read with caution) are not that positive.
  11. You are not the only one. I skim over trip reports (except those from teelack) and mentions of bars etc, but always look forward to Evil's insightful food reviews.
  12. I have now reached a point where my prostrate interferes with just normal day life- it is difficult to travel even to the shop, because I am unable to empty my bladder, and need constant access to a toilet. A number of years ago, a friend of mine pointed out that “once you are over the age of fifty, you never pass a toilet without going in”. The responses from Teelack and Eastoffife have been helpful. I was very keen to try the new Rezum procedure, as it is simpler and “less invasive”. Unfortunately, the surgeon who performs Rezum here (in Oz) has informed me that it is not suitable for me, as my blockage is to high. Possibly the result of waiting too long?
  13. Not sure where this comes from? Yes, prostate surgery can cause incontinence, infection and impotence, depending on the type of surgery you have. I am not happy with having any surgery despite my Urologist telling me how safe it is, and there is a lot of research data to back up the claim that prostrate surgery, or at least the TURP operation, is low risk, and does not effect sexual function (although the laser surgey can). I am unfortunately now at the point where it is either some form of surgery, or risk possible permanent damage to my bladder. I would be careful taking finasteride for too long, although it helps to shrink the prostrate (allowing a “careful wait and watch” approach to BPH, there is plenty of evidence to suggest it is harmful to long time health- in particular depression, erectile dysfunction and diminished libido “Considerable evidence exists from preclinical and clinical studies, which point to significant and serious adverse effects of 5á-RIs, finasteride and dutasteride, on sexual health, vascular health, psychological health and the overall quality of life.” Source Teelack is correct, even with the TURP operation, the prostrate continues to grow, and success of any procedure is measured in the need to redo it within 5 years. The retreatment rate range for TURP is 3–14.5% after five years. Similar results are shown for Rezum, although that has only been around for 5 years, so the long term results may be skewed. There are a growing number of minimally invasive techniques for treating BPH, and there is a large market. At the moment in Australia, TURP is covered by Medibank, none of the other procedures are, although some are covered partially with Health Insurance.
  14. In my research for treatments of BPH, or particularly LUTS (Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms), it seems that the TURP operation is still regarded as the “Gold Standard”, and is the operation “most” favoured by Urologists. The TURP operation, requires 3-4 days hospital care, and I have not found any research where it has caused any form of sexual dysfunction other than retrograde ejaculation. However, there are a number of developing “Minimally Invasive Surgical” techniques. “Convective Water Vapor Energy” or Rezum appears to be one of the better techniques now on offer. According to the Rezum web Site “Rezūm is a treatment for BPH that can be performed in a clinic or out-patient setting… Among the touted benefits of Rezum are that it does not cause any sexual dysfunction – maintaining normal ejaculation (thus suitable for men who might still wish to father children), and it is a day procedure. It certainly seems a better alternative to the TURP procedure. Unfortunately, in Australia, it is not covered by Medicare, and I do not know yet what the cost is, although there are a number of “prominent” surgeons starting to offer the rezum procedure. There is a five year research study due to be released, which concentrates on the efficacy of Rezum, allegedly having results similar to TURP.
  15. Many thanks for the replies, and thanks to Firepole for the information on Prostatic Artery Embolization. I will ask my Urologist about this. I have done a reasonable amount of research- I use Google Scholar so that I can access research articles- sometimes using a University Library for access to databases like ProQuest. Incidentally, like Teelack suggests, it is not always possible to have these new surgeries in Australia / New Zealand, and the cost can be high. A newspaper article in 2016 suggested the cost of PAE was around $6,000. This compares to $0 for a TURP under public health. Article AFR Duodart (a combination drug of dutasteride and tamsulosin hydrochloride is commonly used in Australia to treat BPH, as the Dustasteride works to shrink the prostate, and Duodart is available here on PBS, costing just over $5. I have not taken Duodart, because besides its cheapness and ability to reduce the symptoms of BPH, Dustasteride has some nasty side effects, particularly related to loss of sexual function and depression. There are numerous articles on Dustasteride, including Adverse Effects and The Dark Side. TURP is still regarded as the “golden standard” in treatment, but once surgery is done, there is no going back. One of my colleagues, suffering from BPH, suddenly found he had complete blockage, and required a urinary catheter for some time until the TURP operation was completed. In my reading on PAE, it seems to be more suited to men who currently are prescribed with a catheter. There are a number of negative side effects to TURP, including the need for a Blood transfusion, presumably due to excessive bleeding. This was given as high as 20% in early studies, but more recent ones suggest it is around 1%, which tallies with what my Urologist said. It is the effect on sexual function that I am most concerned about. Poulakis (2006) concluded ”The incidence of postoperative, newly reported ED after TURP was 12 %. Risk factors for its occurrence were diabetes mellitus and intraoperative capsular perforation.” (article PDF) However, Jaidane in 2010 “We concluded that TURP improved erectile function in HBP patients with severe urinary symptoms. This improvement of erectile function was observed even in case of capsular perforation.” (Jaindane) There is of course PVP (or GreenLight Laser Surgery). This surgery is quicker, requires less hospital time (1 ½ days vs 3-4 days), quicker recovery time, nil chance of bleeding. Most of the readings on PVP have been positive- except that it is more likely to require repeat surgery in time. But, nothing is free. Brookes (2001) in a study that compared TURP with laser surgery, concluded “Compared with laser therapy standard surgery for lower urinary tract symptoms has a beneficial effect on aspects of sexual function—particularly in improving erectile function and reducing reported pain or discomfort on ejaculation. Older men who need treatment and want to retain or improve sexual function may thus want to consider standard surgery rather than non-contact laser therapy.” I do not have any medical training, and initially found that reading Medical Research Articles was difficult, but by constantly looking up the meaning of the different terms and acronyms that they used, it became easier, and I believe I am now in a much better position to have an informed discussion with my Urologist. As a result of my readings, I will “most likely” opt for the TURP operation.
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