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Everything posted by Blackwell

  1. My opinion is that it is always best- but not usually cheapest- to book direct with the airline. Many advantages including seat selection, and greater possibility of refund when things go wrong. Use Skyscanner, look at the “deals” then look at the airline site, and make informed decisions. Travel agents will allow the possibility of “mix and match”, but be aware if they go broke, your travel tickets become worthless. The larger travel sites usually direct you to a subcontractor, without informing you.
  2. Does anyone currently in Pattaya use (or heard of) the ride sharing app “BOLT” In a recent you tube video, Rides 4 Kickz did a minor “promo” of the app, showing how it worked, and how cheap the rides were. Basically short trips for under 50 Baht. Quick, good service, using late model cars. Probably has at least six months before mass tourism restarts in Thailand, so at the moment its probably survival of the fittest, however I wonder how the MBT boys will take to another ride sharing taxi app, particularly one that offers short cheap rides? (youtube by Rides 4 Kicks
  3. A vaccine, plus proof it works- i.e. elimination of covid virus and ability to purchase travel insurance. I’m planning for March 2021. (hopeful). Then a six month stay. At least.
  4. Dubai is not a particularly wealthy emirate, relying on Real Estate and Trade (Oil less than 2% of GDP). Last GFC, Abu Dhabi bailed them out- with statements like “we are all part of the one country, etc”. There was a cost, including the remaining of the Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa. (this is a matter of pride). Would not be over surprised if Abu Dhabi took this as an opportunity to combine both airlines, into a national airline, being off course “Etihad”.
  5. “Babylon Berlin”, a Netflix (German language) TV series set in Berlin in 1929. Captures the decadence, poverty and political upheavals of the time well. Beautifully films and produced, some amazing nightclub dance scenes. Well worth watching.
  6. Similar experience in the UAE, where it seemed they just kept building more and more malls, each one “bigger” than all the others. A lot of them had very little foot traffic. Malls are a declining business in Australia and US, with the shift to on-line shopping. Possibly places like Pattaya (and even Dubai with its “Dubai shopping Festival”) rely on the tourist dollar.
  7. "Occupied" a Netflix series where Norway cuts off oil and gas, to become more climate friendly, but is then invaded by Russia (with approval from EU) in order to restore the energy flow. It is good political thriller, tapping well into the current political climate. Season 3 somewhat disappointing, with a focus on Russian interference in Norway’s election (and the US saying “yeah, so what”), but still one of the better offerings on Netflix. Original idea by Jo Nesbo, author of the Harry Hole crime thrillers.
  8. Bit off topic. There are a number of rules regarding Australian Age Pension, and it’s portability. Basic one, to be granted a pension you must be present in Australia, AND you must have the INTENT of living in Australia permanently. If you have been living overseas before being granted the pension, you need to wait 2 years before applying for portability. This rule does not apply if you have been living in Australia up to pension age. I believe people overseas continue to receive the same increases as those in Aus. There are some parts of the payment (certain supplements) that th
  9. 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.
  10. 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 d
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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...”
  16. 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 THB3
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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 fo
  21. 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 finasterid
  22. 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 th
  23. 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. A
  24. Thank Teelack for the perceptive reply. I have done a lot of reading of research material, which tends to have differing conclusions. Improvements in Erectile Function (EF) are noted in a number of studies about TURP, but they do note that there is a possibility of thermal injury to the erectile nerves. PVP (Green light laser) treatment seems better in terms of quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, however there are numerous studies that suggest the heat of the laser damages erectile function, with the recommendation that TURP is used for older men who wish to maintain sexual func
  25. According to readings, up to 90% of all males will suffer from an enlarged prostate, called BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia -as they age. I was diagnosed with this condition some 5 years ago (at age of 62) and have been taking medicine, primarily now Tamulosin and 5mg Cialis. May well have had the condition for a number of years earlier than that. I must admit that I also occasionally have problems with Erectile Dysfunction, which may be related to the aging process, but is sometimes listed as a side effect of BPH. My doctor has now recommended surgery (TURP or Transurethral resec
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