A Reader’s Questions ...



Question:
If your open to suggestions for future blogs & if it is not personal I would be curious to hear about your visa & updating it etc. As well as things like health insurance. Just for future reference.

I do read about these things on other web sites but seem to get conflicting reports.


Answer:
The short answer is that we do the visa extension based on marriage to a Thai National, and have done so for the last twelve years.  Now that we live in Chiang Rai, once each year we drive to Mae Sai, roughly a 115km drive oneway, to fill out the forms and return again on the date stamped, approximately 29 days, to pick up the final visa which is good for a year from the date of application.  A more laborious response is reported below.

Honestly I like questions.  The problem doesn’t lie in the questioning process, the problem is with my answers.  Typically people want a how to guide and my response, more often than not, is to go to the source and not get bogged down with hearsay from other Farangs.  For example if you want to know about visas, go to the local office where they deal with such things and ask them what they want.  Usually they have all relevant forms there for the taking, so that you can peruse them at your leisure and fill them out at home.

Instead of farang oriented forums, go to the government websites.  For example, http://bangkok.immigration.go.th/en/base.php?page=faq.  On this page you will find official answers to many questions like the following.
Perhaps you don’t know where to go and want contact information.  They have that too.  In my area up north you get the following graphic.
Sadly I cannot be so forthcoming with information about health insurance.  I have never had any, so have no guidance or recommendations to offer.  I am in that demographic needed to pay for the care of others and to keep the insurance companies solvent.  In order to afford the high priced care of those who take out more than they pay in, they need people paying in who don’t take anything out.  I have, perhaps selfishly, chosen not to opt into that plan.

Judging from my gene pool both immediate and distant, I am apt to live too long if anything, needing longterm care for dementia which most health insurance won’t pay for anyway.  I have the opinion that I do not wish to be a financial burden to my wife by exhausting all my resources to remain alive, but not really living, for any length of time be it brief or extended.  I will make every effort to remain healthy and active but I am resolved to greet the Grim Reaper with open arms, in whatever form he presents himself.  I have no desire to live the way my mother is living now. 

There were three funerals in the village while I was away and there is another going on right now.  The desensitizing effect of the almost constant funerals here, and the depressing state of existence one sees back home, in even the most expensive and modern of care facilities, has left its mark on me.  Yes, there are individuals I know who are active and vibrant into their 80’s but they are not the norm.  I do not aspire to any particular age or number.  I simply wish to live well and then die well, without a lot of time in between.

Hopefully one can find something of interest in my response but if it only leads to more questions, don't be shy.  I will answer in the way that I do, but I will answer.