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About tko

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  1. I also got the Fortuner 5 years ago. It's basically the Rab 4 comfort package on the super tough hilux truck chasis. We only drive around 12,000km/yr so assuming no accidents this could be the last vehicle I have to buy.
  2. We have four doors, it is unlikely we couldn't reach one from anywhere in the house. Plus the windows are nearly 3m above the ground, so that would be quite a drop. Also construction here is generally concrete and steel, so much less likely to catch on fire than the wood and drywall style house we had in the states. We also took great care during construction with the electrical work to minimize the main cause of fires in Thailand.
  3. Our place upcountry has stainless burglar bars on the windows, a two meter wall surrounding the property, and a GSM alarm system on the house doors which will text and voice call us if one is opened. TW's folks check on the grounds regularly as they keep the grass cut and collect fruit from the trees. Our place down by the coast is in a gated community with two guards 24/7 so the gatehouse is always manned and they do periodic bicycle patrols of the community. The house also has CCTV cameras on on the entrances. Nothing is perfect but hardening a location will generally cause a thief to choose an easier target.
  4. Kasikorn's highest single button selection is 10,000. So I always had to hit "Change Language" "English" "Cash Withdrawal" "Key in other amounts" "Savings" then the amount I wanted. 30,000 max at a time, 50,000 max a day.
  5. I also use that immigration office, and in fact was there today to update my TM30 and get a residence cert for the Amphur tomorrow. We just moved in to our new house. I also appreciate how friendly and helpful this office is compared to the last two I dealt with up country. For example my last retirement extension we showed up at 10:30 with pre-filled forms and documents, and by 11:15 we had the extension in the passport and were on the way to lunch. But I thought you had to be resident in the area your immigration office covers for retirement and marriage extensions. So Maptaphut would only service people resident in Rayong province?
  6. Just got back from Home Pro and they've done away with bags entirely. So now I just take my cart down the escalator ramp out to the parking even if there are only a few items in it and they can go get it.
  7. We just have our insurance agent do it for us when we renew our vehicle insurance.
  8. tko


    My daughter attends a private Catholic girls school, St. Joseph's. Having had experience with an international school on a two year work assignment in Europe, I consider the St. Joseph program to be equivalent in rigor and content, though there are more local language/culture courses than an international program, though they have the option for a total English program for an additional charge. A year at this school (2 terms) costs less than a single term described above. We hired a tutor when we first moved here, for Thai language. That's no longer necessary. Additional instruction in English and math I can provide.
  9. I have a multi-focal lens in one eye, and about 2 years ago my vision started to go blurry. I went to the Bangkok hospital in Rayong, and they didn't figure it out, but had me come back and see a doctor from the Bangkok hospital in Pattaya who drove to Rayong. She diagnosed that I needed a capsulotomy and the Rayong hospital had a YAG laser so she performed the procedure after they numbed my eye. A half hour after the procedure we were having lunch and I was reading signs across the street, so I would recommend the Bangkok Pattaya hospital eye doctors.
  10. tko

    Muang Rayong

    So on a cool and rainy day, only a couple days before school starts, we decided to run down for lunch on Saeng Chan beach. That's the beach we stayed at 18 years ago. The restaurant is at the end of the beach where the Rayong river empties into the gulf of Siam. Established 40 years ago, they apparently invented the popular Sea Bass fried in Aromatic Fish Sauce that is now found everywhere including several branches of this restaurant that have now opened in BKK, etc. It's right on the beach. The river side of the restaurant (photos from inside to outside on a rainy day don't work well). A colorful collection of boats are moored on the opposite bank. Saeng Chan beach is designed well, with circular breakwaters running the length of the beach. 18 years ago it was very popular, unfortunately they absolutely need a litter patrol like Ban Phe and Mae Phim beaches to restore it. They're building condos all along the beach. Maybe that expansion will convince them to clean it up. In the 18th century, there was a famous poet named Sunthorn Phu whose father was from Rayong. Rayong is sometimes locally called Muang Sunthorn Phu. The large creature in this photo is from one of his writings and is named Phra Apai Manee. Statues of her (or it) are scattered at various intersections around the city.
  11. When I lived in Buriram I was a little way north of you, fairly close to Pranom Rung in Prakhon Chai district. I built a big 4 bed (One was my office/man cave) 3 bath on the Mrs land, but after 4 years it was just too remote so we moved to the coast. The place is built like a fort, so I put a GSM alarm system in it and her folks look after the yard while we're away. We still stay there during the March/April and October school holidays.
  12. tko

    Muang Rayong

    First photos. After describing the very nice beaches in Ban Phe district, I realized we hadn't been there since we got back from Buriram. Solved (from earlier today). The beach. To the left is the start of the hill going up to Ban Phe town. A lonely Banana boat driver looks for customers. He had plenty of business later. I'm not very good at cell phone photography (blurry). One of the good things about this beach is the well maintained forest canopy at the edge. The gents at the nearby table shouted "hello" to me earlier to show that they were also drinking Sangsom, and if I ran out let them know. As I said, a friendly lot, here. More poorly composed photos later.
  13. tko

    Muang Rayong

    My daughter is attending a local Catholic girls school. A new student pays about 65KBaht for the first year for the standard program. It comes down after the first year entry fees by about 25%. The standard program is 50% Thai, 40% English (native speaking teachers) and 10% Mandarin (Native speaking teacher). They also have an all English program that adds about 20KBaht to the tuition. https://sjrenglish.weebly.com/ I cover the extra English at home, so the standard program is fine by me. You are correct that the A level international schools are about 5 times that cost. I knew of one before on assignment in Norway and didn't find them more effective than the program my daughter is in now, though there is probably some cachet to having that type of school in your child's records.
  14. tko

    Muang Rayong

    I expect you're correct, now that I think about it. LOL.
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