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About tko

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  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. We just have our insurance agent do it for us when we renew our vehicle insurance.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. tko

    Muang Rayong

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

    Muang Rayong

    Thanks for all the comments. I guess I need to do some area photos. Most of the time I just snap pics of family/friends, but I'll do some general ones over time and post them here.
  13. So I've been living in Muang Rayong a little over a year, so I thought I'd offer a description of the place. This is coming from a retired guy with a couple young children. We've been renting, but have decided to stay, so we'll buy a place early next year before this lease runs out. Rent here isn't terrible, we're staying at a 4 bed/4 bath house in a gated community for 20KBaht/mo. The house was laid out for an invalid parent of the owner, so it's a bit odd, but the kids use the wheel chair ramps as slides and like it. We've been looking at new builds. 3-4MBaht will get a good sized 3 bed/2-3bath house. Figure another 500KBaht to finish it out. We'll also look at existing houses for sale. Schools are good. From upscale Thai private schools to foreign run Catholic schools. Our daughter is in one of the latter. I'm amused that because her English is so good, she's occasionally asked to translate between the American/Canadian/Australian/NZ teachers and the Thai teachers. Our son is autistic, and the Rayong provincial government entered him into their system so he now attends a special education center not far from the house. There's a wide variety of health care options. We use the Bangkok Rayong hospital because it's two minutes from the house. There is the usual Bangkok system price premium but it's less expensive than Bangkok Pattaya hospital. The road just outside our village is the main restaurant/bar road. Many great Thai restaurants with live music, a very good German restaurant, very good Italian/Asian/steak fusion place, and even a soapy massage place that I haven't tried but mentioned to a punter on another board who was visiting, and he gave it mixed reviews. The local malls have the usual mix of stores and restaurants. Sizzler, McDonald's (I have kids), KFC (kids), Burger King, Pizza co and hut, a myriad of chain Japanese places, etc. I can find most of what I need here but I still visit Pattaya a few times a year for some harder to find shopping and cuisines. There are also good mom & pop restaurants and markets around the city. We honeymooned at a resort on the beach just eight minutes from where we are living now 18 years ago. Unfortunately the beaches haven't been looked after so well, but we're 30 minutes from the very nice beaches and excellent seafood in Ban Phe district before you climb the hill into Ban Phe itself. 30 minutes the other direction is Ban Chang, with a good sized retired Farang community, with the associated amenities. The people here are extremely friendly and helpful. It almost doesn't seem like a city at all. They are especially gratified if you can speak Thai, as there is a good sized foreign population at the nearby industrial estates that they run into regularly who generally don't. Within a couple of weeks of moving into our rental house, my wife and kids knew pretty much everyone in the village from the mothers and children get together at the village playground every evening. Every one helps each other with finding things, covering bills while away (we visit Buriram at least twice a year) and invites to homes or local festivals. They also dress for Halloween here, which my daughter had missed since we moved to Thailand. Speaking of festivals, they have several a year in the Rayong sports arena grounds which are adjacent to my daughter's school. So for the 3-7 day festival picking her up from school is not much fun due to the traffic, but a least we get a good view of what rides/shows/attractions we might want to visit. Finally, after discovering it took as long to get to Pattaya by car as by air when I lived in Buriram, Rayong is much better. Due to the distance from our house to the Buriram airport and the fact that it only flies to Don Muang. Now when I want to go I call a Taxi the day before, and around 1 hour after pick up in Rayong I"m at my Pattaya hotel. So I think I've found the right place for me. I can visit Pattaya for a few days a few times a year, but live a quiet family life in the relative sanity of a small Thai city for most of the rest of the year.
  14. The dollhouse was one of my favorite bars while Clinton plaza was around. I was only visiting Thailand once a year then, so it disappeared fast for me.
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