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  1. Nor do I. If there truly is one of those options anywhere, would appreciate somebody indicating where it is located.
  2. Agree about the foolishness part. And feel sympathetic toward those who can't afford reasonable coverage (or have so many pre-existing conditions that having health insurance which excludes pre-existing conditions is pretty much a waste of time and money). As to the alleged new medical insurance requirement: (1) Since the new policy wasn't announced until after you renewed last Friday, not surprising that the Immigration officer didn't say anything about it. (2) Ubonjoe (typically very accurate) indicates the new medical insurance requirement at the moment (things could change) only applies to those applying for an 0-A visa in their home country (which, of course, is the only place you can get an 0-A visa based on retirement).
  3. Once you do investigate, the US embassy/consulate will be notified by the hospital and/or police of any US citizen death. The embassy/consulate will want to take possession of your passport and they would typically prepare a death certificate that would work in the US (e.g., if you have an IRA there, there'll need to be an official (US) death certificate for anyone to access it). And your remains for disposition will be released once the cops, embassy/consulate, and hospital approve the release. But as long as you have a valid Will as you note (leaving your Vietamese assets to your partner and providing other necessary appointments and powers, then your partner can short-circuit the embassy's/consulate's next-of-kin search by showing them that document (they will, of course, want to see one in English or a certified translation of one that is in another language). With that Will, the release by the embassy/consulate should promptly occur. Presuming there is no issue of foul play or delay because of a autopsy request by the cops, the cops will give the okay. And once your partner pays the hospital bills, your good to go (so to speak).
  4. Bob, nobody is trying to argue with you. Perhaps you might explain just how your partner is going to handle disposition of your remains (which, no doubt, will end up in a hospital morgue) without a release from the embassy/consulate (along with police release and payment of the hospital charges) and without a valid Will that gives your partner authority to make those decisions.
  5. Here is the url to the US Embassy website section which deals with the death of a US citizen in Vietnam: https://vn.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/death-of-a-u-s-citizen/ This section doesn't even mention personal property of a deceased so I'm wondering if you might provide a link to any other section that states or even suggests that embassy personnel would take possession of, store, and/or transport any property of a deceased US citizen. Again, absent a secret death and burial (one without a police report or involvement of a hospital) of a US citizen, the embassy will be notified. Standard procedure and that's when the embassy will start their "next-of-kin" search for notification of the death and issuance of a death certificate for use back in the states.
  6. Absent some secret burial or cremation, the US embassy/consulate will most definitely be promptly notified of your demise. You can, however, avoid the embassy/consulate's "next-of-kin" search by having your partner show up with a valid Will that appoints him as executor and the person who has power to make cremation/burial arrangements. Without that valid Will, your partner will have zero say in the process. And, no, the embassy/consulate people will have nothing to do with your personal belongings (they will not take possession of any belongings other than your passport).
  7. I've always used prepaid (AIS) and think it's incredibly cheap. Recently (I was at the AIS shop for some other issue), I switched to a six-month paid-in-advance data package which was 20-30% cheaper than the prior monthly data cost of about 200 baht per month and also provided another gig or two of data (I don't need a lot of gigs as I'm usually home and the True wifi we have here is rather speedy).
  8. I've no suggestions as I have no problem logging in anymore and, lo and behold, clicking on the bookmark brings me directly to the forum. Cool.
  9. A rather incredible comment but, in spite of that, I wouldn't wish him on your country. I still consider Trump's election to be an indictment of the US education system. [post-election studies do reflect an almost perfect bell curve with respect to the education level of the voters (i.e., as the education level went up, his support went to near zero)]
  10. A bit confused as to why you're asking that question (given you obviously know how to re-size photos as you had some kind of photo editor on your prior pc). Your chromebook laptop does have a basic image editor (look in the Files app) but other apps have to be available somewhere.
  11. What is known is: (1) The British have indeed stated that they won't issue income affidavits beginning January 1, 2019, and are recommending that Brits maintain the 800k bank accounts to support retirement visas/extensions. Unless this new declared policy is changed, the new policy will obviously affect the Brits who have relied on the income affidavits to stay here long term. (2) The British authorities for some reason made a comment that they know that the same change is coming for US citizens too. While the Brits had no real business talking about what the US policy will be, I'm also doubtful that the Brits would have said that without knowing something about it (i.e., one typically can rely on what British officials say). (3) Everyone has known for years that the US embassy/consulate has been issuing the income affidavits to its citizens without any requirement that the applicant show any proof of income. But, on the other hand, I've always wondered why other countries have required the proof of income before notarizing the affidavits because the form the embassy/consulate officials sign is simply verifying the identity (and not the income amount) of the signer of the form. (4) In Chiangmai, there have been some credible reports for the last two months or so that CM Immigration officers are occasionally asking a US citizen with an income affidavit to provide some proof of that income. So far, it's been hit and miss for that activity (but there were no prior reports of this occurring so something different is afoot). What's unknown is why this is happening now. Some have suggested (and it's inferred in some of the British statements) that the changes are occurring because of demands by Thai immigration (i.e., Thai Immigration has told the Brits that they must verify the income before issuing the affidavits and the Brits have determined that they have neither the ability or desire to spend the time/effort to verify income from various sources around the world). While I disagree with Scooby's blanket comment that it's all "completely useless information", he's right that only god/buddha knows what the immigration rules (or application of those rules) will be next month let alone the in the coming years. [OP - you plainly assert that the Thai Immigration Chief - Big Joke or whoever - made some declaration that Thai Immigration would no longer accept the British Income affidavits. Where exactly did you find that the Thai Immigration chief said any such thing? The only statements I've seen so far are by British officials]
  12. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    Kind of a blanket condemnation of the transport system in CM because you had to wait 10 minutes once? I will grant it's become difficult to cross over the outer moat roads (we call farther-out roads the ring roads) excepting at the corners, near Thaphae Gate, at the southwest pedestrian overpass, or at the push-button light across from the market by Chang Phuak Gate. I cross the outer moat roads at least a few times a week at the corners and have no difficulty at all (sometimes I do have to wait 3-4 minutes especially on the north end). You're lucky to have crossed Rama 4 in Bangkok and lived to tell the story. I wouldn't have the nerve to try that.
  13. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    I do agree the tuk tuks (if that's what you're talking about here) are a bit of a pain in the ass and surely too expensive for what service they are offering (in a usually hot, stinky, and noisy glorified tricycle). If you can get a tuk tuk at night for 100 baht, that's actually a bargain (most of them will ask for 150 baht+ and you have to haggle aggressively to get them down to maybe 120 baht).
  14. Bob

    Chiang Mai Fees

    Come on, Christian, a bit over the top. I go lots of places via the Songteaws for 30 baht (regardless of distance). And Grab, although a bit more expensive than when Uber ruled the streets prior to March of this year, is still relatively cheap. Plus now we have the various inter-city bus lines that are cheap as hell and air-conditioned (although not exactly screaming fast to get where you want to go). You spend $100 (?) to fly up here, another 700-1000 baht for a hotel, and then decide not to come because somebody wants ninety cents to a couple of dollars to haul you around? I know we both walk a lot....but to suggest that the situation for pedestrians is worse in CM than Bangkok is simply nuts.
  15. Mae Rim is essentially a suburb of Chiangmai and not at all very far....like 6-8 miles north/northwest of the city. There are baht busses (songteaws) that go there all the time....like every 30-60 minutes? You can catch the songteaws to Mae Rim at Worarot Market (called Kad Luang by most Thais) and the fee is like 20 baht. Once in you're in Mae Rim, simply grab a local baht bus or tuk tuk for your trip out to the orphanage. Oh, would note that the songteaws to Mae Rim are yellow in color (and you'll see Mae Rim written in Thai -แม่ริม- on the songteaw sign). I would think the people at the orphanage could easily get you transportation back to wherever you're staying in Chiangmai...or either tell you where to grab the yellow songteaw back to town or actually haul you to a pickup spot. But you likely can use Grab to get there too or simply hire a taxi or general songteaw to take you there...but taking a yellow songteaw from Worarot Market would definitely be the cheapest option. Wherever you're staying in Chiangmai very likely could arrange for a driver for you too (but, of course, more expensive). But, if you don't mind paying the money (I'm guessing it would cost 1000 baht or so for a half day with a driver?), a private driver would certainly be the most convenient. Would strongly advise that you have in Thai writing the name, address, and telephone number of the orphanage. It may come in very handy. You mention that the place you're going is an hour's drive from the Chiangmai city center but I'm not sure how far that means in distance from what we would call "downtown" Mae Rim. Just getting there during the bad traffic times would take 30-40+ minutes. Anyway, good luck.
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