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Everything posted by kerryd

  1. Um, I'm in Pattaya. Not sure why you think Chiang Mai, though I usually make a quick trip through there in early December each year (for the annual Bike Week party that is basically just one Saturday afternoon/evening each year).
  2. Got to wonder who puts the lists together and what their criteria really is. Canada's not on the list, but Iceland is ? And India ? It seems the list is based on who they think will spend the most if they come, not on which countries are "safer" than others.
  3. I probably still have my old yellow book (and the newer blue one) laying around somewhere. Didn't bother looking for them when I got my first shot as I suspected no one would know what to do with them anyways. I registered on the expatvac site. Didn't hear anything. BHP arranged a date/time for me to get an AZ shot in August. 3 weeks later I got a notice (from BHP) to get a Pfizer shot at Central Festival. I'm guessing that was a result of being registered on the expatvac site. But of course, as I'd already been given a shot of AZ, they wouldn't give me a Pfizer shot so I have to wait 12 weeks to get the second AZ shot (next week). But no "booster" shot. Or a shot of something else. Unless one of the places I've also registered (and paid on) finally gets the Moderna they've been advertising for months now. (Even tried to get a Pfizer shot at BHP yesterday after talking to my doc, but as soon as they found out I'd had the AZ shot 10 weeks ago they said no.) They actually told me that 2 doses of AZ was better than 2 doses of Sino and an AZ "booster". Personally, I'd like to have the AZ, followed by a Pfizer and then a double dose of Moderna as the "booster". Preferably before the rest of the world starts showing up and infection rates skyrocket as they find all manner of people who weren't very honest about having been vaccinated in their home countries. I've noted before, most of my friends have already had two jabs and a booster jab and I've been waiting 10 weeks now for just the 2nd jab with no idea when (or if) I'll be able to get a booster. And no idea who is recording it where in the event I need proof of having been jabbed.
  4. "in development" "1 Nov" So they are going to "develop" and test this in less than 2 weeks ? Including figuring out how to keep the information secure, which is debatable (whether or not they will even think about that). I smell a giant clusterfu** coming - somewhere right around 1 Nov. The gov't hasn't had a lot of success with making apps or databases in recent years, or with keeping sensitive information safe.
  5. From the PR Pattaya Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Prpattayacity/photos/a.259451210732297/4935642313113140/): (Google translation - don't blame me for grammar/spelling/punctuation errors. - Like how it translates what I think is "performers" into "army".) Pattaya City, together with the Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization, is scheduled to organize the Pattaya Music Festival (PATTAYA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2021). Come and join in the fun with the army, singers and musicians over 50 artists every Friday and Saturday for a total of 4 weeks starting from November 5 – December 11, 2021 Week 1, 5 - 6 November 2021, 3 stages at Pattaya Beach, North Pattaya Stage Central Pattaya Stage and South Pattaya Stage Week 2, November 12 - 13, 2021 Number 1 Stage at Jomtien Beach Saturday November 13, 2021 Pattaya City added a stage at Koh Larn, Nuan Beach, hosting famous artists. Make fun for the people of Koh Lan. have seen as well Week 3, 3rd - 4th December 2021, 1 stage at Lan Pho Na Kluea Park Week 4, 10th - 11th December 2021, 1 stage at Pattaya Beach, Central Pattaya Beach Stage For the army, singers and musicians, more than 50 artists will be present at the concert each week. Please be patient on Friday, October 15, 2021. There will be a press conference on the Pattaya Music Festival 2021 at the airport terminal in front of Terminal 21 Pattaya shopping center. In the event, there will be a mini concert of artists Thanon Chamroen and Som Ma. Re can't miss it Don't forget to wear a mask social distance To prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus
  6. Seriously ? "The study was based on 28,000 trial participants who were given a dose of Sputnik Light, versus a control group of 5.6 million people who did not receive a Covid-19 vaccine." So they gave the vaccine to 28,000 people and they had better resistance to 5.6 million that had no vaccinations at all ? Gee, I'm surprised they didn't announce that it was 100% effective compared to people who've never been vaccinated at all ! No wonder this hasn't been "peer reviewed" (yet). Somehow I don't think their results will stand up. It's like giving 28,000 people a 7 course dinner and saying that 70% of them were less hungry afterwards, compared to the 5.6 million who weren't fed at all.
  7. Perhaps they'll announce the 10 countries today and then tomorrow announce another 10 and then announce that on 1 Dec they'll expand it by 10 more. Somehow I get the impression that it would be good to be skeptical of whatever method they use to determine which countries are "low risk" and suitable for unrestricted entry.
  8. Probably all faked using CGI and a secret CIA film studio.
  9. Technically, as they will be above the "Kármán line" (which is the generally accepted delineation between Earth's atmosphere and "space"), that is all they need to do to be officially considered "astronauts". The Kármán line is basically 100kms above sea level. At the time that limit was defined, it was determined that was the highest altitude that aircraft could fly. The higher you go, the faster you have to fly in order to maintain "lift". Back in the 50s, they determined (mathematically, based on the technology of the time) that aircraft would not be able to fly higher than that, as they'd have to travel so fast the friction would cause them to overheat. Think of the SR-71 Blackbird. It only flew to around 26 kms above sea level, as speeds up to Mach 3.2. At that altitude and speed, the external temperatures reached over 2600 Celsius (5000 Fahrenheit). In 2005 the US decided to lower the standard to be considered an astronaut. "The U.S. Armed Forces definition of an astronaut is a person who has flown higher than 50 miles (80 km) above mean sea level, approximately the line between the mesosphere and the thermosphere." However, this would still be considered "sub-orbital" as it has been determined that you have to be higher than 125kms in order to maintain a circular "orbit". (An elliptical orbit can be achieved around 100km.) So Shatner will be officially considered an "astronaut" though personally I wouldn't crow about it when you've barely gone 100 kms into "space" for just a couple of minutes. And not even on a ship/craft named "Enterprise" !!
  10. I know they do ironing in a lot of laundry shops, but those aren't likely to hire someone to do it for them (unless they could be shown that they'd save a lot of money). Problem is, you may get the solar power for the iron for free, but the "man" power to do the actual ironing would probably cost as much as the juice you'd use to do it yourself.
  11. "Earlier on Wednesday, Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told the UN correspondents’ association that Sago’s work should not be “politicised”. “If we are going to send teams to any other places, I believe it’s not to China because we have received international teams twice already,” he said. “It’s time to send teams to other places.” In August, China rejected the WHO’s calls for a renewed inquiry on the ground into the origins of Covid-19." So, don't "politicise" it - by making it about politics. Uh huh. There's a reason teams have been sent to China twice, and why China has put such an effort into stymying those investigations. Basically what the ambassador said was that the new investigation team won't be going to China. So they will have zero chance of proving the virus originated there (naturally or not) or even if it originated there at all (like the Chinese want everyone else to believe). Never mind that the virus has been studied in those "other places" - by experts who know how to track such things. But the Chinese know, if they let a competent investigation happen, it will likely find that there is no possible way that "infected bats" infected other, already infected, animals which then infected a different set of bats that were subsequently bought, poorly cooked and then eaten by different groups of people. A proper investigation might also turn up clues that people were being infected long before covid-19 was "officially" recognized. Finding earlier cases could lead to narrowing down "patient zero" which would be the smoking gun as to the origins of the virus. And you can bet the Chinese are never going to let that happen.
  12. What list ? That's the problem, there is no "list". All they've done is announce that "10 low risk countries" would be allowed to come in without having to quarantine, without saying who those 10 countries are. The problem is conflicting information. Like "bars will be allowed to open on 1 Dec but no change to the alcohol policy". So they can open but no matter how many people are in the bar, only 1 can be drinking at a time. Makes perfect sense (to someone). Or people who spread incorrect information. Like those who think that only people from those "10 countries" will be allowed to come to Thailand. Because they didn't read the whole story (or post), or they just "think" they know more than the people actually making the decisions. So my buddy's friend (who is Canadian) still thinks he will be coming over on 24 Oct even though he told my friend that because Canada wasn't on the "list", my buddy wouldn't be allowed. (Which makes me scratch my head how my buddy's friend thinks he can come here if the other guy can't.)
  13. So- getting back on topic - a friend of mine just cancelled his trip because a friend of his said Canada wasn't on the list of "10 countries" that would be allowed in. Typical of a forum user that reads half a headline and then makes up the rest in their own minds. I had to tell my friend that the "10 countries" were ones that wouldn't have to quarantine when they arrive, and that fully vaccinated people from other countries would also be allowed to come, but would have to stay at an approved hotel for the first week and pay for 2 covid tests. (And I told him that no one, even the Thai gov't, knows which countries are included in the "10".) He's also having an issue with the e-visa site as he claims it told him he had to mail his passport (and a money order) to a consulate 1,500 kms away. Which is wrong as well as the whole purpose of the e-Visa is so that people don't have to mail their passports. (I even created an account on the e-visa site to try and find more accurate info on the e-visa process but didn't go through with completing an application.)
  14. This tax was initially proposed as a way to cover "unpaid hospital bills" supposedly racked up by foreigners (implying tourists and not workers from neighbouring countries). Anutin claimed at the time that tourists were skipping out on over 300 million baht in hospital bills every year (about 330 million in the year he quoted if I recall correctly). I calculated that, at the time this was first proposed, a tax of just 10 baht per arrival would easily cover those bills. (I even wrote a letter, translated into Thai, to the Minister of Tourism. No response of course.) They could have just increase the existing "airport departure tax" by 10 baht and been done with it. Then they came out with this new plan of charging 300 baht per arrival !! Thirty times what was supposedly needed ! Now it's 500 baht ! They expected (before covid) that they'd hit 40 million arrivals in 2020. That means they are looking at raking in over 20 billion baht a year ! In money that can easily be "diverted" to whatever purpose they want with little or no scrutiny. And it's another hidden tax that can be easily raised at anytime without most people even noticing. Who's going to notice if their ticket to Thailand this year is $3-4 or a couple of Euros more than it was last year ? And you can be sure that no one is going to have a clue where that money ends up going to either.
  15. From the official gov't e-Visa website, regarding (normal) Tourist Visas: https://thaievisa.go.th/tourist-visa Required Document (Please check relevant embassy/ consulate's website for specifically required documents) 1. Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months. 2. Photograph of the applicant, taken within the past six months. 3. Evidence of travel from Thailand (air ticket paid in full). 4. Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family). Period of Stay Upon arrival, travellers with this type of visa may be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 60 days. Extension of Stay Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their type of visa must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Tel 0-2141-9889 (or at http://www.immigration.go.th). The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer. Enter on a Single Entry Tourist Visa. (60 days stay) (Stay at an SHA+ hotel for a week.) Extend it for one month. (Total - 90 days) Immediately (within a week) apply to convert it to a Non-O visa. (Another 3 months, total 180 days.) (Don't wait to long in case it doesn't get approved for some reason.) Extend it for a year (or not). The form to change Visa type is not complicated nor is the process. Or you can pay (a lot) to an agent to do it for you. Way easier than going the "Special Tourist Visa" (STV) route. Trying to remember, if one converts a visa (any kind) to a Non-O in country and then wants to extend it for a year, how do they meet the financial requirements, especially if they want to do the "monthly deposit" method ? Or say they apply for an Extension of Stay in the last month but their 800k has only been in the bank for a month ? (I thought I read awhile back that if you applied to extend a Non-O for the first time, they'd "grace" you the financial requirements for the first year as, obviously, there's no way most people would be able to show a year's worth of monthly transfers if they've only been in the country for 3 months. And if you applied for the Extension in the last month of the initial stay and wanted to use the "cash in the bank" method, it wouldn't be there long enough to qualify.)
  16. Yeah, it's the ones in the Gulf of Mexico that like to send homemade submarines into the open water (usually full of cocaine). Some make it. Some get caught. I'd suspect most end up on the bottom of the ocean a few kilometers into the trip.
  17. A lot of pirates in those waters as well if I recall correctly.
  18. Urban legend that's been floating around since the early days of radio (at least). It's always a huge American ship with a haughty captain and an inanimate object (like a lighthouse). Seems the earliest version may have been a cartoon in a newspaper back in 1931. Couple years ago I tried to track down the original version but it's gone through so many changes over the years as it gets passed on over and over again. Sometimes it's a heavy missile cruiser, sometimes it's an aircraft carrier. There's a version where it's a battleship (despite the last one being decommissioned almost 30 years ago). There's actually a wiki page dedicated to this urban legend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_and_naval_vessel_urban_legend The sub was in the South China Sea as a part of a naval exercise aimed at showing China that they don't own international waters (despite their claims). Modern subs actually travel faster underwater than they do on the surface. The Sea Wolf class that this sub belongs to can do 65 km/hr underwater (max speed) and even when "running silent" can still do 37 km/h. Meanwhile it apparently is only capable of about 33 km/h when on the surface. No doubt the Chinese were also keeping a very close eye on that exercise and no doubt they too had subs in the area. I suspect that there may have been a Chinese sub (or half a dozen of them) sitting very quietly (as in running "silent") and recording things like sound signatures from ship's propellers (which they use to identify the ships) and any other subs in the area. The American sub was probably flying from one location to another, providing cover for the fleet and possibly rammed a Chinese sub by accident. If there was a Chinese sub (or a few of them) in the area, they wouldn't have wanted to make any noise or manoeuvre too much as that would give their position away to the Americans (who were probably expecting there to be Chinese subs in the area anyways). The ocean is a huge place, but when you put a bunch of ships in a small area and then a bunch of subs, suddenly it starts getting crowded. When I was on an exercise with the US Marines back in 1982, we were sailing to the Aleutian Islands to re-enact the Devil's Brigade landings in WW2. I was in the USS Bristol County (a "tank landing ship") and we were in the center of a fleet of escort ships. A couple days before we got to the islands, some of the escort ships started sounding alarms. I was up on the "flag deck" of the ship when 2 destroyers, one from the West and one from the East side of the fleet, turned and made a bee-line straight for us. They actually criss-crossed a couple hundred meters behind us and then spent some time "running around in circles". Found out later that day that a Russian sub had been sitting on the bottom, keeping very quiet. They knew the general direction we were sailing and positioned themselves ahead of us and then just waited. When the fleet started passing over it, it started to quietly rise from the bottom. Then all hell broke loose as it was detected. It surfaced behind us briefly (basically just the periscope above the surface) and then did a crash dive back down before the destroyers got close enough to ram it (which was their intent supposedly). The Russians apparently did that to "remind" us that we were in their backyard and if we strayed a little too far to the West, we'd be in their waters. (Kind of like how the Americans and/or Russians scramble jets to "escort" bombers from the other side that get a little to close to their own airspace. Testing each other's response capabilities and reaction times I suspect.) The US won't say exactly where the sub was and if it did hit a Chinese sub, you can bet the Chinese won't admit it either. I'm curious as to the general area it may have been in. The articles say the "South China Sea" so I suspect they were probably not far from the Spratly Islands The Chinese have been building up atolls in the area, tiny bits of rock and coral that barely break the surface of the ocean. They've built up some of them enough to construct airfields on as a way of claiming that portion of the ocean. Who knows what they've been doing under the water in the area. If it's shallow enough, I wouldn't put it past them to try and "build" some new islands or build up some existing atolls by placing concrete footings into the sea floor. Kind of like how offshore oil rigs plant themselves before they start drilling. Note the "dashed line" off the coast of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. China is claiming all that water as their territory. Note how the other nations are only being granted (by China) a tiny "territorial" section off their coasts while China is claiming almost the entire sea as their "territorial" waters.
  19. It's a scam when they claimed that the tax was to cover the (300 million-ish) in unpaid hospital bills that "foreigners" stick the country with every year - but they expect to rake in over 40 times that amount. (40 million arrivals at 300 baht each - 12 billion ! - I previously said 1.2 billion. Missed a decimal point.) Now it's up to 500 baht/ticket so they are looking at raking in around 20 billion baht a year from that tax alone.
  20. It used to be a 250 baht "Departure Tax" and was payable at the check-in counter. That was back in the early 90s when Don Muang was the main airport. Back then, you had to have your bags checked and strapped by security before you could get to the check-in counter. When you went to check-in, they hit you with the tax. If you didn't have the money, you had to leave, have the security straps cut off your bags, go find money somewhere (no ATMs back then and the Exchange Booths closed around 5pm). Once you found the cash, go back through security again, get your bags rechecked and strapped and back into the check-in line (at the back of course). Then they decided to increase the amount to 500 baht, but hid it in the ticket price. Most never even know it's there and it saves the hassle of trying to get broke people to pay it as they are leaving the country. I recall hearing that it had gone up to 750 awhile ago (many years ago now). Never heard of it going up more but they could do it and no one would even know. Then what, 2 years ago was the story that "foreigners" (with Anutin no doubt looking directly at "dirty farangs" while talking about it) were leaving over 300 million in unpaid hospital bills. Easy enough to do when you can simply walk out of a hospital without paying. They decided as they were getting almost 40 million "arrivals" a year, why not add another tax to their plane tickets to cover all those unpaid hospital bills. Now it doesn't take a Ph.D to figure out that at 10 baht per ticket they would generate more than enough to cover those bills. But no, they decide it should be 300 baht. Immediately one wonders where all that extra money was going to end up. Instead of 400 million a year, they were looking at collecting 1.2 billion ! And that was before they started the whole "400,000 baht insurance policy" nonsense for Non-O(A) visa holders. Now it's going up to 500 baht. I guess more people have their hands stuck out waiting for their cut of the cash. And that's all on top of the 750 (or 1,000) baht Departure Tax (or Airport Improvement Fee or whatever it's called now). And it will continue happening so long as Thailand continues to have gov'ts that have NO accountability for their actions.
  21. He won't get away with claiming he was "too stoned" at the time. All they have to do is look at the CCTV, note how he moved, note how he dressed himself completely, note how he rode away on a motorcycle (even remembering his helmet) and then note just how far he rode afterwards (from Khon Kaen to Bangkok). Hardly the actions of someone "too stoned to remember doing anything". And this is Thailand so I doubt they'll be as soft and lenient as courts in some Western countries would be. Also, it wouldn't be the first time someone did something and then took drugs (or drank booze) afterwards to try and claim they were stoned (or drunk) at the time. Used to be the "de jour" thing to do if you got into an accident on the way home from a bar. Leave the car (or drive it home even) then immediately pound back a couple beers or a few shots of whiskey so that when the cops show up you can claim you were sober until you got home and then started drinking to "calm your nerves". No way they can prove otherwise, even though they pretty much know what really happened. Also, it's like all those people who commit a crime then, afterwards, are suddenly diagnosed with a mental illness that no one knew about before. "Oh this guy is a psycho schizophrenic with bi-polar and dissociative tendencies that miraculously had no affect on him for 40 years, until after he needed an alibi and a way to stay out of a maximum security prison." Like that guy in Canada who stabbed and beheaded a fellow passenger on a bus in 2008. He claimed he heard the "voice of god" and was found not criminally responsible because (while in custody and needing a way out) he was suddenly diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was sent to a mental institute where he must have made a miraculous recovery because he was granted unescorted "day parole" barely 5 years later and 3 years later granted total freedom. Barely 8 years, served in a cushy mental institute. Pretty easy time for murdering someone and cutting off their head. Little wonder so many people suddenly develop a "mental illness" - after they commit a crime. But this is Thailand and they aren't going to have any sympathy over any claimed "mental condition". And no jury to try and play the sympathy game with either.
  22. Even "angels" can have angles ! (Some have "curves" too ! Though some are just fat.)
  23. According to the latest reports, he is an American, not an Australian. Her son noted that the woman had worked in Australia and somehow that has lead people to think the perp was Australian as well. (I would have guessed American, possibly ex-military based on the cam pants and that haircut, but a lot of countries now wear American style uniforms and "crew cut" hair isn't all that uncommon.)
  24. I think the confusion came from the victim's son who noted the woman had worked in Australia and just came back from there 7 months earlier.
  25. They already got him. An American. "UPDATE: Thai media reports that police have arrested a 37 year old American man who allegedly raped a Thai masseuse in Khon Kaen. " The original story had him as an Australian. Now it's an American. The story was already running in the News thread here:
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