Why I Chose Thailand – part 1 …of likely a few

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I wanted to start a series of videos of why I ended up moving to Thailand. Not just vacationing but actually doing what only a few folks Actually Do: quite their jobs, sell everything, pack up their “stuff” into 3 suitcases and head across the Pacific Ocean via a one-way ticket and LIVE in Thailand.
It has been something I started thinking about since my first trip back in 2012. Well, to be fair, it was really only a fantasy at first. Much like the first time I went on any tropical/exotic exploration: “WOW! I want to move here and spend the rest of my life “on vacation”… sure… who wouldn’t?
Well, after about 2 years to thinking about it and another 3-4 years of real planning, here I am.
BUT, why?
Why Thailand?
What about it did for ME? What does it for other folks?
What did it for you?
What *will* do it for you?
Maybe Thailand is Not your thing. What is your “Thailand”?
Do you have a plan? Or just a dream?
Dreams are Awesome. The are necessary! Have them! I encourage you to execute on them. In my experience(s) the benefits have always outweighed the risks – provided there was some degree of planning.
There is always some degree of risk.
There is always some degree of excitement.
There is not always tomorrow.
This is NOT a dress rehearsal.
Do LIfe NOW.
Live the Dream. If you’re not, You’re doing it wrong!

Cha Am Day #2.5 – Identifying stress. Eliminating it

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On of the things I realized a long time ago was that *I* am that cause of many of my problems. Not all of them but, many. That goes for stress in general. The good news there, as I see it, is that *I* can also be the one who assists in fixing that problem. I can go somewhere else. I can be with or around different people or circumstances. Its simple… but not always easy. For me to get to the point where I was able to live where I am living now and NOT stress out, I needed to prepare and have a plan. A lot of the experiences I’ve had up to this point helped me Identify stressers. Some of which I was in denial about.
Well, these early morning, sunrise walks I’ve been taking here in Cha-Am are turning out to be a great solution to my stress, be it self-induced or otherwise.
So far, so good.
Thanks for joining me in the journey.
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Cha Am, Thailand – Day 1

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This morning, I wanted to show you a bit of our condo we are staying at in Cha-Am, Thailand. Like many condos we’ve stayed at in SE Asia, we use AirBnB.
Here is a link of the Google Map of the area we are staying at:
https://goo.gl/maps/Ts2qEt6tWuCEkvrYA

Feel free to click on this link if you would like to save $20 to $50 on your first AirBnB rental:
https://www.airbnb.com/c/mikes107
(this is an affiliate link. if you sign up, i *could* get a discount on my next AirBnb – I receive NO Cash Compensation – NO ONE DOES. But *YOU* get a great discount!!! Cool, right!? 😉 enjoy!

OR to get more information on the specific condo we are staying at, check out this link:
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/36649201

Thanks for watching this part of the journey,
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Day #3 in Bangkok. Check in from Benchasiri Park

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One of the many things that I *like* about almost all the hotels I think I’ve stayed at in SE Asia is the very common “12 noon check out time”. For some reason I believe that the common check out time in the US is 11am. I could totally be wrong and living on the unicorn and rainbow of confirmation bias.
That said, even when “on vacation” i basically wake up about 5 am to start my day. So, on this Saturday, I decided to hang out until about 6:30am until the BTS was funny running and then head up to Benchasiri park with a bottle of water and one of these AWESOME Pineapple filled pastries from 7-Eleven and just sit and relax.
Mission accomplished.

So, just checking in and saying hello.
Hope this video finds you well and you’re Living the Dream!
Hope to see in the Land of Smiles one day.
~mikes

Benchasiri Park via Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/6JKJJBsVz1AhF4tb7

Day #2 Bangkok, Check In from The Coffee Club

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(FIRST OFF – REEEEEALLY SORRY For the Background Noise – I’ll fix that in upcoming videos. I promise)
With all good intentions of moving to Thailand and eating street food for 40 baht, getting massages for 400 baht and sipping fresh coconut water at the beach for 30 bath, I ended up spending 277 baht at The Coffee Club near the Hyatt off of the Nana BTS station during a 2 hour meeting with the COO of UX Pillow.
https://www.UXPillow.com
They are a software development and AI organization out of Auckland, NZ with additional offices also in Bangkok and London. The COO reached out to me about a year ago in of those random LinkedIn messages to just say hello and offer their services. No real hard sell. And now, I’m in the need of some coders with skills and integrity. So, wanted to meet up in Bangkok before I met up with Gracie and began the “vacation” part of what I was hoping to accomplish.

While I *do* posses a visa commonly referred to as a “retirement visa”, I am hardly following the traditional path of some middle class dude in the US who’s left his life-long career of earning to now live off his savings.
Quite simply, I’ve just stopped living and working in southern California and now live in Thailand.
So, on Day#2, part of that “living” involves over-paying for some iced mocha and espresso lattes to learn about some possible options to get some software written.
…then, later that day, I took the BTS back to my hotel and had a Great hour-long Thai massage for $16.55 (including tip). So, “retirement” is looking pretty sweet so far.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Land of Smiles.
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Thailand O-A Visa: No proof of Insurance requested during Nov 24 2019 entry.

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I received my O-A visa on approximately Oct 10, 2019. *Before* the announcement that as of Oct 31, 2019, proof of health insurance (from a list of approved providers) would be a requirement for getting your Long Stay, Multiple entry Visa for Thailand for those over 50. Or the O-A visa, commonly referred to as the Retirement Visa.
My experience as of today, Nov 21, 2019, was that, upon presenting my passport and Visa to the immigration officer, he stamped me in with an “exit date” of what looks like Nov 19, 2020. The guy’s handwriting is pretty lousy. We’ll see what date is listed in “the system” when I go into my local immigration office in about 80 or so days to do my “90 day reporting” for the first time and give them my where-a-bouts.
But for now, the main purpose of this video is to simply report that the officer did Not ask me for any proof of insurance. In fact, the Immigration Officer did not say even 3 words to me. Fair enough. He did his job and stamped me in. Quite frankly, this has been my experience 95% of the time. I think only once did they ask me for some additional piece of info. Perhaps the return ticket…? I honestly don’t remember. Really, I’ve never had any issue other than waiting in line longer than I’d like. And, to be clear, I’d rather not wait in line AT ALL – haha. Who likes lines, right? But during this evening ~30 minutes from when I walked off the plane until I was through with the stamping was fine… I’m in.
Thanks and welcome to Thailand.
The journey of life continues.
Thanks for watching.
Live the Dream!
~mikes