Cha Am, Thailand – Day 1


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/yOSc7nsrICk

sponsored by AMAZING
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


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/fAzpu4fydBA

sponsored by AMAZING
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


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/p4aydM7Jb0k

sponsored by AMAZING
(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.


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/9QZrakwXVWQ

sponsored by AMAZING
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

Hong Kong: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ride in 24 minutes


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/_xtOAGe-EzI

sponsored by AMAZING
This video is about our journey up to Ngong Ping 360. Ngong Ping is a little village up in the hills of Lantau, Hong Kong. Near the Hong Kong International Airport. Part of the “fun” is getting there (or getting anywhere, ideally) is the journey. And, as a tourist, the trip involves some lines for sure but, we also had a lot of smiles and laughs along the way as well…
Join us for our trip up the mountain from the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal (easy to get to via MTR) on our Crystal Cabin Cable Car.
Here’s the Official Website : https://www.np360.com.hk/en/
We bought our tickets via the KLOOK App. KLOOK seems to be a decent solution about 50% of the time for tickets, excursions, things to do, etc when in SE Asia. We’ve used it in Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Their customer support via the app is either non-existent or lousy but in the field, if your adventure involves a tour guide then they have actually been ok. So, expec to save money but not get better service.. the KLOOK rule of thumb…

The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, the aerial lift was previously known as Tung Chung Cable Car Project before acquiring the Ngong Ping 360 brand in April 2005. The Tung Chung Cable Car terminal still has the “brand” so sadly there care be a bit of confusion but for the most part EVERYONE knows how to get to this thing.
We’d recommend it. Once… Victoria Peak on the other hand, I can see going up there during the day, at night, on a cloudy day, during low season, even for lunch, etc… even if you live there. Ngong Ping 360 is where the tourists go. Which is fine. That’s what we are this trip!! 😉 Our first trip to Hong Kong.

Live the Dream!
~mikes

Hong Kong: 393 Meters Up! = Sky101 Observ Deck – Int’l Commerce Center Kowloon


Check out the latest video: https://youtu.be/3ijfF_V_IPI

sponsored by AMAZING
This video is our experience in Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck: the Sky101 Observation Deck in the International Commerce Center (ICC) in Kowloon.
If you’re in a taxi, say “ICC” and a few HKD later, you’re there!
For info, check our their website: https://sky100.com.hk/
more info:: Sky100 is a 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. The deck offers views of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbor, the Kowloon Peninsula and Tai Mo Shan in the background. Sky100 is located two floors below The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

When we were there (as you will note in the video) this *was* the 10th highest building in the world. Fast-forward just a few months and by the end of 2018, China had two more building within the top 10:
(as of 2019) #9 = Tianjin CTF Finance Centre in Tianjin, China and
(as of 2019) #10 = China Zun in Beijing, China – and this then became Beijing’s tallest building upon completion.
Finally, in the second half of 2019 another mega-structure from China comes in at #5, further pushing the ICC out to #13
#5 (as of 2019) = Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China
for the most updated list heck out this Wikipedia Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings

With all that data out of the way, I can tell you that only as I was producing this video and updating this blog/VLOG post did I investigate this. While there, it was very easy to ignore all of this. We walked around amidst very limited crowds and enjoyed ourselves. A “perfect” tourist experience by some people’s definition 🙂
Hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for watching.
Live the Dream!