We’re pretty happy with our phone setup now, but what about other communication options to enhance our ability to stay in contact with family, friends, financial institutions, and other luxuries we might want to enjoy but are limited or blocked in Thailand?
We are already set up with Skype and use it now to visit with our son and daughter in law overseas so we will continue to use it. We have it on our laptop, tablets, and cell phones.
We also have Google Hangout set up on all of our devices but understand that it is currently blocked in Thailand.
We have a Google Voice account which gives us a US phone number at no charge.
This allows us to make free calls to any US phone number. We can use it from our laptop, tablets, and from our cell phones using Talkatone in conjunction with Google Voice. If you have poor or no cell signal but can connect to wi-fi you can still make and receive calls.
Google Voice needs to be set up while you are in the US and gets verified by your current US phone number. Then you can go anywhere in the world and make free calls back home and folks back home can call you on your US Google Voice phone number. This will come in handy if we ever have to contact our financial institutions, retirement systems, or do any business in the US or if someone from back home wants to call us without incurring international phone rates. Phone calls to other countries are charged at Google Voice’s low international rates.
One of the tablets we have is a Nexus 10. It is not available with a sim card for phone service. But, fear not. There is a free android app called Groove IP Lite that creates a dialer for the tablet that can then use Google Voice to place and receive phone calls from the tablet itself.
Another of our favorite apps that we use is LINE. Free voice calls and messaging from anywhere to anywhere. Easily used from our smart phones and can be set up and be used from PC's and Mac's. Add LINE CAMERA and be able to take pictures and send them right away to family and friends.
We are researching VPN options so that we can still view Netflix, Hulu, blocked YouTube videos, etc. and also order things online while showing a US IP address. Then pay with one of our US accounts and have the item shipped to a US address and then forward it on to us.