About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Change of Visa Plans .... Ahhh! The AMA

Part of the retirement visa application process for Thailand is a medical clearance that shows we are free from the following diseases:

1)  Leprosy
2)  Tuberculosis
3)  Elephantiasis
4)  Drug Addiction
5)  Third Stage of Syphilis

Now, we have had the same doctor for over 12 years.  He pretty well knows that we have none of the above medical issues since we believe they might just possibly show up in our yearly physical that we take.  But....seeing how the US is a litigious society he would require us to have the lab tests necessary to prove we have none of the above maladies before he will sign the medical clearance for our visa application.

We have double coverage medical insurance so you would think that would be a breeze.  However, since neither of us show any indications that we have any of the dreaded diseases the insurance company will NOT cover the lab and medical tests for them.

Ahhh, medical care in the USA.  Gotta love it.  Our medical insurance premium each month is $1532.46 EACH.  Yes, that is per month ... not yearly or quarterly ... monthly!  EACH!  For the two of us that is $3064.92 per month.  And they won't cover (estimates from labs, etc) between $500 and $1000 worth of tests each.

So we have decided to change what visa we will apply for next year when the time comes for our move.  Instead of the Non-Immigrant O-A retirement visa we will instead apply for the Non-Immigrant O visa for purposes of evaluating retirement in Thailand.

The Non-Immigrant O-A retirement visa requirements include a $200 application fee, a police background check, the medical clearance for ugly diseases check, proof of 800,000 Thai Baht in the bank (currently $25,736 US) or 65,000 Thai Baht in guaranteed monthly  retirement income (currently $2,091 US).  None of these are an issue but we don't feel like paying up to $2000 to have ridiculous medical tests done.

The Non-Immigrant O visa requires we can show a bank balance of $480 US per person and pay an $80 US application fee.  This visa would give us a 90 day stay in Thailand and in the last 30 days of that stay we can apply for a one year extension to stay for 1900 Thai Baht (currently $61.12). It also does not require the medical clearance or police background check.

Granted the O-A visa can be worked, with a visa run just before it expires at the end of 1 year, into almost 2 years before you need to apply for an extension of stay, but with the expensive costs of the medical testing here in the US to get the O-A visa it just doesn't make sense financially for us unless the medical tests were covered by our exorbitantly over-priced medical insurance.

Ahhh!  The AMA.  Do the math.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Shopping by Expiration Date

We have one year, one month - ish till we move to Thailand.  I am continuing to think over what we buy, keep, sell, give away, and donate.  Including during our weekly shopping trip to Costco where we pick up mostly fruits and veggies and large packages of paper towels, clothes soap and the occasional bunch of flowers my Handsome Husband buys for me.

Today was a hoot because we found ourselves shopping for things by expiration date.  There is just two of us and the items that come in 55 gallon drum sizes usually last us a very long time or they go bad before we can use it all.   As we shopped we asked each other....."When does it expire?"

Peanut Butter - August 2014   Yep, in the basket it went.
Raspberry Spread - November 2014.
Deodorant in a package of 5 - September 2014.  
Hand Lotion - July 2014.
The small paper cups have 600 in the package and we have 405 days till we move......Yep!

As excited as we were to know we don't have to buy those things again for a year, it was a little weird to grasp the shelf life.   So if there were food shortages in the US we could at least live on peanut butter and jelly, be soft and smell good!
Oh......The Kegerator in the background WILL be empty before we leave.