AOB – October 2018

18 October 2018

We are in Bangkok after a three day trip to Hua Hin…where we celebrated our tenth anniversary.

We stayed at the Centara Villas – with our own private pool. Very pleasant. The grounds of the old hotel are lovely – wide lawns; large pools, shaped hedges, mature trees. It really is a very nice place to stay – yet is on the beach in the centre of the town….

We had lunch on the 16th – anniversary day at Worabura. It was quiet at the hotel. I had forgotten that the villa we stayed in ten years ago is called Chiang Mai. Fate!

Here is a link to my old website with wedding pictures from 2008.

9 October 2018

It was a long day yesterday. Part of which I will return to in separate notes. Enough to say that it was a long insight into Thailand’s Universal Coverage Healthcare program.

Since we were up at the Nakornping hospital in north Chiang Mai we were able to go to City Hall where the players from Chiang Mai FC were meeting the governor before heading off on a tour around the city ad then for a celebration dinner.

Now it was not exactly an open top bus. See picture below. And there was not much of a crowd at City Hall. But it was a great chance to meet a few of the players before we headed back to the hospital – which meant we missed the parade itself.

First up – this is a genuinely nice bunch of people who take time to connect with their fans. Soares, the Brazilian striker, posed happily for pictures. He hopes to be back next year. He should be.


Thossapol was fascinating. Firstly, there really is not much of him; secondly he is a gentleman in all the good uses of the word. He has played the last three years with Chiang Mai. Again I hope he is back next season.

But he did reveal that he just wanted to go home and be with his family. The Khon Kaen game was ten days ago but the players had been asked to stay on for official events to celebrate their promotion. This parade was the last event.

Coach Carlos suggested that there were a few issues still to srt out with his contract. We talked a little about Chiang Mai crowds. He was obviously encouraged by the crowd at the last game and expressed a view, as I have written elsewhere, that people in Chiang Mai love their football but have been let down before and want to see a successful team.

8 October 2018

From January 1, the British Embassy in Bangkok will no longer be providing British nationals with letters confirming their income.

The letter has served as a supporting document for obtaining a Thai retirement or marriage visa. The embassy is stopping the certification of income letters because it is unable to fulfil the Thai authorities’ requirements to verify the income of UK nationals, it said in a release on Monday. For a retirement visa, British nationals have to demonstrate that they have at least Bt800,000 in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least Bt65,000 transferred into an account in Thailand.

For a marriage visa, the amounts are Bt400,000 in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least Bt40,000 transferred into an account in Thailand. A bank statement should in future be used as the supporting document for obtaining a Thai retirement or marriage visa, the embassy said. All British nationals concerned should note that the last date for income-letter applications is December 12, it added.

Just so you know!

1 October 2018

More flight cutbacks at Emirates:

From 15 November 2018 Dubai – Yinchuan – Zhengzhou 3x weekly service cancelled. One of the more fun trips for crew.

There are also newly announced service reductions to Denpasar and Auckland, Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Perth, Prague, Rome, Rio and Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Edinburgh.

Shortage of pilots? Seasonal reductions; fleet maintenance. Suspect a combination of all three are at play.

This is just one brief story of thousands from Palu in Indonesia following the earthquake and tsunami:

“Rescue teams were still working on Monday to pull 15-year-old Nurul out of the ruins of the Balaroa National Housing building in Palu. Most of her body has been trapped in deep mud and concrete for 48 hours, with only her head visible. The body of her mother, Risni, who died in the collapse, is trapped next to her.

Speaking to Tirto, Yusuf, Nurul’s father who has sat by her side since he found her alive, said: ““Everything went fast. The land collapsed instantly.”

He added: “I found my daughter was buried under the ruins and puddle,”

90 of their neighbours who also lived in the building are still reported missing.”

Devastating. The death toll will be in the thousands – there are still areas that rescuers cannot yet reach.

This can be a very cruel world. and it can hurt the poorest and the least able to protect themselves.