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ThaiWolf last won the day on June 25

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  1. Thailand! :) Retirement or Marriage extension. Medical was discarded as a requirement a few years ago.
  2. To acquire my Thai licenses I showed them my valid UK license and that was it, 30 mins later I was walking out. To renew my licenses 5 years later I had to do the co-ordination test ( line up two posts with sticks attached to string) colour blind test and brake reaction test then watch a video. No big deal. I'll disagree with that statement. The SRRV has more hoops to go through than the Thai retirement extension (not a visa). From what I've read anyway. Totally agree with you. I was in the fresh food supply industry for over 30 years, my interest in food has never waivered hence I have a keen eye regarding prices and quality. Just got back from a visit to the local wet market and a major supermarket. The Philippines is definitely 50% + more expensive on most items, especially meat and certainly more variety back here. As I said before utilities, even drinking water are far more dearer in PI. Anyways, everyone can have a different opinion which is what makes life more interesting. I'm back in my old stomping ground looking forward to my badminton tonight. The local street dogs are pleased to see me again (I always leave a bowl of water out). Great to be eating semi-spicy food and cooking a full roast dinner washed down with a watery Thai beer that's expensive and tasteless! . I enjoyed my time in the Philippines but for me there's absolutely no way I could live there, I miss my Thai lifestyle too much! Cheers guys, all the best to you all.
  3. Sitting in Manila airport waiting for terminal transfer... Another negative! A retirement extension is so easy. In and out of the local office in 30 mins. Easiest way is 800k baht in a fixed acct. It can be done on income of 65k per month or a combination of the two. Cost 1900 baht per year. Marriage extension is slightly more complicated but financially less of a burden, only 400k to sit in an acct or 40k per month income. None of this 2 months at a time and cost malarkey. Easy to get I.D card valid for life if over 60. Cost 20 baht! Residence book is free. Drivers licence is easy as well. Check the Thai Bureau of Immigration website for other options. Many guys use agents which can do the lot for you, they even have ways of by-passing the financial requirements required.
  4. I fully understand that my opinion is just that ... my opinion. After only 4 weeks here I've had enough, i don't like it! Maybe I haven't given it a proper chance but I'm going with my gut instincts and they have always served me well in the past. I came to PH from Thailand with every intention of settling down with my girl and seeing the rest of my days out. No problems with my extremely intelligent girl, she has her own beautifully furnished 4 bed house in a gated community with a live-in maid, a good viable business, great neighbours, fantastic family etc. Not once have I been asked to make a contribution to anything (obviously I have). All the people I've met have been so friendly and it's been great to have an intelligent conversation about almost any subject. I'm comparing to my 10 years in Thailand living on the outskirts of a provincial city .... The same scenario as here in Iloilo. So what went wrong? It's so expensive here. (except the booze which is ridiculously cheap) Food costs are 50-100% more for many basic items especially meat. Choice of foodstuffs is limited and I'm not talking about western foods. I find the food bland in the restaurants and also with the family home cooking. I like rice but not with every dish and certainly not for breakfast. I don't want to be eating separately from everyone else. Utility costs are 50% higher + frequent power outages and water supply cuts. They don't last long but still a pita. They happen in Thailand but not to the extent of here. The infrastructure maintenance is poor. In Thailand it seems so much more modern with bike lanes etc. Public transport is poor. Taxis are great though and affordable. I like to play competitive badminton even at my age. The club courts I visited are sadly outdated and again expensive. I'm a football fan, not into basketball. It's great to have a close community but it's a little too much with the constant 'marites' that goes on in the street. Immigration is expensive. Both countries have hoops to overcome but Thailand does offer more in the way of incentives. Medical costs are quite affordable in Thailand and the standards of care I believe are better. I had to have a course of rabies vaccination here .... A small dog bite clinic (that's another story) My honest opinion is the Philippines is way, way behind Thailand in almost every aspect of amenities and lifestyles available to a western guy, even if he is willing to give it a go and try to adapt to a different way of life. I understand the transport of goods from one island to another increases overall costs but even locally produced goods in the market are over-priced and of a poor quality by my standards. It's not all about money but that is an important factor, it's about general well-being and overall contentment with life. I'm not going to find it here, much to my disappointment. The few foreigners I've seen here looked sad, almost as though they are in a trap with no chance of escape. If I could take my girl to Thailand or even to another part of the Philippines I would give it a go but sadly her life is in Iloilo / Bacolod. Bless her, she understands. I've travelled around different areas of Thailand, from the tourist areas to where I lived in Isaan, the food bowl of Thailand. I'm not saying it's all good and it depends on what you want out of life but I definitely believe the pros outnumber the cons. As for the women ....... Certainly 'slimmer' than Filipino's but most haven't got the intellect or the ability to comprehend even the most basic of English, unlike here. Learn Thai they shout ..... No thanks it's better that I can't understand you! JMHO.
  5. All irrelevant to me now, I'm going back from whence I came. Great people and what a good time I had but The Philippines is not for me! Thanks guys.
  6. I was told the same thing yesterday when I enquired about a 6 month extension after my visa waiver issuance. They said that I can apply for 6 months and it would be considered only if there are exceptional circumstances or I marry! Me and my girl both pulled faces That's not going to happen for awhile. They gave me another 30 days added to my visa exempt to make it a visa waiver then go back for a 2 month extension, again and again and again. ACR on the next visit. They also said if I wanted to, I could return the next day to extend the permission of stay for the 2 months and get the ACR card. Luckily, I only reside a 20 min taxi ride away. All in all, a painless exercise. I'd downloaded the form needed and filled it in (using PDF writer) accompanied with the necessary documents and copies.
  7. I've just obtained my Barangay Certificate of Residency and my girl decided she would also get a certificate after living here for over 5 years! A 5 min trike ride to the barangay multi-purpose hall/building. With all documents in hand (my passport), my girl had her land deeds, proof of ownership and passport etc. We were given a slip of paper each to write address and age. That's it, no proof of address, passport not looked at, none of her documents, zilch! 10 minutes later we were given our official certificates (with valid dry seal) and bid farewell. 50 pesos per cert. I do hope all my interactions with bureaucracy are as simple and as pleasant! Question: Of what use is this certificate to me? ........
  8. This is interesting news to me. My lady keeps harping on about going to the local Barangay and getting a letter about residency. Maybe I'll go and see what's it all about during the week. I'm planning on a visit to the B.I. to extend my initial permission of stay at the end of the week as well ... Oh what fun!
  9. You don't like the furry handcuffs????
  10. I suppose a lot is in the way you read the immigration announcement. My take on it is that it applies to the permission of stay your are first stamped with. As such I entered on a 30 day visa exempt so my return ticket must be within this time period.
  11. Doing some research and I came across this: ADVISORY: Revised Guidelines for Entry of NON-Filipino Citizens to the Philippines (dfa.gov.ph) Also here: Requirement E Bureau of Immigration Philippines
  12. My housemaid is a great cook, albeit she cooks too much. She used to leave it out on the table until I showed her a video about food poisoning , now it's served straight from the cooker and any left-overs are either refrigerated immediately or given to neighbor's. Any cooked food given by neighbor's is re-heated well, even if still warm. A good, sharing community around here! In this heat and humidity, better to be safe than sorry.
  13. I was a non-imm O holder based on retirement for 9 years in Thailand so I can understand why some folk went down the line of using agents for everything. I.M.H.O. apart from the financial requirements that an agent can 'fix' at the immigration office, everything else can be achieved without pain by yourself with a little patience. It's good experience! I went to the local BPI to find out about opening an account. I was told in no uncertain terms, no ACR card, no account. Ok, I'll wait. I transferred some money from my UK acct to my partners acct using 'Wise'. Arrived within 18 hrs. She opened a separate savings acct and gave me the debit card etc. Good girl! I went to the L.T.O. to get my drivers license and was told the same, no ACR card, no license. Ok, I'll wait and use taxis and trikes for now. Maybe it's just me but I like to achieve things myself, it gives me personal satisfaction. Off to the local B.I. at the end of the week to get an idea of immigration procedures in the local office, in Thailand they're all on the 'take' given any opportunity! Op ..... I wish you well on your new adventure. I've only been here a week so a lot to learn! No comparison between the two countries as yet, pros and cons for both.
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