Reporting from Across the Pacific

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parrot
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by parrot » June 10, 2020, 3:39 am

Although I haven't seen anything 'official' yet concerning the return of international flights in July, it now appears that the Thai government is going to employ the bubble concept to opening up......that is, maybe flights from Japan, Korea, China, etc. Our mid-July ANA flight (resked from May to June to July) was cancelled last night. A friend from Florida, in the same boat with ANA, just called and they resked him for 1 Aug. Again, ANA has been very cooperative with reskeds....thus far.
Having a lot of time to ponder the situation, if the government employs the bubble concept starting in July, I'd find it hard to believe that USA citizens (and others from places like the UK) would be allowed to return in Aug.....or Sept.....or??
Over the course of nearly 24 years living in Thailand, my wife and I have joked about whether our 'vacation' would end in Thailand. We're not yet ready to cash in the casino chips, but the uncertainty of returning is certainly wearing on both of us.
There's a FB page with a large number of stranded expats, many of whom have families in Thailand for anyone interested: https://m.facebook.com/groups/275821990252759
So, fingers crossed lightly for a return in August........but not counting any chickens yet as we're still considering our plan B to be temporary.



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sometimewoodworker
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by sometimewoodworker » June 10, 2020, 7:22 am

My estimation from a month ago seems likely
Now the numbers of new cases is of vital interest.

Any country with double digits has a (small) possibility to be allowed in
Any country with triple digits is not likely to be allowed in
Any country with quadruple digits has a vanishingly small chance to be allowed in
Any country with quintuple digits has no chance to be allowed in
With the added

Any country with no new cases (for 14 days) has a good chance to be allowed into the bubble

Any country with single digits has a possibility to be allowed into the bubble
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by AlexO » June 10, 2020, 2:58 pm

sometimewoodworker wrote:
June 10, 2020, 7:22 am
My estimation from a month ago seems likely
Now the numbers of new cases is of vital interest.

Any country with double digits has a (small) possibility to be allowed in
Any country with triple digits is not likely to be allowed in
Any country with quadruple digits has a vanishingly small chance to be allowed in
Any country with quintuple digits has no chance to be allowed in
With the added

Any country with no new cases (for 14 days) has a good chance to be allowed into the bubble

Any country with single digits has a possibility to be allowed into the bubble
Just a quick question (not a criticism) why would the Thai Government allow anyone from a nation with single figure cases be allowed in while Thailand was still in lockdown with zero cases in most provinces for more than 14 days and under 5 (reported) cases nationally on a daily basis. We still have curfew, we still have to have temp checks and wear masks in any retail outlet, soapy massage girls and customers have to wear masks etc etc and The General will then let potentially infected tourists in to roam freely. Don't think so somehow.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by GT93 » June 10, 2020, 3:59 pm

We have had 30 to 50 Americans fly in from Los Angeles to work on a movie in New Zealand. They had special permission because the line 'if we can't come we'll make the movie elsewhere' works well. They were put into quarantine at a hotel. Some of them arrived in masks and face visors and looked like they had come from outer space.

I think we're a bit anxious having them here as our Ministry of Health can be a bit slack with the quarantine. Other guests in the hotel have been too near them. Hopefully the Americans are all fine.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by sometimewoodworker » June 11, 2020, 6:49 am

AlexO wrote:
June 10, 2020, 2:58 pm
sometimewoodworker wrote:
June 10, 2020, 7:22 am
My estimation from a month ago seems likely
Now the numbers of new cases is of vital interest.

Any country with double digits has a (small) possibility to be allowed in
Any country with triple digits is not likely to be allowed in
Any country with quadruple digits has a vanishingly small chance to be allowed in
Any country with quintuple digits has no chance to be allowed in
With the added

Any country with no new cases (for 14 days) has a good chance to be allowed into the bubble

Any country with single digits has a possibility to be allowed into the bubble
Just a quick question (not a criticism) why would the Thai Government allow anyone from a nation with single figure cases be allowed in while Thailand was still in lockdown with zero cases in most provinces for more than 14 days and under 5 (reported) cases nationally on a daily basis. We still have curfew, we still have to have temp checks and wear masks in any retail outlet, soapy massage girls and customers have to wear masks etc etc and The General will then let potentially infected tourists in to roam freely. Don't think so somehow.
I did say possible, not probable.

Also Thailand would be on on the possible list at the moment as its in single digits.

At some point the borders have to start opening, probably the land borders first and maybe not for foreigners at first. Cambodia Myanmar and Malaysia are in single digits. Laos seems to be clear.

As to the roaming freely, that may not happen for a while. There is talk of restricted areas, though how or if it can work (&if anyone will come with that) is another question.
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AlexO
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by AlexO » June 11, 2020, 8:24 am

sometimewoodworker wrote:
June 11, 2020, 6:49 am
AlexO wrote:
June 10, 2020, 2:58 pm
sometimewoodworker wrote:
June 10, 2020, 7:22 am
My estimation from a month ago seems likely
Now the numbers of new cases is of vital interest.

Any country with double digits has a (small) possibility to be allowed in
Any country with triple digits is not likely to be allowed in
Any country with quadruple digits has a vanishingly small chance to be allowed in
Any country with quintuple digits has no chance to be allowed in
With the added

Any country with no new cases (for 14 days) has a good chance to be allowed into the bubble

Any country with single digits has a possibility to be allowed into the bubble
Just a quick question (not a criticism) why would the Thai Government allow anyone from a nation with single figure cases be allowed in while Thailand was still in lockdown with zero cases in most provinces for more than 14 days and under 5 (reported) cases nationally on a daily basis. We still have curfew, we still have to have temp checks and wear masks in any retail outlet, soapy massage girls and customers have to wear masks etc etc and The General will then let potentially infected tourists in to roam freely. Don't think so somehow.
I did say possible, not probable.

Also Thailand would be on on the possible list at the moment as its in single digits.

At some point the borders have to start opening, probably the land borders first and maybe not for foreigners at first. Cambodia Myanmar and Malaysia are in single digits. Laos seems to be clear.

As to the roaming freely, that may not happen for a while. There is talk of restricted areas, though how or if it can work (&if anyone will come with that) is another question.
Read yesterday that the Vietnamese PM has said they will open the borders to any country who has been virus free for more than 30 days. Pretty limited amount of tourists going to be going in. As I said before who in their right mind would come on holiday to a Country with multiple restrictions on where you can go, what you can do, etc.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by parrot » June 27, 2020, 5:23 am

Still marooned in Texas, but glimmers of hope. It took all of yesterday and half of today to navigate the Thai Embassy online application process to return. If anyone thinks the extension process is a pain, take plenty of medication before attempting the online process to return. The good news is our application was acknowledged as received.....the bad, all we can do is wait to see if they'll approve it.
Some lessons learned from the process: Don't travel anywhere these days without photos of all your important files.....marriage certificates, ID cards, bank books, etc etc etc. Luckily, I had most of what I needed in my 4000+ online photo library. The rest I got with someone going into our home and finding the remaining documents.
Meanwhile, we have reservations to return in August.....of course, we've already had reservations to return in May, June, and July. Will August be our lucky month? I give it about a 70% chance of working out, but that's a wag.

Finally, on a topic discussed elsewhere on UM concerning the ?spouse? of a gravely ill expat who find herself in financial distress. I've been a member of the local VFW for nearly 24 years. I think the number of deceased members during that course of time numbers is in the upper 20's. There's another sizeable number of expat Americans (and a few Brits/Canadians) who died and weren't members of the Post. I think it's safe to say that half of those people were negligent in caring for their surviving spouses/families by not having easy access to banking/insurance/wills/important documents (marriage certificates/social security/military documents etc), next of kin notification info, adequate savings, etc. In some cases, there was no official marriage. In one such case, involving my then Canadian neighbor, he had $50,000 (C$) in savings in Canada and another $5 in a managed portfolio. Luckily he had a will that identified his surviving brother as executor and his longtime GF as beneficiary. It took most of a year before the GF saw the first pennies of that money, and in the end, I'm not sure the executor was able to settle the portfolio in his GF's favor. In most all the cases, even the ones where the deceased had his paperwork/finances in order, navigating the bureacracy of banks, VA, Social Security, insurance claims takes months and months of paperwork and assistance from seasoned veterans of navigating those systems before the money starts to flow. If you're not a member of the VFW or other military retiree organization, you are at a disadvantage in receiving help. Yes, the VFW service officer has assisted countless veterans who chose not to join......assisted countless non-veterans who couldn't join, but often times that assistance is hampered by a lack of paperwork on the deceased part. To be a member of the VFW, you must show a DD Form 214 to join. That single piece of paperwork is instrumental in getting assistance for VA claims. If you don't have it, a service officer can usually obtain one.....but it takes info and much time. Everyone should be looking out for themselves and their families (married or not, children or not, disabled or not) by having their paperwork in order for the eventual. It's beyond my comprehension how someone can live half a world away with a loved one/s and not be looking out for their future. Unfortunately, many do. rant over.
Hope to be back in the saddle soon.

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sometimewoodworker
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by sometimewoodworker » June 27, 2020, 11:17 am

Regrettably you are in one of the top 3 states for new cases, joint second with California at about 6,000 per day.

I have no idea if that will have any effect on your return application, but it may make the required tests difficult to get.
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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by mickojak » June 27, 2020, 11:34 am

Parrot,
Great post.
Hope ya make it back soon.
Great idea about copying all paperwork.
I plan to return to OZ sometime, and yes, I may need that paperwork to come back for sure. Good call.

Because of a recent death of an uncle with no will or anything left, it was a huge job on behalf of some family members to track down all his assets, (and I still believe that there is a largish sum sitting somewhere that we will never find), I have recently put my things in order via a will and info left for brothers/sisters/wife etc.

Another thing to consider is where you want to be buried, (I've nominated burial/budhist service wherever I die).
I'm led to believe that it is quite a task to get a body transported to another country, so this issue should be considered.
Mick

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by the-monk » June 27, 2020, 1:35 pm

Good point Mick. Last year a Thai friend, married to a Philipina died in LA, age 51, heart attack. His side wanted to have him cremated , and ashes returned to Thailand, while the wife' s side wanted to have a catholic service followed by a burial. Terrible dispute, lasting days, leaving two sides unable to speak to each other. I understand that this might not be the case in Thailand, where dead are cremated..... But it could happend should the situation developed in other countries. Also thanks to Mr. Parrot.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by parrot » August 27, 2020, 9:12 pm

Still 'marooned' in Texas......this article https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/stra ... index.html is another reason for any potential travelers - those in Thailand and planning any future travel, and those planning to go to Thailand expecting to travel out of country in the future - to have a plan B.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by parrot » October 9, 2020, 7:00 am

Our 3 month vacation has turned into 8. But there's the first light at the end of the tunnel. The Thai Embassy DC has given us the go-ahead to forward our completed paperwork to DC for our visas. Of course, they could throw a wrench in the process......but all the blocks are checked.....approved airline, approved ASQ hotel, approved insurance, copies of this and more copies of that. If all goes well, we'll be back at the end of the month and back in Udon by mid-Oct after quarantine.
Having done 24 straight extensions in Nongkai/Udon, I can say that extension requests are a piece of cake compared to trying to return with of COE from the embassy.
If you're in Thailand, you need a plan B. If you're out or going out of the country....even for a hop across the Mekong, it'd be wise to have a plan B as well. Matter of fact, if you're in Thailand and intending to stay until your ashes float down the Mekong, it'd be wise to have a plan B.
Hope to be home soon.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by samster » October 9, 2020, 1:48 pm

Hope it all goes well Parrot. The plan B thing is definitely something to have. I have had 8 months unplanned holiday in the UK and, due to the arrival of a grand child, it's going to turn into at least 15 months. I'm lucky to still have infrastructure here but, I know of several others who have not been so lucky.

Their plans of coming for a brief visit have turned into months of living in small box rooms at friends/families homes and uncertainty as to their future.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by Shado » October 9, 2020, 2:13 pm

Certainly hope the rest of your travels go well parrot. The wife and I were just a couple of weeks or so behind you in our travel plans to the States and as it has turned out it's best that we had to cancel when we did. Of course, we were quite disappointed at the time but since much of what we had planned for our trip was adversely impacted by CV-19 we actually didn't miss all that much. My son's wedding has been postponed until an undetermined date so we may be able to attend after all.

We maintain a home in rural Missouri and our income sources are there as well so our plan-B has always been in place. They only thing that has really changed is the ability to travel as we please. Hopefully, that will improve relatively soon.

Thanks for your periodic updates from across the Pacific. I have a sister living in Arlington, Texas who keeps me posted on things there and according to her the Lone Star State has had it's share of adjustments to make during this pandemic.

I know you are eagerly awaiting your return to good old Isaan. Safe travels.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by pipoz4444 » October 9, 2020, 9:22 pm

parrot wrote:
August 27, 2020, 9:12 pm
Still 'marooned' in Texas......this article https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/stra ... index.html is another reason for any potential travelers - those in Thailand and planning any future travel, and those planning to go to Thailand expecting to travel out of country in the future - to have a plan B.
I often wonder how many of us (people we know) are now marooned offshore. I can vouch for three others that I know of, who had retired to Thailand in the past few years, who are marooned offshore for the foreseeable future.

Hope all goes well for you P . I can attest to the need for one to have Plan B in life and not only for Covid 19. As one never knows what is around that corner in life, other than "Uncertainty".

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by tamada » October 10, 2020, 4:41 am

For me, Plan B has always been Thailand, still is. Plan A is reserved for the country of my birth and attendant rights.

Unfortunately, this pandemic has necessitated Plan C.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by Kenr6583 » October 10, 2020, 5:53 am

I'm looking at Plan F. If things don't change, might hold off on retirement until July or August next year, leave Texas and head up to Minnesota and hang with my cousins until the beginning of November. If I can't get into Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam at that time, looks like Mexico will be it for me until probably sometime in 2022.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by Drunk Monkey » October 10, 2020, 7:04 am

Kenr6583 wrote:
October 10, 2020, 5:53 am
I'm looking at Plan F. If things don't change, might hold off on retirement until July or August next year, leave Texas and head up to Minnesota and hang with my cousins until the beginning of November. If I can't get into Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam at that time, looks like Mexico will be it for me until probably sometime in 2022.
Where abouts in Mexico Ken ?? .. many moons ago i spent a year plus there in Monterrey and a small Town called Monclova

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by Kenr6583 » October 10, 2020, 7:18 am

Drunk Monkey wrote:
October 10, 2020, 7:04 am
Kenr6583 wrote:
October 10, 2020, 5:53 am
I'm looking at Plan F. If things don't change, might hold off on retirement until July or August next year, leave Texas and head up to Minnesota and hang with my cousins until the beginning of November. If I can't get into Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam at that time, looks like Mexico will be it for me until probably sometime in 2022.
Where abouts in Mexico Ken ?? .. many moons ago i spent a year plus there in Monterrey and a small Town called Monclova

DM
Probably Playa del Carmen. Only about an hour or so from Cancun airport, decent nightlight outside the high end all inclusive tourist area. Been looking at Mexico City also, just in case. heard it's been cleaned up pretty good from the the bad elements.

I think I could handle 6 months to a year down there, but it's definitely not my ideal place to be permanently. I love Mexico, but as a permanent retirement destination, nah. Heart is in SE Asia.

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Re: Reporting from Across the Pacific

Post by Barney » October 10, 2020, 8:14 am

Parrot
With your extended leave I hope your lovely garden is being maintained.
It was always a pleasure to see your photos of the extensive yard.
I’m sure that will be one priority on your return.
Good luck for your return.


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