Archive for February, 2010

Buying A Car And Land In Thailand To Build A Retirement House On

My experience this week has been very eventful in our quest to buy land and build a retirement house in Thailand.

Both my wife and my son flew out to Thailand on the first leg of the journey toward building our retirement home in Thailand.

Here’s what happened this week.

Our Strategy For Buying Land In Thailand

In case you haven’t already discovered from other sections of the website I’m married to a Thai lady and we have a half Thai son, Alex, aged 22 who was born in the UK.

Since a Farang (myself) can’t own land in Thailand I had to come up with another strategy other than to buy the land (upon which to build our retirement house) in my wife’s name.

Why don’t I want to buy the land in Thailand in my wife’s name? Well, it’s not related to whether I trust her or not.

It’s a more practical problem I face and I wonder if other Farangs retiring in Thailand have thought about it.

The issue is this: If the land is in my wife’s name, what happens to ownership of the land and house if she dies before I do?

Under those circumstances:-

A) I don’t know if I would be allowed to continue to live there legally

B) I may not want to continue to live there. I might want to sell up and repatriate myself and the funds back to UK.

So I came up with (what turned out to be not such a…) cunning plan…

Our son, Alex, is eligible to get Thai nationality. So that done, I could buy the land in his name.

That was the strategy. But it didn’t turn out that way. Here’s why…

All Thai Males Aged 20 to 30 Are Eligible For Conscription Into The Thai Military!

They flew out to Bangkok on Sunday 7th February, 2010, and arrived the next day. On Tuesday, they went to the Amphur to undertake the first step of getting Alex’s Thai nationality – registering on the house papers of my wife’s Thai daughter, Daeng.

That day, the Thai computer system was down, so it was a wait until Wednesday.

They returned to the Amphur on Wednesday and Alex phoned me “Dad, there’s a hitch” he said. “They are telling me that if I put my name on the Thai house papers I am eligible to be consripted into the Thai Army”.

So I did some research on the ‘net and it seems to be true.

I even posted the question on a Thai Forum and received the answer, as follows:-

Hi, I’m a half Thai male aged 22 and want to get a Thai passport so that I can buy land in Thailand. My mother is Thai, my father is English (UK), I was born in the UK.

If I get a Thai ID Card and am put on the house papers am I then eligible to be conscripted into the Thai Military?

Or can I be exempt as a naturalized citizen?

Even if liable to be drafted I doubt if the Thai army would want me because I’m not ‘Thai’ like the Thais. I can’t speak Thai, I’m not a Bhudist, and know nothing about Thai culture.

You are eligible for draft Military service if you get yourself a Thai ID/passport.

I understand after age 30 they will not bother you…

Being a dual national does not exempt you from Military Service have a look at your British passport says exactly this.

You have to make a choice, get yourself your Thai citizen and take your chance with the call up or wait till your 30…

you are not a naturalised Thai citizen. Rather, you are a Thai citizen by birth who is only just getting around to getting his paperwork in order.

If you were born in the UK, you’ll need to approach the Thai embassy to get your Thai birth certificate issued. At the same time, you’ll can apply for a Thai passport.

I am unsure if purchasing land requires you to be in Thailand personally. However, if not, you could get someone to take power of attoerny and they can process the transaction on your behalf without having even to go to Thailand. Should be possible as power of attoerney is available for most things.

Alternatively, if you are a little worried about it all, your mum can purchase the land on your behalf.

If you want to read the thread on the forum, here is the URL:-

Here are some more links on the subject of conscription into the Thai military:-

Anyway, that’s the first clever idea blown out of the water!

Bearing in mind that the main reason for sending Alex to Thailand was to get his Thai ID then it’s been an expensive and time-wasting trip for him.

And things weren’t getting any better…

Buying A Car (Pickup) In Bangkok, Thailand

You can buy pretty decent motors (cars, pickups etc) here in Uk for a few thousand pounds.

Daeng (and my wife) warned me not to expect the same thing in Thailand.

I wanted a second hand pickup (preferably Japanese) for about $6,000. (Say 200,000 Baht). I was ready to accept a diesel vehicle with 100,000 miles on the clock.

Not to be. It appears that the Thai’s run their vehicles into the ground. Often the mileage isn’t given and if it is how true is it?

So may forums warn “buyer beware” when it comes to buying a used car in Thailand.

Examples of second hand cars (Toyota pickups) for sale in Bangkok:-

2008 Pickup TOYOTA HILUX VIGO D4D 2.5 [E] D4D (Mileage not given)

Price ::  410,000 Thai Baht

Pickup  TOYOTA  HILUX VIGO D4D  2.5[J] (Milaege not given)

Price ::  375,000 Thai Baht

2007 TOYOTA HILUX VIGO 3 l Diesel (Mileage 102,087 km)

Price ::  $20,909 US, about 693,000 Thai Baht

These are just afew exanples of the prices you’ll pay to get a second hand Toyota pickup in Thailand. My research on the Internet indicated that there was not much available below $10,000 (330,000 Baht) and with milages of around 200,000+ km.

Alex and his Mum in Bangkok found a brand new Toyota Hilux 2.5 l diesel for 550,000 Bhat. That included road tax and one years free insurance.

The price in UK for this model (Toyota Hilux 4WD 2.5 D-4D HL2 Single Cab 2dr) is £17,753 (905,403 Bhat)

The pickup comes complete with ABS, driver and passenger airbags, power steering, electric windows, air conditioning, tilt adjust steering column, remote central locking and an audio system with CD player with MP3/CD-R compatibility. The engine is the latest development of the Toyota 2.5-litre D-4D diesel engine.

This is an excellent website to review the technical details and prices of the Toyota Hilux range.

So we paid our deposit and take delivery on 15th March 2010.

That’s all for this post. Next time I’ll be running through the trials and tribulations of our experience of buying land in Thailand.

Update On Buying A Car In Thailand

On 16th March 2010 my wife collected the car we had ordered from the dealer in Bangkok. It was a day late (not sure why) and she had problems with central door locking and electric windows. it took an exchange of money to sort that out, but finally we have the car.

Go to the new update called “collected the Toyota pickup yesterday” to read about collecting the car and the expensive problems on a brand new car that we had to pay to sort out.

How I Got My Thai Multiple Journey Visa In UK

In my last post earlier this morning I was off to the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK, to get my Thai non-immigration visa – multiple entry type.

Well, I got my Visa!

Not quite plain sailing (for unexpected reasons) but read on to see how easy (and difficult if you don’t have this information) it was…

… First a picture of my new Multiple Journey Thai Non Immigration Visa

A Picture Of My New Multiple Journey Thai Non Immigration Visa

Image Thai Multiple=

Above, a picture of my new Multiple Journey Thai Non Immigration Visa. Note the date 3 Feb 2010.

Location Of The Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK.

This was the diffiicult part – finding the Consulate.

I travelled by car and set my TomTom SatNav to thepost code as given in the address on my Thai Visas web page:- B1 1BD.

That took me to the centre of Birmingham a street called Hill Street. OK. Park the car in the nearest multi-storey car park and head off back to B1 1BD SatNav in hand.

Duly arrive at B1 1BD (Hill Street) and look for a building called No. 1 Victoria Square. Nowhere to be found.

I tried putting “Victoria Square” into the SatNav and wandered off in another direction. Needless to say I spend the best part of an hour wandering Birmingham’s City Centre looking for the Royal Thai Consulate, with no luck.

I had been there in 2006 to get my last Thai multiple journeys visa so I remembered someting about the place. I knew it was at the top of a hilly street. (Hint there!)

As I neared New Street railways station I saw a line of taxi cabs. Who better to ask for directions than a cabbie? One friendly cabbie gave me clear instructions which I duly followed.

Twenty minutes later I arrived at what looked like Victoria Square. It was a huge traffic island and no No. 1 Victoria Square anywhere to be seen.

I wandered around again for twenty minutes trying to ‘remember’ from 2006 and then I came across a map at a bus station. I pulled out my Thai Visa Application Form and, yes, it had their telephone number.  So I called the consulate and they kindly gave me instructions which I could not understand. Nevertheless, the map at the bus stop showed a couple of building that the kind lady in the Thai Consulate mentioned, namely the Birmingham Council House and the Town Hall.

I noted their position and walked of to find them. Find them I did and I also found No. 1 Victoria Square at the top of a hilly street – Hill Street no less – which is where I started from! Also I could see the Birmingham Council House and the Town Hall but this place was nowhere near the huge traffic island I went to earlier.

Anyway I had found the building No. 1 Victoria Square – all I had to do was go in and get my visa. I remembered the place from before so it should be the right address. Not so simple!

The Real Location Of The Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK.

I entered No. 1 Victoria Square and asked for the Thai Consulate. “Go outside, turn left and take the next revolving door” I was told.

Did that and entered a company called “Regus”. mmm. Back to No. 1 Victoria Square and complained. “Yes, It’s in the Regus office complex” he said. (Regus rent out office space to small companies).

Back to the Regus office complex and asked for the Royal Thai Consulate. “Yes Sir, have you filled in your Application Form?”

After replying in the affirmative, the receptionist at Regus phoned upstairs and in a minute a representative from the Thai consulate appeared.

It seems that the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK, have taken an office in the Regus office complex.

Next, I’ll recounter what happened next, but first let me show you some maps so that you can find the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK, without the wasting of time and energy that I did.

Location Maps Of the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK

First a ‘street map’:-

Image Location Map of Royal Thai Consulate Birmingham UK

Above, Location Street Map of Royal Thai Consulate Birmingham UK (Click on the image for a bigger picture)

Next a ‘Satellite map’ so that you will recogonise surrounding buildings:-

Satellite Image Location Map of Royal Thai Consulate Birmingham UK

Above, Satellitet Map of Royal Thai Consulate Birmingham UK (Click on the image for a bigger picture)

Requirements To Obtain A Multiple Journeys Non Immigration Thai Visa

Once I had found the building housing the offices of the Royal Thai Consulate, obtaining the visa was straightforward and quick. Not more than five minutes.

As soon as the representative from the Royal Thai Consulate came downstairs to meet me (no queue at all!) the rest was plain sailing.

Because I wasn’t quite sure what documents may be required to obtain my non immigration multiple entry Thai Visa, I took the kitchen sink with me.

No need.

All they wanted was:-

  1. My Passport
  2. My Thai Visa Application Form
  3. My Marriage certificate. (Married to a Thai National)
  4. The Fee. £105.

They didn’t even want to see my wife’s Thai passport.

That is a very important piece of information to have. Why? Because it means that if my wife is in Thailand (with her passport) and I am outside Thailand as long as I have my marriage certificate and my passport with me I can obtain another Multiple Journey non-immigration Thai Visa.

What The Multiple Journey Thai Non Immigration visa Entitles You To?

So, what can you do with a Thai multi-entry visa – and what can’t you do?

After all, if you don’t know this, why would you want one?

With a Thai multi-entry visa(called a multiple journeys non immigration visa) you can:-

  1. Enter Thailand from any border and stay for a period of up to 90 days.
  2. If you then leave Thailand and re-enter, you can stay for another 90 days and so until the expiry date of the visa. (The visa is valid for 1 year from date of issue)
  3. Open a Thai Bank Account. (Multiple entry visa is not necessary, but you must have a non immigration visa, not a tourist visa)

Well, that’s just about it for this post. Some of the information and the maps I’ll put on a web page for more ready access from the website.

Important Update 19 July 2013 on Getting a Thai Multiple Re-Entry Visa from the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmgham

Yesterday (19 July 2013) I went again to the The Royal Thai Consulate in Birmgham to get a new multiple re-entry Thai visa for my planned retirement in a weeks time.

Having done it (obtained a multiple re-entry Thai visa) before, on 3rd February 2010, as described above and having with me the same papers, I thought it would the same simple in-and-out process.

Not so. The Royal Thai Consulate representative told me that only just this week the rules had changed.

The Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham could no longer issue Thai multiple re-entry visas without reference to the Thai Embassy in London. They had to scan all the documents from each applicant and email them to the Thai Embassy in London for a decision.

Since this is a new process there is no knowing how long this will take. I left my documents with them and am awaiting an answer.

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Thai Visas – Getting My Thai Non-Immigration Visa In UK

I’m off to the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK, today to get my Thai non-immigration visa – multiple entry type.

Should be no problem to get the visa, I satisfy all the requirements, have all the paperwork and have had one before, so in theory I should be returning home with my brand new multiple entry visa for Thailand.

Here is a picture of my last Thai multiple entry visa:-

Picture of my previous Thai multiple=

Above, a picture of my expired Thai Non Immigration Visa.

What Is A Multiple Entry Visa For Thailand?

A Thai non-immigration visa with multiple entries is valid for one year and allows multiple entries into Thailand. The maximum stay for any one visit is 90 days.

At this stage I don’t want a Thai retirement visa, just a multiple entry visa.

On the website at there is a section about how to get a Thai Visa and showing all the requirements so I don’t need to go into that here.

Well, it’s time to go. I’ll make another post with more information on what is needed to get a Thai multiple-entry visa from the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham.

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