Yes, It’s Finally Come True – On 29th July 2013 I Will Be Retiring To Thailand… Maybe!

A Major Unplanned Event Forced Me To Retire To Thailand Earlier Than I Would Have Chosen Otherwise

Forced Retirement

As you will know if you have read a few of my posts I have doubts about retiring to Thailand (e.g. see
Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand) and this retirement decision was forced on me not my preferred choice.

I know it sounds weird - most people would jump at the chance to retire to Thailand – but Thailand is not the country of choice for retirrment for me. Retiring, and in particular retiring in Thailand, just isn’t my activity of choice right now.

Nevertheless because of the reasons I’ll explain in a minute I am retiring in a weeks time (subject to receiving the multiple re-entry visa) to our retirement house we built in in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

It’s for real!

What Is Forcing My Retirement To Thailand?

The short answer is money – or rather not enough of it.

As I explained on a previous Post I want to Retire properly and to be able to do the things I want unfettered by worrying if I can afford it or not. To be in that situation you need a LOT of money.

Sure, I have a modest pension already and some decent savings, but I was aiming for a much bigger pension pot.

The Big LU Clear Out

I am self employed and have my own consultancy company, Dataway Ltd. I do consultancy work in the building and construction industry and have several big-name Clients, including London Underground (LU), part of Transport for London (TfL).

I had a very lucrative contract in London with LU until a week last week, when LU suddenly, on Tuesday 9th July 2013,  announced a massive clear-out of some 150 Project Managers and Engineers. I was one of them. I had a day to clear my desk and on Wednesday 10th I said my goodbyes to LU and headed for home here in Nottingham.

So, overnight, that income stopped. (And it was a very large income by any normal people’s standards)

This put my immediate managers at the time in a spot of difficulty because there was no one available with the ability to continue the specialised work on the project I was engaged on. (Called the Heavy Maintenance Project, or HMF)

 Cunning Plan Devised – But Will It Work Out?

Since someone had to continue with the work I was engaged on, the managers devised a cunning plan to re-engage me via another company. I won’t go into detail but what is intended is that my company, Dataway Ltd, will enter into a Contract to complete all the work on a fixed-price lump-sum basis. (My remuneration previously was per day)

So if that can be arranged, I will be able to continue with LU and build up my pension pot as planned. If not I will retire to Thailand.

4 Weeks To Make My Mind Up

I gave myself and LU four weeks to get this new Contract in place otherwise I would retire to Thailand for good.

Dataway Ltd  has other clients, as I said, including Takenaka Europe a Blue Chip company I had been engaged with on various projects for the last 14 years.

So I could start looking for further consultancy work outside of LU but my experience over the last 10 years or so as self employed tells me that I could get by but it would be unlikely that I would not make the same as an LU contract. After there is a severe recession on and there is very little building and construction work except in the Rail Sector.

Also I could get a ‘proper job’ but that pays even less and it’s too late for me to go back into being an employees.

So, knowing how long LU takes to arrange any for of Contract I gave myself and LU the 4 weeks window.

4 Weeks Reduced to 2 Sees Me Out To Thailand on Monday 29th September!

Of course my Thai wife Kanyah – living in our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong) – was delighted with my retirement news. She is very lonely there and want me to stop working and be beside her.

Talking all the above over with a friend at my local pub, the Plough Inn, and explaining that it seemed stupid to sit around here in the UK waiting for that LU Contract to appear when I knew I only gave it a 50% or less chance of it ever happening.


Image of The Plough Inn St Peters Street Nottingham
The Plough Inn St Peters Street Nottingham

My friend made a very valid point. Why not go out to Thailand now and if the Contract does materialise then return to the UK. There would be plenty of money in that contract to support another return air ticket.

So taking that suggestion on board I changed the departure leg of my existing Christmas trip ticket and booked myself on the Thai Airways International flight TG917 departing from Heathrow on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2130.

Image of my Thai Airways London to Bangkok Flight Confirmation 130729

Thai Airways London to Bangkok Flight Confirmation 130729

Visa Woes as Thai Embassy Changes the Rules

Beware If You Are About to Apply for a Non O Multiple Re-entry Visa (Or any Other Kind of Thai Visa?)

Today is Friday 19 July 2013 and I have just visited the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, UK to get a multiple re-entry visa for my retirement rip to Thailand.

Previously, as reported at How I Got My Thai Multiple Journey Visa In UK obtaining this visa was a breeze taking just a few minutes and no fuss.

This time though, there was a problem. 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. The Royal Thai Consulate representative also told me that Monday and Tuesday was a Thai holiday and that the Thai Embassy in London would be closed until Wednesday.

Bearing in mind that my flight to Bangkok is booked for a week on Monday, it only leaves three days (Wednesday to Friday) for them to make the decision, process the application assuming I am accepted and to get the passport back to me.

All a bit tight so although I’m assuming everything proceed satisfactorily so I’m organising everything for a Monday flight, I’m also prepared to have to delay it a few days.

Things to Do Before Leaving for Thailand

There are many, many issues to be sorted out before I can travel to Thailand.

It’s not so bad if you are going away for a few weeks but if you are leaving your house in your own country empty for moths or even as long as a year, then there are a whole host of issues to sort out mainly dealing with security.

I have made a huge to-do list and am steadily working through them:-

Cetegory Jobs to Do July 2013
House Cut Lawn
House Throw Bin Bags
House Beer Barrels
House Clear Office Shelves
House Hoover
House Mail In Kitchen
House Steel Everywhere
House Boiler Service
Workshop Motor On Mill
Workshop Lathe Saddle Stop
Workshop Lathe Leadscrew Handle
Workshop Lathe Suds
Workshop Clean Up
Money Amazon First Course
Money Amazon Brown Bag Course
Money Article For Model Engineer
Money Dtw Vat June
Money Daily Balance Sheet
Money All Monthly Sos & Dds
Money Utility Meters/Bills
Money LU Contract
Car Blood Test
Car Battery & Start
Car Driving License
Thailand Visa – What Is Required
Thailand Change Air Ticket
Thailand Stop Mail
Thailand Paperless Ltsb Statements
Thailand Paperless Utility Bills
Thailand Second Front Door?
Thailand Luggagle Lables
Thailand Pack Luggage
Thailand Weigh Tools For Luggae
Thailand Tool Tips
Thailand ER Collets In Thailand?
Thailand Tool Holders Thailand?
Thailand Backup All Computers
Security See Security Sheet

Where We Are Now

A Quick Summary of My Thailand Retirement Plan Situation

  • Booked on the Thai Airways International flight TG917 to Bangkok departing from Heathrow on Monday, July 29.
  • No Visa – Awaiting news from the Royal Thai Consulate on my Multiple Re-entry Thai Visa application
  • Awaiting news from London Underground on a possible Contract
  • Working trough a massive do-do list in preparation for leaving for Thailand

See you in the next Post!

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21 Responses to “Retiring In Thailand on 29 July 2013”

  • Dr. Robert Snader:

    Best wishes my friend. I hope the visa works out. I hate all of these visa changes, especially when they occur without notice. Whatever your wishes–I hope they come true.



    admin Reply:

    Hi Bob,

    It doesn’t matter if I have to wait a few more days for the visa – in fact I need another week to prepare to leave, it’s hectic trying to get everything done by next Monday.

    What is a bit disconcerting, though, is that the Royal Thai Consulate would have certainly given me the multiple re-entry visa whereas the Thai Embassy may raise issues or even refuse it.

    But I’m working on the basis that I’ll be on that TG917 flight next Monday.

    Best Regards



  • Joe Van Wyck:

    Great News! Have a safe trip. I wish I were you. We’re just getting started on our plans to retire to Thailand. Best of Luck to you and Kanya.


  • Don:

    Glad to hear you are finally going to make the jump to retire.  Now you can work on becoming a resident of Thailand and get the property and house in your name as well.  Have a safe trip.


    admin Reply:

    Thanks Don,

    It’s very nice to receive people wising you well.

    I really appreciate that and I’m sure that once I’m out there I’ll enjoy it.

    After all the scenery around Pakchong (Pak Chong) is truly beautiful.

    Being retire rather than just visiting will give more time to visit places and to visit Kanyah’s extended family.

    Best Regards



  • martin:

    hi Alan, good luck with all that, a bit scary eh but I’m hoping it sorts out for you. Kanya will probably still be lonely once you get your nose to the grind stone in your workshop but I reckon she’ll just be happy to have you around. good luck mate.


    admin Reply:


    Many thanks for your comment.

    Yeah it’s pretty scary.

    As a professional engineer I had never been out of employment (involuntary) in my life until the financial crash of 2008.

    I was in the construction industry in the UK and all construction works stopped overnight. My income stopped overnight too.

    It was hell. I had savings which quickly became spent and I went into debt. I escaped a bit here and there building websites but it was the worst time of my life.

    It’s that fear of having not enough money that scares the *daylights* out of me (*substitute your own word*) when retiring to Thailand. That and somehow the Thais – including my wife – (they have a way of doing this) scamming me out of my savings. Plus all the other stuff that scares me.

    This is why I want to make loadsamoney with LU if they’ll let me.

    As to spending all my time enjoying myself in the workshop I envisage spend a great deal of time on this laptop making the money i need to buy stuff for the workshop,

    The bright side of it all is that when you are retired, there is always another day to do something so I have to learn to relax and make sure that I give enough time to Kanyah.

    Thanks again for your comment.



  • Ray:

    Wow Allan, I just re-read your last post from January where you listed so many reasons which had convinced you that retiring in Thailand was against your best interests and now it appears that because your work situation has changed dramatically all those reasons have suddenly disappeared. Please do not misinterpret what I have just said – I truly wish you and your wife the very best but I am myself, about to move permanently from Australia to Thailand and I can assure you that if I had the same doubts/reasons you mentioned in January I would certainly reconsider every aspect of my decision, independent from my work situation. Bottom line is I hope it works out for you but I hold my breath for you that the fears that you held in January do not rise quickly to the surface again. I know myself, that if indeed it was me in your position I would need to address those issues mentally and/or physically to allow the transition to be a lasting one and more importantly – a happy one! 
    I am on your side though and most of us brave souls that take on this challenge face different issues in one regard or another. I will be 2 hour’s or so to the north of you (just past Korat City) and hopefully one day in the future we may get together and hopefully talk about how easy it all was.
    Whatever happens, I hope it all works out for you and you are contented with the new life. Cheers mate. Ray.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Ray and thank you for your thoughts and comments.

    I must admit that all those doubts and fears have been running through my mind over and over again for the last week since my LU contract was terminated.

    And there are many more doubts I have about retiring in Thailand that I didn’t put in that “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand”. Post

    I dare you to read my Don’t Retire To Thailand page and then still think it’s a good idea.

    By the way, last year a friend of mine from Germany (I met through this website) went through hell and lost all his money when he tried to build a house near ours in Pakchong (Pak Chong). Married to a Thai her family and the builder ripped him off something awful. He sold the house half finished to an American.

    Perhaps Michael will read this and tell us the story?

    Every day as it gets closer to the day when I’m stepping on the plane to Bangkok, my mood changes a bit for the better. I’m forgetting the worries and thinking about the things to look forward to. For one it will be being able to work in my workshop every day building my model steam engine.

    And hopefully Kanyah who is always forlorn and crying when I used to phone her will start to cheer up.

    Thailand is not only a difficult place for farangs to live happily – it’s difficult for the Thais, too!

    Anyway, Ray, watch this space and if we both make it long enough in Thailand I’ll be glad to meet up with you.

    Best Regards

    Alan Brown


  • Cyndee:

    Good luck…keep us posted!


    admin Reply:


    Many thanks.

    Look out for the next post from Thailand!



  • Mark Kiley:

    I’ve been watching with great interest concerning your retirement difficulties and this post is great news.  My wife (a Thai) and I have been in a similar situation as yourselves for a few years now and its given me courage to look further forward.  Congrats and keep up the posts.  Good luck to you both.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Mark and thanks for your comment.

    The time is drawing closer every day… and so much to do.

    Look out for the next post from Thailand!



  • John C:

    Alan, congratulations for getting nearly to full retirement.  I am retired in Australia and have been observing this site about information on retirement in Thailand.  Offhand are you able to update how much finances are required to retire in Thailand?  I will look up your link on this info.  I am playing with the idea of maybe renting for a few months in Thailand or other SEA country to minimise on airfare to and fro from Australia.  Thanks in advance.  John C


    admin Reply:

    Hi John and thanks for the comment on retiring in Thailand.

    As to what finances are required that depends how you want to live and whether you own your own house or have to rent.

    The Thai government requires you to have an income of 80,000 Thai Baht/month before you qualify for a retirement visa and that’s a pretty good guide.

    80,000 Bht/month is 2,600 Baht/day which is plenty for everyday living expenses.

    If you just want to put you feet up and relax and own your own home so you can buy local food you could live comfortably on half that. The Thai labour rate is around 400 Baht/day so you should be able to live on 3 times that. (1,200 Baht). These figures are for two people, yourself and a Thai.

    All the expenses come in when you have to pay rent and if you drink alcohol. Beer is around 30 to 40 Baht from a supermarket, and a bottle of Thai wine around 350 to 400 Baht.

    If your’e eating in restaurants and drinking in the bars then obviously you’ll need far more. As you will if you have expensive hobbies like I do (Model Engineering in Thailand).

    When I get to Thailand next week I’ll keep a record of what we spend and post it on the blog so watch out for an announcement on that.

    I believe that Cambodia is far cheaper than Thailand and they are more relaxed about land and property ownership. If I didn’t have a Thai wife (and the corresponding ties to Thailand – house etc) I would take a long look at Cambodia before deciding on Thailand as a retirement location.

    Best regards



  • Oscar:

    Have a Happy and Safe trip.  


  • Roger:

    Wish I was going with you.  I have 16 more months before I can join you in the Land of Smiles.  have a safe trip and keep us updated on your new life.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Roger,

    You’re in no doubt at all about retiring in Thailand! Well done.

    16 months will soon pass.

    Keep in touch and see you in Thailand.



  • Phil:

    Great news Alan. I just love this blog, actually your website is the only one I follow. Please continue to pass on your knowledge. Phil


    admin Reply:

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the comment – getting closer to take-off!

    See you in BKK



  • Andy:

    Good luck Alan, hope all goes well, Ill be making the full-time move myself next April so I’ll be looking out for your updates. 


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