Posts Tagged ‘Reply’

Does Anyone Know Where I Can Buy Guinness Foreign Extra Stout In Thailand?

Following the success at opening my Thai Bank Account and obtaining my Thai Driving License I’m hot on the heels of my next challenge on my retiring in Thailand journey:- Finding some decent beer.

Many years ago somewhere on the coast just south of Bangkok around the area of Samut Sakhon I enjoyed a few delightful bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout sometimes also called Guinness Export.

Now it seems to have disappeared completely from the Thai market.

Can anyone please help me to get a pickup or two full of crates of the stuff?

Its The Real Guinness Foreign Extra Stout I’m Talking About

I’m not talking about the normal draft Guinness (but I will be a bit later) but the special Guinness brewed for export. It has a lovely real-ale flavour and is possibly bottle-conditioned. It’s around 7% alcohol by volume (ABV) but this varies from country to country.

I have had it in England and also in Nigeria where it’s very popular.

This movie shows you what Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is:-

Where Can I Buy Normal Draft Guinness?

Since I’ll probably draw a blank on finding supplies of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout I’ll ask if anyone can tell me where to buy normal draft Guinness as sold in the bars in Bangkok and other holiday resorts.

I’m really looking for a keg of it that is dispensed with a tap and a bottle of CO2 (or Nitrogen?)

Failing that where can I buy a few cans of the stuff?

Nearest big Tesco to us at Saraburi doesn’t sell Guiness of any sort.

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Retirement House Security In Thailand

This is an appeal for information and advice regarding security for your retirement house in Thailand.

The appeal comes after I received the question below from a visitor to the website and which I have kind of half answered as you can see below. So if anyone has any advice regarding security protection for your house in Thailand and would like to post a comment below, then it would be gratefully received.

This is the query I received:-

From: Manuel N.

Subject: security for your Thai house

Message Body:

Hello Alan:

Let me first say how much I enjoy your web site and how helpful it has been.

I have been travelling to Thailand for brief periods of consultancy work at one of the universities for the last 15 years. I have recently retired and I am considering having a residence in Thailand to spend a few months of the dry season there.

However I would rather build something on rural land rather than buying a condominium in Phucket or some of the other tourist spots. I am aware that it is not possible to ”lock up” the place for 7 months of the year without security problems. I think I can deal with the issue of land ownership, but security is a problem. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.

Many thanks!

And this is my reply:-

Manuel , many thanks for your email and kind words about the website. If the website has helped you then it has been worth the effort for me to build it.

(Of course it will never finished… this retiring thing has a long way to run yet)

And you are luckier than I am. You CAN retire in Thailand whereas I am still stuck in a JOB to pay for it.

As to security, I can only offer my judgement as I have actually not actually retired to live in Thailand yet. But I will make a post on the website to see if anyone can offer any experienced-based advice.

I suppose there are several strands to security. Where your house is located would be one. If it’s in (for example) Pattaya or Phucket then I have heard that crime is high and you could well be targeted by gangs.

The other aspect would be what are you leaving in the house that potential thieves would want to steal? Anything small and light, quick to sell for a profit would be a target, tables and chairs I think not.

My wife’s Thai friend, Som, has a house in Pakchong not far from our house and it has been empty for years. Som lives in Bangkok and very rarely visits her Pakchong house. But she employs a gardener to keep the house looking nice and ‘lived in’ and also a part time security guard who does the occasional patrol.

I’m not too worried about leaving my house in Pakchong empty when Kanyah comes to stay with me in the UK. When she does that Thai neighbour will look after the house for us. I am more concerned about the danger of leaving our house in the UK empty when I retire to Thailand than I am leaving the Thai house empty.

Sorry I can’t offer more than that, Manuel, perhaps someone will come forward and offer advice from their own experience of security in Thailand.

Best Regards
Alan Brown


My Trip To Thailand Is Cancelled Due To Snow At Heathrow

Monday December 20th, 2010.

I was due to travel to Thailand yesterday, Sunday 19th December 2010, to decide together with my wife, Kanyah, on a builder and hopefully sign up a contract to get our retirement house built.

Perhaps you can imaging my frustration – even anger – at having my flight cancelled due to the snow at Heathrow. Knowing that this time of year is very busy I booked my flight in July! What are the odds of the airport being closed on the very day I wanted to fly?

Eva Air Triumph On Zero Grade Customer Services

I was booked on Eval Air flight BR68. I knew about the snow and weather situation at Heathrow after a friend warned me about it so I visited the Eva and the Heathrow airport websites where I eventually found that the flight was cancelled – after making my way halfway to Heathrow,

They gave a telephone number to call and despite calling it constantly, yes, you’ve guessed, no reply.

I also subscribed to both the Eva “Flying Messenger” service and the Heathrow airport equivalent both of which promise to send texts to your mobile giving the status of your flight. Well I did get a text from Eva “Your flight BR68 has  been cancelled”. Nothing else, except for the Eva Air website address which I’m not going to do them the honour of posting here.

I’m sick and tired of this no information situation. Eva have my phone number and my email address. How difficult would it be for them to send an email to everybody on their flight list and let us know what is going on? No. They are too busy running their business. Get todays flights out and let’s hope that all yesterday’s would-be travellers ask for a refund.

Talking of which, it’s not just the flight and ‘holiday’ I have lost, I also pre-booked my train tickets including the Heathrow Express ticket from London to Heathrow. All of which I will lose.

Anyway, here is a movie to keep you amused…

The Budget Price Of Building A House In ThailandReceived – A Proposal From Another Thai Architect Company To Design Our Retirement Home In Thailand

If you read the previous post Finding an Architect in Thailand to Design Your Retirement Home you would know that having found one Architect to design our retirement home in Thailand we were not very happy at the final fee negotiations and decided to look for alternative Architects in Thailand.   

I gave a list of links to Thai architects’ websites and sent emails to the site owners asking if they could design our house for us. I enclosed all the information I had to hand which included drawings (house plans) produced by myself plus schedules of components and finises etc.   

I received just one reply!   

Here it is:-  

From: name removed for privacy
Date: Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:23 PM
Subject: FW: Kanyah
To: email address removed for security

Dear Kanyah,
I appreciate your interest in the designs for your home.
We looked at them and for basic design contract to supply finished architects construction drawings. Cost of construction we think would be 1.6m -2.2m baht plus vat (7%). But only the construction contractor will know this once the architects drawings are completed.
Our fee for this would be 150,000 baht plus vat (7%)
This does not include:
1.       Applications of permission to build but we do supply engineers and architects information for you to use in application.
2.       It does not include interior design,  landscaping or travel expenses if required to visit site. (We think we can design this without going to the site if all information is provided correctly by yourself.)
name removed for privacy

 The Cost Of Building Houses In Thailand

Now this was interesting. Let’s look at their estimation of the cost of building the house.  

They put this at 1.6 to 2.2 Million Baht.  

I had an estimate from the other Thai architect as you can see on the web page at The Budget Price Of Building A House In Thailand and this was 1.95 to 2.6 Million Baht.  

Very similar and very useful. If you want to get a budget price for your retirement home in Thailand you could do worse than ask these two companies, or simply use these estimates on a rate per square meter basis. (15,000 to 20,000 Baht/m2) More information on the budget cost of building houses in Thailand here.  

Architects Fee Proposals – How Much Do Thai Architects Charge To Design Your House?

The previous Thai architect’s fee proposal was 120,000 Baht on a cost estimate of 1.95 to 2.6 Million Baht.  

This represents 6.15 to 4.6 % of construction cost estimate.  

The Thailand Architects  fee proposal is 150,000 Baht on a cost estimate of 1.6 to 2.2 Million Baht.  

This represents 9.37 to 6.82 % of construction cost estimate.  

So with this information and the information at The Budget Price Of Building A House In Thailand you should now be able to estimate the cost of building your own house to retire to in Thailand and also the cost of hiring a Thai Architect to make the house plans (drawings) for you. 

Which Architect Did I Choose?

I have in fact appointed an architect in Thailand to make the construction drawings for my retirement home. The architect has been sending me questions and proposals and I have been responding! 

All very interesting and exciting. Do you want me to tell you who the arhitect is and to learn about the deisgn process we are going through? 

You do? Good. But that’s for the next post!

Collected The Toyota Pickup Yesterday

Just a quick update on buying a car in Thailand.

If you have read an earlier post on this Retiring In Thailand website where I describe how I went about buying a car in Thailand, you will know that we settled on a brand new Toyota Pickup (Toyota Hilux 4WD 2.5 D-4D HL2 Single Cab 2dr) for 550,000 Bhat. That included road tax and one years free insurance.

Well on that day almost a month to the day my wife paid a deposit of 100,000 Baht for the pickup to the Bangkok car dealer, due to be available for collection on the 15th March.

When she called them near to the time to ask about collection they confirmed that yes, the car (pickup) would be ready on the 15th. And so it was. But.

There’s always a but! For some unexplained reason she didn’t go to pick up the car until yesterday, 16th March. When I called her later on the 16th she had taken the pickup home and complained about some problems with the windows and keys!

When I here the word ‘problem’ coming out of Thailand my wallet gives a twitch and snuggles down deeper inside my pocket. ‘Problems’ always need money to sort them out…

Anyway, as she explained, the pickup when she collected it was provided with manual windows (wind up – wind down by hand0 and you had to lock each door with the key. Now when she was talking about locking doors, keys and problems, my first thought was that she had locked the keys inside the pickup.

No, it seems she asked the car dealer to change the windows to electric operation and the door locking to central locking, radio controlled type.

She said all that was done for ‘only 6,900 Baht.

The other thing she mentioned was that it was ‘a lovely colour’.

Explaining this to a friend later I made the comment that I didn’t understand why she hadn’t spotted those things when she first inspected the cars on sale in Bankok paid the deposit. His reply:- “Because she’s a women. She was probably more interested in the colour”. Well I did then tell him that her delight about the colour was one of the things she liked best about the pickup!

Anyway, seems she took possession of the car without too much hassle. I was worried how she was going to pay for the car – I didn’t think the idea of carrying and handing over 450,000 Baht in cash was very safe and asked her to get a debit card form her bank and pay using that. I still have to check with her what she dis in the end. Also she is taking some photo’s today of the car and I’ll post them and some information about the dealers address etc as soon as she emails them through to me.

So that’s a brief update on buying a car in Thailand.

Of course, it’s only about a Thai national buying a car in Bankok, Thailand, not how a farang can buy a car in Thailand.

For more information on why we decided to buy a brand new car in Thailand rather than a second-hand car please read the previous post on buying a car in Thailand.

New! Just Added – Complete Car Information And Photos

Today (18 March 2010) I have just created a new page on the website giving all the details of the Toyota Hilux Viga pickup we bought in Bangkok, Thailand.

There is a mass of information on that web page including a breakdown of the cost for the car itself and the extras, a full list of what was included in the price, the name and address of the car dealer and a few photographs.

This detailed information will be invaluable for anyone thinking about buying a car in Thailand.

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