Rumours And Visas in Thailand
I ran across your site about living in Thailand. Very interesting and duplicates most of my thinking. I was on a similar path in a letter to a cousin in Canada when I read you. I will recommended he read yours.
I came here 25 years ago to trade on the new Securities Exchange of Thailand. I am an independent investor and as such enjoy my life here free of all the fetters of low income. It is about the same for me as living in America. I am upper middle class anywhere in the world, maybe exceed that in most countries.
I have a good education, studied law, and have a profession that pays highly even now in my retirement. I am in the minority and in the exception which you described to the warnings you gave all the others. However, I agree absolutely with what you said to those low income people that want to come here and be potential bar owners or land up as English language tutors that have to live on subsistence income here, and they are not TEACHERS, so don't call them that. Their only skill is rudimentary English for the most part.
I enjoyed the article you wrote primarily since it is a tool to keep all those foreign bums out of Thailand. All those pathetically ignorant, low class, alcoholic, and mindless losers. They give the foreign community a bad name and I do not associate with foreigners for the most part since I speak Thai and most of the residents here are people I would not associate with back in America. I hope your writing discourages them not to come here, however it will not. That class of person does not read websites and does not give a shit. They are losers in their home countries and will continue being losers once they save up airfare to come to Thailand. Nothing changes and you have no affect on the subject other than to vent and get agreement from the likes of me.
What binds these losers together is the language problem. I suggest you add this to your diatribe about not moving here. It is that they need social contact and cannot get it in this culture that makes them all stick together and pass on the rumors and misinformation about this culture that even hampers them more in trying have a real life. The language absolutely confines them, makes them dependent on others. Thais that prey on them and the other foreigners that prey on them even more. There is a criminal element here that takes advantage of the lost souls. This is like a magnet of losers with no ethics sucking in others. That is the low class, low income society that the newcomer joins. It is not the society at large or one I am a member of.
In any case, I have seen the average foreigner here as a discredit to me. It used to be that a foreigner would have a special status here. Now that is history. The influx of these traveling poor and societal dropouts and bums from their own countries has killed the image of a prosperous and sustainable foreign resident. I have no respect for those assholes, including the ones with enough retirement income to squeeze by. Most of the mix belong back in their home countries having real jobs. It is those that cannot remain employed with dreams of living high on the hog, the delusional freaks that come here that are the subject of your website and this letter.
Now one major point of disagreement I have with you. This is a country of law and runs on a Roman system and is codified. This includes the Immigration Act.. There is no reality of being thrown out by offending the wrong person and/or having to live in fear of immigration doing strange things. Yes they can be arbitrary but they simply do not care about you and do follow the rules. They are bureaucrats and no different than those working at the universally same department of motor vehicles, the Land Transport Department here which looks and operates like those in the States. I have lived in in the U.S.A. I suggest you remove that statement about being thrown out for insulting the wrong person from your website since it jumps out at me and certainly does not belong in what otherwise appears to be a quite pragmatic view of a foreigner's Thai residency.
The "don't offend the wrong person" thing is part of the rumor mill and misinformation that these foreigners pass around amongst themselves creating their own false reality of the Thai culture. It is an untruth and degrades a good site. Thus I advise you to take that issue out of your writing for the sake of those that do know better and are people of substance that do live here such as I do. Those that have dealt with immigration directly and have retirement, business, or resident visas.
I own my own house. I have property rights under Thai law. This is not leasing property from a Thai or my wife. This is called a SUPERFICIES. I am on the deed (Chanote in Thai) and in addition have a house registration in my name. The superficies gives me ownership of the structure, a vested property right under law, which is not a contractual obligation like a renewable 30 year lease which foreigners think is the only way to hold land. I hold the mortgage on the land the house to which I hold legal property rights sits on. I have rights of sale and transfer. Thus, I have secured my house title and the land it sits on. This is an exception to the rule since I have brains and can work the legal system as one should in business. This is a natural course of events for me. It is not the rumor mill way of doing things, and superficies exist in the Thai law for anyone to use, though it is almost like a secret.
Regarding the Thai xenophobia, you hit the nail on the head. The aspect of racism is apparent and applies not only to Asia but also between Thais of different regions and skin colors. Right on. This is the respect a foreigner used to automatically get due to his white race which has been diminished by the foreign bums living here. Foreigners used to be automatically seen as wealthy in a class society that makes income a primary part of your social status. That has pretty much disappeared due to the backpacking tourists; those living in 300 baht guesthouses in the cities and scraping by no better than a working class Thai. Working class Thai equates to English language tutor if you want to draw a parallel.
My advice again is to remove the scare rumor about getting kicked out of the country for insulting some big wheel or having a hassle with an influential person. That is only part of that rumor mongering passed about by the ignorant low class resident-visitors here and has no foundation in reality. This crowd has no foundation in reality when it comes to their concept of Thailand. It makes you look like you are buying into their thinking.
The big problem is that the immigration authorities do not enforce the law. Penniless bums overstaying their 30 or 90 day visas to live in Thailand are not deported. The 500 baht per day fine for overstaying only goes to a 20,000 baht limit according to law. Nobody is arresting these bums, jailing them, or throwing them out. This is not happening. Thus, the bums mix in and make me look bad, but like everywhere there are low class hangers-on. They are the social outcasts and the lazy of mind, spirit, and body that run away from working, a family, responsibility, and their debts. Concentrate on them as you have already done. Go into more detail about the bums that come here and how they denegrate decent people here, especially foreign ones. You have already gotten a good wrap on that subject. You need more depth as to the backgrounds of the jerks that only live to subsist in the wrong country and culture. Yep there is a big illegal immigrant problem here. Drunken bum foreigners make up a segment of that group along with Burmese illegal workers and such.
Congratulations to you and hope to see you remove the rumor about the fear of keeping a visa.
I agree that the foreign contingent has gone rapidly down-market, something which probably started a long time ago and long before I arrived.
On the subject of pissing off someone of power or influence and getting thrown out of the country, I personally know (yes, *know*, not know of!) two people who this has happened to – and each of these cases was in the past couple of years. One fought it and managed to get back while the other has multiple arrest warrants in his name for serious crimes and will probably never be seen in Thailand again. So it does happen, but I will concede that it probably doesn't happen that often. That said, I think one needs to be wary of who they piss off here. You might not get thrown out of the country but you might face other issues.
On the subject of visa overstay not being considered that serious, I suggest you have it wrong. Talk with the consular affairs officer at any Western embassy and I guarantee they will confirm that around half of all of their nationals who are arrested in Thailand is because they were caught with a visa that was no longer valid!