Dodger's Trip Report

Anything and everything about Thailand
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#1 Dodger's Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:16 pm

Hi you maniacs !

Well I just returned from Adventure #40 marking my 20 year anniversary of visits to Thailand. Time really does fly when you’re having fun and when I think back about all my experiences in the Land of Smiles over the past two decades it’s like a dream…almost surrealistic.

Times have really changed as far as the scene in general but fortunately the merry go round slowed down at just the right time. Maintaining the routine of running bars…boys, boys, boys, and of course all the drinking and partying that came along with that, I really don’t think I could have survived any longer.

I abandoned my apartment in Pattaya in December after hanging my hat there for so many years due to the fact that I have transitioned to spending almost all of my time at my humble abode in Bang Saray. Taking the pictures off the walls and emptying my dresser and closet of all the nick knacks that assembled in the corners of the drawers over all these years left a bit of a lump in my throat. Among the clutter of debris was an old business card from Monty’s first bar in Sunee Plaza, a beer coaster from Panorama Bar dating back to my first visit to Pattaya 20 years ago, a small charm bracelet that Thep (Mo) used to wear around his ankle back when he was a dancer at Euro Boys Gogo 15 years ago, a crumbled up napkin with the name Noy and a mobile number (???), and a pair of blue bikini under pants with the waist size of about 10 inches which was equally bewildering. Very few of these things ended up in the trash and will continue to be saved for prosperity sake.

Next April will mark 5 years that my partner and I have been together and I couldn’t be happier. I adore him and waking up next to him in the morning makes every day worth living. He (Jay) is a total home body, loves working on his fashion designs and sewing his newly created dresses and jump suits with a real passion. He is extremely shy and wants no part of the bar scene which has contributed greatly to my change of lifestyle over the past few years. Life in Bang Saray is simple. We both get up early in the morning. He enjoys cooking his own breakfasts while I dash off to the boat docks to watch the fishing boats returning to harbor from their nightly fishing outings. I enjoy working on little building projects, swimming in the pool, strolling the beach, writing (something), playing music, etc. in the day time – while Jay always sits at his drawing easel and/or sewing machine with the patience of a saint and the focus of a heart surgeon as he crafts his sparkly and heavily sequined garments. Nights are reserved for our favorite movie and of course play time…whichever comes first.

I only visited friends in Sunee Plaza a few times during the 3 month span and glad to see that some of the lights are still shining, but at the same time sad when I envision what it used to be like in the good-old-days. Jack, Ralph and Oud have to hold the record for the longest running beer bar (if you consider the original Memories) and Beer and Mack are still holding their own at Nice Boys which is really amazing. I drove through Jomtien Plaza numerous times during my treks to-and-from Bang Saray and the place is really popping at night time. Hundreds of friendly smiles – plenty of customers – plenty of variety.


I’m still a year or two away from pulling the plug on my work back here in the States but I could at a moment’s notice if so inclined. My general living expenses in Bang Saray come up to a whopping 30,000 THB/month (and that’s for both Jay and I) which is hard to imagine, but it’s true. Jay shops at the night market and prefers cooking all his own meals. I eat a mix of farang meals at the local restaurants and home-cooked meals. We both eat good and only spend an average of 1,000 THB/day on food, a routine stop at 7/11, gas for my motorbike and a few odds n’ ends. Fortunately, all of our hobbies are free – as is the beach and other local activities, and our electric bill averages 680 THB/month. It’s amazing at how economical electricity is when you’re paying the electric company directly (@ 4.5 baht per kilowatt hour) versus some greedy building managers who charge their victims anywhere from 8 to 12 baht per kilowatt hour which of course doubles…triples… and even quadruples the cost of electricity.

I pay 300 THB/month for local (Bang Saray) cable TV, and I have a router (hot spot) for my computer for high speed WIFI services (4GB) which costs me 550 THB/month.

I plan to have a considerable amount more than 30,000 THB/month when I retire, but I just wanted to emphasize to people just how little money one needs to retire in Thailand and live reasonably well. Finding the right guy to settle down with is of course a crucial element of maintaining a budget. That is, unless you want to continue catering to the BARS…BEER…and BOYS, because that could cost you 30,000 THB a night versus a month (been there…done that) The cruising Aps are jam packed with thousands of guys who of course range anywhere from nice guys (low-maintenance) to those bastard gold diggers so a great deal of caution is required, but they are out there... :roll:

Enough babbling for now. I have to scrape the ice off the windshield of my car as I head out to another work assignment in this freezing Chicago weather. So if you’re sitting over there in Thailand right now don’t for a minute think about complaining about anything. Just gaze out at the hot sun and enjoy each day as if it were the last and you can’t go wrong.


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#2 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby jimnbkk » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 am

Dodger, sorry to hear you're leaving your Pattaya apartment, but I understand. Your 30,000 THB does not seem to include any rent ( of course, you own your condo). Many guys are renting, so that adds to the costs for them.

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#3 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:48 am

Dodger wrote:I plan to have a considerable amount more than 30,000 THB/month when I retire

While it is possible to live in Thailand on 30,000 baht per month, just for the record people need to remember that Thailand's minimum monthly income requirement for retirement visa eligibility is 65,000 baht per month - or 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account.

Of course, that doesn't mean a person has to spend 65,000 baht per month. Some people have a monthly income of considerably more than that, but choose to live on far less than that.

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#4 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby stkyricesf » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:15 am

Amazing and congratulations. You and I almost mirror our lifeline. I'm celebrating my 20th anniversary this year too. I'm giving serious thought of retirement in Thailand also. Thank you for your thoughts on living there. Good luck although it sounds like you have everything under control.

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#5 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks for your responses...I was starting to think you guys were dead... :lol:

I struggled with the decision between renting or owning a place in Thailand for years before taking the plunge - but did so primarily to help minimize my total living expenses when I retired.

I purchasing a washing machine and ironing board to eliminate the costs of paying cleaners, installed a water purification system to eliminate the task (and cost) of buying bottles of water every day, installed a fully functional kitchen to promote more cooking at home versus eating out, and purchased all of the tools I need to do repairs and remodeling work versus paying someone to do this for me.

Renting a place certainly has its advantages, but for retirement purposes I felt that owning my own place gave ME control of the costs over time versus a THAI...or worse yet, a Chinese Thai, who actually own the majority of rental properties in Thailand.

Thanks again for the feedback.

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#6 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby aussie » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:24 pm

Dodger wrote: He enjoys cooking his own breakfasts while I dash off to the boat docks to watch the fishing boats returning to harbor from their nightly fishing outings.

Is it only the fishing boats you are looking at Dodger? ;)

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#7 Re: Dodger's Trip Report

Postby Dodger » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:09 pm

aussie wrote:[Is it only the fishing boats you are looking at Dodger? ;)

What fishing boats?...LOL

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