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Resolutions & Changes for 2019

Another year has flown by, and here we are, only days away from … 2019! I remember being a kid, figuring out that in 2020, I’d be 55 years old. It seemed ancient at the time, and 2020 seemed like some futuristic time when cars flew and every family had a robot butler. The funny thing is I wasn’t too far off! I remember watching the movie “Bladerunner” in amazement as Rick Decker talked to Rachel while seeing her face in a monitor. Now, that technology is common place. Back then, people didn’t have cell phones, computers were just becoming a thing (remember when having a “gig” of memory was insane?), cable television was for people with money, and MTV actually had music as most of its content (miss you Martha Quinn!). There was a time when people could actually replace parts on their own cars, and nobody felt an impending sense of doom leaving their homes without a telephone/computer/music collection/television library/appointment book/depository for unwarranted rage. In some ways, the technology has made our lives better, and in some ways, it definitely hasn’t.

Now, here I am nearly 55, and it feels a little old, but not too old. My grandparents (rest in peace) took custody of my sister and me when they were about my current age. I’m amazed at how selfless they were. It would be difficult for me to suddenly have two kids, five and three, to raise to adulthood, but they did it. Now, I’m single, living in a foreign country and its once again time for a new set of resolutions to break! We never get too old to pretend we’re going to improve our lives, am I right?

This year, most of my resolutions are a little different than those in past years. The ones I have for 2019 are to improve my Thai language skills, to finish and publish my book, to visit at least two countries I haven’t been to before, and to finish using the remainder of my GI Bill by taking a few classes at a local university. Of course, there are the usual ones … get in better shape, save money … blah, blah, blah.

I have some challenges to face in the coming year. One part of renewing a retirement visa here is to provide immigration with proof of income. You can either have 800,000 baht ($25K) sitting permanently in a bank account, which I don’t have; or you can provide proof your monthly income exceeds 65,000 baht ($2K) per month, which mine does. In the past, you just went to the U.S. Consulate and they provided a document stating you meet the income requirements. People were taking advantage of this, because the consulate didn’t require proof of income to give you the document. Now, they’ve done away with it, so I have to open a Thai bank account and figure out a way to have my money deposited into it every month. These are the kinds of things that bring stress to my life now. Oh, woe is me! I know most of you aren’t too concerned with the ins-and-outs of Thai immigration, but on the off chance someone reads my blog, who is actually interested in retiring to Thailand, this is important information!

Anyway, this will be my last blog post of 2018. I’ve enjoyed the process and learning about blogging. Now, that I’ve gotten my feet wet, I hope to make some improvements in the next year (holy crap, another resolution!). Most of all, thanks to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings. I hope you all have a good (safe) New Year holiday, and I’d love to hear your resolutions!

Have a happy and prosperous 2019!