UPDATED Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)

Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom

In a previous post, I talked about my personal experience using Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)  

It has been almost two years since I posted that. Many things have happened. Now I’m making an update on medical services covered by Batprakansangkom based on my experience.  So aside from free outpatient doctor’s fee, medicines, and maternity compensation this Thai insurance also covers the following:

  • Annual pap smear and other gynecologic tests and medicine
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood test
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • Echocardiogaraphy
  • Surgery

I’ll keep this post updated every now and then, so keep on checking.

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I Thought Chandeliers are for the Rich and Famous Only

Growing up I really thought having a chandelier in a modest house is inappropriate and superfluous.  I thought it is only for the rich and famous.  I thought it would only look great in mansions and castles. I was wrong, so darn wrong.

Having traveled to quite a few places and stayed at varied but diverse accommodations and hotels made me realized these.

First, all the places my family and I have stayed in during our travels have got chandeliers. Even cheap guesthouses have got chandelier beautifully incorporated in the room or the receiving area, or even the balcony.

Second, chandeliers actually add charm and elegance to the room giving an expensive feel to it.

Third, there are different kinds of chandelier and that these can be carefully chosen to suit the theme of the place and the kind of feel one wants to depict.

Now to add elegance to my modest home, I am thinking of having a drum chandelier placed at the bedroom ceiling. It is simple, made of wrought iron and beige fabric shade. It gives the right amount and shade of light. As my eyes are too sensitive to bright light, this would be perfect.

Drum Chandelier

There are other kinds of grand, pretty chandelier that I remember appreciating while window shopping before. Let me show you some of my favorites.

Crystal Chandelier

This luxury chandelier is made of bright and shiny crystals with six lights that should cater to E14 bulb base. I remember walking around the home section of the shopping mall, I couldn’t help myself but stare at this pure beauty.

Shell Chandelier

This shell chandelier would be perfect in the dining room. This particular one has eight 8 shades made from natural shell materials. The fixtures are made from wrought iron with white paint finish.

 

Kids Room Chandelier

Now that I have kids, this would be perfect.  It is cartoon inspired, colorful chandelier. My kids would surely love this type of chandelier.

Chandeliers are great way to furbish up a house and together with other warm and lovely decors this house would definitely feels like home. A place that one would love to go home to after hours of hard work.

 

What is your favorite chandelier?

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Guitar Wall Mount

Guitar Wall Mount

Having guitars and bass guitars on floor stands in a small room is kind of a hassle. The fear of knocking them over is always there and of course knocking them over is always a possibility. The continuous need to move them around as you walk around your room increases the probability of your precious instruments getting damaged. Having a guitar wall mount saves you from this hassle. These guitar wall mounts are easy to install and are very reliable. There are plenty of Guitar wall mount at musiciansfriend.com. 

Even for musicians who have tons of room to spare, these wall mounts can be very pleasing to the eyes once they are lined up on a wall with all of your beautiful guitars and bass guitars mounted on the walls.

How would these guitar wall mounts fit into the total looks of your house?

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Explore and Experience

It was Visakha Bucha,  a Buddhist holiday where Thais visit temples to pray, when we decided to visit Nakhon Sri Thammarat, the largest city in the South of Thailand. This one day trip had been educational since our kids hadn’t only gotten to experience a Buddhist religious practice, they also explored some ancient artifacts in the temple’s museum dating back to Bangkok period.

This is Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main and oldest buddhist temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  Directly in front of the temple’s right wing entrance is the museum.  Inside, you’ll find three large chambers where ancient artifacts that date back to Bangkok period were exhibited. There were hand painted metal cabinets of varying sizes, brasswares,  copperwares, glasswares, and chinas.  Aside from these, there were weapons,  textiles, a few preserved sea creatures, and numerous sea shells.  It is a great place to explore and a good reinforcement for kids studying history and marine life. Taking of photos are not allowed here.

This was taken just outside the museum.  A row of sitting,  golden Buddhas outlined the entire length of this side of the temple. On the same chamber,  were displays of huge whale remains and other marine life.

Summer and Derick offered incense and flowers, and said their prayers.

 

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, exploring Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawin was a great experience.

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Take Your Outdoor Exercise to the Next Level

For health buffs,  staying healthy and staying in shape is everything.

It is one of the essential things that keep them going. Some may just be contented to go out in the park, jog and  run while there are others who find inspiration in using outdoor exercise equipment.  Outdoor exercise is the trend nowadays,  more and more people find outdoor exercise actually appealing and beneficial. In fact, some find it encouraging.

To keep the momentum going,  enthusiasts however have to take outdoor exercise to a whole new level by using professional outdoor fitness equipment.  Jumping onto this bandwagon could be the best decision you could ever make.

It is a trend that will surely stay for a long time. Let’s take a look at some of the cool professional fitness equipment in town.

Outdoor Variable Loading Weight Equipment
With seven choices for every health needs – calf, leg extension, pec fly, pull down, pull up, push up, and squat

 

Street Workout Equipment
With as many as 9 combos to choose from

 

Outdoor Hydraulic Cylinder Equipment
With 5 different hydraulic line up to suit your needs and preference

 

All these professional outdoor fitness equipment are built with the best quality in mind.  All are made of high grade steel, painted with special zinc powder, and they come with stainless steel bolts and nuts. Aside from these, they are fully UV resistant.

Having outdoor exercise equipment in the community is in fact a good thing.  Seeing them there creates a psychological need in individuals to try them and exercise.

Are you big on exercising outdoor?

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Freedom and Control is Possible with Kidsemail

Responsible freedom is what kidsemail is.

Today, it is just nearly impossible to not let kids get their hands on technology. The more they are prohibited the more curious they become. If this brings them positive results well and good, but if it swings them on the flip side of the coin, well it spells trouble. And we all have seen unimaginable things happen and are still happening if we let down our guards. Of course, this is something we all don’t want. So be on the guard all the time.
Yet you don’t want to tighten your grip that much, as sand trickles through your fingers as you squeeze on it too tightly.

Kidsemail is just the right mixture of freedom and control. It is a great way to let children have a taste of freedom in using technology and interact with friends through email, while parents gradually instill in them necessary values and attitude to keep them safe in this time of the internet.

Kidsemail safeguards children and teens from unwanted elements that parents dread so much. It is the most kid-friendly website in the entire internetland. One of the features which I love immensely is the parental control, with it parents are able to manage contacts, filter offensive words, and approve or deny emails sent to your children. Emails notifying parents of incoming and outgoing emails are sent directly to parent’s email. It can be used on relatively all devices as it’s supported by iOS, Android, and Web platforms.

For more details about its amazing features read HERE, and HERE on how to register for FREE on your first month.

Now, here’s a time lapse of Summer sending an email to her Aunt in Dubai. She had previously written the letter on her diary.

I encourage parents and schools to avail of kidsemail. It is parents’ greatest partner in keeping children from harms way, and an excellent tool for schools especially that some teachers give homework, other activities, and communication online.

 

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5 Amazing Changes to Your Living Room

Living room is the center of homeowners’ universe. It is the place where we spend most time and engage in conversation with our loved ones. Given this special purpose (both functional and emotional) it is the part of our home that matter the most.
Although people spend most of their life in this small room, they tend to neglect it awfully lot. Sometimes, you can see that interior design hasn’t been changed for decades and there is no indication it will be in near future.
Homeowners do not like addressing their living room as they often think that the costs will be too high. This isn’t always true. Sometimes, you can accomplish a lot with just a small investment. Let’s see what the best ways to do it are.

1. Adding a few mirrors
Mirror can do a lot for your space.
Due to its specific form and the fact they reflect things; you can accomplish various effects with them. In fact, mirrors are a cheap alternative to expensive paintings. Instead of decorating your whole walls with lots of paintings you can accomplish almost the same effect with one larger mirror.
Hollywood mirrors are especially neat. Besides the mirror itself, they come with lots of light bulbs that can deepen the experience for the viewer. You can start your mirror search by visiting HollywoodMirrors.co.uk where you will find a decent collection of illuminated mirrors for your home.

2.  Go for intricate wall paintings
Again, instead of getting paintings, you can paint a picture on the wall.
This form of art is really modern and artsy and it can be a good substitution to anything else you would’ve put on wall otherwise. It is something that sticks with a viewer and completely solves your problem.
However, do not do this yourself. It is much better if you get a proficient person to do the job. In the end, you wouldn’t like to repaint your walls again, wouldn’t you?

3.  Switching up things a bit
The oldest trick in the book is switching up your furniture. It might not be the best option and you can accomplish much more by simply purchasing a new set of items but it is by far the cheapest option at your disposal.
You should always try and reposition your stuff so that the room feels more homey. Try creating an oval shape with your sofas and chairs. This way, when your guests arrive, they will all be placed in a circle instead of rectangle. It is a small trick that most people neglect. However, it will have such a mental impact on your guests that they will feel as if you completely changed the whole room.

4.  Remove obstructive things from your windows
Here is a similar trick as the one with furniture.
You are not actually changing anything; instead you are simply removing excess things.
Most living rooms are exposed to the sunlight. There are likely windows or glass doors on one side of the room. Unfortunately, homeowners tend to ruin the atmosphere by adding curtains, putting plants near the windows or obstructing the view in some other way.
Natural light is great for your eyes and your psyche. Even if the light may seem overbearing at times, it definitely helps more than it makes the issue. So, make sure to introduce more of it.

5.  Buy new trinkets, refresh your photos
Everybody has small trinkets, items and photos in their living room. Although they may be important for us or remind us of something, think about changing them once in a while. If a photo is significant for you, you can simply relocate it to bedroom or some other area of your house. However, this swap as small as it may be is really significant for your living room décor.

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Cost of Living in the Land of Smile

Living in Thailand, generally speaking, is not pricey. Although prices have definitely gone up in the past ten years, it is still decent.

Prices may differ though from place to place depending on the density of foreign visitors the place have. The likes of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Koh Lipeh, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket are expensive unless you know the right places that sell meals at a local rate. Major cities like Bangkok, ChiangMai, ChiangRai, and Hatyai have fairly minimal rate per meal. The province of Songkhla has surprisingly higher rate at about 10 baht more. For instance, a 50-55 baht meal in Hatyai is about 60-65 baht in Songkhla. Even items on sale in grocers and thrift shops are 10 baht more expensive than Hatyai. Well they say, the oil rig companies are to be blamed for this.

Speaking of oil, gasoline prices had been a roller coaster. It fluctuated greatly in the past seven years or at least since I got conscious of oil prices due to necessity. Sixteen baht was lowest so far and that was in 2008 to 2009, I just couldn’t be certain of the date but it was definitely within these years. It was a  great time but a short lived one. After that, it has gone up and down, with 27 baht as the priciest so far in 2016.

We have gone to several places, eaten at restaurants, and shopped at local market and grocers, one important thing we observed, once sellers know that you are a foreigner they would jack up the price. So friendly tips, it is best to buy at places where prices are displayed. It happened to us countless times and we saw it happened to “Phalangs” right before our eyes.

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Thai Teaching License

Do you need to get or renew your Thai teaching license?

Working expats in Thailand especially English teachers have to acquire a teaching license from the Teachers Council of Thailand (คุรุสภา), and regularly renew this every five years.  It is necessary to have a Thai teaching license as this is one of the requirements for non-B visa extension (working visa) which is done annually.  For first-time getters, attending a seminar on Thai culture is a must.  This Thai culture seminar is regularly scheduled by the teachers council.

Download these forms, comply all requirements,and follow the procedure.

KS 02 Professional License renewal application Form

KS 02.10 Qualification Declaration Form for License Renewal Applicant

Teaching license requirements

Pay to post payment form

Send these papers to
Mailing Address
Teaching License
Professional License and Registration Bureau
Professional License Services Unit
Secretariat Office of the Teachers’ Council of Thailand
128/1 Nakhon-Ratchasima Road,
Dusit Sub-District, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300

To get the teaching license card, you can either go there yourself or authorize someone to collect it for your.  You may need to send an authorization letter and a copy of the information page of your passport duly signed.

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