Inexpensive hobbies


Dear Hillary,

Times are tough for us expat pensioners from the UK. With pensions frozen at the 2010 level for me and the backside falling out of the pound, my purchasing power is going down with it. I’m not quite at the level of drinking from a stale bottle of beer outside the 7-Eleven at 10 in the morning. I need to do something, but even playing pool in the pub means buying beers. And as for the ladies – way out of my price range these days. Any suggestions?



Dear Harve,

I do feel for you, my Petal. It’s not a nice feeling, that’s for sure. You have to look at things to do that don’t involve money. Some ideas include photography, bicycle riding, chess, painting, jewelry design, wood carving, gardening, and orchid growing. There’s more, but you have to see what you like. All the best of British luck!


  1. Dear Harve,

    Having the important option of returning to Blighty and getting your pension increased I suggest you do consider doing so as you need 65K per month (following exchange) to qualify to renew your retirement visa. I am sorry about the pound as it has effected many people I know, but the British public (in their wisdom) chose “Brexit” and perhaps it means you must exit as well.

    HOW ARE YOU SET UP WITH A HEALTH CARE EMERGENCY if having a beer and a game of pool is a problem? NHS (such as it is) is back in UK too.

    I just said farewell to a friend from Australia who chose to return to plenty of conversation with people who are not “Pattayaddicts,” health care, and an increased pension into the bargain. I am just saying aloud that “no one plans to fail, but many fail to plan” so please think it over. In fact, I have always been an advocate of having a plan and a backup plan. “Luck” is where preparation meets opportunity.

    All the best of clear headed planning to you Harve. Talk to your friends here and back home and family members you care about as well.

    All the best to you,

  2. Chilling on the beach bird watching (both kinds) and walking costs nothing. Busses are inexpensive to go out and about and see other areas. Check out some of the ex pat activities that are about maybe join a club or two.


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