There were two presentations at the Wednesday, March 22, meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC). First a bit of laughter from Charles Gibson as he entertained everyone with his adapted lyrics to popular songs. This was followed by Barry Kenyon on a more serious topic, current issues with Thai Immigration.
Charles, born in Germany to UK parents, said he learned his comedy songs from musicians in his past, mostly while he was in Saudi Arabia where he was a member of a ‘Folk Music Club’. He described his many travels and how some events inspired his lyrics. He notes that he tries to see everything in a humorous manner and laugh whenever possible.
He noted that he started coming to Thailand 40 years ago and has lived here for the past 10 years. Consequently the number of Expats that have found a Thai significant other, was the source of his first song to the tune of “Side by Side” but with his own humorous lyrics. This song was followed by several others with different themes. To enjoy these as did his audience, view the video of his presentation on the PCEC’s YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcjqBsfnEa0.
Following Charles, Barry Kenyon spoke on a more serious subject of interest to all Expats living here, “Common and Current Thai Immigration Issues”. Barry is well known in the Pattaya Expat community having lived here for many years and, in the past, held the position of Honorary British Consul as well as being a volunteer assisting foreigners at Pattaya’s Thai Immigration Office.
Barry is now largely retired but is still helping his fellow Expats as a foreign adviser to a group of Thai lawyers and writing articles on Thai Immigration and other matters for the Pattaya Mail. Barry began by complementing the PCEC on having an informative Thai Immigration section on their website.
Although Barry had a long list of items, he did succinctly covered all of them. His presentation can be viewed in its entirety on the PCEC’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJBvHetSi0s. The following are some highlights from his presentation.
Barry explained the difference between entering Visa Exempt and Visa on Arrival; the permitted stay by each which can vary depending on what country you are from. For example, he noted that Russian citizens can receive a stay of 90 days rather than the current 45 days entering Visa Exempt. However, unlike the others, they cannot get a further extension of their stay from Thai Immigration.
Barry noted that the requirement for all to have medical insurance put in place during the Covid pandemic has gone away for most entries, but as in the past is still required for those with Non-Immigrant OA or OX Visas (for retirement obtained in country of residence) as well as the recently established Long Term Resident Visa. Further, he noted that in June the new 300 baht fee to be charged for foreigners entering Thailand will not include medical insurance. Rather the bulk of the fee will be for tourist related activities with a small portion being used for medical care that is necessitated by tragedies, not by individual accidents or illnesses. Barry also mentioned the recent new Long Term Resident visa which does not appear to be too popular; at least since its introduction he doesn’t know of anyone that has applied for it.
Upon conclusion of Barry’s presentation, MC George Wilson than mentioned some upcoming events before conducting the Open Forum portion of the meeting where the audience comment and ask questions about Expat living in Thailand. To learn more about the PCEC, visit their website at: https://pcec.club.