Friday, 11 June 2010

Moving to Thailand: Martyn, Beyond The Mango Juice

As follow-up to last week’s Q&A with Talen, from Thailand, Land of the Smiles, we have a new soon-to-be expat in the hot seat.

Using himself as a live human guinea pig for aspiring birds looking to fly south and settle in Thailand, he are the experiences and opinions from a top blogger...Martyn, aka Hoo Don, from Beyond The Mango Juice – another Thailand blog which comes hugely recommended from yours truly.

The man himself, Leo beer in hand

You are living in the UK at present but with aspirations of moving to Thailand. What is it that makes you want to move to Thailand? 
I've been travelling to Thailand for over ten years and fell in love with the country on my first trip, first day is probably the truth. I love the easy laid back way of life in the Land of Smiles and the warm sunshine is a huge bonus too. I'd be lying if I said money doesn't come into it because it does, even at today's poor exchange rate my UK pound still has a lot of value to me in Thailand.
Why are you waiting to rather than moving to Thailand straight away? 
Money. Quite simply I don't have enough savings or equity in my property to make any move long term. When I do spread my wings and fly I want it to be forever and one day more. The thought of returning to England years later with no money and having to find work at say 60 years of age frightens me. Being skint with lots of wrinkles is really scary.
Do you have a plan or timeline for making the big move? 
I have a stock answer instead of a plan. In about three years time. Ask me the same question next week, next year, in two years time and I'll give you the same stock answer. When I do make the move I think it's going to be a spur of the moment decision. Wham, bam, here I go. I've always been a gambler and I'm currently trying to load the dice in my favour, believe me one day I'm going to throw them.
‘Wham bam’ was very much the approach the missus and I took when moving over from London, though a rough plan had been in place for a while. Has served us well to date...I’m not much of a planner whereas she is a woman.

When did you first realize your wanted to live in Thailand full time? 
Literally from day one, when fit young women chase you down the road screaming 'sexy man' it kind of makes your mind up.  
I’ve never been chased down the road (ladyboys not included), am I living in the wrong place? Well given I’m a (happily) taken man we can safely same I’m in the right place. Or perhaps just not chaseable?

How often do you visit Thailand? 
Three times a year. Generally April or May, every September and Christmas. I have had extended stays in Thailand in the past of a couple of months and my longest stay was four months. Nowadays work commitments allow me a total of about 7-8 weeks in Thailand each year. 
Do you have plans to work whilst living in Thailand? If not how do you plan to support you and Wi? 
I would love to find work in Thailand but basically I haven't got the skills they require. I have thought about taking a TEFL course and teaching English but I believe you need a university degree to legally teach English in Thailand. That's something I haven't got and I really can't see any other work opportunities for me out there. 
To support myself and Wonderful Wi I would need savings and income from renting out my property once the mortgage has been paid off. Putting a question like that to me makes me wonder if I'll ever make it to Thailand full time. You bastard (joking). 
Frustrating though it may be, the rental income approach is a proven one which a few people I know use to supplement additional incomes. Worth the wait in gold...or, indeed, Thai Baht.

Martyn and his other half Wi

Do you have any advice for those considering a full-time move to Thailand? 
My advice is in one of my previous answers and that's simply make sure you have enough money to survive until you reach a good old age. And one day more. 
Given the recent political turmoil in Thailand, which has claimed more than sixty lives, do you find yourself reconsidering your decision to move to Thailand? 
My move is a few years away but if it was next week then I'd try to rebook the flight for tomorrow. The current crisis which is suffocating Thailand has been building to a head for a number of years and so I have weighted that into my thoughts for a long time now. The UK government issued a warning not to travel to Thailand shortly before my trip this month but I knew I'd be 100% safe and that proved to be the case. Most countries have their own threat of 'terrorism' and I consider Thailand's scenario to be a lesser threat that most other countries, and that includes the UK. 
Give me a half decent pension and as the song says 'I'll be there.'
A big thanks (and good luck with planning) for Martyn for these responses from a while back. This post was delayed so long it began to rival an ASEAN summit meeting.

As stated last week, this interviews serve to answer of one most frequently asked questions (to me, at least) – “should I move to Thailand” – all responses and discussions are therefore welcome.


thetefldon said...

Jon, I was interested to see what Martyn had to say. Also to see some decent photographs of him and Wi.
One thing I have learned moving here as a pensioner is that you need to financially plan your move and plan a worst case scenario. I mean who in their right mind would have seen the GBP buying you just 45-47 Baht. More by luck than judgment I am OK but the difference in exchange rates now compared to when I first arrived is the reason I drive an eight year old Nissan and not a brand new MU 7.

Talen said...

Jon, Another great interview...I really hope you continue the series as we have different anbswers and insights that will definitely help anyone looking to move to Thailand.

Great photo's of Martyn and Wii...Martyn has definitely thought this through well and he already has a home in the Kingdom which is always a good start.

I really hope one day in the near future we can all get together with some beer and listen to the women folk laugh at us silly falang.

Martyn said...

Jon thanks for giving me the opportunity to put my thoughts over on Jonny Foreigner. Since answering your questions things have changed towards my way of thinking. A couple of weeks back one of my best buddies died and he was like me, hoping to one day live in the Land of Smiles. Now that has passed him by and heaven knows the thoughts which went through his head in the last few weeks of his life.I really don't want that to go through mine.

Having now reached the age of 50 I am in a position to take up the O Visa option in Thailand or retirement visa has it is sometimes called. I can meet one of the requirements to secure the visa by holding 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account, but that wouldn't leave me with much survival money unless I sold my property which I'm not prepared to do because there is not much equity in it at today's house prices.Plus my property is also a last resort option should life's brown stuff ever hit the fan.

I'm now working on trying to build up a 10,000 - 15,000 baht monthly income to offset any money pot I'd take to Thailand and a possible opportunity has arisen to earn about half of that. I figure Wi and I could survive very comfortably in her village on 30,000 baht a month and so any income would offset that figure considerably. I believe I can make it and have now set a date on August 2012 to throw life's dice and spread my wings and fly. It just seems so far away. Thanks.

Jon I know you are a sports nut like me, if you get a spare couple of minutes click on my link as I've just launched a sports blog.

I have

Martyn said...

Mike - When Jon asked me for some photos of Wilai and myself a big bell went off in my head. Myself and the young one knock around as a pair, it's rare there's a third party involved. I take a picture of her and vice versa, although the ratio is imbalanced towards the Thai two finger salute. I searched and searched but I had very few photos of us in the same shot. I must put that right on my September trip.

With regards towards retiring in Thailand right now then putting 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account at 47 to the pound would be suicidal. I'm hoping by August 2012 I'll get 60 baht to the pound.

Boonsong said...

An interesting interview. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonsong

Martyn said...

Talen I bet you can't wait for your pending move to Thailand. I really do envy you.

As far as the home goes, I gambled about five years back when the pound was strong and had a house built for Wi, I figured that when I could eventually move to Thailand I'd need a home base and I was more than happy to build it in Udon. When I do make the move it's going to keep my monthly outlay down a bit. That's good.

I hope Jon continues with this series as there's a few more wannabe and soon to be ex pats out there. If they have some sound advice or money making tricks then I'm more than willing to take their advice on board.

Good luck with your forthcoming move.

Thai Connoisseur said...

Good luck to you guys planning your big moves. I agree with the general sentiment that moving without sufficient funds could have devastating consequences years down the line. At 47 I know I would not feel comfortable making the move there full time there without a pretty large chunk of change to keep me feeling secure. 50 is my target date.

belindaramirez said...


Archie said...

Well Lads I have after travelling and living in differnt parts of this World, just started (6 weeks ago) my first visit to the L.O.S.
I must sat I am very impressed with the country. I have not cocentrated my attentions on Bangkok or Pattaya, but have stopped in Koh Chang, Chantaburi, Korat, Kanthanarak and so far Surin. I am off to the Kwai for the Christmas and New Year (Ours) then I shall go to Bangkok to fly to NZ, South America, Brasil and UK. I have enough cash to put into a Thai Bank Account, I can rent my house out in the UK, I think that all in all I would then have about TB60000 per month as a disposable income. I am 73 years old (or young) this month. As an experienced Falung what would your opinion be ? Should I move to the L.O.S ? or just keep on moving. Thanks for your answer.