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Thailand News / Re: Engineers urge bridge 'health' checks
« Last post by thaiga on Today at 01:50:12 PM »
underneath the arches

Arches | How Did They Build That? | Spark
Thailand News / Re: Engineers urge bridge 'health' checks
« Last post by Taman Tun on Today at 01:35:15 PM »
Bridges normally have a design life of 100 years (  However, to achieve this design life the following needs to happen:-

The bridge has a sound structural design;

Concrete and reinforcing materials are strictly in accordance with specifications

Installation of concrete and reinforcing is carried out under carefully controlled conditions. 

In the case of the bridge at Genoa, the basic design and quality of materials is being called into question.  Lets hope that the Bangkok Metro has been designed and installed in line with the 100 year requirement, otherwise there is chaos on the way. 

My current project is working to 100 year design life.  We have had several instances of having to hack up large quantities of concrete due to incorrect installation methodology.   
Thailand News / Engineers urge bridge 'health' checks
« Last post by Newsy on Today at 12:22:49 PM »

Engineers urge bridge 'health' checks

Two men look at the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, on Friday. (AP photo)

A bridge that collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa with at least 38 people reported dead has raised the alarm about ageing bridges in Thailand that need to be monitored and maintained regularly.

The collapse of the Morandi viaduct serves as a lesson for Thailand to take precautions to prevent any similar incidents happening here, the Council of Engineers (COE) says.

COE secretary-general Amorn Pimanmas said the bridge collapse in Italy has prompted concerns over ageing bridges around the world, including Thailand.

Factors contributing to a bridge collapse include design flaws, faulty construction, degradation and corrosion of materials used in construction, massive loads from vehicles passing over them and natural causes such as earthquakes and strong winds.

In terms of engineering, a bridge collapse can be prevented by structural health monitoring -- a system to regularly monitor the health of bridge structures in the same way as people get their health checked at regular intervals, Mr Amorn said. No details were available on how often bridges are given such checks in Thailand.

Here, many bridge collapse incidents have been found to occur during construction because systems put in place to support structures as they are being built and scaffolding were not strong enough, he said.

The Morandi viaduct was completed in 1967 and has been riddled with structural problems for decades, leading to expensive maintenance and criticism from engineering experts, it was reported.

The bridge, which forms part of a toll motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, collapsed in torrential rain last Tuesday, sending dozens of vehicles crashing onto a riverbed, a railway and two warehouses.

The government blamed the operator of the viaduct for Tuesday's collapse, and threatened to strip the firm of its contracts.

Expat News / Re: Western expats in Thailand – why are so many leaving?
« Last post by thaiga on Today at 11:10:24 AM »
I wouldn't start panicking just yet guys, although i think 38 to the pound might come, this country is still cheap as chips and if your on a tight budget you can get by. think first, leave out the expat luxuries, put in your head if your from uk that is, a hundred bht is £ 2.50. some things are very expensive here like a large bottle of dettol bought yesterday nearly 400 bht that's a staggering tenner, it's about £3.50 in the uk. but thai food is still a bargain, for lunch yesterday take away noodles 30 bht. the missus bungs in a couple more boiled eggs @ 5bht a piece, we have a lady comes round our soi with sponge cakes with coconut on the top, 5 in a cellophane packet 10 bht. so 50 bht in all. full up.

Why o why o why do they put a metal staple in the food packets, that can be dangerous, a small piece of cellotape would be much safer.

wonder what you'd get for 50 bht back home. Debbie Davies had visited the Oxton Bar and Kitchenin Wirral recently, yet despite enjoying her ‘lovely’ meal, she decided to leave a two-star review on Facebook.Writing on the restaurants public page, she said: ‘Lovely food and staff are amazing but I cannot see how you justify your prices, small fish and chips £8

Her answer from the restaurant
They said: ‘Ok Debbie. Where do I begin? ‘Out of that £8, our nasty government is charging you 20% vat which we collect by law on their behalf, so we’re left with £6.66.

‘Out of this, we need to buy the fresh ingredients; 1 haddock fillet, get a chef to make everything from scratch; a delicious beer batter, homemade tartare sauce, mushy peas and chunky chips (the whole cost of ingredients for this plate comes to roughly £2.70).

‘This leaves us with £3.94 for which alas our pesky chef expects remuneration!!
‘Then we realised the ‘lovely’ food doesn’t float to you, so we have to pay ‘amazing’ staff to serve you and clear up after you?!

‘Pay utility bills (we need gas to cook, you need lights to see the food) and don’t get me started on business rates. ‘So if £3.94 is not justifiable for creating and affording this whole experience with us, you’re welcome to recreate it in the comfort of your own home.

‘I doubt it’ll be long before the government find a tax for that too.’

more here @
A few also surrender to their Thai wives' wish to live and work in Europe.
Loyal Dog Stays By Hungover Human’s Side All the Way to the Hospital After They Faint - Instead of leaving the animal on the street, the EMTs let it be with its owner and ride the ambulance along with them. Upon arriving at Daqing People’s Hospital, the dog refused to leave as it patiently waited outside the treatment room. Hospital staff ultimately kept the dog in the building, with a security guard taking care of the canine while its owner recovers.

“Normally it’s not allowed [for dogs to ride in ambulance],” nurse Yu Jingjing said. “But considering dog owners regard their pets as family members and the woman’s family or friends couldn’t be contacted, we didn’t have the heart to just leave it there.” The incident took place in Daqing in Heilongjiang

Expat News / Re: Western expats in Thailand – why are so many leaving?
« Last post by surbition on Yesterday at 06:17:40 PM »
you will have to downgrade your house. ready to move in. Get back to nature in beautiful Khlong Toei
World News / Kofi Annan dies at 80
« Last post by Newsy on Yesterday at 06:02:23 PM »

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, dead at age 80

Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has died at age 80, his foundation confirmed Saturday.
Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.

He had been a member of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela, since it was founded in 2007. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.

The Kofi Annan Foundation confirmed his death with "immense sadness" in a statement posted on Twitter.

Annan passed away peacefully Saturday morning after a short illness, with his wife Nane and their three children by his side during his final days, it said.

It paid tribute to Annan as a "global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer, more peaceful world."
"During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law."

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations in 2001 "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world."
Half as serious and less / Re: Nans moans keep out / little on the Grr! side
« Last post by nan on Yesterday at 04:39:17 PM »
on reading yesterdays post on the anonymous poll done on expats

a growing number of Western expats are not happy in the Land of Smiles. Such is the quality of comments as, Expat suicide? “Nah, he deserved it…for shacking up with a bar girl” rarely a word of remorse or pity let alone an RIP graces those boards, In fact, these expat forums seem to be where the most depressed and pessimistic farangs come to congregate.

little on the Grr! side
could be enough to make one a little on the Grr! side, as in Thailand a great country but some things are hard on farangs,that have no idea on how it swings and what makes it tick,them that have been here a while know the score and except it. some westerners cannot grasp what is expected of them,when you find a wife,then buy a house which is not in your name,normaly the lady has a couple of kids already by a thai man which they take care of them as well,like a ready made family,whilst bunging the inlaws some money into the bargain for your second hand wife. ruthless as it may seem it happens to some just as they are checking the exchange rate :-[

i don't see westerners going to say india or places as such doing the same thing,so what has this thai lady got opposed to other ladies around the world. you can't dismiss the fact that this don't happen,although i have heard some farangs say, i don't give her nothing, what do you think. some don't even live in Thailand but each month they send money,to their so called partner which sometimes also has a thai man in tow at the same time.

The idea of paying for a relationship may not agree with your way of thinking,but in Thailand i find this is quite common,now the new farang owner,the thai lady on your arm,cannot lose face,so you are a rich farang even if your not. the common questions she will be asked,is he rich,how much does he give you a month,so she might tell a few lies in order for no loss of face. questions about the relationship westerners consider this intrusive,an invasion of privacy,but quite common in Thailand.

Making the biggest strain on the relaionship is the wifes family,most thais feels compelled to keep sending money to their family.she doesn't want to lose face,so more money out your pocket to someone you don't even know that well,so the arguments start and are now starting to wear you both down,as her family are expecting an easy life through this goldmine their daughter has found,in some cases if you don't give the family,they might advise her,find another not so mean farang.

Even at 38 baht to the pound most retirees won’t and cannot leave Thailand

The UK pound continues to drop against the Thai baht and at time of writing it is floating around the 42 baht to the UK pound.

It was not long ago that Brits enjoyed a healthy 70 baht to the pound if you go back 8 or 9 years ago, but since then things have gone from bad to worse.

According to the average UK pension is £403 a week, this drops to £369 after tax. At todays price that is 62,000 baht a month, back when it was 70 baht to the pound retirees would have had 103,320 baht per month so the drop in income has been huge. In fact I would go as far to say that it has been devastating.

Many Retirees say 40 baht to the Pound is their breaking point, but is it?

Many retired expats comment on forums like that the breaking point for them is 40 baht to the pound, which if that is the case means we could see many British expats soon up sticks and leave Thailand. But, would they? What we don’t know is how sticky Thailand as a retiree destination is and there are other factors at play that I discuss later. I would suspect a fall any further will not attract more retirees but for those already here maybe home is still home whatever their budget.

For curiosity I wanted to run a scenario at a 38 baht to the UK pound and crunch some numbers around that point. To me it looks fairly tight. The lowest UK pensions come from the North East of England where they get on average, after tax, £269 a week. So let’s say £1,069 a month which is 45,000 baht to live on in Thailand.

In a recent Thaivisa survey it was reported that 75% of expats own a car, 1 in 2 a house and 1 in 5 a condo, but I want to focus on those already feeling the pinch and whom do not own anything which is still a sizable share.

With a 45k baht a budget you have fixed costs from a cheap condo rental which could be as low as 7k baht a month and then a bike rental at 3k baht a month. You are already down almost 25% of your monthly income.

Add a wife and kids into the mix and it gets even tighter

What if they have a dependent wife or kids? Again in another recent Thaivisa survey 87% of expats said they have at least one dependent child living with them in Thailand and 36% have two or more. The family alone must cost a good 10k baht a month and that is on a tight budget.

This leaves 17k baht a month for the retired expat for food, drink, clothes and any leisure spend. It can be done, for sure, but it does not sound like much fun to me. Any ideas of a holiday would be mere fantasy and I cannot help but think after all those hard years of working to finally get to retirement and be left on a such a tight budget is not ‘living the dream’ but merely existing. I feel for these guys.

Financially impossible for many retired expats with family to leave Thailand

I suspect if the pound dropped to 38 baht to the pound it would have an impact on the retirees being attracted to Thailand, like I said already, but would just add more misery to those already here that are largely trapped by the financial impossibility of upping sticks. And remember 87% have at least one child living with them meaning they would have to move their Thai family too, and on such a budget this would be impossible.

I suspect it would be a disaster for them on many levels. You still have to get a new retirement visa each year, this could lead to lots of struggling retiree expats on overstays that would effectively go into hiding.

If there are any ‘sick buffaloes’ out there then, I am sorry to say, they can forget about any money for help too…

interesting dan
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