The Doctor's Consultation:This red one is my party nose!
by Dr. Iain Corness
In today’s ‘striving to be perfect’ world, cosmetic
surgery is often thought to be the answer for personal problems. In fact,
rhinoplasty (nasal remodelling) is one of the commonest cosmetic surgery
procedures in Thailand, since Thai ladies all seem to want the foreign larger
Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose,
change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or
change the angle between your nose and your upper lip. It may also correct a
birth defect or injury, or help relieve some breathing problems.
One of the biggest problems facing cosmetic surgeons is not
the surgical techniques, but the patient with unreal expectations of what the
procedure is going to do for them. The person with a poor self-image may
decide that the reason they are not the most popular person in the group is
because of the shape of their nose. Unfortunately for this group of people,
nasal remodelling will not change their personality, they will still not be
the most popular person, and the rhinoplasty will have “failed”.
The best candidates for rhinoplasty are people who are
looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. If you’re
physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your
expectations, you may be a good candidate.
Age is also an important consideration. Young teenagers,
the group which is most taken up with its own appearance, are not ideal
candidates for rhinoplasty, or most cosmetic surgery for that matter. There
are growth spurts which change the features, and psychologically teenagers are
not really mature enough to make decisions which will affect their appearance
for the rest of their lives.
One other factor that must always be taken into
consideration when contemplating cosmetic surgery is that in medicine there
are no 100 percent guarantees. All surgery and anaesthesia carries risks. In
the situation of rhinoplasty, that risk is very low, but there is still that
little uncertainty that nobody can deny. There is always a possibility of
complications, including infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the
anaesthesia. After surgery, small burst blood vessels may appear as tiny red
spots on the skin’s surface; these are usually minor but may be permanent.
As for scarring, when rhinoplasty is performed from inside the nose, there is
no visible scarring at all; but when an “open” technique is used, or when
the procedure calls for the narrowing of flared nostrils, the small scars on
the base of the nose are usually not visible, but again, no guarantees.
In about 10 percent of cases, a second procedure may even
be required to correct a minor deformity. Again, such cases are unpredictable
and happen irrespective of the skill of your surgeon. Living, breathing human
beings are all different, never forget that.
So let us assume that you have understood all the pitfalls,
have a realistic attitude, and still want that nose remodelled. The next step
is to indicate to the surgeon just what you are aiming for. This is when you
bring in your 100 photos of Tata Young! But once again, it is not all that
simple. The surgeon has to look at what you currently have and see if your
bone structure can support the nose of your choice.
Remember too, that the vast majority of cosmetic procedures
are not covered by the usual health insurance policies. Another point to
remember is that after the operation you will have a swollen, bruised face,
which takes a few days to settle. Take some holidays to allow this to settle.
Finally, be sure that your surgeon really is a Board
Certified Cosmetic Surgeon. All doctors have skills in basic surgery, but this
is not basic. This is surgery that changes the way the world sees you. Pick
I just read your column and your answer to “Another
Lonely Old Fool”. May I congratulate you on your answer. Sensitive and
compassionate. Sometimes we forget that there are genuine people in the
world who do get bum deals. I hope the old fella remembers that he acted
with dignity and honour at a time of extreme pressure. I congratulate him
and hope that luck changes his way soon.
Wasn’t that a sad letter you received from that “Lonely Old Man”,
and what a nice reply you gave. But I hope he will have some good
memories, even if everything seems bad at the moment.
I’m like him, an “Old Guy” and have met a young lady, she works very
hard every day in a market in Chiangmai to support her little daughter and
sick Mum (the husband butterflied years ago). I was fortunate enough to be
allowed to lodge with the family for three of the twelve months I was in
Chiangmai. We both love Thailand, and hopefully one day I can be a
permanent fixture in Chiangmai.
Marriage is not on the agenda, and I don’t think it ever will be, but if
I can support her, her daughter and Mum in the future that would make me
feel so good.
They say there’s no fool like an old fool, and a fool and his money are
soon parted. But you can’t take it with you, can you? And if you can
help somebody along the way, why not?
I’m stuck in Australia right now, but as soon as I get back to your
lovely country and the best people in the world, for sure I will bring you
some Belgium chocolates. Unlike Mr Singha I will keep my promise.
Thanks again for a great column Hillary.
Dear Bald Eagle and Derrick,
Your letters show that Aussie males are not all the unfeeling men that
Australian women might make you out to be. Underneath that rough and gruff
exterior there lies a heart of chocolate, it seems. Thank you for
reminding me about that shameless Mister Singha person. I must remember to
make another voodoo doll of him and stab it with my poison pen. Jokes
aside, like you I hope the previous letter writer remembers that he has
done some good for people, and deserves some good luck to come his way
I am Thai woman. I heard many stories from foreigner problems about Chiang
Mai bar women. For me I had the problems with my ex- and present foreigner
boyfriend that they asked me to be the super woman, that I have to work,
take care of the house and take care of him, I have to do many ways to
make him happy but it seems like my boyfriend doesn’t happy enough, even
he doesn’t want to give me money for supported my family.
I have a good education and work as real estate business job. Last 5 years
I couldn’t spoke English like most students in Thailand had but now I
can speak pretty good English because I have foreigner boyfriend and I
tried so hard to learn how to speak and to write good English.
Anyway it’s not all the point I would like to say that I just really
want to let some selfish foreigner know that what he expects from the
girls to be perfect woman give him a super sex, honest, good job, sexy,
slim, brown skin, long black hair and good heart? The same time some
foreigner cheat be hide her back.
Oh well, he should to know that no one perfect or he wants the perfect
woman, so he should to go look at another planets (but I am not promise
that he will find the super and perfect woman there). So all the
foreigners may have to change their opinion about women!??? The women can
be a good woman and good heart, even they are just a bar women or the good
job girls if foreigner treat them the right way.
However I do understand some foreigner’s feeling about their Chiang Mai
girl experiences because some of them like a bitch like some of foreigner
Miss not Perfect
Dear Miss not Perfect,
You may not be perfect, as you say, but none of us are. Your letter
hinges on the opening paragraph, “asked me to be the super woman, that I
have to work, take care of the house and take care of him, I have to do
many ways to make him happy but it seems like my boyfriend doesn’t happy
enough, even he doesn’t want to give me money for supported my
family.” In that sentence, you show that your relationships have been
based on your financial needs, rather than true emotional equality and
sharing of a communal life. He expects a slave to keep him fed and warm,
clean and tucked up at night, while you expect money to support your
family in return for the slavery. This is not the basis of a lasting
relationship between women and men. Love should be given for love. Money
does not come into it. In a true loving relationship, family finances are
worked out between the two people concerned, including what becomes joint
commitments such as rent, food, car expenses, living expenses, and family
Camera Class: Using technology to get better pictures
by Harry Flashman
Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I am a great believer in
manual cameras. In other words, you, the photographer take charge and the final
result is all your own work, not the work of Messrs. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus
However, I am also a realist, and there are times when using
today’s technology can help you take better photographs. Improving your
photography is not really all that difficult, and you don’t even need to go to
school. There are many world class famous photographers who never had a lesson
in their lives. But they did read, and they did experiment, and they did learn
from their own work.
Learning how to take better photographs is really not all
that difficult. There are only two main variables, and after you understand them
and what they do to your photograph it becomes very simple.
The first thing to remember is that the correct exposure is
merely a function of how large is the opening of the lens and how much time the
shutter is left open to let the light strike the film. That’s almost it –
that is photography in a nutshell. No gimmicks or fancy numbers – a straight
out relationship – how open and for how long – this is known as the
Now I will presume, for the sake of this exercise, that you
have an SLR and use it in the automatic, or “Programme” mode. Let’s go
straight to the “mode” menu and look up “A” or “Aperture Priority”.
In this mode it means that you can choose the aperture yourself, and the camera
will work out the shutter speed that corresponds to the correct exposure. In
other words, you can set the lens opening at its smallest size and the camera
will work out the appropriate shutter speed. Or the reverse – you can select
the largest aperture and again the camera will work out the correct shutter
speed to produce a correctly exposed print.
So let’s play with this facility to give you some better
pictures. Select “A” and then look at the lens barrel and you will see the
Aperture numbers, generally between 2.8 and 22. To give you a subject with sharp
focus in the foreground and a gently blurred background, you need to select an
aperture around f2.8 to f4. Hey! It was that simple. To get those
“professional” portrait shots, with the model’s face clear and the
background all wishy washy, just use the A mode and select an Aperture around f4
Now, if on the other hand you want everything to be nice and
sharp, all the way from the front to the back, like in a landscape picture, then
again select A and set the lens barrel aperture on f16 to f22. The camera will
again do the rest for you, so don’t worry about the shutter speed. Again –
it’s that easy!
Flushed with creative success, let’s carry on. The next
mode to try is the “S” setting. In this one, you set the shutter speed and
the camera automatically selects the correct aperture to suit. Take a look at
the shutter speed dial or indicator and you will see a series of numbers that
represent fractions of a second.
First, let’s look at how to “stop the action” by using
a fast shutter speed, and it doesn’t need 1/4000th either. For most action
shots, select S and set the shutter speed on around 1/500th to 1/1000th and you
will get a shot where you have stopped the runner in mid stride, or the car half
way through the corner or the person bungee jumping. Yes, it’s that easy.
So this week you have learned that to get a good portrait
shot use the A mode and set the aperture on f4 to f2.8 and forget about the rest
of the technical stuff. Just compose a nice photograph and go from there. (Do
remember to walk in close!) To get a great landscape shot, again use the A mode
and set the aperture at f16 to f22.
Finally, to stop the action, choose the S mode and around
1/500th of a second and you won’t get blurry action shots ever again.
Certainly there are other aspects to good photography, but master the A and S
modes and you will produce better snapshots – and it is not that difficult.
Dr Byte's Computer Conundrums
by Dr Byte, Citec Asia
In the last column we had a look at Notebook Computers. This
week I have some more questions and answers for you.
John from Chang Phuek asks: I use a Mac with OS X and can
quickly alter the font size of the text of a web page by holding down the
command key, then the plus or minus keys on the numeric keypad. Are there such
shortcuts for a PC?
Answer: It is possible to use the keyboard to access the
text size controls in IE. Open IE first and go to a web site and then try typing
Alt+V to access the View menu. Then, X will take you to Text Size menu, and then
type G, L, M, S or A. these are “largest, larger, medium, smaller and smallest
text settings”. Some especially kind web sites like www.chiangmaieguide.com
provide this feature built into the web site and I wonder how long it will take
for other web designs to catch on and offer this easy to integrate feature to
their web sites.
Darryl from Phrae asks how to arrange for a program such
as Microsoft Outlook to automatically start up on screen each time the computer
is started while running Windows XP Home edition.
Answer: The hardest part is to find out what program
constitutes Outlook (there are several versions and also several starting
points). Open your version of Outlook and click on Help > About > System
Information and when this new window opens, find the Office Applications group
to see what version you are running. Then locate the Outlook program with
Windows Explorer. Once you have found the Application, right-click on it and
select Send To and then select Desktop (Create shortcut). Now use Windows
Explorer to drag that shortcut from the desktop to C:\Documents and Settings\
your name\Start Menu\ Programs\Startup, and Outlook will start whenever you log
Julie near Chiang Mai University asks: I have a link in
my Favorites that I cannot delete. I try trashing it but it won’t let me. A
message comes up saying File system Error (1026). How can I delete it?
Answer: It could be the link you are trying to get rid of
has already been deleted, yet the Favorites list is not refreshing its contents.
It could also be the link is being used by something else (possible spyware?).
The simple solution is to export your Favorites by going to the File menu, >
Import/Export > choose Export Favorites and follow the prompts). If you know
just a little HTML, you can try editing this Bookmark.htm file using Notepad or
WordPad and remove any reference to the unwanted link. Most problems with
Favorites are related to a corrupt folder. Once edited and cleaned up, you can
import your edited Favorites (via File > Import/Export > choose save
Bookmark.htm). Unwanted links can also be a symptom of spyware.
Tom from Mae Rim asks: I had to re-install Windows XP
Home and I lost all the sites in my favourites folder. I have looked everywhere
on my computer but cannot find it anywhere. How can I save the folder so I
don’t lose it again?
Answer: Your Internet Explorer favourites are usually
stored in a folder, C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\ Favorites, and possibly
in the folders below. The best way to save these is to copy that folder to some
other storage device such as a CD, USB Memory Stick or even a floppy. Using
WinZip will save a lot of time as you will copy only one file and not dozens or
hundreds of small files. To use WinZip, open Windows Explorer and right-click on
the Favorites folder and select from the WinZip options. Remember to name the
Zip file before adding - then Add to Zip file. The Zip file will usually save in
the next folder above or in the same folder you are saving. Don’t forget to
Copy it off somewhere else to save.
Sharon from Chiang Mai Old City asks: I use broadband
cable for internet at my office but I can also connect a modem to my computer
via USB port or Ethernet port as back up when the cable connection has gone
bush. Is there any advantage of one over the other? Also, I have been told that
ADSL is more reliable and offers faster download speeds than cable. Can you
Answer: Generally there is no difference in performance
between USB and Ethernet - both have a far greater throughput capability than
the fastest ADSL speed. Generally, Ethernet ports have been reported as more
reliable but it is probably not worth buying and installing an Ethernet card if
your computer does not have one unless you need to share the internet connection
in the office or at home. As for the second question, cable is much faster and
more reliable than ADSL. It is a bit more expensive and you can only connect if
there is a cable going past your house. It also involves running a cable into
your house, whereas ADSL uses the existing phone line.
Jeffrey from Saraphi asks: I would like to print an email
attachment but it is so big I have to scroll sideways and down to read all the
information. I tried printing but all I got was a quarter of the attachment.
Then I tried scaling the print but this resulted in the same quarter in smaller
print. How I can print the whole attachment?
Answer: You didn’t advise what program you are using
because it may not have the ability to scale photos. It is usually possible to
use an image editing program to manually alter the size of the image. Irfanview
is a free program you can use for printing images without having to resize them
manually, as it will automatically adjust the size to fit to the page, or give
you the ability to specify the size. ACDC is another photo manager that also
provides this feature.
In the next column, I have a few more Questions and Answers
to share with you. Don’t forget to keep your preferred anti-virus and Spy
sweepers up to date. Do a full hard disc scan and sweep at least once a week.
Don’t open e-mails with funny attachments if you’re not expecting them and
last but not least, make sure your firewall is on. Dr Byte appears in Chiangmai
Mail every 2 weeks and if you have any questions or suggestions you would
like to make, you can contact me at Dr Byte, Chiangmai Mail.
Money Matters: Safe as two houses
MBMG International Ltd.
For those of us who chose to move abroad deciding what to
do about the property that you leave behind (or that you subsequently
purchase back home) isn’t just a matter of deciding whether you’d rather
sell or rent it out. There are various tax implications, both in your home
country and the country you move to.
If we take the UK as an example, there is an exemption
from UK capital gains tax in respect of gains arising on the sale of your
principal private residence (PPR). Usually the PPR is easily determined as
it is the property in which you are actually living, but matters become
complicated when you have a second home (perhaps because you have been sent
to work overseas).
Although PPR relief is generally only available for
properties in which you are living, the law allows for certain periods of
‘qualifying’ absence to be taken into consideration. An overseas
secondment can often last several years and so this relief can become very
valuable. Unfortunately, it is easy to lose the relief, so care must be
taken to ensure that his does not happen.
How do I make sure I keep my PPR relief?
The most common method of losing the relief is the
acquisition of another home in the country where you have gone to work. This
is because, if you have a second home (even one that is rented), you need to
make an ‘election’ that tells the Inland Revenue which property you want
to be treated as your PPR. Subject to special conditions that apply if your
home is rented out while you are away, a PPR election can usually be made up
to two years after the acquisition of the second property.
However, if you are late making an election because you
were not aware of the rules, there are special concessions available which
can sometimes enable you to make a late election.
Failure to make the election will usually cause the
Inland Revenue to decide which home they feel qualifies for the PPR and this
might be the rented property if you have been spending more time there than
in your UK property, even though you would never want to claim PPR relief in
respect of a rented home. Of course, if you own the overseas property, you
might actually want that one to qualify for PPR relief if you are likely to
be paying UK capital gains tax on its disposal.
How do I decide which property to elect for PPR?
Consider whether you will be entitled to any other
capital gains tax relief’s such as letting relief when deciding which
property to elect. Although exemptions for non-residents are now fairly
limited for UK capital gains tax, you should calculate the potential tax
savings that take into account your personal circumstances before deciding
on the form that an election will take.
Many other countries, including the US and the Republic
of Ireland, also offer an equivalent relief, although their rules are
different. It is important to remember that each country will treat itself
as an independent entity, meaning that an election valid for one country
will not be acceptable elsewhere. Of course, this can be used to your
advantage to maximise the relief available from capital gains in all the
countries with which you have a connection. Again, estimated computations
can be very helpful.
However, the fact that all countries operate different
rules with respect to the sale of a residential property can create an
unexpected tax liability. Sometimes the country where you are living will
tax the gain arising on the sale of property in your home country, even if
your home country treats it as tax exempt. It is important to take advice
relating to both countries before you decide to make the sale.
What if I decide to rent out my property?
The tax issues relating to residential property are not
limited to capital gains. Many expatriates retaining their property in their
home country choose to make it available for rental, if for no other reason
than to cover their ongoing mortgage payments.
Rents are usually taxable and many countries insist that
taxes are withheld at source if the landlord is not resident. For example,
in the UK, landlords who are not resident must receive the rents after the
deduction of basic rate tax, unless specific forms have been completed to
obtain Inland Revenue approval to receive them gross. Completion of the
forms does not eliminate the UK tax charge as the landlord continues to be
liable to pay income tax in the usual way and may even have to start making
half-yearly payments on account.
The ATO have recently decided that GST on
property-related services is reclaimable for expatriates, but you have to
make a claim for this.
Withholding taxes is not the only problem to consider.
For example, as a non-resident, you might not be able to claim all your
expenses or you might need to make a special election to do so. It is
important to get advice at the outset because mistakes can often be very
difficult to rectify.
You may also have an income tax liability on the rents in
your country of residence. Sometimes double taxation agreements can provide
some protection, but you will need to check the relevant agreement.
Normally, but not always, you will end up paying the higher of the two tax
What other tax issues do I need to consider?
We have only covered the two most common sources of tax
bills on homes left behind in this article, but of course there are other
tax consequences. If you are fortunate enough to have been able to claim
mortgage interest relief on your home, you might find it is no longer
available once you go overseas. Most countries levy municipal taxes simply
because of ownership. Sometimes having a home somewhere (for example, in
some US states like New York) can create tax liabilities on other sources of
income because your property deems you tax-resident there. Finally, there
may also be indirect taxes, such as the UK’s stamp duty that is levied on
The importance of taking advice relating both to the country that
you’ve left as well as the one that you’ve moved to cannot be stressed
too highly - mistakes are often discovered when the tax bill has arrived on
the doormat, by which time it is usually too late to do anything about it.
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its
officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above
article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of
any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above
article. For more information please contact Alan Hall on
Life in the Laugh Lane: The Late Fake Morgan Williamson
by Scott Jones
If you have email, you’ve undoubtedly been offered
millions of dollars by strange people with marginal command of the English
language in Nigeria, Senegal or the Republic of Botswhatever: “in strictest
confidents as long as you will remane honest to me till the end trusting in you
and believing that you will never let me down either now or in future.” These
pleas must still snare suckers since they seem to be increasing. (I can’t
imagine who believes these scams; on the other hand, half of the voters in
America selected Bush for President … twice.) With his three functioning
brain cells, does the sucker live in a Count of Monte Cristo fairyland and
think, by divine intervention, he was sent a private message in a bottle
instead of being a hapless patsy snared by worldwide spam?
hiding and I have a lot of money for you. Trust me.
The scams are getting more polished. A friend was intrigued
for a spell by a very personalized notification of his imminent $3,200,000
inheritance from the late Morgan Williamson supported by a large international
bank, a prestigious law firm in London, an array of official-looking seals from
the Royal Courts of Justice and email accounts that almost looked like the real
thing. “I don’t remember knowing a Morgan Williamson but maybe he was the
drunk I fished out of the stream that night. Wait, maybe I was the drunk in the
After more correspondence with this “Senior Partner”
David Adams of Travers Smith law firm, whose photo we found on their website
but whose language should be precise like good Englishmen who meticulously dot
all their “i’s” and cross all their “t’s” and cross all the seas to
conquer the world, the con collapsed: “I will not stake my neck into this if
I am not sure that we have funds in our Clients Account to pay to Transfer into
your Account for the Inheritance, but in as much as I am sure of the Funds, I
will also be sure that you are very legitimate and will always keep your
Promise as an Agreement must always be an Agreement.” In one email, Standard
Chartered Bank was spelled three different ways. Their phone and email info
matched none on any website.
In the spirit of the scam, I posed as my friend’s
“Financial Advisor” and notified David Adams and several other officers
through email addresses written on the Travers Smith website. “I’ll forward
you the scam emails so you can deal with these impostors. It’s amazing what
people think is good English, especially the fancy legal kind with lots of
capitalized letters that you attorneys use. I think they may be German because
of their adoration of the upper case.” A managing partner responded, assuring
me there was no Morgan Williamson and that many other firms have experienced
this fraud. I thanked him and asked, “How do I know you’re the real you and
haven’t taken my friend’s rightful inheritance? That money was going to buy
several motorcycles and help a lot of orphans here in Thailand. At least your
grammar and spelling is correct, unlike your recent predecessors, but the
determining question is: Can you spell Standard Chartered Bank two times in a
row? No fair looking at the correct spelling here!”
A few days later I finally got a short email from the “real” David
Adams: “The emails you received are scams and we repoting (sic) them
to the police.” Hmmm. Two spelling and grammar errors. Maybe David has a
little business on the side?