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About barrbower

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  1. This seems to have become a computer problem page instead of trying to answer the original question. Not sure, but seems the OP is asking about financial requirements for perm. res. visa. The Mexican embassy website says for individual, one needs 94,165 on deposit for previous 6 months or 2,354/month income from pension,etc. No info readily available for couples. When we applied a few years ago, we got denied at first because we were not pensionistas but when I suggested she check the embassy website she quickly decided to give us the permanente visa based on bank deposits. Consulate employees all have different versions of the "truth" so instead of disputing the requirements, just refer them to their own government website so they don't feel like they have to break any rules or use any personal judgment that might get them in trouble with their boss. Alan
  2. It was recently stated by local transito reps that 4 wheelers and golf carts are not legal to drive on any street anywhere at anytime. You pay your money and you take your chances. Alan
  3. No booklet required now. No visit to clinic to get started required now. Just take a copy of the info they give you at the moment of signing up to the clinic or hospital next time you need medical help. There is sometimes a nurse at the Chapala facility who is there to check blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc. if it appears the person signing up might have a medical problem that needs to be on file. Anything that nurse makes note of will not disqualify you from getting coverage. I have been to the clinic in Ajijic (Seis Esquinas) and don't recommend trying to see a doc there for any minor thing. Those clinics are there for locals who truly have no other choice. As gringos, we usually have the resources to pay out of pocket for minor health issues and the S.P. clinic is a crowded and chaotic place that most gringos will not have the inclination to endure. Alan
  4. Meeting with Transito

    Just like in most other places, in Mexico it is mostly about revenue and very little about safety. Gringos in a car create more potential revenue than locals in a car. Locals in a beat-up truck or on a moto offer even less potential revenue and therefore receive fewer traffic stops. When you add in the family and friendly ties that local cops have with local drivers and the Mexican tendency to not be overly critical of friends, neighbors, or family...well you get the picture. Don't look for things to change much with the new police in place. If you get stopped, just take the ticket and don't offer a mordida. That just makes it worse for the future. You might be surprised how often the ticket is just more work for the cop and so it just won't get written. If safety was really a concern, we all know what should happen. Pretty much every time a motorcycle goes by, they are breaking laws and since they are most vulnerable they logically need to get the most tickets. Speeding 4 wheelers with drunk teens driving on the back roads, especially on weekends, need to be given tickets every time they are seen. Vehicles driving at night with no brake lights or other lights not working should be given tickets every time they are encountered. People passing on curves or solid yellow lines, driving in the ciclopista, tailgating, not dimming their bright headlights, and driving home to Guad with a snootfull after spending all afternoon drinking in SJC should all receive tickets every single time. But in the name of "safety" the police have other priorities. We all know it and they know we know it so don't expect any miracles. Alan
  5. Actually, they still had altars on Cinco de Mayo but fewer than in years past. The ones in front of the Presidencia and church are done by students who, as part of an assignment, choose a person to honor. This year we saw ones for Cleopatra, MLK, and others. The young folks who make them put in a lot of work and many dress up and wear appropriate make-up. The altars on Cinco de Mayo appear to be loved ones of the families who live on the street and seem more heartfelt. Both areas were a joy to experience. Remember that most are done for the evening of Nov. 2nd. Alan
  6. Gas Leak detector

    Actually, the code in the US was black iron only because of the potential of confusing the gas and water pipes which were galvanized. It had nothing to do with the "flakes getting into the orifices" which is an old wives tale. There are now no restrictions on using either type of metal pipe and even some places where it is required to use galvanized pipe for gas (such as in a fireplace insert.) There are now bans on using galvanized for water pipes and most old installations of that pipe from years ago are rusted and gone. Some states and some countries ban the use of copper for gas because of the same confusion issues and some places require copper for gas lines. Go figure. You should never have a copper fitting touch directly to a galvanized pipe or fitting since oxidizing will occur quickly. Use a brass fitting in between. Code in the US now calls for only the thicker yellow Teflon tape not the white since they have discovered that the white tape will dissolve with long term exposure to gas. Remember that in this country, anything goes when wiring or plumbing and things usually work OK most of the time. Alan
  7. Purging Propane Tank

    On NOB tanks there are a couple of things that are different and not all gas filling locations know how to deal with them. First, there is a slot head screw near the handle on the side of the gas valve. That should be opened before and while filling the tank with propane. The gas is heavier than air and as the gas goes in the air rushes out. When you see/smell gas coming out of the purge hole you close the screw and stop filling the tank. If you don't do this you will have pressurized air in the tank with whatever gas they had room to put in. Second, the tanks from NOB all have a very sensitive overfill protection device and when you first use your newly pressurized tank with your grill, you need to open the valve on the tank only about a quarter turn and light the grill. Once lit, you can open the valve more. With the new tanks you could cut the hose in two with the gas valve open and the the gas will shut off instantly. So when the tank thinks that might be the case if you open the valve all the way, it thinks there is an escape and it shuts down. If you forget this process just remove the hose and let out the gas and then reconnect and try again with the valve only barely open. There is a grill store in Riberas that has all the hoses and any adapters but be careful with getting your tank filled as many places have no clue how to fill tanks properly. Alan
  8. What happened to the plan that was floated by Chapala admin. to have local cops take over the duties of the Transitos? You'd think that if they got to keep part of the ticket money locally that they could use that to repair some trucks, fix some roads, and maybe hire more cops to actually go out on patrol. I see many traffic infractions every time I leave the house and I almost never see a transito or a local cop. Laws should be enforced but stops and subsequent tickets should be given according to the infraction...not the nationality of the driver. And EVERBODY should stop offering bribes to the transito cops. That makes the situation worse. Just take you ticket and go pay it early to get your discount. Probably be less than the bribe you would have paid. Alan
  9. Trying to find definitive answer

    Also, You can't get US insurance or border insurance for Mexico unless your car has current US registration. Once here, and with a temp visa, I don't think the local govt. cares if your car has a current registration. No problem unless you plan to drive to the states again when you would need current registration to get US coverage. Even if returning only to sell your car you should be covered. This is a royal pain since some states require an inspection to issue a plate. That is why you see a lot of S Dakota plated cars. That state will take your money and mail you plates even if you are not a resident. Alan
  10. Trying to find definitive answer

    Our personal experience is as follows. You can and should get Mexican coverage at the border or online before entering Mexico for you US plated car. It is not expensive. Your US insurance will not cover you here. We were able to cancel our State Farm coverage when coming here and then renew it when we were ready to return to the states. They required us to buy a six month policy every time but gave us a prorated refund if we notified them we were back in Mexico again. The border policy we always used was a one year policy and we did not tell them we were taking the car out of Mexico so on our return, the policy was still in effect. We sold that car in the US and bought a Mexican car and have local insurance now which, oddly, costs more than travel insurance cost us for our similar US plated car. Alan
  11. When folks say it has always been that trash was picked up daily and that the city should do what they have always done, remember this. The city used to pick up garbage only a couple of times per week and NO garbage was left out anywhere on the street. The only trash picked up was what was brought to the truck when the bell ringer announced their arrival. It was also required that all homes kept their sidewalk and street out to the middle clean every day. Everybody swept and picked up in front of their own residences even if renting. I don't see many gringos cleaning their street but I do see many not picking up after their dog, putting trash out at night, and not sorting the recyclables. Everybody can help in small ways to make a big difference. Why is that a conflict? Alan
  12. Years ago the lake held large quantities of charales, catfish, perch, carp, and whitefish. Tilapia was introduced at about the same time water levels began to drop and the tilapia ate everything else. Now we have bass added and you can probably say goodbye to the tilapia and any small remaining populations of native fish. Not that I'm saying it is all a bad thing just that it will change because bass are voracious eaters and they will also eat small turtles and baby ducks and other birds. Fun to catch though and could be good for the economy. Alan
  13. Here is my very recent experience with local healthcare. I went to see a GP for a checkup for the first time in about six years. Everything was perfect except when she listened to my heart. She heard some pauses that were not normal and told me to see the Cardio doc asap. I was not having any symptoms. Got an appointment the next day and he did further EKG testing and had me go to his office at Del Carmen hospital the following day. I had severe arrhythmia and he even cut short the stress test out of concern for my safety. He wanted to schedule a procedure for the next day and when I told him I had Seguro Popular he strongly advised against the waiting that would probably occur. He then offered to do the operation at Los Jardines hospital which he said was just as sophisticated but much cheaper and if we had to put it on a credit card he would wave the normal 3% surcharge for us. So less than three days after seeing my first doc I was on the table where an amazing team of caring pros inserted a stent into what was an almost completely blocked "widow maker" artery. They went in painlessly through my wrist and I watched the whole thing live on a large monitor. While they worked they told me what they were doing and asked about and monitored my well being constantly. My wife stayed in the room with me overnight in what was a nicer place than many hotel rooms I've stayed in. The hospital staff checked on me all through the night and always told me what they were doing. Early the next morning the cardiologist came in and checked everything and announced that I was going to be fine. He was going to have his office assistant come in with the bill but first he was personally going to review it to make sure the hospital didn't overcharge us for anything. Four days later I saw him in his Ajijic office where he refused to bill us for that visit. All of this cost us about 7,500 dollars. That is about 3,000 less than our deductible was last time we had insurance. Plus we have not been paying 850 per month for crappy coverage for the last five years. I'm sure the US bill would have been ten times that high for the operation and then our rates would have gone up and under Trumpcare I would now have a preexisting condition. I'm happy where we are and happy to be here at all. Thank you local docs. Alan
  14. Driving Lakeside to Colorado in July

    We too have made the same trip many times. I agree with Rick on every point. We always go through Ciudad Acuna only because it is a little north of Piedras Negras and closer to where we are headed. It is also a little town about the size of Ajijic where all the services to exit and enter, including the bridge, are right on the plaza. There are only a couple of tricky parts like the loop Around Aguascalientes but with a printout from Google Earth it isn't bad. We also do it in one 13 hour day but you could stop in Monclova or Satillo. The highway goes right through Monclova where in the case of Saltillo you have to into town off the highway (which is a cuota around town now) so a lot harder to do than another hour to Monclova. Del Rio Texas is actually a nice little town as border towns go. Lots of long boring stretches no matter how you go so keep an eye on the gas gauge. Be safe. Alan
  15. More Shame for the EPN Government

    The war on drugs has been a dismal failure on both sides of the border. It has cost countess lives and trillions of dollars. There are more people using drugs than ever before. A complete and total failure unless you consider the financial gains for those involved. Those using lax gun laws in the US to ship weapons south, the soon to be expanding private prison system, the now para-military police forces getting more funding every year, the money launderers, the lawyers, the bail bondsmen, parole officers, the rehab businesses, etc. And last but not least...the people living in otherwise hopeless environments on both sides of the border who make livings out of the drug trade right up until they day they get killed or incarcerated. But any thinking person will tell you that somebody who feels they have nothing to lose makes for a very dangerous person. Add to that mix the political aspects that serve only to get politicians elected and their supporters funded and then nothing ever gets any better. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol, gambling, or prostitution. It will never work with drugs. Spend the money on education, job creation, treatment, family planning, preventing and solving real crimes, and eliminating corruption. You do those things and you begin to level the financial playing field across borders. The US is primarily responsible for providing the guns and the money for these cartels to flourish. The cartels used to operate much more quietly before Calderon foolishly though he could out spend and outgun these guys. They used to just buy politicians and police when needed and everybody just winked and nodded and bought a new truck with cash. I say legalize it all and probably many will die as prices come down and supplies are available. In the long run there will be much less crime of all kinds and people will find alternatives to this lifestyle if those alternatives are made available. It will take a generation or two but we have already wasted several generations and it is not getting better. You know the definition of insanity...Don't expect a different result unless you try something different. Alan