Your survival guide to living in Pattaya Beach

Jobs and Making a Living While in Thailand.

Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya

Maybe the biggest disadvantage of living in Thailand is we can't work here, I hate it. I was an electrician back in the US and made good money too. Here in Thailand I am strictly prohibited from doing that type of work or anything like it. Even if I could do electrical work in Thailand I would still be competing with the Thai locals that are willing to work for much less pay. Doing electrical work in Thailand wouldn't be worth my effort. The problem facing expiates working in Thailand is that it is against the law,  unless you have a work permit. Getting caught working in Thailand without a work permit can land you in the monkey house (jail), and deported. The Monkey House or "Ban Ling" as the locals call it, is horrific place and not a place you ever want to experience in Thailand.

About the only job in Thailand that is legal is teaching english, with a work permit of course. The competition for english teaching jobs in Pattaya are fierce as there is an endless supply of expiates that would love to supplement their incomes in this way. There are some other specialized jobs out there but for most of us jobs like that are simply out of reach.

Enter, cyber space, now days using the internet you could have a job in America and do your day to day duties in the land of smiles. Web design or investing is probably what most of us think of but I think there is much more out there for us. If you are a book keeper for example then ninety percent of the time you are entering information into a computer. With the high speed of the internet, what difference does it make if you are keying that information into the computer from Pattaya or New York or here from Bakersfield, Ca. Where the information is entered from doesn't matter, it only matters that it gets entered. Book keeping or investing are only two of a thousand occupations that can be done remotely. The number of Cyber Space jobs out there are only limited by our imagination.

Now what I want to talk about now is the equipment that you will need. First we all know you will need internet, and a good dependable computer. You should have a room that is free of distractions and noise. I use Skype to stay in touch with clients. With Skype I can setup a local number in my home town so people can call me, even without knowing how to use a computer. A skype number can also be used for help desk work or consulting. I do much of my advertising on Craigslist all though it is getting harder to advertising with Craigslist.

About the Digital Nomads we have all been hearing about

Lately there has been a huge increase of the so called Digital Nomads on You Tube residing in Thailand especially in the Chang Mai area. While setting up  to work in this manner is pretty straight forward, basically all you need is a computer and an Internet connection, right. Well I went to the old school where you work hard and you make a good living. Lately though there have been lots of people touting how easy it is to make money Online, while it may be a nice job it is far from being easy. Some of these people are making it sound almost like money for nothing, few hours on the beach with the lap top and get paid big money. Some are saying live for almost free make big money party your ass off and only work 2 hours a week, no experience needed, huh. I feel sorry for anyone buying into those claims and selling the farm to come to Thailand to become a digital nomad only to find a few months later they have to go back and start all over. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit about their claims but let us be real and I think the saying goes, if it sounds to good then maybe it is, do your homework and then decide.

You will need some sort of skills or products that are marketable on the Internet. Lots of people sell products they find in Thailand for a cheap price and then sell them on E-bay or Amazon, easy right. It is a lot of work selling Online, posting Online items for sell, e-mail back and forth, refunds, shipping cost and much more. When first starting it is hard to sell anything because you have no on-line reputation or feed back. Another thing, when you enter cyberspace you are now competing on a global scale. If you are from the US you would never think of working for a few dollars an hour much less a few dollars a day. In the global arena there are many players that are willing to work for a few dollars a day. You need to be aware of your competition, just browse around any of the many Online work websites you will soon find out there are some hungry workers out there. If you bid a dollar they will bid 25 cents, it is dog eat dog in cyberspace.

Now that I have given you all the bad, lets move on to the greasy stuff. You should allow plenty of time to build your business. Either have some sort of income to supplement your shortcomings or better yet a sizable savings. How much time depends on you and the type of on-line business you are starting. My opinion is if you think a year them count on it being three years at least. The best way is to actually get started while you are still in your home country. I can tell you from my own experience it is much easier to get good clients when you can go see them and talk to them face to face. Once you have established a client base talking on Skype or e-mail should be ok. I know some people that work cyberspace but do some of it back home and then some from where ever they may want to be. The point I am making is that if you want the better clients and more money it is much easier if you have made personal contact.

Here are some money making ideas that I have for Ex-pats living in Pattaya.

Most of these jobs you can do from the comfort of home or even the beach (see bottom of page) if thats your thing. All of these jobs take honest hard work and none of them are get rich while working three hours a year from your beach chair in the Bahamas. If you are willing to put your time in, you can make a small living here in the Land of Smiles. While your earning power may be reduced from that of someone on the ground in say, San Francisco, Ca.. you are still big money ahead, as your living expenses are much lower here in Thailand.
Good luck to you all.

Web Design

Advertise on your own website for work. Get involved with potential clients through social media. You may need to do some outside advertising or sales to get started. Get a few steady clients and you are set. Not easy money there is lots of work to keeping a website up. If you have little or no experience building websites don't worry. Have a look into one of the Online website builders such as Squarespace. I shouldn't even mention them, because a person with no experience at all can have a professional website in up and running in about an hour, no kidding. I lost a job once because of Squarespace, this kid built a beautiful website better than I made  and me using thousands of dollars worth of software. I use Squarespace a lot even though I have 15 plus years website building experience. I should admit the kid was 25 and he was the company owners son but he still did a fantastic website and deserved the job.

Website Owner

Setup websites that people go to for information, such as this one. It can really be any type of information just as long as there are people out there that need your information. You might be an expert on trading stocks, you may have been a plumber it doesn't  matter. If you have the know how on a particular subject then there are people more than likely in need of what you know. Your money arrives in the form of advertising. It isn't get rich quick, but over time you can derive a pretty good income from it.

Book Keeper

Get a couple companies to agree to scan documents and upload those scans to you. You enter the data and generate reports for them. You can do this anytime of day. Lease your client a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Sheetfed Scanner to quickly and easily scan invoices and bills.


You can set up a web cam for conferencing. Skype does screen sharing where your clients can see your screen. Screen sharing is great for presentations.


Look around for uneaq products, for cheap price. Try not to sell the same stuff as everyone else. This cost almost nothing to get started.

Photo Editing

Lots of this kind of work out there. Real estate companies for example need good images all the time. If you are good with Lightroom and Photoshop then you can make a good living right from your mouse and keyboard. Other photo editing opportunities can be had with professional photographers, as some of them would rather be out shooting than in front of a computer monitor editing endless streams photos.

Thai fishing boats being repaired

Tax Preparer

Again scanned documents with any scanner. Skype for video conferencing would be handy here.

Data Entry

Scanning and entering numbers and other data

Help Desk

This is a great job for for someone like me even. If they need someone to work evening in California then that is like 9 AM  here in Pattaya, just perfect for me. After about noon time my time the day is over in California. VOIP is all you need here. There are also IP phones that all you do is plug it in and start answering or calling.

Phone Solicitor

VOIP or Skype makes this very easy to communicate with people in other countries. This wasn't as practical a few years back as the internet in Thailand was not as good as it is now. I talk with people all over the world and these days the sound quality is perfect and with very little lag time. Our time difference is an advantage as this type of work takes place in the evenings, but it maybe our morning here in Thailand.

Web Board Administrator

Many web boards need after hours monitoring, trolls and spammers can flood a good web board in no time. (good daytime work for us). Our time zone makes it easy for us their night time but our daytime here. Night time work but in the day.


Be sure you have redundant internet, and up to date dependable computer(s). Thousands can be lost or gained in the wink of an eye. Be sure you have a good grip on what you are doing.


Remotely monitor surveillance cameras on your computer. Again our time zone allows us to work the night shift without the nightshift.

Buy and sell URLs

I have to say this is not a good one for the armature. A websites real value is mostly in the website content not the name. When I started this site it wasn't worth anything.  Websites gain value with good content, or products to sell. Look at the name Google how much could that name sell for by itself with out ever being developed into what is is now.

O-Desk, Up-work and others like them

This is an Online international jobs exchange, Most of the jobs posted is for work that is performed Online, web-design, graphics, programming, accounting, etc etc. Here you are competing with thousands of other people on an international scale. You will find out quickly there is allot of top notch talent that will work for next to nothing. Many people call this the race to the bottom and really I have to agree, at least for me that is. I myself gave it a try and found it very disappointing. I spent hours of my time preparing proposals only to get  under bid by dozens of competitors. It may be a great way to break into cyber work and find steady clients if you have no other resources. Even now the best way to secure work is to meet your clients face to face.

A few words about using your laptop on the beach

While this sounds like the coolest thing in the world it really isn't that great. Firstly I prefer to work from the comfort of my workspace at home. The biggest problem I find is that the salt air will destroy your computer in no time at all. OK for occasional use but I would seriously avoid it, Ipads however should hold up just fine as they are better sealed. Another issue is the brightness of the sun making the screen hard to see. Then there is the risk of your computer getting stolen. Sometimes it isn't the worst thing that your computer gets lifted but what about all your hard work, not to mention all your private information.

Copyright 2009-2019 Pattaya Retired dot Com. All photography and web design by Russ

Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Thai fishing boats being repaired
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Thai fishing boats being repaired
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Thai fishing boats being repaired


Thai fishing boats being repaired
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Thai fishing boats being repaired
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya
Ocean landscape photography along the coastal regions of Pattaya