Taxes Done For Another Year

This morning I mailed in My Oklahoma Taxes. I spent yesterday doing my Federal and Oklahoma state taxes. It wasn’t hard. It just takes a long time to get the 1099s in the mail from the US.

Even with that I had to call one company and have them email me a 1099 as a PDF. Thank goodness for the Internet.

I was able to e-file the federal taxes, but Oklahoma required printing and mailing. I mailed it at the David postoffice and sent it as registered mail. I have never had any problem doing this in the 10 years I have levied here. It cost $1.20 and I have the receipt showing I mailed it on time.

My Panama Mailing address did cause me one problem The Oklahoma site providers a PDF for doing taxes and it even does all the calculations. The only problem is that It assumes your address is in the United States and will not accept a foreign address. Bummer.

I had to use my Florida mail forwarding address to complete the form or I couldn’t print it. I added a short letter to Oklahoma telling them of their short sightedness. I am sure they will get right on that.

To celebrate, I took myself to McDonald’s for breakfast. Pancakes, sausage, muffin, etc. To McDonald’s credit, they now require a password in to use their WiFi. I was impressed.

All is right with the world. Now to see if I can get caught up on a few more lose ends.

Just Another Day – Poca a Poca


Click to enlarge

I have mentioned that we have had several projects going on and that I get tired just watching them. I thought I would take a photo of one of the projects. The builder of this house had created a carport over the driveway, but as was many of his efforts, it was less than acceptable.

In a rain, if you drove under the covered area, you would still get soaked when you got out of the car. The new car port will be a little lower, wider and extended toward the street. You can see the original carport and the outline of the new. The concrete beams are just getting ready to be poured/

I think it will make a big improvement on the looks of the house.

You can’t see the right side of the house, but it has had a new two car garage with an electric garage door. I consider that another large improvement to the house. Besides providing a secure area for the cars, it will also provide some much needed storage for garden tools, mower, etc.

The photo was taken by one of my security cameras that faces the front street.

Hot Shower

Hot shower two days in a row. Yesterday was followed by 12 hours of water outage. I am hoping whatever repair has been going on is finished. I don’t like going to the refrigerator and not being able to get cold water.

Worse, I hate hauling in water from the swimming pool to flush the toilets. I am just lucky I am in an area that rarely is out of water.

The birds are chirping and I hear a rooster crowing in the distance. I know this is going to be a good day.

Water Out

Glad I had my shower early this morning. It was cold because there wasn’t much pressure, but I made it.

Now at 9:30 AM, there is no water. Hopefully it will return soon.

Noon: Looks like the water outage is over for the moment.

1:15 PM The water is back off. :( May be time for a dip in the pool.

7:30 PM Sometime between 5:00 PM and now the water came back. Whew!

RIP Susan Guberman-Garcia

I have learned through the Yahoo groups that Susan Guberman-Garcia has succumbed to cancer. I would have to say that since I moved to Panama in 2003, I have never met a better source of good information about Panama, than Susan.

She was a prolific writer and formed and administered the Panama Law for Expats Yahoo group. Through it she helped many new comers to Panama.

I met Susan on several occasions and while I didn’t always agree with her, I always respected her and her opinion. When she had a different opinion than I had, I always spent time reassessing my point of view. Sometimes I changed. Sometimes I didn’t. Anytime you got into a debate with Susan, she usually got the last word. I even wrote a poem about a discussion she has on one of the yahoo groups.

The Expat community has lost an advocate and she will be missed. Rest in Peace Susan.

Rant Time

It has been a while, so maybe I am entitled to a rant. As I mentioned, Lilliam is up to her neck in a major remodeling project. Luckily, it is starting to wind down and yet there is still two and a half items on the list left to do.

I had my electrician out for the last three days installing a 30,000 BTU AC in the living/dining area. I will mention that I found my best deal at RefriCenter on the InterAmerican highway. It did take some special consulting with their staff to get it wired correctly. I must have bought the first 30,000 unit of this model that they had sold of their Viking brand. I thought a 30,000 BTU AC for close to $700 was a pretty good buy.

It is all installed and works great. We rarely use AC, but there are times if you have a lot of family in that you need a little cool down and with all the other construction going on, now was the time to do it.

Back to my rant. If there is one thing that I have disliked about Panama builders, it is the electrical wiring. They never plan for enough plugs on the walls, enough plugs in bathrooms for razors or other items, etc. Of course the person that built this house was tight as a tick and if he should have spent $10 to do something right, he figured out how to get by for $4. Between his cheapness and the sorry electrician he used, the entire wiring of the house needs to be redone in my opinion.

Some day if I have more money than sense, I may bring my electrician and rewire everything. Continue reading

Panama Vs Costa Rica

Many new comers to Panama come from Costa Rica. I sometimes wonder how people afford to live there. It is so much more expensive than Panama.

Lilliam always is up to date on the conversion rate between the US dollar and the Costa Rican Colon because her retirement comes from Costa Rica and she is paid in Colons. Today’s rate and the rates for the past few weeks have been changing almost on a daily basis.

The exchange rate is currently 550.0 colons for one US$. I think it was 538 colons on Monday.

Now you might think that is good because one US dollar is giving you more colons than before. You might think your buying power is greater in Costa Rica is better than in Panama. However, many purchases in Costa Rica are done in US dollars and your purchasing power has gone down.

When you compare items in Panama vs the same item in Costa Rica the cost of living in Costa Rica is extremely high. If you were considering Costa Rica and have decided on Panama, thank your lucky stars. You made the right decision.

Tuesday Boquete Meeting February 11

On the eleventh, I made it to the first Tuesday Morning BCP outing in 10 years in Chiriqui. I am good now for another 10 years. I missed the meeting getting to Boquete around 10 AM.

There were plenty of items being offered from paperback books, organic vegetables, chiropractic adjustments and massages, coffee and other things. A photo album is at the end if the post.

Lilliam bought a couple neat items from a Philippina friend she had met in the previous week. I looked at many things but managed to avoid all temptations.

The main temptation I am surprised I kept in check was this specialty chocolate being sold. I may have to make another trip to see if it is as good as it is attractive.