My Family, My Life: The Marstellers (Part One)

"In Memorium Marsteller Frederick Ludwig, Jan 11, 1702, Oct 15, 1753 and A. Barbara Starck, May 8, 1701, Feb 23, 1780. Arrived at Philadelphia in 1729 from Darmstadt Germany"

When one begins to delve into family history, many interesting stories begin to emerge. My own family is no different. In this first entry in a planned series of genealogically-inspired articles, I will introduce one branch of my family tree which I can currently trace back seven generations and ultimately has a connection to the first President of the United States of America himself, Mr. George Washington.

The link that reaches back to President Washington is through my great-grandmother, Minnie Salinda Marsteller, who was born on August 1, 1881, in the Midwestern state of Iowa. Her parents — George Henry Marsteller and Lydia Anne Latshaw — had relocated to the tiny northeast Iowa township of Fox sometime prior to their first appearance on the U.S. Census in 1900; George was 70 years old, Lydia was 65 and Minnie was soon to turn 19 years old. Fox, in Black Hawk County, is remote to this day — covering an area of 34.46 square miles (89.3 km²) but containing no incorporated settlements. As of the 2000 census, the rural township had a population of 520.

Previously, the Marstellers had lived in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

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A Year In The Life: 2014

SAM_1660The beginning of a New Year brings the traditional “year in review” post on blogs all over the world.  Thus far, I’ve managed to avoid such an annual wrap-up as I’m not certain it serves much of a purpose.  Now that I’m blogging much more, and am on the verge of several major changes in my life, I feel that I should finally make an attempt to look back on the year past before moving forward. 

ASEAN-member-countriesThe year just begun – 2015 – promises to be a significant one for many reasons.  Not only does it mark the tenth year anniversary of my arrival in Thailand but also the fiftieth anniversary of my birth.  In Southeast Asia, there has been a battle cry of sorts – “Are you ready for 2015?” — for several years now as the Asian Economic Community comes into full affect with English as its official language.  Am I ready, indeed…

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Angkor Trip 2: Re-Entry Permit

Angkor Trip 003If you reside in Thailand on a long-stay permission such as a Non-Immigrant or Education visa and you want to leave the Kingdom on holiday, you must obtain a Re-Entry Permit prior to your departure.  Failure to do so will cause your visa and work permit to be cancelled upon your return.  You may even lose your job as many employers would be reluctant to go through the lengthy processes to obtain new documents should you be so negligent.

Don’t worry.  The process to obtain a Re-Entry Permit is relatively hassle-free.  If you live in Bangkok, you can even submit your application online.  And if you forget, it is even possible to receive one at least two Thai airports  at the last minute although I wouldn’t recommend waiting so long!

The vast majority will need to do this a few days prior to your trip by going to the branch of Thai Immigration that is closest to where you live (the one you go to for your Address Notifications every 90 days).  You will need a 2-inch passport photo, a Form TM8 filled out in either blue or black ink, a photocopy of your photo and Departure Card pages from your passport, and the correct fee.

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Angkor Trip 1: Bus Ticket and Currency Exchange

20130402-140827It’s been so long since I’ve taken a “real” trip that I’m a bit amazed at how easily everything has been coming together.

Take the bus ticket for the first leg, Phuket to Bangkok, for example.

I’d planned today to simply visit the bus station and determine if the 501-baht fare I’d found mentioned online was still valid.  I ended up purchasing a ticket for a bit more, but it wasn’t much more.  I’ll come to that in a minute.

First, a bit of an explanation about Phuket’s bus stations.  There are now more than one.  The old long-distance station on Th. Phuket is a short walk from my home.  When I had to take trips to Hat Yai every couple of weeks, I used to walk over in the morning to buy the ticket (securing a good seat as the bus company had once told me you could only purchase tickets on the day of travel) and then walk over in the evening a few minutes before the last bus was due to depart.

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