Nikoley’s Sunday Scribbles

— Anything, not everything, but lots in-between | February 19, 2023

I’ve gone back and forth with this Newsletter thing. I won’t bore you. You’ve either born witness or you can imagine. I guess it comes down to an inability to publish a newsletter adjunct to a blog that isn’t rather like the blog it plays party to.

Or, its owner-operator. That would be me.

I’m the guy who can arise from my bed, desk, or any other place at any random minute, toss shit in a 30L, lock the door behind me 10 minutes later, and either head out on the motorbike or hoof it to the nearest Phuket Smart Bus stop…destination unknown, no reservations, no idea of return. All I know is that:

  1. I’ll have a good time
  2. I’ll take photos and videos
  3. I’ll write and publish about it

With a life-design like that, how in holy hell am I supposed to put out a newsletter by an arbitrary fixed deadline, on specific days, twice per week? … Especially when I always have multiple posts in various stages of draft and need to get those out when I get those out…exactly by then…not a minute sooner?

I’m living the life I’ve “always” wanted; and by always, I mean: since I was living and traveling abroad right out of college, 1984. I can’t sit still; but that’s only because I don’t fuckin’ wanna.

Ok? Capiche?

… So perhaps “scribbles” is apt. I’ll just get up Sunday morning wherever I happen to be, grab the notebook and just tap away. That I should [usually] be able to do.

Banking, Fraud, and Theft

I began the day thinking damn, is there nothing at all Americans will actually fight for, anymore?

I dunno.

Fat, dumb, and happy? Hell, Americans didn’t even distinguish themselves during Covid lockdowns, including the padlocking of churches and arrest for taking the kids and dogs to the park. Point-blank: there were lots and lots of places around the world where they showed Mercans how it’s supposed to be done.


But it’s this that got me started in that train of thought.

Due to this blog and other categories of my online digital entrepreneurship, time and location-independent living, and geoarbitrage, I deal with credit-card processors. For many years.

I hate them all.

I’ve always rolled my eyes at the theft and fraud of banks. When they say “processing” (2-3 or even 5 days) it’s really a bald-faced lie. Computers do this shit internationally in microseconds and have done so for decades. They act and pretend as though it’s the old days with manual balance and clearing at the end of every banking day (and, for paper checks, all night long).

They want to make it look hard and involved. It’s not harder or more involved than all the infrastructure and coding that went into making it possible to vid-chat on your favorite app with anyone, anywhere, any time. You don’t have to request a call and wait 2-3 business days for an answer (unless your friend is an asshole and either makes you wait…or…profits from your long wait).

Wanna test that assertion? How well do you think global markets in stocks, bonds, options, futures, and currency would or could operate if every trade took 2-3 business days to clear? Most stock markets have business-day opens and closes, but they don’t have to. There’s “after hours” trading. Currency markets are 24/7/365, fuck holidays.

There are actually good reasons for trading markets to have fixed hours, and that comes down to liquidity and volume. In other words, you need all active traders present and accounted for so that money can move and make markets. Prices fall when there are no buyers around.

There’s no good reason for purchase transactions (basic banking) to ever be closed.

Now listen up. This is adapted from a Tweet Thread I did a while back, and you’ll see how it closes the loop with the foregoing soon enough.

… Original cash is King. And why elites and institutions hate it. A perfect example, from Thailand, where I live, follows.

As a former 3rd-world now developing country, Thailand still relies heavily on cash. This is common amongst poorer nations, and there are sound reasons for that. Foremost, it’s entirely natural. It’s really just two steps removed from barter.

From barter, you go to a medium of exchange that’s rare and perceived as valuable (for good reasons) such as gold and silver. Everybody naturally understands gold and silver, right down to the poorest, most ignorant. Accordingly, this is a good place to start.

And the next step is cash, setting aside how institutions and elites have corrupted, diminished, inflated, and generally effed with it in order to steal…all under the fanciful illusion that everyone can live at the expense of everyone else. I’ll not digress further.

All that’s needed for cash is trust and wide acceptance. This isn’t hard to obtain if done right as it was originally, where cash (currency) was printed and distributed, serving as a sort of receipt for something valuable (like gold/silver).

Cash works so well because it has distinct advantages over hauling around commodities. Denominations, divisibility, and exchangeability are hallmarks.

Thais love cash.

“Darling, this is Thailand. Of course we love cash.” — Yui, my Girl with Girls

But how to digitize it without the Gawd-Awful Bullshit Westerners put up with…even with their stupid debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, etc?

Thailand leapfrogged all of that and cut out shit-tons of waste, delays (latency) and all the middle-men who’re stealing.

They have even cut out the massive abomination that is merchant accounts (business with their card swiping machines and debit/credit-card service providers). And it’s glorious. Let me brief you on their most elegant system that could scale globally with ease.

But first, consider what you put up with using debit cards. Transact, go to your banking app, and it shows up as “pending,” often for days (until whenever the merchant runs its next “batch” in 1950s-era “tech” glory).

It’s no better for the merchant. They don’t get the actual money in their bank account for 3-5 banking days (‘banking’ because bank computers cannot function nights, weekends, or holidays). Plus, they only get an average of 97-98% of the funds. 2-3% for the bank’s cut, and all the other fraudster palms that must be greased.

Here’s what they do in Thailand.

  1. All banks have an app
  2. All bank apps have every other chartered bank in them (currently 26 banks in each bank’s app)

There are three ways to transfer from any bank account in Thailand to any other bank account in Thailand.

  1. Bank name and account number
  2. QR code (either the QR for the specific account where you enter the amount, or a QR generated on the fly that includes the amount)
  3. A phone number linked to the account

This takes seconds, and there’s no practical lower limit on transaction amount. You can transfer 1 baht ($0.03…three cents).


Ask your Western thieving and lying institutions, governments, and elites why. You’ll get a bunch of bullshit and Thailand is proof that it’s all lying-bullshit fraud, and Westerners are simps and fools for putting up with it this long when there are far superior alternatives.

To get to the point…drum roll…


Instantaneous means instantaneous. Not pending. If you have alerts set up, your phone dings with a text the instant you tap “Confirm.” So does the person’s phone you’re transacting with. It’s delightful. Both phones ding with text notifications from their respective banks at the same time, every time.

In the nearly 3 years I’ve used this banking tech, my bank’s app has been down 1 time. I compare that to my US debit cards where 80% of the time doing an online purchase, I have to go through a gauntlet of verifications…and even still it often doesn’t go through.

(As an aside, all this increasing security, 2FA, yada yada, for “fraud protection”—euphemism for putting you through the shit to save them the cost of eating it—are like gun laws. They exist to be a total pain in the ass for good and honest people, but criminals don’t give a fuck. It gives everyone the impression that SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING!!!)

… Our Western systems are broke-dick by comparison. Thailand’s system puts the West in short pants and lederhosen. Also, everybody has smartphones. A very nice Android can be had for under a hundred bucks, now. EVERYBODY has one.

Two ladies picking rice in a field can transfer money to each other in an instant, no fee. And they DO. Everybody uses this. Sometimes, I don’t carry cash at all and just pay in this manner. But it’s like cash, saving the trouble of having to deposit it. Making it instant, 24/7/365—fuck weekends and holidays—changes the whole dynamic of payments and your perspective changes in ways you’ve got to experience for yourself.

I want to be very clear: This is not a service-provider intermediary like PayPal, et al., where you then have a balance there you need to transfer to your bank (2-3 days “processing” time; or, hey! we’ll transfer instantly to your debit card! That’ll be 1%, please. Fuck off.)

And oh, the rip-off pain in the ass that are merchant accounts (for every business that takes cards or does Apple or Google pay)? Ha, they leapfrogged that too.

The smallest merchants with their motorbike food-sidecars have a QR plaque on display that you just scan, enter the amount, tap confirm, and their phone dings with notification. And people who want to pay by credit instead of debit can do that too, transparently, no fuss.

Incidentally, what all this is, is “money in the float.”

Float, in the banking system, refers to money briefly counted two times because of the delays in check processing. Float is built as soon as the check is deposited. The customers account is credited by the bank. However, the payers bank takes some time to send payment on the check. Until the payers bank clears the check, the check amount is displayed both in the payers and recipients bank.

What’s not said is the theft and fraud; that this “float” is quite convenient, since banks make money on it (your money, interest free, no percentage of earnings).


It’s going well. @BlackFlagExpat is going well. I’m just a smidgen from 500 followers, having only re-begun since Elon took over the joint and is continually improving it.

The other news is that my old account, @rnikoley has been reinstated after two years of permanent suspension because woke, bunched-panty-peeps melted over a single tweet after 13 years, thousands of tweets, with 5,500 followers.

If you do follow the @rnikoley account, please go to @BlackFlagExpat, follow me there, and unfollow at the former.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve a sneaking suspicion that Twitter will become The Place to be in social media. It’s already rooting out the worst-of-the-worst woke snowflakes. They just can’t take being challenged, and some of them are so fucking deluded they’re getting gloriously mocked and ridiculed (ratioed in twittspeak) in every tweet and nobody in administration is helping them.

My purpose there is the funnel.


It’s Sunday afternoon/evening for you, Monday AM for me. I acquired this last night.

A few weeks ago—after I’d already decided to move at the end of Feb when my 6-month lease is up and I was planning how to get stuff shipped—I get a call out of the blue from Doug, my American buddy who lives in Pattaya but drives here to Phuket often enough.

“Hey Richard, I have one of my other cars in Phuket that a friend has been using. He’s finished with it and I want to get it back to Pattaya. Would you be interested in driving it back?”

Uh, let me “think about it.”

Are you kidding? What a delightful serendipity. And, there’s no need to wait.

This morning, I’m going to the post office to mail my motorcycle to Pattaya. (You heard that right…you can mail your motorbike anywhere in Thailand…about $100-150). Then I’ll hoof the 5 km back, pack & clean, then head out for the 9-hr 1st leg-drive tomorrow morning starting at a fine & proper 04.00, if not earlier.

The first destination is the tourist and expat beach haven of Hua Hin (the ‘h’ is silent, just as is the ‘j’ in Spanish). I’ll stay there a night or two. I’ve never been.

Then it’s a pretty short drive up to Kanchantabury Province to finally meet my Ozzie mate, Steve, who’s been a reader here forever, we’ve exchanged a million emails and vid-chatted a bunch of times, but no IRL yet; So I’m fixing that. Steve has lived in Thailand for about 30 years, teaches English at a local university.

Kanchant is a pretty notable province. In addition to its limestone formations, it’s home to the Khwae Yai River, aka River Kwai. There was a railway bridge built over it at one time. They made a movie about it. So, I’ll get to see that.

Maybe I’ll do some YouTube Live from the road.

Other Stuff

I’ve hit what’s going to be my hard limit of 2K words, so the other topics I had in mind will have to wait until next week, separate blog posts, or never.

I was going to delve into the curious world of AI, or artificial “intelligence.” There’s some shocking stuff with crazy potentials and implications to consider.

The other thing is kinda sorting through the what just happened!? in terms of Covid and other revelations that have recently been revealed.

(Like, American government murdering its own president and gaslighting its citizens for 60 years…blowing up a gas pipeline delivering peaceful, voluntary trade between two sovereign nations…forcing millions of experimental-drug injections to be administered to its prisoners citizens, a drug experiment that has killed thousands…you know…terrorist, evil shit like that where we’re into “The CIA-MURDERED-JFK Effect”…whereupon seeing something so evil and awful, everybody carries on as though they didn’t just see and hear that.)


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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

1 Comment

  1. Peter Collins on February 20, 2023 at 11:53

    In australia banking is a nightmare, of course its the RBA Bank of Rothschild in control – bastards!
    I run a company too, so seeking workarounds

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