Get any group of foreigners together in Thailand and eventually, the subject will come around to visas. They are a ubiquitous part of expatriate life and an endless wheel of annual applications, quarterly reporting and entry permits and TM30 renewals every time you leave and re-enter the country. If all that sounds like a load of gobbledygook to you, then you probably haven’t been here very long. If you are, you will soon pick up visa speak.
The best advice to anyone is to ensure you get the right visa for your circumstances, keep your paperwork in order and follow the rules to the letter. But beware: those rules do change, so you also need to stay informed and be flexible.
The second best piece of advice is to use a visa agent. They are well informed, know the systems and protocols and speak daily to immigration officers. There are several reputable visa agents in Chiang Mai, and they do all the heavy lifting, for a fee of course, but it does remove the stress of handling visa issues by yourself.