Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.
-- The Buddha
Did you know that you can have realtime intelligent communication with anyone in practically any language? There is a phone service, Language Line, which provides realtime phone translation in more than 150 languages (including Thai), at $3.95 per minute including phone charges. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a pay-as-you-go basis. Signing up takes only a minute. There is no membership fee. If you have a cellphone in your pocket, everyone speaks your language.
To receive a call and have it translated one needs conference calling. Put the phone on hold, dial language line, enter your PIN and speak the name of the language requested. When the interpreter is connected, continue as a conference call.
If you need to make a call, just dial the Language Line Services toll-free number, enter your PIN, speak the name of the language requested, and have the interpreter place your call, locally or internationally -- or you may do it yourself as a conference call.
For face-to-face communication, dial Language line, enter your PIN, say the name of the language, and, after the interpreter is connected, either use your speaker phone or pass the handset back and forth.
We are working on a a quick Thai phrasebook but that will take time (and hardly seems worth the trouble if you have Language Line).