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Planning for 6 months in Thailand

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Hello Thailand Experts, I am just beginning to plan a 6 month stay in Thailand. I am considering renting an apartment in Chiang Mai for most of the time, probably 5 months. I know that US citizens don't generally require a visa, but how do I stay this long? Is that an issue?

Also, if you have any practical advise regarding anything I should know about please pass it along. Such as: is it advisable to arrange a rental in advance from the US or just deal with it when I get there. What area of Chiang Mai would be safest and most convenient for a single woman with no car? I am figuring on obtaining a bicycle to get around on once I get there. I will be having A LOT of visitors so location is a consideration for that matter also.

This will occur early in 2011, probably February departure, so I want to get my planning started.

Kind Regards,

Lynnie D

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