Red truck taxi rides cost 20 baht most places in the city. There's no need to ask when you get in a truck, just hand the driver 20 when you get out. The 20 baht boundary is roughly between the river and the mountain, east to west, and north to south, within the super highway.
Going east past the river you will probably be charged more. Somewhere from 30 to 60 baht. But Buddha help you if you want to go past the super highway in a red truck. The price will be an automatic 100 baht and likely more. I call this the medicine line.
It is really easy to flag a red truck most places in the city. They line the streets in most areas. If you are in a less popular area, have patience, one will be along shortly. If you live past the medicine line, Payap University for instance, there are very few taxis. You'll need to call someone.
I was on my way to the train station one day talking to a taxi driver about Chiang Mai transportation. He said that Chiang Mai is very different from Bangkok. In Bangkok there are taxis everywhere and a call center waiting to dispatch an army of drivers. Chiang Mai has no such setup. My taxi driver advised everyone in Chiang Mai to know at least two drivers. I'll take it a step further and say every international Payap University student should know two English speaking drivers. The guy I call most is Juu (or "Jew" might help you better pronounce it.), 08.9701.7850, if he's not available I'll ask him to call a friend.