Hello Martin, FYI the Pattaya City Expat Club has a section on their website devoted to Thai Immigration issues - https://pcec.club/page-18188 - hover over the topic at the top and you will see a drop down menu for the various sections - if there is a red dot next to the item, hover over it and you will get another drop down menu showing the subsection topics - click on the one that may answer your question(s). If it doesn't answer your question(s) or you need clarification, you can email them at [email protected] and they will get back to you.
Also, their section on "Living in Thailand" has information you might find useful re banking, driving license, health care, etc.
NOW, back to the topic of this thread - I voted that I would stay in Thailand. Like GB, I plan to stay in Thailand until the grim reaper decides it is time for me to go. My primary purpose in retiring to Thailand was to be with my Thai partner - at that time, we already had a 10 year long distance relationship with me visiting on holiday twice a year. After I moved here, we had another wonderful 19 years together before he passed away from a serious illness last November.
At that time, I thought about returning to the USA, but decided not too.
When I moved here, my big concern was the quality of health care as I had a serious heart condition. I found the care here to be quite good and it has now as I've grown older taken care of me for both serious and not serious health issues including pulmonary embolism, ischemic stroke, prostate cancer, a life threatening lung infection, as well as some broken bones with the latest being a hip fracture.
As GB mentions, health insurance, especially for me, is a must. As a retired Federal employee, I was able to carry over my health insurance and it covers me here in Thailand. Bangkok Hospital Pattaya will even bill them direct. I use that feature for inpatient (covered 100%) or more expensive diagnostic tests (covered 85%). For my outpatient care and prescription medicines, I pay myself and file a claim for 85% of the cost.
My reason for deciding to stay here is I have made many friends, both Thai and Expat, but my primary reason is for the medical care here vs the USA. Here I don't have to wait several days or even weeks to get an appointment with a doctor as is the case in the USA. When I do have an appointment, the wait to see the doctor is not long whereas in USA it can be hours before you see the doctor OR in many cases you see don't even see the doctor, but a Nurse Practitioner. Here, the results of diagnostic tests are usually available to the doctor within an hour whereas in USA the doctor may have to wait a few days to receive them. Of course my experience here is with the International hospitals.