I suspect the major part of all this is for most people (me included) post hoc rationalisation; you find yourself somewhere and then invent reasons why you're there.
some would...some wouldn't...
"You really want to save the planet?...the next time you see a hybrid car with a childseat... smash the window, remove the childseat and replace it with a box of condoms..." Doug Stanhope
Ah, things are never as good as you remember. Besides, why go where you've already been (except home of course)?
IMO Thailand is over-rated. Cheep beer/cheap sex/available women. All that isn't a draw for me. All their superstitions and voodoo shit, afterlife, pandering to the rich with merit making, yuck.
I think the mistake we make is our assessment of Thailand through the rose glasses of the farang. Look at stats, cold as they are they're still tell tale. Thailand isn't that hot chick in the Rajabhat mini, it's closer to that granny sitting on a tree stump chewing beetle nut. Nice folks not doubt about it. Poor people are usually nice folks. Being poor and aggressive won't get you far.
Your attraction to Thailand is only as strong as your having something/somewhere to compare it to. There are (foreign-friendlier) Latin American countries that put Thailand to shame, even if your criteria is booze and women. Y'all don't know what you're missing. You gotta go there to know there. Just an opinion of course.
Here's some advantages, let's take Costa Rica:
More beautiful than Thailand.
Animals and cool-looking insects everywhere.
Christians who will confess to lying and thievery being a sin.
Better looking girls.
More comported people.
Easy to learn language.
Much more beautiful language.
Much more useful language.
A capitol city with an ideal climate.
More coast line than California.
You can go (as I once did) to the home of the president, knock on his door and be received.
It isn't fair to mention advantages without some disadvantages:
It's kinda far if you live in Europe or North America.
There isn't much work there.
The typical Tico (Costa Rican) food is pretty bland. Usually you'll not see even salt or pepper on a dining table.
Although there's no military there are plenty of cops in plain clothes.
The capitol city of San Jose has a lot of exhaust smoke. 95% of the cars, buss' and trucks are diesel.
Not a good place if you're gay.
Not a good place for a woman unescorted.
Some more advantages I forgot:
Tico boys don't get upset over a gringo (Macho is actually the term there) stealing his girl.
It's a peace-centered society.
There are about 7-8 facial/body types that are prevalent. Truly a good looking "race." Blue, gray, hazel and green eyes are common.
They are cooperative. I once saw a boy snatch a woman's hand bag and then a mass of pedestrians descended on him.
Renewing a visa is no problem.
They don't discriminate Blacks so much.