The thermostat is located just above the fan shaft, or ontop of the water pump. at least on the 2.2? and 4.3l engines. Which i think was only available. You may have to remove the plastic Vortec cover to see it.
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The thermostat housing is located on top and front of the engine. You will see a large radiator housing coming from it. There are 4 bolts to open the housing (15mm) and hose clamp(s) to loosen on the radiator hose. Once removed just pull out the 2 thermostats. When you are replacing the thermostat(s)-the gasket(s) for the housing are on the attached to the new thermostats- As you probably noticed when pulling out the old ones.
Your vehicle as an ignition control module located on top of the distributor (under the cap and rotor) I would pull the ICM and take it to NAPA and have it tested if bad replace it (cost about $80). Sounds like a ICM problem or it could be the ignition switch located on the steering coloum which can't be tested but costs $20. Hope this works
Check the ignition and Engine relay switches located under the hood. Sometimes relays go weak with age and even a bump on the road will shut them off. If you can turn the truck on, take it to Autozone or similar store for a free DTC scan code.
If you are certain there is no air in the coolant system, then there is a chance that the blend door motor is not working or the heater control assembly is bad. since you have replaced your own heater core you probably noticed the the doors inside the heater core housing. One of those doors is controlled by the "hot/cold" knob. The motor on that door could bad.