Yeah, pulling the bottom hose is easier, but I don't think you need to just to change the thermostat. If you remove the upper radiator hose, enough should come out that you don't have to totally drain the radiator.
The Haynes manual is vague about alot of things. There is alot of assumption that you already know the parts location of many things. I'm gonna pick up a Chiltons manual to supplement my Haynes, or at least find one to look through and see if it's worth buying the Chiltons as well.