It was the thermostat. Had a feeling it was, so that was the first thing I checked. I pulled the dipstick yesterday evening and again today and oil is clean - no water. Brought thermostat in the house and boiled it - never opened. Soo...quick trip to town for new thermostat & antifreeze, dug out my tube of gasket dope, and 30 min. after I got home, it was fixed and roared to life. Sounds as good as ever. Finished baling & got it all in the dry before tonight's rain.
J - naw, it doesn't push any water out the overflow when it works hard. The temp gauge works and the needle never gets close to the red either. Thanks for the responses. Glad it was simple.