Thanks to mdhiggins for putting together this great tutorial and diagrams for building an IR Blaster based upon the NodeMCU platform. This was my 3rd attempt at this project and his design is my favorite and the only one that has potential to work the way I want it to.
Here is a link to his GitHub:
This reference also helped me:
And her is the board I am using:
I also found that I had to tweak some of the Arduino 1.8.5 defaults settings as you can see here when I uploaded IRController.ino.
Things I updated:
Board: Generic ESP8266 Module
Flash Size: 4M (3m SPIFFS)
Debug Port: Serial
Reset Method: nodemcu
Port Com4 (this will vary)
And to integrate with Alexa/SmartThings....
Another tutorial that I referenced:
Easy way to flash your ESP8266 Module back to factory defaults if you make a mistake(I did):