A little over a year ago I developed a zero-wire auto-reset solution for Arduino. After I started using Arduino for the esp8266, I realized I could do the same thing with the ESP-01.
Flashing the esp8266
In order to download code to the esp8266 after reset, GPIO0 and GPIO15 must be low, and GPIO2 must be high. The ESP-01 has GPIO15 grounded, and GPIO2 is set high after reset. GPIO0 is pulled up to Vcc after reset, so in order to download code to the flash, this must be pulled low. Although esptool-ck supports using RTS and DTR for flashing the esp8266, many cheap USB-TTL modules don't break out those lines. With USB-TTL modules that break out DTR, the DTR line should be connected to GPIO0 in order to pull the line low after reset. Otherwise DTR needs to be grounded with a jumper or by connecting a push-button switch to ground.
The auto-reset circuit I used on the esp8266 is a simplified version of the circuit I used with the pro mini. It consists of just a 7.5K resistor between Rx and RST, and a 4.7uF capacitor between RST and Vcc. The values are not critical, as long as the RC constant is between 10ms and 100ms, so if what you have on hand is a 15K resistor and 1uF capacitor, that should work fine. A serial break signal is 250ms long, which is why I suggest a an RC constant of less than 100ms to allow the capacitor to discharge and trigger a reset before the break signal ends. If the RC constant is less than 10ms, a sequence of zero bytes transmitted to the esp8266 could unintentionally trigger a reset. At 9600bps, each bit is 104.2us long, so 8 zero bits plus the start bit would last 938us. Several zero-bytes in a row, even with the high voltage of the stop bit in between, could trigger a reset. The esptool default upload speed is 115.2kbps, so unwanted resets are quite unlikely.
The auto-reset circuit has an added benefit of improving the stability of the esp8266 module. The RST pin on the esp8266 is extremely sensitive. Before I added the auto-reset circuit, simply touching a probe from my multimeter to the RST pin would usually reset the module, even when I tried adding a 15K pullup resistor to Vcc. I would also get intermittent "espcomm_sync failed" messages when trying to upload code. Since adding the auto-reset circuit, I can probe the RST pin without triggering a reset, and my uploads have been error-free.
Getting the updated esptool-ck
By the time you are reading this, Ivan may have already integrated my patch for esptool-ck. If the issue is still open, then you can download the updated esptool-ck. Extract the esptool.exe into hardware\tools\esp8266. This version also includes support for 921.6kbps uploads, which can be enabled by modifying putting esp01.upload.speed=921600 in hardware\esp8266com\esp8266\boards.txt.