Amazon has a really good deal on an ESP8266 board in stock with prime. http://www.amazon.com/Gikfun-ESP8266-ESP-12-Industrial-version/dp/B00RK1W7R6
There are no instructions with it so I bought one and between probing with my multimeter and trying different things, I was able to get nodemcu running.
Yellow jumper seems to toggle between flash mode and at mode, closed is flash mode.
three pins labeled gnd, tx, tr are for uart and are what you should plug in. tx-tx,rx-rx,gnd-gnd.
You can leave power dangling