So the heating pad is a good idea, but mine goes for about a half hour and then shuts off. I am doing the warm water in the cooler idea and it has been hanging around at about 100 for the last four hours. I added some refresher warm water and got it back up to about 115 and it is hanging about there. I will add one more shot of this before going to bed, which means that it should be about 100 all night I hope. I am aiming for between 90*-110* ideally, though if I stay below 120 I should be alright according to what I have read. Technically I think it is about 131*, but I don't want to take any chances with my thermo being off. I also want my starter to not get overly sour, but I do want a good amount.
If this works tonight then I have a new way to incubate my culture so that I can leave during the day and sleep well at night. If I really only need to add water every 8 hours to keep it warm, I will be happy. I thought about setting it next to the hot water heater, but it isn't inside a contained area and i think, again, at night it will get too cold. This starter will make my Berliner Weisse and then will be my "yeast" that will innoculate a barrel of beer.