Like the others said, use a modulated signal. It will give you a much more reliable transmission. For the receiver I often use Vishay, which has a wide offering in carrier frequencies, packages and protocols.
In its most basic form the transmitter is just an astable multivibrator driving the IR LED. But the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) in the receiver is not designed to receive a continuous carrier. So it's better to simulate some RC protocol and choose a receiver for that protocol.
For the transmitter you can use a small microcontroller like the AVR ATTiny4 or Microchip PIC10F200. Both have an internal oscillator and work without any external components, then all you need is a resistor, a transistor and the IR LED.
While the AVR is more performant than the PIC, this is not required here, and overmore: the accuracy of the "calibrated" internal oscillator for the AVR is a disappointing 10%, while the PIC is 1% accurate. So the PIC may be the better choice.