Webcam may be the cheapest way of monitoring your home while you are out. All you need is to leave your PC connected with camera so you could connect to it using remote connection software like VNC or Teamviewer. Ruijc wanted to look after his cat using this technique, but found out that steady camera doesn’t cover all the areas of the room, so he started a project where he would be able to control camera tilt and rotation remotely.
He built a simple PIC16F88 microcontroller based circuit which would drive two servo motors. Motors simply tilt and rotate camera to point at any spot of the room. Additionally he added a transistor driven LED lamp, which also can be turned on when there is dark in room. Device is connected to PC using RS232 interface. He wrote a simple VB based software which allows controlling camera position, switch LED and even see camera image. Since this is not web based access, you need to connect to computer remotely to see whats going on. Anyway this is really simple solution that does it’s job pretty well.