The only thing I receive on the serial monitor is -1 or 255 which I suspect is just noise. Any ideas???
It is not just noise it is a clue. It means you are receiving all logic 1's after an initial start pulse. This would imply:-
1) The signal is the right way up.
2) Something is being sent.
However it could be that there is a big missmatch between the transmit and receive baud rate.