Keep local connection alive?

Hello, I run an apache web server on a Mate installation on an old computer in my garage. I only access it locally, and want to keep it insulated from the 'net. It generally works well, but often when I try to access my site or ssh into the box, I get timed out over and over until I go and poke at the machine or ping some website to wake it up a bit. Are there any tips or little scripts I could run to keep it more alive for when I want to access it? Is this as simple as chron'ing a ping?

Thanks and please forgive my newbness,