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Trying to set a token fallback sort of function here. Main problem: if the receiver has code but does not include the specific function I try to execute it fails. Any way to call an external function, without the transaction failing if the function didn't exist? Like, you try to execute a certain function but if it isn't there is not a big deal.

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Yes, you can use call. E.g.:

addr.call(keccak256("tokenFallback(address,amount,bytes)"), from, amount, data);

call returns true or false indicating success or failure of the call. You can just ignore it if you don't care whether the call succeeds.

Of course, as I understand it, the entire purpose of ERC 223 is to make sure that the transfer is reverted if the receiving contract doesn't implement that function. :-)

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