Heroku, oauth, redirects and ajax

Hi,

I have a controller method that makes at least 3 calls to
external severs.

The method is an oauth callback where intially I was (within that
method) creating and saving a picture into rackspace, and then making
two consecutive calls to an external service. After all that the end
user sees a canvas that belongs to the external service application so
my job is done.

I have that in Heroku and I can't use background jobs
so it all happens in a single request, when it enters the callback.

As you can imagine the request can take a bit of time sometimes and
Heroku only allows 30 seconds without giving something back to the
client. So it breaks.

What I did is to separate a bit the parts. Now my callback just stores
the oauth credentials and then redirects to another method where I save
the picture to the cloud and again redirect to yet another method that
takes care of using the api with the other service.

The result is that now Heroku is happy and all three requests complete.

But I'm not happy since I don't think it is the way to implement it. The
redirects go to an empty page that just reloads itself to the next
phase.

I would like to have a method that updates a loader or something in the
browser without those ugly redirects.

Any suggestions or examples around?