When I open Spotlight on iOS8 on my iPhone 6 Plus I get the Spotlight Search but occasionally I have no keyboard.
Any suggestions how I get the keyboard back other than rebooting which takes a significant chunk of time?
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It's caused by third party keyboard, but inconsistently as you say. Also happens in other apple apps like messages and email. For spotlight key board you'll need to go to another app that uses a keyboard and then switch to the standard apple keyboard. Then go back to spotlight and should be fine. For messahes and email apps you have to kill the app and restart it (double click the home button, then swipe the offending app upwards). Really annoying though and apple need to sort it.