There are a few issues with the other solutions I originally used that I found from other wikis. I address the issues I had in this much simpler and shorter way. I am also going to explain what is going into way more detail than others to help people understand what's going on.
More or less I use auto-complete field for a form. CJuiAutoComplete is a yii widget for this purposes.
The common use case is to make an ajax request and retrieve a list from the database. So in this case you have to write a controller action to return you a json encoded list.
What if I had a generic action to do this work for me?